Run. Dog. Cat. Cat. Me.

Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

Archive for the category “Rants”

Important Self Test Which Will Reveal All You Need

I often see FB posts revealing someone’s Person Type, their Inner Spirit; shining examples of Hope, Love, or Eternal Peace Hippie Girl.  I am not necessarily against that, as it was once revealed that I am a rainbow farting unicorn.  Other than that one time, though – and this is just my personal opinion, even though I do the little tests – I think these links results are sh*t.

These links are sh*t because they don’t offer the options real people would actually choose if they could.

So I’m going to make a test for you that will actually work.  This test will reveal your true self, your true inner spirit, and the real reason you live and breathe, however well or poorly, on this earth.

Get a paper and pencil because I am not going to have a little button at the end of each question which will tally and do a reveal at the bottom of this post.  That sh*t costs money and I just bought groceries for dinner, so that’s not in the budget.  If you are unable to find a working pencil, a scrap of paper, cannot write the letters A, B, C, D or E, or cannot add, and/or any combination of these, your personal revelation is immediate:  You Rock.  You have a life and are too busy to screw with having usable writing utensils and stupid pads of paper, you have a phone to do all of that.  When the end of society as we know it comes, and we know it will, probably sooner than later –  the Demicans and Republicrats tell us so every night on CNBC/FOX/FML – your life will then suck because your phone will be useless.  Meanwhile, since I do have paper and a pencil nub, I can write notes on scraps of paper begging for rescue and throw them in rivers in all the pop bottles I keep meaning to recycle, but forget.  This will as useless as your phone but slightly more fun.

Today we will determine what type of personality you have.  The options will be Zen, OK Most of the Time, What’s It Matter It Will Never Work Anyway, Don’t Push My Buttons, and DANGER, Will Robinson.

1.  You arrive at work on Monday morning.  There is no coffee in the building.
a.  I’d probably spill it, anyway.
b.  ooooooooooooohhhhhmmmmm
c.  I should be … WTF??  Someone moved my monitor a 1/4 inch, stupid son of a …
d.  OK.  OK then, hey, it could be worse, right?
e.  Seriously?  This is the best question you could come up with?

2.  Your ideal weekend would include:
a.  My local ashram, a church picnic, time petting fluffy bunnies, holding small babies smelling of powder
b.  Coffee first.  Then, I dunno.  More coffee.
c.  I’m going to start edging my yard at 4am Saturday since that a$$ next door was blowing leaves at sunrise on Memorial Day.
d.  I have plans but I bet it’s gonna rain.
e.  Invisibility.

3.  If you could choose to be any fantasy animal, you’d be:
a.  Godzilla, only I’d be flying one of those human f*cker’s planes.  BWAAA HAHAHAHAHA take that you little minions!
b.  A fluffy bunny in a sunny field full of pretty flowers
c.  I went as Winnie the Pooh on Halloween once, but it rained.
d.  Oh, you know, whatever no one else wants to be.  It’ll be fine.
e.  The one that just got turned into a zombie and is chasing whoever wrote this idiot test.

4.  Your Gramma, the Pope, a kitten, and, um, Hitler are in a boat.    Who said what:
a.  “No, not Hitler, that’s so over done and, really, stereotyping.  Must you have a bad guy?”
b.  “Oh, yeah?? Who thinks it’s overdone?  I can use Hitler if I want, dammit.”
c.  “Now, everyone, let’s be nice and cooperate.”
d.  “OH!  I know!  I know!  The boat sinks!”
e.  “Look, I’m not putting up with this sh*t and this test is stupid.”

5.  You decide you need to start meditating.  You’ll be a better person for it, don’t you think?  Your meditation word is:
a.  I think it’s “maybe”
b.  I’ve been meditating for at least a minute and this is bull*&^!
c.  My spirit word is never to be revealed.
d.  I think I have one, it’s around here somewhere, hold tight.
e.  My word is STOOPID.  Why am I still taking this STUPID test??

6.  Go-to reward:
a.  Beer
b.  Ginseng tea
c.  Shooting range
d.  Well, whatever you think would be good
e.  Beer at the shooting range

7.  You’ve been thinking some type of regular exercise would be a good thing.  What do you decide to do?
a.  I have a personal yogini already
b.  Jogging sounds nice, that could work
c.  Shooting range
d.  I’ll probably get injured, maybe I’ll just stay home.
e.  Bludgeoning bloggers.

8.  You are lost, alone on a small island in the middle of the sea.  What book do you wish you had to read?
a.  First Aid
b.  The Bible
c.  How to build a boat
d.  How to swim
e.  How to grow coffee and machetes

9.  Ideal vacation.
a.  Zombieland
b.  Disneyland
c.  Well, I don’t want to fly anywhere.  They always lose my luggage.
d.  Anywhere I can be with my loved ones.
e.  Xanax.  Lots.

10.  You will recommend this extremely accurate and helpful test to how many of your friends?
a.  Are you sh*tting me?
b.  I’m not sure.  I like my friends.
c.  All of them!  We’ll all take it TOGETHER!  It will be so nice!  We’ll Bond in Harmony and Joy!
d.  I think I’ll wait and see how I do, first.
e.  Are you f*$%’ing sh*tting me?

RESULTS.  Give yourself the allotted points for each answer:

Question 1:
a = 3
b = 1
c = 4
d = 2
e = 5

Question 2:
a = 1
b = 2
c = 4
d = 3
e = 10

Question 3:
a = 4
b = 1
c = 3
d = 2
e = 15

Question 4:
a = 1
b = 4
c = 3
d = 2
e = 20

Question 5:
a = 3
b = 4
c = 1
d = 2
e = 25

Question 6:
a = 2
b = 1
c = 4
d = 3
e = 30

Question 7:
a = 1
b = 2
c = 4
d = 3
e = 35

Question 8:
a = 3
b = 1
c = 4
d = 2
e = 40

Question 9:
a = 4
b = 2
c = 3
d = 1
e = 45

Question 10:
a = 4
b = 2
c = 1
d = 3
e = 100

If you scored:
1-10 Points:  It doesn’t matter because you’re up in the clouds meditating.  This test and all it represents is a false reality.  You are:  ZEN
11-20 Points:  Ah, it’s fine.  Whatever, things usually work out, I’m fine with that.  You are:  OK Most of the Time.
21-30 Points:  Seriously, you knew this wasn’t going to work, didn’t you?  You almost quit halfway through. You are: What’s it Matter?  It Will Never Work Anyway
31-40 Points:  You have a lot of buttons.  Do you know that?  You do.  And people push them.  All the Damn Time.  You are:  Don’t Push My Buttons!!!
41-1,000 Points:  YOU WIN! YOU WIN!  YOU ARE AWESOME!!  You see through the falsities of humanity, the treacle, the drudgery, the aimless wandering of the soul.
YOU ARE DANGER WILL ROBINSON

Here’s your prize, which you can obtain at this link for $3.73 plus S&H.  Buy yourself a coffee cup too, I don’t care.  I don’t give a SH*T because I don’t like your attitude.

danger_will_robinson_button

AT&T: How I Learned to Stop Internet and Love Tech Help

A few miles south of the Canada/North Dakota border there is a field in which cattle roam among the remains of a Depression-era farm, three sides of an ancient barn leaning nearly perpendicular and the crumbled circular foundation of a corn silo the only evidence of a life or lives long gone.

Or are they?

Look closer.  That crumbled foundation is a clever disguise hiding the rumored-but-never-proven Top Secret Headquarters of the AT&T Customer Service Department.

Deep below the earth are two pale, thin men.  Men who spent their high school years winning the Science Fair and inventing robots to do their Spanish homework.  Men who, despite their most sincere efforts, could not fathom the intricacies of asking a female to the Prom, reduced to quivering, slavering mutes.

These are the few, the special, the cream of the technical service industry crop, carefully vetted by the “Home Ec” teacher, in actuality a member of the top echelon at ATT Customer Service.

Years of secrecy, years of scrabbling up the TechServ ladder, learning to play those life-or-death politics, the two men became a team so bonded, so close they finished each other’s sentences, “Thank you for calling AT” “& T”.  Seamless.  Desperately plotting, playing the dirty warfare of TechServ, they eventually triumphed.

Finally they landed in this North Dakota field, 20 degrees below zero, wind screaming, blinding snow blowing sideways; a moment etched forever in their collective mind.  This was their nadir, their Olympic Gold, their Stanley Cup.   Down, down they descended, thousands of feet, emerging from the elevator into a brightly lit hallway, Muzak softly playing their team song, “Muskrat Love.”

Daily they review US hot spots.  Is there an energy crunch?  Snow/ice storm?  Season Finals or the Golden Globes?  Tax time?  This morning they peered gleefully over the reports, clapping their fish-belly-pale hands and bouncing on their little toes.  “OH, lookie, um, ‘BENJAMIN'”, one tech squealed, “ICE!  SNOW!  Hundreds of thousands affected!”

“Benjamin” trilled, “Oh, um, ‘SAMUEL’, how awesome!  And – it’s  Monday too!”

“Benjamin” and “Samuel”, clutching their AT&T 1998 “A Team” mugs full of weak, tepid tea, headed to the console, all the while sighing happy little squeeeees.

The console was blinking like the Rockefeller Square Christmas Tree and the boys knew very well what that meant, millions of customers pressing 1 for service, 2 for billing, 3 for a new account, painstakingly entering their 10-digit service number on the minuscule screens of their cell phones, only to be asked to re-enter the number for security purposes.  A happy little shiver went up their spines and they giggled.

OH, no – it always happened.  As good as the boys are, and they are the best, someone always manages to get through eventually.  It’s usually an accident although mashing the zero button 32 times will always work – but few people know about that one.

“Thank you for calling AT&T customer service where we are here to serve your customer needs may I have the number about which you are calling?”

“Thank you.  And is there another number I can reach you should we get …”

“oops,” they giggle, remembering first grade and that incident with their underwear.

The boys know there are always a few – usually the ones who’ve had far too much strong coffee – who will return, and they are prepared for that.  It’s not for nothing they are here, sealed below the earth forever, turning paler and paler, marking names off in the 10,000,000 Baby Names for Your Child book.

“Thank you for calling AT&T customer service where we are here to serve your customer needs may I have the number about which you are calling?”

“Thank you.  Is there another number I can reach you should we get disconnected?”

“Thank you.  What seems to be the issue today?”

“Thank you.  I understand that you are saying you have no service?”

“Thank you.  I understand you have had an ice storm there and believe that your service has been interrupted due to that and you simply want to report the issue.  Please hold one minute while I test your line.”

“Thank you.   I have tested your line and have determined that the issue is that you have no service.”

“Thank you.   I understand you have had an ice storm there and believe that your service has been interrupted due to that and you simply want to report the issue. Have you unplugged everything, stood on your head, stuck carrots in your ears and whistled ‘Dixie’?”

“Thank you.   I see that you have indeed stood on your head, stuck carrots in your ears and whistled ‘Dixie’.   Am I correct that this did not resolve your problem?”

“Thank you.   I understand you have had an ice storm there and believe that your service has been interrupted due to that and you simply want to report the issue.   Please unplug everything again, this time count to 100 in German and turn three times clicking your heels.”

“Thank you.  I see that you have indeed counted to 100 in German while turning three times clicking your heals.  Am I correct that this did not resolve your problem?”

“Thank you.  I understand you have had an ice storm there and believe that your service has been interrupted due to that and you simply want to report the issue.  Oh, please, Mrs. Clarke, please don’t make that noise.”

Benjamin snickers.  He hears the Keurig engage and the sound of a thumb being sucked.

“Thank you.  I’ve scheduled your service appointment for Thursday, Juvember 32nd.  Thank you for calling AT&T, I hope I have been helpful.  You will soon get an automated phone call to determine the level of service you’ve received.  Please consider giving me “Excellent” in every category as anything else will not count and my paralyzed child, Little Timmy, will starve.  Have a nice day.”

Karma, or Enter the Spawn.

no life without water

Having birthed the spawn of satan into the world on a napalm flow of snot for the better part of the day yesterday and later coughing out the rest of his minions through my lungs I’m a bit worn out today; copious amounts of coffee are just as spitting in the wind.  On the plus side I got an abs of steel workout without buying a DVD.  Another notch on the plus side:  I can see again.  Thank God it appears Vicks Vaporub is not fatal to eyeballs.  Also it is, indeed, possible to “Cry Me A River”.

“So you took a chance
And made other plans
But I bet you didn’t think that they would come crashing down, no.”

That’s where I went wrong, once again flying high on getting a run Thursday and immediately taking a chance, making more plans (this run is good!  I’m back!  OK, Friday I’ll do this and Saturday I’ll do that and Sunday it will be …) only to crash to earth Friday morning, victim of human frailty and satan-worshiping germs as the Virus From Hell wrapped me in its evil embrace.  BWAAAHAHAHAHA it chortled as I choked, lungs aflame.  GO AHEAD!  MAKE PLANS!  BWAAHAHAHAHAHA!

atomic blast

Yesterday when I woke it appeared I was (mostly) done coughing and, unaware a lava flow was busy heating up inside my head, I failed to realize why I was feeling down, instead blaming it on the fact that my friends were lining up at the Swampstomper start and I wasn’t.  A couple hours later I realized as far as Swampstomper went it’s just as well I broke my foot unless the karma gods, if I hadn’t broken my foot, would have spared me this cold; either way, not running because of the foot or trying to run with a healthy foot but this cold, it’s obvious that race was not meant for me this year.  Never trust the karma gods. 

It’s disheartening to realize, as I do occasionally before I can force myself to forget again, that the first day I ran pain-free since July 2012 was the same day I broke my foot.  Those first two miles – my brain singing the Hallelujah Chorus  (which you need to watch right now because I just watched it again and it’s going to be a few minutes before I can type much since I’m crying coughing choking laughing, so you have a break) – those first two miles, pain-free!  I floated, gloating, certain I’d found the cure, that running Nirvana is now MINE MINE MINE, clutching the joy … and then I took one more step, too greedy – but those two miles – they were heaven.

It’s human nature, I suppose, to continue to think surely this is the day, certainly it will be like it used to be or even better.

If this thought is based upon some provable fact, yay, you’re right.  “Today will be sunny.  See?  There’s the sun, shining.”  Additionally the odds are you do not live in Memphis.

If this is based on cheerful hope, you are an optimist.  “Today will be sunny, ” you think, living in Memphis, you foolish fool.

If this is based on a belief in some type of cosmic lottery which says at some point it will be time to ease up on any given person, it’s idiocy.  “It’s rained for 24 hours, surely the sun will shine in Memphis today.”

karma gods

Although I’m not really sure what the cats did to piss off Karma I think I should check the closet.  I bet they pooped in my shoes.

Daylight Stupid Time, Part Deux

I’ve never liked math but I can add, subtract, and multiply, although I usually multiply by two (mother of twins joke ha ha)

I say I can add and subtract but I still spent last night counting on my fingers repeatedly to be sure that if my clock currently said 9:37 and I reset it to 8:37 I had, indeed, calculated properly.  Most of the time I would not care.  I would just go bed and worry about it in the morning whenever I awoke because how much difference can an hour make on a Sunday morning when the only children you have, have four legs and feed themselves?

Unfortunately I knew that this was Road Race Series morning out on Singleton Parkway and I also knew that due to my job I have all the registrations, all the forms, all the chips and B-tags, safety pins and ties, the cash box, the CC slips and all the shirt check lists in my vehicle.  If I show up an hour late to a race, arriving 15 minutes before the race starts, my new name will be $#@*’#$@ #$(*&% with several !!! added on the end and there could be a lynching although my greater fear is being stuck headfirst in a port-o-let that has been visited by many nervous runners.

So I did what I do when I’m worried about things – like most people – and I woke repeatedly during the night looking at the clock, thinking it all through again.  Then I checked my phone, but it’s not 2am now, or maybe it was and now it isn’t again, but it will be and will my clock say 2am then or did it already say 2am and then needs to say it again when it isn’t 2am again?

Finally, exhausted, my head pounding, I fell deeply asleep only to be rudely awakened by sweet Mo tapping my cheek with his soft little paw.

Baby JESUS in a basket in the RIVER!  What TIME is it? I thought as I scrambled for my phone, belatedly realizing that was Moses in a basket in the river.  4:13am.  I turned the phone off and back on again, in case the phone doesn’t turn over to the right time unless you turn it off and back on again.

You laugh, go ahead, but how many times have you fixed some program by turning the computer off and back on again?

Four men rode in a car: a mechanical engineer, an electrical engineer, a chemical engineer, and a computer engineer.  Suddenly the car stalled.
The mechanical engineer said, “It must be the pistons; let’s repair them and be on our way.”
The electrical engineer said, “It has to be the spark plugs; we’ll replace them and be ready to roll in no time at all.”
The chemical engineer said. “No, it’s got to be bad gas; we’ll flush the system and be on our way.”
They turned to the computer engineer. “What do you think we should do?” they asked.
The computer engineer shrugged and said, “Get out of the car. Close all the windows. Turn off the car. Then turn the car back on and open all the windows.”

The phone popped back up, little white apple glowing and soon proudly announced it was 4:15 am just as the duck quacking alarm commenced to announce it was time to get up.

It could be a trap, you never know.  I could have set the phone wrong, like I could have told Siri that we now live in Pennsylvania and she reset the phone to their time.  I wandered downstairs and turned on the computer to google “what time is it in Memphis, Tennessee” and while I waited for all the windows to reopen I went upstairs to turn on the Keurig so my brain would start too.  Hope springs eternal.  Oh, look, I left the cup of water out on the counter.  May as well drink it up.

HOLY SH*T what the $&*% is THAT?

Because I think it’s ridiculous to spend the money on soap dispenser refills I buy cheap clear dish detergent and thin it with water to fill the soap dispenser in the kitchen.  In all my worries and concerns about DST and the RRS half marathon I’d forgotten I’d done that last night before bed and since it was all bubbled up I left it on the counter to settle and yes, I know what you are thinking and yes, you are right.

I spit the soap out into the sink, my eyes watering, my nose and throat burning, coughing and gagging, spitting, nearly retching.  I took a swig of (REAL) water and gargled, bubbles foaming up out of my mouth and running down my chin, spitting, gargling, foaming, spitting ACK ACK ACK

I gargled and spit, gargled and spit mouthfuls of foam into the sink until finally there were no more bubbles.  I tried some coffee but it tasted funny and I couldn’t figure out why until just now.

Everything loaded in the car I headed to the race site, throat still burning, sipping some juice, fumbling to find some ACDC or Ozzy Osbourne when I noticed – the clock in my car is right again!

Daylight Stupid Time

Well it’s a beautiful day here in wonderland, the sky brilliant blue, the wind blowing ten majillion leaves into the yard and since I don’t want to mess up my back I’m sadly unable to use the blower or the rake, darn it.  Two squirrels built a nest in the fork of a tree right outside one of the upstairs windows so I keep trying to see if they will have babies.  It seems a cold time of year to have babies but judging by the amount of leaves they’ve stuffed into that tree they should have an EnergyStar rating of about R5000 so I guess they will be fine.  I expect them to try to have babies because they’ve put a hell of a lot time and effort into making those leaves that messy to show off to the other squirrels.  They really are messy little animals.  Instead of just getting the hickory nut they break off the tiny branch it’s on, the branch dropping to the ground, then scurry down the tree for the nut.  Now we have both hickory nut shells and little branches all over in addition to the leaves.  And if you step on one of those hickory nuts broken into pieces you will move immediately to the Soprano Section and I don’t care how big and bass you currently are, you’ll be tiptoeing like Tiny Tim.

If I get THAT damn song stuck in my head … it’s worse than Rhiana still stuck in the Hopeless Place after well over 24 hours.  I will take Rhiana over Tiny Tim but that’s not saying a whole lot.

I went four miles today!  And nearly 3 of them were jogging – I’d jog until I feel the form start to go and then walk recovery.  Now I no longer feel quite so much like Chunker getting out of her carrier after seeing the vet.  Speaking of Chunker, we’ve had a bit of a setback as I’ve found she’s been sneaking Mo’s food when she thinks I don’t see her, which in her mind, apparently, is any time she is not looking at me.  Now you see me, now you don’t, chomp chomp!

So tomorrow is Daylight Stupid Time once again, in which the They people take away and give back our hour on a regular basis.

How about this:  “The latest Rasmussen Report from March 2013 found that only 37 percent of Americans surveyed thought daylight saving time (DST) is “worth the hassle,” while 45 percent said it was not.”

Tufts University professor Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, said such opposition has been around for a century.

“The whole proposition that you can gain or lose an hour is at best theoretical,” he said. “I think from the start people had no clear idea what we were doing or why we were doing it. It just generates confusion, and confusion generates bad will.”  (Quotes and info taken from this SITE)

Then we all slaver, YAY!  We get our hour back!  I get to sleep in!

You idiots.  THEY TOOK THE FLIPPING HOUR AWAY LAST SPRING AND YOU DIDN’T GET TO SLEEP IN.  (I’m yelling again, aren’t I?) You’re not GETTING anything.  At best you are staying even.  Last spring you didn’t sleep in and you were tired, tomorrow you sleep in and you’re not as tired.  Fine.  Try to save that up for next spring when again “they” take YOUR HOUR.

Or, if you don’t mind them jerking you on a string like a puppet, taking, giving, taking, giving …

OMG.  Wait, I think I have it.

The “they” people, taking, giving, jerking you around, keeping you confused, pulling a fast one on you?

(I think they must be teenagers.  Shhhh.)

I haven’t been right here. Where were you?

I was abducted by Aliens!
I was sucked into a Black Hole!
I was transported to an alternate universe!
I fell deeply asleep for forty years!

Ok, maybe I just got busy and then went out-of-town.  Sorry, I know both of you have completely stopped breathing while waiting for a wonderful, life changing post.  You don’t look so good, not breathing and all that.  Maybe you should get a life?

Anyway, taking up where we left off two weeks ago on the last tantalizing and mesmerizing post about how hard my poor life is, AT&T was firm in its resolve that I was not getting anything fixed for five days.  Whether they have too much stuff that breaks or not enough people to fix the broken stuff, either way they were intractable.

I made up a song about the issue:
It’s my blog and I’ll rant if I want to rant if I want to rant if I want to.
You would rant too if it happened to you

Well, unless you were the Hubs who has the patience of Job, only not as many cows and wives.  “Ok, I’m accepting, I’m accepting,” he said when I told him.  Well, sure he was accepting.  His work still had internet, right?  What was to accept on his end?  Working and getting things done?  That’s tough.

I said something cranky.  Imagine that.

To continue with the comparison of Job:  this is why Hubs, with the patience of Job, if he were Job, would have lots of cows but would balk at more than one wife.  One is one too many most of the time, I suspect.  Also, you pronounce it JOBE.  Even though it’s spelled JOB like “I have a job”, it’s pronounced JOBE, like I said.  Like, “I have a JOBE.”  Of course, if you tell people you have a JOBE they will think you have a dog or a friend or something named Job pronounced JOBE and will think you are a ne’er-do-well who doesn’t work.  I think you should just shut up at that point, but that’s just my opinion.  Go ahead and try it.  Don’t come crying to me.

I felt irritated and cranky until it occurred to me that what we are dealing with, here, is a First World Problem.  Put on the Big Girl pants.  Which I did and then I went to BeckyB’s house and borrowed a cup of wireless for a couple of hours to be sure any work hot spots were stomped out.  AT&T showed up the following Tuesday (which was  about a year ago at this point, thankfully I have a good memory) – at my house – a live person – who immediately detected the location of the issue, found that in the box at the end of the street where my service arises out of the deep dark hole of underground life were two wires, a black one and an orange one.  When these two wires are dangling, loose and unconnected, voilà!  No Service!  When they are connected, voilà!  Service!  And then he stayed until I got everything hooked back up and working.  Nice guy.  I have his name and number.  Let me know if your internet quits.  Black connects to black, orange to orange.  Crazy sh*t, I know, it takes an expert.

So then, since I had nothing else to do that week before I had internet resurrected, my crazy friend and I worked out with Killer.  Then I went to my anonymous crazy friend’s house, where  BeckyB set Matilda up on the Cycleops and we did Suffer-O-Rama Spinnervals for 45 minutes (seriously?  Suffer-O-Rama?  How can this possibly be good??) and then quick like little bunnies we hopped off, put on our running shoes and did 1.7 around her neighborhood.  My first Brick.  With mixed emotions I have signed up for the Memphis in May Sprint Tri.  When I told hubs he started to smile and then he froze as though Big Foot just showed up on our front lawn.  Don’t move Don’t move Don’t move, you might scare it.  Carefully moving nothing but his lips he said, “oh, good.”  Pat Big Foot softly on the head.  Nice Big Foot, there you go.

I thought about that a lot – the triathlon, not Big Foot – the next day as I swam back and forth back and forth like a hamster running on its little wheel going nowhere.  I thought about how I have a few more weeks to learn to swim 400 yards without holding on the side of the pool every 25th yard.  I thought about being in a lake and looking down as I swim, seeing nothing. I considered closing my eyes while I swam in the pool, to practice not seeing, but I didn’t really feel like bumping into the side of the pool in front of everyone.  I wondered if maybe you see stuff but it’s kind of slimy and squishy, and some of it came out of a fish?  Or do you see fish?  I bet you don’t see fish.  They’re probably too smart to swim where crazy people are.  I hope so, anyway.

Finally I had internet and to spare.  The next morning I sat on the patio, Jamaica Me Crazy in my steaming mug, foggy and zero visibility.  I could see the trees, random black outlines twisting and curving against the grey fog, a cacophony of birds cheeping chirping tweeting and squawking and an awkward squirrel ran down the side of a tree, little shards of bark breaking loose and falling in front of him.

I was reminded of one of my favorites from Morning Prayer, the Canticle of Daniel:

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord.
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

Thankfully, although I forget to do this most of the time, the birds, squirrels and budding plants remembered.  I need to watch them more often.

Isn’t this better than internet?

foggy morning

Altho there could be some Zombies out there…

I’ve been right here, where were you?

Well, here’s a surprise:  it’s another grey, drizzly overcast day.  I have the heater on and am wearing Uggs, jeans, a sweatshirt and a fleece jacket while I drink moremoremore coffee.

A couple Mondays ago dawned grey, stormy and depressing and I felt the same way.  I’d spent part of the night with Murph T. Dog dug head first under the blankets, crammed between me and hubs, me teetering on the edge of the bed as the poor thing shivered beside me in terror at the thunderstorm, his butt uncomfortably close to my pillow as house vibrated with every nearby CRASH of thunder.  I held him tightly, partly to calm him and partly to keep from sliding off the little sliver of bed left to me.  Doze off BOOOOOM doze off BOOOOOM … repeat.  I finally sort of oozed out of bed and foggily tried making some coffee.  Note to self:  put the K-cup IN the coffee maker if you prefer coffee over a mug of hot water.

The previous Friday hubs had directed the house painters to sever what he thought was a dead DirecTV cable coming into the house and, yep, soon as he sat to watch the news it was sadly discovered the wire had been, in fact, and as you’ve already guessed:  Live.  I’m gonna bet you also know which of us spent 45 minutes on a Friday evening calling customer service numbers only to be told to call a different customer service number only to be told to call a different customer service ad nauseam.  I did finally connect with a charming young man named Andy who was originally from South Dakota and who sounded just like my family; within a minute I was pronouncing it South DahkoatAH and yep you bettin’ all over the place.  It was old home week in a customer service phone center microcosm and I suddenly desired thick black coffee in a china cup and lemon pie with a meringue top sweating slightly where the sugar had been sprinkled, served on a mismatched china dessert plate.

At 7:37 am Monday, while I was still trying to figure out why my coffee tasted like hot water, the phone rang.  What.  The.  Hell?  DirecTV, scheduled for 8am-Noon, was on their way – and actually showed up at 7:59.  I don’t know what kind of business they are running there, hiring nice young men to effectively handle your service call and then sending a nice service man out – on time – to fix your cable – without telling you that he needs something he doesn’t have on his truck and he’ll be back in an hour only to return next month.  They cannot continue to do business like this, it is not the American Way of Truth And Justice and Liberty For All Amen Baby Jeezus In Your Little Wooden Crib Filled With Straw Where Is The Remote.  (You don’t have a remote, Baby Jesus, remember?  It wasn’t invented yet.)

Meanwhile I had a morning appointment scheduled with Dr. K because who actually thought DirecTV would really show up?  So now their promptness and fine customer service have caused me a problem because I’m a cynic.  I do believe it is my right to remain cynical and I do not appreciate them trying to disabuse me of my hard-earned cynicism.   I was forced to read Letters to the Editor twice at lunch just to restore my lack of faith in humanity.  I called and – of course – Dr. K’s fine office staff promptly answered the phone and graciously re-scheduled me for noon, which, for all I know, was Dr. K’s lunch time.  It would be just like them to be really nice like that.  And I bet they don’t read the idiot Letters to the Editor and yell at the newsprint, either.

So two Mondays ago I had a little extra trouble with the whole brain thing.  As you both know, I have a little bit of a daily fight with depression.  Whenever I finally see Little Baby Jesus in His Crib His Daddy Made Him we are going to have a talk about the issue.  However, and until that time, I’m stuck with this damn brain, made of cells and electonicals and neutriniums and chemicals that all function on some scientific level, leaving me to expect it to be rational which, apparently, once filtered through the physical composition of a body, it can no longer be.  Created to be rational, born into irrationality.  Grey rainy cold days don’t help.  More caffeine does.  Social media helps.  People post uplifting crap about being Zen and smelling the roses and putting your best foot forward helps.  They post stupid pictures and videos that make you laugh, which helps.  I can’t prove it, but I have also begun to suspect there are people out there who actually post stuff – on purpose – that will make me either LOL or say dammit.  Dammit.

After a bunch more grey cloudy drizzly days that week, Monday dawned last week:  grey, cloudy, drizzly and miserable.  This time, however, I didn’t even have internet to lift my flagging spirits because, as opposed to the DirecTV people, AT&T was desperately trying to reach new lows in customer service and doing a damn fine job of it with little or no apparent effort whatsoever.  Flushed with success after the TV issue, I decided to call AT&T about the irritating and increasingly loud hum in the phone which also disconnected internet for a couple of minutes every time I answered a call.  Fortunately the only people calling are debt collectors and that guy from prison in the Philippines, but, still.

I knew it was a mistake, I’d known all along not to be expecting this to be a quick fix and sure enough the guy they sent out Thursday, the Invisible Man, who never actually showed up at my house, asked me any questions or checked back after invisibly not fixing the issue: didn’t fix the issue.  What Mr. Invisible Serviceman did, actually, was leave us with no connection whatsoever, as I discovered Friday morning when my internet and phone were dead.   Another 45 minutes of AT&T service call hell YES YOU SORRY @#&^%&!!! PIECE OF @#&^$$$!! THAT YOUR MOTHER CREATED IN A FRYING PAN, AS I’VE SAID 87 TIMES, THAT IS MY CORRECT PHONE NUMBER, do you have trust issues??? (I’d like to point out here that at this time I was yelling at the computer that answered the phone, not a real person from India.)  (I would not yell like that at a live person.  I might say to them, “I’m so incredibly frustrated, here, and I’m kinda mad, but I understand it is not your personal fault.”)  (Then, when I hung up, then I would definitely yell at them.  YOUR MOTHER WAS A HAMSTER AND YOUR FATHER SMELT OF ELDERBERRIES! I would yell, randomly shoving my fists in the air in a slugging motion.)

Picking up the first index card in the pile, the service person read carefully, “Yes, Mrs. Upset Person, your phone line does appear to be dead.”  NO SHIT, SHERLOCK!!!! I screamed silently in my head, my eyeballs bulging.

“Yes, I understand I have no service.  This is why I am calling you, my new favoritest person in the world.”

Looking through their alphabetically ordered index cards, the phone answering person found the Conciliatory Reply index card and replied, reading slowly, “I am sorry you are having this problem.  We here at AT&T value you as a customer and think you are probably a fine upstanding person who does not yell at people inside their mind, and we want to help you because we value you, and we are here to help you. How may I help you?”

If I continue typing the rest of the conversation I will A) have carpel tunnel syndrome B) scare the poop out of Mo again and C) have to beg the doctor for a Zanax which I don’t really have time to wait for since their office is closed on Wednesday, plus driving to the pharmacy is difficult once your head has completely exploded.

It turns out that my valued, cherished, esteemed and highly regarded relationship with AT&T was of such importance that they eventually scheduled a service call – for the internet THEY broke – for Tuesday no later than 6pm.  Five days hence.

And they weren’t kidding.

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