Thursday, May 06, 2021

Happy Mother's Day to Me

This morning, an Amazon/Whole Foods mini bouquet arrived. It is a Mother's Day present from my fur babies, Connie and Reynaldo. My oldest friend said the cats chose my gift but asked her for her credit card number. 

It was a lovely, thoughtful thing to do. This is the kind of friend she is when she's on her game. 

I must remember that. She's bipolar and doing the best she can. I have to try not to let her hurt me because it's not her, it's her condition. And she can only hurt me because I love her so.

Meanwhile, I'm gonna stop and smell the flowers.


This week in Rizz

I've been really stressed with work this week. (You know what I know less about than cars? Running my own car care franchise!) Much research was required to do a good job for the client, and I didn't have much time.

I did, however, have Anthony Rizzo to keep me company. My favorite-most Cub had quite the entertaining week. I enjoyed having him on in the background, and wonder what people who don't love baseball do for respite and relief.

First the Reds Amir Garrett struck him out. Fair enough. It happens. But Garrett beat on his chest and kept taunting Rizz as he walked back to the dugout. Rizz gave him a look I'm not familiar with. It's as though when Garrett yelled, "I'm a bad motherfucker," Rizz was thinking, "Why yes, yes you are, Amir."

The core of this Cub team has been together for a while and they're a tight unit. By the time Rizz made it back to the dugout, Javier Baez was on the field, charging Garrett and letting him know how he felt about the way Rizzo had been unnecessarily disrespected. It's good to know that gesture means the same in Javy's hometown of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, as it does in Amir's birthplace of Victorville, California.


The benches cleared. No one was ejected in the fracas, but the league fined Javy and suspended Garrett for 7 games, so clearly they were offended by the way the Reds pitcher behaved. Bravo!

Then the Cubs welcomed the Dodgers to Wrigley Field. Los Angeles is confusing, because on paper they are a great team (much better than the Cubs) but on the field they are struggling. My guys were ready for them. 

Now Rizz is strong with a bat. He's an award-winning first baseman who can stretch and leap to get a runner out. Lacking among his skills, though, is speed when he runs. At 6'3 and 240-245 lbs., he's a big guy who most decidedly does not move like a gazelle.

So when he raced desperately to stretch a double into a triple, he looked ... well ... stupid. This is the most inelegant slide I've seen in a very long time, but I loved him so for trying (and succeeding).

 

Then there was last night. He was supposed to have Wednesday off. He'd appeared in all 30 games so far this season and it's been chilly here lately. Cold weather can cause his back to tighten. So Manager David Ross decided to give Rizz a little bench time.

Except this last game of the Dodger series went into extra innings. Ross decided the team needed the Big Guy after all. He came off the bench and got the winning hit. How fitting that the Los Angeles Dodgers were treated to a Hollywood ending, starring #44 Anthony Rizzo.

I live in terror that will be our last season together. I want to enjoy every moment with Rizz that I can.


Tuesday, May 04, 2021

WWW.WEDNESDAY

WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here.  

1. What are you currently reading? The Watergate Girl by Jill Wine-Banks. You may know her from MSNBC, where she was a legal analyst during Trump's first impeachment. It's a role she's uniquely qualified for, as she was a Watergate prosecutor.

She was a woman among men at the center of history. She had to be smart and talented to play a prominent role when so much was at stake. And yet, in the press, she was the pretty blonde lawyer. This is her memoir of her extraordinary life at this extraordinary time.

2. What did you recently finish reading?  Peyton Place by Grace Metalious. What a hot mess this book is! Some of the characters are well drawn and believable. I liked some and disliked others, just as I would react to the denizens of any small town. I was involved and never bored.
 
But the plot! You have to go back to the Old Testament and Job to find suffering like 17-year-old Allison MacKenzie endured in 1939. In one day (spoiler alert!) she learns -- in a cruel and ugly way -- that she's illegitimate and her mother had been lying to her for her entire life. Naturally she runs upstairs crying and finds the family housekeeper had hung herself in Allison's closet with the belt from Allison's bathrobe. She has a breakdown and takes to bed. Understandable enough. But on Labor Day, on her first social day out, she sees her friend injured in a gruesome carnival accident. Then (yes, there's more) Allison is decimated on the witness stand during the civil trial after the accident. I mean really! All of this happens over the summer and fall. Frankly, I know some people who have gone their entire lives without this much drama!
 
Still, I developed a massive crush on old Doc Swain. If I was a spinster in Peyton Place, I'd be throwing myself at the good doctor like nobody's business. I genuinely admired Selena Cross, Allison's classmate who grew up to be a brave and clear-eyed woman.
 
So now I've read it and I'm glad. 65 years ago, when Peyton Place was first published, it was considered a dirty book. Today, it seems less about sex than class and toxicity of secrets. There's a reason why "Peyton Place" is still in the Urban Dictionary today, defined as "means a location or a group replete with gossip, secrets and double-crosses." This may not be a good book, but it's a powerful one.
 
3. What will read next? I don't know.
 

 

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Oh, I don't know!

I'm so weary these days I don't know what to think about anything. This is the third weekend in a row that I've worked and I'm tired. There was a time in my career that being the go-to girl was fulfilling. Those days are over. I have too much to do in too little time, and I don't feel confident I can deliver my best for my client. It's stressful.

Adding to my stress was a Mac problem. As my MacBook Air started up, the Apple briefly flashed blue/green. I really need my computer these days, as my work Mac is a piece of shit and I can't compose with any speed or fluidity. (It's hard to be creative when you're worried your "e" and "t" are sticking.) Anyway, I did preliminary online diagnostics with the good people at apple.com and they told me they could find nothing wrong with my laptop and I should take it to the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue, which I did on Friday.

I was crazy nervous all day. I had so much work to do, and I had to knock off early to go downtown. I hadn't been in the city since last July. You're reading the musings of a gal who has been to work in the city every day for more than 40 years. (Except for the year I worked out by the airport, but never mind about that now.) I missed my city so much, but I was worried about public transportation in the age of covid. 

It was a sunny day. The city was pretty. The streets are full of cars but the sidewalks are still pretty empty. And my MacBook Air? It does what it's doing because it does. I have no software glitches, no hardware issues. I have to remember to reboot more often (instead of just putting it to sleep) and the tech deleted a ton of unused/never used apps and files and stuff. But it's fine. And I'm grateful.

Since it was my first time downtown since July, John and I were eager to get together. But he cancelled on me last moment. The reason was disturbing. He spent a few hours at his favorite bar, The Hole, and realized he wasn't feeling well and was going home. He has trouble breathing and needs his cane to walk any distance. He thinks the problem is his medication. He's been "playing with the dosages." Why?

He hasn't seen a doctor since late 2019, after he lost his job. Obamacare is "too expensive." He was eligible for Medicare in July 2020, but he couldn't get his shit together to make a decision about which plan. ("They inundate you with paperwork!") Never mind that he was unemployed, everything here was locked down and he had nothing better to do than read the paperwork. Never mind that he has friends who are already enrolled and could have advised him. He just didn't do it.

So he's been hoarding and meting out his meds now for more than a year. Without insurance, Entresto costs $700/month. I believe he's also taking Ozempic. That's more than $900/month.

WHAT THE FUCK HAS HE BEEN THINKING? WHAT THE FUCK HAS HE BEEN DOING? Is this what happens when I'm not there to nag him?

Meanwhile, he has a "job" at The Hole. He goes in a couple times/week (yeah, right; I know it's every day) and answers any questions they may have about marketing and menu, and they give him free food and drink. How nice.

I am upset about this, and at a time when I can't afford to be. I've got to work on my project all day/every day until Wednesday afternoon.

I love John, and I am too mad at him to stand it. He's going to let himself fucking die because he couldn't be bothered to sign up for the healthcare coverage he's been paying into since he was 19.

But nothing is ever all bad. Elaine from movie group -- which has been on Zoom for a year now -- was eager to meet me in person. Insistent, in fact. My cat Reynaldo has been crashing our meetups and she's become a fan of his, sending him messages in the chat. She has a senior cat, too. Anyway, when she heard I was going to be in the city on Friday, not far from where she lives, she thought it was time we saw one another 3D and in real life.

Once the worry over my laptop was alleviated, I was ravenous. She introduced me to Shake Shack. It's farther down on Michigan than I usually travel, but it was spectacular. And it was good to talk to someone who doesn't have a TBI (Henry) or dementia (Kathy) or bipolar disorder (my oldest friend) or whatever the fuck is wrong with John. 

I learned that Elaine is long divorced and recently broke up with "a boyfriend" (the term amuses me because I know she's over 60). She "consults," but to be honest I don't really understand what she told me she does for a living. She did say she considers herself retired, because and until someone hires her at her regular consulting rate. She won't sell herself short.

Mostly we talked about our cats. We're both ridiculously indulgent fur moms.

Then I walked the half hour it took me to travel a mile from Shake Shack to the train station. I enjoyed wandering about. The city is slowing waking up and it was good to see. I was surprised, though, that in all the time I was walking I didn't see a single taxicab. Elaine told me that she hasn't seen them cruising around anymore, that you can't hail them you have to request them on an app. That made me a little sad.

It was good to take the commuter train home. Everyone was masked, but it still felt normal. Normal is nice.

Now I must get back to work!