Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Cleaning Out The Cranial Clutter; Will You Hold The Dustpan, Please?

Time for a little Cleanout of my Cranial Clutter. Let's see what I can sweep out of the old cerebellum.

~*~Anniversary. Somehow, in all the Goings On of August, I completely forgot that the Dept. Of Nance had its 13th Anniversary. It's true; I've been writing here since 2005. I almost cannot believe it myself. Sometimes, I hop into my Wayback Machine (read my archives) and take a look at my life when I was teaching, in my forties, and raising teenagers. And I laugh and laugh at the things I Said I Would Never Do, many of which I am now doing routinely. Oh Life, how you smack us around and teach us to Be Humble!

~*~Eff Word. This week, my hair finally allowed me to go pick out new glasses, which I gladly did. The young woman (probably about twenty-five) who assisted me at the cheapo eyeglasses place was friendly and fun. As we chatted about Being Female and Our Vanity, she dropped two Eff Words, never batting an eye, zipping right past them with nary a concern. Another associate seated within earshot didn't even flinch. I am a Huge Fan of The Eff Word, but there is a Time and a Place, and that? Not It.

~*~Insomnia And Obnoxious Theme Song. I'm currently in the throes of another bout of Insomnia. Sigh. Sometimes when I can't sleep, I watch a few late night episodes of the original Will & Grace show, and I have to tell you, that show's theme song is absolutely the worst. Ugh. Nothing but hard-driven piano that sounds like it is being played by perhaps Herman Munster on crack. It's abusive. Why so awful? Why? I don't know what I feel sorrier for, that poor piano or my ears.

~*~Videotapes. I finally made myself clean out the cabinet housing our now-nonexistent videotape collection. Is it Really A Thing that the Black Diamond Classic Disney videotapes are worth money? And that the Fox Original Star Wars Trilogy Boxed Set is valuable too? Because I have the latter and five of the former. And they are available. Aside from that, I had Sam hook up the old VCR and I watched a few hours of the boys when they were little. My immediate response was to be overwhelmed with so much love--and an odd feeling of sadness. They were So Little. They looked so fragile to me. I hope I Did The Right Things. I know I always wanted to and tried to.

Catch me up in Comments.

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43 comments:

  1. Ted the audio / video guy would tell you that you should get your tapes put onto your computer and also maybe DVD. The tapes of the kids, I mean. The tapes will degrade in quality over time. He will also tell you that he understands about good intentions, because a couple of years ago my brother bought Ted an adapter, so you can copy your tapes to your computer, and then perhaps burn them onto a DVD if you are so inclined. He was very motivated, and copied maybe 1 baby tape. The rest are still sitting there, degrading.

    I might perhaps judge him, were it not for the 25 year old Gap bag in our closet with our wedding photos, that I have for the last 25 years intended to put into an album, which has NOT yet happened, and at this point I am stupidly feeling superstitious about it, like if I put them in an album we will wake up hating each other and file for divorce immediately.

    Me and the eff word (I considered saying, The F-Word and I, but decided I liked the sound of 'Me and the eff word better, so please understand it is a choice that I made, no matter how foolish a choice it was) used to be besties. In Fairbanks in the early 70s, EVERYONE swore, and I had no compunction about it. I don't think, though, that I would EVER use it with a customer, especially not one that was older than me. I mean, if I were 22 and they were 22 and they looked a bit rough around the edges, PERHAPS, but again, it's a choice, and one to be very carefully made.

    I should tell you sometime about how I got fired from Mr. Steak for inappropriate use of the F-word...

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    1. Also, insomnia sucks. Have you tried melatonin? Don't you tire of people trying to fix things by suggesting things you will likely have tried, because DUH, no one wants to suffer from insomnia, and also DUH, one of the things one DOES during a bout is to google 'cures for insomnia'. Sorry about the theme song. I may have watched an episode or two of 'Will and Grace' back in the day, but I don't remember the theme song.

      Also also, Happy Blogaversary! I'm right behind you, November of 2005, and gosh, I felt so much younger then. Of course, I WAS younger, and my child was young, and my parents were alive, and oh my goodness this comment took a dark turn. Things are different in so many ways now. I'm glad you're still writing.

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    2. And just for fun, here's my Mr. Steak F word story. Comments were lost in the blogger/wordpress conversion. http://jellyjules.com/?p=711

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    3. J@jj--I absolutely adore it when you blog on my blog. Keep doing it. I mean it. It is the best. XO

      I go to a Cleveland Clinic neurologist who is also a sleep specialist, so, yes, I have tried melatonin in all of its forms. My insomnia is stress-related, usually, so...!

      It is, to be honest, somewhat tiresome when people suggest all kinds of things for migraine or insomnia or whatever, but I always feel grateful, too. I know it comes from a place of genuine concern and kindness. And, after all, I sort of asked for it when I mentioned it on the Interwebs, you know?

      Thank you for being glad that I am still writing; I'm always glad when you post something new as well. We both were in different spots Way Back Then! Sigh.

      I'm laughing about all the Dire Warnings about videotapes degrading. Mine are 30 years old and look wonderful. I will get them put on DVDs for Christmas, probably, so I can give copies to the boys. I will let you know when it is done so that you can lord it over Ted!

      Off to read your Mr Steak story.

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    4. J@jj--I read your Mr. Steak Eff You story while in the waiting room at the neurologist's office yesterday. Loved it! It was funny, but I'm also sorry that you were a typical case of sacrifice due to poor management. Unfair. But, as you say, you learned so much working there. Thanks for sharing the link.

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  2. Insomnia is just the worst. From time to time, I have bouts of it. Started listening to Dante's The Divine Comedy on Audible (free two months with my gym membership!) and that seems to be helping until I get myself into a spot where I want to hear more instead of sleeping. It is wonderful to listen to the story with my eyes closed and the dog cuddled up and lose myself in it. But like...some sleep would be dope, too.

    The Eff Word is so good. It always cracks me up how my friends and new girlfriends can't believe the way that we throw it around when I bring them over for the first time. My girlfriend now said, "I'm 35, and if I said half the things to my parents that you do to yours, they'd probably try to ground me". My best friend was around a few weeks ago and says that our dynamic is so great that he "sorta hates" me for it. We're not swearing AT each other. We're just adults talking. And that's how adults talk. I think.

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    1. Jared--I cannot listen to anyone else read. It is annoying to hear someone else's voice in my head. Maybe I should try it again, especially if it were a British voice, but not someone too stodgy and stuffy. Does Daniel Day-Lewis read anything? That would be good, especially if he read some Keats.

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    2. For a good British read, try Harry Potter :) (I know - not your thing, but the narrator is great!)

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  3. Also, regarding the eff word: Having been in sales for a long time, you have to know your audience. Things aren't as buttoned up as they used to be in professional settings. You're more likely to provide great customer service and/or make a sale if you're relateable and match the energy of your customer/client. I threw it around from time to time at my last job, as long as they'd thrown it around first, or there was a rapport there. Take as a compliment the fact that she was comfortable enough with you to throw it around. Also, kudos to her people-reading skills. You were, after all, there for glasses, but she could tell you were cool with the word in general and made a read, correctly, that you weren't someone that would get all worked up and tell her manager about it. Really, it is a flaw in the way we're taught to provide customer service: Always be in that moment with that customer and take on some of their persona. That's how you get to know a customer in a short amount of time. It is, probably, also why people in the sales field feel so busy and change jobs so often. Sacrificing some of yourself in order to sell a machine, dumpster, pair of glasses, widget, whatever it may be...it comes at a cost.

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    1. Jared again--But I have a Problem with that. As I said to Bridget in my response below, I Want A Professional Setting. I don't want to feel like I'm in everyone's living room. I don't want strangers to feel like they can automatically call me Nance or, worse yet, Honey or Sweetie. I WANT A BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WHEN I DO BUSINESS. I don't like the waiter kneeling down at my table and chatting me up about his weekend and inviting me to do the same. Just take my order after you tell me the specials.

      I don't know how she could tell I was "cool with the word in general" when I certainly didn't use it. I can still be personable and pleasant without all the falderal in the 20 minutes it took me to get the job done.

      You are absolutely right that I did not get all worked up and tell her manager or write an email or anything like that. It didn't have an effect on what I went there to do. I wasn't particularly offended, just surprised and a little dismayed.

      Your workplace was admittedly different, selling to people who are far more likely to use that sort of language due to the stuff you brokered.

      Anyway, despite the Eff Word, she did a great job, got me a great deal, and I like my new glasses.

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  4. I have pills for insomnia nights and they are godsend. It's stressful when you can't fall asleep.

    I use the Eff where when I'm alone but I really don't like hearing it come out of my mouth. I don't mind hearing other people say it from time to time unless they are using it outinely in every paragraph.

    Happy Blogaversary!

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    1. Jean--Thank you.
      It really is stressful when sleep eludes you, and that creates the neverending cycle.
      I don't get bothered by the Eff Word usually, but as I remarked to Bridget below, using it to conduct business is a New Low as far as I'm concerned.

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  5. Sorry to hear you are once again - riding the insomnia train - that stinks.
    As for the effing, having been raised in a duel religion home, part fanatic, part heathenistic; the f word was at times exceptable, using the Lord's name in vain was however acceptable and subject to capital punishment, lol...
    Also, time and place for everything was drummed into us. On any given occasion, we might hear that
    one does not air any grievances with family or friends at public gatherings, totally improper to do so.
    A little catch up, the electro- cardio doc and myself do not see eye to eye. I had a hard time trying to convince him that I won't take any meds that lower my heart rate and make me a zombie. He was not impressed and ordered a month long heart monitoring. That lasted 2 days, the monitor was designed for a sedentary individual. They are sending me another one designed for a more active person. I don't sit still, even when I am sleeping, I move around and talk up a blue streak, my poor hubby, lol...
    On a super positive note, on the 24th I will be smoke-free for one year and I've lost 7 of the almost 40 lbs. I gained after I stopped smoking, lol. I've promised myself new clothes when I drop 2 sizes, incentive, lol...
    Have a great rest of the week. Here is hoping and praying that the coming of fall finds you well rested and in a good sleep pattern.
    Take care, my friend..

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    1. Denise--My insomnia tends to be cyclical. It will go away soon enough, and I will catch up.

      We were raised in a home where foul language was a huge taboo. My father disliked all things crude and ugly. We could not even say "crap." I think that's the reason I enjoy swearing; it's still So Bad. For me, it's also a catharsis, a stress reliever. Every so often, I eradicate the Eff Word from the mix, out of deference to my husband, who truly dislikes it. But since 45* oozed into The Big Chair...gotta have it.

      Congrats on your One Year Mark! That is Terrific. You have extended your life, and your lungs are looking and feeling much better, I know. You take care as well. Here's to cooler temps so we both can get out and get moving.

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  6. Insomnia .........seems it has a grip on quite a few of us. It sucks.

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    1. Dee--It really does. And I am such a Good Girl about following my Sleep Hygiene Protocols.

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  7. Happy blogiversary. May you have many more. I have a wonderful story about the F word and the YD. She may disown me if I tell it though.
    Insomnia sucks. I keep waking up because my bladder needs my attention and then I wake up again because JG has the same problem and so on.
    Video tapes and earworms? oh yeah. I have been planning to get the tapes transferred for, um, maybe 20 years.
    I reread some old blogs. Once, I could write. You still can!

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    1. Mary--Thank you for the kind words. I think I will write a bit longer here, just to Keep The Streak Alive!

      Heaven help me if that horrid theme ever becomes an earworm. It is so cacophanous that I can't even imagine it.

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  8. I may be the only person in the world who is offended by the eff word. I don't like it, I don't use it, and I find it jarring whenever I hear it (which is often, since most people do not feel as I do). But it would be especially jarring to hear it used by a person you were conducting business with, in a situation that you describe. I usually don't say anything because, well, read above. But at this point, I also find it to be the most uncreative way you can express yourself. The eff word and tattoos are no longer providing individuality. They are as ubiquitous as Apple products and none of them are saving the world. OK, I'll shut up now. ;-)

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    1. Bridget--I doubt you are the only person. I also doubt anyone uses curse words as a form of creative expression. I know I don't. I have a large and serviceable vocabulary for that.

      I do lament that yet another Arena Of American Life has fallen victim to The Casualization Epidemic. Isn't there anyplace I can go and NOT feel like I'm in someone's livingroom? People wear pajamas to the drugstore, flipflops and shorts to church and very nice restaurants, and now they use casual profanity to conduct business with total strangers who are thirty-five years their senior. Tattoos and iPhones are quite tame by comparison.

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  9. Well Happy Anniversary on your Blog. I'm glad I found you - and glad you are still at it.

    Insomnia sucks big time. I go through it usually a few days each month. I try to just practice my yoga breathing and sometimes that works. Someone above mentioned melatonin which I tried, but it ends up that works like speed for me which is NOT what I want when trying to fall asleep.

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    1. Vera--Thank you! I'm glad to be Found and happy you're still reading!

      It's comforting to know that I am not the only one awake in the middle of the night. Or struggling to fall asleep even though I am exhausted. My neurologist gave me a trial prescription of Sonata yesterday, so I'll see how that works out. I don't want to have to use a pill for sleep, but if I don't start getting some regular sleep, a migraine is next, and I really don't want that.

      Your reaction to melatonin is so odd! I've never heard of anyone having that response. Yikes!

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  10. I hope your videos catch a good price for you

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  11. I've never been comfortable with the f-bomb - although working with attorneys I got used to it. In recent years I've learned to actually say the full word when I'm quoting something, but I soften my voice & look sheepish. It's a Very Bad Word for me & I just can't quite give it the full oomph it deserves. Now sh!t on the other hand is an old familiar friend. Wait, that doesn't sound right... In any case, no way should any questionable language be used in a professional setting!

    Sorry about the sleep. If we have a good result in November do you think that will help your stress level?

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    1. Bug--I think my current stress level is actually due to things closer to My Real Life at present, but it will all be okay. I think performing at a high level during stress in college and at work made my brain/body a sort of Stress Junkie, so now, anytime there's even a teeny bit of upheaval, I go into Jitter Mode and old patterns emerge whether I need them or not. It's a Process I'm working on derailing.

      Dems taking at least one house of Congress in November will help, absolutely. It will help EVERYONE.

      Even *I* might be able to mothball The Eff Word (at least for a while) if Dems perform in Nov. But I could never give up saying Shit.

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  12. When I was growing up curse words were unacceptable ---if damn had to be said it should be converted to darn or doggone; certainly hell was a taboo exclamation, and my favored expletive started with sh--. I always knew, in my more cantankerous moments that producing that first syllable in a long drawn-out manner would elicit immediate correction to which I could quickly respond, "But I was only going to say shoot!" As for the "f" word, I've long since become desensitized, but think it's pretty silly, will wear itself out, and wonder what word(s) will come up next as the offensive shocker of the day to initially distress older generations.

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    1. Joared--I don't think it's even being used for its shock value anymore. As was evidenced in my interaction, it has merely become so commonplace now in the Millennial Lexicon that it has seeped into workplace/professional vocabularies, even in customer interactions. To borrow from Bridget's analogy, it is like tattoos--once unusual, but now almost part of The Uniform.

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    2. No, i don’t think it has shock value now either, but I think that’s partly how it started out.

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  13. In my previous life in the Fire dept “f” bombs were dropped like a B 52 carpet bombing the jungles of Vietnam. (My late mother would have been SO disappointed in me) As soon as I retired it just stopped. The only thing I can think of is the rooms full of mostly males.

    The worst kind of “insomnia” is when I’m dreaming that I can’t sleep.

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    1. Silliyak--In college I took an upper level Psych class--I forget which one--and as my midterm project, I decided to try to quit swearing, period. I developed a program, plan, and positive and negative reinforcements. I was able to curb my frequency but not stop completely.

      I have stopped using the Eff Word many times and for long stretches. The latest presidential election jump-started its resurgence this time. I find it a particularly cathartic and emphatic word.

      Insomnia...ugh. I've never had THAT dream, thank goodness! Now THAT would really prompt a string of cursing.

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  14. Insomnia... I'm still trying to figure out to what extent it is an age thing, and to what extent it is other stuff... like stress... and very bad sleeping habits. I often stay up far too late to get work done (mostly teacher stuff), sleep only a few hours, crash & burn in the late afternoon, and then... lie awake for hours at night. Sometimes reading helps... but not always.

    F-bombs and other animals: I found the F word pretty harsh when I was younger, but... that was back when saying the word "butt" was rude. Now it's all over the place and nobody bats an eyelash. I find it hugely ironic that there is still so much censorship on TV, though. Unless it is an actual tirade of profanity, why all the bleeps? And in movies on TV... a scene in "When Harry Met Sally" always comes to mind: Billy Crystal is explaining about how his wife told him she wanted a divorce. He mentions that one of the moving men who showed up at the door was wearing a T-shirt that said "Don't f*ck with Mr. Zero." The cleaned up TV version had something like "Don't mess with Mr. Zero." That totally removed all the humor from that line.

    Anyway... I definitely drop F-bombs when I feel a well-placed expletive is needed. I do consider the context, however, and would never use it in a work setting unless I was with a colleague who knows me well. If I worked in retail or similar, I certainly would not use it with strangers or clients with whom I did not have a chummy relationship (and who were also similarly inclined, lol.)

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    1. Ortizzle--Ah, stress. It finds its way into my life despite retirement. I think I was, as I said, such a Stress Junkie that I can't Let Go. And trust me, I want to. The weather here has been uncooperative for me to get Walking in as a daily exercise: either it is raining like hell, humid as hell, hot as hell, or its rapid change has caused a migraine. I'm doing what I can to get active as I can. It really does help.

      Your remark re: censorship on TV is so true. Last year, "dick" became acceptable on primetime network sitcoms. Apparently, this year it is the word "pussy." As in "stop being such a pussy." I have already heard it on two new shows this fall. I'm wondering what the criteria is at this point. Probably drawing the line at goddam and the eff word.

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    2. how about the rather loose use of the word that rhymes with witches. I find that rather offensive being old school and all. wonder whom we can trace back the word p@ssy to? hint: biff in the white house.

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    3. susan q--Hello, and welcome to the Dept.! I'm not really sure exactly when "bitch" became OK in network primetime, but yes, it's rampant now. I've always used it in the Verb sense, "I bitch about poor spelling on news graphics constantly"; and I use it in the Noun sense this way: "This autumn heat is such a bitch." It's comparatively rare that I use it in the more traditional sense, that is, to refer to a snotty, ill-tempered woman. Or, from a male perspective, a woman who strongly expresses an opinion contrary to his, stands up for herself, or doesn't giggle, flatter his ego, or simper about something relating to shoes, fashion, hairstyles, makeup, or shopping.

      I find your point about 45* desensitizing The P Word interesting. Now THAT word I really hate.

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  15. P.S. — I forgot to say, Dearest Nance: Happy 13th Anniversary for your blog! I think I have been around for 12 of those 13 years, and I can tell you for a fact that every one of your posts has made me laugh or inspired me or consoled me or given me comic relief from what is happening in the world. I am very glad that you are still here...

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    1. Dearest Ortizzle--Oh, thank you so much! I don't remember when you joined the Dept., but I'm very glad that you did. That my writing evokes a response in you gives me much joy and satisfaction.

      XO

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  16. Congrats on your blog anniversary. You're one of the best so I'm not surprised you've lasted as long as you have. Quality keeps on, you know?

    Your description of the theme song is perfect. It does sound like it was "played by perhaps Herman Munster on crack" and recorded by Lily of course.

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    1. Ally Bean--Thanks for the kind compliment. It means a great deal.

      I was watching Will & Grace again last night--I really love having antenna TV channels for old reruns of shows like Frasier, MASH, etc.--and all that cacophanous piano still drove me batty. (There were a couple of promos for The Munsters, oddly enough.)

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  17. I think the more widespread use of the eff word had in its roots the change in practice of formally addressing patients and clients. Rather than Mr. or Mrs., Ms or Dr., the "professionals" with whom we come in contact now call us by our first names. I believe this insinuates a collegiality that does not actually exist and makes use of expletives more likely and common.

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    1. NCmtwoman--I think so. As I mentioned previously, I don't like when a person I've never met before and who is using only information from a form or computer automatically defaults to my first name. That's a privilege of familiarity, family, or friendship. It's right up there with Wholesale Hugging as another "custom" that I dislike. Drives me nuts.

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  18. A little meditation for all you F bombers out there. https://youtu.be/92i5m3tV5XY

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    1. Sillyak--This was great! A happy chuckle for me.

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Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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