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Thursday, December 8, 2016

2016, You Bastard, now Greg too?

I've seen some rotten years before but in sheer numbers of shit hitting fans, baseball bats to the head shocks, and deaths, nothing tops this year.

Not 2 weeks ago, my mother's best friend Rose died in her sleep. OK, she was 84 and had a great life. It hurt, but it wasn't unexpected and if you have to go, that wasn't a bad way.

But today I woke up to the news that Greg Lake died last night. He'd had cancer. He was 69.

Everyone who's read this blog knows Greg is/was/will always be my music man. His writing, his voice, his guitar and bass playing are part of me. Almost 5 years ago I finally met the man, and was too flabbergasted to speak coherently. I did manage to get his autograph on my arm and had it tattooed. It took me 40 years to meet him. And I'm even more grateful now that I did, because it was his swan song tour.

This damnable year has taken so many and so much away from us. It can't be over soon enough.
And this song is apt, for the whole shebang.

Goodbye, Greg.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New Place, New Year, New Plan

The upheavals and noise therefrom are quieting down. Curtains are up, some art and photos too. Here I'll be for as long as possible. The move took me down and I'm still recovering (I've been walking some the last few days), and as annoying as the nerve pain is the frustration. I don't let myself think about losses anymore; it's too painful. But not having a working right hand when you're right-handed is a study in zen frustration.

So here come the holidays at 80 MPH. Fine. I'll just not go to Jersey, maybe Billy can come here. He's coming up on Tuesday for Thanksgiving. And I'm not cooking, for the first time since 1992. Before that year, I'd done it since 1976. This year it's impossible, I can't even hold a knife and I'm not so stupid as to try it lefty. Instead, a chef friend recommended a chef he knows at a local restaurant that sometimes did the whole deal, and I called. At first he wasn't sure, but 2 days later he was. Even though I'm a woman, I'm a retired chef, and the whitecoats stick together. So Billy and I will both have a treat and no huge mess.

Finally realizing that this sofa is no place for a Senior Citizen, Billy will be staying at the nearby hotel. This will lighten the mood too.

For my own well-being, I'm stepping back from politics. Whatever happens now, I can't do much. I gave this election all my guts for two candidates. One won, one lost. Dave Zuckerman is our LT Gov, and a good guy. Bernie, well, I can't talk, I'll start crying. I need rest from the political scene and stupidity before I begin to hate it all and never do it again.

When the year turns, I hope to be settled in here enough, and well enough, to tear into the Beest book. I'm writing that thing if it kills me, and it might.

This is slowly becoming home, as things find their places. Curtains and art on the walls go a long way toward filling the blanks. The Tannenbaum has a selected place already, and the decorations are at last all in one area. Paul stuck the silk pine boughs around the double windows yesterday. Winter is coming.

So yeah, so much new is a scary deal. Who knows how anything will go anymore; the world is nuts and we've followed the UK to the skirting of fascism. Austerity measures will be next. Oh I can't go there...

Make yourself happy. Or somebody else, make happy. Just make happy all over the damn place.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Worst That Could Happen

This year has been brutal. We started the year with Bowie and Alan Rickman dying, which should have clued us in. We haven't had a month, or even a week, when something shitty and discouraging didn't hit us. This week we elected a man who has no business being President. And now Leonard Cohen is dead.

I think, maybe, we've hit bottom.
And so it's time for bad music.

You see, since way back, whenever things got rotten, Billy and I have sung bad songs at each other. Tonight we dredged up a feast of cheese over the phone and now I'm going to share with you lucky victims, er, readers.

There. Now sing along, forget how awful things look and the lousy things that are happening, and let yourself regroup. We have a lot of work ahead. Take some time to be mindless; indulge in things that make you laugh; appreciate the smarmy, the silly, the ridiculous. A really crappy song can get you through a lot.

Friday, November 4, 2016

2 Weeks in Sunset Blvd.

Yes, this is Sunset Blvd, not Rivendell. There's something of a Hollywood feel to the buildings, somewhat run down but holding onto its shinier past. And there are little raised gardens of (now dead) vines. It needs a fountain in the courtyard.

The residents are what you'd expect living in one of those 1950s motel-ish apartment buildings. Odd ones, drunks, faded beauties, the failed, the utterly insane. From my desk I see the parade of harmless characters, and not-so harmless freaks doing disgusting acts.

As of today, it's been 2 weeks here. We are unpacking and sorting out every box and belonging. The million decisions get overwhelming- keep or toss, where will this live, etc. So much ephemera we accrue in life, and just how long do we keep these tangible memory cues? Is the Beefeater man rocking out still dear to me? Why do I have 8 half-boxes of holiday cards? Must I keep everything my mother ever crocheted for me? Oy.

The physical adjustment to the changes are the hardest part. Who knew that just changing chairs would cause so much pain and disruption? Having the roll-up shower is a blessing, and now that the bathroom is equipped life is easier than it was in The Shire. But tell that to my body, for which it seems every small change to the usual is a hairy deal. And just as finding spots for everything is a process, so is my body adapting to the new environment. Being in a wheelchair for most of the time now is a huge acclimation. All of a sudden I'm less than 4 feet tall, after a lifetime at nearly 6 feet. The rest of the world goes on as always, hanging calendars and clocks and putting things on top of cabinets way beyond my reach. I don't recall ever being this height. I was 5'6" in 6th grade!

Beest hasn't lost a minute in making this place hers. She escaped yesterday, explored the hallways and both staircases before Gal Friday caught her. Nothing puts her off her game.

All of the above has brought frustration and happiness. It's getting better. As the boxes disappear and their contents find new places, it begins feeling like home. No, it's not perfect. Nothing in real life is. We just make the best of it. But with a bit of imagination, some determination and no small dose of delusion, we're ready for our close up...

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Chaos Out of Order

We're here. Now that we're here I'm pretty sure it's not Rivendell. Elves are strange but they aren't weirdly scary. Back in able times when I worked at the coop, there were several customers we all ran away from. One was called Goggles, because she wore flight goggles when shopping. And reeked of garlic. And asked a thousand questions, then never bought anything. She is the neighbor directly across the hall from me. And was at my door at 8:45 this morning wanting "to meet my new neighbor." I declined to answer the door. This afternoon, in the rain, she sat outside my window while a woman cut her hair. I haven't found the drapes yet.

In fact, I've found dear little. As much careful packing and planning as I did, it was all worthless in the piling of belongings once it got here, and in the unpacking frenzy of enthusiastic friends. This may take months to sort out. There are only 2 closets here, no pantry and no lower cupboards in the kitchen. The bathroom is wonderfully big, and once the pile of unwieldy and non-bathroom things are cleared out of the shower, I may finally be able to use it. If I find any of the shampoo or soap I carefully packed in a special box of essentials that was emptied despite my yelling, "That's just to me! Leave it for me!" The kitchen is a bit of a mess, neither the fan or light work in the exhaust hood. The rusty refrigerator is ancient and turned up to max just keeps things close to cold, though the freezer seems alright. The toilet riser doesn't fit this unusually shaped toilet. I've emailed the office. Nothing can be done til Monday anyway.

Then there was the issue of the computer not working until I realized someone had pulled out and hooked up the old hard drive instead of the new.
And the phone company not showing up til late this afternoon instead of yesterday morning.
I hate this move about as much as this year's election.

Beest seems nonplussed by the whole thing. Certainly her appetite isn't off, she slept by my head as always, and she's slowly exploring the landscape. I wish I had her nonchalance.

Should I ever move again, I'm not going to bother trying to organize anything. Throw the towels in with the tools and soup. Pack the books and underwear together. It's not going to matter in the end.