Sunday, January 31, 2021

Words And Sunday Sundries


January, I must tell you, has seen me surpass Pandemic Fatigue and stride purposefully into Pandemic Burnout. The weather has been shitful:  grey, freezing cold, windy, sunless, icy, sleety or snowy or wintry mixy off and on, and cloudy. Did I mention there has been almost no sun? Well, there hasn't. One night, we threatened to have cherry pie for dinner. Another night, ice cream. One day, I stayed in my jammies until two o'clock. 

I've discovered that there are Words now for some other Pandemic Things I can relate to. I'm not the only one who is Pangry a great deal of the time. Have you heard of Pangry? It's the term used for the anger you feel for people who are ignoring the pandemic, who are engaging in risky behaviours and prolonging this agony for the rest of us. You know them--they're the ones who are still gathering in large, unmasked groups, sitting shoulder to shoulder in bars, having parties, throwing big weddings, and defying mask mandates. 

And speaking of Masks, why is it that a vast majority of men cannot grasp the fact that Masks Are To Be Worn Over The Nose? This is absolutely a Man Thing, and I do not want to hear any Excuses posing as Reasons for it. Men can wear masks properly, period. They just stubbornly refuse to do so for some ridiculously idiotic male reason. I see it constantly, and I call it out constantly at the grocery store, the pharmacy, or anyplace I have to be. (Luckily, my grocery store has become Militant About Proper Masking, and I do tattle.) Writer James Gorman of The New York Times has invented a new word for this phenomenon, this proclivity of men sliding their masks below their noses; he calls it Manslipping.  Manslipping, he says, "is like manspreading. We — some of us — do it because we are, well, men. And you know what men are like." Yes. Yes I do. 

It is here that I must say all three of the Dept. Men wear masks properly.

Before this final post of January becomes completely snarky and unrelentingly grumpy, let me move on to the Sunday Sundries.

^*^I read with great excitement the news that two dwarf giraffes were discovered in the world. I immediately thought of how fun it would be to have little giraffes, like miniature horses or mini cows, just wee little things, like pets. My joy was dispelled somewhat when I read on and saw that they were still 9.3 and 8.5 feet tall.

^*^On my way home from the grocery store Wednesday, I saw five fat robins in someone's tree lawn. Since robins are usually a harbinger of Spring in NEO, I was startled. Last year, they arrived early, but not this early. Yesterday, two fluffed-up robins sat in my barberry bush, eating berries in the cold wind. I smiled, though, thinking that I had not taken their nest down from last season, only cleaned out the dangerous fishing line from within it.

^*^Today's obituaries in the Cleveland Plain Dealer yielded last names of Downer, Dingle, and Funk. Once again, I thanked my husband for not having a last name that would have made my career difficult.

^*^One last interesting Word, this one newly added to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:  sapiosexual--sexually or romantically attracted to highly intelligent people.

(I'd like to believe I married one of those.)

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Friday, January 15, 2021

Time For A Catch-Up


Greetings from NEO, where we are currently cloudy, cold, and now experiencing that less than delightful weather occurence known as The Wintry Mix. It is raining, freezing-raining, and big globs of snow are plopping down as well. My front porch railing is full of fluffy sparrows huddling against the wet and chill. I'm not giving them much sympathy; they have turned up their beaks at the shredded wheat remnants I scattered for them yesterday. 

As a sort of harbinger of this weather, I was visited by a strange vertigo yesterday. For most of the day, any time I walked or looked upward, I immediately got dizzy and could not get my balance. It was accompanied by heavy pressure in my head and ears. It was a shame since the weather was terrific for a walk:  almost no wind at all; bits of sunshine here and there; temperatures in the upper forties, so no need for my heated coat. Needless to say, I didn't attempt it.

This weather today is suited for Domestic Goddessing, so I've been doing laundry, brushing the uncooperative cats, and general "redding", as my grandmother and mother would say. (Redding Up is one of those mysterious terms Grandma used often, and its provenance is murky. We always chalked it up to Pennsylvania Dutch, but apparently its use is relatively wider spread than that. ) I'll finish up with this post, then likely knit some more on my mitred square blanket, which I've pulled out yet again. 

I'm trying to stay away from The News in general, as are many of you, I know. It's exhausting and ugly and dismaying. It gives me zero satisfaction to think/say I Told You So about any of it. So I move on.

Mikey asked me to share a few of the Good Things from my 2020 jar. And Julie wondered what kinds of things I wrote on my pieces of paper. If you'll indulge me, I'll list a few of them here.

1. So far, no snow in January, and temps are mostly in the 40s--even a 50 & a 60!

2. 60 degrees on January 11! I opened up the whole house and aired out!

3. Jared got a promotion and a new job title! So proud of him!

4. Had a fun evening at Sam & Emily's: wine, pizza, wings. Z was super well-behaved & cuddly.

5. Z is doing really well at Sam's and meeting new people.

6. Found really cute shoes for 5$--regularly 40$!

7. Great weather at the lake for Sept. Nice long visit w/family.

8.  Got catered food for the family birthday. No stress! Great decision.

9.  Avos on sale! Decaf on sale! Got the last bottles of Frei Bros. Zinfandel and Insurrection on sale! Happy Day!

10.  Found out that we have not dipped into our savings or retirement at all during Rick's recovery time off. Yay!

And you know what? I'm glad I saved 2020's Good Things. Reading through them again made me smile. It makes me think that if I can look back at 2020 and smile, 2021 has that very same potential. I hope you're hanging in there with me.  Good Things come to those (of us) who wait.

Have a happy weekend. It's not long now.

Friday, January 08, 2021

Real Talk: January 6, 2021


I did a lot of back and forthing about writing this post, not because I worried about its content being too inflammatory, but because I already feel so consumed by the shock, outrage, and anger I've felt over the events of January 6. Sometimes, writing about it simply rekindles the flames, and I'm left feeling a renewed sense of indignance with nowhere to put it.

But I almost feel hypocritical not talking about it here, where I express myself about virtually everything, and where The Politics have certainly been a constant topic for me over the fifteen years of this blog's run.

What galls me most is that a pathetically large faction of republicans (and I will never, ever capitalize that word, ever) will not only continue to serve as apologists to the person who outright fomented and encouraged this insurrection, but will also blame it on others and rewrite history in order to do so. They will carry on as before, perpetuating their lies, merely to salvage the support of the reprehensible individuals who overran the Capitol, planting bombs, looking to take hostages, overthrow the government, and, according to at least one source, hold daylong executions. 

Even after the Capitol was retaken, order was restored inside, and the process of affirming and certifying the Electoral College votes was continued, arrogant and tone-deaf republicans still objected, adding fuel to the criminals' fire. They did this, knowing full well that it would not change the outcome. They did this for their own selfish interest, merely to court the votes of the animals who had stampeded into these politicians' sacred grounds of their own bastion of Democracy, hoping to keep their jobs for another term. 

They make me sick.

As do all supporters of this maniac. I have no use for any of them. The so-called christians (they don't get a capital letter anymore, either), evangelicals, and right-to-lifers who called him a godly president and thanked Jesus for him--they have the blood of thousands on their hands, including those who died in the coup attempt on January 6.  They have been fools and idiots, but that does not excuse them. Willful ignorance is no excuse. They got what they asked for. Sadly, we got what they asked for, too.

As I write this, the movement is underway to remove this horrifically dangerous individual by impeachment. Again. His cowardly cabinet slunk away under a flurry of resignations, and his bootlicking vice president is too beholden to that same trashy constituency to invoke the 25th Amendment. Is there any single republican individual who will do the right thing and help save this country? That is asking too much from republicans, who care only for themselves and their jobs. It is a sickness among them, this selfishness, and their supporters are too stupid to see it and too dumb to switch the channel away from Fox and OAN and other poisonous, treasonous outlets that are their opiates.

I have decided that my New Year will begin on January 20th, the exact moment that Joseph R. Biden is sworn in as President of the United States of America. I won't breathe a peaceful breath until that happens. I am not a believer, but I beseech the Universe provide him with safety. I keep thinking of President Lincoln's Inauguration and the snipers on the roof, their long guns at the ready. Like President Lincoln, President Biden is a man born for these times, a man born to unite this country.

I grieve the ideals of President Lincoln's party. How far they have fallen. 

Friday, January 01, 2021

Welcome To 2021 And My Good Things Jar

Happy New Year, everyone. Welcome to 2021, and welcome back to the Dept. of Nance. Like so many of you, I am looking forward to this year bringing a refreshing and much-needed change of administration in Washington DC; a kind, compassionate leader who cares about more than himself; and a return to adult behaviour from at least the President of the United States.

Aside from that, I have other reasons to look with hope to 2021. Rick will be starting a new job, one which will put him behind a desk and ease the constant wear and tear on his reconstructed back. He'll be working his brain again instead of his brawn, doing construction estimating and project coordinating from his own office. I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly grateful I am.

My entire family have thus far been safe from the virus, despite my sons and husband having worked steadily throughout, all of them being deemed Essential Workers. Jared's partner, who works in a medical field, has been safe and has received her first dose of the vaccine. Sam's partner has quarantined twice due to exposures from work and family, but has been safe both times. My grandchildren are also healthy and safe. My extended family, most notably my 90-year old mother, is healthy and fine as well, due to the excellent care of my brother, with whom she lives, and my younger sister, who faithfully goes over (fully masked) every day to exercise her.

All of us are ready to get our vaccinations as soon as possible. As my husband's grandfather was so fond of saying, "We can't wait fast enough."

Now, on to my Good Things Jar, which I started a year ago today. I decided to write down Good Things as they occurred/occurred to me all year long and place them in the jar.  Last night, I read them aloud (most of them) and Rick and I reminisced about the Good Things that happened to us in 2020.

There were 80 slips of paper in the Jar, and I think that says something. Granted, a few were relatively trivial; they had no significance to anyone but me. But as I was reading them, I started to notice something--so many were about Jared and Sam, or about neighbors, or about Zydrunas, or about others.

One of them made me tear up, and I decided to do a little experiment for this post. I counted out how many of the slips were about others and how many were about me. Of the 80 Good Things, 33 pertained to me, and 47 were about others. 

Here's the one that brought tears to my eyes. I didn't date the slips, so I don't know what prompted it, but it's so very, very True.

Welcome, 2021. I can't wait fast enough to see what Joys you bring.

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