Friday, May 13, 2022

Your Rant Is Due

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, stilton's luck, Kathy, mourning, grief, bitching, moaning, whiner

Happy Friday the 13th! I won't even try to pretend that today's post is about anything other than me whining, bitching, and moaning. For nearly the past half-century, Kathy was the one to listen to my woes and pat my hand, saying "there, there." Which weren't words of comfort so much as her indicating where her wine glass was, so I could fetch it for her (filled to the top) before I started kvetching.

But she's not here, so you've been drafted. I'll pause if you'd like to get a refreshing beverage first.
(taps foot, examines fingernails, hums "The Girl From Ipanema," wonders whatever happened to fidget-spinners...)
Okay, time's up! Here comes my litany of complaints...

• Today marks exactly two months since we lost Kathy. And it just sucks. The days aren't getting better, they just stack up on my shoulders getting incrementally heavier. I wish I could say that it was otherwise, but it ain't.

• Yesterday was also the anniversary of my mother's death. Which followed Mother's Day, which sucked around here. And both of which followed the Cinco de Mayo, which is the anniversary of my father's death. Yeesh.

• Some of you may have seen in the comments that last Saturday, I very briefly (20 minutes or less) lost sight in a portion of my right eye. Knowing this could be serious, I immediately went to Sam's Club to have their possibly-trained optometrist look in my eye with a surgical-grade flashlight. He said that things looked okay to him, but that I might have had an "ocular migraine" caused by restricted blood flow to the eyeball.

Since that time, I've had a CT scan which didn't show any bleeding, aneurysms, or hemorrhaging that would cause anything, but it did show that my brain has an embedded "arachnoid cyst" which my doctor said that I shouldn't worry about. Which would have been a good place to stop, but he couldn't resist adding "...for now." But seriously, it's probably not a problematic thing. Just a brain cyst that apparently looks like a frigging spider.

The doctor also had me go in for an ultrasound of the arteries in my neck (they're fine), and tomorrow I go in for an EKG. After which I'm having a monitor glued to my chest to record any mischief my heart gets up to for the next two weeks.

• For the reasons cited above, every day this week I've ended up going to the same medical facility that I took Kathy to for five years. As you can imagine, that's not an emotionally neutral thing for me to do.

• Meanwhile in the world of finance, I see that my retirement account has declined over $300k since the start of the year. Granted, I've recently had a very strong reminder that money isn't the most precious thing in our lives...but even so, a loss that big is still kind of a white-hot serrated rectum-reamer (as Milton Friedman used to say after a couple of stiff drinks). 

BUT WAIT, THERE'S GOOD NEWS TOO! (If I can think of any...)

• Kathy liked sweet potato vines in our backyard but I couldn't find any at the garden store so I've been trying to grow my own. And as of this week, we've finally got leaves! I laugh in the face of supply chain issues!

• Thanks to the new Omicron Subvariant BA.2.12.1, it's now official that the government has given up trying to find catchy names for each new iteration of Fauci's China Plague.

• And finally, experts (I use the term both loosely and ironically) are now telling us that smiling is racist. Which is good news because, for a while at least, I can pretty easily manage to keep my smiling under control.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Blank Check-In

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Kathy, checking in, Scotch

Another week has passed, so it seems like a good idea to poke my head up and give a small status report so you don't think I'm on a bender and living under a bridge somewhere. Mind you, I've got nothing against bridges, but I don't want to share my Nutty Buddy Bars (my drug of choice) with any other derelicts.

The cartoon above really sums things up pretty well, so let me throw some random thoughts down just to pad things out...

• I opened that 30-year-old Scotch and gave it a try. Truthfully, it's okay but didn't send waves of pleasure coursing through my body. It was smoother than Clan MacGregor or my current dreadful plastic jug of "Inver House," but not enough smoother to impress me much. I prefer my "good stuff for cheapskates" Scotch, which is a 12-year old Grangestone aged in a Sherry Cask and sells for about $30 a bottle. Now that stuff is tasty. 

• My decision to avoid the (ahem) "news" was reinforced today when I flipped on the radio on my way to a long-overdue dental appointment. Galloping inflation, stock market nosedive, Roe v. Wade hysteria, Putin threatening to deploy nukes and chemical weapons, mystery liver failures in young kids, and yet another comedian attacked onstage. Hey, world, thanks a lot for the big effort to cheer me up!

• I've finally started working on my taxes (after filing for an extension some weeks ago). So I'm only days away from finding out how much I'm going to have to pay for some liberal nimrod's neglected college loan and useless degree.

• Although I already mentioned it in the comments section, last Friday I was successfully able to give blood and it was the best I'd felt any anything in quite a while. I now have to wait another seven weeks until I can give again, but in the meanwhile, I can encourage others to donate blood. So please, do it! There were times when Kathy was told she could bleed out if she sneezed or clenched her butt. The only remedy was a bag of platelets. The problem was that sometimes there wasn't one available. Donating blood isn't just a good deed, it's a great deed and easy to do. 

• As always, thank you for the continuing support you share with Daughter J and me!

Monday, April 25, 2022

Spelunky Charms

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Kathy, grief, Scotch, Ukraine, Daughter J

Okay, I'm kidding about that particular book, but I'm still hiding out in a cave rather than interacting with the world yet. Not that it's all bad - Osama bin Laden left a lot of porn in here.

Days continue to pass and I'm hoping that the (too) slow process of healing is happening on some subliminal level even though it doesn't feel like it. And I really am building up a little library of books that purport to help with the process of reinventing your life now that everything, and I mean everything, has changed. Dammit.

One thing the books seem to agree on is that it's important to maintain some sort of contact with other humans. And look - YOU'RE a human and here we are together! It's Kismet! 

And now let me prove that there's nothing much exciting happening around here...

• I continue doing gardening chores for Kathy, even though I don't really enjoy the process yet. I think that maybe I'll learn to, though, once I start getting an idea of what I'm doing. Mind you, I was no stranger to yard work before, but I always operated under expert (and occasionally exasperated) supervision. Still, I've managed to plant four ferns, some ornamental grass, and several pots of petunias. Additionally, I've been watching and watering the new plants and so far they look healthy.

• I still haven't tapped that bottle of 30-year-old Scotch, but intend to one of these days.  Perhaps to toast Daughter J, who is having a birthday in a couple of days. We don't really plan to do anything celebratory because it's going to be a very weird day this year. Still, we'll probably enjoy tasty food from the outside world and probably watch a good horror movie. In times of emotional turmoil, it can be very soothing to watch attractive young people running from maniacs with power tools.

• Speaking of running from maniacs, I've been concerned about a business acquaintance who lives in Ukraine so was greatly relieved to have this message forwarded to me: "Glad to hear from you! You remember that I am from Ukraine! Yes, we have a war that no one expected. Imagine that you live in a developed civilized world, go to cafes, theaters, use Apple, Netflix so on and think that now humanity will begin to explore Mars and suddenly, you are attacked by savages from the last century and they begin to destroy everything with missiles and tanks. So far, it seems to us that we got into the movie "The Man from the High Castle." And you just need to find a portal to return to the usual reality ... Somewhere such feelings. My family and I left Kyiv under bombardment and went to Western Ukraine. The "Russian world" has not reached here yet. I hope it never comes."

• I forget if I mentioned it, but I finally did write up a very negative review of our hospice service and posted it everywhere I could think of. The hospice service replied online that they were sorry I felt dissatisfied and said that they really appreciate feedback to help them provide excellent service and blah, blah, blah. In other words, they blew me off. But that's fine - I had a duty to warn others and now I have.

• My doctor has chosen a "wait and watch" approach to my "in-flight moving" condition, which is fine with me. He also wants to consult with my former neurologist about the highly kinetic Psychoneurological Non-Epileptic Seizures I was having four years ago. Since then, the condition has become much less pronounced but hasn't disappeared completely. Of course, it's not the size of your PNES that matters...

And with that sophomoric attempt at humor, I'm pretty much out of things to say. With the all-important exception that I'm very grateful for the love, laughter, and support you continue to share in the comments section. It means a lot to Daughter J and me!

The Irises Kathy planted are coming up. Purty, ain't they?