What Makes The Super Bowl Super?

So I hear there is a football game being played tonight. I’m not watching it. I’m not sure which teams are playing.

Nor do I care. I haven’t cared in a few years.

Not long ago, or maybe last year, I was talking to someone who asked me if I was going to watch “The Game.”

I said, No.

And then she said, “I’m just going to watch it for the commercials.”

And I said, or perhaps asked, “Did you hear what you just said?”

There was no reply, so I felt the need to fill the silence with words, “You are going to watch TV just to watch paid advertisements. Advertisements that companies have spent millions of dollars on for the sole purpose of inducing you to spend money on something you probably don’t really need. (There’s a bit of a dramatic pause here.) Just so they can make more money. (And this part is a bit quieter or more quiet if quieter isn’t   a word, and it may not be.) Capitalism has won.” (I’m shaking my head slightly at this point.)

I don’t remember how the rest of the conversation went.

But we’re still friends. Though I don’t hear from her as much as I used to. But it’s probably not because of that conversation.

And really, if you’re like most people, and let’s face it, I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, most people are like most people, you will probably see these commercials 1000 times in the not too distant future. So why the need to see it the first time it appears?

I think it’s a little weird, but I chalk it up to societal conditioning and a general lack of interest in giving much thought to most everything,

I don’t think I’ll get to the end of my life and look back and say, “I wish I had watched more football.”

And I know I won’t look back and regret not having seen the premiere of a commercial.

But that’s just me.

So instead of football and commercials, I’m drinking a little wine, listening to some favorite tunes and sharing my thoughts with the universe.

How are you spending the evening?

Perhaps Polly Wants A Cracker

I’ve been ridding myself of stuff. All sorts of stuff. I don’t want to dust it anymore. Not that I am a dust freak. I don’t spend that much time dusting. Maybe once a month or so in either direction. But I want to do even less of it.

And some of the stuff or most of the stuff was stuff that was given to me. I don’t talk to most of those people anymore. Not sure why. Also not sure why I was keeping some little knick knack or small bottle of jewel colored glass. But I was.

I’m not now. Though I did keep the plastic parakeet.

Polly. Or Polly is what you called her. I’m not sure it was a her. Can plastic be a gender? And if what is true in most birds is true in parakeets especially of the plastic kind that the more vibrantly colored ones are males, then Polly is not a she.

She’s green. With a little bit of yellow.

You gave her to me for Christmas. She arrived several weeks or months, I can’t remember even though it was just last year, after Christmas. She’s battery operated and even came with a battery. You were happy to hear that.

She’s motion activated. At least I think that is why she moves her head and tweets. Though she often does it when no once has entered or left the room. I think perhaps she is sensitive to the air conditioner cycling on and off.

I got used to it. The tweeting whenever.  Others noticed. Not that there have been that many people who have encountered her. My mother and I think my neighbor. But when Polly tweets they hear it and ask about it.

Then I have to explain how it was a gift from you and why I’m not sure why you would get me such a gift. A joke, perhaps? I shrug as I say it.

But I know the real reason.

You told me you got me the plastic parakeet so I wouldn’t be lonely. We hadn’t seen each other in almost a year when you gave it to me. And it seems unlikely we’ll see each other again.

Somehow, I am unable to tell people that.

And I don’t know which is sadder: That you think a plastic parakeet would cure loneliness or that I knew it wouldn’t.

First Draft

We had another of our great conversations last night. We have them almost every night. I’m only telling you this because you weren’t there. Not really. Some might say I was talking to myself. But that doesn’t capture the essence of what transpired. I could see you slouched on the couch, beer in hand, smiling that smile that makes me smile just thinking about it. And I admit that I did most of the talking which is so unlike our actual conversations where you carry the conversational load, but I could hear your voice when you asked a question or commented on my commentary. And we laughed. Quite a lot.

Not healthy. That’s what most would say. Not healthy to have imaginary conversations with someone you will never see again. ‘Not never’ is what you said. Never is what I felt when you told me you were leaving. But that last day we spent together, you really wanted to know if I thought we would see each other again. You kept asking me that question.

“Seems unlikely,”  was my answer which works in more situations that you might think possible. And still you pushed me for a more definitive answer.

“Depends.” This works in almost every situation because almost everything is relative. Of course, you didn’t like that answer. You sometimes view the world in black and white when I tend to see it in shades of so many different colors. And it’s not possible to know what the future may bring while we are still in the present. But still, you pushed. You had to know.

Sometimes when you replay the past over and over again, the details start to blur. You know the gist of it, the mood of the moment, the guts of what was exposed, but the little nuanced details that took you from the start to the end, those start to blur, just a bit. The exact words get jumbled up and then you think you know what happened, but maybe you don’t. Not really.

And sometimes, you see the exact moment when the mood shifts, the momentum changes, the players realize you can see right through them. You know the world has shifted on its axis and you know your life will never again be the same. Those moments stand out.

 

I know I’m a day late and probably many dollars short, but this is in response to the daily post writing challenge of a twenty minute stream of consciousness writing exercise.

 

A Patient Point Of View

So it has been awhile since I last wrote anything. I meant to start back sooner, but the more time that went by, the harder it became. A bad case of writer’s block. Also, I thought after a wait so long, that the first post back should be something either very funny, odd or profound, though, oddly, I don’t think people think of me as very funny or profound. My mental jury is still out on the odd part. But then I had the sort of fluke experience that offers  insight and a new appreciation and empathy for what people often go through.

It began with a trip to the emergency room Sunday night at 3 a.m. with a hugely distorted swollen face and neck, difficulty swallowing and a fear of eventually not being able to breathe. I was fortunate that our sleepy hamlet’s hospital’s ER was empty, but everyone who worked in the ER came in to see me because, as one nurse put it, “We’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The nurses discussed my white blood count in tones that made me a little afraid. (My count was 19 and 10.5 is considered the high end of normal.) After the results of a CT scan came back, the ER doctor (a short man with thick, longish silver hair) came bounding into the room with what seemed to be giddy excitement and said, “This is beyond our capabilities. We don’t have an ENT that can handle this, but we’ve called Shands and talked to the ENT in the ER and we will be transferring you there.”

Shands is a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Florida located in Gainesville. Gainesville is about an hour and a half drive from where we were. The ER doctor told me I had to go by ambulance because he was afraid I might begin to have difficulty breathing and need to intubated. The EMT would be monitoring my vitals throughout the ride.

I arrived at Shands’ ER at 8 a.m. and within three hours, a procedure was done with local anesthesia. I was admitted to the hospital and put in an isolation room because I was septic with an elevated heart rate and they needed to determine the exact type of bacteria that had caused the infection. I can’t say enough about the level of care I got at Shands or what I learned about bacterial infections except “outstanding” on the former and “enlightening” on the latter.  I may go into more detail in another post.

I have a new appreciation for what people with physical deformities must go through as I could see the looks on people’s faces as I was wheeled through the emergency room and taken to what I started calling my little cell. I also have a new appreciation for what people with chronic pain experience. I was in pain before I got to the first ER and it just seemed to get more intense as time went on. When pain is significant, it is hard to focus on other things. They started me on morphine shortly after I arrived at Shands and I was told I could have more every two hours, as needed.

I am a person who rarely gets sick and can’t remember the last time I sought out a doctor because of an illness. I have visited friends and relatives in the hospital over the years, but you really can’t appreciate what they’re going through. It looks much different from a hospital bed. And it is a scary feeling especially when it takes a couple of days to determine exactly what is wrong. The last time I was a patient in a hospital was almost 50 years ago when my tonsils were removed. Come to think of it, it was a scary experience then, too.

Since I was a three hour roundtrip from where I lived, I knew visitors would be few and far between. But what I think made a tremendous difference is the friends that responded with texts and calls and even a visit when I reached out to them. It helped keep my spirits up and even though it was difficult to talk (and eat) and we tended to talk about what had happened to me, it eased my fears and made me realized how loved I am.

While I have tried to thank everyone personally, I really must tell the world how great you are. Thanks to Kevin and Jean for coming to visit that first afternoon and Jean for calling each day to check on me. A huge thank you to Gwen who came with Kevin and Jean and drove my sleep deprived, surely frightened 82 year old mom home, and then brought her to visit me on Wednesday and for all of the texts and calls. (As a side note it took my mother almost five hours to drive to Shands because she got lost several times in Gainesville and was a bit overwhelmed by the “big city” traffic.)  Also, many thanks to Ronnie, James, Susan, Kim, DJ, Scott and Tom for your texts and calls. You guys rock!

It is good to be back home. And that shower shortly after I arrived home (the first since Sunday morning and the first opportunity to wash my hair) never felt better. The swelling is almost gone and the pain is barely noticeable. I’m still bandaged and on the antibiotic for eight more days.

I will never again hesitate to visit a friend in the hospital. I know firsthand the emotional benefit. Life can be random and sometimes difficult but knowing you are loved and cared for can make the difference.

I’ll close with a picture of the sign the girls in my tap class made when they learned why I wasn’t there on Tuesday night. When I finally got home Thursday afternoon and checked my email, their picture brought a smile to my face. It was also the only time I ever regretted not having a smartphone as I wasn’t able to see it sooner.

Thanks again to all the special people in my life. And thank you for reading.

My dancing peeps, Emily, Katie and Liz. (Rachel was absent that night)

My dancing peeps, Emily, Katie and Liz. (Rachel was absent that night)

 

 

F*CKED UP FAIRY TALES IS HERE!

sandylikeabeach:

I’m now a twice published author thanks to H.E. Ellis! If you like your fairy tales slightly or completely f*cked up then you’ll enjoy this book. All proceeds go to charity!

Originally posted on H.E. ELLIS:

  • Has the stress of facing the holiday season alone got you down?
  • Are you dreading another Thanksgiving Day dinner defending your recreational life choices to your staunch Republican (insert Military Branch Rank of your choice here) Father?
  • Tired of being seated between your fighter pilot/Sunday school teacher/Abercombie & Finch model big brother and your half-dead Grandmother who smells like cheese?

WELL HAVE I GOT A SOLUTION FOR YOU!

From the warped and creative minds of the Blogosphere’s most talented writers comes a retelling of classic fables and fairy tales, each one more twisted than the last. F*CKED UP FAIRY TALES is the first of a two eBook novella series created by THE BLOGGER COLLECTIVE, a talented group of participating authors from around the Blogosphere. It’s childhood as you never remembered it. 

BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE!

F*CKED UP FAIRY TALES  is guaranteed to make your brother come out of the closet while…

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A Chicken Tender Comes Home To Poop

So I can now add chicken tender to my resume. I just returned (though the actual returning occurred last night, but ‘just returned’ gives it the sort of out-of-breathlessness that it really doesn’t need, but I digress and it’s only the second sentence) from the land of sketchy internet service and no cell reception. Yes, I was goat herding again, along with horse feeding and cat whispering.

But this time, there were chickens. Three of them. In case you were wondering, all chickens do is eat, poop and lay eggs though I’m not sure of the exact order. These are not free range chickens though they used to be free range but if they ranged free here, they would be coyote food, so they are in a little chicken coop. Of course, by ‘here’ I mean ‘there’ because I didn’t bring the chickens home with me.

The chickens laid their eggs during the day in a straw-filled covered kitty litter box in the coop. In the evening, after herding goats into the barn and feeding horses, I would collect the eggs, scrape chicken poop  and turn the kitty litter box around so the chickens couldn’t get in there during the night because if they did they would poop in it. Apparently, chickens are like cats and people and prefer privacy when pooping.  I can’t say that I blame them.

My hair stylist (though I’m not sure my hair has a style as I just let it do what it does best which is hang) is also a chicken tender. She says she spreads the chicken poop in her garden. I didn’t do that. I just scraped it off the tray that lined the bottom of the coop into the pasture next to the coop. There’s also horse poop and goat poop in the pasture because horses and goats aren’t that picky about where they poop.

Do you know what other animal isn’t picky about where they poop? Frogs! After being gone for a couple of weeks, my front porch had quite a bit of frog poop on it. Yes, those cute little tree frogs are pooping machines and they like to poop on my porch. There’s not frog poop on my porch now because I swept it off before I started writing this.

I don’t know about you, but after dealing with all that poop, I’m a bit pooped but I did want to give you the straight poop on chicken poop.