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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wave Bye Bye to '10!

I've blogged a lot and even already summed up this dying year, so I'll just add:

Be Actively Nice.
Happy 2011, everyone!


When I was able-bodied I knew people who weren't and received services. Like housekeeping, errand-running, etc. And I thought, "That's nice; they get their needs met." Then I became disabled and needed services.

It took a while, for one thing. Several Dr appointments til I cried that I couldn't keep my home clean or do laundry anymore. Then the doc referred me to services, in the form of our local VNA. "That's a Godsend," I thought. And well, in a way it is. When all runs smoothly. Problem is, that's the exception, not the rule.

Every time my regular aide is off work my life goes to hell.

Ya see, there are things that Have To Be Done on certain days. Bill paying, meds, shopping... all have schedules in my life because that's how it has to be or I won't be able to function. The laws and regs surrounding meds are precise and stringent. Being one day late or early with anything will ruin your whole year. I'm not kidding. And any change of plans is a domino run.

First of all, I didn't know my regular aide was off this week. I saw her Friday and she said, "See you Tuesday." Last domino standing in place.

I had a brief visit on Tuesday but not everything was done. Still, an aide should be coming Friday, and that's when meds are filled and picked up, but it has to be done Friday. No later, no earlier. Medicare rules all.

Then yesterday the Dr's office calls to say my scripts have to be picked up today because they're closed on New Year's Eve. Here is the knocker domino. Why? Because getting anyone from the agency will be iffy. Because today- Thursday- is not my regular day for an aide. And because I was planning having dinner with a friend who has no time and today was The Evening She Could. She'd be here at 5:30, because the front door gets locked at 6 and she has to make it an early night anyway. But at 7:45 this morning I get a call (while I'm in the bathroom) from an aide who says she'll be here at 5 for a 3 hour shift- too late for the dr's office, or even the post office, but late enough to wreck my dinner plans. And she hangs up before I reach the phone, not leaving a number.

I call the office to speak to a scheduler, and get the voicemail, natch. 3 hours go by & I hear nothing.

In the meantime, a friend sweetly volunteers to pick up the scripts today and drop them at the pharmacy to be filled tomorrow. Worse case, I'll have to call & ask for the pharmacy to deliver tomorrow. Phew, that one's covered, thanks Cam!

Then I call my dinner guest & apologize my butt off for cancelling. I can't have guests here, by rule, when the aide is here. We won't be able to get together til the end of January now. But c'est la vie. Dammit.

I call the VNA again to tell them all this. They've already rescheduled yet another aide to come earlier today, but have no time frame to give me of her arrival and never tried to call to tell me of this new plan and neither had the aide. In light of everything now, the scheduler says she'll try to cancel the aide coming today altogether and get someone to come tomorrow, as the filled meds need to be picked up & I still need things done. There's been a package at the PO since last Friday that the Tuesday fill-in aide said she had no time to collect, for one thing. So yes, great, send me someone tomorrow.

Except my dinner guest, hours later, is unreachable. See you at the end of January, Ellen.

This is the craziness of disability. When you have to rely on others, you're screwed. It all still would've been manageable had the Dr's office let me know more than one day ahead that they would be closed. I would've scrambled to get covered and none of the above would've happened. They've had this holiday planned for months. I call them every 2 weeks- they couldn't have put the closure on their damned automated answering drone? My ass.

Services look very different when you're on the other side. You can't know that til you need them, I guess.

Well, I gotta go. Lots of dominoes to stand for the next knockdown.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Quickie

Not one to really recommend a TV habit, but...

The BFF told me about a woman on the food channel who, she says, is just what she pictures me as when I was a cook:

Funny thing is, she really is a lot like me at that age, even down to the platinum hair I had 30 years ago. Though I think she's a bit older than I was then. Generally, I detest TV cooks (except for St. Julia & occasionally Bourdain) but she's pretty damn good, IMHO. But that's prolly cuz she's a lot like me. ;)

The Year of Best Laid Plans

We had a snowstorm, the first of the winter. It started Sunday and kept going til Monday afternoon. Chels had to get back to college, so we didn't get to hang. Waah. Her terrific Dad brought my Xmas present in her stead, and I sent hers back home with him. They really are a great family.

But this has been a whole year of plans gone astray. Part of that has to do with being disabled, and I've got a whole chapter in the Gimp's Guide about it. Part of that is also due to life's unpredictability. Life has speeded up in our nanosecond world. Having many things in life adds more possibilities of things jacking up. It's a lesson in rolling with it. Patience is a virtue, and virtues are more elusive to gain than vices.

I'm really loving getting older. I've gotten quicker to let go of things and slower to start things up. I'm more cautious, which is a huge improvement over the, "Yeah! Let's do it!" hedonism of youth. Since I don't jump up, I don't fall down. That was a hard one to learn. Maintaining that healthy distance has served me well. And when I get worked up now, there's really good reason for it. Likewise in letting go. It takes a lot of the drama out of life. It's the drama that makes you old. Now I have time to play again and I'm younger for it.

So this has been a good year of acceptance and learning. Not very exciting to others, I know, but it's tremendously exciting to me. I'm happier with myself than I've ever been. As we all know, "Ha-ppiness is hard to find." ;)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

And Those Songs of Christmastime

What the Hell was I thinking, to make plans on Boxing Day after this past week? I'm crazy or stupid or both. Stevil's eggnog always kicks my ass the next day. It's a tradition. The tradition continues. My head's caved in.

Well, before Chels gets here, I just wanted to throw some threads off the net about Christmas music. Firstly, is a good article from the Guardian (what a surprise, eh?):

And a thread from a local website:

For the iBratt article you'll need to scroll up to read the story; I'm just too much of a mess to go thru the whole deal.

Coffee and shower haven't helped; I fear hair of the dog is required. Yeesh.

Also, I have to say the Christmas satiation point has been reached; I now have 4 books that I'm dying to read along with a curious magazine. If I don't blog for a week you'll know what I'm doing.

And one last thing; here's The Most Christmas-sy, non-holiday story that says what the whole deal and the rest of life, would be like, if we will all Be Actively Nice:

Well, another last thing if the above doesn't get your ass moving to help someone else there's a bunch of stuff to inspire even the most self-centered:

Friday, December 24, 2010

I'm Old & Christmas Miracles

Okay, didn't think I'd be blogging today; I thought I'd still be busy. But somehow everything's done and I have time! So here I am Christmas Eve.

Just realized how very old I am, because I felt compelled to put on the Solemn Mass from Rome. First time I'm watching this pope; oughta watch him closer, as I don't like him. Anyway, we always put the mass on when I was a kid; I think it was later at night in those days. At this time on Xmas Eve I'd be wolfing down Chinese food before going to sing at the 7:30 service. It was the night of cleaned robes, cuz the choir robes were dry-cleaned twice a year- Easter and Christmas. The surplices would be stiff and more like wings than ever. There'd be creases in the beanies. And we'd leave church quickly, to get home so Christmas would move along faster. Or, when we got older, we'd go caroling. The kids would get hot cocoa (crappy to sing on) and the adults passed a flask or two around. Here I am, 40+ years later, watching the what 5th? pope of my lifetime chanting the Latin. But not rushing to church or bed, or carolling tonight. Or eating Chinese food. Just happy.

It's been a good day in Brattleboro. The best story of the day came from iBrattleboro. Someone asked where they could take extra toys, which brought out someone else saying the Drop-in Center needed toys. I called Daryl and he called Melissa at the Drop-in and they knew about the iBratt story, which had already brought people out of their houses. So much was brought in, in fact, that they're storing some for next year. In talking to my BFF, we think we need to get something organized for next year. This last minute stuff has to end.

And I got 2 surprise Christmas presents today! One in the mail from my sis-in-law in Indiana & one from a friend!

So much got done. The only thing I wasn't able to finish in time is Chris' walking stick. I see a long winter with the Dremel ahead. ;)

Ah, it's the "shake your neighbors' hands" part...
I wonder what ya have to do to get a seat at this mass? And to get the ticket to get communion from the pope himself? Communion's a wild and weird thing, eh? These nuns look much younger and nicer than the ones I knew in HS. And wow- the Christ baby figure has glass shards coming outta his head!

Well, all is calm, all is bright.
Merry Christmas!

almost forgot- here's the funniest thing I've seen in ages, my aide Alicia sent it to me:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Into the Home Stretch!

Down to the details now, the food & last-minute things. Things are defrosting and cooking; the sauce for the lasagna is in prep, the carrots await grating. I think I'll wait til tomorrow to make the pie. In order to make freezer room, I had to make turkey soup from the Thanksgiving bird's carcass yesterday. This place is so much a Chinese puzzle- you have to move everything to put one piece in place! Drives me crazy living in a shoebox with all my worldly goods, but if that's all I have to bitch about, life is very good.

This year we're having a big veggie lasagna- lasagna has been my family tradition for 40 years as it was so expensive to make, it was the Christmas splurge ( I should explain- when my mother remarried, we began eating Italian food, as my stepfather was Italian/German. At my father's house, "Second Christmas" continued to be roast beast as it was from time immemorial in the family). Who can stand that much turkey inside of 5 weeks anyway? Not I. Yuck. Ham was never a treat to us; it was fairly cheap to buy when I was a kid, so hams were regular Sunday fare, not a Christmas item. The lasagna made for Christmas was a huge assemblage of meats and cheeses in a roasting pan and usually weighed in at 10 or 15 pounds itself. I've altered that to a veggie lasagna because we'll have pork chops as well this year. I was thinking there may be a vegetarian joining us, but she hasn't RSVP'd so I'm not expecting her. No bother, I love veggie lasagna- it's one of those things that are very good and very good for you. My system of creating it also makes it a 2-day, easy to handle process. No parboiling aggravation.

I have to confess it'll be nice to go back to normal eating and shopping; I've scrimped to afford these holidays, saving my precious Food Stamps for holiday food spending. Food has become very expensive in a short time span. 45 bucks a week doesn't go far unless you go without some things. Still, thank gods for them or I'd be in a really bad place. And also thankfully I can do quite well on a tight budget. I know many folks who can't.

Just heard from Chelsy! We're going to hang around here on Boxing Day and watch Paranormal Activity. Nice!

With all the things going on I probably won't blog again until next week. So dear reader, have a very Merry Christmas. I hope your dreams are happy and that the best of them come true.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Readers Are a Threat

The UK government has followed suit with the US in encouraging illiteracy. In 2011, all funds will be cut off to all early book-buying programs for children. This raises the obvious questions about what are the priorities for the citizenry, and the observation that literacy is not one.

A poster on the Guardian said:
"Of course they don't want a educated literate population. They want people who can read and write sufficiently to do the menial tasks that are going to support the businesses that make them and their friends money.
"An educated and literate population thinks for itself and might turn from the X Factor to ask what the F is going on. Henry VIII burnt all the copies of Tyndale's translation of the New Testament into English precisely for this reason. People who read come across new ideas, something that only causes trouble for the authorities.
"Read everything you can find, encourage everyone else, men, women, children and small animals to do the same. £13m is nothing, tax a few bonuses and we'd have more than enough to keep this scheme going."

Funny how the populace all over "the free world" keeps saying these same things, but the gummits keep giving more and more breaks to the rich. The insane theory of "trickle down" seems to have taken root as a justification! Even the words "trickle down" ought to be an alarm itself!- how much is a trickle, folks? Ever seen a trickle? It's a little bit more than a drip. How much has actually trickled, anyway? How many jobs have been created in that trickle? Is that a justification for giving the already ridiculously rich tax breaks that have only been in place for the last 10 years? Coincidentally the same 10 years that have seen the worst global economic situation since the Great Depression!

From my vantage point in the US, I have watched the planned devaluation of education. It's not pretty. We have a stupid, ignorant, obese population that has no reason to hope, no resources to help improve their lot in life, and no prospects but to work in minimum wage jobs. Our education system has sucked for at least 25 years and gets worse all the time. Our teachers have been bound and gagged by the neo-con budget measures and the crazy "No Child Left Behind" scheme. Their unions are undermined and defamed to the very people who should support them- other workers, the parents of their charges. What the hell has happened? Has the entire world been brainwashed into a subserviant slave class, who duck their heads and truly believe that their masters deserve the whole pie and more?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Here Comes Santa Claus, Again and Again

Christmas is only 5 days away. By Sunday it'll all be over, another holiday for the books. Except in my world. Because on Sunday I'll be spending a day with a great young woman whom I haven't seen since the summer, and then my BFF will be back in a couple of weeks and I'll go thru an entire 2nd Christmas. Kinda like when I was a kid and had multiple Christmases with all the family parts who didn't associate. And there are at least 2 people, still unscheduled, to see after the official day is long gone. Somehow I managed to gather presents for all again this year and it's my favorite part of the whole thing, watching peep open presents. God I sound corny but it's true. So Santa will be doing overtime this year. Good thing the tree's made of silk.

It's nice to spend time with individuals rather than have everyone en masse. As I get older I don't want to have to yell above others to have a conversation. I don't want to be mother hen over a crowd, playing hostess. I want to sit and relax, not be in perpetual motion. Christmas Day will be just my old pal Stevil (he's family at this point) & me, feasting and opening presents (I may be in good enough shape to do his radio show with him afterward; we'll see how things feel).

So it won't be a wild party, nobody will be dancing on tables or throwing up in the corner. Nobody will end up in the ER or jail. It won't take a week to clean up after. And I won't feel like death on a cracker because of it. Maybe it's quiet and no big production but it's better, and it makes multiple Christmases possible.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Anglicisation of Austan

Thanks to the internet and my music tastes, I'm becoming more and more British.

This was inevitable, I suppose, having spent the first 7 years of my life living with a veddy British grandfather. His eclectic tastes and eccentric habits rubbed off on us all, and I find myself at this age wondering if maybe I should put bacon fat on my skin as he did. He had a lovely complexion and was never dried out and flaky, though the smell of old man, wool and somewhat sour bacon fat was a bit repellant. So I guess that's out.

But I seem to have a natural aversion to American culture, if it can be called culture. I find myself no longer reading anything American- news, for instance. I depend on The Guardian UK nearly exclusively. And from there I read books written by or recommended by British reviewers because they are A) usually to my liking and B) better. American TV is in an all-time low. So I watch British series online, which may be awful to Britons, but are still far above the quality of anything offered here. US television actually makes me physically sick to watch.
I'm getting nauseous thinking about describing it- so I'll move on.

Then there's food. Yes, British food is laughed at. My background in cooking should probably steer me to exclusively and snobbily French food. But really after all these years I enjoy simple good food, like cheeses and sausages. My system doesn't like alcohol anymore nor a load of flavors in every dish, and the bland straightforwardness of plain cooking sets well with me. I'll whip up various cuisines for special occasions, even doing ShakenBake when it's called for, but when alone I go simple and digestible.

Then there's language. Americans don't speak English. We speak American. These days I catch myself using sayings and writing in British quite a bit. A few moments ago I looked at the clock and said out loud, "They'll be having tea about now," meaning dinner, to Americans. Slight turns of phrase creep in. Saying, "Cheers" and "Briiliant!" and "That's magic!"- not American at all.

I knew a girl in NYC, a Jewish Park Ave. heiress, who spoke with an English accent. She'd gone to a British boarding school for HS (college, in the UK) and in her 30s, was still speaking as if she'd been raised there. When I finally asked her why she spoke so, she answered, "What, you'd raaather have me tawk like dis?" But she didn't speak English; she spoke American with a Brit accent.

Perhaps I should just relocate there and have it over, for a treat.

Friday, December 17, 2010


The last few hours have restored my Christmas Spirit.

First, friends came by with cheer and we spent a couple of hours feasting and exchanging our gifts. Then a neighbor I barely know brought me multivitamins- very needed but not covered by Medicare anymore- and her 3 angelic kids, who were transfixed by "A Christmas Story", playing on my TV. There is nothing like a kid at Christmas. Nothing. And to see 3 little kids who have no connection to those old times identify so closely with Ralphie's plight is a joy.

When the place cleared out I was putting food away and turned on the news just in time to see Brian Williams present tonight's "Making a Difference" story about Loren Krueger:

It's stories like that that make you keep living with a smile.
Merry Christmas, Mr. Krueger. And thanks for giving me something money can't buy.

Slogging Forward!!!

By God, I'm gonna have Happy Holidays if it kills me. I took a day out from people and it somewhat restored my outlook. But...

With the PO cutbacks, we no longer have a regular mailman. This has made the simple act of getting your own damned mail a nightmare. In a building with 64 apartments, it's a chessboard of possibilities over who may have your mail. Today I received 6 pieces of mail clearly addressed to another apartment. The PO phone answerer says, "I'll talk to him", as if that will happen. The building manager says, "I don't think it's legal for me to hold mail in the office." But, she added, a lot of the retirees get checks in the mail, and the lobby is a public thoroughfare during the day, so it's not safe to just leave mail tucked above the boxes. In the meantime, where the Hell's my mail??????????????!

But the tree is done. It looks like a pic postcard, if I do say so meself. The place is garlanded, knick-knacked, stockings hung, presents under tree, fridge and freezer full. I'm ready, bring on the holidays! Friends are coming by this afternoon, and I really hope they're in good moods. There may be brouhaha and violence if it's all pissy-moany. I'm well determined to get jolly. Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Trying to Get the Feeling Again

At the beginning of the month I had tremendous Christmas spirit. It bungeed & came back but not quite so high. Then it just dissipated. I'm sitting here looking at a half-decorated tree with no care to finish it. It has to be done, but I just don't have the feeling.

There's a few causes & events that've happened which I can point at and say, "Aha! That's where I lost it!", but I can't seem to get my way back to it. And there's an underlying, "Fuck it." beneath it all that I can't shake.

Part of this is certainly out of a comraderie that's caved in since Thanksgiving. Friends have withdrawn en masse into their own funks (when I told a friend I'd gotten her a present, she blurted, "Oh No!" as if it was the worst thing I'd ever done; then a brother did the same- WTF?; another friend cried to me for days over the mess of a holiday she's spending with her son, which is now going well- for her; others have cancelled get-togethers; there's an unprecedented number of folks not even putting up a tree this year, etc.) . Little by little, the bits of joy fell away and crumbled, and now I feel totally demoralized.

So I think I'll do what I did before, just withdraw from everyone for a few days & try to get it back. But isn't the whole thing supposed to be about being with other people? I used to get such a kick out of giving presents. How's it happened that the same thing that used to give joy now takes it away? What's my world come to, that in order to have a Christmas spirit, I have to stay away from those I'm close to & love because they're so fucking miserable?

I really need a Happy Christmas. I guess that means being alone, now.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

50 Years of Corrie!

Ever since I discovered YT, I've been a big fan of Coronation Street. There are enough old episodes to get the rough background of the families and individuals on Corrie St. And these days you can find most of the new episodes in full.

This week marks 50 years for the celebrated -even revered- old nighttime British soap. Much of the original cast is gone, except for Ken Barlow. So this whole week, in the midst of riots during the day, a large portion of the UK will be watching Corrie at night. And so am I. Every night I've waited til 8 or 9 p.m. to watch the day's episode, posted on YT by a user I won't id here. Email me if you want the channel addy.

Anyway there was an explosion that also blew out the tram's elevated track, sending a tram crashing right down into Coronation St. Fires and trapped people all up and down the block. At least a half dozen are in life-threatening situations. Including babies and children, more. And while all Hell is breaking loose, a man murders his mistress -while his wife is prematurely giving birth. A young woman tells her husband that she's leaving and taking the baby- who isn't his after all- then gets pinned by beams in the blast. Three guys are trapped together, and one sacrifices his life- he's coughing up blood anyway- so they can get out. Another guy gets his dying wish, to marry the fiancee, even though both of them have been cheating all along with two others. And as an added bonus, a kid's being held for ransom by his mother who's getting 5 grand from her sister for him. The good auntie went out looking for the ransom money in the safes of the street's blown up businesses. While digging, she witnessed the murderer dumping the mistress' body. Then the FD show up and proclaim the mistress still alive, by a thread.

They did tonight's show, the 50th Anniversary show, live. It was sheer melodrama and I loved every minute.

Ah, Coronation Street! Here's to another 50 years! *sips sherry*

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gotta Have Heat

Well, it's December 8th and until today I hadn't turned on my heat. Since I'm budgeted to spending 40 bucks a month to heat this place, I carefully pick heat.

But Daryl came by today to pick up the pies- baking last night was how I avoided putting it on yesterday- and said I should. It's damn cold. I'm bundled into my armchair with fake fur blanket and wool wrappings. This is serious cold. The cold that people die in, because it was 70 degrees just a couple weeks ago and we aren't thickened..

Some people think that the way I live is rough. My BFF (that term cracks me up) told me she'd rather die than have to live as I do. What, living within your means? Spending every cent carefully? I think it's an art form! Time consuming as all hell, but you get to stay indoors. There is always food in my house. Nobody has to leave hungry. I have a futon that peep can sleep on. Nobody has to leave at all if where they're going is colder than this place. I have dvds I have never watched. I have the internet and all the incredible people I've met thru it. I have participation in life without leaving my building. I have great friends who don't need to lay on the phone for hours every day. I have 2 brothers and we're all at peace with each other. It's not high living, but it's a good life.

So, so many people have so much less than me. Things are so bad these days and our neighbors are going thru things we don't know about. If we're gonna make it thru what looks like a pretty rough road ahead, we better get nice and be damn skippity doing it. We can Be The People We Are. The same as we always were, but this time we're telling. When we model the behavior we demand, we'll start things moving to a better place for us all. Be Actively Nice.

A Round For Operation Payback

To me, the issues around the Wikileaks are too grey-areaed for me to come down firmly anywhere. Except where it comes to the Freedom of Speech and the Freedom of the Press. There is nothing to debate about those, they are absolute.

So then this bunch of hackers come along. Geeks who know what they're doing and when to do it. They call themselves "Anonymous", from back in the day when we all posted without user names. They have continued in the very best of all government traditions, the prank. "Chaotic Good" they call it. They've successfully given a hard way to go to justthe kind that should be given a hard way, in my opinion. They shut down PayPal and Mastercard for denying service to Wikileaks. Haha! I say. Good for them. I hope they live long and prosper.

And in other news, we all should be doing more of this:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How to Get Back at the Bastids, Do Good and Have More Fun All At Once

Last week in the middle of the night I woke up & couldn't get back to sleep. So I put the TV on and on Comedy was a guy talking about how we can overcome the current shitty life in the US via something we're already good at: Doing Good Things.

The rationale goess like this; we've been watching these hateful mucus plugs who are running things define us. To the new Right Reich, we are Satanic Socialist Fatherfuckers. They've taken all the money, our rights, Christianity, God, kindness, patriotism and freedom, corrupted every one of them, and told us we're not getting any of those things. But the thing is, that's a lie. They can take the money, our rights and freedom, but not for long. Our patriotism is from a good place, not from greed.

But they can't have Christianity or God. They don't get to take my, or anyone else's, religion away and say we don't get it. What JC said is just as pure as what Buddha or any perception of the Big Good said. And the JC I know says "Love your brother" and "What you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me." He was also a radical and would be on the Pinko List these days. I like his style. So they don't get JC.

They can't have patriotism either. The whole reason any Lefty is involved at all is because they're so deeply patriotic. They aren't throwing money and getting favors. They're doing what they do because they care about what's for the good of the country (not the fuckin Homeland you Nazi bastids) and our people in general. So they don't get patriotism, either.

It almost goes without saying that they don't get kindness. In any sense. But we do. And it's our best weapon. We're really good at it. There is nothing else in life that delivers joy like being really really kind. So look for ways to be kind. Do something that takes the extra second- help the struggler, hold the door, offer a steady hand over the snow. You'll be amazed at the response. Give up a little bit for the Goodness of All. If you've got the extra few bucks, pay for the car behind you's toll, the person behind you's coffee. It feels good to do good. We can do this. Stage a Free Hugs day. Volunteer somewhere. Do the little things, the mitzvahs, that make life fun again. This is how we get Our country back. Be the People We Are.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Year-end Stockpot of My Life

Around this time every year I tend to take a look behind, not just at the year past, but at things thru the perspective I've gained over the last few decades. Each year that perspective deepens. This year I gained some needed appreciation for so many things that I took in stride at the time. Taking strides, itself, even. Whoever thought I'd be fondly remembering walking? Not I.

And it's not that I've had the life of Brian Blessed, but I've had some moments.

This is also on my mind because an author (who found me thru this blog, AAMOF) is writing a book that involves people I knew, and I've been trying to help him out. While scanning the memory banks I realized that I walked thru so much, much like Forrest Gump. I was there, saw and participated, but it was there in front of me and I just had my part. Never looked at all these things for the amazing experiences they were. I knew incredible people. I've met an assortment of people and things that not everyone else gets. Even with all the crap that's gone on in the last years, there have been magnificent moments and wonderous stories from them. In the new year, I think I'll start a series of "My Brush With Greatness" blogs. Some of them are really funny. Pete Townsend, George Peppard, Linda Blair...

Life is like a stockpot, you never know what's been put in it until it bubbles to the surface. :)

As for the rest, I bow to Chrissie Hynde:
"Now, clocking in at 55, I have to smile when I see the "inevitables" coming to pass: the white streak interfering with the Jeff Beck fringe; the dodgem-car knees like bags of walnuts; the teeth, still intact but the colour of a tea bag; the hands, a shame, blue veins popping up through variegated patches as if trying to escape; the face, of course, doesn't count before being drawn on properly. I'm surprised, tomboy that I've always been, not to discover a moustache preparing itself."

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Bungee Christmas Season

After getting over myself and everyone, I got rare and wonderful good news today and the Jingle Bells came back. It seems to me that everyone's falling a bit into the old Christmas feeling, smiling a bit more, etc. A lot of Dickensian comraderie has reached us this season. So I cleaned, moved things around and even decorated today. I really pushed it & I'll pay for it tomorrow, but while I felt it, I went with it. Put the holiday music channel on, hauled out the holly, hung the beaten up old paper decorations and hung everyone's stockings. The tree will take a few days, so it waits. But I'm well onthe way. This year, I think, I'm going all out. I think I just friggin need to have an overdone, "every string of garland hanging" kind of Christmas, ya know? I'm talking around the walls of the living room, over pictures and clocks- every bit of available space yells Hello!!! Christmas!!! Colors and light everywhere! So that when you take it down, the house looks Scandinavian sparse (I can live sparsely- Scottish and Swedish blood doesn't lend itself to Rococo boudoirs anyway).

But that sparcity is a beauty to me, too, in the New Year. When you have the bleak harsh light of January pour in on that freshly stripped room, it feels like a new year.

Anyway, as my SIL Mac says, "But I diverse."

Tonight my BFF (haha- that term) calls from where she's spending the holidays and is living thru an Oedipal Saw movie with her son. Down, down, went the spirits as I sympathized by recalling scream-inducing holidays with my family, most them dead now. And the only time I see my brothers is at funerals anymore, and they sometimes don't even do those. The last time I saw a nephew was also the first time I met him in his 22 years, and that was at his father's funeral; my oldest brother. So yeah, family kicks your ass like nothing else in life. Jobs come and go, friends and lovers too, but family is there til you're all dead. No matter how close or far you are, no matter how long you go without seeing them, they're family. And they know all your buttons. They can gut you like a mackeral. It's gotta be worse when it's your own kids who are torturing you on purpose. I mean, you gave them life, and they hate you so much as to say these things?

So yeah, it's been a bungie kinda deal. This may be a bungee Christmas season. I've seen them before.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Makes the Holiday Spirit Hard to Hold

Last night I listed a bunch of things to do to get going on my Xmas. There are projects that have turned difficult, clutter I need to clear...the usual. But I went to sleep fairly cheerfully looking forward to this morning and getting things done. It was a different story by 11 a.m. today, and got progressively worse all day. Now I don't care if Christmas comes or I do anything, and really, fuck it all. Wouldn't be the first Christmas I sat alone staring at the TV.

This comes after a daylong string of very bad news, poisonous people, whinging from people whom I don't see as having a right to whine (if you have all the necessities and much more than you need, healthy family and good health yourself... shut the fuck up), unbelieveable crap from the ripoff artists at Comcast and general disregard from others. Under the pressure of truly terrible things happening in my family, I don't give a flying fuck about minor BS. I want to beat the shit outta someone. It's been a long time since I threw a punch, but damned if I wouldn't kill myself beating the holy hell outta someone-anyone- right now.

Hopefully I'll get some sleep tonight and feel better about it all tomorrow, but right now I feel used and abused and bankrupt in every way. Makes it tough to be merry. Maybe I just won't talk to anyone tomorrow, and try to get my Jingle Bells back...