Holiday Survival, Still Remaining Vertical, and Pragmatic as Usual

winter tree

Winter.  Pretty, but it kinda sux.  At least the holidays are almost over.

 

I survived.

I purposely avoided making any holiday commentary this year, because I’ve been there before.  I’ve seen and photographed endless tacky Christmas light displays.  I’ve already dished on the annoying relatives I’d rather avoid.  I’ve said my peace regarding the big gropy gatherings where someone always thinks that 800º F is an acceptable room temperature, as I’m sweating to death in the corner, wishing I’d left hours ago.  I smile and put on my best behavior when Jerry is channeling his inner asshole for the yuletide festivities, and as usual, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I make myself scarce while he gets blitzed and feels sorry for himself.

saran wrapped drunk

I should do this the next time Jerry passes out- so I can keep the mess confined to one place.

Jerry doesn’t interact well with my family, and I feel obligated to go hang out with them on holidays, so I choose the lesser of two evils.  The house is positively untenable when Jerry’s ripped and on a rant, which is guaranteed during the holidays.  My family are mostly loud and obnoxious people, and it’s generally not pleasant being surrounded by their noise and bickering, but they are mild compared to Jerry when he’s going on and on about how much ____ sucks or how I don’t “do enough” for him.  Most of my family, with the exceptions of Steve-o and Dad, get on my nerves, but they drink a lot less than Jerry does.  I really didn’t want to hang out and watch Jerry go the zoo on his first Christmas without both his mother and his best friend Bob.  That’s an experience I was good to do without, and since I’m sure he doesn’t remember much beyond the first 12 pack, I see it (even though I loathe sports analogies) as no harm, no foul.  Jerry’s lonely drunk-and-stupids remind me of that age old quandary: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, was there a noise?  If he’s drunk and stupid but I don’t have to hear it, then it didn’t happen, no?

pinktree

The pink tree complete with the buzzard on the top will stay lit up in the living room until New Year’s, then I will put that stuff away for another year.  Then I get to settle in for two months (or so) of Februarys- dark, dismal and blessedly (hopefully) quiet, until about the middle of March.  I can only hope in the mid-to-late winter funk that somewhere I will find time to read and think and just be. I’ve been scattered in so many directions lately that I really need that ivory tower time in a bad way.

lonely place

I need solitude, but I can never seem to get enough of it.

 

This year wasn’t as depressing as Christmases go.  I actually had the resources to gift people in a reasonably acceptable manner, which is a big deal to me.  I like to treat people well when I can and be generous if I can, and I am thankful for having the means to do so at least in a small way.  I am not a wealthy woman by any stretch of the imagination, so nobody got anything really awesome from me, but if nothing else they got a little something useful.

So another year bites the dust.  Another day (year) closer to death (if I may sort of paraphrase Roger Waters and Pink Floyd) and not too much to show for it.  I can, however, take solace in the truth that I can’t take it with me.  The inevitability of death isn’t as depressing knowing that I’m not leaving behind a mansion, pool boy, or a garage full of tasty performance cars.  That attitude is pragmatism at work. All I can do is try to do the best I can today.

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Seek Approval, Party Like It’s 1899, and Things that Don’t Suck

2013I usually don’t succumb to the lure of corny party kitsch, but the light up necklace was cute.

I’ve said before I don’t deal much in the currency of optimism, so I don’t see this year being much of an improvement over last.  In fact, I started today out rather depressed.  Today’s been one of those days where I’m actually trolling for things to cheer me up a bit.  I’m actively fighting against the urge to just concede to the Dark Funk and give up.  I guess the fact that I’m fighting the temptation to just give into hopelessness is either a good sign, or it’s just an unwillingness to face the reality that my life is pretty much hopeless.

The best way to give myself a reality check, I’ve discovered is to make three lists- Things that Suck that I Can’t Change, Things that Suck that I Can Change, and Things that Don’t Suck.

Things that Suck that I Can’t Change:

Obama.  ‘Nuff said.

Personal poverty/ not being financially independent

Being stuck in Ohio, especially in the winter

Health issues* (can mitigate but not eliminate- bad heredity and effects from past diseases/injuries suck)

Jerry – especially when he gets into his “bitch about everything and blame everything on me” mode

Things that Suck that I Can (*theoretically anyway) Change

My own reaction to things that suck

My neglect of friends that I should make an effort to see and communicate with more often

I already turn off the “mainstream” TV news (can’t handle the constant Obama worship) and I already avoid following garbage on TV such as anything Honey Boo Boo or the Kardashians are doing.  Admittedly I probably get into true crime shows (TruTV, Discovery ID, etc.) and the Military Channel way too much.  I should probably cut down on “World’s Dumbest” and “1000 Ways to Die” and get back into reading a lot more than I do now (although I read a lot by any standard) and maybe get into something a bit more uplifting than unsolved murders, people earning their Darwin Awards, and 20th century history.  I mean, how much is left unturned regarding WWII and Adolf Hitler?

Things that Don’t Suck

God

The dogs and cats

The vacuum cleaner when it gets clogged up with Tipsy McNumbNuts’ cigarette pack cellophanes (the irony of which is that it sucks when the vacuum cleaner doesn’t…)

vacuumThere is no vacuum cleaner made that I don’t have to unclog, tear apart and otherwise rework every time I use the damned thing.

2013 pic

Somehow the deer in the headlights look is a little too typical for me.

Now that I’ve determined that God and the dogs and cats don’t suck, then it should probably follow that I should spend my time in the company of Entities that Don’t Suck as much as I can.

not dead yetSince for now I do appear to be vertical and sucking up valuable oxygen, let’s be creative and try to enjoy it!

I rather enjoy Victorian ephemera- especially patent medicines and other creepy stuff from that era.  I’m surprised anyone survived being treated with the stuff they used as medicine back then, since most of it included either alcohol or opium or various poisons like arsenic, but even today there’s some pretty questionable stuff being used as medicine.

pain killer axe woundImagine the same scenario today, only the rednecks have chainsaws, and the little girl has a bottle of moonshine.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

That’s actually one of the few French phrases I remember from high school French class (Why in the hell did I take French?  Did I think I was going to be deported to Quebec?) and it means, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  Yes, they do, and not always in a good way.

Mugwump VDI didn’t think Harry Potter had to worry about VD.  Or was that “mugworts?” That sounds like VD anyway.  Something like that.

I’m thinking “Bad Hump” would be a better name for a VD cure-all.  “Take this stuff for last week’s bad hump.”  Or you could just leave it to Dr. Butts:

butts_dispensaryI want to be cured via the US Postal Service.   By Dr. Butts. Yeah.

It’s really kind of scary considering that there really were no cures for VD in Victorian times, and if you got the syph or the clap it could kill you.   Sort of like AIDS today, and heaven only knows whatever other deadly STDs are lurking out there that nobody knows about yet.  Forced chastity might bite in a lot of ways, but I’m old enough to know that 1.) no man is worth a deadly disease, and 2.) there are such things as “meat substitutes” if you get my drift.  The advantage of the “meat substitute” is you don’t have to fix it dinner or unclog its cigarette pack cellophanes from the vacuum cleaner.   I only wish I’d figured that out 20 years ago. Just don’t run out of batteries.

piles-cure01va

Piles: Old time word for “hemorrhoid” – just an FYI

Why is it that back in the day being German cast some sort of legitimacy upon medical quackery?  And I find it hard to believe that a medical doctor would spend most of his life on a hemorrhoid cure, but then everyone needs a purpose.  I’ve still not figured out exactly why I’m still sucking up valuable oxygen, so I’m the last one to talk.

valium_bigThe 20th century wasn’t much better, but at least you could get a good night’s rest, forget about your hemorrhoids AND forget about your pathetic lack of self-esteem!