Monday, August 30, 2010

Wall of Shame

Mary Bale, a British woman, caught on video putting a cat in a trash can, who could not believe she received death threats: "It's just a cat at the end of the day."

I'd like to put her in a trash can. Stupid cow.

a blip in the screen...

Excy started to go downhill on Tuesday and we ended up in the ER and the hospital over the weekend. He had another procedure to get his heart regulated this morning and finally we are back at home. He has more dr and tests to look forward to tomorrow, so although I have a post prepared, I am too busy, wired, and tired to finish it just now. I will get back on-track later this week...thanks to all for your kind thoughts.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

No Place like Home

We got home Saturday night. The hospital was a wild ride. Too much to go into, except to highlight. Excy's surgery was about five hours, and they let me see him for only 10 min. that first night. He was 10 lbs puffed up from meds, and riddled with tubes, wires, breathing tubes, tied down to keep from ripping out the tubes, and looked so bad when I saw him, the next day I marveled at how much one could change just overnight. Thankfully, he looked like himself again. I haven't had as dramatic a change with my brain and other surgeries...when they stop your heart for an hour it makes a drastic difference.

He had a minor set-back days later, so we had to spend more time there than we anticipated, but overall it went well, and the Cleveland Clinic is a stellar hospital. The hotel attached to it, on the other hand, was not -- charging what they do, we were surprised. The first night we had to change rooms the next day, and they tried to double-bill us at the end and it took until today to get it straight, but thankfully our bank didn't make us pay the overdraft charges that resulted. Excy almost didn't make it through the commute home, nearly fainting by the time we reached Chicago for our second flight, and he has run a low grade fever since, but I think he's on the mend now. I got pulled over driving us from the airport, but the cop didn't give me a ticket -- not even a warning ticket -- I think he could tell I was on the brink of a genuine breakdown by then...

Thanks for all the thoughts. I will write something later this week.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Musings on Age

SS, aka, Dame Nuisance, is one of the few bloggie friends I actually know IRL. She and I have grown closer over the past year and I am honored to call her a close friend. She is a fiery redhead who is not afraid to speak out and one of the funniest women I know...if you haven't checked out her blog, Black Holes and Macrame, here's your opportunity to do so. She never disappoints, whether expounding on a 'Dilbert' like day at the office, recalling conversations with her precocious daughter, or calling out idiots...enjoy what I imagine is a typical dinner conversation at the S house...

Not too long ago at dinner, Darling Daughter suddenly declared that she was already seven (even though she won't be seven until the end of this month). Exercising a woman's prerogative to change her mind, she then declared she was actually eight years old. Darling Husband foolishly decided to disagree with DD and told her she was six going on seven and not eight. DD disputed this and the argument was on. Finally, after many rounds of 'no-you're-not-yes-I-am, nuh-uh-uh-huhs,' DH said in exasperation: "You can't just make your age up!"

I had stayed out of their argument up to that point, but it occurred to me that, yes, we
and we
make our ages up, so I nodded my head along with DD and said "Yeah we can." DH blinked and then acceded defeat with grace and humor, and DD spent the rest of the evening as an eight-year-old by choice (if not chronology).

The days of being seven
and a half
or eleven
and three quarters
are long gone for me. As is the anticipation of turning sixteen, eighteen or twenty-one. Somewhere along the way, somewhere between twenty-one and thirty, things change for us. There are no more ages to happily anticipate because of the onset of new privileges. There is no longer any good reason to admit your age (if you are inclined to admit it at all). You certainly don't round your age up or keep an exact count and say that you are twenty-nine and a half. You are twenty-nine until the last microsecond before midnight on the day of your birth, even if you were actually born at six a.m. You may even start referring to your age in a general sense: 'I'm in my thirties'. Then forty looms large and suddenly, with a loud screech, you slam the brakes on and decide that holding steady at thirty-nine sounds pretty darn good. I, for one, will be celebrating my fourth annual 39th birthday this year. For the mathematically impaired that means I'm going to be ... thirty-nine (ha! Did you really think I was going to say anything else? A lady never tells ... and neither do I).

But I warn you: If you tell someone that you're thirty-nine in front of a six-almost-seven-year-old, prepare to be outed. Because to the mind of a six-almost-seven-year-old, it is always good to be older, and there your chronological age will be, blinking in the sunlight, as pink and goose-pimply as a newly sheared lamb, while you stand there wishing your offspring had just uttered an untimely expletive instead. You know the one, it's the expletive now pinging around inside your head, the expletive you are desperately trying not to bellow at the top of your lungs in a sudden onset of Tourette's. Sometimes I think I'm being silly. But Nonetheless, until I'm a cigar-smoking, whiskey-swilling centenarian like George Burns, I'm sticking to thirty-nine ... just like Jack Benny (damn ... I just aged myself, didn't I?).

Well, then, here's to being old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway ... or something like that. They say the memory is the first to go ...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chris's Guest Post

I don't know who this paragon of excellence is, exactly, but I am gratified to know Chris considers me a true friend --because he is one to me. He is my best male friend, in fact -- my 'go-to' guy when I need to vent and understand things from a man's perspective...Since we are at the Cleveland Clinic for Excy's heart surgery (scheduled tomorrow morning) Chris is filling in for me here...he is one of the better writers in the bloggie world, and I suggest you go check out his fantastic blog -- you'll want to be a follower..Letter from Joshua.

I offered to write a post or two for Amy while she is focused on more important things, and she foolishly accepted. I can only assume that it's to make her writing look even better by comparison. Which is totally going to work.

I've known Amy since high school. We've lived at least 400 miles apart since our early twenties, and we were out of touch for most of the decade that coincided with my first marriage. Luckily, it was the eighties, so nobody really missed anything. We speak only occasionally, and I'm lucky if I see her and Excy every other year. In spite of all that, I count her among my very closest and most valued friends.

You see, I really don't have any choice. Amy makes me a better person just by knowing her. If you are one of her regular readers, then you know about her struggles with her health. And her passion for animals. You have probably picked up on her strength, and intelligence, and grace.* What may not come through as much in her writing is her humor, and her absolute joy of living.** I have never known anyone else whose every action reminds me that we should be enjoying ourselves. She laughs freely, and will make time for her friends, whether she has it or not.

She also has this mildly annoying habit of knowing the right thing to do, even if her friend has a perfectly good and respectable reason for doing something else. However, she totally lacks the tendency to tell said friend that she told him so, after things blow up in my his face. I really don't understand that.

None of us know where life will take us, or how long we have here. But if we're lucky, we meet a few people who encourage the better demons of our nature, without even really trying. If you ever find yourself with such a friend, try not to let them get away.

* We're totally not talking physical grace, though. If there is something for the girl to trip on, or bump into, or knock over, it's going to happen.

** Yes, I know there is a popular French phrase that means "joy of living."  Snooty much?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me

I think we should make up a FB page and solicit donations for Tony Hayward, the former CEO of BP (now known as Biggest Polluter). This poor guy not only couldn't 'get his life back' after that damn inconvenient oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 idiots who couldn't get out of the way fast enough to avert disaster, but the public turned on him and accused him of 'whining' after he held a belated press conference, where he was accused of indifference and non-action. He became the convenient scapegoat for the whole disaster.*

To add insult to injury they fired the guy, leaving him with NO golden parachute other than a measly $18 million in benefits and a potential job in Russia with a joint operation. Is it in Siberia? For his part, Hayward kept up his brave front and stiff upper lip and confessed during a press conference that "Life isn't fair."

No, Tony, it sure as hell isn't.

*Sorry, BP, you'll have to do better than this. The worst oil spill in US history will need more than kicking poor Tony to the curb and hiring a former 'good ole boy' from LA...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Privacy, Please?

Are there things you draw the line at sharing on your blog or in comments on others' blogs or on Facebook? Is anything too intimate for public consumption or too delicate for discussion? Do you find yourself cringing at TMI?

In this day and age, when anybody with a computer can openly express their opinion or delve into the life of a celebrity, should we draw the line? Where? I know some of the things I have revealed would never have been shared by my parents. Is this a generational thing, or a mid-western line of thought (as Don Draper on Mad Men, said, when he fielded a question about 'who' he was in an interview: I'm from the mid-west, where we don't consider it polite to talk about ourselves.)?

An article I read several months ago in a news magazine made the case for 'over-sharing,' stating it could be a civic good in a way, by offering advice for 'intimate strangers' who may be struggling through the same issues you've dealt or are dealing with...and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicts that each year Facebook users will share twice as much information as the year before, and that our children will reveal things that would shock and astonish their parents.

I don't know about Facebook, not exploring it much or on it enough to really delve into it, but I've found this blogging community to be highly interesting and entertaining. I probably will never meet any of you face-to-face, but in some ways I have grown to learn things about you some of your closest friends probably don't know. And visa-versa. I've learned worthwhile things in reading the blogs of others, and have found a support group of friends in the process.

I'm pretty sure some of my posts, particularly about my bouts of surgery and cancer, have turned off some readers and left others scratching their heads as to why I'd even put it out there. But it's been important to me to share information in the hopes of educating others -- maybe someone will learn a symptom and pursue it with their doctor. Maybe my comments have offered support or advice that someone has needed to read.

There are some things I doubt I'll ever post about, and if I come across something that I'd rather not think or read about, I'll get out of the site. I wouldn't betray a confidence or write anything embarrassing about another intimate. But all in all, I think being electronically connected to a vast network of strangers has been a worthwhile experience.