Days of my Life #34

My dogs are tired. Canine dogs. At least two of three of them are, tired. One of them, my cuddly Chocolate Lab Mocha, is at least 10 years old, has got nasty back, hips and probably ankles or knees and she’s got other problems too like several lipomas and a recurring ear infection which is treated daily after having spent beaucoups bucks on nada relief at the vets. Thank goddess she is not blind, but I’m sure that’s coming in due order. She follows me everywhere unless she’s sleeping too soundly in which case I tiptoe about to give her a few extra winks, only waking her when food is ready. She rarely hears the other pups which is pretty amazing. I should’ve called her Freeway since she was getting on the Freeway when I found her. It’s been a mutual love fest since.

Then there’s Porter, a black lab mixed with some other good ole dawg. He’s getting on in years too, probably twelve of the Barkiest years I’d say. As I said he’s getting older and isn’t the spry pup he was when I visited daughter in Austin back in 2009 and he jumped in my lap, shivering, for the duration of July 4th fireworks outside. This dog still barks, loudly and incessantly at passers by on bikes, skateboards, foot, stroller, scooter and definitely at the mailman, varied delivery driver plus stranger and friend alike. He’s also not a particularly discriminating barker. He’s sweet, relatively tolerant of our newest addition, Zappa, as in my ole buddy Frank, (another story) a now ten week old puppy, except when the pipsqueak wants to nibble at his ears.

Zappa, aka Chewy, when he’s gnawing on anything his little sharp as tacks teeth can get ahold of, including grandson’s ear (ouch), cords, remotes, you name it and yes we have loads of trip worthy toys for the jaws of destruction. His other nom de P.U. is Pisher or Shithead or anything that comes to mind when we are not wanting him to pee or poop on the floor just after he has been outside for a damn hour rolling in the grass! Zap does not mind thunder or lightning and is only tired after a long walk which has entailed darting in between the two other dogs and humans, testing our attempts to make him repeatedly heel, driving the older dogs to both distraction and ultimately exhaustion, played fetch with all of us, destroyed numerous potted plants and had a snack. Phew!

I suppose my other dogs are tired as well. My feet that is. We walked not particularly far today but it was the stopping and going and picking up poop and pulling the rotten sweet potato out of porter’s mouth, Yuck, avoiding the dead toads on the road, tripping over Zappa who was either chewing on a stick or chasing balls of fallen Spanish moss and being yanked away from them, me landing ankle-twistingly off a curb (thankfully only temporarily injured – I think), and almost needing to carry sixty pound Mocha three blocks. Uurgh!

I’ve now got my feet up as I write. Daughter is resting elsewhere and all three dogs are peacefully snoozing, the littlest next to me in the chair. I think I’ll join them all. Have a wonderful whatever. Zzzz

Tune in.

Days of my Life #21

Howdy. It’s a beautiful day here in Austin, Texas. I can hear the birds singing praises of the delightful weather, outside, all around me. What could possibly disturb this idyllic setting? Could it be the incessant drone of our brand new, high efficiency hvac system that has gone bonkers? Yep.

I noticed late this morning that it was more than chilly in my part of the house, so I did what any hvac savvy woman would do, I immediately went to the control panel to adjust the temp. What’s that? Yes, I did find there was a warp in the air conditioning matrix. The panel kept resetting itself from 73 degrees to 64, but the thermostat kept showing the room felt like 43!

“Yowsers! That’s just a teensy bit warmer than the fridge!” thought I, as I went back to bed, added a blanket and took a nap, but that didn’t last. Still chilly I considered that the cold could be good for resetting my metabolism, then thought better of it.

Did I mention I’d now put on a sweater and was no longer curious as to why I was still shivering? No? Well I didn’t, but now I have. I thought, “screw this, I’m calling the experts!” Thus began my descent into the underworld of Warranty Madness. If I knew enough about the technical aspects of inserting a little horror effects recording here I would. I’ll just do my best to describe my experience.

My initial call for help. Picture me with teeth chattering, waiting until the answering service for Stan’s transferred me to a human, a woman whose name my frozen brain forgot immediately after she had announced who she was. I described the problem. Again. Then again. Then again. Until I was warming up but only to being Aggravated and Angry.

“Okay, I think I’ve got that right. You’ve set your temp to 64 but it says 73.” She said, which I corrected her, then she repeated what I had said only again transposed the temperatures and I needed to correct her again, now fuming, as I moved outside so my teeth would stop chattering. “Okay, I’ll have someone call you.”were her last words.

And someone did call me, an hour, and a half and two sweaters later.

It is now several hours since the repair person’s initial call. I expect him any moment…And by the way, in case you’re wondering where I am right now? It’s just after 3pm. I’m outside in the pleasant 78 degree shade, the sweaters are in a heap by the door. I’m briefly going inside to get an iced tea.

Ah, that’s better. Isn’t it funny how a bit of refreshment can slightly alter one’s attitude? I’m going to do my utmost to remain calm in the face of frozen adversity. I am also reminding myself, over and over, that I am acting like an entitled dweeb, complaining about my being cold because my ass is temporarily frozen (without the benefit of reduced dress size).

Actually it is extremely pleasant outside where I am currently writing and there are a ton of wonderful people risking their lives to help others during this global health crisis.

I’m going to just shut the fuck up, grin and bear it, until the repair guy who is coming to sort things out arrives. If all else fails I can sleep outside tonight where it will be slightly warmer than 46 degrees. Okay I’m done.

I’m going to hug a puppy.

Days of my Life #16

Breakfast was filling if nothing else; shredded wheat and oat milk with a touch of dark brown sugar and some “why bother” decaf. I have already begun my day by perusing the news and email. Yuck!

Even the travel ads are having the “How can I get excited by armchair excursions?”challenge. Just the other day I received a tantalizing invite to travel to Spain and Portugal with a group of cutting-edge science/history/comparative religion nerds (that may not seem sexy to you- but those peeps and their suggestive haunts really turn me on), only to be cock-blocked by the first page on their website reminding everyone about possibilities of date change/cancellation due to covid. Cold shower time.

Even though I’m guarding myself for another disappointment, I’ve been preparing to rev up for the election with new insoles for my block-canvassing sneakers, extra sunscreen, all-natural insect repellent, “go-blue” hat and my selection of socially responsible tee shirts. I suppose I’ll have to wear something like pants or shorts, that is if we’re not still in lockdown or the slug who would be king declares martial law and usurps our elections. If need be, I can always do bottomless virtual block walking, but that’s TMI!

It’s time like these I wish I’d paid more attention to the crystal ball gazing class I took back in the eighties. Of course if I could’ve foretold the future then I probably would’ve divorced husband #1 sooner, definitely wouldn’t have married husband #2, would’ve moved to the south of France or Barcelona or at the very least, Portland and might’ve taken controlling interest in Amazon to make it a socially responsible company. Oh well, hindsight, but then it is really 2020.

I, like so many others, am finding so much time to reflect, to imagine and then locate the remote or iPad charger. I’ve made a bunch of masks, calls to friends & politicians, signed online petitions and donated to food banks, yet I’m still wondering with all this time on my hands I might do something more worthwhile, like create a “why didn’t someone think of this yet?” cure for cancer or world hunger or homelessness or war or joblessness or global climate change!

I am reminded of the adage “every cloud has a silver lining”. While we don’t have cures for the above specific woes, we have the possibility/opportunity to look at them with new eyes. Years ago, my dear friend and teacher, Aristhaia Cash, goddess rest her soul, said, “Most homes have a front door and a back door and usually a few windows -yet most of us mainly use one door to enter and exit and a favorite window by which to regard our outside world. But what about the other door/s and windows? What view/s are we missing? Do we need a skylight? How is the foundation?” Her wise words have served as a reminder that I’ve gotta look everywhere for answers because the predictable views don’t always have the total picture. Its not even the point of fake news as it is limited news, just who’s paying for it and what is their agenda?

To be a critical thinker one must exercise their skills of investigative discernment. A sort of treasure hunt for real, unabridged truth, which these days is a full time job, given the internet and people who only read headlines then spout off with their minimal information and apparent lack of deep thought.

Am I being hypercritical or just unrealistic in thinking we’ve gotta be better than this? Perhaps, then again I’m reminded at just who is running our state/country/world into the polluted ground.

Oh dear! Now I wanna escape to the land of oohs and aahs where I can be spoon fed deep dark chocolate lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream after having a long and oh so sensuous massage by a geeky, creative, straight hunk who whispers sweet everythings into my ear.

Alas, these sorts of brief fantasies are short lived in these times of virus. I’ve finished the cup of decaf and I’d better go take the dog for a walk.

Tune in.

Days of my Life #13

Mocha is currently tap dancing in her sleep on the cushion next to the bed. Her soft shoe/paw is tapping at the cabinet abutting the cushion. This is why I am awake at 3am. I suppose I could’ve just gone back to sleep but then I got up for a glass of water, a visit to the bathroom and thought “might as well stay up and write.” So, here I am. Excuse my mini-yawn.

Daughter and grandson baked a delicious “it’s not my birthday“ strawberry/lemon cake yesterday. We ate it twelve hours ago. I could eat more now but then I’d have to start my intermittent fasting program tomorrow and I’m on a roll with changing old habits, consuming delectable treats being one of them.

Yes, I like many, have expanded my waistline during this time of pandemic uncertainty which I also call my “so what if I have another piece of something to placate my feelings of insecurity” time. Though the ig (immediate gratification) – of shoving snacks stuff into my mouth is momentarily satisfying, it has the unfortunate result of making my clothes tighter, hence I am putting the kibosh on the ig. Plus I am in no mood to shop, which is probably not good for the economy but then spending money on fashion is not good for my wallet, especially now.

I must say (since apparently I have to) that the uncertainty I am sensing is one shared by millions of Americans who are sitting on the ends of their chairs/beds/sofas/etc., some with baited breath others with a hand in their bag of chips, wondering, just when this virus of unspeakable proportions will disappear and we can all go outside and play in the sunshine (those who are independently wealthy) or go back to work, many at two or three jobs due to lack of a living wage and ridiculous rent.

Being a person with too much imagination, and a sense of “por quoi pas?” I am picturing at least two scenarios on the day we exit our abodes:

1. People are singing aloud “free at last” in a sort of high school musical rendition of Porgy and Bess (without the sadness, death, violence, slavery). The children wave as they head off to their schools momentarily forgetting bullies, drills for shootings and fire. Beauty spas, open their doors to people with clogged pores from eating too much sugar, expanded waistlines from same and kinks in their necks from watching Netflix in bed.

2. People stay indoors, depressed, watching others go off to work, gazing back at the pink slips, along with stacks of unpaid bills, on the table which have been gathering dust for the past weeks…and wondering if there will be an election or if Trump is now a fulltim3 golfing dictator.

Excuse me, I must escape for a moment, because I see myself spiraling into a dark hole of pessimism and that will totally screw up any possibility of my going back to sleep without nightmarish dreams. I’m going to walk it off.

Okay, that did absolutely nada, except make me realize I’m actually tired, so I’ll continue this when I wake up again. Wish me luck. Zzzzzzzz

I’m back. Have you had one of those days, in let’s say the past month, where you just wanted to yell FUCK! Repeatedly? Today, even after getting at least 38 1/2 extra winks, is one for me. But, rather than have the entire virtual page filled with that ever so satisfying word, I’ll just get out the thoughts which have been bubbling up inside of me. Read at your own risk.

Besides the fact we are all sincerely worried about our fellow family/community members being carried out in body bags and not being able to attend in person funerals/wakes/memorials where we can cry in each others arms to further spread those nasty germs of wretched plague, it is also time to worry about our basic civil rights, to say nothing of our votes, being conveniently frittered away.

Now hold on a pretty second..I am not one of them gun-toting-Trump-frenzied morons who are calling for civil war in front of the governor’s mansion in this here “keep it weird” Austin, Texas. No indeed. I am sitting here in the convenience and comfort of my home, having washed my hands at least fourteen times since I got up three hours ago – it is now high noon in the Wild West, contemplating where we go from here. A Facebook “friend” has spoken to me about how things don’t exactly add up, that we are all caught up in the fear frenzy which has been fed by news from near and far and thus we may be seeing the erosion of personal freedoms like never before. And to this, I agree in some part. I know we must tread carefully with our eyes open to what is happening around us. The unease I feel is that we cannot possibly know what is really happening and that is the truly scary shit in which we are wading, now knee deep. Who and what can you believe?

The dis-ease we are feeling/witnessing has caused most of us to be neurotic about things, (like the right to vote or being killed by dreaded virus)…we had barely even considered these before. It is said it takes approximately thirty days to change a habit. Besides the obvious issue of exercising constitutional rights, do those habits in peril also include no more kissing hello, smiling at strangers, dining with a group of friends, hanging out at a concert, shopping unmasked, working in an office, kids playing on a playground …etc.?

In case you haven’t already done so, I hope I’ve given you Something to think about. And now I’m going to stick my head outside to yell you know what.

Tune in.

Days of my Life #11

Good morning campers! It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining and I slept through the night like a normal (whatever that is) person! The dogs are still asleep as is, it appears, everyone else in my house. Birds chirp outside and I imagine a soprano singing falalala like a Disney movie. Today, ladies and gentlemen, anything is possible. Can you feel it?

Oh no. My alter egos are awake. It appears Pessimistic Polly is tapping me on my metaphorical shoulder, reminding me that though I indeed create my reality, other forces are afoot which can do that as well. Shit! That’s a big disappointment. Do I need to now read the news to see what’s going on outside the comfort of my home? What if I don’t want to? Polly’s sister, Responsibility Rita just whispered, “It’s only right. You must see what you can do to help others today.” Alas, I agree. I shall put on my Changemaker costume and contemplate what I will do to fight injustice here, or there.

Oh dear, the pants are kind of tight. Did they shrink in the wash? Nope. Must’ve been the vegan chocolate pudding I ate for last night’s dessert. Gotta watch the intake. “A superhero still must exercise.” Reminds Fit Frida.

Spoilsport! Alas they are correct, but before I do anything else, just let me stretch my tastefully styled tunic over the pants. Uurghhh. There. Now the boots and cape. Where’s my N95 mask? Okay, I’m ready for my zoom call with my fellow activists.

Yesterday I committed to making art, and so I gathered up the gazillion plastic bags which have been accumulating in our house like rabbits on steroids, plugged in the iron, andgrabbed my scissors to commence fusing the unwieldy stuff. It’s truly awful how much of the food we buy is packaged in plastic…and why not use glass or paper or compostable wrapping, I ask, fully understanding the impact of evil corporate oil lobbyists, senators and congresspeople (and the slimeballs for whom they work) and their intent to completely fill our world with the nasty stuff as they fill their pockets with cash. I ask you and anyone wishing to chime in, “where the FUCK are they planning on living?” It’s obvious, they don’t care so I’m not asking if they do.

Anyway, I took out my iron and fused the bags together, all the while grumbling and swearing at the futility of it all. “God dammed The Graduate and every other movie, commercial and ad touting the benefits of plastic in our world.” I yelled aloud, startling even my poor deaf lab, Mocha, though it was probably because she was underfoot and may have caught my clog as I was doing my pissy stomp around.

And now, with resulting Coronavirus- germaphobia which everyone has actually caught, it seems stores are all packing our curbside purchases in additional plastic. Which we must now wipe down as we place said objects in fridges and cupboards. Could we just fog it all? Hmmm. I wonder what is worse. The indiscriminate virus or indiscriminate use of plastic or Lysol infused wipes? Probably a yucky combination. Now don’t get me wrong. I have been washing my hands repeatedly, daily, often back to back, so much so that my skin is looking reptilian. And I am wearing a mask when I walk the dog or if by chance to venture elsewhere in public. I’ve been out a total of three times in four weeks for no more than thirty minutes. So I’m doing my part. Sheesh!

Sure, I am tired of being cooped up much like the rest of a good portion of our World, except maybe the Trump University grads who can neither read nor spell and whose wardrobes include MAGA hats. I know, I know I should be more gracious and accepting of those who drank the koolaid and have yet to succumb, but I’m far too challenged to do so as yet.

I woke up to bird song and am now wondering what the hell is going on in the world. Go figure.

I’ll let you know tomorrow. Tune in.

Days of my Life #10

4:20am. Ya know, I kinda like the uncertainty that is my current sleep cycle which coincides with my being compelled to write, what shall I call it? “Days of my Life” essays? Okay we’ll go with.that for now. Whatever the name, it sure beats the growing doldrums of staying home, being unable to drive about hither and yon to shop, dine, visit friends, attend live theatre, explore the outer world – all in person to possibly contract the dreaded novel virus and die a rotten and lonely death. Maybe its just me, but I’m okay with that, for now. It’s possible I will tire of the whole thing or be unable to find a suitable movie from the myriad of mind-number-tainment services to which I subscribe.

By the way, the lentil soup was delicious. The soup I made yesterday in the Instant Pot? That one. Anyway, my friend Lynn came over. We sat outside on the back patio, the two of us, the prescribed six feet apart at a table which normally affords six or eight if you wanna squish. We dined on soup and sourdough. She had a glass of boxed white wine, and I a glass of water. As I write this i am astounded at how prison-like it seems I just entertained my guest! It was as if a government drone were hovering above to make sure we were abiding the law of social distancing. And we were…like Pavlov’s pups. Maybe I’ve watched too much sci-fi or read too many articles on robotics lately but I’m also not surprised of late how the two coincide and how we are learning new behaviors, some of which are really fucked up.

Actually there were three of us, Lynn, me and the tiny robin’s egg which currently rests in a sock-nest in my cleavage.Yes, in the midst of the plague I am still incubating the egg. Personally I would’ve preferred a goose egg, since I adore them (and apparently it is reciprocal) but this particular egg is the one I mentioned in a previous bit – grandson has not happened upon another, though he looks daily on our walks. I’m actually glad he didn’t find a lizard or snake or more snails (gag) but then I wouldn’t have carried them around or eaten soup as they rested between my breasts. Shiver.

Anyway I showed the egg to Lynn as a sort of show and tell and please lets not spoil our meal by talking about politicians, the state of social security. healthcare, poverty, homelessness, pollution, etc., cause its too infuriating and we might get up to run screaming down the street and our soup will get cold. So I showed and we ate and we tried to talk about travel to Spain and Portugal, but the subject of travel led us back to lockdown plus the subjects we were trying to avoid and we gave into it all and spent a bit grousing and grumbling. I then made the wise choice of our having dessert and tea, which we ate, with mini-gusto, chatted some more, then she left before we could get depressed again. All in all it was a sort of success in that we were able to see each other face to face rather than on zoom. I’m waiting for the day we are once again able to dine out, that is if any restaurants or I for that matter, survive this.

Am I morbid? I don’t think so. Survival is on everyone’s (except those in denial) minds these days; Yeah, yeah, we are worried about infecting our infirm neighbors and grandparents, a little, but mostly I think we are afraid of getting the virus ourselves only to be buried in a mass grave on an island off Manhattan with nary a hanky carrying mourner in sight. Am I pessimistic? A little. 

Look. face it. We never, at least I never, thought we’d have a dick-wad like trump as President. that makes both Nixon and the two Bushes seem like thoughtful angels of diplomacy and peace. The idea of a pandemic getting ignored, used as a campaigning tool, with the white house (should we still call it “white” if it is soiled by the shit-head in chief?) hoarding medical equipment except to red states that kiss his fat ass, and touting medicine that doesn’t work boggles my mind and millions like me.

What am I going to do about it all? Well, I’m going to continue to have a crazy ass sleep pattern, waking in the night to spout off to only goddess knows who, about whatever my addled mind decides. That is what my current life dictates, so I’m going with it. 

Tune in.  

Days of my Life #9

Its the afternoon. What? You mean I didn’t get up in the middle of the night, at the very least 8am to write? No, that’s not what I said. Yes, I did wake several times in the night to pee and then went promptly back to sleep, after noting that the sounds outside were indeed a pack of coyotes howling. I briefly thought of writing then but apparently the thought was fleeting and who am I to force the issue? When I awoke this morning first at 6, only to doze off again and then again and 8, I chose to make coffee and feed the dogs first, but this turned into making breakfast and then grumble through washing a sink load of dirty dishes left by my housemates, aka daughter and grandson. Grrrr.

Prior to sitting down to write at this lazy afternoon hour, I walked Mocha around the block using pilates style methods {to strengthen my currently relaxed core muscles}, baked chocolate chip apple/banana bread (to counteract any possible benefits of the aforementioned exercise), threw the ingredients for lentil soup into the Instant Pot, did a load of laundry, did more dishes, ate leftover lasagna (to require additional cardio exercise after writing), drove to the local bakery to get sourdough starter, pretzels and bratwurst, and then invited two friends to dine outside this evening at a distance of 6 feet away. Good thing our hearing is not handicapped. What???? Just call me the Masked Procrastinator.

Nevertheless, I am here now. And what do I have to say? I feel a little like a reboot of Suzi Homemaker, the likes of which I can only imagine though have never felt before, even having been married 2.5 times (twice legally to people (at different times) -I probably shouldn’t have married either, (but that’s a subject of another day) and not married but should’ve to the third (hence the 1/2) who by the way was actually twice the man of the other two, but he died and that sucked, big time.

Alas here I am, woe is single me, living on the blue island of Austin, Texas surrounded by a sea of many ignorant, gun-toting, not all cowboy, red necks. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think all Texans are ignorant or carry guns, though many are/do, or else why would they have elected such a ginormous SOB as Greg Abbott for governor and Republican down ticket of this here state? Sheee-it! Oh sure some of them Texans are mighty friendly as long as you are white and Christian and agree with them; admittedly there are a few who are open-minded, open-hearted and progressive, which is wonderful, but we need a whole heck of a lot more of the latter and soon cause the shit is getting mighty deep and we are needing a bunch of shovels.

I know I’m going somewhere with this, just give me a moment to climb out of the hole I just dug. Oh yeh, Texas politics and politics in general are making me plumb loco. I simply can’t figure out why most Republicans are so dead set on winning everything at the expense of the health and safety of everything alive. You’d think this was the shootout at the OK Corral! Can you tell me?

I seriously believe that we don’t know what there is to know or who we should believe (certainly not the Trumpfucklicans) which is why me, the woman with a brain which is constantly working overtime, believes there is an evil force behind the puppet known as Donald Trump. Is it the devil himself who has walked into that blob of a fast food consuming body? Or could it actually be a common-sense-eating, vitriolic virus which has taken over the likes of him and all white, “christian”, many illiterate (or just greedy) Republican dweebs? Or is it a sinister plot of Vladimir Putin’s to completely destroy America? Or the Saudi’s? Or whichever Koch brother has not yet kicked the bucket of money he pisses in every day? Or off planet aliens who are watching “A the Stomach Turns/See the Earthlings Screw Kill a Planet? or, or, or??? The mind reels, at least mine does..

So what the heck can be done, other than wait to vote, by mail as absentees (and hope the votes count) and sit covered with homemade face masks, in our homes as the plague reaches out its unseen tentacles to strike on our loved ones, or us and while we are thusly occupied we order takeout? We can’t march if groups more that ten are forbidden or dangerous or both. So what then?

Aha. I have just figured out why I was doing everything but write today. My frustration has gotten the best of me. I think I’ll go now and take a nap, perchance to dream of a world that makes better sense than the one in which I currently reside.

Tune in.