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Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Imagine a boiling pot with soap, wool, mulch, and gym socks (but far less pleasant). That was the smell permeating my nostrils the other day. I won’t be surprised if I have a nightmare about a giant cauldron spewing malodorous zombies that slay citizens with just their fetid odor.

~~ I hear the cabinets in the kitchen opening and closing. The rapidity and frequency unnerves me, so I investigate. I see the home health aide pouring a stream of our salt into whatever she’s preparing. I question her because she’s supposed to supply her own food (and hadn’t asked to use ours). Her response: “Salt isn’t food.” OK, let’s try it again. It’s a seasoning that costs money. “No, no. Salt isn’t that either. It’s just salt.” Next time you go to the store and they are giving away salt, let me know, please. I want to pick up enough for me and Ms. Saline.

~~ It’s not the salt I begrudge her.
It’s the total violation of personal space and sanctuary.

~~ The dementia patient is screaming very loudly as I start to write this post. Is everything OK? It seems so, but there’s no way to know because most sentences end without finishing, and she runs the gamut of emotions in the space of seconds. Anything I can do? No, you are stupid!

~~ Oh, wait. She’s yelling Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! so I start to walk that way again. I turn around as soon as I hear the maniacal laughter.

~~ A woman is texting as she walks along the sidewalk. A guy parked on the street opens his car door.  She’s about to walk smack into it because her head is down. “Look out!” I yell.
She halts, assesses the situation, turns to me, and blurts out, “You didn’t have to startle me so loudly.” I shrug and keep walking.

~~ The freelancer doing a job is not a native-English speaker. She professed that it wasn’t going to be a problem, but apparently it was when simple written directions confused her (so did illustrations, but that’s another story). At one point, after she repeatedly mixed up a list of people I’d put into alphabetical order — despite my communicating my displeasure — I made the mistake of telling her why the order was important. “That’s not alphabetical!” she responded. Since when is:
not alphabetical?

~~ So Don-the-Con has a “bigly” plan to defeat ISIS he won't share unless he's POTUS? That's possibly jeopardizing people’s lives right now, all over the world.

~~ I was going to jump up on my soapbox and rant more today, but you already know where I stand. I’ll take the time to work on HRC’s campaign instead. It’s easy if you want to help, too: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/forms/volunteer/

~~ I’m wearing a NY Jets tee shirt. Before yoga class starts, a guy says to me, “So, are you a Jets’ fan?” I wanted to answer, “No, I found this dumpster diving,” or “How many times have you repeated first grade?” I didn’t. I just laughed and answered, “Of course. Who’d want to advertise that they’re crazy unless they really are a fan?”

~~ The woman squashes a bug in front of me in another class. “Oh, I would have taken it out!” I say sadly. “Are you a Buddhist?” she asks. No, a vegan. “Well, then, relax. You didn’t eat it!” she declares.

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Yesterday, I went to toast an English muffin but there was someone else’s food in the toaster oven. I tried to do a load of laundry but someone else’s clothes were in the washer. I ate a cold lunch and tried to read the paper, but instead heard a tedious tale told in trilling tones involving (I think) the health aide and “a crazy-ass bitch.”

~~ She kicked up an area rug as she walked past. I said, “Please smooth it down if it comes up like that — someone might trip,” as I straightened it out. She looked at me and said, “Oh.”

~~ The dementia patient clapped her hands as if happy to see me. Hmm, I thought, today might be a good day. Never fear, she pronounced: Shit is here!

~~ I thought about writing a play I’d call “Nutbags and Scumbags.” Even before I started drafting it, a problem arose that made me rethink such a literary foray. My theatrical vision has multiple villains while the protagonist will likely sit alone in the front row of the theater, crying her eyes out.

~~ This:

~~ When you’re having a discussion with a friend over whether Trump reminds you more of Hitler or Mussolini, you know this country is in trouble if hatred prevails. (And don’t give me any speeches about how “Trump’s a business-man who gets stuff done” — you haven’t seen his taxes but you do know he stiffs people, bankrupts companies, uses foreign workers here and ships manufacturing overseas. So you’re voting for him either because you are a hater or gullible as hell.)

~~ The acquaintance says her sister just left her husband and declared it “good riddance.” I must have looked remotely interested, because she elaborated: “He was always a stupid jackass but now he’s a stupid jackass with a girlfriend.” I don’t know the girlfriend but, honey, you could do better than a married and brainless man.

~~ Seriously?

~~ It was comical to listen to three women try to correct another woman’s pronunciation of the name of a person they all knew. The fourth woman kept saying Lane-ah instead of Lah-na, and the other three said Lah-na multiple times. One looked at me and shrugged. I shrugged back, because what did I care? It was the only thing all day that didn’t cost me a cent or cause me a headache!

~~ My dogs were kind of jittery, running back and forth between their multiple beds and blankets for no discernable reason. I lost interest (see reason above) then happened to key in on how quiet it had become. Here’s what I saw:

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ She says she can’t believe that no one has noticed she’s done great on her diet and lost five pounds. I say people are often in their own worlds and oblivious to what’s happening around them. “Hmmmph,” she replies, not listening to a word I say. “Maybe I should wear tighter shirts.”

~~ “How’s the new aide?” is the kindly question I am often asked. Let’s see, on a scale that runs from Completely Inconspicuous to Thoroughly Obnoxious, I’d say we’re at a four now. Except she has a detestable habit of sitting on a chair and planting her bare feet on my wall. Who does that?

~~ There’s also the tête-à-têtes on the phone that continue as she heats food in the microwave. She stands fairly close behind me as I read the paper, and she talks for two minutes or so. No “Hold on,” or “I’ll call you back” for this aide — she just natters on and on in Creole. She was talking to someone named George, I think, because she said his name a lot. I’m such a petulant child that every time she mentioned George I muttered, “George sucks.”

~~ In addition, there’s some food she likes that, when microwaved, smells exactly like a high school locker room one week into a janitors’ strike.

~~ OK, on that scale I established, she’s now a six. Or seven. I don’t know what I was thinking with a four score.

~~ The dementia patient has been a smidge subdued this week. Her outbursts are still as rancorous, but decidedly shorter. Instead of variations on You’re so ugggggggggggggggggggggggggly! I’ve mostly been hearing No! No! However, there was one prolonged flare-up that sounded like Porky Piggy! Porky Piggy! Porky Piggy! Porky Piggggggggggggggggggggy! When I walked in to see if I could quell it or confirm what she was saying, she gave me a cold-eyed stare and used her pet name for me: Ass.

~~ How is it that many of the people who demand that the US flag and anthem must be saluted don’t remember that those are symbols of the freedoms we hold dear?

~~ I wish my grandmother was around so she could smack Donald Trump Jr. and tell him that Holocaust jokes are never, ever funny. Except I guess they are to anti-Semites and white supremacists — part of the deplorables making up the Trump family and supporters. My stomach dropped three stories when I heard him make the gas chamber reference, yet the haters are loving it:

~~ In the past few days, the NY Times has said that Trump “stretched the truth” and “dissembled the facts” because they won’t use the word lie. And neither will NPR:

~~ And as for the nasty pundits who say Hillary Clinton was trying to “hide something” when she went to a memorial service while suffering from pneumonia, let me tell you a quick story. The day after laparoscopic surgery, I developed bronchitis. Two days after surgery and one day into bronchitis, I did two closings and cared for my son while my husband traveled. I taught a class and had a contract signing before eventually collapsing, but I don’t consider it extraordinary. It’s just what people who need to move ahead do — we muscle on until our bodies apply the brakes.

~~ I don’t have to root the Jets on again until after next week’s blog. Am I lucky or what?

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Someone complimented my writing, calling me a “humorist.” While I am flattered, I truly wonder — do humorists need to see a situation as funny?

~~ This week’s aide is the Trump of home health care. She does something then flat-out denies it. Apparently, she’s not on the phone all day, despite appearances to the contrary. She just carries it in one hand with earbuds in place and talks to herself from 9:00 am until 8:30 pm. She scolds herself sometimes and laughs hysterically at her own jokes. Awesome, right? She probably saves money without a data plan.

~~ I also saw her opening up my dishwasher wearing disposable gloves. I wondered, did she happen to use the gloves recently to change her charge’s diaper? “Oh, no, ha ha, this is fresh gloves.” Suuuuuure.

~~ The dementia patient has a very lovely singing voice. It almost, but not quite, eases the sounds of You are horrible shit shit shit and YA-YA-YA-YA-YA-RRRRRRRR coming from her. Sometimes she doesn’t sing, however. Yesterday she screamed at the top of her lungs Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! Maybe she’s just talking to herself like the aide does?

~~ There are lots of strange people in cyberspace. Some insult you for sport, some creep you right out (I’m looking at you, Anthony Weiner), and some try to see if you’re open to whatever. Here’s a Twitter conversation that never went anywhere because I wouldn’t play along:

~~ Beware of a yogi who gleefully tells you she has “a couple more tricks up her sleeve” when she’s wearing a tank top.

~~ On the topic of yoga, here’s a photo I was asked to take for a studio flyer.
The woman on the right walked in, dropped her purse, and flew into that position in under two seconds. Try taking a steady photo when your jaw is rapidly dropping!

~~ The woman on the left shared this quote with us:

At first, I loved it, and then I started to think, do I really want my yesterdays returning for any reason, let alone to express jealousy? (Yes, readers, I overthink almost anything.)

~~ At least I get that quote. What the hell does this fortune mean?

~~ The September issue of our magazine is out.
Enjoy! http://boatingtimesli.com/NY/

~~ She told me the media was “all liberal.” I protested, saying that both the NY Times and NPR seemed to be bending over backwards to insert a ‘Hillary issue’ into every story about a Trump gaffe. Then I saw this affirming story (which came out before Matt Lauer’s brutally different treatment of the two candidates Wednesday night): http://bluenationreview.com/in-the-name-of-decency-stop-tipping-the-scale-for-trump/.

~~ Sunday is a very somber day for our country. It was quite sobering, in an altogether different way, to hear a woman say that her daughter —WHO IS IN HIGH SCHOOL— hadn’t even been born on September 11, 2001. Something so seared into our hearts and minds is just history to a generation or two, folks. Whoa.

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ I overheard some crazy and blush-worthy stuff earlier this week. There was the woman who was talking on the phone to Devin, whom I’m guessing was her son. “Wait, it’s the first day of school tooooo-day? I didn’t hear anywhere that Stony Brook started. Are you sure?” [Pause.] “OK, maybe I should have known, but you didn’t emmmmmphasize it.”

~~ There were two women discussing divorce. Denise was divorced and Michelle was contemplating it (I know their names because they introduced themselves to each other at the end of their conversation). Denise spent three years arguing with her spouse, a firefighter who’s been messed up since 9/11 (“Really, like he expected me to keep waiting for him to get better?”) and warned Michelle that divorce is a tough slog. Michelle protests. “I want to love someone, and my husband just isn’t the one. He loves me and he’s OK, but I want someone who’s neater and smarter and makes a better living.” To which Denise snorts, then exclaims, “Good luck! Those guys aren’t out there but if they are, they are looking for someone 20 years younger than you.”

~~ Michelle apparently is planning to tell her husband this week that she’s leaving him, so she’s having her lashes and nails done beforehand. Denise wonders if she’ll be getting anything fancy, nail-wise, to which Michelle replies, “I’m not going to get those sparkly flowers or anything. What if I pick my nose or masturbate and lose the sparkles up or down there?”

~~Funny, sometimes I want to know more when I eavesdrop. In these cases, I knew way too much already.

~~ This week’s tally of things the aide left empty in place so I’d discover and replace:
1. The water cooler
2.  The paper towel holder
3.  The laundry detergent

~~ Then again, she’s just another unpleasant memory now. The care agency told us late Wednesday the aide was leaving Thursday morning — despite their promise of a switch never occurring on a Thursday or Friday and never before a holiday.

~~ The screams from Dementia-ville were less froglike and much more demonic in the past few days. Picture the ghost in the cheesiest horror movie you’ve ever seen bellowing BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA over and over. Then the ghost spies another specter threatening its haunted territory, so it shrieks YOU ARE UGLY! HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA! UGGGGGGGGGGGG-LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

~~ If you’re keeping score at home, I still don’t drink.

~~ Two women are discussing a book club that one is urging the other to attend. “It’s not like So & So’s club,” she says. “We don’t really discuss the book at all.”

~~ I wish I understood more about what happened with and to Dilma Rousseff, but from what I read, there’s a sexist thread running through her impeachment.

~~ This:

Have a great holiday weekend. Thanks to the people who work while we relax. (Or yearn to relax.)

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ There are TV commercials for all sorts of debilitating aches and maladies, and I guess by repetition they are seeping into my brain. Last week I felt stinging pain in both my feet and blistering hot itchiness. I’m thinking, what if I have chronic something-something and I become debilitated unless I take that medication that may cause strokes or sudden death? Suddenly, the cause of my agony became comically clear:  I was sitting outside (next to a basket of fruit) and bugs were swarming and biting like crazy. Whew!

~~ Last Saturday I attended a lovely party my friend threw for herself. I mean, I think it was lovely, because we arrived many hours late. Driving from NY to NJ is not for the faint of heart and the habitually prompt. We spent hours driving in a near-monsoon, complete with flooding, and then hours more watching crawling bugs overtake us on the highway. Five hours there, three hours back, all in one day. That’s crazy.

~~But we did get to linger in the kitchen for more than an hour with our friend, catching up and chatting. That’s a rarity.

~~ WOO, WOO, WOO she screamed from somewhere deep within her geriatric self. CRACK, CRACK, CRACK HIM IN THE SKULL.

~~ After that episode, the diminutive dementia patient began practicing to be what I thought was a bullfrog.Once I investigated, I’ll say she sounds like an eastern spadefoot frog. Take a listen: http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/spadeft2.MP3

~~ Two days ago, the health care aide walks into the kitchen and unspools about 15 sheets from the paper towel holder. Was there a mess? Nope — she was having lunch. So yesterday, she walks in and sees there’s just about 1½ sheets of paper towel on the roll. She rips off one, looks at me, and walks away. No “Is there another roll?” or any courtesy. It’s the little things.

~~ The smells this week are eau de freshly fertilized field and parfum de fish fry. I waste a lot of time gagging when I could be doing something else. Like crying.

~~ The two-three women in the front of a doctor’s office are habitually grumpy and trash the management every time I’m there. However, they are usually pleasant enough to me. A few days ago, I paid my co-pay by check. “Is this a business check?” one asked. No, it’s just sized for the printer. “You have to go get another one. This check won’t scan in and there’s nothing I can do,” she says quite crabbily. That crustacean changed into a sheep once I said, “I was here a few weeks back and you processed the same type of check then without complaint.” On my way out, her co-worker whispered to me, “She’s on a diet.”

~~ This:

~~ And this, too:

Have a great weekend! Can you believe it’s the end of August? Grrrr.

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ A guy stumbled coming out of the deli. I trapped his brown bag between my arm and the yoga mat bag slung across my hip. “Wow, thanks, great catch!” he says. “You coulda been a Yankee.” Wearing a Mets’ tee, I winked at him and said, “You shoulda stopped at thanks.”

~~ Speaking of tees, the woman on the next mat in yoga class had a great one: TALK TO ME WHEN YOUR CHAKRAS ARE ALIGNED.

~~ This is a transcript of a phone conversation I had yesterday after saying my name:

Real Estate Agent: Hello, you’re the attorney for sellers, Mr.  & Mrs. ________. We have an accepted offer.

Me: Hi, I’m no longer in practice. I’ll let the sellers know.

REA: What? We can’t waste time — this house took a long time to sell. Just do this deal, OK?

Me: No, but I can give them a referral when I call.

REA: mumble Bitch mumble [click].

~~ I startle easily; I’m told it’s likely due to an excess of stress hormone. (Imagine that!) I’m sitting at my kitchen table, eating lunch and reading an excellent article, when the health care aide walks into the room gabbing on her cell phone. Abruptly shaken from a temporary oasis of aloneness, my heart raced in alarm. I calmed down, of course, but couldn’t shake the resentment that I was vulnerable to such a disruption.

~~ The geriatric dementia person in my house is screaming at the top of her very ample lungs. Dylan Thomas’ poem, Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night, comes to mind as she rages against the changes that come at the close of our figurative days. She’s unpleasant and downright disagreeable, but who can blame her on a certain level?

~~ Then again, I wonder if I am absorbing some of her repellent demeanor. I worry that if I become as feeble and void of control as she, my subconscious will ignite and spew this same sourness towards those who love me and care for me. How can I possibly apologize in advance?

~~ I went in to see if I could distract her from the shouting. When I inquire as to the circumstances, she says, “I’m not shouting. You are.”

~~ As I turn to walk away, I try to catch the aide’s eye. But she’s too busy texting. Or maybe she’s typing up her own version of this story for an alternate blog, “Barely Working.”

~~ The screams quiet as I reach the door. She goes from frantic to asleep in seconds flat. I stay frenzied for hours, days, months.

~~ The desire to comment on the politics of this past week is eclipsed by the adoration and admiration I have for some Olympic athletes. There’s the vegan weightlifter, the face-making swimmer, and the fastest man alive. I tell you what, if I was having a girl baby soon, I’d be naming her Simone. Her middle name might be Gabby, but it would definitely not be Hope.

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ As I type this, the dementia-patient’s aide is doing laundry. To protect our geriatric cesspool, she’s been instructed to use only the short wash setting that runs about 25 minutes. I passed by the washer to see there’s still one hour and 36 minutes left to go on her load of laundry.

~~ This past Saturday, I walked into the kitchen to see her setting up her rice cooker on the cutting board. I say, “Before you start, I just need 10 minutes to make the dogs’ lunch and prepare some vegetables for roasting.” She looks right at me, turns around, plugs in her cooker, and walks away. Yes, I should have got in her face at that point, but I didn’t for a few reasons. I waited until the cooker’s setting turned from cook to warm, then waited some more before I went to find her sitting on the couch watching TV. I reiterated how inconvenienced I was, at which point she silently walks into the kitchen, grabs her rice cooker, and (inadvertently, I believe) knocks a bunch of Brussels sprouts I’d just washed onto the floor. She looks at them and walks away.

~~ One more: I see her go up the stairs to her bedroom while she’s supposed to be watching her charge. The shower turns on, so I ask my son to “babysit” for a bit. Fifteen minutes later (and I believe solely in response to my banging on her door yelling, “Are you OK?”) she emerges. I blurt out how we’ve been watching her very-much-awake patient. In response, she says “Oh.”

~~ My house smells like a latrine, the screams of “SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT” and “HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!” are the earworms of the week, and I am an outcast in my own home. Having a dementia-saddled person and a full-time aide occupying my house 24/7 is akin to the worst case of PMS that anyone, anywhere has ever experienced.

I’ll move on now just to protect my sanity and probably yours as well.

~~ I was heartened to read the research debunking flossing as a life-prolonging practice. Actually, I do floss regularly, but the smug dental hygienists I’ve encountered in my life will now need to shut up.

~~ If I were a novelist, I’d get great plots and twists while at yoga. Sometimes I eavesdrop on juicy story snippets, other times people tell me things I’d never imagine. Like the poor woman whose grown daughter and grandchild got stopped at customs in London on their way back to France after visiting her in NY. Seems her daughter didn’t have a document attesting that her son was traveling with his father’s knowledge so they were detained by the authorities. The father was in China and unreachable, and my friend couldn’t do anything here. Since there had been no issues departing Europe and she was now on her way home, the daughter couldn’t understand the fuss. And the 12-year-old boy couldn’t convince officials that he was with his mom and his dad knew they’d just visited his grandparents. The nightmare resolved, but I’ll save some of the intrigue in case I ever get inspired.

~~ Or how about the woman who shared that she knew she wasn’t bisexual when a friend’s girlfriend tried to kiss her while they were making tuna salad sandwiches? There was a beach trip, the part where an attempted smoocher got in a van with three guys, and a lot more. Again, if I ever do write a novel, you might read it all play out.

~~ Perhaps I’ll write an autobiography instead of a juicy novel. In that case, my working title might be, Why are there Carrots in the Foyer? I just uttered this ridiculous question to my dogs, who — like the aide — looked at me with a blank expression and did zip.

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ When you’re shivering in February, the month of August is so alluring. However, when July swooshes by and August arrives, I’m like, damn, I want it to be June again.

~~ A new aide started this week. I have no idea what will be, but as of now, there’s no hue and cry from her.

~~ However, her charge is another story. She's screaming amidst her dementia, "Say what you wanna say." So I sing, "And let the words fall out. Honestly, I wanna see you be brave." She glares at me and says, "Oh, you shit."

~~ Look out, Laura. I don’t who you are or what you’ve done, but there is a very frail, elderly woman who is declaring, “Laura, I will kill you. Die, die, die, die, Laura.” (Considering she can’t even reach the doorknob without assistance, you likely are safe, but I’d take precautions just to be sure.)

~~ The guy asked me how I could like sushi when “it’s all fish.” No, I explain, I get vegetable sushi. He rolls his eyes and says, “That isn’t how sushi works.”   OK, thanks.

~~ Last year, a woman yelled at me while I was walking down the block towards the yoga studio. “Move your car! I need to park there so I can mow my lawn” and so on. She was exceedingly hostile and I wasn’t going to win by declaring it a public street, so I moved the car. Flash forward a year and I’m walking past her house as she’s standing in the driveway. “Hello,” she greets me. I stiffen but respond in kind. “You going to yoga?” I nod. “Do you like it? Is it good for bad backs? I have a bad back and need to do something…” OK, she doesn’t remember me and I love yoga, so I extoll its virtues and even tell her when the gentlest classes meet. I walk away thinking how absolutely strange this universe can be.

~~ When Republicans advise Donald Trump to “get back on message” what exactly do they mean? Stop smearing a Gold Star family and resume smearing women or Muslims, or start praising Vladimir Putin and Saddam Hussein? What is Trump’s message besides “I say I’m a winner so I must be one” or calling Hillary Clinton kindergarten names?

~~ The Trump men (who berate and belittle with abandon, and slay animals with glee) can’t fathom how a “strong” woman would “allow” herself to be sexually harassed. That’s friggin’ ridiculous and completely cut off from reality. Remove the words sexual harassment and substitute anything else inflicted upon a victim, and then tell me you think these people have any grip on reality.

~~ It’s distressing that Trump has a platform to do and say such malicious, hateful things, but voters who’d rather flip the bird to the USA than vote for a qualified candidate are enjoying their moment in the sun (after spending decades under rocks). What makes me nauseated (aside from the orange creature from the black lagoon) is that I have seen teachers post messages in support of Trump and parents proclaim that they are voting for him. I respect democracy despite its messiness, but it’s insanity for teachers to vote for a bully they wouldn’t allow in their classrooms. And parents — how will you look your kids in the eyes one day and admit, “Yes, he was a lot like Mussolini [or Joseph McCarthy], but I was very willing to hand him the keys to our country”?

~~ I raised these concerns with a middle school teacher and she said, “Well, but, I hate Obama and Hillary’s a clone of his.” There is so much wrong with this response that we just need to move along. (After reading this analysis of Trump supporters:

~~ I tweeted out to the NY Mets that they should consider getting Raid to sponsor the team. Players are dropping like flies!

~~ The latest issue of Boating Times Long Island is out. You’ll enjoy it, I promise!

Have a great weekend!


Tossed Salad Friday

This week’s installation of What Did I Do to Deserve This? has adoration, near-poisoning, attempted absolution, and a limited escape. I guess I’ll start with dementia mania.

~~ We tell every home health care aide not to feed our dogs. We repeatedly and explicitly say, “Do not give them any food. Ever.” Yet the other evening, as I’m preparing dinner, I see my littlest pooch eating something at the feet of the aide. I lose my cool and scream, “What’s he eating?” She tells me and I frantically check the ingredients, discovering that it contains onion. Onions are toxic to dogs, and Mookie only weighs 11 pounds, so my agitation reaches fever pitch. The vet is consulted, a 24-hour watch is instituted, and hysteria continues until we’re certain he’ll be fine. (He was.)

~~ The aide corners me in the kitchen the next day to tell me she needs to apologize because “my god requires me to do so.” Not because she’s contrite, mind you. Being the same woman who told me I’m evil (we’ve been trying to oust her, believe me) I flat out say that I’m not going to forgive her to relieve her of divine responsibility. I try to walk away, but she starts begging me to free her heart so her lord will look kindly on her. I say, look, you want to apologize for the name-calling and the poisoning, fine, but don’t tell me you’re repentant solely so you can get into Heaven. Forty freaking minutes later, I’ve heard how maybe I’m not an evil person (I just do “evil things”), that she admits that we told her never to feed the dogs but she didn’t understand why — so she disregarded our rule, that a dog almost bit her when she was four but her husband loved them, that she “maybe, maybe” had been trying to assert dominance in the kitchen, and that I “must” forgive her to “liberate” my heart and prevent it from harming me. I could have written 400 or more words in 40 minutes, or listened to a couple of innings of the Mets’ game. Instead I was subjected to this dressing down/confessional/demand that never once extended an olive branch towards me. I firmly believe an apology is meaningless if you append a “because” or an “if,” and one that is nakedly couched in an appeal for someone else’s salvation is pretty damn worthless.

~~ Oh yeah, I forgot: the reason she talks on the phone all the live long day. It’s because I don’t give her extra tasks to do. What? Her only job is take care of the elderly dementia patient, not wash my floor. I refuse to be blamed for her indolence.

~~ Moving on… I got to run away for a few hours last week. I saw the “Absolutely Fabulous” movie and it was delightful. One of my favorite sitcoms playing on the big screen for 90 minutes was great, but most importantly, I escaped from the loony bin.

~~ What a blast of a week watching the rock stars of the Democrat Party weave their words together. I also appreciated the opening acts and the real-life stories, even the ones that made me cry. I’ve always been a proud party member and these days, the pride goes both ways.

~~ My born-in-the-90s son hasn’t really heard Bill Clinton speak much, so I was delighted to listen to Bill’s stem-winder in his company. We talked about both his speech and Barack Obama’s, and contrasted the two. To me, President Clinton speaks as if he’s reaching through the TV and engaging in a one-on-one conversation, while President Obama grabs us all up as a country and takes us to a higher place.

~~ Can’t get away with not using first names soon when referring to “President Clinton.”

~~ Michelle Obama’s speech was awesome, as expected, and I marveled at all she is despite all the brickbats flung her way. Which leads me to the woman who I’ve admired since I read a small feature on her during the Watergate investigation (that right-wing smear about her being fired is just a malicious urban myth, by the way). I’ve seen a bit of me in her and her in me, but more than that, I’ve seen the embodiment of a public servant that endures triple the shit because she’s a woman while accomplishing four times more than many people of any gender.

~~ Most of all, what I see is the near-achievement of a dream that my mother shared with many others of her generation and those who came before. She wanted her daughter to live in a world where anything is possible. Hey Mom, I’ve been working hard to make it happen… and Hillary Clinton is going to make our dream a reality.

Have a great weekend!



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