Tuesday, February 28, 2017

All's Well. Actually It Kind of Sucks, but It'll be Okay.

So. It's the end of February and 86 degrees. There's that.

The weekend started out delightful, with a sleepover visit from Miss D.  My daughter had run the Disney Princess Marathon Weekend 5k (next year she's determined to do the half marathon) and Delaney did the kids' fun run, and a great time was had by all. I'm now planning to do the 5k next year, maybe with Delaney, while her mom runs the half marathon the following day. I'm pretty sure that Delaney would be able to do the distance at grandma's pace. I will not be running much. Lots of people just walk it for the fun of it, and I think I could manage a combination of running and walking.   The distance of course isn't an issue; I can do a 5 k just walking.

Delaney slept over Friday night and was the perfect guest.  Saturday morning, while waiting for mom to pick her up around ll-ish, we assembled a Lego castle she'd gotten for Christmas last year.  A year and three months ago it was challenging for her and required a ton of adult help, and I put it away and forgot about it. She found it while poking around and wanted to build it.  She did it with very little help from me, though she insisted we had to do it together.  We really were helping each other with it; she was a full participant.  A year is a huge chunk of developmental time, and the leap between four and five is amazing.

I actually had a decent night's sleep and after she left I had energy to continue decluttering. I unloaded a ton of stuff at Goodwill, the first of what will be many trips, and this time I'm keeping notes of what I'm donating and logging receipts, because it's a LOT. I'm in a shed the crap mode on so many levels.  So, Saturday was good.

On Sunday I woke up and checked my phone as usual while drinking my first cup of coffee (what, don't all 58 year old grandmothers do this?) and saw a message from a "FB friend" about the death of another FB friend. I call them FB friends because that's the only way we're acquainted. I've followed their blogs and their joint podcast for years, and read their writing on other sites like Salon and HuffPo, and somehow a few years ago they accepted my friend requests on FB, probably not quite sure who I was.  So, not local, "share a beer" friends, but people I felt I knew, because I've been sharing their thoughts for a long time.

And one of them had died on Saturday. I felt absolutely punched in the gut, like I'd lost an actual 3D friend.  It was/is weird and shitty and I am so sad for his fiancee and especially for his daughter, who is only 8.  In addition to being a writer and TV producer and incredibly smart, Chez was also a dance dad. That's one of the things I really loved about him - he was a crusty, foul-mouthed and brilliant political writer who was gushingly proud of his daughters, and talked up his older daughter's business venture, and went to his younger daughter's dance competitions and shared videos of her performances. (She's outstanding, btw.) He once spent the weekend in Vegas surrounded by small girls and stage moms and hair spray and eye makeup, and obviously loved every minute of it, even when he was hilariously bitching about it on Facebook.  And this funny and brilliant mind was suddenly gone.

A day later it was confirmed; he'd died while smoking heroin, in his car, in broad daylight outside his apartment building.  He'd written often about his past history of addiction, but no one, not even his fiancee, knew he was using again.  This was a Philip Seymour Hoffman kind of tragedy; a brilliant and talented man whose old demons suddenly came back to claim him and left everyone who knew him, even tangentially as I did, absolutely gut-punched.  So there was that.

Then Bill Paxton died of complications of heart surgery, and goddammit, is 2017 going to suck that way too??  I took the passing of Mary Tyler Moore somewhat in stride; she was over 80 and had a lifelong battle with diabetes.  Some other celebrity deaths were well, he was over 90 and had a great run. But Bill Paxton was way too close to my age for comfort.  So if you're keeping score, half the weekend light, half dark.

And tomorrow Lent beings. I'm not much of a Christian these days, but I'm probably still more of a Christian than anything else, due to early conditioning alone. So Lent always makes me think about bettering myself in some way.

I HATED and dreaded Lent as a kid, as it was presented to me as sacrifice and "suffering for Christ" and all that Shit the Sisters Said.  I'd always been of the opinion that attending a boring and backward Catholic school without decent heat and no AC at all, no cafeteria, no decent playground equipment, etc., was already plenty of giving up and suffering for Christ, unwillingly, like a prison sentence, so being asked to give up anything else felt wrong.  And don't get me started on the Stations of the Cross. I was terrorized by the experience at 6, and dreaded it every year.  So no, not a big fan of Lent as originally presented.

As an adult I was finally introduced to the concept of adding some extra effort during Lent instead of giving up, and that strikes me as a much healthier concept on many levels.  And I have some extra effort planned to get my life on track. It starts tomorrow.

I am cutting all unnecessary spending in March. In the process of decluttering my bedroom I found shit I'd forgotten I'd bought, then bought extra because I thought I was out.  I have enough body wash, shampoo, deodorant, sunscreen, etc. etc., to last until June or beyond. Ditto cleaning products.  So random trips to Target will not be cluttering my Sundays for the next several weeks.  I will of course buy necessities like food and cat  litter and paper products, but the danger of shopping is the random stuff that falls into the cart. I'm infamous for doing that; deals "too good to pass up" always seem to come home with me, even if they're not needed yet.  Time to use it up. No random shopping in March - for ME. I will of course buy Supergirl birthday presents and do brunch with a friend who's feeling down, etc., because this isn't about being a minimalist freak blogger determined to live with two plates and two cups and two changes of underwear.  I will think about everything I spend, and quit wasting money on "bargains" and "too good to pass up" until I'm out of body wash. 

Yoga with Adriene's Revolution program starts again tomorrow. It's a 31 day program and March has 31 days, so there you have it.

I do have a political tale to tell, of Trumpkins and buyer's remorse, and the defensiveness it's brought, but it deserves more than a paragraph.

I'm going to make a one brunch  exception to my cheapo March, because a friend is having a hard time dealing with the endless barrage of Trumpshit, and tonight posted on FB that she's feeling depressed.  I've found some coping mechanisms, like phone calls and high-fiving my own Representative, who is absolutely scarily productive. She's a freshman Democrat in a district that was held by a Republican fixture for-freaking-ever, and she's on fire, sponsoring bills for investigations, rounding up support, and generally kicking ass both here and in DC.  I will make a list of positive things and websites and things to do, and share them with my friend over a delicious brunch, and we'll both feel better.  I'll eat beans and rice the rest of the week.  It'll be worth it.

Not watching SCROTUS's joint address to Congress, or whatever the fuck it is. I'll catch the lowlights reel from a number of sources tomorrow. I need to clear my head.


ellen kirkendall said...

Add to the list of things Catholic schools did not have: enough books (like ANY science books) and teachers. I was in a combined 5th and 6th grade classroom after skipping 4th grade. How do they do it with all the money they have?

Catherine said...

O.M.G. Seriously, did we go to the same shitty school? I kid you not, I sat there in 7th grade science class in what, 1972, I think, with a textbook that said, "In a few years man may go to the moon!" I was what, 13, 14, and thought, "This book is years out of date, and my parents were totally ripped off for all that tuition money." We had enough teachers but classes were overcrowded, and they were mostly elderly nuns, which is a subject for hilarious stories. Not so hilarious: I thought algebra was completely mysterious and beyond me until I took a remedial math class in college and breezed through it with an easy A. I was never properly taught math, and for years I thought it was my fault and I was bad at math, and have played catch-up ever since.

Anonymous said...

My parents were considering a private school for me as I reached high school age - a Presbyterian Ladies College to be exact, but I won a place at a selective high school, which saved them a LOT of money, and I received an excellent education, good teachers, good facilities, and enough text books to go around. Science lab, library, also a domestic science and needlework department. The Headmistress (it was a girls only school) was a Graduate of Sydney University, and also had a Maths degree from Oxford. Just a tad unusual for her generation!

Our eldest grandchild started in a church run school, but that did not last very long, she and her brother were pulled out and went into the State school system with excellent results. Our grand-daughter has attained a Bachelors in Medical Science (with Distinction) and has been offered a place at one of the top Universities in Sydney to do a Masters in Pharmacy, so another two years before she is let loose on an unsuspecting world. My family has had one or two Uni graduates before, but she is our first post-grad student.

All the best,

Gae, in Callala Bay