Sunday, December 21, 2014

Brain flu

    I feel like my brain has the flu. I'm tired all the time and can't remember much of anything. Today and yesterday, I had perfectly good blog entries composed in my head during my daily walks, but they had fled by the time I got back home. Thus this kind of "I've got nothing" post instead.
    I'm pretty sure it's no kind of flu at all, even though I see Margaret, who still has the flu, most days. I have practically no symptoms is the main thing. I suspect that it's just the solstice; all the darkness makes me extra tired, and the extra fatigue saps my little brain and my tiny, fragile memory.
    If so, it ought to clear up pretty fast. I always love the winter solstice, because the days get longer every day. Even though it gets colder for quite a long time, once the days are getting longer, I start feeling better. In the meantime, I'll make notes on the phone about what I'm planning to blog about. When I figure out how.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


    My friend Michelle shared a gluten-free recipe on Facebook that sounded really appealing. Also it called for ripe bananas, which I have sometimes and have no bright ideas what to do with them since I am not a fan of the ripe ones. It called for peanut butter and honey and chocolate chips and vanilla and honey and not much else. I tried making the recipe, but found it to be chocolate chip heavy. Nice, but I couldn't taste much but the chocolate.
    I tried it again with raisins and raspberry preserves instead of chocolate chips. That didn't work so well. Just too many flavors, I guess. So yesterday, I tried it with a cup of dates and a tablespoon of cocoa. Really tasty, but really, really, really sweet. I like 'em, but then, I used to eat 10X sugar with a tablespoon. I'm not sure how earthlings will react.
    Other thing is that they're supposed to be muffins and I don't feel like buying enough muffin tins to make that many muffins or to cook that many shifts. But trying to use a pan or Pyrex dish leaves me with the middle all raw, which probably isn't too brilliant considering there are eggs in there. Also, all those thick ingredients killed my favorite blender. Ah well. So when I get the sweetness modulated, the recipe ordered such that blenders survive, and convert it back into a muffin recipe (from a brownie/ energy bar type thing), I'll post the adjusted recipe. In the meantime, I think I invented butterscotch.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sorry about the gators

    I had some damned elaborate dreams last night. Consider yourself lucky that I don't remember much.
    Oddest thing is once again that there was a continuation even though I woke for a little in the middle. I only remember this happening once or twice in my life. There also was a certain element of comedy amidst the chaos and horror.
    In the first half of the dream, my brother William and I were tapped to join some college equivalent of Anonymous. Apparently, declining was not an option. So we were facing the prospect with some trepidation. Then we found out what this group was planning to do. They wanted to steal chalk from the cheerleaders. Just, you know, blackboard chalk. Just for the heck of it, apparently. So not the most dangerous cats ever.
    However, when I got up and went to the bathroom and then went back to sleep, things turned more sinister. I received a largish envelope which somehow transmogrified into a gigantic box, which when opened, proved to contain two live six-foot alligators. And then they proceeded to eat my younger cat before I could get him away from them. Mostly off-camera, I'm glad to say, but still not the most cheerful dream ever. This will teach you: never go to the bathroom. When I woke up, I apologized to Harry: sorry about the alligators, fella.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Obsessed with size, of course

    What? I'm talking about boots. (And clothes generally yesterday.) Of course.
    Months ago, I started getting the kind of foot pain that indicates it's time to get new boots. (The well-known broky-foot sensation.) As I probably blithered about at the time, the good folks at Mast General Store, who had sold me the boots, felt that they still had some wear in them and suggested I buy some really expensive insoles instead. They also suggested that I take out the built-in Keen insoles.
    I did the former and not the latter and the soles of my feet felt all bruisy. I did both and my feet flopped around in my boots. So I went back to plan A (double insoles) but unfortunately the bruisy sensation never did go away. Now finally I've taken out the Keen insoles once and for all, and though the boots still seem too large, the bruisiness is much better. So I suppose I'm happy.
    The thing is, the boots with one insole in should be exactly the same size as what I bought (10); I don't know why my feet would be loose in them. I've tried buying 9 1/2s before, but they were always painfully tight. So I guess I'm legitimately a size 10. The only thing that makes sense is that I broke the boots in with two sets of insoles (the original Keens plus a Dr. Scholl's) and now they're stretched out. If I hit a quiet minute, maybe I'll try out a 9 1/2 of the same boot and see how I do.
    Dad was sitting up today and was reasonably lucid. We had a visit from Santa in running shoes; he brought Dad shower gel. If we'd known he was coming, we would have left out cookies. Dad said he had been dreaming that my brother Frank had 15 children. I said, yes, I think that was probably a dream.
    I had wacky dreams of my own, like being on a toilet in front of dozens of people. The weird thing about dreams is how often weird events in dreams seem perfectly normal and workaday. Lucky thing I'm not Rob Lowe, I guess.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


    I'm a shade under 5' 10" and weigh somewhere around 160 pounds, which is still just about average for an American male, as far as I know. I find it weird that I have trouble finding clothes. I understand why it's hard to find clothes in thrift stores, since there are a gazillion average-sized guys looking so the racks are picked over. (What's weird, as I've mentioned before, is how much XL clothing there is for men in thrifts. Spread the word!) What's odd is that it's hard to find clothes my size in department stores. I suppose that my average height and weight don't necessarily equate to an average build; I understand that some people have shoulders. But still!
    Now I find that furniture also tends to be built for people shorter than me, on average. Of course, this might be much, much less mysterious. The limiting condition being "furniture that will fit into a Camry" and yes, I guess that might by and large be better suited to shorter people. But still, still!
    I heard from the Lowman Home that Dad's left arm is again swollen and feels hot, so they're starting him on an antibiotic. I'm glad they're paying attention and looking out for him.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


    Hey, it only took 100 years or so! Every city I've ever visited and driven in (which limits us to North America) has a very active Department of Digging Holes and Filling Them In Again working the city streets. And often as not, there's a fairly significant gap between the digging and the filling in again. So gigantic metal plates are placed over the holes. These are sometimes hard to see and can make for an unpleasant, jarring surprise.
    Today I went over one and at the edges were orange rubber (or plastic) wedges. I don't know if it really made the passage all that much gentler (I had already slowed down both for the metal plate and for railroad tracks just ahead), but I was really pleased that somebody at least was making an effort to save our precious CV joints. I hope this thoughtfulness spreads, and salute the DODHAFTIA for their forward thinking. Now of course, somebody will tell me that all the other cities have been doing this for 20 years.
    I know I have made an effort over the years to have the minutest minutiae on my blog and that I may have just set a new standard. But wait! There's more! Last night when I opened the door to let Harry in, I heard "(jingle jingle) murf! (jingle jingle) murf!" from quite nearby, but Harry didn't appear. Then he came down the tree next to my front door, like Dan Aykroyd on the fireman's pole in "Ghostbusters." Very comical. I guess he had been gallivanting on the roof, as there aren't any leaves on the tree for birds or squirrels to hide in. Just another skill for young Harry.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Just a little sad

    I got the notification today that Dad needs to renew his driver's license (if he wants to) by his next birthday. Now he hasn't driven in 3 1/2 years, although he insisted for a long time that he was going to drive himself to dialysis. And if we're honest, he shouldn't have been driving for a long time before that. (Driving off at night with the headlights off, and stuff like that.) And even if he were getting out of the bed and getting around again, and even if he were coming home (which I still haven't quite given up on), there is no eye care professional on Earth who would certify that he sees well enough to drive. If all of those things, he could get an ID from the DoT that would be just as good for check-cashing type purposes. So it's all totally academic. But still sad.
    Not sad is that Margaret is doing much better. Not enough better for her to visit Dad tomorrow, but a lot a lot a lot better. She still insists on doing his laundry. I tell you, don't mess with the Greatest Generation!