Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What Do Catholics, republicans, And Chicken Pot Pie All Have In Common?

Fountainhead by Seyed Alavi
It's been a perfectly ghastly week, and I need to write to Feel Human again. All I have been able to do since Friday night is whimper, take drugs, lie down, and wonder for the eleventy hundredth time Why It Is That I Live Here in this godforsaken weather corridor. And why it is that Weather People cannot tell me what is coming, when, and for how long with any sort of reliability whatsoever. It all conspires to be mighty enough to make me say The Eff Word, almost, and I have been trying So Hard To Quit.

In case you wanted to know what it is like to rise from a Days-Long Migraine Process and try to re-enter Real Life, I have found something that is a little bit similar. Here; try to read this:

“Things must change for our government. Look at it. It isn’t too big to fail. It’s too big to succeed! It’s too big to succeed, so we can afford no retreads or nothing will change with the same people and same policies that got us into the status quo. Another Latin word, status quo, and it stands for, ‘Man, the middle-class everyday Americans are really gettin’ taken for a ride.’ That’s status quo, and GOP leaders, by the way, y’know the man can only ride ya when your back is bent. So strengthen it. Then the man can’t ride ya, America won’t be taken for a ride, because so much is at stake and we can’t afford politicians playing games like nothing more is at stake than, oh, maybe just the next standing of theirs in the next election.”

I'd like to echo DNC Communications Director Mo Elleithee and simply say, "Thank you." But of course, I can't. This speech by 2008 Presidential candidate John McCain's selection for his Vice President is beyond bizarre, even for her. As she continues to struggle for relevance in any avenue of American life, let's hope that it's not only the Democrats who sympathetically shake their heads and back away, whispering sadly. (Can we talk about it later over cocktails and nibblies, having a guilty laugh or two? Heavens, yes.)  And no, I won't mention her name and dignify her.

You know, here's another shitful thing about Migraineus Interruptus. I was being Such A Good Girl about my exercise regimen, plodding away on my Dreadmill of Punishment and even switching it up by shovelling the driveway (I know!), and then, Migraine. Down for the count. Thank goodness I don't have one of those Jawbone or FitBit thingies that would beep or vibrate or nag at me to Get Up. Like I need that. I bet you anything a Catholic invented those damn things. "Don't you feel guilty for not getting up and getting moving? Did you do your 10K steps today? CHRIST DIED ON THE CROSS FOR YOU AND YOU CAN'T EVEN MANAGE TEN THOUSAND STEPS?!?!?!" I'm getting a Monday 5PM Headache just thinking about it.

I think we all Want To Do Better. I really do. Okay, well, maybe not a Certain Bob Evans Restaurant. My friends Leanne and Jim, who live in Southern Maryland, each got sick with a terrible cold. They merely wanted some nice comfort food and were too tired and ill to cook for themselves. They went to a nearby Bob Evans restaurant--slogan, "Down On The Farm"--and ordered right off the menu, nothing fancy. Leanne ordered the Chicken Pot Pie, described as "Slow-roasted chicken, carrots, peas, celery and onions in a rich cream sauce covered with a flaky crust." Here is the teensy picture from the menu:

Doesn't that look good, even though it's pixellated?  I can see why she ordered it.  Sadly, that is not what she got.  Here is what she got:

I think that, after this, they are Down On The Farm all right.

It's snowing here again, despite the odds being 40%.  The forecast changes hourly.  I'm tired of hearing all the new terms for Winter Weather--Snowmageddon, Polar Vortex, Bombogenesis.  I'm starting to think that, here in NEO anyway, if it weren't for Sports or Weather, there would be no "News."

What a lot of Effing Bullshit.  (Strangely, that did not make me feel better.)  Do let's chat in Comments.


  1. As soon as I began reading your highlighted excerpt, I knew that only one miserable female could be responsible for that kind of word salad. Lord, will we never be done with that woman. (I, too, hesitate to name her out of an atavistic fear that doing so will somehow feed her monumental ego.). Aren't her fifteen minutes of fame UP? Arrrgghh!

    I am also out of patience with our NEO winter. It broke my leg in December, and I watch it balefully through my living room window. I worry every time my sweet realprof has to go out in it. If nothing dramatic is happening here, the local double Doppler dismal disaster TV stations report lengthily on winter storms elsewhere. I used to say that I would love winter if only I didn't have to leave the house.

    May the migraine leave you, and the Spring equinox come soon.

    1. fauxprof--She has absorbed the citizenry of Nebraska's Fifteen Minutes now, and is making a move on Idaho's.

      It would seem that we are not getting a January Thaw here in NEO. It is early for That Time Of Year when I merely Wish To See Grass Again. Each year, I become more impatient. Do you know that in the Dakotas, it is in the fifties and sixties right now? Hardly seems fair.

      I do hope that you are mending nicely and that soon you will have your house back to normal, hospital furniture all gone and only a memory. It is a relief that your mind and spirit seem to be intact. Thank you for your kind wishes and I share them, the last vestiges of the migraine trailing away today thus far.

  2. So very sorry about your migraine, even as I sit here wondering if my headache is the hint of one to come. As for the FitBit, people have encouraged me to get one and I stand firm in the "oh, HELL no" camp. I do not need that particular monkey on my back, thank you very much. Down here, we had a dusting of snow and were gifted with a two hour delay, which, as it was the first day of the new semester, was absolutely perfect timing! Hoping things look up, and for god's sake, do not listen to the weather channel! 😄

    1. Rose--Thank you. I'm certain that your encouragers are only trying To Be Helpful, as many people so very much wish to be. They do not understand the Teacher Mentality, which you and I share, and which does not appreciate anyone/anything else Being Our Boss. We have/had myriad bosses already. And, as I said above, if you are/were Catholic, the guilt factor is redundant.

      We do not have cable or satellite, so no Weather Channel, but now that Weather = News, we can't escape it. Brian Williams MUST tell us any time a single snowflake falls in NYC or Chicago or Boston (those are the only cities in the USA, you know). How DID we all live through Winter as children?

    Sorry for yelling, I got so excited I couldn't help myself. Ahem. I SO WISH we could transfer some of that horrid snow from you, straight into our resorviors. It has not rained once so far this year. Not once. I had to water my plants the other day. January is supposed to be a month of rain around here. Ugh. I'm so tired of this goddamned drought I could spit. I guess I should spit on the plants, to help them survive this stupid dry spell. Seriously, there are grass fires in coastal towns. It's stupid.

    I'm so sorry about your migraine, lasting on and on like that! It's horrid. I sometimes get them, but mine are thankfully brief (only a few hours), and revolve not so much around pain as they do a weird visual thing, and make me nauseaus. Not as nauseaus as your stupid speechmaker does, but still.

    That pot pie looks like something you'd get in the freezer section of the store. You'd be a little bitter, but figure Oh well. But in a restaurant? That's just wrong.

    Hang in there Nance. We're all pulling for you.

    1. J@jj--I know! But it was my understanding that it had been removed for repair. It must have been a quick repair (or a very old article that I read).

      I cannot believe that, with all the rain around you, you did not get ANY! How terrible. And here I was, watching The Weather News with Brian Williams Every Night, cheerfully saying to Rick, "Thank goodness. All those mudslides and all that driving rain, but at least my friends in the SanFran area are finally getting some relief from the drought conditions." Again, my geography overall fails me. How stupid I am.

      My friend Sue gets the ocular migraines. Before her diagnosis, she was convinced that she was dying of a brain tumor or an aneurysm. She gets them rarely, and I'm not sure what her trigger is.

      My migraines do nauseate me every now and again. I have such a wide and varied migraine process that I've become impossible. Dr. B. hesitates to label me with the dreaded Intractable Migraine, but I am worried that it may well be the case. Thank you for your kind support. I think today will be the last of the headache and fatigue.

    2. Nance, I didn't even know that the statue was removed for repair. Shows that I'm not downtown that often, I guess. So maybe it's back, maybe it's not. :)

      I think the rain that came was in SoCal, which might as well be in another state. Though any rain is good rain (people trapped in a mudslide might disagree).

      Blech on migraines in general. I do hope you're feeling better today!

    3. Was downtown with Maya today, and the head in the water is in place. :) Always good to see it there, with the little spout of water coming out of the top of his head...

    4. Oh, how comforting! I quite like it, actually. Would it be a good fit for my downtown, here in Tinytown, NEO? No. But there, in California, yes. Perhaps in Chicago, yes. Even in Cleveland, where we are quite proud of the Free Stamp, it might be suitable. But in my teensy town, the provincials would be horrified. They only like American flags and flower baskets, and those only if someone donates them. Can't spend Our Hard-Earned Tax Dollars on Frills, you know. Sigh.

    I am waiting for the day when That Shitful Woman gets buried in a snow drift and we don’t have to listen to her incoherent, inane remarks any more. (“Shitful” is truly wonderful, and may become my favourite new adjective, particularly considering how much I like “shitload” as a noun.)

    POT PIE:
    Oh, dear. So much for puff pastry crust. And the filling?!! The entire presentation is like a toilet bowl with a lid. Gordon Ramsey needs to get Down to the Farm and give the cook a thrashing.

    My biggest weather complaint is that it’s 37 degrees when I leave for work in the morning, and, for the last few days, it has gotten as warm as 70 in the afternoon. I just can’t even believe all the horrendous, shitful snow you guys are getting. (Notice how the use of “shitful” makes it unnecessary for me to resort to using terms such as “snowmageddon.” Thinking of your previous post, -mageddon is another annoying suffix which is being over-used lately.)

    Feel better soon. Here’s a little story to cheer you up:

    I like the Zen of Zydrunas. Is this a one-off, or a new sidebar feature?

    1. Ortizzle--I am so happy to see you commenting with some regularity. In a sad and childish way, I almost hope it means that you are neglecting some administrative duties. Don't respond to that.

      *The Zen of Zydrunas is a new sidebar feature. I have to justify the ridiculous number of iPhotos I have of that dog.
      *Thank you for the bunny story. As usual, I read the comments voraciously as well. Rabbit hoarding is A Thing, you know, and I am just glad that the bunnies were rescued. I also appreciated the clever writing at the outset of the piece.
      *Oh, Ortizzle, I just want TO SEE 37 DEGREES! Take a look at a Cleveland forecast. Weep for me.
      *Feel free to make use of the new adjective "shitful." So much more civilized than "shitty." So much more MORE than it, too. Oh, and the only use of -mageddon that I can sanction is the Parmageddon sandwich at Melt Bar and Grilled. Here is their menu so you can take a look.

  5. I'm sorry that your migraine + stupid weather have you down. Not a good combo, obviously.

    As for the quote you shared above, I fear that it's a precursor to what we can expect for the next few years. That dim bulb, aka The Half Governor, is going to be doing her incoherent gibberish routine wherever and whenever she can. I've already begun bracing myself for her nonsense: "la-la-la, I can't hear you."

    I haven't been to a Bob Evans since I don't know when. The pot pie does not look appetizing, which is depressing. Bob Evans would be ashamed to have his name associated with it. They used to make the best one around. I can only imagine that some hotshot finance guy told management that they could save $$$ by doing away with a bottom crust… and TPTB believed him. No self-respecting foodie would allow such a thing to exist. Just pitiful.

    1. Ally Bean--From what I understand from a cursory reading of the Bob Evans information I looked at, the Evans family hasn't had anything to do with the restaurant since the early 2000s. Personally, I find their food much like hospital food--bland and overly soft. If I end up there because my mother or someone else wants to go there, I stick with something like an omelet. They can usually do breakfast just fine.

  6. So sorry for your head! I really wonder if moving somewhere else would help - how many years until that's a possibility?

    I heard that the teleprompter was broken (but that might have just been someone being funny because of teleprompter-gate back in the day). I also heard that Jon Stewart had hilarious comments to make about it, but I just didn't want to get involved so I skipped the whole thing.

    Oh I laughed and LAUGHED at "CHRIST DIED ON THE CROSS FOR YOU AND YOU CAN'T EVEN MANAGE TEN THOUSAND STEPS?!?!?!" So very funny. I like my fitbit because it has a silent alarm feature that I am unable to snooze - theoretically this means that I get out of bed sooner. In reality, I just play with fire by dozing off again & run the real risk of being Very Late for work one of these days! Oh, and I've had the thing since mid-December & I think I've hit 10,000 steps once. Sedentary job + sedentary lifestyle = about 8,000 steps per day on a regular basis.

    1. Bug--Rick is not in Education or the Public Sector, so his retirement is a ways off. I wonder it, too, and we think about places where the climate is more stable, especially in the Wintertime, when there are so many systems that wreak havoc in so many ways and aggravate Rick's back and my own arthritis. HOW OLD ARE WE?!

      I heard about the broken teleprompter excuse, too, but I think it is a Manufactured Cover Story. I truly do. I watched the Jon Stewart bit, and please take the 8 minutes to do so as well. It's not just about her, but all the republicans who ranted at Iowa. It is genius. You'll be glad you did. It's not political so much as it is just downright funny.

      Thank you for mentioning that particular part of my post. I loved that part myself. I discovered that my iPhone has a step counter/meter sort of thingy, and the drawback of that is that I have to tote my phone around everyplace. Screw that. I know when I need to get up and move. I know about how much I walk. I know that I do a Good Thing when I park far away from places like the grocery store, the PetSmart, the pharmacy, and walk a ways. I don't need a boss. You know?

  7. Now what I MEANT to say, before my daughter got to the keyboard, was that there is nothing quite so comforting on a cold day as a lovely chicken pot pie, and that is no chicken pot pie! It is a bowl of cream of chicken soup with a bread lid.

    As for the drought, we here in SoCal have gotten quite a few days of good rain here, but I just read that the rain has been too warm and has not been creating that mountain snowpack that we rely on to supply us with water. So it makes the trees and plants a bit happier, but does nothing to solve our long term needs. Boo! You need to take a vacation here, Nance. No SAD will be able to follow you around in Los Angeles. Have you been here before? I know you have been up north with the lovely Julie, but as she said, we are two different worlds.

    I went to Catholic schools for twelve years, and I think the famous guilt thing was going out of vogue in the 70's and 80's. It happened more during my parent's upbringing, when it was still cool for those hardcore nuns to hit people with yardsticks. By the time the 70's had rolled around, there were less and less nuns to be pressed into teaching, thus opening the doors for laypeople in the schools. Who apparently weren't as into the hitting thing as the nuns were. During my tenure at school, I think I only had a total of 6 nuns as teachers, and if you consider the four years of high school with its multiple teachers per year, that is pretty abysmal.

    1. Gina--I laughed out loud--literally--at your cream of chicken soup with a bread lid. So apt.

      You know, I could swear on a stack of Bibles that I watched Brian Williams tell the nation that the SanFran area was getting rained on more than once. Was I dreaming? I really feel like I said to Rick something about the Russian River Valley or Sonoma or something finally getting some rain and remarking on that because of it being a wine region. Is that not close, like an hour away? Honestly, I'm so very worried about my mental health. Truly, I am.

      I went to Catechism classes from 1965 through about 1972. I had clergy (nuns and one seminarian) for my entire Catholic education. For the most part, they were ceaselessly terrible. There was no physical abuse at all, but the constant harping about how our parents did not love us enough to send us to Catholic school was tantamount to emotional and verbal abuse. Add to that the total disinterest in children, ignorance of teaching method, and complete and sheer indifference to our very personality and humanity, it was a long and awful "education." I'm glad you are, for the most part, unscathed, but I think many organized religions like to employ guilt and other negative emotions and motivators.

      It's always lovely to see you here in Comments. I'm flattered that you choose to spend your Precious Free Time at my spot. I know you have very little.

    2. Forgive me if you get multiple replies from me. I wrote a comment, but then I selected Sign Out instead of Publish. Sigh. ANYWAY, I wanted to reassure you that you did, in fact, hear of rain here, and plenty of it, and the Russian RIver was indeed nearing flood levels for a bit there. The problem is that that was before Christmas, and it's been bone dry ever since. We need rain of biblical proportions to get us out of the hole we're in. No one wants that, as floods would be bad indeed. But 2 or 3 wet winters, wetter than usual, would be great. Our window to get snowpack in the Sierras is brief, and this 6 week dry spell in the middle of it is BAD. I do hope we have a wet late winter and spring. At this point, it's looking bad.

    3. J@jj--Oh, thank you for putting my mind to rest on the rain thing. Honestly, I do worry that after 30 years of constant nimble activity, going into Retirement Mode has harmed my brain awfully. Rick assures me that he will visit me faithfully in The Home, but I'd rather not think about it.

  8. I had 12 years of Catholic education so my revolt came later in life. Come to think of it, I guess I'm still revolting.

    Anyway, here is some of that stuff you don't want - helpful advice.

    I used to get debilitating headaches. Can't say if they were migraines or not. i never had the optical effect. Anyway they gradually got more frequent until I had a headache of some intensity about 30% of the time. Usually I could struggle though, but sometimes I just had to go lay down. So, with considerable reluctance, I went to a chiropractor. Turns out my neck was pretty pretzelated. I entered into a multi-week course of treatment. Short story is that is was transformative. I do not live a headache free existence, and I continue to see my chiropractor regularly, because my neck is still my neck.

    Anyway, I'll recommend you give it a try. Worked for me.


    1. JazzBumpa--Hey there! How nice to see you here. You know, I used to go to the chiro a long time ago. He was doing lovely things for a shoulder-neck concern that I had, but during one treatment session, something occurred, and I had a violent, blinding migraine with terrible nausea after one adjustment. And I mean IMMEDIATELY. Could not drive home until I gave myself a shot and waited a half hour.

      Got sort of waved off after that, needless to say.

      I will say, however, that once I left the workplace, a great deal of my neck and shoulder concerns have dissipated. Stress, you know. And working in a cold classroom. I'm left now with my main trigger, which is weather change. Not much I can do about that.

      Thank you for the help. I am always so touched by everyone's kindness. And I'm glad you found your way here.

  9. Wow, I have really fallen behind in my blog reading. I have no good reason for it, since I am presently unemployed and living in a serviced apartment; theoretically, with no job and no appreciable housecleaning, I should have ample time for reading. Sadly, I am spending most of my time running around and looking at England. I remember this phase in a lot of our other moves, where everything was new and exciting, so I know it'll pass, but I do hate not keeping up on stuff. First of all, heartily approve of the new Zydrunas feature. I know you are a Cat Person, so I am assuming this is your son's dog? Whomever he belongs to - he is extremely handsome.( I have a weakness for the snub-nosed breeds, as you may remember. )
    Secondly: Migraines suck. I have several friends who suffer from them, and they are awful. I hope Dr. B still has some tricks up her sleeve to try. I had a horrible chiropractor experience, as well, similar to yours - a number of positive and useful sessions, then something happened and then there was excruciating pain. The guy was an experienced and established chiro, recommended by several friends, but after that I have always viewed chiropractic the same way I view the idea of living in LA: I think it's an excellent thing for other people to do. Horrible Speechmaking Politician: Saw that myself as well as the John Stewart clip. I actually wondered if she were on drugs or was in some sort of a fugue state. I was enormously heartened to hear that quite a few republican pundits considered that speech to be a nail in her political coffin. And the teleprompter is no excuse. I don't think it's too much to ask that people who are hoping to be elected as world leaders have a basic facility in extemporaneous speaking precisely in the event of something like a 'teleprompter failure.' Fitbit: I also have to say I have a fitbit and I actually liked it quite a lot. I never experienced its vibrating as anything negative, only as a good reminder to, say, take the stairs or trot the dog out for an extra run around the block before bed. For some reason, knowing that it's better to take the stairs or park farther away is not the same as knowing your digital readout is recording it - at least in my case. Sort of an accountability thing. Of course, I am also not a catholic. We Methodists are all about grace, so if I came in low some days, it didn't bother me too much. ; ) Hope you're feeling better by now - I have to say, I haven't paid much attention to the weather situation in the US except to note that they are now naming winter storms, which was not a thing when we left the country in 2011.

    1. MsCaroline--Thank you. Zydrunas is my granddog. He belongs to both of my sons. Jared and Sam moved in together about a year ago. Zydrunas joined them last May, rescued from Death Row (literally) at the Cleveland Kennel. I am smitten, and I am glad to say it is a deep love which is returned.

      Dr. B. continues to try and work his magic, but he is running out of options when my migraines are almost exclusively now weather triggered. Winter is the worst, especially when the Everso Gracious Canadians send us their Alberta Clippers.

      Regarding the speech bomb, I still maintain that the Teleprompter Fail is a manufactured excuse. That speech sounds like her usual Winging It, which is typical of her overall narcissistic disregard for her audiences. She is like professional wrestling--all bluster and entertainment with no real purpose other than that. Anyone who thinks she is real will believe her show no matter what.

      I remain infinitely intrigued and interested by the psychology behind the fitbits and jawbones. I see all exercise as a punishment for relaxation and indulgence. I can't stop that; it's my pathology. The difference is that I only see it that way for myself. Basically, the voice in my head is plenty; I don't need an electronic one. Add to that the fact that I was always The Boss in my classroom for thirty years, the Mom authority for...EVER, and I don't cotton to anyone or anything trying to boss me around. What can I say? Issues.

      I am feeling normal today, headache-free. Both fronts have passed, leaving behind a foot or so of new snow. Ugh. Dr. B. called me in a steroid to break the headache cycle because another one started up the day after I wrote this post. Another Clipper comes in Wednesday. I am terrified.

      I am unaware that we are naming winter storms. At least here in NEO, where they arrive so often (see above). We don't name them like tropical storms, but the media cannot help themselves but to call them silly things like Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse. But nothing Official.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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