Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Severe Weather

Did you ever notice that weather makes headlines just by existing? No matter what is going on in the world; war, kidnappings, economic downturns, sports...all of it can be wiped out by a massive thunderstorm, high winds, or... snow in October.
I realize that an October snowstorm is unusual in itself, but it's interesting to wonder what kind of headlines the TV and print news would be blaring if there was no snow yesterday. People everywhere were making comments and sighing, as if this was the portent of the worst winter ever.
It's a weather ANOMALY! Get over it!! We are here in New Jersey, where there are 4 distinct seasons. All the weather gets their share: heat, cold, rain, wind, snow, and nice weather too.  
There is still other news out there, like the upcoming election (perhaps we have election fatigue and the weather provided a respite). There is other news like the World Series (oops, game 5 was suspended due to rain. That in itself was a headline, it's never happened before. Which makes me wonder why football can be played in the rain but baseball can't. Aren't they both dangerous in less than optimum conditions? But I digress).
Certainly there can be other news found besides severe weather. But we are a nation of weather watchers, students of the elements if you will. We stay glued to the TV whenever there is something happening in the atmosphere, myself included. That's not really a bad thing. Without weather what would small talk consist of? 
In any case, the snow is over with, for now. Things will get back to normal and the real news will come to the forefront again. It's all just a big cycle.....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Writer's Block and Pain

Ok, I know my web site has turned into a cobweb site..I haven't been posting in a while. I've been having some personal issues and I'm suffering from writer's block as well.
I have severe chronic back pain, and the last few weeks have been terrible for me. Remember my last post? I exacerbated my herniated discs and I've been in la la land ever since. I did go for my epidural Monday, and there are a few hours in the day where I don't have pain..but then unfortunately those hours get filled up with depression and anxiety. 
Yesterday was a very bad day for me. I tried to keep myself busy but there was that pervasive humming and sense of unease inside me, that life was worthless, why bother doing anything, all I wanted to do was sleep, etc. 
I asked my husband to come with me to the mall at 7 pm last night just to get me out of the house and stimulate my mind! I have absolutely no money to buy stuff, I just wanted a change of scenery.
When we got to the mall everyone was laughing, and happy, all the teenagers were there for friday night date night..and there I was. I felt isolated, alone, nervous, and unhappy. 
I felt a bit of panic coming over me, but I told myself that I was "safe", I wasn't going crazy, I was in control, all that good stuff.
After about 20 minutes of walking around (and realizing how out of touch with the world I am, considering all the new fashions, games, electronics etc) I decided I had had enough. We came home and I snuggled into my favorite spot on the sofa and watched TV.
Today is a better day for me. I'm going to see my mom, always an uplifting experience. I'm also going to make sure I take all my new meds that my holistic MD gave me (vitamins B & D, GABA, adrenal support capsules, fish oil capsules) and try to keep a positive attitude. I can't go back to work but I'm going to see if a friend of mine can use a pair of hands for a couple hours a day. I won't get paid but at least I will have a purpose in life, and I won't be faced with the same old boring thing every day.

I truly hope this 2nd epidural works, because the next step is surgery. I would gladly take the surgery if I knew it would be the end of my back issues and PAIN once and for all.

I'm a little disappointed in this post, as I take my writing very seriously and want to make every post witty and readable. This just had to be said, however, and you can't sugarcoat pain and depression.
Hopefully my writer's block will lift and I will be my wonderful self again soon.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Tale Of Woe, otherwise known as Hoisted On My Own Petard

I went back down to Atlantic City earlier this week, on Monday night, to attend a veterinary conference that I go to every year. I stayed at a different hotel, one right across the street from the Convention Hall. 
I was planning to stay there until Thursday evening, and had 3 days of lectures all planned out. 
Since I was staying for 3 days, I made sure I packed everything in my house that wasn't nailed down or in the washing machine. In ONE BAG. 
As I pulled up to the hotel I realized that $17.00 for valet parking was beyond my budget, so I followed the signs for "self park"....past the hotel, underneath the convention center, about a 1/4 mile away. After I had taken my ticket and found a spot, I came to the understanding that I would have to bring my own luggage with me to check in. This is where all the problems started. I have a bad back (bad is an understatement. I have herniated discs, gone thru epidurals and want to get surgery.) and really shouldn't be carrying a bag that weighs as much as me through a parking lot. I shouldn't even be lifting it out of my car. 
I was not using my brain at the time, however, so I carried it. (My bag, not my brain.) When I arrived at the front desk, out of breath and cursing my overpacking ability, I told them I would need a bellboy to take it upstairs for me. 
Things were fine so far. I checked in, unpacked, walked to McDonald's for a nutritious dinner, and went to sleep.
The next morning when I woke up, I showered and went to the first lecture. Somewhere between leaving my room and sitting down in the chair, my back went out. I experienced such major pain in my back, up & down my leg, and in my foot that I saw stars. There was no way I could sit through a lecture. 
Did I mention before that I packed everything except the kitchen sink? Well, I did. Except along with the sink that I left home, my PAIN PILLS were home too. I had to have my poor husband drive down to A.C. with the bottle. 
Unfortunately the damage was done..nothing would help me. I woke up Wednesday morning and checked out. This time I was smart. I had them wheel me downstairs in the hotel wheelchair and asked the bell captain to please get my car for me. I was unable to walk even a few steps, that's how much pain I was in. 
They were all very nice at the hotel, that's for sure. The bell captain even brought me a juice to drink as I waited for my car.
The most painful part of all this, besides my newly re-inflamed that I packed all these clothes to wear and I never got to wear them! I effectively ruined my own vacation, wasted my own money, and caused my pain to flare up again. 
This makes me want to never pack a bag for a trip again. 
Now I'm popping Percocets like M&M's, waiting until Monday and my next epidural. 
I hope I can deal with the pain until then.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I don't know if it's a result of me getting older or what, but I've been feeling quite nostalgic lately. I find myself reminiscing about when I was younger and remembering what a wonderful time I had. The funny part is, I don't have the greatest long term memory, so I often hear stories from people who knew me back in the day, and the stories they tell me are like brand new. I can't believe I'm unable to remember all that!
The feeling I have is sort of tempered with a little pain, because those days are gone and never ever coming back. How are we supposed to bring back days before cell phones, CD's and multi tasking? 
Remember when we rode our bikes and didn't wear helmets? Or you called your friend and if no one was home, the phone just rang? Remember shopping on Broadway (or Main Street) for khaki pants and wallabees? (those are shoes, usually brown, with gummy soles- for the uninitiated)
I used to go to the corner store, buy candy, maybe a Fresca, and go "call on" my friends. Ring the bell, ask if they want to come out, hang out until dark, go home. There were no playdates scheduled and monitored by mom (I totally hate playdates! Send your kid outside, he will hang out with kids who live on the block with him, end of story).I remember walking to bus for me. AND I walked alone!! There was no mass hysteria about kids having a moment alone for killers or child molesters to snatch them up.
Remember gym class? We would actually RUN and PLAY outside! All year round there were different sports to learn and be involved in. Funny, but I really can't recall too many FAT kids in my class..that was because everyone had to exercise daily. 
I started watching that new show "Life On Mars" the other day, where the cop goes back to 1973...the best part is seeing all the retro stuff pop up. I can't say I'm following the plot too closely, as I'm distracted looking for the atmosphere. 
The 70's and 80's were a wonderful, crazy, unique time. If anyone has special memories please feel free to note them in your comments..I would love it!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Mountain of Laundry

I returned today from a 2 day trip to Atlantic City. We got the rooms comped, so there was no reason not to get away for a few days. Besides, I always like to pretend that I'm filthy rich when I go's not hard..everyone is always so nice and you get pampered in all sorts of ways. I did treat myself to a massage at the Red Door Spa, but other than that; and the buffet, always a gastronomic orgy, there was not a lot of pampering on this trip. When I returned home and started to unpack, there was such a mountain of dirty clothes that I wondered how many people actually went on this trip. There were only 3 small bags packed but it seemed like the dirty clothes went on forever. I spent the whole day doing laundry and putting all the other stuff away. 

You know it's always great to go on a trip but when you get back home and have to spend an entire day unpacking, washing and putting stuff away (the hairspray! the magazines! combs, brushes, socks that were never worn!) it makes you want another vacation to escape the dreary chores that await you. 
But of course, that would set off another round of dirty laundry and unpacking.

The best part? I get to do it again next week. I have a convention to go to in...that's right, you guessed it...ATLANTIC CITY.

I will be going for 4 days, so there will be plenty o' mess to clean up when I get home. Sigh.

Nothing like a vacation to relax you.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Invisible Yard Sale

What if you gave a yard sale and nobody came? 

Does that mean your sale didn't exist?

Every October my town holds a giant yard sale. It's written up in the town newsletter and signs are put all over to alert both the denizens and passers-thru that yes, there will be junk, and a LOT of it. Ambitious sellers and buyers start early (8am) and the sale usually goes on til about 3 pm or so, depending on the weather.

Today it was partly sunny, about 59 degrees. So.

I had clothes to sell. A few weeks ago I cleaned out my closets in a fit of boredom, and had the brilliant idea to haul it out during this yard sale and try to make a few bucks. I was going to put it all in the poor box, but I figured I could always do that after the sale was over.

At 9 am I hung all the pants and sweaters and jackets and suits and shirts and skirts up for easy customer viewing. Actually it was great hangers fit nicely on the gutters above my garage.  Easy to see from the street but not too high in case you wanted to inspect the item more closely.
I do not live on the main road, but plenty of people were out and about, driving down my street in search of a parking spot, and there were plenty of walking and biking potential customers.

I put a sign out:      $3.00 suits pants shirts sweaters                              

I'd stop and check out clothes for $3, wouldn't you? I had 29 items total, all clean and hanging up there with so much promise. I had singles and change in my pocket, ready for those consumers with $5 and $10 bills. I had a mug of steaming hot tea to warm my little hands as I stood on my porch awaiting the masses. 
I had a long afternoon in front of me.
 When 12 noon came and went with not even a single person stopping to look at my wares, I went inside and broke out the newspaper. I could always see if anyone came up the driveway, and then go out to help them.
When the clock struck 1 I turned on the tv to watch the football game, with the sound on low.  I could always hear customers through the front door, and then go out to help them.
There was plenty of traffic up and down the block, and numerous cars turning around right in front of my house, but no one stopped to shop. 
I did see a woman turn her head as the car drove by slowly, so I know she got a glimpse of my garments. (That sounds kinda perverted, huh?) That was the theme: drive by slowly, look at the clothes, make a U-turn, then drive back up the block. 
I really didn't think my clothes were all that boring. Apparently they held no promise for anyone, as I could see people milling about on Main Street, but no one came down past my house to mill.  
At 2 pm I went outside, took down all the hanging textile chads and tossed them into the trunk of my car. I'm sure the recipients of the poor box contents will appreciate them.
Thus released from my yard sale duties, and a lesson learned (location, location, location), I settled in for a Saturday afternoon of college football games. 

I will support yard sales by buying, not selling, in the future.