Monday, April 27, 2009

Thought Salad

This post won't taste good, even if you put your favorite dressing on it. I just have a bunch of completely disparate things to toss together. And, just now, EEEK! There's a big ant walking across my keyboard, but that's irrelevant.

Spring is here, or rather, the seasons seem to have skipped straight from winter to summer with barely a visible warning from trees and flowers. Right now it's 84, and reportedly it's planning to be 90 tomorrow. Help me. While the trees still look positively lacy, the weekend was hot enough to make us switch from storm doors and windows to screens, open the windows, run the attic fan, and even break out a small turbo space fan. It was the hottest weekend in recorded history for this region. I hate it. I have no problem with cold. I can always go around the house wearing sweaters and blankets to get warm when the house is 52, but I can't get cool without wearing garments that I consider inappropriate and/or embarrassing, and I sweat like a pig. It is completely out of character for the weather to be hot in April. In fact, it is not unheard of for a surprise little flurry to occur.

Where did this stupid ant come from? Go away, ant. I'm going to have to capture him and put him out. He is putting footprints between the pages of a document I was given by its author, archivist and historian at Old Sturbridge Village, "Mail in 1830s New England." But I digress.

The main evidence of "spring" is that the road termites are out prowling around, weaving madly, cutting everyone else off, and making outrageous left turns starting half a mile from the intersection, thus requiring them to ride up the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic. This includes mentally unstable college girls and huge landscaping trucks with their trailers. Normally, any other time of year, this would simply be an obvious indicator that the license plates read Mass., but now it's just that people are buckwild crazya$ coming out of hibernation.

New word/title coinage: Tyke asks for eggs for breakfast on weekend. Dad is a master at eggs. Dad makes magnificent omelet containing all of Tyke's favorite flavors. Tyke howls for a full 30 minutes, "I don't want an omelet, I want scrambled." He sits at the table and picks. About then, Dad asks if I want some eggs. I say, "Sure, I'd like scrambled!" Dad goes berserk. "You're not helping me out here!" Hint, hint. "Actually, I'd like an OMELET." Then the big kid, G., says, "Who do you think you are, Dad, The Omelettier?"

Insomnia: I finally got two nights of sorta-sleep after four nights of wide-open eyelids. The primary reason was probably my anxiety over G's "final" surgery to remove his cardiac catheter, which took place Wednesday. The insomnia started Tuesday night. Then, Wednesday night, in case he needed help, water, food or meds I slept on the sofa and, for the comfort of the affected part, he stayed in one position on the huge comfy chair/ottoman.

I did get a few short-lived naps. But the cruelest thing is the meta-dreams. What the heck do I mean by "meta-dreams"? This is just evil, and my own head made it up to foist upon me. Here's an example. Wednesday night, as G snored lightly, I finally fell asleep and stayed asleep long enough to start dreaming. In the dream, G has come home from an evening at his girlfriend's house. Her dad has brought them back to our home in the van. As is often the case, I am talking to the congenial dad, and I tell him, "Gosh the last few nights have been murder; I can hardly sleep at all. All I get is a nap and then it's all over." He says, "Really?" Upon which admission I am rendered bolt-upright awake. Now Porky Pig stutters, not actually but metaphorically, "That's all, folks!" I hear every house and tree creak, mouse skitter, bird twitter and vehicle move in a ten-mile radius, see every lightwave and shadow, feel every little pain, my sinuses go berserk and I get a raging case of gas and heartburn that must be properly addressed. I am completely up until I'm supposed to be up, at which point I can hardly get up because I'm so tired.

Here's another one. In Thursday's dream I am in a whole other state of the union (who knows which one it's supposed to be) with a bunch of total strangers and none of my family. It's all adults and no kids. I start out in a gas station but the venue morphs into a very casual tiny Greek diner-type restaurant that has all outdoor tables on a flat lawn in back. People in the restaurant are raving and recommending a particular dish. It is described by them as huge wide noodles wrappped up with something like herbed rice inside (reminiscent of dolmades) with a thick, olive-laden sauce on top. I order it, and it is delivered to the white linen-covered picnic table where I wait. But---aaaaarrgggghh! It doesn't look anything like the item described. It looks like a pile of tiny dry burritos with a drizzle of what should have been green salsa, but which looks more like thick, golden motor oil. There aren't even any utensils or napkins. The sight of it in the dream made me need to throw up. It just shocked me in the dream because it was so unlike the dish described. Too unexpected. Once again, BING! Wide awake with the whole night/morning ahead of me.

We have conifers and Rotarians in our water supply: For the past almost week, our town has been one of ten locally that were identified as receiving "copepods and rotifers" in the water. No live critters have been found, according to the metropolitan water district. Furthermore, these particular strains of organisms are not known to cause illness and are present in almost all fresh water. YET we have been admonished to boil our drinking water "for at least one minute." Why? To beat a dead rotifer? Every day I look for a lift of the "boil order," and every day it's not there. The affected towns are now down to six, but ours is among them. I don't care if I DO boil my water; I don't want to ingest cooked rotifers and copepods, either. Fortunately, before this event I didn't think about the microorganisms in our water. Now I'll never be able to forget them, even if they're dead and known not to be pathogenic.

Friends were cleaning out their attic and found a lot of old books. Since I am a logophile, they gave me one called More Press Boners. It's a book-length list of funny grammar, typographical, spelling and punctuation mistakes made in the publishing media, primarily newspapers. For instance, "Read our new booklet, 'How To Increase Your Word Power, Think Better, Spell Perrectly,'" and "Mother can disassemble the boys at the end of play time and pack the little containers away neatly." (Don't I wish.) What's funniest to me, even more than the gaffes themselves, is the archaic nature of many of the topics and concepts in the book. If my boys were to read it (which they won't because they're lazy), they would find much of it baffling, because they wouldn't understand the context or some of the vocabulary. For example, there's a listing from a television guide: "9:00 p.m. Geo. Gobel show. 9:15 p.m. Geo. Gobel shot." They would never in a million years know who George Gobel was.

This is the other part of the book: The title cracks the boys up. They have another idea about the definition of the word "boner."

And now a note about customer service: I can't remember if I wrote about this months ago (or moths ago as might have been reported in Boners). We rarely dry clean our clothes. We try to buy exclusively washable garments, but there are the seasonal coats and heavy down comforter, and some of my summer linen items. Anyway, I went online to arrange an at-home dry cleaning pickup from the cleaners we usually use, only to discover that the company I had been using had been bought out and replaced by another company. I blithely signed up on their website. Within a few days, the van showed up and the guy collected my bag of cleaning.

Well, darn it, that's when the trouble started.

A couple of days later I got a call from a distressed woman who works for the dry cleaning company (which I will not name because I refuse to give them press). At first I thought something had gone wrong or gotten lost or the order was screwed up or something and this was a courtesy call to straighten it out. But no! This woman explained that she was the representative for a territory and my address was in her territory and that I should not have let blah-blah guy pick up my cleaning. In fact, I should call every time I need cleaning and ask for HER exclusively. Though she did not say as much, I'm guessing they work on commission and the guy who picked up after being alerted via web is her direct competition in this area. She had a whiskey voice and a mafioso manner. She practically made me sign on the dotted line that I would ALWAYS only use her as my pickup and delivery person. I felt summarily harassed. I hung up the phone feeling as if I'd been beaten up by a bully in elementary school.

Then I went to the internet and considered signing up for another company, called Edricks. When I was ready with a new bag I saw the Edricks van coming up the street and waited by the mailbox and waved. The Edricks guy stopped in the middle of the street, took my info and cleaning, was friendly as could be, got my info into their system and had the clothes (much more nicely presented than the other company) back at my door in a couple of days. Even before the items were returned, I got two courtesy calls from the company surveying about the service and confirming my order.

Okay. So, customer-service tip: don't bully customers if you want to keep them. Gees.

Boys will be boys: This is how it is when you have more than one boy-child. Big kid G is returning to school after being out almost all year for cancer treatment. So he's getting up Thursday to have me drive him to his big half-day start-off. He appears on the stairs in boxers, hospital sox (he loves them), and a face covered with shaving cream. He says, quietly, "Mom. Mom." My face is a question mark. He says, "Tyke took my disposable razor and used it to clean the gum off his favorite basketball shorts. So I went in your bathroom looking for the razors and couldn't find one. Would you give me one?" Said shorts are a pet peeve of mine. I've been trying to get rid of them for a year, but Tyke keeps retrieving them. I didn't know about the Heloise "put item in freezer and pick off the gum" trick. It wasn't a big wad of gum at all, but still, gross! I got the new razor for G. Then when Tyke came home I inquired. He admitted shaving the pants. I said, "But did you make a hole in them?" And he said, "Yeah, but they're reversible so they have a liner so it doesn't matter."

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At 4/27/2009 12:33 PM, Blogger Nance said...

We got our "spring", too. Just like always, we jumped from winter to summer. Having our third day of 85 or better here in NE OH.

I finally got a prescription for my insomnia. Couldn't function in the classroom anymore on no sleep. I'm hopeful for a nice rest tonight.


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