Saturday, November 22, 2014

Shooting yourself in the foot

Gone clothes shopping lately? I do not mean at the top of the line stores, I mean the mid-range, average Joe kinda place.

The stores display racks and racks of clothes made from material that comes from the chemical industry. Women in China, who work for pennies a day, make the garments. Who benefits from the millions of dollars shoddy workmanship and low labor costs produce?

When did the American people decide to screw themselves? When did the greed take over? By buying these products, we kill another American business or three.

How much money do you save when you have to replace the item four times a year?

I need to open a store, Just for Grandma. American workers using American materials, would make the clothes. Some designer would consider whether bending over would cause the garment to tear or bind your stomach so you cannot breath. Armed with this information he/she would produce clothing we would want.

Monday, November 17, 2014

That time of year

For many reasons, this time of year ranks as my least favorite. I find myself wanting to burrow into the covers and come out sometime in March.

Friends run around giddy with shopping and planning special meals and treats. They actually enjoy getting out when the temperature drops to the 30s and those feather-like snowflakes drift from the skies (although here it looks more like someone cut open a feather pillow in front of a powerful fan).

The stress of procrastination never changes year to year for me. If anything, it intensifies. I want to give friends and family perfect gifts but I do not enjoy walking the aisles of Wallyworld with bunches of irritable, snarling people with their crying children who desperately need a nap. I sympathize with the tired, grouchy workers who have been asked one time too many where in the store the super Jedi fighter jet rests. I understand how the worker feels when the customer has a hissy fit because the desired object sold out the first hour. I understand, but I do not want any part of the resulting flurry of abuse sure to follow the announcement.

I miss you, Dude.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sanity left me standing in the middle of the road

Yesterday, I tried to convince myself of my worthlessness. I almost did, too. Instead, I cried for a pathetic, 66-year-old who does not know why she lives. The "D" word enters my mind more often.

The episode yesterday began with a phone call to go eat out. I said no. The snow and single digit temperature helped determine my answer. After I hung up the phone, the doubt, loathing and fear began. I felt guilt because I said no. I wondered if I would ever get another invitation. Instead of burrowing into the covers and taking a nap, I worked myself into a soggy mess.

I know I need help and hope I can find me in the process.

 This waiting a month for a face-to-face visit with, yes, a helper,  and oh, here try these pills, seems inexcusable in our country. But that scenario plays out across the U.S. far too often. Cases of mental illness far outnumber psychiatrists. Doctors throw pills at patients while trying to keep up with more than they can help.

In two weeks, with some help, I will try to find me.

Miss you, Dude.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tangled in the net

I spent some time reading about internet neutrality. No matter the outcome, the little man, or woman, suffers. After reading several articles over a few days, I am thinking my provider already throttles me. I have found my internet speed compares to molasses outdoors on a cold day. It flows a bit, then sticks for awhile. My frustration level grows in proportion to the sticking. The problem plagues not only my Kindle but the desktop, too. However, I am stubborn as a cranky old mule that does not want to go to the other pasture. I will not pay more and more for speed. I am likely to quit the service.

The company I employ once had all my business. I asked a simple question and no one seemed to know the answer. Since this billion dollar business could not answer a simple question, I quit the service that failed me. Surprise, I do not miss the service as much as I once thought I would.

My new fancy desktop may cause me to pull my hair out. The keyboard looks and acts like the old one, the rest not so much. I think I killed an element that controlls photos. I cannot seem to find it no matter where I look. I restarted the computer without any success. I set up Cloud and Dropbox, but the simplest tasks stump me. Too many bells and whistles and not enough simple. I cannot upload a photo of my new artwork on the walls nor Momo's triumphant conquering of the second level of the cat tree.

So it goes, another night in paradise.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Some stream of consciousness for a Monday

Remember dedications on the radio? The next tune goes out to the ducktailed dude in the Dodge, and Sandy in Sandieland. An ambitious music lover could sell that idea with a modern twist on Facebook, thanks to YouTube or other music sites.

Those public service posts of a dog or cat covered in snow and freezing makes me sick.

I wonder if Dap requires skill.

A World War II veteran riding one of the grocery store's electric carts cornered Connie and me on the cookie aisle. We stood for an hour listening to his tales of not only the war, but everything else he had done in his life. Loneliness caused him to tell us his life history.

The big freeze looms and as soon as the weatherman announces the change, folks flock to the grocery store as if tomorrow is the BIG ONE.

 I missed "Almost Famous" as a movie, but I know it well as a soundtrack.

Shawcross makes defending look like one of those ultimate fights. Time to shuck him.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Various viruses and old age finally took my computer. I bought her not too long after I retired. I knew her like a mother knows her child. For the most part, she did what I asked of her and if not, the blame usually fell on me. After taking her to the most expensive doctor in town and spending $200 for his best voodoo, she finally refused to run anymore.

I asked my best friend's spouse to hunt down the best my money could buy. The only instructions I gave him: I want a Dell.

After a week of comparing, he decided on my new girl and brought her home and installed wire A to point X for me. She purrs like a kitten wrapped in a warm blanket. However, her do-dads, gizmos and whatsits make me feel like what I am, a 66-year-old out of sync woman.

I love free apps even if most come with strings. Try such and such free for a year, then pay with your first-borne son. I am onto those games, and resist the old marketing trick usually. 

I took an introductory tour of my new girl while the Seahawks beat the Giants. Under the hood, she tantalizes with all sorts of fancy Hemi stuff. I could use her for years and not learn all her secrets. Typing this blog reveals one irritation about the keyboard. The caps lock key sits too close to the action, which often requires revision of entire sentences. I do like the keyboard better on the new Dell compared to the Kindle. The Kindle wants to correct everything you type; it wants to write for you. One of these days, I think I will give you an example.

Chuck, remember how Beth paid you to give me a private lesson on the Mac or whatever program the newspaper used at the time? I could use some Chuck about now. 

Laters. Miss you, Dude.

Not so far apart

I listen to a young woman who also happens to vacuum for me. She tells me what her world entails; I listen and learn. Her world lies far apart from mine, yet not so far apart.

I shall call her helper for identity purposes.

Helper attends Amarillo College and takes the basics. She plans a life in veterinary medicine as a tech because the job pays well. She suffers from several physical conditions, but like many people, she does not take her medicine like she should.

Her mother supports various family members and her education allows this. Her brother, a couple of years older than helper, lives in a schizophrenic world. His intelligence mixed with an illegal lifestyle causes problems for him and his family. A just turned teen rounds out the family. He sees older brother with the fancy car and money and wants that lifestyle and more.

Helper tells me her grandfather led the gangster life before finding Jesus at 40. Now her grandfather pastors a church and reminds helper about the wrong way to live. Helpers dad, who has nine children, looks forward to his release from prison. He thinks about moving up north somewhere.

Helper's closest friend and cousin hustles young females. The cousin recently cut her hair into a mohawk/mullet and combined with the leather jacket she wears, desperately seeks to impress.

Sometimes I doubt the truthfulness of Helper's conversations because what she says about her life exists only in fiction for me.

Why does a teenager tell me about her life? To shock? I seldom comment. What draws her back to my house when she cannot seem to keep a job? I know the $20 I give her is no prize.

Life throws curveballs all the time.

Friday, November 7, 2014


A major meltdown visited me this week. Should I blame the new meds? Did I hold off the massive implosion for such a long time that when I could no longer take anymore, my mind went haywire?

My best friend interrupted her routine to come give me a hug and sit with me. I got another PM on FB that cheered me. Thank you for caring.

I cried for the first time in years. The tears seemed to fall without emotion.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What are friends?

Yesterday I learned a lesson most people learn early in life: unless you exhibit cheerfulness and a willingness to help others and their problems, they do not want to hear about yours. Mental illness still carries a stigma that no one wants to be associated with.

In my case, I am still me, but I carry a cloud of darkness that moves over me without warning. One day I am cheerful, the next day I think I would be better off dead. I reach out to "friends" who have an agenda of their own. They do not hear the pain in my voice and knowing I seek professional help, they do not realize they are one of the main sources of healing. I need friends who are willing to stick by me in good and bad times. Unfortunately, those people are few and far between.

I wonder if I deserve this treatment because I have hurt them along the way, therefore making it my fault that I am being ignored when I need it most?

Today I have decided to dig a hole and pull it in after me. I have asked God for help. I have sought medical help. Nothing appears to help.

Somewhere within me the tears lie, but because I have tried to be strong so long, they refuse to fall. The pressure builds and builds and one day soon I will fly completely apart.

In the meantime, putting one foot in front of the other, is the best I can do.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

on my mind

Suddenly, or over a period of weeks, I cannot be sure, my attention to my meds falls all over the map. I neglect Tyvaso the most, though I began to take two pills of sildenafil long ago, the Tyvaso joined the I will take it if convenient club.

The oxygen is problematic, too. I am having no luck getting the tanks to work like they should. Let me tell you, walking through the store without o 2 takes a devastating toll on the body.

I awoke at 2 a.m. The day will drag, even with naps.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Yes, but now what

I saw the doctor. After filling out a million pages of I wills and I will nots, the doc himself called me back to his swanky office with a quick stop at the scales. The doc rebuked me for touching the mechanisms as we continued to his office. He told me to sit, I asked where, and he told me.

A beat up keyboard and a screen were the only objects on the desk. He starts banging on the keyboard right after he put a bracelet-style blood pressure cuff on my wrist, talking the whole time and so fast, I missed about half of what he said.

His accent will not be a problem, probably because I will see his assistant more than him. I told him I will need to put on my ears and he ask if I wore hearing aids. I said no, it takes my ears some time to tune into accents and gave lung doc as an example. He chuckled and said he would have to try to slow down.

He gave me 14 pills of a new med, and I think he said to cut them in half. I hope that is what he said, 'cause that is what I plan to do. My next appointment is the first of December. I can fill prescriptions only when I have appointments.

I realize what I write makes some people uncomfortable. I am sorry. I do not need sympathy, I need friends. I am hoping that what I write about will not turn you away, but if it does, then our purpose together is complete. But that is another blog topic.

I miss you, dude.