Friday, January 20, 2017

Dark Days Ahead

Today Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. To say I'm depressed is an understatement. I don't know what's wrong with him, but it's obvious that something is very wrong with him, and I don't believe he will make it through 4 years without being impeached. But he can do a lot of damage in the meantime, and if he's impeached, that will leave us with Pence, who if anything is even worse. Trump's incoming staff has already begun to take steps to abolish the National Endowment of the Arts and to privatize PBS and NPR. I didn't watch the inauguration. I couldn't stand it. Instead, I spent the day applying for jobs. I doubt anyone will hire me, but I have to apply for at least 4 each week to collect unemployment benefits. Yesterday I did my taxes online, but I have to wait to complete them because I haven't received the form from Capital One with the specifics on refinancing the house. But everything else is done. I'm tired and achy and depressed. The future is completely uncertain.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Happy Birthday, Katharina!

Happy Birthday, beautiful girl!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Longing for Innisfree

Yesterday I deactivated my Facebook account.  I'm no Luddite, but I loathe Zuckerberg and his algorithms, and I'm happy to no longer be a part of that. After deactivating my account, I spent a happy day cleaning my house, including getting down on my hands and knees and washing the dining room floor and the stairs with warm water into which I'd added a generous amount of Murphy's Oil Soap, which always leaves a delicate, clean scent that I love. I made myself a nice lunch, and ran some errands. When I got home again, I curled up with both cats on the chaise in my bedroom and read several chapters of A Man Called Ove, a book which I'm thoroughly enjoying. And when I went to bed last night, I felt more calm and at peace than I have in months.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree, by W.B. Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping
     slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket
     sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.


Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Voldemort wins

The unthinkable has happened: Donald Trump has won the election. My mistake was thinking the election stuff would be over on November 8th. If Hillary had won, it would have been pretty much over for me, in a good way. I'd be following the news to see whom she was considering for cabinet positions, but I'd have a general sense of wellbeing as I did this. Instead, the unthinkable has happened and I (and millions of others) have been plunged into a despair and sense of dread that I've only felt previously a few times in my life, with the death of someone close to me.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Oh Happy Day!

This is the last day that my desk will look like this. Tonight, after I sign off, I'll disconnect everything, and tomorrow I'll make the final long drive to Fort Worth to turn everything in. It feels so good.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Still crazy after all these years


I’m working from home from now until Nov 4, when I go in for the last time to turn in my badge, laptop, parking pass, and corporate credit card, used maybe twice in the 10 years I've had it. 

It’s a gorgeous, sunny, fall day: warm but not hot, with a clear blue sky. I have windows open all over the house to let the air in. A while ago the doorbell rang. When I went to answer it, I saw to my dismay that it was my crazy neighbor, S: the aging drama queen with the overbleached blonde hair who drinks a bit and spends her days in velour sweats and slippers. I have good relationships with all of my neighbors except her. Depending on her mood, I'm either her best friend or "the meanest woman I've ever met!" She clearly has some issues. If I were to guess, I'd say she has borderline personality disorder. With her was a guy from the crew who has been trimming her trees out back: two beautiful but huge, destructive live oaks whose roots caused me to have to remove my swimming pool, and whose saplings constantly threaten my fence. Trees which, although they’re on her property, I’ve had to pay to have trimmed when the branches were on my fence and in my yard “because that’s on your property”. She and this guy had apparently decided since he was trimming her trees, he might as well also trim mine. He refused to give me a price at first, pointing out branches that in his opinion needed to be removed. I kept asking "How much?" and he finally smiled and exclaimed: "$675.00!"  I said "Forget it, I’ll get my own estimates". Then S said, “But your tree is blocking the streetlight!”  I walked across the lawn with S and the tree trimmer and looked at the tree on the east side of the yard, and the 3 big branches he’d have to trim to make the streetlight clearly visible. “How much to trim just those branches?” I asked. He smiled and said, “$675.00, but I will also trim the other tree!” The crew has done a very poor job with the live oaks out back, so although I’d consider having them trim back the branches that were partially obscuring the light, I wasn’t about to have them do anything else. I said again that I wasn’t interested in having him do anything except remove the branches which were obscuring the streetlight, and I was not paying $675 to have that done. The guy protested, “But $675.00 is a good price!” and added, “I’ll let you do 2 payments!” I said, “Forget it, I don't have $675.00, and even if I did, I wouldn't spend it to have 3 branches trimmed; I’ll get my own estimates."  

To my astonishment, S then began walking around and yelling, “See, you only care about yourself! I’ve noticed you have money to spend on a new roof, and money to have your fence pressure washed and restained, and who knows what else you’re doing, but it's clear you only want to spend money on what you want to have done so you can sell your house. YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT MY SAFETY!”  

?!?!?!??!!? 
I thought 'You've got that right', but since she's clearly nuts, I didn't say it out loud. 

The guy then said, “You name the price! How much will you pay?”  I looked at the 3 big branches he’d have to trim and said,  “$200.00”. He said "No way!" so I repeated, “Fine, I’ll get my own estimates.” S stomped off, continuing to yell things at me all the way back to her house. I looked at her and muttered, “Always a pleasure, S”.  


The guy then said he’d remove the 3 branches for $375. Still too high, but the branches did need trimming, and it would be over and done with, so I wrote him a check. It took one of his workers 10 minutes, tops, to do it.


The streetlight is now clearly visible. As to whether or not that will make S feel safe, I have my doubts. If she follows her usual pattern, though, the tantrum means for the next few weeks I'll be free of having to deal with her. Selling this house can't happen soon enough.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The things I learn at work

I have a vivid, dramatic imagination, so I was very relieved to be told that the chest x-rays were good (e.g., no pneumonia and more importantly, no cancer). I got that news on my phone as I drove in today for the 3rd time this week to be trained on some QA for which I'll be responsible until I leave, as everyone else is leaving before me. So I told my boss I still have bronchitis and asked her if she was OK with my driving in just one day next week, rather than my usual 2, since I still feel crummy. She said yes and because she's a nurse, I told her and two of the other nurses with whom I work (we were all together) what my symptoms are and that my doctor had prescribed Cipro. She laughed and said "You told him you're not taking that, right?" I told her I'd actually been thinking I would take it, since I've had this miserable cough for 10 months. Both she and the other nurses immediately began quizzing me, in detail, about my symptoms. My boss wanted to know if I ever cough up any phlegm and if so, what it looks like. I told her it's clear with white flecks and all 3 nurses responded in unison: "So you don't have a bacterial infection, so there is absolutely no reason to take the Cipro". Their unanimous diagnosis? The same as mine (and I'm not a nurse, but I did work for 5 years as a diagnostician): allergic asthma. They recommended that rather than Cipro, I try OTC anti allergy meds, so I'm going to try Claritin and Zyrtec (one at a time), and I'll also use my albuterol inhaler to see if I get any relief from coughing with those treatments. My boss also recommended I make an appointment with a pulmonologist for a spirometry test so I can, if needed, be prescribes an Advair diskus inhaler in addition to the albuterol inhaler.  So I'm feeling much better psychologically today, and all because I drove in to work. Sometimes that horrible commute is totally worth it.