Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Ides of four

Good morning! I'm at work, watching these two guys in a pick up truck, salting our parking lot and going way too fast, a term that in this case means,  fishtailing around the corners. One of these guys looks almost cartoonish, with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. They did not beat my first customer, though, a middle-aged Barbie type who just had to get here at 9:00 am to cash her birthday checks.  I suppose everyone with an SUV thinks they were made to ignore travel advisories.

I'm the spoiled kid with the garage-kept car, living just five easy miles from work. This is the end of my first week back from cruising, we are woefully understaffed, and so I will be on overtime in about half an hour from now. It takes me about a week to be mentally back from vacation and back in my groove.

This year's cruise was the best ever. It was impossible not to feel the difference between this year and last,  but also, everything really did go smoothly. We took more excursions than we ever have, very interesting ones. And we lucked into great weather.

The first time we boarded one of those small taxi buses, headed for our first excursion,  I couldn't help remembering how last year, on Tortola (our first stop), two passengers on our ship were killed when their bus turned over. One of them was about my age. It was predictably hard to get that off my mind, and I suspect everyone on the ship had the same experience.

Accidents always remind us how random and unfair life is.  Whatever it is I want to do or learn should not be put off for a "better" time, or retirement. A popular song when I was in college repeated, "everybody's working for the weekend," which is a tragedy. Some of us need an attitude change.  Today. Nothing is wrong with today. Seize the day, seize the moment. Unless you need a nap. Naps are good.

What a difference a year makes. Christmas this year will be a revelation, since I remember waking up last year feeling dreadful. Poor Mike ran out to a drugstore for me. On Christmas morning. Reminder to self: some people work on Christmas morning. By the time we got to his parents' house, I was feeling much better, but since I still had my drains and stitches, I flinched around their big, lovable, wild dog.  Comet has forgiven me. And I can drink this year--this sounds shallow, but life really is more fun with wine.

It's the little things, and it always has been. The smell of cumin, a soft blanket, admiring our Christmas tree, French fries, Peeps, Scrabble games. Which I almost always lose, but it's okay. Life is good.

Happy Holidays! May you visit with people you love, laugh, and have fun!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

It's almost December. Goodness, gracious!

Snap, crackle, pop...that's me getting out of bed this morning. I might have sleep position issues. As I shuffle out of bed, stiff back, stiff neck, stiff knees, I notice that my right ankle is not sounding off. Good. 'Bout time.

Today, before work, I'm having my yearly mammogram, which should take half the usual time. However, I'm going to a different place--actually, it will seem both different and the same, since I'll be beating the same path I've already trampled on the way to those thirty-three radiation treatments. This time, I'm hoping that someone actually looks at my pictures before I go. Not that I'm worried at all--just hoping a cancer center has a higher standard of care.  If I actually get to see my surgeon, that will be a bonus. I'd like to thank her for doing such a good job.

The years go by faster and faster...I must say that I'm grateful to have arrived on the latter side of 2016. Thanksgiving was wonderful, and we are cruising again shortly, and Christmas arrives shortly thereafter. Festive times! 

Our first stop on the cruise (the same for several years) is St. Croix. We always walk to the same small beach club, where we happily flop on the sand and bask in the fact that we are on the beach. This year, we both wonder, will anyone on the island be advertising their link to Alexander Hamilton, who grew up there? We won't be in the same port, though. Later, we'll also be on Nevis, where he was born. It would be impossible not to see these islands with different eyes this year.

On this map, St. Croix is not labeled by name, which I find strange. Frederiksted is a pleasantly sleepy place, and we're always there on a Sunday, when all the locals are going about their usual relaxed Sunday business.

December really caught me off guard this year. It's hard to believe that it's been a year since I was diagnosed with cancer, soon to be a year since my surgery...I've come a long way, feel a lot better,
and am much more relaxed. There are so many issues that I am no longer having. I'm torn between wanting to forget how bad some things were, and wanting to remember, so as to be all the more grateful for feeling so much better.

For now, I really must get to it--Cheers!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Mouth Off!

Here we are, in mid-November...and I am planning to enjoy the rest of this year. Thanksgiving, our cruise, Christmas with family, and New Year's Eve with friends. So there!

That said, I am still reeling and mourning what is going on in our country right now. That 53% of white women voted a misogynist man into office--inconceivable. Are these the Fifty Shades of Grey fans? I mean, WTF???? 

And about these post-election protests: I sympathize with how they feel, but--this is not productive. We all have a right to protest, but we do not have a right to damage property. These frustrated individuals need to organize behind the LGBT community and our planet, and do so quickly.  We need a focused protest, and I have faith that it will happen.


I've read so many sad articles.

An American Tragedy, in New Yorker Magazine.

Garrison Keillor's Op-ed

And now: a bunny in la la land. I'm feeling good, getting over the first cold to hit me in ages. It wasn't a bad one. And it's a bright and sunny day out there, and it's the first Veterans Day I've had off in years, and I should be outside an hour ago. Speaking of being focused and constructive...

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Rabbit, rabbit! we are, again. This is the first year that I can look back and remember this part of last year quite clearly. That is not usually the case! But this year, I have a heightened sense of gratitude for being on the other side of a scary diagnosis. How should I count my anniversaries? Personally, I'm starting with the date I officially heard the word cancer, which was Black Friday last year--so, in that case, it will soon be one year. Or perhaps it's more appropriate to celebrate the end of treatment.

However I look at it, time will pass, and I will not dwell on what could happen, but instead on what is happening. Right now, I am feeling very well; almost every morning, I get up and take a good walk without any problems. Well, except for that desire to sleep in, which can be overwhelming at times...because some things never change.


This November is significant for another reason...we all have one more week of biting our nails, waiting to see what our general election brings. I'm trying not to panic. Nate Silver actually has a column about this.

Tomorrow is Wednesday. I like Wednesdays. Whatchaupto?\

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October Blush

Such a glorious fall day! This is a Saturday off for me, so I slept in, went for a long walk, and plan on settling into reading for awhile.

This evening, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone, a phrase that means "not staying home as usual and watching a movie with my husband." I got an unexpected invitation from a friend to join her at a symphony concert tonight (she has an extra ticket).  It is my aim to get out, keep contact with friends, but when an opportunity arises, my first reaction is to panic.

Earlier this week, I mistakenly thought that I was locked out of the house, and ran over to our next door neighbors to use their phone. It was embarrassing, but--now I finally know their names. They are very nice!

See? Social contact is not so hard, and totally painless.

And now: the relaxing Saturday. Rock on!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

New Tears

When someone who knows how to live in the bright spots--every single bright spot--and live a full life from a motorized chair....

writing poetry that brings tears, shows gratitude for everything, despite what has been lost

That's fulfillment.

Then, when the very worst news happens, she makes plans. She has a new goal: to do as much as she can, while she still feels good.

Make it so--the next hope: may this bright spot, such as it is, shine long...

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Tibbar, Tibbar...

IF you forget to say "rabbit, rabbit" on the first of the month, you may mitigate the tragedy by saying "tibbar, tibbar."  I did remember the correct utterance, but alas, did not throw my customary blog post up...hence the title of this entry.

What have I been up to this month? The most sensational answer is, we went on vacation to Mexico, to a resort we adore...

The flower arrangements (all real) never cease to amaze.
Somehow, I've never pictured the grasshoppers there. I've neglected them! This guy is as long as my hand.

...and I always have to get a shot at The Scary Picture in The Grand's lobby bar.
There used to be a library here, back when the majority of us didn't own e-readers. It's still somewhat interesting to take a gander at paperbacks people leave, in various languages, but it's mostly a place to use a desktop, should one need to. The whole resort has Wi-Fi, now.

I did not take coati pictures this year because that opportunity did not intersect with me having the camera. A group of coatis is called a band. I saw the biggest band of coatis ever early one morning in the beginning of the week...and I did stop and stare, because they kept coming! And by the way, the band is usually females and youngsters only. Males are loners. And they tend to be nocturnal, so morning is the best time for coati sightings. None of then hung around humans, looking for goodies this year, which is a good sign. They looked quite healthy.

Last night's movie was Now You See Me 2, the sequel to a movie I'd pretty much forgotten about.  It's a fun movie, though I didn't understand everything about the plot. Daniel Radcliffe gets to play a bad guy, and joins some big names in this franchise--Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, and Morgan Freeman.

And I'm currently reading House of Leaves, by Mark Danielewski, which is both scary and strangely educational.

Other than that, I'm living a life with little news. No news can be good news...and some news gets so tiring, it almost hurts. As of today, there are thirty-six (36) days until Election Day.

So, until next month, let's resolve to stay calm and as happy as possible with life.


So. Whatchaupto?

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Dory Has Nothing On Me

We recently had a picnic in our backyard with a few friends and family. A small gathering. The morning of this little event, I realized we needed one of those plastic table covers for our wooden table (which I'd meant to sand and paint this year), so off I went to the dollar store.

Every time I go to the dollar store, I see stuff we need! Okay, first the table cloth. Then--am I positive we have enough plastic flatware? Hmm, no. Not sure. Look! Forty-eight (48) forks for a dollar! Spoons, too. Might as well.

When I go home, my husband seemed surprisingly crestfallen that I had gotten more utensils. My reply was something like, no biggie, they don't go stale...

No biggie. Right. Yesterday, that top shelf, where all the paper and plastic lives, got on my nerves. So, I brought everything down to organize it. Oh, my...we have plastic utensils---for years. Mike snickered. Do you remember anything about those  special, sturdy knives? he asked....Ah, those are The Special Unitarian Biodegradable Knives. It's all coming back to me. That was a long time ago...

Then, when I got off work today, my car wouldn't start. It wasn't the battery, cuz the lights were on, and the radio was on, and the windows rolled down...oh, what's that light indicator? I look it up in the manual, yeah, it's an anti-theft feature, but what do I do? It doesn't say. I hate to do this, but--I call Mike. He reminds me: I need to wait about ten minutes. What a drag. Both the waiting, and the forgetting that I have to wait. I was the one to google this problem, in the first place... It all comes back to me now. It's one of those seldom-problems. I should put a sticky note in the owner's manual for next time, so I don't forget again and worry the poor hubby. (He actually showed up to make sure I got moving.)

Hey, it just occurred to me that my car is the same color as Dory. I don't know why anyone would want to steal it, except--it's very common. Hmm, that could be an asset.


Our movie tonight is Hail, Caesar!

Finally, a comedy, instead of one of those downers we've been watching. Not that I can name the last one...

Friday, September 2, 2016

And now there are two...

Friday! Friday! September 2nd-- about 2/3 of the year is gone.

And the kiddos are back in school already...that means that culturally, summer is over.

Wait--I work tomorrow...that's okay; it's Labor Day Weekend, so I still have Sunday and Monday off.

On Sundays, at 5:30pm, Mike and I play Scrabble.

I'm always looking for strange new words, especially ways to get rid of a rack full of vowels.

Remember, y'all: we are here to do something we enjoy every day. If you don't get to choose, then you need to concentrate on enjoying something you have to do.

Right now, I am between books, and will have a merry time deciding what to read next...that's my fun project for today. Oh! Wait, there's more: Masters of Illusion is on tonight. It's not as good as Fool Me, not by a long shot, but it's a magic show. We'll watch it while eating dinner. That's festive.

AND I'm enjoying blogging even more now that there's this neat feature that corrects my typos as I go! No more of that zigzag underlining, that nagging red stuff.

So. Have fun this weekend. If you must work, and if this is no fun at all, then make sure your evening is your own design.

Evening designs. The design of an evening. Designs on the evening....

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Rabbit, Rabbit!

This new blog is named after its birthday...September 1st. And on the first of every month, it's good luck to scream yell whisper mumble or any other way utter RABBIT RABBIT!

Not that I'm at all superstitious, mind you. It's simply something I do. January 1st would be a more conventional time to start a blog, but...I feel like doing that now.'s one of the best weather months, in my neck of the woods, and also the month we get to go to the shore, and this year, September feels like a new beginning for me.

And now for the inaugural book chat:

A friend from a small book discussion group gave me this profound work of art:

Teva Harrison was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer at the age of 37. This is her memoir about living as long and as fully as she can. I'd never heard of Teva Harrison, but I am so glad that she is on my radar now! She is an inspiration to absolutely everyone. And she has a blog!

Cheers! Good luck in September!