My MRI came back clean last week. No new lesions. Of course, that was useful before, but now I’m more concerned with brain volume, which wasn’t measured by this year’s MRI technician.
I can tell you exactly the white matter I have lost. I have lost the neurons that allow me to spell the word “because”.
Somehow my hands have lost the ability to type the letters of “because” in the right sequence. It always comes out with the same two letters transposed.
I’ve never had trouble with this word befoer.
Looks like there’s a short in my “b followed by e” synapse.
I don’t have stellar typing, but it’s just so odd that my muscle memory has decided to fail on this particular word. It’s not the only word. I know to correct “form” to “from” every time I type that. Looks like I need to add “because” to the list of double-checks.
It might be because (did it again) I have begun to use “because” more often now that someone pointed out the distinction between “since” and “because” (again). I was using “since” exclusively, and now I’m just over-correcting.
Over-correcting doesn’t lead to auto-correction for some reason. Perhaps that’s all that has happened. Maybe auto-correct has been saving me up till now, but it’s sick of my lack of personal responsibility. Just because. Oh! I got it right this time!
I very rarely hear non-liberal voices. I do have three conservative friends on Facebook, and will I keep them (even though one is a devoted Trumpster) because I like to hear other points of view.
That same spirit led me to watch the President’s press conference last week, but because most news channels are fact-checking him I don’t often get to see the raw craziness. So I went to C-Span. And because the president was tardy I got to hear the C-Span callers. The men on the street phoning in to express their views.
Oh my god. Did you know that the Democrats are keeping this covid “myth” going so that they can destroy our impression of Trump’s stellar economy so that he will lose the election? Evidently we got every country in the world to cooperate with our nefarious scheme.
It reminded me of my favorite Colbert bit of last week (ignore the poorly-placed first commercial).
Supposedly there’s going to be a U.S. Covid vaccine before the November election. I think this could happen. I mean, it would be salt water, and they would slap the appropriate labels on it and put it in syringes, but it will do no harm.
Much has been said of the 1970s swine flu vaccine, but because Mom had polio, my vaccination horror stories are polio-related.
In 1934 and 1935, Kolmer, described as a scientist, gave polio to monkeys, ground up the monkey spinal cords (more accurately killed the moneys and ground up their spinal cords) and then injected the concoction into children, which did not go well. Well, phase 2 of the trial went well, when Kolmer injected himself with monkey spine polio, but when phase 3 started some children ended up with with polio. Another scientist tried treating the monkey-spine fluid with formaldehyde to kill the virus. Surprisingly no one died from this concoction but he was still disgraced.
In 1955, the Cutter lab distributed dead-virus vaccines, only the virus wasn’t quite dead yet. 113 people got polio either directly from the vaccine or from contact with someone who had the vaccine.
Modern-day Polio vaccine: the polio vaccine given in third world countries is causing polio to spread.
I am not an anti-Vaxxer in any way. I think clinical trials are great. My big concern is that after trying the salt water, Trump’s lackeys are going to fill their syringes with Covid monkey spines dosed with Clorox and call it a vaccine, when real vaccines take ten years to make.
Based on my brief foray into Home Depot yesterday, what will work will be masks. Everyone had a mask, and except for the two Home Depot employees , the mask covered the mouth and the nose. I wanted to visit the cleaning aisle and clamp those two noses shut with clothespins.
I can wear a mask for ten years while they come up with something useful.
The neighbors across the street are moving because they have sold their house. (The Biden yard sign didn’t influence anyone, I imagine.) They’ve been our neighbors since 1988. I still don’t know their names. The husband is Gary ... something that starts with a V or an R.
Here are the names of some of our other neighbors:
We do have a couple whose full names I actually know. And why do I know their names? Because they’re written down, one in a text and one in a letter permitting me to trim part of their tree. That letter even gives their last name. Wow.
I vow to speak to the new neighbors and write down their names.
I made the mistake of watching the 9/11 footage last week. I watch it every year. There are just some things so horrible your brain never absorbs them, and no matter how many times you remind yourself, you still can’t believe it.
Similarly, I can’t count the number of times this year I’ve had to say, “Did you ever think we’d ever be in a global pandemic?” And no matter how often I say it, I cannot believe it.
The double punch of watching the replay of an unthinkable attack, while avoiding an unthinkable virus, just did me in. Evidently I can only absorb one unthinkable thing at a time. Perhaps some people can’t absorb any unthinkable things. Hence 9/11 deniers and covid deniers.
What was the year Bowie and Prince and Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher died? 2016? It was the same year Trump was elected, speaking of unthinkable. They had the Zika virus, too. That was a bad year.
And good god, 1918 - 30 million people died in six months from their global pandemic, and there was an active World War — and evidently someone poisoned people in Chicago restaurants: didn’t know that. Happily, no movie stars died because there were no movies.
But you know what didn’t happen in 1918? Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn’t die in 1918, she died last night. That unthinkable event unleashed such a level of cursing on Facebook that two friends wisely removed their TeddyJ affiliations from their profiles.
Damn it all to hell.
Abandoned Draft Version:
The first neuron feels an electric charge, and when the charge builds up enough that person discharges all the distress to the next neuron down the line. Eventually when enough energy is discharged, you will have activity: a muscle moves, an eyelid blinks.
Here's how most families work. Certain people are nerves. Certain people are muscles. The nerves pass electrical impulse betweem them. A charge builds up, it becomes too much for one nerve to bear, and the electical excitement is discharged to the next nerve down the line. The first nerve feels great then, of course, and takes a nap, leaving the next nerve to unload on nerve number three, and on and on.
Eventually the last nerve unloads on a muscle, and the muscle jumps from all the nervous energy that's been amplified down the line. The muscle does something - usually what the nerves tell it to do.
Gary's a nerve. There is no question.
... and I must be the muscle? I think this was a long way of saying that Gary believes “a problem shared is a problem halved.”
Thirty-two years ago Mom bought us a chair, to ensure she would always have a comfortable living room chair she could use when she came to visit.
It was a nice enough blue La-z-boy, not one of those giant Taj-Mahal padded monstrosities, but a sleek, acceptable model.
Then at the turn of the century, the living room went all-out Mission/Craftsman, and there was a reproduction settle and a Morris Chair, and the modern-day blue chair was shunted into the bedroom and became Gary’s chair.
A few years ago, Gary deemed the living room Morris chair too uncomfortable - so we compromised and added a Mission-inspired faux leather recliner for him. He accepted it, but would never recline in it, out of loyalty to his blue chair.
The blue chair was so dear to him that he would repair it when bolts and screws pinged off the frame when he reclined.
Gary’s loyalties changed early in the pandemic, when his lungs felt bad enough that he wanted to sleep in a recliner. Then, twice, the blue recliner refused to un-recline and Gary got caught like a turtle on its back. As a result, one early morning when I was too asleep to argue, the living room faux-mission recliner and the torn, worn, and broken La-z-boy swapped places.
“No” I said, when I woke up.
But he pled Covid-lung, and he couldn’t recline in this without the fear of being trapped, and he would consent to recline in the faux-Mission recliner in the bedroom now, and I realized the pandemic meant that no one would see it anyway.
It’s been defiling the living room for months, but when he became stuck in the blue chair again in the living room while watching the news (picture an angry purple-faced turtle), a new compromise was reached. A twin of the now-beloved faux-Mission recliner has been purchased, but for now the twins will stay in separate rooms, and the blue La-z-boy ...
” ... will be out out at the curb,” I said.
“Really? Your Mom bought us that chair.”
”She is looking down from heaven and believe me, she is behind me on this.”
”It can’t go out with the trash.”
”Well, then, down in the basement.”
“No, I can use it in the computer room when I read the newspaper.”
I suspect it will be used as a base for the unread paper collection, freeing up the black trumpet case, but whatever.
We have been using Shipt to get our groceries. A few days ago we placed an order, and we didn’t pay attention and missed the Shipt text messages, so the shopper had to call Gary to ask a few questions. Gary apologized profusely for not being by the phone to get her texts, then gave the phone to me to authorize a bacon substitution, and then I apologized as well, then I asked for Vidalia onions, if she didn’t mind, apologized again, and hung up.
When I took a moment to read her first text it said, “Hello, this is your Shipt shopper and favorite next door neighbor.”
Months ago, when my neighbor recommended Shipt, she mentioned she delivered for them, but I had never seen her in action.
So that was odd. I felt I needed to go out and greet her at the door and entertain her to make up for my politeness and formality. Then her husband came out, and her three small children arrived and demanded to know why a mommy’s car was parked in the wrong driveway.
Luckily I had already tipped 20% online, or else that would have been even more awkward.
Gary has been feeling a little bit better - enough that he can stay awake for four or five hours a day, so we are back to binge-watching television in the evenings.
I came upstairs from painting last weekend and I noticed he was still watching what he’d had on when I started painting two hours before.
“You have to watch this,” he said, breathlessly, “It’s really good. It’s all about Mary, Queen of Scots.”
“Mary, Queen of Scots!” I said in the obligatory Monty Python voice.
“You would love it. It’s a historical drama.”
So I asked about the only bit of MQofS trivia I know. “Does Elizabeth’s I’s rival in love end up at the bottom of the steps with her neck broken? I remember that was so suspicious she couldn’t end up with the man she supposedly loved.”
”Did they mention the rival had advanced breast cancer and that’s probably what really did her in?”
”No, you are wrong. I mean, she did have cancer but then she threw herself down the steps and framed her husband. Mary wouldn’t do that.”
Based on the cancer-nod to historical accuracy, I decided to give it a chance. It was like history slanted toward teenagers. Or tweens. Tweens who would own a grimoire, like my husband, and believe in seers and prophecies.
It was called Reign, and as the IMDB review states in the first sentence, “This is a show for girls.”
Days later, after it was all over, we went to Wikipedia to sort out what was true and what was not, and he was bereft to hear some of his favorite characters were not historically accurate. (“No! Not Leith! He wasn’t real? Are you sure?”)
Then he was bereft and wrote some poems in his grimoire.
Dr Fauci says to hunker down. Life won’t go back to normal until the end of 2021.
Doctor, I love you, but I cannot hunker any harder. I’m already doing extra hard hunkering. Way harder than a person with an immune system operating at 100%.
But solidly at home for another six seasons? Is it possible?
I wonder if the Trump politicos knew that the Woodward recordings would come out right before the 9/11 anniversary.
I certainly heard the similarities, listening to the documentaries on 9/11. I got to hear both George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani say, “The most important thing For a leader in a crisis is to appear calm.”
Did they know that September 10th would be the perfect day to make the “Calm” excuse? Sure, they said, “Trump downplayed the risks of the pandemic so people would remain calm.” Then the next day we see images of a clear-eyed, young, still-sane Rudy on 9/11 assuring us that we just need to stay where we are, stay in our homes, and we’d be fine.
Of course, to make the comparison accurate, Rudy should have walked through the streets (without a mask on, remember) and he should have said, “Lung cancer from breathing in this epic cloud of dust? It’s like having allergies. It’ll be gone in a month, like magic.”
Abandoned Draft Version:
High school dq t c gay not gay
I did actually post the story of the high school teacher who got the student pregnant, denied it, and yet married her, losing his job (but probably avoiding a statutory rape charge).
I did not mention the other teacher, who hosted an event for students at his apartment, where he had an impressive display of Playboy magazines fanned out across his coffee table. I was accustomed to Playboys, given that Dad was a fan, but there were SO many, especially compared to how Dad squirreled his away. I was taken aback. The teacher shrugged it off. “It’s just a magazine.”
Years later I mentioned it to a man who had recently met the teacher in question, and that guy said, “I don’t know why a gay man would have Playboy magazines.”
”Oh, he’s not gay,” I said, thinking, did you not hear me? Playboys! Obscuring the entire coffee table!
My friend replied, ”Oh, he’s gay,” and then made a convincing case that was more than hearsay but less evidence than I’d want in the 90’s if my job were on the line.
The only thing the two stories have in common is that they gave me a peek into the sex lives of the common suburban high-school teacher. I don’t know that I needed those peeks. I know that I was a common suburban high school teacher at one point and I hope I was as neuter as the angels.