My Old Friend Montezuma Stopped By, and He Brought His Cousin, Ralph

happy superfriends birthdayThis year’s birthday really, really sucked ass.  Then again, I should refrain from any toilet-related verbage for awhile, probably.
I appreciate the birthday wishes everyone sent me Tuesday even though I didn’t reply to anyone on Facebook or anywhere else.  I wasn’t being rude intentionally.  I was home in bed and quite miserable- and not because I wanted to be.
Monday, when I’d already arranged (of course) to take the day off for Sophia’s birthday and then to take Tuesday off for my own, I got to spend both days in the company of Montezuma and his cousin Ralph.  They are not nice houseguests.
diarrhea tsunamiNot my idea of a good time.  Ever.
Steve-o and I left early Monday morning with Sophie to go to Easton so she could do Build-a-Bear for her birthday.  We got through the Build-a-Bear (she picked the Hello Kitty- and her clothes) and then I got deathly ill.
I’m just glad I knew where the ladies’ was at Easton, and that I could trot fast enough to get there in time to avoid a most embarrassing and aesthetically unpleasant scene.  Not too many people are “down with the fountain of brown.” Steve-o had to take me home and I spent the rest of the day Monday and most of the day Tuesday between bed and…well, you know where.
overflowI had better aim than that, thankfully, but yeah, it was about that bad.
It was my typical bad luck to schedule days off only to be sick, but then I thought at least, 1. I had taken vacation time already anyway, and 2. getting sick while on vacation saved me the dreaded necessity of calling off, which I won’t do, unless, of course, I am physically unable to remain vertical.
Tuesday night, once I did manage to keep down some saltine crackers and Diet 7UP, I felt a little bit up to reading the pages on fasting in our Lenten study book from church.  I know my sort of imposed fasting of late isn’t exactly what I’d call a spiritual discipline, at least not when the cause for one’s fast is: Don’t eat – unless you want to visit Cousin Ralph.  Even so, I did not fail to see the irony in reading about fasting when all I’d had to eat in the past 24 hours was a few saltine crackers.  Being hungry sucks.  It sucks even worse when you know that anything you think you’re going to put down is going to come right back up.
throw_upNot one of my favorite activities.  It’s right down there with standing in line at the BMV.
I know as a diabetic, fasting from food, in the traditional sense of a fast, is Not a Good Idea, especially when my blood sugar was 60 Tuesday morning (don’t worry, it was 110 yesterday morning and 118 this morning, which is acceptable, so today at least, I’m staying vertical.) For the past few days, though, in spite of being somewhat vertical yesterday and today, I’ve felt like a freeze-dried dog turd.
crappy-mug
However, even in my non-voluntary fast, I learned a few important things.  One is the ever present lesson that my physical body and stamina are quite limited.  Lately I had been burning the candle at both ends as well as in the middle, and it caught up with me.  Sometimes these annoying (though thankfully, usually brief and not deadly in the long term) ailments give one just enough time to stop and rest and realize that there’s too much noise and too much running around and various crud going on.  Saturday I was between Columbus and Marion.  Sunday I was between Columbus and Lancaster and then back to Marion. Monday I’d gone back from Marion to Columbus after staying in my parents’ guest room, being kept up all night by the spooky sounds of the trains.
train2
It’s a backwater, but even in Marion the trains are diesel-electrics, not like the cool steam engine pictured above.
If you live there, you get used to the trains, but when you don’t live there, the incessant noise of the trains is creepy, probably like the airport would be for people who don’t live less than a mile from Port Columbus.
diesel-electricThis is a diesel-electric locomotive engine- the ones that are in use today- constantly hauling thousands of coal cars back and forth across central Ohio.
The bottom line was I was running too much, and trying to cram 10# of fertilizer into a 5# bag.  That’s sort of normal for me, only the older I get I have less and less tolerance for it.  If my body and mind don’t get the rest and recharging they think they need, sometimes they take it by force. Sometimes they hire Monte and Ralph to do the job.
I was forced to step back and realize that no, I wasn’t going to be able to get all the laundry done.  I was going to have to ask Jerry to go get catfood (and hope and pray that the catfood bags still have pictures of cats on the front so he doesn’t come home with hog feed or something.) I wasn’t going to get to spend a day traipsing about Easton with my son and granddaughter.  I was more than aware that if I wasn’t able to get myself vertical and drag myself out the door that calling off Wednesday would have been a distinct possibility (and maybe should have been…)
catfood
Jerry: no, it’s not cat meat in the bag, it’s what you feed the cats.  Just so I’m clear.
It’s hard to take a hiatus from our own demands, (even if we try to plan for it) but it’s even harder to take a hiatus from the demands of others.
I think I understand what John Lennon meant about sitting and watching the wheels go ’round and ’round.  I’d like to get off the merry-go-round from time to time, but it seems the only time I get that opportunity is when my grip on the merry-go-round gets overwhelmed by the centrifugal force of the world spinning.  I let go, and I fall off of it.  Unlike John Lennon, I don’t have the luxury of staying off the bloody thing for too long, but I need to do it more often, and before I have to be pried off of it by illness, weakness and sometimes, even, my own pride.
There is an even more profound lesson to be found in all of this.  All of our provision comes from God.  Apart from Him I am not able to do anything.  It’s not my strength we’re talking about, but His. Sometimes I need times like this to be reminded that it’s not about my plans or what I’ve set out to do.   Sometimes God simply says: “Sit down and shut up and rest for once. You have no power at all save for Me.”  It’s a necessary and humbling reminder.
Monte and Ralph have beaten me up pretty good over the past couple of days.  I will need to change the cat boxes tonight though, because Jerry will NOT do that.  I took him way out of his comfort zone by asking him to unload the dryer and hang up his clothes. 🙂
 Explosive-DiarrheaThen again, maybe not.

Things that Suck #501- The Fridge Took a Dump, and #502- Drunken Assholes Smoking in My Car

No, as much as I like the pink fridge, I can’t afford it, and Jerry would crap himself should he have to retrieve his Natties from this.  However, I don’t even think a pink fridge would stand between him and Nattyvana.

The beautiful Central Ohio area just went through a week’s worth of apocalyptic storms followed by interminable stygian heat.  Yesterday wasn’t quite as intolerable as the rest of the week, so I decided I would go to the campground party knowing that if worse came to worse there is AC in our cabin as well as in my car.

It was hot- and I didn’t stay in it too long, but I stayed long enough to munch on some fresh perch (believe it or not, Lake Erie perch is quite nice) and to sit around and shoot the shit for a bit.

Perch is good eating.  Lightly breaded and deep fried.  Mmm, mmm.

By the time I left the campground it had been a nice afternoon, though rather subdued.  Jerry had gotten his drink on pretty good Saturday night, so he was more quiet than usual.  He wasn’t able to get shitfaced yesterday because he had to drive his truck home,  which was fine with me because that meant I didn’t have to deal with driving Tipsy McNumbNuts home.  I live for the small victories.  Attempting to drive 40 miles with a babbling drunken smoking idiot flopping about in the car is most unpleasant, trust me.  It was worse when he and his (now) estranged buddy Terry used to get shitfaced and then demand I take them home at 1 AM.

Joy and rapture.

Paarrtty!!!!!  YEAH, DUDE!

Two drunken idiots, running their mouths, flopping about, smoking, waving around their lit cigarettes (intentionally or not, threatening to burn holes in the upholstery, each other or me) in one car.  I’m surprised neither one of them managed to visit cousin Ralph in my car, though they both came close.  Puke smell does NOT ever come out of car upholstery.  Neither does cat piss, which is why my mother should learn to roll up the windows on her van, but that’s another story.  I would be happy to find an effective method to keep Jerry from thinking the first thing he needs to do when he sits down in my car is light up.

I used to smoke in the car when I smoked- a lot- but by the grace of God I’ve been 10 years without lighting up myself, and now I really despise my car smelling like his ashtray.  I get him back for it though.  Since I love strong scents- they have to be strong or I can’t smell them anyway- I try to find the absolute strongest air fresheners I can find.  One of my favorites is the Chanel #5 knock-off cologne from the Dollar Store.  It probably smells like insecticide to normal people, but with my very limited sense of smell it actually smells somewhat like Chanel.  Jerry hates it even though he knows that’s his punishment for smoking in my car and leaving that god-awful smell in it as well as ashing all over it.  Jerry is not a neat smoker.  Imagine someone with tremor disorder who’s drunker than a monkey with a lit cigarette.  My car actually becomes his ashtray.

I know I smoked for years, but it’s a nasty gross habit.

So I arrive home blissfully un-stressed from a peaceful drive home- just me, the AC on full blast, and Metallica on full blast.  I go take a shower and put on some lounge clothes.  Then I go to the fridge to get some iced tea (strong, no sweetener, and a bit of lemon) only to grab the ice tray and get another shower.  Everything in the fridge freezer had melted- ice cream, (there’s a bloody disaster for you) ice cubes, previously frozen vegetables, and so forth.  Damn, damn, damn.  The irony of this is that the power never went out, the AC unit is (knock on Formica or whatever the hell that stuff is) holding tough and the cable is on.  The chest freezer is plugging away quite nicely, as is Jerry’s small beer fridge out in the foyer.  But the main fridge- the side-by-side 30 year old behemoth fridge that takes up half my kitchen, took a major puke.

I had to move the beer to save the food. Sorry about your luck.

Guess who’s got some warm Natties.

So, because I’m poor and he’s cheap, Jerry gets on Craig’s List looking for a fridge.  There were crazy people wanting $1000 for used fridges- granted they were the high faluting stainless steel ones with the drinky fountains and the ice makers and wine chests and so forth but if I’m going to spend that kind of scratch I want a new one with a warranty.  So Jerry keeps looking and happens upon a nice simple used fridge for $100- about 45 miles away.  I call the guy and tell him I’ll be there in about an hour.  When I get there the fridge is still plugged in, nice and cold.  I gladly gave the dude the money- it’s older, but a nice, clean working fridge- and he and his buddy get the fridge loaded up in Jerry’s truck.

Jerry, of course stayed home in bed, because he’s helpful like that, while I drive off to see some strange people who could potentially be serial killers, who I never met before in my life, in the dead of night, to conduct business.  I knew the neighborhood (not terribly far from where I grew up) and it was in a nicer area than where I grew up, otherwise I would not have taken the risk, (the people turned out to be most personable and cordial also) but sometimes you never know.  I arrived home with the fridge around 11:30 last night, but I did not attempt to remove it from the back of the truck in the dark by myself.  He will regret not helping me unload it last night- tonight when he has no cold beer- but tough titty.  I could care less about beer, so I moved it out to save the milk and cheese.  It’s not as if Natty is going to taste any worse warm.

Does temperature really count for much when you’re drinking canned horse piss?

Today Jerry is supposed to accomplish two things.  One is to remove the old behemoth fridge from the kitchen.  I cleaned it out- at least the big pieces and anything that might rot and stink- so the scrap guy (who is always scrounging for used refrigerators, working or not) can do what he will with it.  The other is to get the fridge I acquired last night in the kitchen plugged in and running.   Let’s see how he does with his assignment.  I have a feeling I am going to be very sore in the morning after I drag these appliances where they need to go by myself.

I get to move this son-of-a-bitch all by myself!