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.


Mike said...

One foot in front of the other, ok. You got this. I pray for your spirit and relief of your pain...

Rant anytime you want.

Hyzenthlay said...

Yes, the arachnoid cyst sorta looks like a spider. I have one at the lower end of my spine. They can grow at either end. Talk about a pain in the....

It gets better. It won't seem like it for awhile, but it really does. Still praying! And rant when you need to. As you said, that's what we're here for.

Terri said...

It is so good to hear from you. You are like our late night companion.
Stilt, I lost a child and thought my life was over and that I would never feel joy again. I was wrong because life has a way of carrying you along Until you can breathe again. I pray for you and daughter J that your grief will ease. There is no way around grief you must go through it. But don't forget there is an end to it. You will not always feel such day you will wake up and the memories of Cathy will make you smile.Talk to her! Her spirit is near you. Being an author perhaps you have the beginnings of a book That will spring forth from all this pain. I did the same when my son died. It is called Letters of Hope and filled wth kind and loving parents who speak about how they survived their child's death. A very hopeful book. Perhaps you could write about Kathy and all the funny, kind, crazy and loving adventures that happened during your wonderful years together. I would love to read that! Blessings to you and Daughter J

Fritzchen said...


It was a delight to read your replies to all the "cheeseheads" who have written you! That you have begun to reply to our missives is a big step forward in an awful journey!

Now for some good news: It's SPRING here in Southeast Michigan! Folks ask me what we do in Spring and I tell them it depends if it falls on a weekend!

With all levity aside, for you and all the cheeseheads here: The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace!

Nutcracker said...

2 months is a short time. Your story about the deaths all so close together and during Hollidays, is the same story I get to tell now too. Different Hollidays and people, but all in the same week to 10 days. Try not to rush or set high expectations about your grief. It can take however long it takes. I think we find ways to deal with the pain vs “getting over it”. I’ll never get over some of my lose but I’m finding better ways to express or deal with the grief more every year. It’s been slow but time is what it takes how ever long it takes. You have a daughter and all of us to walk with you on your journey as you share like you do. That’s probably a good thing.

Hope your vision stays put and you pass all your upcoming tests. Who knows, maybe you can put a down payment on some new shiny body parts. Do the lay away plan for a hip and a knee. Maybe a few organs just to be safe. Take care of yourself and the daughter. Do your gardening early while it’s cooler and we will be waiting patently for dates and information on the viewing of your Documentary. I’m looking forward to finally see who I’m reading and writing to. Take care, Jon Z.

Maoz said...

Hi Stilt and Daughter J. We're here, for you to vent, rant,reminisce, and however else you need to express. ("We're ears akimbo" -- that expression just popped into my head, don't know where it came from. Anyway trying to say we're here to listen.)

My dearly beloved passed away nearly a quarter century ago, and I think I can truthfully say not a day has gone by since then that I haven't thought about him. But it took time -- in my case, about 2 years -- before I was finally able to get to the point of telling myself, "Look, you've got 22 years' worth of mostly very happy memories. You should spend more time remembering the good times, and not just his last 3 weeks as he was dying in the hospital."

Big virtual hug to the both of you.

Uchuck the Tuchuck said...

Stilton, I don't normally do this, (I don't like praying in public because I'm not praying to the people around me) but I am going to tell you part of what I pray every night.

"Father, I pray for those who have lost someone dear to them. I ask that you send your Holy Spirit to comfort them and reassure them when they doubt or fear. Teach them how to live again with this hole in their hearts. And when they need it most, I ask that you come and place your hand on them and let them feel your presence so they will know that they are not alone; that they are cherished; and that all things will be set to right. I ask this especially for Stilton and his Daughter, (and a few other people I care about that you don't know)."

And this prayer will be said every night for a year from the date I learned of your loss. We have never met, and only occasionally have we communicated here in these comments, but I have come to appreciate your humor and insight, and I know what it is to lose someone dear. So I pray for your solace in confidence that it will be granted.

Anonymous said...

Well Stilton, you have plenty of really important things to complain about. The loss of your very loved Kathy is a heartbreak. You have every right in the world to be upset and you certainly don't need me or anyone to say that. I hope the pain becomes bearable one day. One thing, though, you are a clever writer. Nothing changes that. Thank you for sharing your great talent with us.

Bobo the Hobo said...

There, there, Stilt (shakes ice cubes in my gin). I checked with John’s Hopkins (conveniently located in the Google Building, just west of the I-75 Internet) and here’s what John said, The cysts are fluid-filled sacs, not tumors.. So in my best Arnold, “You do not have a tumah” … or maybe he said “tuba”, I dunno. Do you have an urgent desire to play an ungodly, cumbersome brass instrument? If so, I would suggest you hustle over to the John Philip Sousa Annex over in Helen Hafageorgia; they’re very helpful.

Elbarto said...

Actually read (at least as much as I could stomach) the article about smiling being racist. Am so tired of these race hustlers. When are folks going to realize that the emperor doesn't have any clothes?

Anonymous said...

Prayers and virtual hugs!!

Mike in Canada said...

We lost a child to MPFD a few years ago. It is not better, and it never will be; we are changed forever by that experience and it is now a part of us.
What does get better is our ability to carry the load. Like the slogan says, It doesn't get easier; you get better.

I don't mean to add to your burdens. I just wanted to express one of the things we have learned during this part of the path.

Fish Out of Water said...

I can appreciate the mental/emotional load you have now- in cases like these I never use the word, 'understand' because not being in that situation, I can never, ever, understand. As other posters have said, its all about the small steps towards the sunny side of the street.

But hey it could be worse. You could be the Groom of The Stool for what is arguably the worst post war electoral mistake, Joe Le Petomane, and considering who he's beating out, that's quite an "accomplishment".

As to the link about 'racist' smiling, first I'll come clean that I did not read the entire article. I made an attempt but each time I started, I could feel a Krakatoa-like swell of rage from within.

What I did come away with though is, this person, a sad product of the State of Assorted Nuts, now living in a like state, just one with more rain, had a hard and uneven childhood, creating IMHO, a profoundly unhappy and angry person. A person however, who is clever enough to channel this into a near cult as a means of coping. What is puzzling and concerning is that there are people out there with such low self-image, low self-esteem or perhaps plain lack of brains, that they buy into this intellectual hokum and serve to spread the poison.

But ever the optimist, I see this being tossed onto the ash heap of history. I was not old enough to understand it at the time, but in the early sixties, some may remember the 'God is dead' sophistry, and where is that now?

Anonymous said...

Love you Stilton.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

Dunno about fidget-spinners, but my older sister once told me that I'm the only one she's ever seen literally twiddling my thumbs...

Hang in there, brother. As they said above, it's only been a couple of months. It will get easier.

Didn't make it past the headline of the article. To paraphrase Clarence Darrow, "That will be an obituary I will read with pleasure."

Wayne said...

Dear Stilton......the old adage- Time heals all wounds.....ain’t necessarily so.....but it helps. Prayers for you and your family.
- Prayer request for a dear friend who’s at the beginning of same journey that Kathy was on. Bill is in the hospital as of yesterday.

Today is my 77th birthday! (Ramblings from an old geezer !)

Wayne In Indiana

Be strong!

Gorgon Zola said...

Well, isn't that just great, a tumor that looks like a spider lodged in your skull. It would be really cool if you had an ACTUAL spider up there! Explain THAT mister hot-shot doctor.

Seriously, stay physically and mentally active and fit; as has been already expressed, the weight will always be there, our ability to carry it is what improves.

Bob Singer said...

Stilton, complain away. Some of us understand completely. It's been a year and a half since my wife of 40 years passed. Which was one year after my Mom passed away. Which was one year after my Dad passed away. Then last week we had to put my wife's 15-year-old dog to sleep because his kidneys had shut down, his liver was swollen, and his spine had issues so he couldn't work. And my retirement fund has the same issues as yours. Sorry to say this, but it doesn't get better. And that emotional feeling of living with your self-control as strong as an eggshell, where things like songs that used to bring a tear to your eye now makes you want to break down and sob? It doesn't seem to get better either. So kvetch as long as you want. We know we're not alone in our misery.

TrickyRicky said...

Stilton, all I can do is echo the sentiments offered above. Time may heal all wounds, but there may be scaring. Unfortunately everyone who lives and loves will experience horrible loss. That realization does not hold comfort, only empathy from all of your loyal readers. Hang in there my friend.

Regarding your financial losses, most of us are in that same sinking boat. November cannot come soon enough, even though I can't stand that month because it means the summer is over and the cold dark days are upon us. I pray that there will be a sunny burst of needed light and redemption brought by a yuge red wave at the polls.

TrickyRicky said...

Oops, meant scarring.....although scaring may fit as well.

Nancy Dickerson said...

Go ahead and kvetch! Cuss a bit more and see if that helps. It certainly won't hurt anything.

Read something that made me think of you the other day:
Take the love you had for me
and turn it into laughter
turn it into blinding light
to shine on you thereafter
Take the love you have for me
and show it to the world
something so amazing
needs to blossom and unfurl
Take the love that made us
keep it burning bright
let that fire guide you
let it warm you through the night
Take the love you shared with me
and spread it out with gladness
my life will not have been in vain
if you can fight the sadness
Take the love my darling
it’s yours to carry on
grow that love forevermore
and then I won’t be gone.
Donna Ashworth
Art by Jan Camerone
#jancamerone #griefpoetry

Blessings to you and Daughter J. May God give you peace.

Dan said...

I struggled through reading that article about Robin DiAngelo. That girl ain't right. Her failing to recognize each person as an individual but rather as a "members of a white collective." An amazing denial of individuality.

What a jerk.

VideomanSS said...

Actually your luck today it pretty good. Heart monitor for just two weeks. My monitor was Inserted just under the skin on my chest which broadcasts the daily results to my doctor at midnight every night. Battery good for 3 years but don't know what happens after that. Does it just disintegrate and disappear or explode and take me with it? Hang in there Stilt. Don't rely on the "Clan" for support as that caused more problems. We are all pulling and praying for you and Daughter J. Rant all your want. We are all here for you!

Anonymous said...

Stilt, there's a saying that fits the situation you and I have been gone through because I too have lost my amazing wife over 13 years ago. It's this, "You get through it but you never get over it". I think of her numerous times every day and try to recall the happy memories. Try that, it just may help.

Anonymous said...

One foot in front of the other, Stilt...

Rob said...

Mike said it best, one foot in front of the the other... my daughter died 11 years ago today (it was a Friday) from leukemia. One foot in front of the other....

boynsea said...

For years, I had ocular migraines that I was told "not really a problem". Always affected my vision in the same place (left). Then, I had a mild stroke that resulted in an area of lost vision in the left peripheral vision. Have not had an ocular migraine since. A missed symptom? In hindsight, yes.

The docs said it was caused by 'sticky platelets', where red cells tend to clump together. I've been on blood thinners for 5 years now. But the blind spot has healed itself about 90% over the last 5 years.

You may have had a TIA, transient ischemic attack. You may want to ask your Doc if you should be taking some baby aspirin, daily. He may suggest an MRI (brain scan).

My sympathies to you for the loss of Kathy.

Pat H. said...

Sweet taters you say? You want George’s Plant Farm. He has an almost overwhelming list of varieties.


Colby, Jack said...

I've been away for a while and am immediately saddened by your recent losses, Stilt. You have my prayers that you find succor.

I had the same (I think) doodad glued to my chest for 2 weeks a month ago. It found something that my doctor was able to fix pretty quickly but, if left unattended, might have killed or debilitated me. Hard as it is to hear sometimes, it's still good to listen to the docs. I hope they find you're in tiptop shape.

Colby, Jack

OldTexan said...

Stilt, what you are going through sounds normal and pretty much right on track because when you lose a wonderful loved one feeling bad and disgruntled is the normal thing to do. Now having funny spiders in your brain sounds kind of abnormal but if they are not dangerous then, there's that so here's hoping your health issues get taken care of and then perhaps you can get on with feeling bad and being mad for as long as it takes. Blessings for you and your daughter as you continue just being.

John the Econ said...

The thing about being drafted on the Internet is that fleeing to Canada doesn't do any good.

Arachnoid Cyst: Have a friend with that. Although she was first told that surgery was inevitable before it made her head exploded, it was ultimately managed with medication and it hasn't bothered her for years.

As for your retirement account, I don't have much to tell you. (Ours situation is just as dismal) Ups and downs are inevitable, and sooner or later there was going to be a price paid for the trillions that the Federal Reserve has printed and the federal government has projectile vomited.

Let me put it this way; you're still better off than the 90-something percent of Americans who never had $300k to lose. (Also better off than the wiz kids who thought that crypto was going to save them from inflation. Who's so bold now, Matt Damon?)

Wuhan Flu Nooze: After the blood I gave last week was tested, it found out yesterday that I've had the Wuhan Flu as suspected and have the antibodies in good standing. FU, Fauci.

Haven't you heard? Everything is racist if it serves a Progressive in some way. And of course, if everything is racist, nothing is racist. Quite frankly, being called a "racist" should have lost its bite decades ago.

Speaking of racism: Did any of you catch Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen the other day actually say that black women need unlimited abortion to them as productive citizens and out of poverty? Because we don't need any more black kids?

Could you imagine the s***storm if any non-Democrat had uttered such a thing? Again I present to you the real white supremacists of America, the Progressive left.

And if of someone finds the smile on my face from all the the schadenfreude racist, it's entirely on them.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Mike- I really don't want to rant, but at the moment it's either going to be that or radio silence. Which for me would be even worse.

@Hyzenthlay- I'm counting on it "getting better" though today, at this moment, I can't imagine how. But I trust the many people who've had this sad experience and are still ambulatory.

@Terri- I'm so very sorry about the loss of your child. And so very glad that you've found joy again. As you say, you can't go around grief but instead have to go through it. And frankly, I haven't allowed that to happen yet - not really, not fully. I fight it all day, every day, even knowing that by postponing pain I'm also postponing healing.

And I don't know that I've got a book in me at the moment, but I do hope to share some pleasant and funny memories about Kathy here when I can. Soon, I hope.

@Fritzchen- I like to reply to everyone individually when I can, although that's been sort of hit-and-miss lately. And congratulations on Spring arriving in Southeast Michigan! It must be exciting to finally see the sidewalks you've been shoveling until now.

@Nutcracker- There's no question that I'll never "get over" losing Kathy. As others have said, my goal will be to find a way to coexist with her loss with something other than debilitating pain. I know this is at least a possibility because of the way I feel about losses suffered many years ago. They still hurt, but with a dull ache rather than a searing stab of pain. That seems an odd thing to look forward to, but that's what I'm doing for now.

@Maoz- It's very hard for me to imagine feeling the way I currently feel for another two years (or more). Which is why I'm only concentrating on getting through 24 hours at a time. And there will certainly be good memories for me to reflect on when I'm able.

@Uchuck the Tuchuck- My sincere thanks for the prayer. I hope it's heard.

@Readers- Time for a weepy break, but I'll be back for more replies shortly.

Shelly said...

My grandfather (who was named Jesse James - no not that one) had a sudden burst aneurism and we buried him on Christmas Eve (almost 65 and eagerly looking forward to his retirement). As you can imagine, for a very long time, our large extended family grieved when we gathered for Christmas. Any family deaths around holidays are always reminded of it. I pray the pain for you will dull over time.

To the racist hammer named Robin DiAngelo, every white person looks like a nail. These sorts of people have seriously damaged race relations, which were on an uptick before the Messiah was elected. I don't care what color you are, but if you try to read my mind about how I feel about racism based solely on my skin tone, I have no use for you.

One bright note this week. Netflix has instituted a new "woke" policy basically telling employees if they come to management with their woke demands, they can seek employment somewhere else. Could this be the first domino to drop?

Still praying for you daily, Stilton. You are a very courageous man.

ruralbob said...

I have a very good friend who calls me often, just to vent. He tells me I make him feel better because I laugh when he shares his woes. (I don't laugh because I think his woes are funny, I laugh at how ridiculous life is some times - maybe most times.) I hope I can play a similar role for you, Stilton.

Susan Fineman said...

You haven't skipped a beat! I honestly don't know how dream up such clever thoughts,, but your brain spider isn't holding you back!
Thanks again for a good daily chuckle.

PROCON said...

Thanks for the updates and much love your way for you and daughter.

"Now pick your socks up off the floor and take the garbage out, it stinks." 😏

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Anonymous- I once got an actual fortune cookie that contained the following wisdom: "Cleverness is useful for everything, sufficient for nothing." I've always liked that and believed in the truth of it. Thank you for your nice comment!

@Bobo the Hobo- After Daughter J's 30-pound cyst "Bob," I must admit that an eeny-weeny brain cyst seems pretty feeble by comparison.

@jpb252- I'm absolutely sick of people whose main purpose in life is to gin up racial hate. Don't ask me to make a moral distinction between anti-white race hustlers and the KKK because I can't.

@Anonymous- Both are very welcome, thanks!

@Mike in Canada- I'm very sorry for your loss. And you're quite right, it's not about anything "getting better" but rather an incremental improvement in our ability to cope with a situation that can't "get better." And please know you haven't added to my burdens at all - quite the opposite. Your experience and encouragement are helpful. Thank you!

@Fish Out of Water- Perhaps my greatest disappointment with Barack Obama was that he had the power and "the moment" to radically change racial dialogue in this country for the better. And he chose to do the exact opposite. I hope that smarmy bastard eventually sizzles in the hottest depths of Hell. Not that I mean to get all religious on you (grin).

@Anonymous- Thank you. It helps.

@M. Mitchell Marmel- Not all thumbs are made for twiddling. I'm pretty sure that Little Jack Horner will back me up on this.

@Wayne in Indiana- I've been praying for Bill nightly and so hope that his story will have a happier ending than ours. Remarkable things can be done these days. And Happy Birthday! Wish I was there to steal a slice of cake!

@Gorgon Zola- I don't actually give much of a flip about the spider cyst, other than it was a fun thing for me to be able to report here. You're right that I DO need to be concentrating on mental and physical fitness. At the moment, I'm still binge-eating and not getting exercise so I really need to change that. As far as my mental fitness goes, well, that's always been somewhat questionable. But I'm trying to use my brain at least once a week, which still beats the national average.

@Bob Singer- Damn, Bob, I want to give you a brotherly hug. So much loss. I hope you can find an acceptable level of peace and even happiness in your life despite everything. Me too.

@TrickyRicky- I mostly mention the finances (which is tacky and unseemly) just so I have something to write/whine about. Money doesn't interest me much these days, although I'd prefer not to run out entirely. And while I'm not very passionate about politics at the moment, I am hoping that the Democrats will see a drubbing of historical proportions in November. I loathe them.

@Nancy Dickerson- That's a fine poem. I can tell by my leaky eyeballs...

@Dan- Exactly. I'm sick of being stereotyped because of my skin color. During Kathy's professional career, she suffered absolutely horrible anti-white discrimination which scarred her for life. Which is one of the reason I feel so passionately about the race-baiting haters who hold too much sway over public opinion and policy at the moment.

KJM said...

We pray that GOd gives you the strength you need and the Faith to go with it.

And those of us who have lost loved ones - we feel your pain!! 1 Day, then 1 Day more.

Mike aka Proof said...

Stilton: Don't worry about the arachnoid cyst. It probably IS a spider, and hence completely organic! (That's supposed to be a good thing. I hear it everywhere!)
My experience with brain spiders is that they teach their young to lie very still when scanned. They did a documentary: Cyst-erhood of the Traveling Ants. (Ants, spiders...anything over four legs, am I right?)
My doctor ordered an ultrasound of the arteries in my neck, too just a while back. I think it's nature's way of saying, "Ultrasound techs have boat payments, too, ya know?"

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@VideomanSS- The heart monitor I'm supposed to wear is preposterously small, which is a relief. It's about the size of a package of dental floss and doesn't need all kinds of wires and leads. And don't worry about Clan MacGregor (or any other alcohol) being overused at the moment - it isn't and won't be. I think I'm averaging about one drink a day.

@Anonymous- I do summon up pleasant thoughts of Kathy throughout the day and they help keep me afloat.

@Anonymous- Yep. That's my big plan.

@Rob- Damnit, I'm so sorry about your daughter. Effing leukemia. Which I guess is my cue to again ask everyone to donate blood. Whether your own or a Democrat's.

@boynsea- I once had an absolute doozy of a TIA following an auto accident. I didn't have insurance good enough to go in for an MRI though surely should have had one. But I seem to have survived it without any problems. Hopefully this little thing in my noggin will similarly be no problem. My doctor is being quite proactive about looking into it, so I trust he'll give me the advice and/or tests I need.

@Pat H.- I don't really know much about sweet potatoes other than that the vines are pretty and they make for good eatin'.

@Colby, Jack- I'm glad they found and fixed your heart issue! And you've just made me feel better about wearing that little sucker for a couple of weeks.

@OldTexan- I'm not even sure if I have actual health issues to get taken care of or just a variety of odd manifestations of stress. And as far as my general state of misery right now, I do think it falls well within the range of "normal" given the circumstances. Thank you for your kind words, sir.

@John the Econ- I'm way ahead of the medical establishment regarding my brain spider and, in lieu of medication, have been huffing a can of Raid.

On matters financial, I'd say that skyrocketing inflation is the least surprising outcome imaginable for the insane fiscal policies we've seen over the past few years. Although to be fair, the government sometimes has fiscal policies meant to benefit the citizenry; just yesterday they sent me a check for $12.80 as the unused portion of Kathy's final Medicare payment. Ka-ching!

And I'm sure that Janet Yellen sees a lot of economic upside to aborted black babies. Too bad she's not willing to be honest about her reasoning.

@Shelly- So sorry about your grandfather, and I'll do my best not to have anything burst in my head. Christmas is going to be very rough around here, too. It would be in any case, but especially because it was only a couple of days after Christmas that I took Kathy in for a "routine" medical appointment and she never made it home again.

I hadn't seen anything about that Netflix policy and will have to look up the story. It sounds so logical and welcome that I have trouble believing it!

@ruralbob- I agree that sometimes we laugh at what is VERY unfunny, because we're actually laughing at ourselves and our outmatched fights with fate. That's the very essence of "Johnny Optimism," and I'm more attached to the concept than ever.

@Susan Fineman- What if it's the brain spider that has had the clever thoughts all along? It would explain a lot...

@PROCON- There's a lot to be said for chores which can't be put off. They're the next best thing to motivation!

JohnF said...

Hey Stilton! I get ocular migraines pretty regular (once a month-ish). Mine start out as kind of a kaleidoscope effect that starts small and grows across your vision in a lightning bolt like pattern. Normally last less than a half hour but makes reading pretty much impossible. Once happened in a meeting with a client and at one point could not see anything but a fractured glow. Really weird trying to hold a professional conversation like that. But hey, Stevie Wonder never seemed to mind! Docs all say it is nothing to worry about but I am not convinced. Could be something simple like dehydration. Speaking of which, to make sure you are getting enough, you should carry a nice water bottle with you whenever you can and make sure you get relatively close to the recommended amount. The Mayo clinic, and several online copy cats, say 3.7 liters a day for men! That much is hard to do and doesn’t take any variables into account like weight or physical activity. Other recommendations I have seen say a half ounce per pound of weight. Found this online calculator that makes a little more sense to the engineer in me: It also suggests you get credit for the water in the food that you eat. Generally none of us drink enough water!

NaCly Dog said...

You have Helena Handbasket's book!!

I have met Helena Handbasket. She is a classy, refined lady.

And there are easier ways to meet nurses. But glad the problems are small or non-existant with you.

Ma you continue to recover.

John25mm said...

I must have a "brain spider" also which would explain the cobwebs in my head. Stilt like others more eloquent have said rant away. If this is all you ever ask for in return for all of the joy and ability to stomach the slings and arrows of the morons in power it is a small price to pay. I will pray for you and your daughter and the rest of the group who are suffering with ills that others know about or are hidden from the rest of the world.
As I have asked and I believe Stilt has also if you can go and donate some blood or drive someone who can to the donation center. In all reality if it is a first time donation you will be looking at maybe a hours time. After that maybe a half hour once all your details are in the RC's system and the center isn't filled with people but unfortunately that is rarely the case. I'm at a little over ten and a half gallons but I'm doing it to help balance my karma for being a jerk so much of the rest of the time.
To the rest of us who haven't suffered a loss like this and even to those who have remember to say a Prayer of thanks for how good it is because it could always be worse and for all the Graces we know about and those we have no clue about in our lives. One of the Graces I have is all of you here and how nice you are as a group. It helps restore my faith in humanity a bit.

Anonymous said...

Welp, Here's a goofy smile sent your way, nonetheless.
I no longer care what these almosts & not-quites rant about anymore.

I truly can't imagine what you're going thru, but greatly appreciate that you're still going.

Best from the College Station area,

Uncle Carbuncle

Spike55 said...

I wish you well. I lose my wife a few years ago after a painful illness. When she left, it was like a huge jagged crystal bouncing around inside me, bring pain at every moment. Over time, it has not gone away, but it strikes less often, and it doesn't destroy my good memories when it does. I pray that this path happens to you, and the pain eases.

Feargal the Cat said...

Stilton, there is no time limit on grief and it is intolerable that all your sad anniversaries come along like a train.

As an aside, regarding Bobo the Hobo's mention of tubas, there are recordings of a gentleman on YouTube who was - much like your good self - artistic and and a wit.

If you would care to lose a few minutes in old fashioned humour Gerard Hoffnung relating the 'Bricklayers Story' or his address to the Oxford Union are highly recommended. There is also a web page of his cartoons and music, should you feel the urge.

Keep on keeping on and, as all above have suggested, rant away to your hearts content if it helps.

Rod said...

Stilton: Out of long-term interest in both your blogs, you & daughter and your angelic Kathy, AND the other "customers"[GOOD FOLKS, HERE] I've in necessarily a more occasional manner tried to keep up with all this through ~3 months of upset period in yours and also in our extended family. It's due to a close "passing" in our family. And all that also involves many chores to then be done. That was added to the loss over the last several years, of both very elderly parents, some other family and it seems way too any friends, neighbors. It comes with age. Enough about us, this is not intended to be a pity-party; and we've no big complaints except (as with yourself) about some "SYSTEMS in place in our culture; but certainly not all of any of them.

It's obvious ya'll are handling this very well and also seemingly relying on being here on this blog for both yourself and us. Therapy + Call of Duty. It's admirable.

I'm now on a gear-shift (to higher gear) one could call-it; prompted by this most recent loss and most of the follow-up is now done. Moving on, taking lessons learned & starting to get the act back together path-forward. I hope you (and anyone) can get to that stage a little quicker than I did, because time is becoming more precious. But there's no schedule.

Sort of a silly analogy I suppose but imagine a rock climber: 4-point stance or on resting, stable, safe location is nice but not going anywhere; and life seems to always be pulling at least one point away. 3-point is the way to progress. 2 point stance may be OK for little bit in some places but it's higher risk; and 1 point puts the climber on the brink of disaster. It seems we get into 2-point in times like this; and it may require some new thought or effort to get back to at least 3 and a bit of 4. So know your resources... check out all possibly helpful points; and carry on.

Shelly said...

Stilton, I think Netflix came up with that policy because the company is sinking fast. Their stock and market share have dropped precipitously. I don't believe for a minute they really believe this at all.

She’s A Beauty said...

Re: the author of the "smiling is racist" piece, this comment next to her picture (where she looks EXACTLY as you thought a self-loathing white female elitist would look): "Academic Robin DiAngelo has been accused of 'pushing tricked-up pseudo-intellectual horseshit as corporate wisdom'" could not be more true.

Sharon D. said...

I opened my bottle of Clan last night and held my glass up and thought of you and your daughter. One second, one minute, one hour, one day. One step at a time. This is your blog and you can say anything to all of us. Sounds like most of us have been there and totally understand. May just have another little taste of the Clan tonight. No it takes me a year to finish a bottle of what ever I buy so it is a very little glass that I held up.

Anonymous said...

God Almighty, Stilt, I thought the hatefulness of losing one's Soulmate couldn't possibly SUCK ANY WORSE. I stand corrected, my friend. I'm sure everyone out there following you would/does in some way wish they could erase, if not at least significantly lessen, the shit sandwich on your plate. Best I can throw out there is my love and continued caring for you as you tread through this. I've been told that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. I've questioned that, but so far found it to be begrudgingly true. As always, my best wishes and sincere prayers to you and Kathy. No gray. Don R. in Lakewood CA

Anonymous said...

Actually I used to use that quote a lot and recently tried to check on that. It gets close but Bible doesn't quite say that. It's a great statement for preaching and also in-fact quite useful for encouragement; but what is said at the most attributed citation is more like: God won't TEMPT us more that we can handle; and that translation may have been bent from "With God we can handle anything & everything" Temptations are one thing; easy way to handle that is just steer clear. As for too much other life "Stuff" catching us full frontal.. handle ALL that? Every time? IMO that's doubtful; as we often see. It's good when faith actually does help; and I will stop this comment at that.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@JohnF- I'm likely somewhat dehydrated and really need to up my water intake. I drink coffee, diet ginger ale, and the occasional scotch and water. What I NEED to do is fill up my 32 ounce water bottle and drain it twice a day. That will also make it easier for me to give blood. Watery blood, but still...

@NaCly Dog- Meeting nurses is now the LAST thing I want to do in life. And Ironically, it probably will be.

@John25mm- This group is indeed a marvel; so many good and kind people gathered together. Which is why I desperately want to come up with a new theme or angle to write about, as at the moment I feel like I just show up at the party to drop a turd in the punchbowl. But I get much-needed support and comfort here and am grateful for it.

@Uncle Carbuncle- I appreciate your indulgence. Then again, I don't just rant these days - I also post snappy pictures of sweet potatoes! With that kind of content, I expect to be getting an offer from Elon Musk soon.

@Spike55- I'm very sorry for your loss and how it came about. Having the pain "strike less often" is indeed my goal. Also on my "todo" list, hopefully, is to not constantly feel like I need to throw up, not have the desire to punch walls, and not to let the good memories bring me to tears. I'm working on all of those things daily and, hopefully, I'll have progress to report one of these days.

@Feargal the Cat- I'll check out Gerard Hoffnung, although it's a little disconcerting that he's now in the past tense (while I'm still in the present very tense). And the older we get the more anniversaries of people and events come around. At this point in my life, I think I can come up with a painful association related to absolutely any stimulus whatsoever, though I try not to. Although in fairness, I have no bad experiences with tubas.

@Rod- I'm very sorry that Life has dished up so much pain for you, and I'm inspired by your call to action to move ahead. At the moment, I have to try to do what I know I should rather than what I feel I should; my emotions would have me curl up in a ball. But as we both know, Life is perfectly happy delivering a swift kick to balls. And I like your analogy about rock-climbing; indeed, I don't have enough points of stability right now and need to find some new ones.

@Shelly- I'm sure Netflix's decision is entirely financial. Plus, they may have figured out that EVERYthing is going to offend SOMEone "woke" these days - meaning all content is problematic. You can't run a business with a model like that. I'll believe that Netflix has seen the light when they fire the Obamas from their development deal.

@Sharon D.- It takes most people a year to finish a bottle of Clan MacGregor because of the taste. (Just kidding, Clan, and please send me a complimentary case so that I keep promoting you!) I appreciate your kind thoughts.

@Don R.- I hope that saying ("God doesn't give us more than we can handle") is true. For me, the jury is still out. Plus, I'm starting to suspect that God may think I'm an octopus.

@Anonymous- Interesting perspective on that saying, and it makes sense. I can resist a lot of temptation (not that the last bag of BBQ chips I attacked would agree) but that's not the same as weathering the full frontal assaults Life can give us.

And one problem I've had with the idea that "God doesn't give us more than we can handle" is that it implies that people who can't handle much don't get sh*t on as often. Which would be a pretty compelling argument for being a person who just can't deal with anything - right?

M. Mitchell Marmel said...


You're welcome. ;D

Sam said...

I'm really sad about all you've had to go through. Thanks for keeping us informed. Even some of us who don't comment much feel like you're part of our family.

Wishing some positive news for you and looking forward to continuing to read your posts!

JustaJeepGuy said...

Here's a classic @Stiltonism, so we know you're not completely lost:

"(while I'm still in the present very tense)"

But you're tempting fate with this one:

"Although in fairness, I have no bad experiences with tubas."

Please be careful, @Stilt!

Fish Out of Water said...

@ Stilton: Don't believe my bottle of Roku gin will last to my birthday, let alone through 2022.

As to your comment on the perhaps the 2nd worst post-war electoral mistake, If someone, most likely a woke-progressive, were to accuse me of made radicalized, I believe I would admit that and point to that freak of political nature as the reason for my radicalization.

Colby Muenster said...

"If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. Gloom, despair and agony on me."

To that I say, phooey! Hang in there Stilton! We are all rootin' for ya.

Fish Out of Water said...

Off topic from this thread, but for those who may have missed this:

John the Econ said...

@Fish Out of Water, the harder they try to make Thomas look bad, the more they beclown themselves.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- Well, I tried to make even a short post for today to say that I'm still more-or-less here, but it never really came together. The days get incrementally harder and today, in particular, I'm struck with a lethargy that I haven't experienced previously. All part of the process, I suppose. Anyway, I want to wish everyone well for the weekend. Maybe by Monday I can make an actual post of some kind.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@Stilton: We'll settle for the occasional update. It IS gonna take time, and Can't Be Arsed Syndrome is part of the process.

OldTexan said...

Good to hear from you, you are probably doing the let's sit down and take a bit of rest which can last as long as you need for it to last. Time to think and think some more about this past year so do what your need to do, we will be here when you need to post some more stuff, as long as it takes and Blessings on your home and family.

JustaJeepGuy said...

@Stilt, take the time you need to take; just a quick update like the one above is enough to let us know you're still here. We wish you well for the weekend too.

Fish Out of Water said...

@ Stilton: There's a meme I came across this morning, which I don't seem able to copy and paste here, but in case case, it goes like this:

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.

Hopefully we'll 'see' you on Monday.

Spike55 said...

I lost vision in one eye periodically after my wife passed. I was finally told it wasn't anything physical. For what it's worth. I hope the pain passes.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@M. Mitchell Marmel- Yeah, "the process" is calling the shots for me at this point. I'm just along for the (bumpy) ride.

@OldTexan- Actually, sitting and thinking are painful things for me to do just now, but it's hard to muster the energy or the wits to do much else. It will take the time it takes, and I'm grateful that folks here will be waiting for me.

@JustaJeepGuy- Thank you!

@Fish Out of Water- I look forward to a time when memories feel like treasures. I'm afraid I'm not there yet.

@Spike55- I'm very sorry for your loss. And when doctors say "it's not anything physical" I sometimes think it's just their way of saying "I don't know what it is and you're making me look stupid so get out."