Category Archives: humor

Pineapple “1” – k8edid “0”

 

Pineapple Wins!!!  Pineapple Wins!!!

Pineapple Wins!!! Pineapple Wins!!! (photo credit k8edid)

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a post about how 2013 had kicked my ass.  It was one of maybe 6 0r 7 posts I have written in the past 18 months.  You see, 2013 was a bitch – but 2014 has conspired to make its predecessor feel like an old, fondly-remembered friend.  I will tell a tale about an altercation I had with a tropical fruit this week that illustrates what I mean.

In this year of our Lord – 2014- I have been diagnosed with not one, but two painful, chronic and potentially debilitating maladies.  One affects my joints; the other affects my muscles.  Both involve fatigue and weakness. Depression is an “interesting” common denominator.  Neither is curable but, I am told, are manageable by utilizing an amazing array of poisonous chemicals, copious amounts of rest balanced with exercise, and a good attitude.  Some days only my joints are affected – other days my muscles ache.  On “perfect storm” days everything, including my eyelashes and fingernails hurt. Some days I cannot even turn over in bed.  Many mornings I cannot walk when I get out of bed which makes that first trip to the bathroom rather entertaining.  Usually after 10 – 15 minutes of stretching and range of motion exercises, I can maneuver around with only moderate pain.  Good insurance being what it is, I have amassed an incredible schedule of specialists’ appointments.

I have been referred to the pain clinic where I am treated like a wild-eyed drug-seeking addict…I must bring my prescription bottle with me to have my remaining pills counted; I must submit a urine sample at every visit to be tested for illegal substances; and I must make an appearance every 30 days.  Heaven forbid that I have a prescription for more than 30 days worth of relief.  I am fairly certain I could get heroin more easily (and more cheaply).

Give me the good stuff and I’ll leave you alone for 30 days. Wait, wait…I gotta pee.

On the worst days, my left arm is virtually useless.  I am right handed, so that is a small blessing.  If you have ever had a bum wing, though, you know how difficult it is to maneuver through your day using only one hand.  Your less-dominant hand is important for such tasks as pulling up your underwear, holding the cookie jar so you can pull the top off, or flipping off passing vehicles.  I cannot hold anything for any length of time in that hand, including a wine glass.  A cup of coffee is too heavy for my weakened arm and attempts to lift one are likely to result in a spill, a burn, or both.

I am recovering from yet another abdominal surgery this week (Merry Christmas to ME), so I am even weaker than usual.  My beloved Sweet Cheeks, who has had to assume most of the tasks of running this crazy train we call home, purchased a beautiful, perfectly ripe pineapple at my request.  So on Christmas Eve morning, I zig-zag staggered to the bathroom, managed a quick shower concentrating on the parts I could reach with my right hand.  I shaved my right leg and the right side of my left leg plus my left underarm.  I dressed slowly, pulling up my underwear on the right side and managed one-handedly to get both my 38L boobs (that’s L for long) tucked into a brassiere.  I styled the right side of my hair with the blow-dryer and ran a comb through the left.  I staggered to the kitchen and prepared to wage war on the splendid tropical bromeliad.

pineapple slicer

I chose my weapons carefully: my best knife and a new-fangled pineapple corer/slicer/peeler purported to make  quick work of the task at hand.  I selected a cutting board and prepared the pineapple as if offering up a tropical sacrifice.  I laid the fragrant golden fruit on its side to make the first cut to remove the spiky top.  With my stronger right hand I grasped the knife and…nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  I pressed harder and the stubborn fruit squirted off the cutting board and onto the counter.  I laid my useless left hand on top of the fruit and leveraging my weight onto the knife blade, managed to just cut into the firm flesh.  Juice ran onto the cutting board, somehow making the surface both slick and sticky.  The fruit slipped again with the blade stuck about an inch into the side.

By practically laying on the pineapple, utilizing an exaggerated sawing motion, and employing a multitude of standard and newly minted curse words, I was able to separate the top of the fruit from the body.  Feeling victorious, I stood the pineapple up and attempted to use the new-fangled device.  So simple – just press and twist the device into the pineapple and when you are finished, the fruit is sliced, cored and peeled.  I managed to twist the apparatus about an inch into the dripping yellow flesh.  I could not make further progress.  I gathered the fruit into my useless left arm and held the dripping fruit next to my body. Grunting and sweating, I somehow managed to twist another half-inch.  I was covered with juice, sweaty with effort and frustrated as hell.  My blood sugar was falling and my blood pressure was, undoubtedly, on the rise!

Finally, in an uncharacteristic fit of common sense, I decided juice and toast sounded like a much better breakfast choice.  I waited for my beloved to wake up and complete the job I couldn’t do.  Which he did, rather easily.

I threw the pineapple out yesterday.  It was perfectly ripe, beautifully sliced and cored, and very juicy. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it.

I guess I’m just a sore loser.  In more ways than one…

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2013 Kicked my Ass

I've had a bad year - leave me alone

I’ve had a bad year – leave me alone

2013 was a very bad year for  me.  I started with a concussion, went through a wee bit of depression (sort of like being a wee bit pregnant) and spent nearly 2 weeks in the hospital where I could easily have died.  I slept most of the rest of the year, in a pathetically weakened state, due to side effects of medications.  I was passed over for a promotion I really wanted (and deserved) by an employer that was pretty content to have me effectively doing two jobs for one paycheck, while driving 80 miles a day to do so.  I had homesickness of epic proportions and spent more than a few days wondering “What is the point, exactly?”

Now that it only has a few hours left to kick my ass, I just want 2013 to know…

I learned to appreciate some things this year.  Like my devoted spouse who spent countless hours worrying over me, suffering when I suffered, nagging me when needed, giving space when needed as well.  I learned that I am much loved by many – kids, sisters, grandkids, friends, cousins, in-laws, outlaws and others –  I am truly blessed.

I learned that a few wonderful friends are all you really need.  Friends who just knew what I needed and when, who cared for me, cared for my dog, and supported by husband through all the crap.  Who texted, caught up with me on Facebook, or e-mailed – and understood my aversion to phone calls.

I learned that being appreciated by your employer for your contributions is better than having the “princess office”,  newer technology or deeper pockets.  I learned to go after what I wanted because no one was going to give it to me.  And I found a job that fits me (and is much closer to home with summers off).

I learned that all of the medical knowledge in the world won’t help you if you are nearly unconscious or too sick to advocate for yourself.   Appoint someone who can.  I learned that health care coverage is not to be taken for granted as my bills would have totalled nearly a$300,000 for all the care and services I received.  I also learned which hospital to avoid if I should ever need medical care again.

I learned that life can change in an instant and although my crises were really minor in comparison to those of many others – my life did not feel like mine at all.  I learned that by putting one foot in front of the other – no matter how tired or weak I felt – no matter how overwhelmed I became, I could just keep going just as I always have – just as I always will.  I learned that I am strong, capable, and unstoppable.

I learned that my body will not take neglect or abuse forever without rebellion.  I will listen.  I will appreciate the gift – a strong body – that I have been given.

So 2013 – I am not sad to see you go.  Sayonara, 2013.  Suck It.

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50,000 Words!!! Yay!!! Oh, wait….

grimreaperscrabble

In my bloggy absence over the past couple of months, between recuperating from my near-death experience and changing jobs, I have cranked out about 50,000 words. Oh, no – not a novel or anything like that. Not an anthology of beautiful short stories nor a load of lyric loveliness.

No, by my rough estimate this morning – I have put together 50,000 words. Playing Scrabble on-line. And not that shabby imitation “Words with Friends” crap. Real(?) by-God virtual Scrabble.

50,000 words – One stinkin’ word at a time. I’m in deep, kids. Really deep.

In real life (you remember real life, don’t you?) very few people want to play Scrabble with me. I am insufferable. I must win, I play defensively, and know a lot of obscure words. Imagine my pure joy when I discovered the Scrabble app for my Android tablet. An endless supply of unwitting victims. I could play anonymously, so that no one would know it was me and avoid my invitations to a letter-tile smackdown. I grinned and rubbed my hands together in evil anticipation of the word whuppin’s I was about to lay down. And lay down I did. And did. And did. And without any freakin’ Scrabble Cheat apps, thank you very much. (Yes, Player 2218 I am talking to YOU).

First thing in the morning, with the sickly glow of the tablet illuminating my puffy eyes, I checked to see whom I was currently flogging with my little virtual wooden-letter weapons. Before bed – nay, even in bed – my bloodshot eyes checked to make sure that I wasn’t missing a turn to play a carefully-crafted pure-genius move that would propel me to a 200 point lead against some poor sucker (12 points). BwaHaHaHaHaaaaaaaaaaa.

Of course, I often encountered mental midgets like Player 3233 whose best word was “turds” or Player 7825 who used both the blank tiles for the letter K to spell “dick” twice in the same game. Or Player 1999 who joined both “anus” AND “vagina” on a double word score (Brilliant!!). I have screenshots of these offerings, but WP isn’t letting me upload this morning. You’ll just have to trust me on this.

And then…and then. I saw HIM. There on the bottom of the playing board.
 
happy teacher

Teacher. He looked like Alex Trebek, if Alex Trebek’s face was a wooden letter tile. He knew words – rich, high score, valuable words. He smiled sweetly and offered encouragement whenever I made a brilliant play. Like a giddy schoolgirl with a crush on her male middle-school Algebra I teacher, I lived for his praise. I was on a roll! I could not get enough of my new square-jawed lover. In addition to trouncing my feeble-minded competitors (not you, Player 3345, you are da bomb!), I resumed showering and changed into clean pajamas before ever opening that app again. I might have even applied lip gloss. When I was properly groomed and primped (18 points), I had only to click on his face to see my new main squeeze (45 points).

And as was inevitable (31 points) I disappointed my new paramour (18 points) soon enough. I played the word rivet (12 points). He frowned. “Hmmmm, let me show you what you missed” he said.

unhappyteacher

He played “erective” on the board (92 points). Wait, wait a darned minute. Did he just raise his eyebrow? What the?…what?

I was crushed. Within days Teacher had disapproved of many of my word offerings – showing me missed opportunities to play the words siemens, augite, sarkier, fique, kraters, hazan, flinkite, nutant, feod, flanerie, groanful, uranitic, kuias, miaoued, poovy, scungy, braii, gju, and arctoid (88 points).

It was over between us. Fique gju in your scungy feod, Teacher. You can kuias my poovy augite. Even though he remained at the bottom of the playing board, I never again tapped his wooden face in a quest for his approval.

I estimate (you have to sign in with your real name to get real stats) that I won 98% of the games I played (Damn you, lorrencowen – I’ll beat you yet!). I also estimate that I had as many as 150 games active at one time (the app only shows the 25 most recent games played). As of this morning I am down to 8 games and as soon was the opponents either succomb (30 points) or forfeit (13 points) I am done (5 points). Seriously (13 points). I mean it (2 points).

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Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated – Part 2

Last month I wrote a post about a dream I had where my mother (long deceased after a short and troubled life) visited me for tea.  That post was the culmination of a long stretch of days (weeks, really) fraught with deepening sadness and mostly sleepless nights that were punctuated by haunting dreams.  That post was Freshly Pressed, and after replying to comments and visiting the blogs of old and new followers and other passersby, I vanished from the blogosphere for a while.

But life went on.  Each morning, when I hoisted a 90 pound book bag into my vehicle for the trek to the educational emporium which employs me – this guy would be staring at me…

Maybe today is the day...she's moving slower...it won't be long... (Photo credit:  k8edid)

Maybe today is the day…she’s moving slower…it won’t be long…
(Photo credit: k8edid)

But life went on. In an epic battle – serotonin wrestled with norepinephrine about whose job it was to cheer me up, and after coming to the conclusion that joy was highly overrated – both neurotransmitters waved sayonara and abandoned ship, leaving me with a desire to punch everyone (including sweet little old ladies) in the throat; sleeping about 3 hours a night, and wishing my mom would come back and take me with her.  (PLEASE NOTE:  I am okay, really).

But life went on.  I started feeling a little better, sleeping became my new hobby, and writing seemed like a vague memory of something I used to enjoy.  My neurons stopped twitching. I began to see hope and joy in simple things, and felt like I was making a slow, if somewhat wobbly, recovery.  Then I checked the mail.  I’d received an invitation.

Scan0001

To a funeral home.

Related Post:  Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated (Part 1)

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I. Am. So. Screwed.

The American Academy of Neurology has released reports from two studies that women who suffer migraine with visual aura have an increased risk for experiencing a “cardiac event” such as heart attack or stroke.

Migraine Barbie has Snapped!

Migraine Barbie has Snapped! (Photo credit: Deborah Leigh (Migraine Chick))

“The first study showed that migraine with aura is a strong contributor to the development of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. The Women’s Health Study involved 27,860 women, 1,435 of whom had migraine with aura. During the 15-year study, there were 1,030 cases of heart attack, stroke or death from a cardiovascular cause. The study examined the relative contribution of various vascular risk factors to these major cardiovascular events.”

“After high blood pressure, migraine with aura was the second strongest single contributor to risk of heart attacks and strokes,” said study author Tobias Kurth, MD, ScD, of INSERM, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Kurth is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “It came ahead of diabetes, current smoking, obesity, and family history of early heart disease.”

Hmmm.  I have hypertension.  I have migraine with aura.  I could stand to lose a little (okay, okay – maybe more than a little) weight.  I. Am. So. Screwed.

Grim Reaper (advertisement)

Grim Reaper (advertisement) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

What is a girl (okay, okay, a woman pushing fifty sixty) supposed to do?  What does one wear for a cardiac event?  These are questions I am sure you want answered.

First, a girl can lower her risk by not smoking (check), lowering her blood pressure (check-ish), keeping her weight down (um, well, duly noted) and exercising (Ha! Fat freakin’… oh… I mean, duly noted).

As for what to wear for a cardiac event…this gal plans on wearing a red dress for a while, and when that Reaper asshat comes to get me, I hope to be wearing a little(r) black dress, out on the dance floor.

Stay tuned…

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