Category Archives: illness

The Shape of Things To Come

Happened to be a shop while, by chance, Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech was on the radio. Understandably criticized, it was generally compared to George Orwell’s 1984. It made me think about a song that borrows from Orwell, Tracy Chapman’s Why?, which you can (I hope) hear here.
Love is hate
War is peace
No is yes
And we’re all free

But somebody’s gonna have to answer
The time is coming soon
When the blind remove their blinders
And the speechless speak the truth

So what should upon my wandering eyes should appear but ABC-TV’s schedule for Tuesday night, Dec 15: A Charlie Brown Christmas. From 8 to 9 pm – 1 hour. When they last broadcast it, LAST Tuesday, as noted here, squeezed into a half hour slot:

Gone was Sally’s materialistic letter to Santa, which finally sends Charlie screaming from the room when she says she will settle for 10s and 20s.

Gone was Schroeder’s miraculous multiple renditions of “Jingle Bells” from a toy piano, including the one that sounds distinctly like a church organ.

Gone was Linus using his blanket as an improvised slingshot to knock a can off the fence no one else can hit, complete with ricochet sound effect.

Gone were the kids catching snowflakes on their tongues and commenting on their flavor.

Gone even was poor Shermy’s only line. He thought he had it bad because he was always tasked to play a shepherd. He had no idea.

And why were all these classic scenes cut? To plug more ads into the show, of course. To sell burgers and greeting cards — and to relentlessly plug the insipid-looking new Disney “soon to be a classic” show immediately following.

So did ABC relent to some sort of pressure? Inquiring minds want to know. But THIS seems to be the viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas to watch – or record, even if it’s filled with even MORE ads. And – it is hoped – an apology.
Still catching up, after two sick days this week. One of the truths I’ve long known is that when you’re sick or injured, but don’t act particularly sick or injured, people forget. I experienced that Wednesday, and I admit it: it made me rather cranky.
My wife and daughter both had a snow day, but they seemed to think it was MY snow day too; no, I’m home because …ever look at a computer screen and see it as doubled, only slightly out of sync? That’s what was happening to me. Yet the daughter wanted to play a game while the wife took a nap – a nap; *I* needed a nap. And when the wife announced that since we had this found opportunity, we could (oh, boy!) work on the household budget. No, no, no, it’s YOUR found time; it’s my SICK time. I almost escaped to the local library except I didn’t want to infect strangers.

It’s odd, but I hate taking off sick time. And I have LOTS of it. At the beginning of December, I had 145 days. If I use three in December, I still get 1.5, so I’ll still have 143.5 days left. And it’s not as though I get paid it out when I retire, or can apply the time to my health benefits; when I leave, I lose them. The only way I’ll use them is if I have a catastrophic illness or injury. But it takes so little to fall behind at work – 180 e-mails and 14 phone messages to look at on Thursday.
Two children’s birthday parties this weekend – goody.
I was looking at my face in the mirror recently and noticed that my cheeks are slightly darker than the rest of my face, as though the pigmentation after its loss in the vitiligo had returned. More recently, a small circle near my left temple and a larger circle around my right has also gotten darker. I find it odd that I really don’t know what I look like from month to month of late.
When I was growing up, there were two songs, with similar titles, which appealed to me. One was The Yardbirds’ Shapes of Things, which got up to #11 in the US pop charts in the spring of 1966. The other is Shape of Things to Come by Max Frost & The Troopers, which reached #22 in the fall of 1968. Seems to be my message du jour.


Stop. Breathe. Think.

One of the things I try to do each month is to take one day off from work on a day the wife and daughter are at school. This allows me to write slightly longer blog posts, while also allowing me to catch up on the newspaper and a TV show or two, a bit of “roger time” that just doesn’t usually happen during the week.

I had planned one of my days for Monday, November 30. I had a couple posts, including a movie review, I wanted to work on for the next two days.

Unfortunately, the wife decided the daughter was sick. Her temperature was up slightly, but I wasn’t convinced of her illness. In any case, I stayed home with her, because i have far more sick days available (140+) than my wife does.

I must admit that I was disappointed and frustrated. If she were home sick in bed, it’d be one thing. But this was a very active “sick” child, who wanted to play various games and wanted me to watch her TV shows with her.

As it turned out, I ended up watching an episode of Blue’s Clues – neither my favorite or my most loathed of her programs, seeing an episode called Blue is Frustrated. Boy, could I relate! (So can this woman.)

The message when you’re frustrated is to, well, it’s in the title. So I don’t post the movie review until the following Sunday – so what? The world didn’t end.

So, in answer to the question posed by Salon, Is my kids making me not smart?”, the answer has to be “no”.

And when I’m too busy, or feeling lousy, both of which are true this week, sometimes one just has to post pictures of cute kittens. I’ll just have to deal with that.


Feeling crummy

I’ve been feeling lousy pretty much since Election Day. (Not feeling lousy BECAUSE of Election day; much to the contrary.) But I’ve had a sore throat and insomnia for about a week and a half. So I’m going to take a nap.

Meanwhile, you can read what I wrote here about racism, sexism and homophobia.

I’m also going to suggest reading this article by conservative columnist Kathleen Parker. While I don’t know that I subscribe to the conclusion suggested in the title, “Relief from weight of our racial burden”, I found the story touching.
RIP, Miriam Makeba. My father was a big fan, and he infused that appreciation into me.
or here.
Pic from the Star Trek pic next summer.
Urban Dictionary : New Entry
An applicant lacking even basic job skills
Someone supremely un-self-aware or lacking any relative sense of what he/she does or doesn’t know.
HR sent me another Palin for the marketing manager job.
Palin v.
to abandon one’s principles for short term gain
Tom, a devout vegan, palined when he consumed a happy meal solely to obtain the collectible toy it contained.
Palin n.
Pejorative term that refers to an incompetent, impractical, irrelevant or incapable person who has been appointed to a position of great importance.
A person who holds authority disproportionate to his or her requisite ethics and qualifications. Derived from John McCain’s controversial 2008 Vice Presidential pick, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
John was recently made principal, but everybody thinks he’s a Palin who can’t do the job.
My new boss is such a Palin – he took my deserved place because the CEO is his personal friend.
Finally, I thought this post by Mr. Frog was terribly snarky. And terribly funny.


A Rainy Day

It rained all day yesterday, utterly flooding our backyard. None of us even got dressed. Three sick people muddling through. I sneezed constantly, and for some reason, it really hurt my left ear.

I watched the Oscars. The whole thing. The best line was by Tilda Swinton about George Clooney’s Batman costume.
I listened to lots of music (Chess blues, Pete Droge, James Taylor).
I read about a dozen books and played catch with my daughter, who had left day care early Friday with a 101.2F fever.
I ate leftover birthday carrot cake. The birthday was pretty OK. Strangely, a highlight Friday involved visiting my sick friend, who will forever be known as Cupcake, in the hospital; he’s recovering from esophageal cancer surgery he had on Monday.
I read old newspapers. For some reason, I fell behind a couple months ago and am constantly catching up. The funny thing is that the Times Union has pulled quotes from my blog on their page for The Best of Our Blogs two or three times, complete with my picture, most recently a piece on Daylight Saving Time, and I generally hear it from other people before I actually see it myself.
In fact, I feel that a week off would be great, so I can clean up by blogroll and do other maintenance. I had the time yesterday, but not the energy.

Real content soon. I hope.
Happy birthday, KD!


Theorems of the Sick Child and/or The Sick Parent

At least for me:
If I am well, and the child is well, well, that’s fine.
If I am well, and the child is sick, I can deal with that.
If I am sick and the child is sick, I can muddle through.
If I am sick, but the child is well, but doesn’t want to go to day care because some boy said that she was a boy (probably because of her short haircut), information about which I torturously had to pry out her over a three-hour period, then this is not good, because she wants to do stuff, and all I want to do is SLEEP, which I failed to do yesterday.

So, after I go vote, that’s what I’m going to do today, thank you very much. And re: voting, I’ll probably vote for at least one Republican, which, in Democratic-machine Albany, is no big whoop. Also, there’s a little-mentioned Constitutional amendment for New Yorkers to vote on. From the Adirondack Club:
Since 1930, the Raquette Lake Reservoir has supplied the community with drinking water, but for the past five years, Raquette Lake has been under a “boil water” order from the state Department of Health. To address the water contamination problem, the town needs wells on state Forest Preserve land adjacent to the hamlet.
The “Forever Wild” clause of the New York Constitution permits reservoirs on the Forest Preserve, but makes no provision for drinking-water wells, so a constitutional amendment is needed so the town can legally move forward with this much-needed project. The amendment was twice approved unanimously by the state Legislature, and it is now up to voters statewide to OK it.

As one e-mail from a generally reliable source puts it, “Constitutional amendments make people nervous, and that’s probably a good thing. I believe that these drinking water wells do not signal a danger for environmental groups and are not antagonistic to the original intent of protecting the Adirondack Forest.”

Lots more to blog about, but no energy to describe things such as the Albany Symphony Orchestra concert last month featuring erhu player Betti Xiang, which Carol and I saw with our friends Bruce and Cenzi. Wonderful concert, wonderful time, but no pithy observations, except to note that the two-stringed instrument could, surprisingly, be more lyrically expressive than a four-string violin.