Friday, May 21, 2010

Feelin' Crappy (The 59th Big Migraine Song)

With all due respects to Misters Simon and Garfunkel:

Oh god, here it comes
The pain, the lights, it's not fun
Just kicking off another one
Lookin' ahead at
Feelin' crappy!

Hello aura,
Whatchya knowin?
I've gotten used to your lights glowin'
Aintchya got no end for me?
Lookin' ahead at
Feelin' crappy

I got no sick days,
no time left off.
I'm nauseous and dizzy and ready to sleep
Let this migraine be ended and over for me
Stress I hate you...
Feelin' crappy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Beach

Roundabout 1939 or so, my late (maternal) grandfather had the foresight to purchase an amazing house about half a block from one of the most beautiful beaches in Massachusetts. He retired there, had the home winterized, and when he died in 1987, he left a trust fund to ensure the upkeep and maintenance of the house.

The house has since become the heart and soul of our extended family. It's served as refuge from troubles for more than one family member, and repeatedly been the go-to location for celebrations large and small. If a pile of horsehair plaster, stone, wood, and one really strong cast-iron lally pole can be animate, then the Beach House is definitely alive and well.

Not a summer has gone by in my 40-something years when I haven't been there for a day or a week, sometimes two. I've been alone, with friends, with family, had parties, and not. I've introduced college roomates' (and then their spouses and children) to the house. I left that house a one afternoon as a single woman and came back 24 hours later, married. I spent the first half of my honeymoon idling away afternoons, remarking to my new husband that yes, being married does feel different.

When the hot humid green New England summer rolls in, the house comes into its fully occupied, noisy glory as our family hub. Cousins and their spouses and children, neighbors, aunts and uncles rotate in and out; our paths all crossing. Up and down the hill from the front yard to the beach go the sunburned and sandy, straight into the frigid Atlantic in cycle unbroken for four generations.

Except for this year.

In order to add a bit to the dwindling "house fund", a tough decision was made to rent the house for several months (summer included). The decision was smart, heartbreaking, and thankfully, a one-time thing.

So what do I do now? What do I do without the one thing that was a balm to my soul?

I will not see my cousins and note the years advancing on all our faces; I will not quickly recall summers past, and see them played out again through the joyful sounds of the current generation intently pondering the mystery of starfish captured in a pink plastic bucket.

Instead, strangers will sit on our porch, in our house.

But as Yoda said to Obi-Wan Kenobi's glowy ghost in "The Empire Strikes Back", perhaps there is another. I found a place that, though pale in comparison and lacking the memory-weight of the Beach House, offers a similar feeling. It's not the same, this place--nothing can be--but I'll spend a week there in July and maybe, just maybe, I'll feel a little less like I lost a piece of myself.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bad Bosses, Caring, and Your Powerlessness

Believe it or not, the following excerpt comes from a TV review. It is, however, without doubt, the most apt, funniest, and depressingly true thing I've ever read about why your Corporate Overlord does not, and will not, ever care about you:

Caring isn't quantifiable and is therefore highly overrated. Human beings may begin work at a new job feeling seen, heard, appreciated and lauded for extra efforts, but over time, the ability of the bossman or bosswoman to exert the energy necessary for such games of make-believe far outweighs the benefits of doing so. After all, two or three years onto the job, you'll be rumored to have a "mortgage" to pay plus "children" to support, burdens that the powers that be recognize will keep you cemented in your cubicle doing shit ASAP, around the clock, the specter of a crumbling economy and rising unemployment constantly stirring up the fear in your heart. Since fear is a far more effective motivator than "caring," no boss-type-person will be holding your hand or expressing their gratitude until you aim a gun at their heads (hence the current popularity of this option). Besides, your bosses are far too busy buttering up their brand new underlings to bother with the likes of you.

To read the full review, check it out here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Alien probes or my typical day?

It's been one of those weeks, and it's only Tuesday.

I started my week by trying to do the right thing for my floppy, aging body. I got up early and went to the gym with the intention of getting in a solid half-hour of hard cardio.

After dropping my friend at the curb, and cursing the row upon row of film trailers littering Copley Square (and occupying every available metered parking space), I figured I'd ask the cop on duty if he knew how long said trailers would be situated in what I have come to think of as "my parking spaces" outside the gym.

I rolled down my window, politely greeting the gray-haired member of Boston's constabulary with a "Good morning, Officer...I just..." and was cut-off, mid-sentence, when he yelled at me.

Now, given that it was 6:10AM and I hadn't had any coffee (or cardio), I was a bit slow on the uptake. I was also taken aback by the whole screaming at me part of it. Apparently, he wasn't satisfied with his first attempt at communication. He yelled at me twice again, in rapid succession, before I finally determined that he wanted me to move along.

Here's the kicker: The officer had the good manners to cap it all off with, "WHAT?? ARE YOU DEAF OR STUPID OR BOTH???"

Then I made the mistake of going to work.

And, well, let's just say that things only went downhill from there.

So, now, a day later, I'm trying to forget about it.

I'm trying to focus on the the gray and overcast sky. Toward the horizon there is a tinge of eerie yellow light. It makes me think of the "ginormous invading spaceships arriving" montage from the movie "Independence Day".

I've suggested to a colleague that the weird light is, indeed, being caused by ginormous invading spaceships finally arriving as predicted by so many for so long.

My colleague, in turn, thought that given my day yesterday, I send up an S.O.S. and escape this crazy planet. But would I necessarily be escaping? After all, what about those probed-by-an-alien stories you're always hearing about?

Then again, the way my days have been turning out, being probed by an alien might just be more fun.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Power of No Power

Spring has sprung in the land of the bean and the cod, and for the natives, that means Nor'easters.

A spring Nor'easter is a three-day period of cold, wind-driven rain. The name stems from the meteorological pattern itself: A large, swirly, hurricane-like-looking low pressure system that moves up and out over the northeast coast, pushing wind and moisture from the north and east, down into what lies south and west (that would be us.)

Spring Nor'easters are usually worse than other times of year because of flooding. The thaw has started, and groundwater that's been caught up as frost for the past few months begins to melt, draining toward watersheds. Streams and rivers swell with melting snowpack. Add three days of intense rain, and sandbags around subway stops become the order of the day. With the wind blowing trees down onto power lines and rain bedeviling electric junction boxes, transformers blow.

Without warning, the modern conveniences of life are useless. You cannot finish dinner in your electric oven, but instead don foul weather gear, venture out, and use your grill to cook.

You skip the TV, the internet, the texting, and, in playing backgammon by candlelight, are reminded just how much you love someone.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring Cleaning

I've been utterly unproductive in my professional life, and I ascribe it spring fever. Here in Beantown, the first four to five consecutive days of daylight after 5:30PM, in combination with daytime temperatures above 50 degrees, tend to set our frost-addled minds all aflutter.

I thought, well, if I can't concentrate on work, I'll have a little fun with my chewy tidbits of bloggy goodness and do some spring cleaning! New layout, updated links, and more meanderings of my middle-aged mind.


Monday, March 8, 2010

A long dry post-wise, that is

I had recently been told by a few friends that they had not heard from me recently, bloggedly speaking, that is. I kept thinking, "What, I just wrote a post the other day!"

That "other day" would be, oh five-and-a-half months ago.


A lot can happen in that time, and yet here I am searching for something entertaining to write about. Perhaps that's why I haven't posted anything: I do not feel entertaining.

What I feel is burned out, tired, exhausted. This is the kind of soul-wearying exhaustion that can be remedied with, oh, a seriously intense month of doing nothing but deciding which beach to go to and whether to nap in the sun or out of it.

I'm fried, people...fried to a crispy dark brown, bordering on burned, and there is no relief in sight.