Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cast Off

Four and a half weeks ago my daughter was in an accident.  She busted her ankle and ended up with an over-the-knee cast and crutches.  Not fun.

Yesterday, the cast came off.

I'd never been to a cast removal before. In case your wondering, they use a little electric saw.  Then they take pliers and crack it open like an oyster.  I worked very hard at acting interested rather than freaked out. )My daughter, for her part, was genuinely interested.)

So now the good news is she's in a boot. The bad news is she's still on crutches for another couple of weeks.

But the really good news is we get a "handicapped" parking permit!

If you're like me, you've always resented those "Handicapped only" parking spaces.  All right, I can understand why somebody in a wheelchair or a cane would need special parking at the supermarket or even the mall. But Home Depot?  Who are they kidding?  How many handicapped people you figure install their own plumbing?  Give me a break.  Somebody's scamming someone.

When we first got the permit I was dazzled by the possibilities.  Think of it:  no more cutthroat competition in the parking lot.  We could just sail into one of those blue-lined spaces and stroll (or im my kid's case, limp) a few yards to the store.  And just in time for Christmas shopping, too. 

"It's true," I cried, "every cloud does have a silver lining!"

"My ankle hurts Mom."

"Offer it up."  Which, as we all know, is Catholic Momspeak for "shut up already."

But after a few days of my proud new sticker ownership I realized something weird was going on. Never before had I had such fantastic parking luck. I mean, in regular spaces. I've been finding regular spaces that are more convenient than the handicapped ones.

Which led me to a dilemma:  Do I take the primo regular space, or go for the handicapped one?

I finally reasoned that taking the primo regular space would be wrong.  I mean, if I with my handicapped sticker privileges take a primo regular space, then some poor guy without my privileges has to go farther afield for his space. If I take a handicapped space I'm leaving the primo spot for someone less fortunate.

Or more fortunate.  His kid's legs must be in one piece.

It's all in how you look at it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Attic Work

I probably should have waited for the start of Advent or even Lent to do it.  It's a job for a penitentail season.

But a couple of days ago I decided to tackle the attic.

I've always said that should I ever decide to take my career in a Martha Stewart direction I would write a book about housekeeping.  I'd call it "The Joy of Throwing Things Out."

I hate to organize stuff, but I love throwing things out.  The feeling of freedom, of liberation, of "done with this" that comes from tossing out things you've been saving for years is the best.  You want a new lease on life, you gotta makes some room for it.  You gotta clear some space.

I've been at the job for about four days now.  So far I've taken one carload of donations to the Arc Center and put out about fifty bags of trash. I've also left one item of furniture on that strip of grass between the street and the sidewalk.  I didn't even have to put a "Free!" sign on it, it was gone the next time I looked.

I've gotten rid of all kinds of things. Yesterday I packed up a couple of cartons of Halloween decorations.  I've decided to go minimalist next year.  A couple of stuffed ravens, a styrofoam skull, I'm good.  Out with the cute smiling pumpkin tablerunners and the matching placemats.  Who needs cute for Halloween when you can have eerie?  What was I thining when I bought that stuff?  I have no idea.

No, wait, I do have an idea.  I was trying to be nice.  I was trying to be cheerful.  Jeez, what a waste of time.

And books.  I've gotten rid of cartons of books.  This is tough- I may not be some fancy schmancy bibliophile but I sure as heck am a book hoarder.  How many copies of "The Alexandria quartet" have I acquired over the years?  I can't even count them. But as of this moment my total is:  zero.

Yeah.  Feels good. I'm on a roll.

T'aint the Season

I am sitting in my local coffee shop, knocking back the caffeine, and suddenly I decide to pay attention to the Muzak being piped in from somewhere.

It's November 12, and I'm listening to Christmas music.

I have to give them credit. At least they had the decency to wait until after Halloween.  I'm pretty sure I can't say the same of the supermarkets, discount stores and wholesaler warehouses I usually frequent.

My reaction to early Christmas decorations, music, etc in the marketplace has changed over the years.  Once upon at time it made me feel indignant.  What!  "Deck the Halls" in October?  How dare they profane the sacred season!  Etc., etc.  That was back in my"Pompous Catholic" phase, from which I hope I have fully recovered.

Nowadays I mostly wish they'd hold off on the carols until December because I don't want to be sick of them by Christmas Eve.

But I just realized I now have a whole new reaction to jumping the Yuletide gun like this:  Panic.

Panic, when I think of all the stuff I am supposed to get done before mid-December.  Like finally facing the fact that my pre-lit Christmas tree- -that 8-foot, 100-pound monster in the attic-- is probably not up to another season.  Half the lights are dead and the other half are unreliable.

Which means, of course, that I'll have to haul it down from the attic, drag it out to the trash, and being negotiations with the Spouse for a new tree.

Which, in turn, brings up the eternal debate of "Real Or Artificial?"

Which always seems to turn personal.  Soul-searching.  My favorite thing to do, next to root canal.

I am definitely not ready for the holiday season.  Not yet.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans' Day

Today is Veteran's Day.  Every year the kids at my daughter's school throw a huge breakfast party for any veterans who would like to come.  Last night a bunch of us spend a couple of hours turning the school lunchroom into a red white and blue wonderland with flags, stars, party favors, the works.

Although it's my personal belief the vets come for the bacon.

What's a breakfast party without bacon?  For that matter what is anything withou bacon?  What is life, without bacon?

Anyone?  Anyone?

Yes, I expected that deafening silence.

Speaking of bacon I need a new app for my iPhone.


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

A Better Class of Junk

A few weeks ago Desperate went to a dinner party in New York.  Desperate does not like to brag but the fact is she counts a few very successful people among her friends.  I mean the kind who can afford to give dinner parties in New York.

Besides yours truly my successful friends invited a lot of their successful friends.  It turned out there was some kind of "Successful People convention in town and they were all getting together tp talk about their success.

Well.  The weather was gorgeous.  The restaurant was wonderful and the food was fabulous.  Right down to the little tins of homemade candies we got to take home with us.

You  might think that after a trip through the looking glass like that Desperate would find her old, ordinary life a tad dull.  But not a chance. That dinner changed my life.

How, you ask?

I'll tell you:  you should see the junk mail I've been getting since then.

For example, this brochure came last week:

"Around the World by First-Class Private Jet:  A Cultural Tapestries Journey."

Did you know about this?  That for a mere $99,950 (double occupancy) you can zip off on "a single journey to eight stunning destinations around the world"?    Catch you private jet in Seattle and proceed to Tokyo, China, Istanbul and Paris?  With a couple of other stops in between?  Oh, and you end up in Boston, which I can't help thinking would be something of a downer after Paris. Then again, Boston is not full of French people, so maybe you break even.

Or how about some "Educational Travel?"  For eight grand you can paddle around Alaska while some professor tells you all about climate change.  "Navigate the whale-rich waters of Icy Strait" sounds a little risky to me, but if that's your idea of a good time, go for it.  You can also "search for bears,, moose, eagles and sea lions."  I ask you, can you think of a better way to blow eight thousand bucks?

Thanks to that dinner party someone somewhere has decided I deserve a better class of junk mail.  It's like a dream come true.