Sunday, July 15, 2018

My sister and her family went to Quebec!!

And they've seen three different breeds of whale thus far but THEY SENT ME THIS AND IT IS AWESOME!

Where the Costco Tire Center is EXOTIC!!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Me and my salmonella poisoning

There was a work dinner and several of us attended.  The service was so terrible that the restaurant picked up the tab for everything but the drinks.  All the food was exactly the same and really not very good except for this one dish of hummus with pomegranate seeds and ground lamb but the next day I was as sick as a dog and everyone else felt fine.  I felt worse and worse as the day went on and the next day it was no better.  The third day was worse still and then the action started.  Lots of action.  Lots of stomach pain.  I called my doctor who was on call that weekend and he said to lay off fruits, veggies, and dairy and to drink a lot of Gatorade and water.

The next day things were worse yet with a low-grade fever.  I called my doc again and when he called me back he asked what the temperature was.  I said I didn't know as we have no thermometer at work.  I said, "But, oh, look, here comes my Boo.  He will tell me."  Boo touched my head and agreed it was a low-grade fever and my doctor probably thought it was one of the next weirdest medical things he'd ever experienced.  "When you get home and your temperature is 100.5º or more, then call me back.  Otherwise, it sounds like you're on the mend."  He'd no idea what this was.

The next day?  Just as bad but no fever, which had broken the day before.  Then I realized what it was.  I'd had a Scotch Sour at the restaurant and it's the fashion these days to add an egg white to the drink.  It was the egg white and this was salmonella poisoning.  I went to bed somewhat hopeful that things would improve.

The next day was the 4th of July and at 3am things were terrible.  The stomach pains?  Worse.  The action?  Increased.   It was 98º outside that day and the sole thing I did was walk to the grocery store and score Gatorade, low-sugar variety.  How could this be worse?  But it was.

For my return to work on Thursday, things were pretty bad, and on Friday, I scored a bagel, no butter or cream cheese for lunch, and sent my doc a note through the patient portal.

My doc has told me more than once, "Stay off the internet."  He might have once said, "Stay off the damn internet."  Self-diagnosis is not his favorite thing.  So I detailed what I thought I had and how I got it and he wrote back and agreed with my diagnosis!  A first!  This did not make things better but I knew I was correct.

Salmonella poisoning takes 5-7 days to go through the system and yesterday was day 9.  I still had stomach pains but the action had ceased.  I had a craving for something from a restaurant downtown that has a lot of rice and had to get a prescription filled so I went and got them.  I ate the thing when I got home and then had a nap.  I awakened to find that things had gone south again and for dinner I had nothing but some Gatorade and water.

This morning things are much improved!  MUCH improved.  The pains are not constant and the production is more normal.  I am hoping that this is the actual end of it and that in a few days I will be 100% again.

So, ladies and gentlemen, as much as I like having an egg white in an alcoholic beverage because of the lovely froth, it's just not a good idea when you're up against a place that has gone from being very good to the exact opposite of that.  I thought a Scotch Sour had scotch and sour mix with maybe a cherry or two.  It will from now on, I assure you.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Flowers from my past -- week

Those flowers lasted over a week!  They were so pretty and looking at them made me happy.  But today they were lookin' pretty rangy and I sent them to live in The Land of Garbage Bags.  So long, old friends, be compost in a landfill.

I hope to have some of your kind in my home soon.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Different and nice

Often when I go to my sister's house, they have purchased roses at Costco and have put together attractive arrangements of said roses in cool vessels like old creamers or small vases.  I've never done that because I've never lived anywhere tidy enough to merit flowers, but I moved about a year and a half ago and now I do and so it does.

I started small, with a bouquet of a spray of small roses.  I looked at each and every one of the sale bouquets and chose the one with the most closed-up flowers.  I took them home and put them in a vase and realized I had neither greenery nor baby's breath to goose up the arrangement so I tilted them to one side and decided they're lovely, which they are.

Flowers do have a habit of dying and/or looking like crap pretty damn fast but while they're alive and still with me, I look at them and smile.  Someone liked me enough to give me flowers!  I am not upset that it was me.



Sunday, June 17, 2018

Two things and a greeting

Thing 1.  I helped out a client last weekend by going into work and taking care of something that would not otherwise have been done.  The managerial response?  Two of three people thanked me and three of three people (same three) told me I am barred from coming to work on non-work days because it's a safety issue.  I have advised the client that I am barred from helping her on weekends.  I am not displeased with this.

Thing 2.  Trump and his new BFF, KJU, met in Singapore and it was apparent love for Trump who gave KJU everything KJU asked for and KJU gave Trump exactly nothing.  We are ending our joint military exercises with South Korea.  Watch as we tiptoe into destablizing the region and KJU dances all the way to one of his nuclear facilities to whip up something nice and fission-laden.  Thanks, Trump.  You're a world class yutz.

And now I am going to Naf Naf to score a gift card for my friend's 50th birthday.  Happy birthday, Boo, even though I know you never ever read this.  When I needed the final season of "Breaking Bad," you taped it for me.  When I was moving, you knocked yourself out to help me.  You are one of the few people in this world whom everyone who knows you likes and I am happy that we are friends.  Happy birthday to you!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The long con

It's back on, folks, that little thing the White House is calling the Singapore Summit on June 12.  So anxious is the Donald Trump administration for this to happen, they've agreed to pick up the hotel bill for the North Korean delegation even though their choice of hotel is the Fullerton, a five-star hotel where none of the many ultra fussy clients I have has ever asked for, not ever in all the years I've been booking Singapore, but to each his own.  What a nightmare to guard that joint! It's on a river!  The  cost of a suite can be upwards of $6,000 per night and you know the US isn't going to say, "room and taxes only" to them.  There's gonna be room service.  There's gonna be Pay-Per-View movies.  They may leave it a little trashed and don't care that the USA will probably have to pay extra for cleaning because they probably all smoke like fiends.

This is not, however, the long con.  This is something I heard on the television this morning and thought, "SMH," which, for those not with the same friends as me, means Smack My Head.  All charges?  Parking for their many cars, entire floors blocked for them, extra security hired by the hotel, cheese doodles at midnight -- your tax dollars at work.

The long con is this.

Kim Jung Un (KJU) has nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs).
KJU wants the Americans out of South Korea.
KJU wants to develop more nuclear weapons and ICBMs and builds something brand spanking new below the earth.
KJU's people are starving because he is throwing all his country's money into ICBMs, nuclear weapons, and having the 4th largest army in the world, after China, India, and the USA.
KJU sells bombs and missiles to other countries, often in the Persian Gulf.
KJU is always pissed off about something, wanting to show that he's as good or better than the USA.
KJU lobs off a missile that flies over Japan and lands in the sea.  Japan is understandably scared, pissed, and upset.
Countries impose sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (i.e. North Korea or DPRK), making it hard for them to trade with other nations, import medicine, allow family exchanges with the south.
KJU is pissed off and stews mightily.
One day, KJU wakes up and says, "Wait a second.  I can be a charming guy.  I can be funny and I can be clever.  How about I make it snow in Donald Trump's head?"
Donald Trump is an American president who thinks it's acceptable to mock people.  He calls the height-challenged KJU by the name of "Little Rocket Man."  KJU calls Trump a "dotard," which means an old person, especially one who has become weak or senile.  It's arcane but he made most people in American, me included, race to a dictionary to find out what it means; it rings true.
This goes back and forth a few times.  Then they somehow agree that they will meet!  In the near future!  Maybe in Sweden!  Soon!
KJU makes a visit to South Korea with his wife and has a tete-a-tete with the president.  Everyone smiles.
Mike Pompeo visits KJU in Pyongyang.
Donald Trump has a shit hemorrhage and says the meeting is off.
KJU and the president of South Korea meet again, this time in the DMZ.
Mike Pompeo visits KJU in Pyongyang.
KJU's right hand man comes to Washington to entrumpify himself.
Donald Trump wipes his rump from the shit hemorrhage and says okay the meeting is on.
Donald Trump wants North Korea to completely de-nuclearize itself and in return the USA will lift all sanctions.
Here begins the theory.
The meeting in Singapore goes forward and things are agreed to.  Singapore gets stuck with the massive catering tab at the Fullerton Hotel and we get to pay for every other damn thing.
There is another meeting with South Korea present.  More things are agreed to.
Yet another meeting is held, this time at Camp David.  Donald Trump doesn't attend, finding the accommodations too feral.  He manages to whiz over to the Trump National Golf Course at Bedminster, NJ, and get in a solid round before taking a massive dump in his private restroom and then deigns to reappear at Camp David.  Papers are signed; Trump needs none of them.
There is a big hoop-dee-doo meeting in the Rose Garden at the White House.  KJU can't stop smiling and shaking hands.
There are inspections.  Fissile materials seem  destroyed.  There are no more bombs and inspectors sent agree that there are no more bombs.  It's as if they never existed.
Family visits resume back and forth over the border between the two Koreas.  The two Koreas have mutual businesses in what was once the DMZ.
Time goes by and non-Korean travelers are allowed to visit the DPRK.  International hotel chains are still not allowed to have properties but tourists advise the accommodations are less basic.
Time moves on, KJU and his wife have a couple more kids.
The USA leaves the Korean Peninsula as there is no reason to stay.
One day, KJU wakes up and says, "It is time."  The nuclear bombs are where he put them at the beginning of the long con, along with the ICBMs.  The USA is long gone from the Korean Peninsula and South Korea has defenses but not enough.  The DPRK lobs bombs into the heart of Seoul and Busan and lets loose an ICBM toward the USA.  It fails to make North American landfall but troops pore southward and over the border into South Korea.

Fiction?  Fantasy?  Conspiracy theory?  It's KJU!  That dude won't just give up his goods because the world wants him to.  Don't trust him.  Nothing good will come from it.  And the last thing you want to hear me say is, "I told you so!"

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cactus flower update and that little wedding

The flower on the cactus from last week?  It doesn't just open and stay open.  When the sun is striking it, the flower is open.  Later in the day, it closes up.  The escargot begonia and the cactus are still alive.  Also doing well:  Sansevieria (to be specific, the bamboo shoots snake plant), orchid, two succulents, staghorn fern, Christmas cactus, aloe, and air plant.  Questionable survival:  fiddle leaf fig, the plant that convinced me I could again have plants.  What's my fave?  I am digging that little cactus and the staghorn fern but I want there to be no more death throes of plants chez moi.  Let those whose green has crossed my threshold remain green and larger and with me forever.  Amen.

Yes, I watched the Royal Wedding. What was Oprah thinking when she got that dress for the ceremony.  You have all the money in the world, my friend; can't you get something that doesn't make you looking like Last Year's Senior Citizen Maiden Auntie?  Just because it says Stella McCartney doesn't mean it's right.  I imagine the construction is terrific and that wonderful matching hat almost made one not notice the LYSCMA styling.  Of course, Amal Clooney did everything perfectly.  Amal, please speak to Oprah and tell her to get a stylist she can trust.  I'd offer to go shopping with her but I have a regular day job that is exhausting and when I get home I can't be thinking about what Oprah's going to wear so she won't embarrass herself; I have to put together my own outfit for the next day, do my PT exercises and maybe watch some TV, and then go to bed so I can do the nonsense again the next day. I doubt that Oprah cares what I have to say anyway which is too bad as I sometimes say smart stuff and make clever observations, all of which she is missing! (Her loss.)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Two inches of lovely

Yesterday, there was a lovely trip to the a greenhouse way out on the edge of the prairie in Grant Park, Illinois. This year I was very restrained in my purchases, acquiring an escargot begonia and a little cactus.  This morning, I looked at the cactus and a tiny flower on it had bloomed.  Lovely!

Tiny cactus, tiny flower

Sunday, May 6, 2018

No poems just phlegm

For the past two and a half weeks I've been having such fun with a runny nose -- no significant congestion in either chest or head, just plenty of nasal racing.  On Wednesday, I thought I had turned the corner and it was getting better.  On Thursday, I woke up with some laryngitis and some less-than-attractive phlegm and made an appointment with my ENT.  On Friday, it was full-blown laryngitis and things on the hawking up front were grostesque.  People kept asking, "You sound terrible!  Why don't you go home?" I'd answer, "I feel fine.  Why waste a personal day when I don't feel sick?"  On Saturday, it was significantly still laryngitis and, yes, that other stuff was gross.  I visited my ENT who gave me not just antibiotics but told me I had to take Musinex Maximum Strength and a particular nasal spray. He also told me I had to drink eight glasses of water a day. I got the prescription filled and decided to go home and rest up.  I hacked the night away.

This morning, I acquired the remaining two items.  Surprise!  The combo of three things has stopped most of the coughing.  On my way back from the store, I started coughing so hard that tears were running down my face.  Weird and uncomfy and you know I wanted to just try the stuff I'd acquired.  I was not holding out hope for much but I was wrong:  All the crap worked.

I still have laryngitis but I feel well enough to toddle off to the store and acquire a few boxes of tissue.  Good for me!  And if you're not heard from me in the past few days, the laryngitis and sinusitis are why.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A poem all my own

Yesterday afternoon I went downtown to shop and fetch a book at the library.  When I was arrived, the library was in the throes of Poetry Fest.  Poets were sitting at typewriters, clacking away, creating a poem, free of charge, that they wrote on the spot on the topic of your choice, part of something called "Poems While You Wait."  Write down your name and topic, go away for almost a half hour, and when you come back, the poem has been completed.  You have the name of the author who has also initialed it.

I figured I could kill time at a library and put my name on the list.  What topic?  What topic?  Others had requested a poem about love, about hope, and the little girl in front of me asked for something about ducks.  My mind went fucking blank and what sprang out of the pen?  "Expository writing."  When the gentleman who was in charge of this table of six poets -- there were three more in the lower level -- saw my request, he said, "A poem on expository writing?  This will be a challenge."  He would assign this to the next available poet and off I went to murder some time window shopping on a library computer.

When I returned the man in charge brightened right up.  He said, "She has written probably the best poem on expository writing of all time," and handed me the poem.

This is it:

My "Poem While You Wait," Poetry Fest, 28 April 2018, Harold Washington Library, Chicago
When I finished reading it and was delighted with the result, I walked over and asked which one Rachel was, shook her hand and thanked her.  I am delighted still and am going to have it framed.

Rachel!  Thank you again!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Those whom you see at the store

Waiting for Godot?  Not comin', man!
There is a grocery store a block and a half from my house and I usually go there when I get off the bus when I come home from work, the library, or shopping downtown.  This particular night, I'd had dinner in Pilsen with sister, brother-in-law, and niece and stopped at the store close to their closing time to get some bananas, parking on the roof.  Who is waiting at the back door?  This guy or perhaps gal.

Geese can be ferocious, feisty, determined, and strong and just in case he/she was in a mood, I didn't want to be on the business end of that beak.  Turns out he/she was not interested in the skanky likes of me as when the electric eye saw me and let me in, he/she didn't budge.

He/she may have looked at me through the door but I didn't stop to ask.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Springtime at the beach

I am not going anywhere near this mess until they come up with more sand and bulldoze the water back into the lake.
There was a lot of wind and there was a lot of rain and Foster Beach is flooded!  There is a second lake at Montrose Beach.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

I did them myself, thanks.

I waited for you to come to my house and do my taxes and you never showed so I did them myself.  Thanks for nothing.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

What the hell is happening?

On Election Night 2016, friends were texting me from all over the country as the polls closed and asking, "What the hell is happening?"  We were all Hillary supporters and we expected her to win easily. And in the perfect world of the popular vote, she won!  In the imperfect world of the Electoral College, she lost and we all know the rest.

In the ensuing months, Trump has been ruling in such a way that friends still text me and ask, "What the hell is happening?"  Texts like this have been happening less and less because no one knows what the hell is happening, especially not Trump.  

And now we have John Bolton, a dangerous, never-been-in-the military chicken hawk of a man, who will be National Security Advisor.  It's like having the devil on both your shoulders and neither one is Peter Dinklage as the devil in the Super Bowl Doritos commercial, they're both John Bolton and he likes power and he likes talking and he knows how to pander to Trump's worst impulses which are really the only impulses he has.  

The Cabinet has changed how much?  And what stupid and/or unholy three are still around?  The Duchess of Dunces, Betsy de Vos; the Duke of Dopes, Ben Carson; and ex-Hollywood Maestro of Money, Steve Mnuchin.  Yes, I am sure others have not departed but these three are stupid, dumb, and ridiculous, respectively.  They take themselves very seriously and have confidence they should not have. Ben Carson and no experience in either housing or urban development.  I really thought trump would make him the Surgeon General.  Yes, he's not in the military but he was a surgeon, no matter how hard it might be to believe.

When I think about this too much, my head hurts and I might still cry, as I did for almost three days after Hillary lost and I am not really a crier.  I have friends who cry at movies, card tricks, or anything else they find emotional.  "Did you see [fill in movie name here]? It's beautiful!  I cried!" This is way more serious and touches me more deeply because our democracy might be at stake and that does make me cry.

What the hell is happening?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Last week and this

So last week, I was concentrating so hard on doing the exercises my physical therapist gave me to do that I plum forgot.

This week, I have just this.  Why does Jimmy Kimmel need to include humans in his Oscar show?  Of course, by humans I mean non-celebrities.  Last year he trekked a group of tourists through who were on a Hollywood tour.  This week, Kimmel and celebs stopped a preview of "A Wrinkle in Time," so the celebs could make the hoipolloi think they cared.  Personally, DO NOT interrupt a movie I am watching for something as stupid as celebrities.  And while we're at it, don't talk in the movie and, if you can avoid it, do not eat.  My friends who are eat-at-the-cinema types are tidy and quiet chewers.  They know if I say no thanks, I mean no, thanks, no.  And if you're Jimmy Kimmel, wait until the movie is over before you bombard me with humor.

Jimmy, I like you very much, you're a good man, very smart, well spoken, and you appreciate Costco.  But never, ever interrupt any movie I am.

Just sayin'.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A triumphant return to Garfield Park Conservatory



The view as you enter Garfield Park Conservatory
A war in miniature could break out at any moment!!!
Orchids, palms, cacti, elephant ears, living baseballs ready to be appreciated by us
This is as good as taking a picture of someone taking a picture.
After the conservatory we went to a plant shop and met this fine fellow.
We met this fine fellow, too, who enjoyed being carried around by my sister.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Presidents Day


When I was a child growing up in Detroit, Lincoln's birthday was a holiday and George Washington's birthday was another holiday and since they were born in the same month, Congress finally decided that everyone was enjoying themselves too much and they combined the two and tossed in every other president and, ta da, Presidents Day.

We have had some very good presidents and a few real stinkers and a few who were SOBs and a few who were womanizers or bigots or noble or power hungry or just plain crazy (I'm looking at you Donald "Fake News" Trump).  This weekend we celebrate them all!

The best way I can think of to celebrate is by taking advantage of some mighty good sales but I am trying to be frugal so unless I buy a new mattress, there will be no sales being taken advantage of by moi.  I have my annual wellness exam, a/k/a my yearly lube and oil, and a few hours later, I have my eyeball wellness visit where they dilate my pupils and I walk out with those shifty, weird, ugly roll-up sunglasses inside my glasses.  No one bothers you when you opt to wear these things.

Afterward, I will treat myself to a nice lunch at some fancy place like Chipotle.  As I walk home from Chipotle, I will think about how glad I am that 13 Russian oligarchs were indicted and how our president thinks he is safe from prosecution.  I will think about Robert Mueller and wish him well with his investigation.  I will think about my coworkers who tell me, "Stop saying 'They have to build a case.'"  And I say, "They do have to build a case and that takes time. "  God bless America.