I’m not sick anymore. I’m not sure I’m exactly at full strength, but I made it through a full week of work. That feels like an achievement.
Now to start winding up for scheduled move to new Dino Nest in the second week of May. The new nest will feature three levels, including a partially finished basement area where Podrostok can kick around a soccer ball and Mouse can dance without disturbing neighbors. It will have a washer and dryer. It will not have a second shower or bath tub, but I entertain hopes that it will at least have a larger hot water heater than our apartment.
(I never found a home for my useless Russian piano, which is currently sitting in our still-pending-short-sale-settlement townhouse. Maybe I will move it to the basement of the new place, since a basement is a good place for a large noise-making object.)
Not that anyone reads this blog for the political commentary, but:
(1) Julia Jackson McReady should have won in Oakland Mills yesterday because she would have been a great board member. Drat.
(2) Just legalize pot already, for cryin’ out loud. Because living in an apartment building, 4/20 is a fragrant and depressing reminder of just how good legal pot sales would be for our tax base. It’s a lovely teachable moment and all, since I get one more chance to give my “getting stoned as a teen makes you complacent too early in life” and “responsible adults choose the ability to hold steady employment and security clearances over getting high” speeches. But derp, America. No one can credibly claim that marijuana is a bit worse than booze.
(3) DUE PROCESS FOR ALL. Really. No exceptions. Thank you.
Check your documents before you leave the Department of Motor Vehicles. That way your wife won’t be spending her morning at the DMV trying to get the registration for your jointly owned car reissued since you went home with the registration for Bian Chengwu and his (or her) fly ride with a receipt issued in your wife’s name only for no reason. At least the tags and title were correct.
I broke down and watched yet another music video – for the second time in three weeks - thanks to controversy over the new Brad Paisley/LL Cool J collaboration, “Accidental Racist.” This song is of limited use to me in my own mission civilisatrice, since Infidel’s fondness for country music didn’t survive the transition to middle school a couple of years ago, but I was still terribly curious. In terms of musical merit and content, how would it compare to, say, the Aerosmith/Run DMC remake of “Walk This Way”? Or Elvis Presley’s “In The Ghetto”? Or, for that matter, the Hasidic hip-hop stylings of some black and Jewish Crown Heights do-goodniks I saw at a fair in the early 1990′s? (“OY/SPELLED BACKWARDS/IS YO!”) And this is not even to speak of Cowboy Troy and his work.
1. Brad Paisley sounds less petulant than I feared he might. I was hoping that he wouldn’t sound like he was waiting for someone to offer him a cookie for noticing that, yeah, the Confederate flag on his Skynyrd shirt might not warm the hearts of Black folk. I don’t think he did, and this was a great source of relief to me. But he didn’t say anything to imply consciousness of how he or some hypothetical white dude might be judging a black man in a Malcolm X t-shirt or, say, black skin. So this does pretty much turn out to be a Don’t Judge Me anthem.
2. LL Cool J doesn’t even sound like he’s trying on this song. I mean, he sounds like he’s just reading lines as opposed to actually rapping. What he didn’t really sound like it was part of the same song as the one Brad Paisley was in. I was truly surprised and dismayed. I mean, he’s LL Cool J, what the hell?
3. It could have been so awesome.
4. But it wasn’t!
5. So now there’s a song with LL Cool J telling Brad Paisley it’s OK for him to be a white guy in a Skynyrd shirt as long as he doesn’t judge LL Cool J’s gold chains or do-rag and that, since they are now OK with each other, then somehow this means we are now ready to move past slavery as a society.
I have a deep and abiding masochistic love for doing my own taxes. It’s a lot like the relationship I had with advanced math, which is to say that I barely understand what I am doing and yet the process of doing it – and (unlike Calc IV) getting a coherent set of answers – fills me with satisfaction. The upshot of my labors over the past two days is that we are breaking far closer to even than I dared hope on Friday. It is a relief.
Yesterday I finally finished the Lymond Chronicles, and not a minute too soon for my self-respect. By book five things were getting almost as formulaic as an episode of “The Walking Dead,” and by book six (the final volume) I was actively annoyed at the whole damned thing. It was a good springboard to tax preparation.
Yesterday and today I made brief ventures out of the Dino Nest, both of which ended in me all but collapsing in exhaustion. On the bright side, I didn’t get winded and I am still mentally alert. I think (knock on wood) I may actually be returning to life.
I am starting to get really into the idea of a tattoo that will remind me that, yes, I do actually want to be alive and no, I really shouldn’t use my body like an ashtray. Please talk me into or out of this idea.
My convalesence contines slowly. I am more mentally alert and more mucus-y, both of which I take as augurs of improving health. However, showering and having two uncontroversial phone conversations reduced me to net-surfing and then, when that became too exhausting -
(Oh, wait. The whole reason I even starting trying to write this post an hour or so ago was that my web-surfing landed me this magnificient McSweeney’s thing about the power of commas.)
… Then, when that became too exhausting -
(Also, I bought some posture braces online, because the doctor helpfully pointed out on Tuesday that my crap posture as seen on x-ray was jacking up the alignment of my esophagus and potentially prolonging my bronchial misery thereby. This is the second reference a medical professional has made to said crap posture in as many weeks, prompting me to rethink my slump. There, now the title of my post no longer seems to be a typo.)
… When that became too exhausting, I turned to the opiate that has consumed me since I took to my bed – the Lymond Chronicles. I got the first two in the series from the library before I took ill. I have since et my way through the third and fourth books, and just ordered up the fifth, courtesy of Amazon Kindle. I swear Amazon is subtly raising the price for each successive volume, knowing me powerless to resist. I wish I could break the evil spell because all but the first book have reduced me to bawling like a baby at various points. Plus everyone is out of the house, so I actually could be watching movies I want to see on demand (or even the contents of Jimmy Chen’s recent Netflix views) without resistance. But no. Apparently, what la malade wants is spoonfuls of improbable Tudor-era continental derring-do, charming scenes of Anglo-Celt home life, and a troubled Scots knight who goes around doing implausible shiznit. Surely it would be more constructive if they just put me in a trance state for another week or so to heal me instead of me wallowing in this.
The other thing that turned up in my web-surf was this woman’s commentary about her autistic son’s conventional beauty. This was a topic near to my heart because my most classically Aspergers-y child is, knock on wood, gorgeous. This has worked to his social advantage sometimes, but briefly; it has also worked to his disadvantage in the sense that people assume someone so good-looking must be deliberately isolating himself from others or ignoring their needs instead of struggling to understand and produce reasonably appropriate social cues. I will refrain from further horning in on my boy’s own meta-narrative except to say that kids with autism – not just the high-functioning ones but also the ones in special ed - do not walk around with signs or uniforms on them to signal There, that explains everything. Therefore, autism awareness month.
1) Not me, physically. The steroids and rest are starting to work their magic. If I could afford to install Ma Protosaur in a nearby hotel for a couple of days to reenforce the kids’ life skills and prevent the Dino Nest from disintegrating into a state of nature* by day such that Dino Spouse’s uxorious aspirations were not overcome by his terror of Mommy Is Sick And Everyone Expects Things From Me, that would be great. But Ma Protosaur has been summoned across the Alleghenies anew to attend to her father.
2) Duke beat Michigan State in NCAA basketball playoffs, meaning that I lost a bet with my ex-husband and have been displaying the University of Michigan logo as my Facebook avatar since Saturday morning. I suppose this is just as well, since I would have to be rooting for the Wolverines should they play Duke. But No Sir, I Don’t Like It.
3) I know people with autistic kids – not just the high-functioning ones or the Aspies but the ones whose life functions and skills are severely impaired. My little ASDarlings Three have far easier rows to hoe, and so do I as their mom. Even throwing into the mix that Dino Spouse and I are most likely on the autism spectrum as well, I’m keenly aware of how much harder the kids and families who deal with autism in its more severe forms have to work to get services and stay afloat economically and as family units. This being Autism Awareness Month and all, spare a prayer or some compassionate thought for those guys and their needs. Every time I reflexively judge another child’s (or parent’s) behavior, I think of all the struggle it takes to just get even my people out the door. I was tempted to sniff at IEPs for years - life isn’t going to grant these kids any accommodations, why should I train them to expect otherwise? - but now I lay awake at night thinking how much better Podrostok‘s childhood and school experience might have been if I had taken academic intervention seriously. And these are minor issues compared to the effort some parents have to invest in getting the intensive support they need just to help their children speak. I guess I’m supposed to display a ribbon or turn my site blue in honor of the awareness campaign, but I just wrote this instead.
** Mouse’s bedroom is the single most disgusting space in our home. The other night we decreed it the Magical Land of Filthtopia, where she is Princess and I am Queen.