Being Cranky

Question from the comments: “Going on a fortnight now. How many assburns did you take?”

Answer: “Not nearly enough!”


From Our Department of Too Much Free Time: Please know that I have no bleeding or clotting issues. It’s just something that I think about a lot. I used to stop at least once a day to listen to my own heartbeat so I could tell if I was going to have a heart attack or not. So far so good. Recently, I’ve transferred that health focus to my blood vessels and now I stop to  evaluate if they are about to burst or clog up.

Other than that, I have been very busy being cranky. I spent a year in Denver last week where it was high 90s every day, interrupted by spectacular lightning displays and serious but brief downpours. I do not care to relive that week here – and believe me, you don’t want me to. Many hours were spent debating if the final word selection should be “experince”  or “expertise” –  but I will tell you about the plane trip back to NJ:

#1. My flight was one of those where they use some seats for crew going to their next departure or connecting location. There were at least a dozen United people on this flight. I know how many there were because when I got to the gate, they were all sitting in the handicapped seats near the jetway door. And they did not move when they saw me and subsequently 3 other gimps headed towards them. And they all had feedbags from various airport food places and they stared at all passersby and gimps who were looking for a seat while they chewed their cuds.

#2. I had a good aisle seat and the seat next to me was occupied by a <20 y/o guy who carted on multiple back packs, game systems, food and beverage items and placed them on the floor between his feet. Then he promptly fell asleep and stayed asleep for the whole flight. Somewhere along the line, he slumped against me. I didn’t mind that so much but every now and then he would start twitching  – more like seizing – and then wildly scratch his scalp before going inert again. I was worried that head lice were going to jump onto my brand new Land’s End Supima Cardigan. Or I would have been worried if I didn’t have $17.98 worth of gin in front of me. Fun Fact:  $17.98 worth of gin = (2) 2 oz. bottles on an airplane.

#3. The stew from First Class made regular trips back into the steerage cabin to give things like full unopened bottles of water and warm cookies to her pals among  the crew members seated there. The crew was  scattered all though the plane so it was obvious to all paying fliers what was going on. No pretense was made nor effort to be circumspect about it. Just brazen insider advantage. Check your privilege, United crew with connections to the good stuff! Or at least make some small effort to hide it.

I have other complaints hardly worth mentioning okay I will mention them the TV controller in my seat was broken and I was in the mood to watch trash tv while sipping on $17.98 worth of gin and also there was an entire troop or whatever you call it of Eagle Scouts on the plane who were the very opposite of helpful to mature business women with bad knees.

The end of the evening was remarkable in that I am still alive. My cab driver was a young guy who was in a rush to meet his friend “before the store closed” so the trip down the parkway was done at 85 mph for the most part with bursts up to 95. One minute I was standing at the baggage carousel in Terminal C and 20 minutes later, I was at my own front door. The trip usually takes 35-40 minutes. I had to ask him to slow down, which he kindly did – to about 78. The most exciting part was when he scared himself as we flew over bumpy pavement patches and he confided in me that he thought the tires were going to blow and that’s why he switched lanes back there and if they did blow it wouldn’t have been his fault it would have been the fault of the cab company who gave him a van with tires that could blow.

Anyway, I’m back home working like a dog on a soft chair in an air conditioned room. I also went to a dinner dance on Saturday night where I limped across the dance floor once or twice, made my husband leave early against his will and then grabbed an extra  party favor on my way out the door.


I Guess

Sami’s been in California since June 26th. He’s flying home on a red eye that lands at 5:30 am. I guess I must miss him because I was showered and dressed and prepared with a go cup of hot coffee when I got to the airport at 5:15am today. Except he’s coming home tomorrow. I guess I miss him.

Stedman found a baby rat to toy with. I keep telling myself that it might have been a mouse, which seems more acceptable to me, but in fact it was probably an adolescent rat if size is the indicator. An old adolescent.

Anyway, I was out on the deck for the customary morning inspection and he was doing his usual rolling in the grass and barking at the dog walkin’ lookyloos on the next street. When I called him to come in the house with me, for dog food nonetheless, he did not immediately appear as is his usual practice. He finally did show up and it was backing out of some bushes. When he turned himself around, he has this lovely rodent dangling limp in his mouth. I say lovely because the contrast between the medium gray fur and the pink ears, hands and tail was really quite lovely.

He flipped the rat up into the air a few times then let it thunk down onto the grass. The thing was like a reverse cat toy. When he had the rodent in his mouth, he wasn’t exactly biting it as much as squeezing it between his teeth. When he let it fall, the thing would inhale with a loud EEEEEEE and the go silent again as it was picked up again to be squeezed.

I called the dog very sternly to come into the house and strongly emphasized the words “treat”, “Scooby Snack” and “dog food” but it had no effect. He stood there 20 feet away from me with an adolescent rodent clamped between his jaws and stared straight at me as if to say ” Woman, why would you call me NOW? Do you NOT SEE what I’m doing here?”

I left him and went inside alone because I did not want to see what happened next. Alls I know is that those chops he was licking when he finally did come in are the same ones he uses to lick my exposed arm while I sleep.

So I guess after all his years of gooniness and acting stupid, he’s a real dog after all.

In other news, my daughter is moving from her commune-like group house in Clark Park to her own solo apartment in a private house in Cedar Park. (This is Philadelphia Speak.) The building is an O Henry era single family residence that has been chopped into West Philly hipster apartments. It is friendly to all God’s creatures including feral cats, things that crawl and things that fly. It has enormously tall ceilings, woodwork to die for and more cracks than a whorehouse. Shelves it and even a worried mother can appreciate its charms. I guess it’s going to be okay.

(Isn’t it?)

So ive been gathering cleaning supplies, hand-sewing cafe curtains and sitting on top of Craigslist. Craigslist is my new hobby. Not to replace e Bay in my heart but certainly to give it a run for the money.

For my money. Har!

Anyway, you all know about the Made In Romania compact folding table and chairs saga … But did I mention the butcher block top kitchen cart with drop leaf that I got for nothing more than $35 and a half rank of gas?

Or the unbelievably perfect Stanley rolling bar cart with expandable waterproof surface that I snagged for $40? I didn’t, I know. The butcher block top cart is common and beat up and exactly right for turning an O Henry era closet space into a contemporary hipster kitchen item, but the Stanley thing is beauty and quality and classic.


rolling bar cart

She wants me to paint it orange but I cannot. I might paint it muted silver but I guess time will tell.

So I guess I’ve been managing to keep busy while counting down the empty hours.

Once Twice Two Times A Lady

1. When I had my crappy dinner in the outer reaches of Baltimore this week, the waitress referred to me as “My Lady” every time she came near me. It was a slightly shabby, not-fancy-in-the-first-place restaurant, not King Arthur’s court. But she was consistent about this formal term of address and by the time I finished my crappy dinner, being referred to as My Lady didn’t sound odd at all.

2. I was in a central NJ Walmart before 8am today buying a bathmat. When I was almost at the checkout counter, a much older man with an enormous hearing aid RAN in front of me to check out his single onion and a box of some kind of processed food. I am starting to really resent people with good knees. Anyway when it was finally my turn, the woman behind the register said to me “hello lady” in a very flat tone. At the end of the transaction, I said thank you and she said “thank you lady” in the same flat tone.

Both of these women had Russian accents.

What is going on?


Maybe it’s because I’m exhausted from my 24 hr round trip to Baltimore. Maybe it’s because I stayed in a very questionable flea bag and ate crappy food for dinner. Maybe it’s because I’m staggering under the accumulated emails and other work piles ups that’s the price you pay if you go out of office for even a day.

Not sure what the reason is but today I am feeling nostalgic for Madonna’s 2012 Super Bowl performance. Also did you know that if you do a YouTube search for “Mexican Hip Ho” that Joan Baez comes up as one of the top results?