The Dismality of February, and This Will All Thaw Someday

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Oh, the dismality of February yet again.  There is a reason why February only has 28 days (at least for three out of four years,) and that’s to put a lid on the number of people who die in February.  If February were 30 or 31 days, half the damn population would die in February, and that would just be weird.  We have to spread the death throughout the year better.  Not that everyone should die from heat stroke in July, but jeez.  I can understand losing the will to live when it is 90° and 100% humidity if there’s no air conditioning, perhaps a bit more than most, because I am not at all equipped for high temperatures.  I can abide cold a far sight better than extreme heat.

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But at least in July there is sunlight, and Ohio winters are notoriously dark and sunless. I can go all week without seeing sunlight save for maybe a ray or two on the weekend-  unless there is a damned blizzard going on.  And even if the damned blizzard is going on and it’s 4° below, Target still has nothing but bathing suits, tank tops, sandals and sleeveless dresses on display.  If I need a parka, I will have to wait until July when they put them back out.

Here in central Ohio we have been enduring a rather harsher than normal winter.  Oh, yippee skippy, because I just adore driving in ice and snow.  I’m all about those below zero temperatures too.  There is simply nothing like one’s ass freezing to the toilet seat unless I break down and turn on the space heater in the bathroom.

“Spring” will arrive someday. Probably sometime in May there will come a day when my back yard will transform from frozen tundra into Dog Shit Lake overnight.  Oh, the smell of Spring in the air.  Temperatures will go from -4° to 90° and 100% humidity within the span of about 12 hours.  There is really no Spring in Ohio. There is just arctic cold and wind, followed by stygian heat, usually accompanied by torrential rain.

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This is Brutus, the Catahoula^ (Catahoula Bed Hog Dog)

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This was Clara^ (God rest her sweet soul) the Malinois

Note to self: the 80# Catahoula shits according to his size.  For those unaccustomed to dogs, for an example, a 65# Malinois has the strength to overpower a 300# man.  The 65# Malinois consumes, and disposes of about the same number of calories as a 300# man every day. Imagine that kind of waste load deposited in your back yard every day for six months from October until the May Thaw arrives.

In all fairness, since a Malinois is an ultra high energy, high metabolism dog, a 65# Malinois and an 80# Catahoula are pretty much identical in strength, energy consumed, and waste put down.  My paradigms have been pretty much the same for awhile.

There’s going to be a lot of dog shit to deal with.

Finding Ephemera, and Joy In the Morning?

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I have been trolling about online for 19th century ads for patent medicine and other assorted ephemera as well as car ads for vintage Toyotas, and I might consider some 1970s era ads for hygiene products and/or clothing (because that shit is hilarious) and various other weird things to transform into wall art for my house.

It’s my house. I’m the only one who lives there.  So my décor is entirely up to me. If I wanted to paint every wall in the house hot pink that is my prerogative.  I haven’t done that, mostly because a.) I don’t have time, and b.) hot pink would look weird on paneling.  This being said, eclectic is the only word I have to describe what I want.  If I like it, it goes up.

68toyotacoronacoupe                                   (but they didn’t synchronize reverse until the 2000’s)

There might be some that think I am being heartless or a bit callous in the transitions I’m making in my life.  The precious only male child is more than a little incensed that I have had the truck detailed (and that I am letting a friend in need borrow the truck for awhile) yet he never claimed that he wanted it or cared what I did with it before.  I know everyone handles grief differently, but why he would want me to let the truck sit in the garage and rot (and reek of old cigarettes and various food wrappers) is beyond me.

The difficult thing is that I have been waiting for years to be able to “get on with my life-” to be able to go have a good time if I feel like it, and to participate at church and in other activities.  No, it’s not about partying like a rock star (way too old) or anything debauched, just being able to do what I want, when I want, within reason.  I feel sort of bad because Mom and Dad both think that because I live back in town and I live alone that I am going to want to spend all my time away from work with them.  The idea here is not to ignore them, but I do have people I want to be around, and things I would like to do that don’t involve them.

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It has felt good to be able to go have dinner with a friend, to go out to malls and such, or to sit and watch old Journey concerts on You Tube.  And I am not going to feign being the “grieving widow” because I’m not feeling it. I spent too many years dealing with Jerry and his tirades and demands.  I am prone to depression, and if I really wanted to fall into that mess I probably could, but I’ve spent too much time there already.  Life is short, and I’ve already wasted enough of it being used and worn out and depressed.

And to be frank about it, 12 years of involuntary chastity was not exactly what I signed up for either.  I am certainly not easy or a slut (otherwise, I don’t see going 12 years without, married or not) but should the right opportunity (and I emphasize the word right) arise to remedy that situation, I am not going to refuse.  I am a free woman now.

Grief, a Primer, and We All Need New Frontiers

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I haven’t been here in awhile.  Between moving (still can’t find most of my winter clothes) and tending to the dying, I am surprised I am still relatively calm and sane. Even so my absence here is ironic, because I’ve certainly had the need for catharsis and venting and a place to sort out all the conflicting emotions (there’s that dirty word – emotions– again) that have been rolling about in my head.  I’ve just been scattered so far and wide that I’ve not had the time.

Unfortunately I was right about Jerry in his illness, that he would not survive long once he couldn’t work any more.  He was deemed permanently disabled July 8th.  He died October 21st.  It was a hellish ride, and slowly suffocating to death is a cruel and shitty way to die.   Pulmonary fibrosis finally won out, and I emphasize, it is a very shitty way to die.

I am thankful that he didn’t die like his Dad did (also of pulmonary fibrosis)- after a week of poking, prodding and fruitless and painful interventions in intensive care.  Jerry was fortunate enough to die at home, I think, if only because of his determination to stay out of hospitals.  After witnessing his Dad’s horrible death in the hospital a only a week earlier, yeah, I’d want to stay the freak out of that mess too.  Especially when you have a terminal illness and death is the inevitable outcome.  Nothing that hospital could do was going to make him any better or move him toward any kind of recovery.

I am not going to pretend that our marriage was loving or happy.  Most of the time, with some brief exceptions, it wasn’t either one. Most of the time it was barely tolerable.  For me it was upholding a choice to do what I said I would, even if the decision I made was an ill-advised one.  Marry in haste, repent in leisure. Got it.

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This isn’t to say that I didn’t love him or care, but that I’ve been worn down by many years of dealing with his alcoholism and weathering the emotional and verbal abuse that is part of that.   I can’t say that I was perfect or blameless either, and hindsight being 20/20 I still wonder if it would have been more admirable or noble for me to have left him quietly long ago.  Even though it came about in a fashion I would not wish on anyone, twenty one years later, that obligation is over.

This is the hard part that my family (as well as his family and some of our mutual friends)is having a hard time understanding.  I’ve been mourning for a very long time already.  I’ve been mourning the fact that I spent 20+ years of my life in a difficult and troubled marriage.  I’ve been mourning the reality of living with an alcoholic and riding that rollercoaster ride. I’ve been mourning witnessing someone I once loved suffering and dying in a most horrible way.  Mourning has been a way of life for me for way too long.

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Even so, I’m not dead yet. I’m not getting any younger, either.  Excuse me if I want to live. I am not prostrate in grief.  Yes, I am sad that he suffered the way he did, and I miss him in some ways, but in most ways I’m relieved.  Relieved that his suffering is over, and that I am free to pursue my own life, whatever that might mean.

By the grace of God new frontiers are right in front of me, and in ways I couldn’t have imagined a year ago.  I’m living an ending and a beginning at the same time.  As truly bizarre as it might sound, I can’t help to stand back and feel blessed and in awe.

 

 

Damn the Torpedoes, Full Steam Ahead, and Let the Pundits Be Wrong

 

reagan-greatI have said before that I’ve not been as excited about a presidential candidate – meaning Donald Trump- since Reagan in 1980.  For you math wizards out there, I was 11 years old in 1980, and more than aware of how President Carter’s flawed policies (especially his mishandling of the coal strikes and the mollycoddling of unions that led to millions of jobs going overseas) contributed to the destruction of my home town.  I watched my friends and schoolmates move away as I was growing up.  I watched as our town turned into a poverty stricken ghost town.  My family at times was reduced to “pay the mortgage and utilities” or “get groceries.” More than once we survived on canned tuna, off brand mac & cheese, and Cream of Wheat.  .

Yes, in spite of what the pundits try to say- that people in my demographic, i.e. middle aged, white professional women, can’t possibly support a “racist” or “woman-hater” like Donald Trump, I beg to strongly disagree.

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Trump is giving people like me, yes even women, a voice.  He’s saying all the things the establishment drones are too afraid (or too beholden to their donors) to say.  He is saying what many of us have been thinking and hoping for, and that we’ve been denied all these years.  We voted for establishment Republicans hoping to get away from the failed and dangerous policies of the dreadful socialist/globalist/terrorist supporting Democrats- and the people we voted for to fight those failed policies just go right along with them instead of listening to the people who voted for them.

Newsflash: the media won’t tell you this, but fly over country is PISSED.

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I am tired of seeing my country being invaded by foreigners who refuse to contribute to the greater society because they subscribe to a medieval death cult (i.e. Islam,) that teaches that people like me should be dead, or at the very least objectified and forced into servitude.  Yet, between Obama and his buddy Kasich (who is supposedly a Republican) they moved in 41,000 Somalian invaders (91% of them are on welfare) into north Columbus (not far from where I live.)  The long and the short of that is I am paying to support people who want me dead, and I can’t do anything about it.  Nobody asked me- or anyone else in central Ohio- if they wanted these moochers planted here.  Do we really want little Mogadishu in the middle of Ohio? I know I sure as hell don’t. They destroyed their own country, and sure as night follows day they will mooch and pillage and destroy ours as well.

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This isn’t Detroit…yet.

I don’t know if Trump will be able to “fix” what’s wrong in this country but he is at least naming and addressing the problems, which Obama and Hillary, all their sycophants, and even the establishment RINOs refuse to do.

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I don’t have a problem with American hegemony.  I really don’t.  Perhaps it was the way I was raised- that the world doesn’t owe one a living, that excellence is its own reward, and that it is inherently wrong to mooch from others.

Trump is right in that it is time for Americans to put America first.  It is past time to stop the Islamic terrorists and drug cartels who are taking advantage of our open borders and asinine immigration policies.  It is past time to establish fair trade practices, and to end the welfare dependency class. It’s not a matter of xenophobia or racism but of sheer survival.  Unless we take drastic steps to end the destruction Obama and his failed policies have brought upon us, America will go the way of Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Refuse to Stay Behind With the Rest of the Class, and More Passive-Aggressive Revenge

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The dirty birds of political correctness and feel-good leftism have come home to roost, and the results are grim as well as predictable.

I was fortunate enough in some ways to grow up in a sort of cultural backwater.  In the 1970s and 1980s the leftist devolution of American society hadn’t really taken hold in the tiny towns.  It was still OK to pray in school.  The whole town was scandalized when it became permissible for girls to wear pants to school if they chose (this was the late 1970s.)

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Given the dreadful thick, itchy, badly patterned, hot polyester that was popular in the 1970s, it was almost better to wear a dress, but then you had to wear tights, which were almost as bad as these pants- they were hot, itchy, and didn’t stay up, so the crotch would be at your knees by the end of the day no matter what you did to try to keep them up.

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When I was in elementary school, kids were expected to say the Pledge in the morning, unless their parents sent them a note excusing them from it.  I remember one poor Jehovah’s Witness kid who had to sit out the Pledge in the hall, which made no sense because the principal always had a student of the day read it over the PA system for the whole school, including the halls, to hear. I don’t think he understood his parents’ objection to the Pledge any more than he enjoyed being teased for having to sit it out.

Now the kids in public schools have to endure the dreadful Common Core curriculum that teaches to standardized tests (forget about critical or analytical thinking, learning at one’s own pace, or learning subject matter that isn’t included in the pre-fabbed one-size-fits-none test box) and to the religion (and yes, it is a religion of sorts) of secular humanism.

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Even atheism, in its tenacious and oft irrational hanging onto a belief that there can be no God, is its own religion. Living under the assertion that there is no God may be a poor belief system, but it’s a belief system nonetheless.

I remember in third grade I was told to “stay behind with the rest of the class,” and I resent that directive to this day.  I absolutely hated it when the teacher would have the kids read a paragraph at a time out loud in class.  I’m hyperlexic, which means (among other things) that I speed read.  Constantly. Compulsively.  It is very difficult for me to stay awake– forget staying focused- when other people are reading aloud, painfully slowly, in a monotone voice.  By the time my turn would roll around I was usually three or four chapters ahead.

Usually I was a good enough multitasker to flip right back to the paragraph the class was currently reading in time to read my assigned lines without being noticed, but this particular day I was more scattered than normal, and the kids reading before me were even more tedious and hesitating and monotone than normal.  It took me a few seconds to scan back to the paragraph the teacher expected me to read, which didn’t sit well with her.

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I think elementary school teachers really hated me for a number of reasons.  I didn’t fit into the box.  I didn’t adhere to the normal template of child development that they learned in college.  I freaked them out with my vocabulary. I alienated them with my avoidance of eye contact and repulsed them with my intense reactions to fear- but more than that, I simply didn’t follow the paradigm.  I couldn’t identify the paradigm, let alone follow it, and even at 47 I struggle with keeping up the semblance of “normal.”

When you’re a kid, autism kind of sucks- because you haven’t had a chance to learn the scripts that can help you navigate through the world  of “normal.”  Those scripts come naturally for most, but people like me have to learn and memorize and practice those social scripts until they become habit.  You know you’re different, they know you’re different, and until you learn how to play the social game to your advantage, you pay (dearly) for that nonconformity.

Of course at first, doing things differently than other people wasn’t a conscious choice.  I speed read. I have my own road map.  I am extremely pragmatic and rational in the way I approach life. There’s nothing I can (or want to) do about the way I’m wired, and I have come to the conclusion that staying behind is just not a viable option for me.

What is disturbing to me about collective education is that teaching to a group discourages individual excellence.  I understand that teaching to a norm is going to reach the greatest percentage of kids, but what about those that deviate from the mean?  Much has been done- in fact too much- to address those who can’t or won’t meet the basic standards.  Lowering the standard is not a good answer, although for funding and other reasons, lower standards seem to make politicians happier.

The kids who are capable of excellence generally do what I did.  I coasted.  I partied, though very clandestinely.  I multitasked, and I read a lot of Mad magazines as well as Stephen King novels, history and scientific non-fiction, and not a few books that would have been porn had they been illustrated.  I read a lot of extra curricular material in study halls as well as in class.  I was quiet and did well on tests, so I was pretty much left alone, even though some days- I admit it, I was stoned or hung over or both.  By that time the teachers had better things to worry about than the weird loner in the corner who aces tests but doesn’t talk much.

Even with my somewhat laissez-faire approach in high school, I graduated with a 4.1 average, thanks to taking some weighted courses to offset my rather average mathematical aptitude.  For the life of me, higher math, or at least the way it was taught, simply didn’t make much sense.

 

 

 

 

 

The Death of Common Sense, Stand Your Ground, A Time for All Things Under Heaven

 

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One switch to turn it on.  One switch to turn it off.  If only life were that cut and dry, it would be so much easier.

So who is naïve enough to believe that with the push of a switch the civilized world could turn back time and heed the warnings from the past?  I hate to be someone who says, “I told you so,” but, I told you so, and I take no comfort nor smug consolation in that statement.   The engine of human avarice will stop, but not of its own volition, not any time soon, and not before irreparable mistakes are made, and irreplaceable treasures are lost.

The seeds of destruction were sown long before my lifetime.  In fact if one is to be completely accurate about the eventual demise of humanity, it began with the Fall and the devolution simply continues.  I’m not being negative, I’m being pragmatic.  Facts are facts.  For those who doubt this assertion, look up the word entropy.  Given enough time, everything turns to shit.

At the current time the most nefarious and pernicious danger facing the free world is not “climate change.”  Climate change is happening, but it has always been happening, and always will happen no matter what humans do.  George Carlin had the best take on the folly of human-engineered climate change of anyone I have heard.

carlin on governmentThere is a certain irony that a comedian who has been dead for eight years makes more sense than policymakers. I find that fascinating, though sad.  I’ve also noticed that the more that people oppose the truth, the more that they make a mockery of themselves trying to defend a lie.  I don’t get how the fervor spent in defense of a lie somehow makes it true.

While Europe burns- largely due to their own blindness to the wolves they have ignorantly allowed on their soil- Obama, the naked wannabe emperor he is, is yukking it up with Communists and taking in a little Cuban b-ball. While America would likely be better off if Obama stays in Cuba, posing with a likeness of Che  Guevara, (how special) and displaying to the world just how big of an asshat he is, it is still regretful and embarrassing that he has so thoroughly disgraced the office he stole.

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If anything his dreadful precedents should prove that voting is important, and that it’s about time the people voted for someone worth a damn- and that fraud is taken seriously for a change.

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Then we have John Kasich.  At one time he came across as a half way decent guy, at least not as bat shit crazy as Ted Strickland- Ohio’s last governor who is unfortunately running for the US Senate.  Kasich is an embarrassment at best, and delusional is more like it.  The thing is, Ohio doesn’t want him back, especially after it came to light that he is behind the influx of Somalian welfare bums- some 40,000 of them-all potential Muslim terrorists, into central Ohio.

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Charity is one thing, but when there are veterans in Ohio who are homeless or without proper health care, then I don’t give a fart in a high wind about foreign Muslim “refugees” who come here to suck up welfare, riot because they don’t like their free housing, and drive up the crime rate.  I sure hope Kasich thought the federal subsidy money for bringing in these people who are a drain on the economy and a significant terror risk was worth it.

Wonder if, while on his  Commie Paradise Vacation Tour, Obama remembers to buy his favorite RINO governor a Che Guevara t-shirt?

 

 

Whatever I Fear, the List is Long

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I do believe in a literal hell, even though this rendering sort of reminds me of a mosh pit backlit with a red light.  Jesus talked about hell frequently in the Bible, and I don’t think He was being allegorical.  This being said, thankfully, I have neither the authority nor the desire to consign anyone to that realm.  There are enough horrors right here on this earth to convince me that I don’t want to see such things escalate or continue.

I’m sure that the way I’m wired has something to do with the fact that I tend toward fear most of the time.  Now that I’m older and have the life experience and scripts to be bit more rational about my fears, I don’t always appear to be a deer in the headlights, but those fears are far closer to the surface than I would like to acknowledge.

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I’m not necessarily talking about dreams one has while sleeping.  I almost never have the vivid and terrifying dreams I had as a child, but neither do I have the wonderful, majestic visions in “good” dreams I once enjoyed either.  If I remember my dreams at all, they are usually rather banal and bland.   Whether the neutralization of my dreams is a side effect of the medications I take, or this numbing occurs because I seldom sleep soundly, or this graying effect can be attributed to the cumulative grimy jadedness of age, I don’t know.  I am thankful for the dearth of terrifying nightmares, but I could use a really good fantasy or two to savor these days.

full mourningWhy does Victorian mourning garb remind me of burqas?

I am terrified of the prospect that some day my granddaughter could be forced to wear a burqa and be subjugated to the barbaric laws of Islam. Maybe I am over reacting to what I see and read, but history has much to teach us about Islam and what happens when radical Islamists find their ways into civilization.

burqa-banNot here.  Not unless it is a personal choice and 100% voluntary. And who would voluntarily choose this?

I remember as a child being afraid (and this was during the Cold War) that the Soviet Union would randomly nuclear bomb the entire world into kingdom come. Of course my childhood was filled with fear around-the-clock,  fear of pretty much everything apart from dogs and books.

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Historically speaking it takes pretty dire situations to wake up the American people.  We like to stay quiet and peaceful and complacently bucolic.  For the most part that is not a bad thing, except when change is necessary or a great adversity needs to be overcome.

We have dealt with an ever increasing degree of corruption, graft and cronyism in our government at all levels.  Obama is arguably the very worst and most corrupt president this country has ever seen, so much so that his very ineptitude and disdain for this country and disregard for the people is waking people up. We are pissed. We are afraid for our future, and we are realizing the need to do something about it.

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