Monday, April 15, 2013

In Which I Have Reached Critical Mass On So Many Things That I Have To Let Them Go

Oh.  Hello. 

Yes, this thing is Still On.  Isn't it ridiculous and, in its own way, Wretched that I take so long between posts?  I am Retired, and I have all the time in the world.  But things have reached...Critical Mass on a variety of fronts, and I just don't Have It to bring.

Why Do I Live Here?
For the past eleventy thousand "Spring" days, we here in NEO have had the following weather in endless combinations:  grey, cold, sleety, rainy, cloudy, dark, fifteen-minute periods of sun, hailstorms.  I feel like I am in some Puritan torture chamber or waiting room of Hell.  There are days when I only get dressed in time for Rick to come home at four-thirty, then rush back into my jammies immediately after dinner, at seven.  Even the cats are annoyed by my sloth, and that is saying something.

Is This Irony?
The whole first year of my retirement, my menopause flirted with me.  How anxiously I awaited the Cessation Of The Monthlies.  After some initial screwing around with me, a trip to the ER, and June's memorable Last Stand which lasted nineteen days, it was finally Over.  And then my migraines returned.  March and April have been record-breaking.  I have, on average now, one a week.  My Cleveland Clinic neurologist has tried everything except Botox injections and acupuncture.  He is blaming their return on hormones/menopause.  I blame everything on it:  night sweats, forgetfulness, dry skin, dry hair, the fact that there is no good Chinese food in our town, and Justin Bieber.

What Am I Missing?
How about all these gun freaks go Take America Back and live out in Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, and the Dakotas and leave the rest of us alone?  They can have their own country full of assault rifle-totin', bigass magazine-packin', gunshow-goin', no background-checkin' yahoos all walled off, elect Ted Nugent president, and when they get all likkered up on Buds and Jack, they can blow each other's heads off.  How anyone--in any party (whether they're up for reelection or not)--can say that the right to own an assault rifle and extended magazines is more important than young lives needlessly lost at Newtown or Columbine or Aurora or anywhere (because people keep shooting people), is beyond me.  And I want them all to stop invoking the Second Amendment.  These people are not arming themselves with the purpose of becoming a well-regulated militia, or even for defending themselves against an enemy government.  If they want to shoot an assault rifle for fun, they can do it with a range's gun. Period.  And they can also stop mouthing a lot of fake concern about mental health being beefed up in this country rather than stop law-abiding citizens from having their guns.  These are the same people who want to take the poor off of government assistance (unless it's them) and call Obama a socialist.  And now Congress will debate whether or not to pass a diluted law requiring some background checks.  That's it.  It's like ordering steak and lobster and the waiter brings you a fish stick.  (Hey, no offense to the Gorton's fisherman,who isn't too bad looking these days, in a Spielberg meets Sam Waterston sort of way.)

What Do I Owe You?
I may as well upchuck all my angst-vomit, once and for all.  Cheap therapy, and you know my motto:  First, you wallow.

)^( I am locked in a tense and heated battle for the championship in our Fantasy Basketball League.  It is between Sam and me.  After leading by as much as 180 points, I now cling to the top spot by just 77.  The whole thing is decided on Wednesday, with games Monday and Tuesday as well.  I spend hours working my team and adding and dropping players to maintain this advantage.  It's not fun at this point, but I have to win.  Update:  I lost.  I had a last-minute scratch of Reggie Evans one night, and it was downhill from there. Sigh.

)^( Two words:  Cat Hair.  I have never, ever in the history of my life as a Cat Owner had a cat that sheds like Piper.  It's absolutely astonishing.  And goddam irritating.  My entire life is covered in cat hair.  And both cats are very into cuddling.  My clothes, my bedspread, my's horrifying.  Rick refuses to allow his laundry in the same load as mine because the cat hair is ubiquitous.  I got very cavalier regarding the cat beds not too long ago because V-grrrl said she never vacuums her pet beds, unlike me. I used to vacuum them for noisy hours, hating it.  But finally, they got so full of wads of hair that I simply threw them out and got new lovely ones that are NOT FLEECE and that are washable.  Both cats hate them and will not use them. 

Which is how I feel about guns, actually.

)^( The Great Gatsby is coming to theaters soon, directed by Baz Luhrmann.  I've seen a few trailers, and I've read a few articles, including one analyzing the themes in the novel and one defending the teaching of the book.  I love this book, and I so miss talking about it.  Where is my Perfect Job where all I have to do is talk about the books I love to people who want to hear about them/talk about them with me?  You have no idea how fascinating I can be.  When I'm not whining, that is.

I think I need a Jaunt or Getaway or a long drive to Someplace.  I know I need some Spring.


  1. When I lived in Kentucky, I grew to dread winters. They were consistently long, grey, and soul-sucking. Even the promise of all the pretty bluegrass/redbuds/dogwoods/colts grazing picturesquely in the fields never reconciled me to the misery of those winters. When we moved to Arizona, it was like some incredible light went on in my head, and I realized that winters didn't have to make me want to die. Of course, 11 years later we moved to Seoul, which sucked, but at least I know it's not a permanent thing and eventually I'll be sane in the winter again someday. I'm not saying that you won't have to deal with just as much crap if you move somewhere with warmer winters, but at least you won't have the weather on your list. And maybe you can find a book group that wants to read Gatsby and hear what you have to say - they'd probably actually welcome someone who knows what she's talking about.

  2. Love your posts! And why shouldn't you live in your pajamas? I am living for the summer when I go from pajamas to bathing suit and back again. Oh, and retirement. Love teaching high school English but will love retirement even more. Only fourteen more years, ack!

  3. With you on the cat hair. We're animal sitting again and Callie is doing her spring shedding thing. The worst, for me, is picking cat hair off the toilet seat.

    Menopause and migraine - the pits. If pj's all day help, buy some new and amazing ones and lounge in style.

    Gun nuts! With you except for the location - send them to Alaska so that the rest of us can enjoy the southwest.

    Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway is a cure for almost anything seasonal or otherwise. We did it last year in early may with the top of the car open and all the bushes in bloom. Wear your pajamas!

    Hugs, and hope you feel better. Soon.

  4. I have this image of Nance, clad in purple zebra stripe pajamas (they have them at Walmart!), cruising along the Parkway, with cat hair flying out of the back of the car...

    We used to live just off of the Parkway, in western NC (Waynesville, to be exact) & one of our Very Favorite Things to Do was take a ramble...

    You know, my monthlies ceased with barely a whimper sometime between age 46 and 48 (I don't know for sure because I was using the nuvaring pretty much year round - ha!). And I'm slowly acquiring some of the maladies associated with it - flushing, hot flashes, night sweats.. But I know precisely how easy I've got it so far. Sorry!

  5. Bug--Sigh. It's true. Cat hair would fly off my pajamas. Speaking of pajamas, and if Shirley chimes in here, she can attest to it, my pj's are one of Rick's aged white Vneck teeshirts and, in the presence of company, an old pair of his flannel pj bottoms. Sadly, I did NOT check for the condition of the Vneck I packed for visiting her, and the one I brought had holes under the arms.

    I don't mind the occasional hot flash during the day. But getting wringing wet at night is uncomfortable. I'm glad you're largely unscathed and have a nice transition. Good for you! (Must be the clean living. LOL.)

    Mary G--Now that I've officially Seen Alaska, I might be okay with that idea.

    You are a very well-travelled Canadian person. Let me know when you need a Travelling Companion. I can offer conversation and wit, and I will chronicle your adventures in a suitable narrative voice for you. Promise to bring my drugs and not my whine.

    Rose--Oh, thank you. I love the traffic from your blog and the pics of your sweet kittycat. You live in a little piece of Paradise, and the nice thing is, you know it and appreciate it.

    Teaching high school English is a wonderful thing. I loved it too. Your retirement plan sounds terrific. And very easy to follow, too. I'm not beachy, but I could sit there and read in the sun.

    MsCaroline--Why can't some of these states just Get With The Program and have better weather all the time? It seems a simple enough thing to do. I bet Kentucky has an actual Spring, though. Like Virginia, which is already HAVING IT. Sigh.

  6. Anonymous3:39 PM

    I understand your plight. No amount of positive thinking + inspiring mantras can put a dent in an OH winter that will not end on schedule. But soon, it'll be all over & lurking in the corners of your mind where it belongs!

  7. Ally--Today, it's supposed to be in the upper 70s. I hope so. And I hope it doesn't rain. AGAIN.

    I stopped by your place and see by your photos that you have green trees already! So, so jealous. Enjoy them.

  8. Please don't send the gun nuts to Alaska. My brother and his wife, my Aunt and cousins and their families, all live there, and I don't want them to deal with more idiots than they already have to. I'd say Idaho is better. Or North Dakota.

    I'm on the pill, and plan to stay on it until it doesn't make any sense anymore. I'm pretty sure at 47, I wouldn't get pregnant, but it also suppresses the symptoms of anything like menopause. I love it.
    I have had some migraines in my life, and god, they suck. For me, they don't hurt so much as I can't see straight, and I get nauseous. Ugh.

    Winter in California is mostly, "is it going to rain? Please let it rain...wait, it's raining? It stopped already?" It's all about rainfall and snow pack and water for the coming year around here.

    I haven't dealt with cat hair in years, as Ted is deathly allergic to cats, but just found out today that my brother's cat had to be put to sleep today. So sad. When we went to Alaska to visit back in '99, this cat Hobbes SO fell in love with Maya, he would come running when she came in the door, he let her pile pillows and pencils and sundry items on him. He seemed much more dog than cat to me, as most cats would not tolerate such behavior (their other cat had some respect for herself and hid under the bed). A toast to Hobbes, or as Maya called him when she was 3, Pobbes.

  9. I don't think you need a reason to smack Tom Coburn. Just the fact that he sucks air warrants it. L

  10. Moheckie--Hi! I agree with you. TCoburn is beyond irritating, but his egregious grammar lapse really put him right at the top of my To Be Smacked List.

    j@jj--Okay, so Alaska will be spared, but I'm not going to pay some madman's tariff on my potatoes, so Idaho is out. I'm also now rethinking Wyoming because I have been there and it's quite lovely. Montana has a lot of cows, but it's way boring. Let's trade the two.

    I was on the pill for decades and loved it because it made me so regular and made my periods so light. But another med I was on lessened its effectiveness, so that was that.

    Pobbes sounds like a dear, much like my Piper. I'm sorry to hear he is gone. It's been my experience that male cats are by far more loving and compliant than females, who are usually more of the sterotypical cat, behaviourally speaking. The females will be loving, but on their terms. I call Piper my puppycat. He follows me around, comes when I call him, generally obeys me, and loves to be held and cuddled.

    But the HAIR! Did you not have a dog hair issue, ever, with Gen?

  11. Gen had an undercoat, and twice a year she would 'blow' it, and the house was covered in fine blonde hair. If you brushed her a lot, you could almost manage it. My childhood dog, Samantha, was a Black Lab/St. Bernard mix, and the house was always covered in her hair. Gross.

  12. Once again, late to the party. I have also reached critical mass on many things.

    CAT HAIR: It doesn't matter what color it is, either, it will always show up on something. Unfortunately, the alternative, if you are cat lover, is one of those awful hairless cats. (Sphynx cats?) Yuk. Who could look at Marlowe in the sidebar and even consider that alternative? :-)

    2ND AMENDMENT: Somebody please walk into congress with an assault rifle and knock some sense into those people who do not have the cojones to do the right thing.

    GATSBY: Anxious to see the movie. The green light at the end of my dock.

    THE WEATHER: Hang in there, dearest. I don't know which is worse: endless frigid winters or endless suffocating summers. When I think about shoveling snow (and driving on ice!), I think I will stick with crazy, changes every five minutes weather and living in tornado alley. Well, maybe not the tornado part. Sending spring vibes up your way.

  13. Ortizzle--I don't care that you're late. I'm flattered that you show up when I know how busy you, and all of my commenters, are.

    NEO has ridiculously changeable weather, which is why I get the migraines. We also have frequent tornadic activity. And in the summer, we have horrendous humidity. And West Nile! Why DO we live where we live? (And I thought you guys seceded last year...?)

    Last night on TV, someone in Cleveland at some Earth Day Something was holding and cuddling an armadillo. Briefly, I considered the benefits of having one as a pet. Almost hairless, slow-moving (evidenced by them being unable to make it across TX highways), unique, so-odd-they're-cute). I turned to Rick and said, "Aww, look! An armadillo. I--" and he said, "NO."

    Can you have the summer off this year? Or are you going to work yourself down to the nub?

  14. I could have the summer off, but I will be teaching in the first summer session. Still paying off medical bills... I do get some respite in the second part of the summer, but a lot of that time is spent setting up the fall courses. And every time I think I have a lid on it and I can just cut and paste from a previous semester, some new technology or a new edition of a textbook comes out and takes care of that. ;-)


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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