Needed to go to the post office the other day to send something to my daughter which required a big padded envelope, around $400 in postage, and a postal clerk with the personality and patience of Attila the Hun ... only not as warm. And, naturally, I got in the “wrong” line. Because I was in Attila’s line, right behind the person who possibly caused him to lose whatever warmth he had maintained up to that point.
So, I read recently that a group of car scientists got into their new invention — a car that drives itself — and headed from San Francisco to Los Angeles, or somewhere, but a respectable distance, and each took turns at the controls along the way, and it was apparently a complete and total success, or to quote one of the car scientists, “That was cool.”
It’s time to make New Year’s resolutions. Everyone is doing it. I hate it. I shun New Year’s resolutions, because they just set you up to fail, and who needs more of that? And, what kind of person can possibly accomplish all the stuff people often resolve to do? I will tell you what kind: the kind that isn’t me, that’s what kind. Nor is it anyone I’ve ever met.
I’ve found myself in the predictable position of having a knee that no longer feels the need to work. It won’t open all the way. It won’t close all the way. And, I don’t blame it. It’s been through hell with me for 50-plus years, and it’s no surprise that all it wants to do now is sit around and eat bonbons all day.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all...well, not really one and all, since at this moment I hate whoever invented technology. Who was it? Because, seriously, I want to hunt them down — Bill Gates, that Zuckerberg guy, Al Gore? No matter, I hate them all.
I love being a teacher. Well, not every second of every day, but still, I mostly love being a teacher. One of the biggest reasons is the week before Christmas break. This week, in any school, is just such a trip. All of a sudden, there is spasmodic giggling and unrest in the classroom, whining in the office, and a general who-gives-a-partridge-in-a-pear-tree attitude towards work of any kind. And, the students are almost as bad.
Well, it’s just a couple more weeks until Christmas in Ohio with my family, which numbers around a thousand. I’ll get to see all of my sisters, brothers, in-laws, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and about twenty-three assorted dogs. And, as I drive away into the Blue Ridge of Virginia and West Virginia, I can imagine you smiling, gently waving good-bye and calling warmly, “Be of good cheer -- you could still drive off a mountain!”
I’ve always said it’s important to have friends. Good friends are there when you need them, and are willing to share your grief, listen to your gripes, and be happy for your triumphs. Sometimes friends become family in almost every sense of the word, including the times when they tell you not to wear a certain outfit or that you need to take off a couple of pounds. The good thing is that it’s OK to tell them to shut up, whereas with your mother...well, anyway....
I had planned a quiet Thanksgiving. Just me, all alone, with a Stouffer’s turkey dinner. Sure, it’s pathetic, but I’m not the daughter who married a guy from Charlotte whose family might want to see them at Thanksgiving. And, I’m not the son who decided to go visit his cousins in New York ... cousins who, I might add, never went through 12 hours of labor to bring him into this world. So, I guess we all know whose fault it was that I’d be eating Stouffer’s turkey all alone on Thanksgiving ... but, you know me, I don’t complain.
Mom, says my son, I’ve been reading a lot about the benefits of coconut oil. They say that it’s really great for your skin and even your hair. You should try it on your hands ... and your arms ... so you don’t let your skin get all thin and papery like Grandma’s, you know?
In preparation for the humongous amount of food I will consume during Thanksgiving -- which includes my birthday a few days before and the leftovers for a few days afterward -- I’ve started exercising right after I get up in the morning. Well, right after I brush my teeth and make my bed. And, I don’t actually do the actual exercises, per se, I just sort of ... uh ... watch them on TV. But that is the first step, as any personal trainer will tell you. I mean, everyone knows that the path to recovery ... or thinness ... begins by admitting you have a problem, and I’m able to announce proudly now that I have always had a problem with exercise, so I’m trying to do something about it, GET OFF MY BACK!
So, yesterday I broke down in tears, and I am totally not making this up. Didn’t plan it -- simply a spontaneous eruption. Granted, being mostly Italian, my tears are not shocking news, but still, this was not due to the typical causes: loved ones injured, lost shoes, brownies burned, wounded soldiers returning from overseas, puppy mills, wishing I could eat the burned brownies (shouldn’t the process of burning them burn out the calories? Just saying...).
Just read another “news release” on the Ebola crisis in the United States ... boy, those are six words you never thought you’d say -- “Ebola crisis in the United States.” And, I’m no genius, but this didn’t have to happen, did it? I mean, here’s what essentially occurred:
Everyone’s back in school now, including me. No, not as in TAKING classes to BECOME, say, a doctor, but as in TEACHING classes so that I can afford to GO to the doctor. I’m very excited to return to the classroom, though, especially to teaching middle and high school students, because I am totally out of the loop on what’s cool nowadays ... for example, it’s probably not cool to say “nowadays”.
She was born five years ago today. She had lots of silky brown hair, tea-rosey cheeks, 10 fingers, 10 toes, tiny cherry lips, and a hefty set of lungs. She had her own ideas about things from the moment she was in the world, and she believed everyone needed to hear them immediately ... strongly ... loudly. She refused to open her eyes for quite a while, squeezing them shut throughout her howling disapproval as she was being weighed, cleaned and measured. In fact, the only thing that began to soothe that angry tirade was ... her grandmother’s voice.