If things had gone as planned, I would be in Greensboro, NC at this point, likely enjoying dinner or a few pre-dinner beers with a number of others who have stumbled into the beer writing gig. A nice two-day junket was the deal, pretty much all paid for. Family issues caused me to have to withdraw late last week and I guiltily spent most of two days trying to find a local writer who could step into my position and use the airline ticket. When I finally found her, however, it turned out that the ticket could not be transferred.
So here I am,enjoying the first of a five to seven business day re-roofing of our building by management, which means ripping and tearing a nailing and pounding and all sorts of weird, disruptive noises beginning about 7:15 every morning and continuing until late afternoon.
And it’s not always terrible.
The folks in Greensboro were amazingly understanding and even offered the alternative of a weekend trip down at their expense yet again for their summer beer festival in mid=July, a trip that would much better suit me and give me an even better chance of understanding the town’s beer culture.
And that disruptive noise thing? Not an issue. I gots me some serious “block that shit out” skills.
The above is a much over-used cliche which is employed over and over again (probably won’t surprise you that such usage is mostly by political and sports journalists, the most un-inventive and cliched purveyors of words in the know universe), and it has been credited to everyone from Benjamin Franklin to Albert Einstein to Rita Mae Brown, a writer I suspect too many of you, to your loss, are unfamiliar with (hence the link because, lord knows, I was meant to serve).
But it is kinda true.
And I am arguably kinda insane.
I will explain later. Or maybe not. It is what it is (which is an even more awful cliche which essentially means, don’t ask, I ain’t tellin’).
Think of it as coming home, for me, and hopefully for you.
The Mermaid swims again.
And, boy, is she pissed.
Stay tuned (and tell your friends).
Sometimes we make mistakes. Why not fix them if we can?
The person who cuts my hair on those occasions when I have looked into the mirror and been moved to do something about the condition of me is a young woman named Desirée (I am guessing on the spelling and accent).
I am, if I say so myself, the perfect customer because my basic approach is “I kinda want this but just do what you want and I will live with it.” It does cross my mind each time that taking the same approach with some other women in my past might have changed the course of history, but, you know, it’s all worked out okay. For me and for them.
I was a particular horror show this time around, have moved well past my expiration date for a trim and possible hosing down while attending to Buddy the Wonder Dog (he gets the staples in his stomach and that annoying cone thing removed tomorrow morning). To take her mind off the awful task of making me, if not presentable, at least bearable, she told me an amusing anecdote which I pass on to you because. Just because.
Desirée has a very small head and face. So when she was told in her senior year of high school that she needed glasses, she had to shop for a frame in the children’s section, where she choose a Spongebob Bob product. It wasn’t marked as such, she said, so she figured nobody would know. Came the day her glassed were ready, she and her mom picked them up on the way to school. That afternoon, a teacher opted to show the class a video and lowered the lights.
The frames glowed in the dark.
Now there’s the sort of experience that could scar a gal.
Maybe I shouldn’t let her so close to me with sharp instruments.
Which, it also crosses my mind, equally applies to those other women in my past.
While Buddy and I were doing his morning smell walk earlier today, pausing at every tree, bush, light post or wall so that he could sniff out all the leg-lifting news and information that his four-legged brethren had left there for him, he revealed that, in attempt to update their image in this high tech age, the Canine Caucus had recently decreed that ages-old messaging system is not longer to be called P-mail. The terminology these days is Twiddle, a mash-up of “Twitter” and “piddle.” Your dog undoubtedly already knows this but hardly expects you to, so drop “Twiddle” casually into the conversation and perhaps he or she will begin to think you are at least a tiny bit cool, although, of course, you are not.
So this morning, after a week or so of sputtering warnings, my car gave every indication that it is going to die. Lots more sputter and near choking on start-up and the good old engine light warning came on. I know this latter is often something which can be ignored, but combined with those other indicators, I be most nervous. Besides, this is the month my annual inspection is due and that’s always a indicator that something expensive is going to be required. Whether I am willing to invest more big bucks in this vehicle at this point is the second biggest question; what I will do if I don’t is the biggest one.
This is the, I certainly hope, final stage in a several week stream of Things You Do Not Want to Happen.
Three weeks ago, Buddy awakened on Saturday AM and it was like he wasn’t there anymore. I thought of it as a stroke. No way to get a Vet on the weekends without exorbitant “emergency” fees so we stumbled through the weekend as he barely acknowledged my existence, seemed totally lost and peed whenever and wherever. He did eat, which was a good sign, but I thought I was going to lose him. Then he awakened that Monday and seemed himself again; I figured it had been some sort of weird anomaly and the week went normally. That next Saturday–Boom!–the “stroke” condition reoccurred. When I finally caught up with the vet this Tuesday, she said I was likely correct that it was old age catching up with him but said she did have these pills that sometimes helped in such situations, adding that they would take a week or two to kick in. Nope. After his second pill (one a day, in the morning), he started behaving more like himself. As of this week, he’s not only back to what passes for normal, he’s actually reinvigorated (except for the need for some long, intense periods of sleep). It’s amazing and if they make some similar medication for humans, sign me up.
All that was happened while I wrestled with a couple of major stories that just wouldn’t come together on a computer that is also dying (notice a theme here). It crashes regular and half my battle was just to constantly save and backup on a USB card. I’ve been waiting and waiting for my son to complete a replacement system for me but it wasn’t until I said, screw it, and went to explore the possibilities of designing a replacement with a local computer store that, of course, he emailed that he had it mostly done. We’ve exchanged phone calls and emails to work out the way I want it to behave and it shipped yesterday and should arrive end of this coming week. We shall see how that goes.
In short, lots of stress and frustration have been my lot. Oh, did I mention that I also suffered a vitreous detachment in my right eye a week ago Thursday? Definitely unnerving. Two trips to the eye care folks have confirmed that there is no retina tear and that I will have to learn to cope with the occasional gray “floaters” which are now present in both eyes; they will fade somewhat as my brain learns to edit them out but there is nothing to be done beyond that and my issues with driving at night will likely get worse, psychologically if not physically. Overall vision still checks out at 20/20, which is great.
But enough about me.
That’s what I’m taking. I have lost the energy or interest in continuing to rail on and on about social media, specifically Facebook, so I’m trying a new approach. That I am choosing to embrace Facebook in the midst of growing evidence that many people are cutting back on or abandoning it altogether is problematic, but what the hell.
SOP for website operators re: Facebook, Twitter et al has been to set up an automatic linking to new posts on site to appear in your feed there. Recently, I’ve noticed, and I’ve seen others commenting similarly, that readers are less and less likely these days to click through to the site to see what a link is all about, whereas the same or similar comments or observations made directly as part of the feed continue to generate comments and attention.
So, I am going to try posting on Facebook initially and then bring that post here for those of you, the few, the brave, who prefer the website experience. Posts here will continue to be fed to Twitter and I may ramp up my presence in that realm as well.
It is quite likely, I know, that this will eventually lead to the demise of Mermaids, but perhaps it is time for that in any case.
A couple of previous Facebook only posts will be posted here later this afternoon.
To his credit, he waited two and a half days before asserting complete control of the environment and my life, allowing me to maintain my delusion of dominance long enough that I did not feel totally overwhelmed. I’d tell you more but he wants to go out for a walk now and, believe me, you don’t want to know how he gets when he doesn’t get what he wants.