The Things that Matter


I wasn’t going to write a post today, but I’m not always given a choice. And I woke up thinking I should write this.

I’m not alright.  Of course I’m not alright.  My older son says that there are things that break you and that it’s a proof of your humanity that you are broken.  Events after which we’ll never be alright again, if alright is understood as what we were before.

Of course you also grow through breaks.  I’m not even at the point of seeing that yet.  Today I CAN think for longer than 30 seconds at a time. OTOH I feel like I’ve been deathly ill and am just recovering.  In fact, as close as I can tell, I feel exactly like when I woke up five years ago after major surgery.  There’s no specific symptoms, I’m just extremely tired and out of spoons.  I.e. any endeavor, even looking at the shower  pan to see if it needs replacing or just re-sealing/re-finishing is way too much for me.  (The walls will need to be replaced.)

I told (younger) son I’ll try to do it tomorrow, because the wall system once ordered will take two weeks to arrive, and — you know — it would be nice for him not to have to trudge upstairs to the guest shower.  BUT I think I’ll have to treat myself as I did after the surgery (which is STUPID. It shouldn’t feel like this) and work two or three hours, then  call it a day.

Weirdly, I got where I am by son distracting me with work from 11 am to 10 pm yesterday.  Look, it wasn’t even that much work and I should have been done much sooner, but I wasn’t processing.  He probably did the most of the work, and I don’t know if he meant to snap me out of the funk, but what happened was, as I was trying to hide in a corner and pull the world in after myself, he told me I had a lot more experience and he needed me, so he dragged me to finish some honey-dos.

When I was done I could actually sleep.  I still feel awful, but I can think, and I think I’ll be okay.

However, what I wanted to write: This has been an exceptionally BRUTAL year.  It started at the end of last year, when our friend Charlie Martin moved out of state. Yes, I totally get why he did it, and it’s been good for him and hell, he lived two hours away, so we saw each other twice a year… BUT he was nearby and in the same time zone, and we used to talk a lot. So, that was a change.

Then the changes kept coming.  Some of them are good, such as the stuff with the kids (supposing younger son manages to get university to actually you know officially graduate him. [It’s all bureaucratic, but it’s a mess due to shutdown.]) But it changed the … texture of daily life.

Some of it was sudden and catastrophic and shouldn’t have been an issue, except it was, because the car died and left us stranded without a car, and we had to buy one, and since we’d had the previous car for 21 almost 22 years, it was a huge change.

Some was long overdue.  We should have eased Euclid over long ago, but … we have trouble saying goodbye?

Then there was the lockdown and that’s a kick in the pants destruction of a routine I LIKED.  (Work like crazy all week, take sometimes lunch special at Pete’s on Thursday, or lunch with son in springs during the week, but always take Saturday off and do fun relaxed day with husband (sometimes after cleaning house, if not done on Friday.)

Then….  Well, then I lost my shadow.

So it’s been a time when there’s no foothold to establish “normalcy” which is making me feel as crazy as when we were moving again and again and again over a year, till I felt homeless and like I had no roots.

Honestly, part of the issue is that I’m now in fear.  What will be taken next?  Havey?  One of us?


Okay, here’s the thing: love them while you have them.  Kids, cats, dogs, husbands, ants, dragons, fish, friends, routines.

Just take the time off, take a deep breath and be grateful for what you have.  Be aware of what you have and that it’s good.

I know this is sometimes really hard.  It’s hard to appreciate your bratty, messy toddlers.  But take time, LOOK past the exhaustion and do so.

There is one thing I can promise you: everything passes. Everything changes.  Love what you have and enjoy while you have it.  And find something to love in the changed circumstances.  Even when it’s hard.  I’m having trouble with Havey wanting to sit on me ALL the time, and having to reach over him to type.  BUT he’s warm, he’s fuzzy and he loves me.  Could be WORSE.

Find a foothold of love as things change. Take comfort in things.

The human nervous system HATES change.  I’ve heard moving, because of the change in routine, is stress enough to precipitate as many heart attacks as divorce or death of a partner.

And I swear to you, 2020 is trying to kill me.  Over and over and over again.

But I’m not going to let it.  I hear gratitude and love help.  So I’m going to try that.

You try too.

I remember during a particularly “from hell” school year, in 7th grade, I needed a break like you wouldn’t believe.  Portugal has a “carnival” break for four days. (Don’t ask.)
I decided I was going to “stretch” it.
I couldn’t stretch the time of course! Only how I experienced it.  So I concentrated on doing things I loved and being REALLY there while I did them.

I still remember those four days (I read pirate stories <G>) sitting in the sun, reading, pretending it would never end. It worked. It was VERY restful.

I’m going to try the same.  You try. It might not hurt.

Hold on to the things and people that matter.  Even if you know they’ll pass.  While you have them, enjoy them and be with them.

It’s all you can do.




158 thoughts on “The Things that Matter

        1. I tend to smile rarely, as it has been known to frighten dogs, small children, and “sensitive” adults.

          Cats like my smile, however.

              1. I am inclined to like dogs, which is why I avoid baring my teeth at them.

                Happily for me, I am rarely moved to smiling as on most occasions a slight grin suffices. To be honest, this curious habit of displaying one’s dentition has long struck me as a trifle bizarre.

                Although I have long treasured the triumphant smile Geraldine Chaplin bestowed upon Charlton Heston in The Four Musketeers upon receiving his gift of “additional” diamond studs for her necklace.

              2. It’s a sad comment on the environment around me that while I have no objections to dogs in theory, the ones I meet are even less well behaved than Other People’s Children.

  1. It is not just strength that goes after fifty, but also stamina. It takes considerably more effort to maintain conditioning and to some it simply cannot be done. Been there, had that wall collapse on me.

    Moreover, it is always challenging to enter a new world, which Greebo’s passing has thrust you into. Children, who enter a new world almost daily, handle this more easily than we oldsters who measure the changing of worlds in decades — usually. And it tends to take something fairly drastic (9/11, Worldwide pandemic, government tyranny smacking us upside the haid) for us to notice the world’s change.

    These shocks take a physical toll as much as they exact emotional and spiritual tariffs. Be aware, stay i conference with your physical self, and take care to not overdo things. More than when young does the body have a way of going along with you today and getting payback tomorrow … and the next day and the day after that.

    Living within your means has more than financial importance.

  2. So kind of you to share your methods for getting through the difficult transitions that we all go through.

    Yeah, it’s been a hard year around our house too. Not as hard as living through the Blitz in London, I guess, but bad enough. (I guess I mentioned the blitz because the other day something reminded me of the way my mom’s cousin’s English war bride was crying at prayer meeting when the US started bombing Bagdad in ’91.)

  3. I read your unexpected post this afternoon. I want to be gentle with you right now, but dammit, you made me cry. For you, and for a cat I never met. I was going to save up the tears for later and watch a schmaltzy rom com. I still probably will. I wish I could help more, but at least you got empathy tears.

  4. Take all the time you need, Sarah. Losing family isn’t something you can just roll out of bed the next day and think everything will be “normal” again.

    I lost my first dog at 7, and cried my eyes out for an hour, soaking my grandfather’s sweatshirt. To this day I can’t watch, or even listen to the theme song of, The Andy Griffith Show because that’s what I was watching when he came to tell me. That was over 40 years ago and I’m holding back tears now as I write this. My other childhood dog we had from when I was 4 until I was 18. She had a favorite spot to lay in, and everyday I walked past that spot from the night she passed until we remodeled the house and covered it over I looked for her there and mourned her loss.

    Pets are family. Don’t feel bad that you feel loss. It’s normal. Take your time. We’ll still be here for you if you need anything from us.

  5. It’s hard to appreciate your bratty, messy toddlers.

    When the Daughtorial Unit was young I endured many an issue by the mantra, “It’s just a phase, she’ll grow out of it.” Until one day I realized I knew many a person from High School and College who never did grow out of their last phase.

    Well, maybe they have by now; I’ve not stayed in touch.

  6. Back in 2016, C and I had decided to move to Riverside so she could go to UC Riverside. So then, in succession, we got married (after 31 years of cohabitation, but still); our older cat died (and he was very definitely HER cat, or she was his human); we moved; her mother died; she started attending UC Riverside (the moral equivalent of having a new job)—she had multiple sources of big life stress points.

    And this year we had planned to move to Kansas, as California is no longer habitable. So then C’s father died, and then we had the move, and then we had all the extra difficulties that went with moving during COVID, including having our motel in Colorado call us to say they couldn’t let us stay there (C talked them out of that, but then we decided to drive to Kansas by way of Oklahoma instead, rather than take our chances with Colorado doing something else weird). So again, big life stress points.

    But in both cases, moving was certain right in there at the high end.

    For what it’s worth, my experience with our first three cats was that right after they died, their deaths were HUGE. But as time went by, we started looking back and seeing the whole of their lives behind their deaths, and those were just far bigger. Pets are happiness that you borrow, and have to pay back, but you do have the happiness, and the time will come when you can see that again.

    1. Pets are happiness that you borrow, and have to pay back

      You have to pay back the happiness, but you get to keep the interest.

    2. “Pets are happiness that you borrow, and have to pay back”. True, as far as it goes. The happiness you received for all time you you had with your pet is yours forever. A story told to me by my rabbi on the death of my parents:
      Rodin had crippling painful arthritis in his later years, but continued to produce new works. He was asked why he continued working, when it caused him so much pain. He replied “The pain passes, but the beauty endures.” Sarah, your time with your friend is part of eternity, and will endure.

  7. If one were to take the term “neuroplasticity” to an especially literal level (and we don’t know *anybody* like that around here, do we?), some observations could be made. Like people and fuzzy people that make a home in your head and leave a hole when they leave that’s shaped like them.

    Human beings can get used to a lot. Loss is like that, I think. You get used to it more than you get over it.

  8. In defense of Havey on your lap, two things.

    1. He is probably as scared about “what next” as you. They boys home less and less, three other cats gone, and a very stressed out Mom.

    2. At least he chooses your lap. Both of my boys want to be on the desk in front of the keyboard, Sable especially during the work day and George especially at night when I’m trying to write (it’s like they have a shift schedule). Sable I can kinda type over, but he’ll get bitey. George gets his very judgy look.

    As for the rest, take all the time you need. You always tell us to build around, above, and under. You’ve been building and this is the time to shelter a bit in what you’ve built to recover enough to re-engage the world.

      1. Sib and Sib-ib-law couldn’t figure out why Red 2.0 would butt them with her head to get their attention (she was a year old or so, had just started walking.) They they realized that she thought that’s just what one did. After all, it worked for the one in the black fur romper and the one in the mottled brown fur romper. She was getting her social cues from the critters that were the same size as she was, and so you head-butted the two-foots in order to get what you wanted.

        For their part, the cats treated her as another cat, since she went around on all fours and had a soft, furry pelt (fleece or flannel footed union suits.) She was about their size, made similar sounds, so . . .

        1. For their part, the cats treated her as another cat, since she went around on all fours and had a soft, furry pelt (fleece or flannel footed union suits.) She was about their size, made similar sounds, so

          Our original 4 cats, the ones who were 9 to 11, when our son was born, didn’t at least for the first 6 months. Once he started crawling, then he was just another cat competing for lap time, who usually won. When he was bigger they discovered he was an extra lap.

          FWIW Son’s first night home? I swear the look the cats gave us was “What do you mean it is going to stay? Like forever? We just got your *lap back! Not fair!”

          * Last trimester when cat would try to be on my lap, they’d wake up the baby. Cats would end up evicted by the various feet & elbow bumps.

          1. Yeah. Pete and Pixel between them decided Robert was THEIR kitten, which is weird as they were both male, ad as different as possible Imagine a child raised by Aziraphale and Crowly.
            Um…. that explains a lot.

            1. My cat Spike did a similar thing. Initially when we brought brought my elder daughter home Spike was extremely dubious. She was loud and being colicky could be counted on to cry for several hours at the end of the day. Spike found it very distressing when I held her and she cried. I’d hand her off and you’d see him relax. but as she went mobile he became fascinated and decided this was his kitten to raise (and yes another male cat). He would follow her around and guard her crib or bed when she slept. My elder daughter was raised by a cat and seems to be part of that tribe.

        2. XD Okay, that’s all adorableness and I could imagine it!

          Unfortunately hubby is allergic to cats so we don’t have one (though he did get one for me back when we were dating and I didn’t know he was allergic to cat dander until he told me) so we’re kind of wondering where the youngest daughter got her kitten habits from. I joke that she’s the only cat he’ll ever be able to have.

          She’s started to climb onto the desk, placing herself in the way of my keyboard on the rare occasions I can sit and actually use a computer.

  9. Moving and changing jobs are ranked as the two most stressful things we do in life. I did both four times between January 2000 and July 2003. One of our three cats died within two months of landing in Philly (the last move) and her sister died two months after that. They were both my husbands cats and he was devastated. So was I, but he’d raised them from kittens. We still have pictures up on the fridge of those two. Pets are family and losing them is enormous.

    We’re planning a move this summer/fall. Likely to Texas or further west. It depends on husband’s job search. Even though I’ve already “retired” (or quit…take your pick), I know it will be incredibly stressful while at the same time I am really looking forward to it. But finding a new home, new friends, new everything…whoa.

    1. Pictures? We’re going back through pre digital, prints & slides, picking out the OMG pictures of animals long gone, plus infant, toddler, young child, ones, to have digitized. Some scenic ones too. But those aren’t the ones I’m concerned with. Will do a collage of the pet pictures, eventually. Maybe we’ll take a USB stick and confuse future archeologists, between our ashes, the “kids” ashes, and this weird storage medium … especially since the photo count will exceed the extra ashes count.

      1. Oh, yeah. Hubby has an entire folder in his Pictures file that is just cat pictures. I have two large Rubbermaid tubs with photos and boxes of *old* (late 19th/early 20th c) pics to scan as well. It’s almost never ending.

        1. Sis is doing the same thing with mom & dad, & grandparents stuff.

          I’ve already converted all the pre digital videos from 1990 on, that we took, not only my stuff, but one sister’s too. We had better than 200 hours of video, just with our stuff. Sis had 1/3 of that. That was approximately 1400 hours worth of work. First two steps were 4 hours per tape, but didn’t have to sit there and babysit, set up and come back in two hours. Last step had to be there; split conversion & burn on to CD (before DVD).

          Also converted all the 2001 National Jamboree (2005 was digital) pictures and the 2003 Philmont trip slides. Thank goodness we don’t have the ability to do either anymore. Don’t care if I’m retired. Nope. Not doing. Costco is getting the business. It was expensive back then, especially video conversion, with the amount to be done. Pictures … not cheap because of the volume. But we are being picky.

        2. Dad took a lot of pictures from about 1957 until he died in 1970, usually Kodachrome II, though some Ektachrome snuck in there. I took a boatload of pics, and actually keeping them in the late 1960s. (I didn’t consider saving the B&W snapshots I took when I was a little–the focus of youth.) Mostly slides, some negatives.

          After Dad died, the excess slides got whittled down, finally to cassettes that fit the old projector. Usually a highlight section for each year, with some doubling (Eldest Brother’s and SIL-to-be had a shower at our place; that got a cassette). The cassettes were largely intact, though some pics from one or more of the more interesting trips got removed over the years. (Boat trip on the Taquamenon River a day after the ice jab broke; somebody really wanted those pics.)

          My ancient scanner does slides and negatives, and somewhere I bought third-party scanner software when the OEM stuff got clobbered by Windows changes. This had color correction, so even the Ektachrome got shifted to plausible colors. (Don’t recall the software name; it went away when the prime computer went to Linux. Not sure if Xsane does a good job at color correction.)

          I guess I was the one most interested in Dad’s pics; I made CDs of the digitized slides and sent them to family; no comments from siblings or cousins. OTOH, I have them on my computer…

          1. If XSane can’t fix your scans, I’m sure GIMP can. I load GIMP, LibreOffice, VLC and Audacity on every computer, be they Linux, Raspbian, Mac or WIN-BLOWS. Open-source rocks!

            Crooked pictures bug me, and you can never get the originals perfectly straight on the scanner. GIMP can rotate the image in increments of 1/10th of a degree.

          2. My ancient scanner does slides and negatives, and somewhere I bought third-party scanner software when the OEM stuff got clobbered by Windows changes.

            What happened to the gear I had. The video camera to computer capture/conversion software fell to early Win10. The cable connection requirements dropped off of newer hardware. New scanner doesn’t have the slide/negative adapter. OTOH all the tapes are converted, unless I find a stray one. One isn’t too expensive (it was the 80 or so bulk conversion process that was).

            Could scan pictures, which is what has to go to Costco, they won’t scan negatives. May see if scanner does as good of a job to compare, but really not interested in feeding one at a time. Slides … there are converters out there, but again, feeding one at a time is a PIA (almost 20 years latter & I still remember how much of a PIA it was) … We don’t just take a few pictures I have 3 USB drives, not thumb drives, about 1 1/2 TB of just photos & video, most taken in digital form since 2005. Prior to digital … we spent a lot of money on developing. We have boxes full. Photos are kind of a hobby. Taking them. Not displaying them. Hubby says he’s going to but mostly it hasn’t happened. Some are in photo albums, the special trips (National Jamboree, both Disney’s, & Cape Canaveral, etc.) but otherwise, not so much.

    2. I was told that moving was number four, after death of a child, death of a parent, and getting married. The actual order doesn’t matter, though. The lesson is “No, you aren’t a wimp. Everyone else gets hammered by these things, too.”

      One of the reasons I was able to stay with My Lady when she did a crash-and-burn was that I figured out that “Your partner is in trouble. If you aren’t hammered by this, you’re lying to yourself and it WILL catch up with you.”. I went to group therapy sessions, and also solo, and saw far too many ‘partners’ who thought “There’s nothing wrong with ME. I don’t need help.” Who subsequently bailed.

      So; Sarah, there’s nothing weak about you. This is NORMAL. It’s ok to feel bad. If you can, it’s ok to seek help. I’ve been VERY fortunate in my assorted therapists, but most are ok anyway. There are exceptions, but if they aren’t a good fit, change (too many people don’t). Yes, the Therapy Culture is full of drivel, but most of that is pop-psych and not professional. And if you treat therapy as a way of learning coping tools, it can be VERY useful.

      Just stay away from anything in the Lifestyles section of the paper; the reporter is synthesizing from hurried notes taken from a dozen or more sources, and will mostly get the details wrong.

      And if a therapist is not an option, billions of people manage without.

  10. Don’ t think anybody likes change very much, some just tolerate it better. Wife would itch to move furniture pretty often and the dogs would walk around looking like someone had insulted their mother. And once came home one night to be met at the door by our boxer. His ears were back, his dew-laps sucked in and his body quivering with indignation— she sold my couch!!! New one arrived next day and he took to it like a fish to water but, repeat, nobody likes change

    1. My mom moves furniture around, a lot. I thought it was normal. Hubby has taught me differently. That was one compromise too many. We do change things up. But only when we get new furniture or we’ve reconfigured a room. That has happened exactly in ONE room in the house we’ve been in for almost 32 years now. To be fair most the rooms in this house really only have one reasonable configuration, except that one. Changing it once, and not again, is because any change means moving the pool table (so not happening).

      1. On the other hand, since 1985, when we starting living together, C and I have been in eight apartments, of which the sixth and seventh were one-bedroom and the rest two-bedroom. We never had the option of leaving furniture in the same arrangement . . .

      2. We’ve done minor(?) changes as needs evolved. What’s my office used to have a bed in it, but we decided that we could skip the queen bed (have had houseguests here precisely thrice in 16+ years. The bed went away after the last visit) and use the space differently. I got a recliner chair (great for reading or net-surfing), and we added a large cabinet to expand pantry space. The additional floorspace is taken by the dogs, especially in the morning when $SPOUSE sleeps in and the rest of us are up.

        The living room layout hasn’t changed, though the original couch wore out, and the first replacement was unsatisfactory. Third time’s the charm. (Stanton furniture, FTW!)

  11. As Marko says: Girlfriends, Boyfriends, Wives, Husbands, Children, Grandparents, Dogs, Cats . . . Whatever . . Canary Birds, Pet Martians. Kiss While Your Lips Are Still Red

  12. Change can be tough, but its much harder when it wasn’t your choice. Choose to move and be maudlin about the old place. Have a sudden death, nope.

    1. Being in tech. Writing software & using software writing tools, I thought I could roll with any change. Sudden death, or even expected death, nope, obviously. Every day stuff? Turns out, nope. Not so much. Oh I’ll get around to it. I’m entitled to my grousing first.

  13. On a lighter note, News article today about a chick the MSM is dubbing “Naked Athena” who gave the Feds a free peek last night on the streets of Porkland. They all say she is an activist, but I think she is a poseur.

    1. I will admit to being somewhat baffled by the number of young women who seem to have got it into their heads that “interperative bottom waving” is actually some form of meaningful protest. Is this just exhibitionists taking advantage of the general lawlessness to get their thing on, or are there actually women out there who think that is a real live thing?

        1. How come no one wanted to stick back when I was in my twenties? That was the swinging seventies and coverage as I remember it was damn near total.

        2. Well, they want to be hippie chicks, and hippies notoriously got nekkid.

          Sigh. Don’t think I’d want to get nekkid in the Pacific Northwest, even if I were a hippie chick and it were summer. Don’t want to think about catching cold like that, much less bizarre temperate rainforest diseases.

          1. People don’t understand how cold the wind can be coming off of the Columbia & the Willamette, which converge in Portland … Even if the wind isn’t particularly cold, it can be white cap strong. Worse on the coast.

        3. They might just be exhibitionists– kind of like the gals who have Sudden Onset Lesbianism when the guy they think is cute is hanging around.

          1. I noticed, as best one could judge from the back, that she seemed reasonably well-conditioned, so there is that. Imagine the police trauma if she’d been one of those galls carrying 150% excess body weight.

            There are probably a half dozen or more women in that city claiming to be her, and I would not be surprised at news that some local professional ecdysiast is on stage nightly displaying the charms that so enthralled the police.

            1. Heard via the book of Face that she is also POC, sex worker, and has “light skinned Privilege” – and still got tear gassed.

              Stupid games, ye.

              1. She’s in good company – so did the Mayor of Portland, who tried to do something or the other at the federal courthouse and got a few rounds of teargas along with everyone else.

                1. Accompanied by the worst insult Portland foodies could come up with:

                  “Ted Wheeler eats at chain restaurants!”

                  Hand me my (Himalayan sourced pink) smelling salts!!!!

                  😎 😎 😎

                2. Just a thought …

                  Shouldn’t any city which denies riots are ongoing and refuses assistance of Federal law enforcement agencies also be denied Federal funds for “recovery” from peaceful protests?

                  Peaceful protests shouldn’t impose tens of millions in property damages.

                    1. So, if a group of peaceful protesters came along and peacefully burned down his house, I’m sure he’d be fine with it.

                      Nah, I’ll bet he lives in a walled enclave with armed guards. No peaceful protesters allowed!

          2. Like Femen, exhibitionists who pretend it’s for The Cause and so they get virtue points too.

            You never see a discussion of Femen that goes into their purported reason for their antics until deep into the article, which would be so counterproductive that they would change their tactics if it were their real reason.

            1. Y’know, I didn’t even know there was an organized group name for the loony European topless protest jerks?

              From the whole “foaming at the mouth” type stuff I honestly hadn’t looked into what they claimed to be promoting. Kind of like the rioters, it seemed pretty clear they were, to paraphrase that movie line, rebels looking for an excuse?

        4. I suspect it is rather a repudiation display of “standard” bourgeois values, an assertion of power against those who uphold those values.

          In other words, complete idiocy.

            1. Meh — she exploited a male chauvinist reflex toward chivalry.

              If I say they should have gang-raped her would that make me a bad person?

              I would ask Lara Logan (as having the truest perspective o the matter) about that but the MSM deplatformed her.

              1. If I say they should have gang-raped her would that make me a bad person?

                It would make you George R. R. Martin. You tell me.

              2. I was being nice by going with filling her with welts . . . and they should add popcorn salt to the pepperballs.
                You can be damned sure if she remained like that and moved into one of their occupation zones, the Feds wouldn’t have need to.
                A supersoaker full of ghost pepper juice!

            2. What is wrong with you lot? Advocating that a woman be assaulted, abused and tortured just for taking her clothes off?

              Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see the mere presence of a naked woman as any form of attack. I’ve been known to go out of my way to see naked women! (Naked men, now, ewwww! But still not deserving of physical abuse)

              Depending on the circumstances, and her intentions, ridicule might be appropriate. She’d have to do something a whole lot worse than take her clothes off to justify anything more.
              Talia Winters: “I hadn’t sensed so many lies since I worked for the political bureau.”

              1. Probably the same reason that my dad “advocates” nuclear war every time a country really really torques him off.

                The message isn’t, “We should kill millions of people.” The message is, “I wish to blow off steam, while pointing out the profound unwisdom of being mean while being weak and vulnerable.”

                This young person was basically alone and vulnerable, and then she added nakedness and sexual provocation to the package. She was putting herself, on purpose, where she was practically begging to lose everything.

                On the bright side, this proves that our society is right up there with Genghis Khan when it comes to keeping naked women safe from harm among strangers.

              2. it’s the assumption her femaleness and nekkidness protects her while taunting the opposition and attempting to use her “specialness” to protect the violent associates at her back.
                I’m all for giving anarchists what they want, good and hard. fist bits of stuff flying from the rear, I’d beanbag the front line of “Moms” if they were hiding or use a 5 inch fire hose one the lot.
                Pull stupid tricks, win stupid prizes.

                1. She is using their self-restraint to taunt them. That is ultimately destructive of self-restraint.

                  She is endangering other women in order to get her jollies.

                  1. brings to mind the race car driver I knew who was accosted (too much Twitchy . . I typed acostad) by the wife/girlfriend of a rival and she got to the violence portion of her shtick (yell, scream, and swear, then grab weapon -tire tool or jack handle- then chase target) and he laid her out with his steering wheel. “I’d never hit a lady, but she was no Lady” and hey, it was the padded side of the wheel.

                    1. A recent Twitter exchange between some irrelevant [w]itch and Mike Rowe covers much the same territory:

        5. There is something infantile about it. What gets Mommy (society) the most upset with the least real effort? Or what does -she- think will get society the most upset? And that, gentle reader, is the meaning of !!EMPOWERMENT!!!

          1. It’s like rioters that believe they can achieve importance by destroying important things. Or a mediocre actor, seeking greatness by murdering the President.
            Left-wingers constantly condemn borders and guns as Eeevul — from within their walled enclaves, surrounded by armed guards.

          2. When I was 2 I would stand on the coffee table and shout at the top of my wee lungs “DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! MOMMY! I’M SAYING DAMN!”

            I grew out of it.

        6. It’s a rather crude form of taunting, since she doesn’t believe they would dare take her up on what she is so publicly offering.

            1. Having viewed the most commonly offered picture it does seem as if she’s a bit thick in the waist, nor can one properly judge the shapeliness of her legs. On style points she certainly earns the low score you suggest.

              I want to say that if she truly believed the police were what the protesters claim she’d never dare do something so provocative … but reading the description of her act it does not seem valid to conclude she was protesting — nothing in the described behaviour nor any statement reported indicate her show was anything more than exhibitionism, pointless but for its being diverting.

    2. The vast majority of so-called ‘activists’ are basically Hobby Protesters. They’re all about ‘look at ME!’, and any cause will do. It’s a singularly narcissistic hobby. So, yes, she is an activist and, yes, she is a poseur.

      Hope she gets her tits sunburned.

      1. I don’t think any of these losers come out before dark. So burning breasticles is probably not likely. However laying nethers on wet pavement you would think is an incitement to road rash. -Unless your into those sort of things of course.

        1. Second hand word direct from Portlandians through a coworker is this insanity is just in that area of downtown and only at night, and thus easy to avoid.

      2. I saw a link from Insty saying that three federal LEOs were blinded by lasers pointed at their eyes. The article (FoxNews) says it could be permanent. If so, that’s a hell of an escalation by the thugs, and just might get some interesting responses.

        Instapundit link:

        Glen notes that this is a war crime…

        In related issues, in case Antifa wants to put the laser in a cute (pregnant?) girl’s hands, I saw a meme this morning: (roughly quoted) People only react to a Kent State event if the protestors are sympathetic.

  14. I wish I’d “met” you twenty-some years ago. The moderator of my online writers’ group called out my “excuses” after I moved three times in four years, lost two computers, switched jobs, and lost two family members. I was not a “real” writer.

    I’ve been writing again for two years and, while reading-to-learn, realized most good stories are about loss. Somehow I never noticed that some of the best English poems are about coping with impermanence.

    1. Well, clearly you didn’t have her extensive outsider’s knowledge of human responses to stress….

      (Can’t resist the snark.

  15. Sarah. Thank you for the post. Wasn’t expecting anything. Grief takes many forms. If that form is not writing, fine. If it means writing …. well, Thank you.

    what happened was, as I was trying to hide in a corner and pull the world in after myself

    I resemble that …

  16. Speaking on topic for once, the USCCB has gotten off their episcopan butts for once, and officially voiced support for joining in the Day of Mourning and prayer for Hagia Sophia’s latest desecration along with the Orthodox. All Christians and people of goodwill are invited to participate.

    It’s this Friday, when Hagia Sophia has Friday prayers again for the first time since Ataturk. Churches are supposed to toll their bells in mourning, and parishes are to fly their flags at halfmast.

    Orthodox parishes, and anybody else Eastern or of a mind, are asked to chant the Akathist Hymn in the evening, to ask for the intercession of Mary, as is done normally on the fifth Friday of the Lenten Great Fast.

    The USCCB suggests that Catholics either chant the Akathist Hymn or say the Rosary. (Or both, of course.)

    It’s Friday, so of course it’s normatively a day for fasting (and/or acts of repentance and reparation), but this is a special Day of Mourning.

    July 24 is the anniversary of the Treaty of Lausanne; so the mosque thing is a deliberate kick in the teeth, of course.

    (That aside, I really don’t suggest you look at the USCCB Twitter feed. Tons of irrelevant stuff, tons of dubious politics, and of course nobody cares what normal laypeople think. The USCCB officeworkers sure have a grasp of the non-essential, and it’s amazing how they ignore the actual bishops.)

    1. Yeah, paying attention to the posturing of the USCCB is definitely an invitation to scandal.

      That said: HOLY COW, they did something that’s in their wheel well, AND correct, AND rather brave?!

      2020 is looking up, even if it does have its pants on its head.

      1. Oh, and the Day of Mourning thing I saw was from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Other Orthodox and Eastern churches may be doing their own thing.

        1. Huh. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) also released a statement saying they’d join in the Day of Mourning. Okay, granted they’re calling for “this sanctuary” to be “restored to its unifying purpose as a museum,” which doesn’t make much sense… but hey, good for ELCA!

      2. No kidding. There’s a saying about blind hogs and acorns somewhere in there… That being said…

        Bravo Zulu! And may it not be the last and only time in my life!

  17. Losing an owner is always traumatic. Whether my and my brother’s first dog, Sally, or my Burmese owner Tiros who slept across my shoulders while I studied, or my great love Gabby (Gabby CATCO – born in Chinese American Tobacco Company factory). The feeling of loss lasted months. It took me 20 years to get another owner after Tiros. It’s been another 20 years since Gabby. Wolfi a part Bengal rescue is my current owner.

    I don’t even want to think about losing him. He sleeps next to me or on me at night, sleeps next to the spousal unit during the day. Limits my computer work by grabbing my arm gently with claws extended to catch my attention. No scratching, just Hey! Time for a petting break! Kitty head bumps while purring, totally different than my other owners.

    I just got a rebuilt shoulder and he’s been careful about doing anything with that arm. So sensitive they are, so sensitive.

    1. Greebo used to put just ONE delicately extended claw into my pantleg, to say “you should be writing.” Problems ensued when I was wearing a skirt of light jeans, but a “ow” would stop him on his tracks. Ad I never got a wound from it, so….

      1. I wish mine had the sense to understand when they’re hurting me. I’ve had to squeeze their paws until it hurts them to make them let go, and then they act like I started it.

    2. We haven’t been without feline owners since Spooker showed up in the Garage about November ’79. But we went 19 years,11 months, +4 days between canine owners … We had reasons but still. I refused to wait that long again after Taylor passed away. It was only 3 months and our first young puppy, or at least mine.

      Longer term. IDK. Current felines we should have for at least another 13 to 20+ years (youngest are kittens). Current canine should live to be 15 or so, another 12 years. She is a smaller dog, but not toy variety. I’ll be mid-’70s. I can’t see being without a cat and/or dog. I just can’t. OTOH the legal consequences need to be covered. Son will be willing to be enslaved.

      1. I got my last puppy 3 years ago and my other dog is starting to show his age. My current cat is immortal but elderly. I’m 66, and already I’m worried about not outliving them. No kids to take on the duty.

        So I’m determined not to be without dogs/cats (at least 2 of each) — I intend my future acquisitions to be middle-aged dogs and cats that are going begging (referrals from vets, etc.) without absolutely hideous immediate-action medical issues. Get the reasonably healthy unwanted middle ages, breeding-indifferent, and give them a place to age along with me for as long as I can.

        1. Locally there is a rescue that specializes in rehoming elderly pets —

          Most the rescues I follow locally will also have stories about pets they’ve taken in with similar stories, but are typically younger animals.

        2. Younger son has said he’ll take any cats we die before. Dogs…. well, younger son is allergic. Only the older son could take those. I haven’t talked to them.

  18. Pain is a gift from God. It tells us something is wrong and if it continues will harm us. Death is wrong. Contrary to what most think, death is not natural in God’s creation, it is an abysmal aberration. The death of nothing and no one escapes the Lord’s notice. He sees every sparrow that falls and holds his childrens tears in his hands.
    My youngest son died from a car wreck 5 months ago. These verses have been a comfort to me.
    Isa 12:2 KJV Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
    Psa 27:13-14 KJV 13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

    Turn to the Lord in faith. It’s in him you will find rest and strength.

  19. I don’t know if you like Neil Gaiman’s writing or not (it seems to be either love or hate, he’s not really a middle kind of writer), but he had one line near the end of the Sandman series that has been my go-to for a long time.

    Only the phoenix rises and does not descend.
    And everything changes.
    And nothing is truly lost.

  20. I’ve missed your posts for a few days, life, you know. But when I stopped by this evening, I felt your pain. I’ve been there, it changes you. Stay strong, keep the faith.

    They do serve tuna in Valhalla, I have it on good authority.

  21. “work two or three hours, then call it a day.”

    That’s what I do. Some days, a couple of hours is all I’ve got. Other days I can go full-throttle just like when I was 25. I’ve learned to be able to tell what kind of day it is. Good day, put the pedal to the metal. Not so good, do something for a while, then clean up and go watch anime.

    None of it matters. Just take it easy, do what you gotta do, and let the Gods worry about all the Important Stuff. That’s their job, so I say let them earn their money.

  22. I can SO sympathize…

    I got a colon cancer diagnosis in March and went in April for the surgery. I’m in chemo, and by now have lost must be 30 points from my IQ due to fatigue (I only hope I get it back).

    I can’t even get upset personally about Covid-19, since I have a more personal existential crisis going on (even with expected good outcomes) which erodes my body and mind until chemo finishes. I’m retired and financially sort of stable, except there will be trouble in a few months if my property subdivisions don’t start settling. (We’re living in our vacation place in rural PA, picked up for a (relative) song in the 80s when I received a small inheritance that we were otherwise sure we’d piss away if we didn’t invest it in something less fungible, like real estate. Of course, now we’re dealing with the “less fungible” part, as we attempt to subdivide 300 acres of 1812 log cabin, old orchard, and woods full of game & views.)

    But my own (temporary) physical decrepitude and the general woes of the real world’s Covid & riot theater, along with the eye-rollingly dim but righteous useful-idiots in my Music, Writing, and general Social-virtue-signaler communities is ever more mental friction combined with my own unpreparedness for a personal health crisis.

    I’m generally well-organized, closing my books each month and digesting all the bills and bookkeeping for my self-publishing biz. But last mid-summer, I started a very aggressive re-org of all my marketing materials, newsletter, engines, etc., and it distracted me. So I let things slide on the bookkeeping, until the end of the year. And into the start of the next. Just as March came along and I was really going to do all the catchup for tax-prep, whoop! in comes the cancer diagnosis. And just to add a challenge, the hospital didn’t kill me, but it killed my hardcore main laptop (power surge, I think).

    Dead computer. No problem, I’m a belt-and-suspenders kind of gal. I found a replacement. Turns out my backups hit a problem 6 weeks earlier, so anything not also backed up on Dropbox is gone. That’s OK, wasn’t much of that. Then I installed my usual software (MS Office), and the primary mail package OUTLOOK doesn’t want to work… in really deep & obscure ways (I’m a techie but we’re down in level 4 hell somewhere.) And all my “to-do accounting” emails are stashed where? Right — in a folder on Outlook. It’s not that I can’t reach it the hard way, but it’s yet more friction.

    Everything I want to do encounters unexpected friction. To do taxes (already filed an extension) I have to close the monthly books for the remainder of 2019 (and catch up to current on 2020), but the various retailer site bookmarks, well, they’re gone and have to be replaced. And the bills have to be manually pulled out of the automated system I was using that was pretty smooth, and rescued from the temporary mail system I’m using (with inadequate tagging features) for since-new-computer bills, and I can’t get the damn Outlook email system to work, to bring back the automation, so it gets worse daily. Pure friction.

    And we don’t have wills (no kids) and I do all the finances, so I had to (before surgery) come up with a quick and dirty “where everything is, accounts, passwords, etc.” doc so as not to leave my husband in an absolutely hopeless position. So, yes, I should also get the will, etc., done, but that ought to be state-specific, and I was deferring it until the farm subdivisions sell and we can make our last retirement move (to another state). More pure friction.

    And I have to more generally get my replacement main computer up to speed with all the software I use, which is about 80 applications (general, technical, music, writing, photography, just dozens of products and tools). More fricking friction.

    And I can’t possibly do any writing during all this, much less edit the two projects I had just contracted for. The clients are sympathetic, but one of them is 82 and I really don’t want to keep him waiting. More friction, and guilt.

    Now, all of this WILL get solved, though maybe not until I come off chemo (August). I’m only 66 and reasonably healthy otherwise, and I don’t expect the cancer to recur (stage 3, not 4, and I’m getting good care) so I’m not looking for sympathy. Besides, the surgery-chemo diet is a terrific side-effect — down 30 pounds already and hoping for 10-15 more. Whoo-hoo! Haven’t been in this weight territory for decades.

    It could be a LOT worse. Might not have found the cancer, cancer could have been further along, my medical system might not have allowed a surgery in the midst of the COVID crap, I might not have been adequately insured (whole thing will probably exhaust my annual deductibles, but that’s only about $4750, and I’m using the opportunity to maximize my coverage on other just-in-case checks, where possible.) I might not have already set up automated bill-paying for almost everything.

    1. [I posted this comment from email and it left off the conclusion: ]

      But I AM offering you this metaphor: FRICTION. Once you get enough friction
      going mentally, you just can’t get much done. Every large goal you set has a
      myriad of necessary first steps, and the first step is just hopeless, because
      you can see all the little steps not yet done which will have to be
      accomplished to get the real goal done. And that’s exhausting, when you’re
      already tired.

      Friction may not seem like an important enough barrier, but when you’re worn
      out for other reasons, it’s really enough to seriously impede any progress.
      And you can only force yourself so much.

      Best advice — try to reduce fatigue first. Then pick tiny initial pieces of
      friction to solve — it feels so good when you’ve done something that lets you
      get to another piece (tomorrow, maybe, after you have a nap).

      1. If you can’t get Outhouse to work, maybe have a look at Thunderbird. Open-source, so, free.

        1. Thanks, but I have several decades invested in Outlook and many tools, and I use the other Office products, too, so there’s no additional costs.

          Just a bit more friction, at the moment… 😦

          1. I made the break from MS-OFFICE to (then) OpenOffice almost 20 years ago, when Microshaft changed ALL the file formats and broke everything to force everybody to ‘upgrade’. Never considered going back. OpenOffice imported the old formats better than the ‘New, Improved’ MS-OFFICE ever could.

            Today, LibreOffice does everything I need and then some.

            1. It’s not that I have a religious affiliation to Outlook (I came from Lotus Notes land and participated in a meeting of Lotus experts run by mini-bull Steve Ballmer which, it turned out, was so he could pick our brains for improvements to Outlook in order to bury Notes. Ballmer is a real piece of work 😦 )

              At the moment, it’s weighing the (friction) cost of solving a single obscure new installation problem, vs the cost of switching application platforms (automations, decades of email sorted into databases, thousands of contact info, etc.,) only to discover there may be an obscure problem or two there, too.

              I’ve chosen contained friction vs diffuse unknown much longer friction, at the moment.

              The problem with Open Office and other open source options is that I have a very long (4.5 decades) memory of products that fail to be supported or run out of money or fail as companies or are acquired and then have their competing product sets wiped out (e.g., Lotus Notes) to want to rely upon them if there is a commercially supported product available. While Outlook is annoying me especially at the moment (and often in the past), I am confident that it CAN be fixed. I am not so confident that the open source tools will have such a long survival.

              I do use several Open Source prods when there’s no adequate alternative, but free vs paid is not my primary criteria. I’ve been bitten too often by vanishing products.

              1. I came from Lotus Notes land and participated in a meeting of Lotus experts run by mini-bull Steve Ballmer which, it turned out, was so he could pick our brains for improvements to Outlook in order to bury Notes. Ballmer is a real piece of work

                Gates did far worse. Gates was the Evil Emperor; Ballmer was only the apprentice. They destroyed dozens of companies and stole their work, starting from the very beginning.

                1. My company consulted to Microsoft on various occasions, which gave me a look at their inner workings. I don’t like Gates’ predatory nature, but Ballmer is far more openly vicious and loves to intimidate people, a common issue with small-man aggressiveness.

                  1. Our IT guy worked with Gates in early days and said he would open a meeting by asking the question “who are we going to kill today?” . Yeah pretty predatory.

                2. Remember when Google’s motto was “Don’t Be Evil” specifically as a dig at Gates and Microsoft?

                    1. The fact they even thought that needed to be published policy kind of tells you all you need know about them.

                    2. Well, not exactly. At the time, they had just started offering email services, and the “Don’t be evil” motto was about the *potential* that you have for violating people’s privacy once you have their personal emails on your server.

                      I suppose it could also have been a dig at Microsoft as kenashimame suggests, but at the time I thought it was a reference to the standard “don’t abuse your powers” lecture that every sysadmin gets when he’s in training, about not abusing the fact that there is private user data on the systems he manages.

                    3. My predecessor at the park was PO’d about something and made the offhand comment that he could “crash the system.” This, of course, got back to upper management.

                      When I was being interviewed for my current position the HR manager asked me if my predecessor could, in fact, crash the network. My response was, “Any system administrator can, however it’s bad manners to point that out.”

              2. The problem with Open Office and other open source options is that I have a very long (4.5 decades) memory of products that fail to be supported or run out of money or fail as companies or are acquired and then have their competing product sets wiped out (e.g., Lotus Notes) to want to rely upon them if there is a commercially supported product available.

                It’s been a few days since you posted this, but I’m only just catching up on reading the comments on this post, so please forgive the late reply.

                I have the same, though not as long (only two decades for me), memory of products failing to be supported as companies get acquired, but I’ve come to the opposite conclusion. That experience taught me to avoid commercial software, which is utterly dependent on one company, and instead use only open-source software as much as possible, precisely because it’s immune to the “oops, the company got bought out and the product was killed” vulnerability. That you see that as a particular vulnerability of open-source software, and NOT of commercial software, puzzles me greatly.

                Case in point: LibreOffice. Started as StarOffice, was acquired by Oracle, and Oracle was looking like they were going to slow-roll the project to oblivion (very little responsiveness from Oracle employees on project mailing lists, feature ideas from non-Oracle coders going ignored for long periods of time, and so on). Had it been a commercial product, its user community would have been stuck with whatever Oracle did. But because it is an open-source product, it could be forked. The community thus created the LibreOffice product, which started out as an exact clone of OpenOffice, but had way more people interested in contributing features. Result: now LibreOffice is a much better product than OpenOffice, and is a healthy project with no chance of it going away any time soon.

                So why is it that you think commercial software is safe from being “vanished”, while open-source software is vulnerable to that possibility? (Note: not a snarky question, I’m genuinely interested in your thought process.)

              1. I was with Word from the beginning, and I do my ebooks directly in Sigil (in HTML, as a miniature website, which is what they are). Word id complex because it is powerful, and it’s not easy to start from scratch, and it is not without flaws, but it has always been the best word processor since WYSIWYG on PC platforms.

              2. Oops — I was thinking entirely of ebooks, as per your reply, but I do need to give kudos to MS Word for setting the print editions, which it does perfectly well, at least if you know what you need to do with images.

              3. When I took the History Seminar class (the how to be a professional historian class) in college the Chair of the history department bought several licenses for WordPerfect (I think two or three) specifically for our class to write the papers for the Seminar class. Because it had a spell checker.

                Turns out none of the six of us in the class used it. I used MacWrite, which didn’t have a spell check, so I, my roommate, my girlfriend my girlfriend’s roommate all went over the paper with a fine toothed comb. We all missed that I misspelled the professor’s (aka the Chair of the department) name on the title page.

                When I left the legal profession six and a half years ago, WordPerfect was still the standard in law offices; but all the work that I had to submit to the administrative side of government agencies, like the Attorney General’s Office, had to be in MS Word format.

          2. Have you got the 365 setup?

            I can’t find anything to import documents to the built in windows email (without buying a program that SAYS it wil, and oh heck no), sadly– and from how you’re talking, I’d guess that the email is locally saved, not one of those things where the email program is just helping you manage a web mail.

            1. No, I don’t use the 365 crap (and this is why). I have all my email in folder and datafile setups, and it can’t be lost permanently, as long as I have a working front-end.

              Strategic issues aside, I loathe being a prisoner of web-based email systems. I live rurally, a don’t always have internet access, and my speed (satellite internet) is far from blinding. Plus the web-based systems tend to be quite limited in terms of tagging, or in terms of handling vast & historic piles of reference emails.

    2. Not that there are any guarantees, but Beloved Spouse went through Chemobrain about five years back (Stage 4, so possibly the chemotherapy treatments were stronger than you’re experiencing — OTOH, it was abdominal cancer, not colon, sh who can say?) and, by my fairly critical (but not especially close) assessment has apparently mostly recovered, such degradation of mental processes now being little more than what one might expect from normal aging into the sixth decade on this planet.

      So, there’s a good chance of your mind recovering, based on anecdotal evidence.

      Of course, it will probably never quite seem recovered because we all tend to think our mentation somewhat better than it is, or was.

      Good luck with all life’s annoyances. You seem to have been sensible in past actions and good sense is (generally) more useful than high intellect.

    3. I got a colon cancer diagnosis in March and went in April for the surgery. I’m in chemo, and by now have lost must be 30 points from my IQ due to fatigue (I only hope I get it back).

      My mom’s was breast cancer, and so was the neighbor-lady who has beaten it three times so far, and they all recovered.

      Mom’s less than reassuring explanation was that when you’re killing the body and hoping it’s slower than you kill the cancer, of course your body is in defense mode.

      1. Sardonicism aside, I do have every hope of feeling healthy again, body & brain. The chemo has been marked by two false starts. The killer-drug was in pill form initially, and that created a major “alert! poison!” reaction from the body, such that it had to stop and recover for 2-3 weeks before starting again, this time in IV form for that drug. During that break, I did manage to feel almost healthy again before restarting, so I know (at a gut level, so to speak) that feeling healthy and competent is an achievable goal for me. Doesn’t stop the impulse to whine, but I AM trying… :).

        (The 2nd false start was a home pump that.. leaked, so an incomplete dose that didn’t count. Grrr.)

        (The 4th session, the home pump ran to completion normally (I was checking the device), but did not actually deliver any drug (I didn’t think to check that) despite several alarms and failsafes built into the device that didn’t trigger. I got to rescue that session by just running it again immediately, so 6 days attached to the damn thing instead of 3. You CAN shower carefully if you hang the pump from the shower curtain rail…)

        1. You know, if I’m going to be a temporary cyborg with an installed port and everything. I’d like it all to at least work properly….

          1. Despite my whining, I am very well aware, every time I venture into the clinic for IVs, of just how little I have to complain about. I’m only 66, with adequate insurance, a good prognosis, and reasonable underlying health.

            But all around me are (generally) much older people, in much worse shape, some of who look terminal, and they are all responding with an admirable stoicism and good cheer to their situation. I spoke with one woman in her 70s who has had leukemia all her life and was astounded that she had survived a childhood killer so long.

            When you read the corpus of, say, a John D. MacDonald, whose books were largely set in the 50s to the 70s, you realize that any time a character is mentioned as having cancer, he dies. No exceptions. And here we are with our miracle drugs and treatments, beating those odds.

            The attitude in these clinics is like the soldiers off to war in the 40s, putting a good face on everything they can. I am well aware that my co-patients’ war and my war are not the same war, and I am ashamed to open my mouth and bitch about it too much. (Except now and then, like this, when I get frustrated at not being in charge of my life.)

        2. I kinda really hate whining about it. Objectively, it’s only stage 3, I’m adequately insured, I’m only 66, and my co-morbidities are limited. It’s just that it’s all new to me (no prior contact with cancer, chemo, etc. among friends/family), so each element is a version of “what fresh hell is this?” as it occurs.

          When you walk into the treatment rooms for IVs, just looking around you’re quite sure you’re in the top 1-5 percent of “piker” territory. Everyone pretty much is much older, some look terminal (I hope not), and they’re as stoical and even cheerful about it as the soldiers who enlisted to fight the Nazis. Makes me keep my mouth shut, most of the time. Their war is much harder than my war.

          I met a woman in her 70s who’s had leukemia all her life. I was astounded! When you read, for example, the John D. McDonald corpus, mostly written in the 50s-70s, if a character had cancer, they died. End of story. It was just a matter of how long. I had no idea a leukemia patient could reach her 70s in today’s medical world.

    4. MomRed is 15 years in remission from a bone-marrow and lymph-node cancer. Her chemo-brain faded after 6 months post chemo, and her eyes went back to normal about two months post chemo. (She hated not being able to read, and could barely watch TV, so I introduced her to select Miyazaki films.)

      1. Sadly, there are only a finite number of Hayao Miyazaki movies in the universe.

  23. Off Topic (wrong kind of pain)

    In the latest of the Ever Changing Narrative, the DEA is evil because hospitals are running out of Schedule IV painkillers.

    That would be the group that they were previously evil for allowing too much production of, because hospital opioids are totally the same as smuggled in Chinese fentanyl…oh wait they want more production of fentanyl, because they’ll pay attention to if it was legally sourced when it’s not horrible icky people treating chronic pain outside of the hospital. The hospital stuff is NEVER diverted, that’s why there’s a whole enforcement arm dedicated to diversions, and it’s almost entirely working on…oh wait…..

    Note: the DEA still has zero control over any of this, they’re just the “do what Congress said to” guys.
    Next link will be an article from six months ago….where the DEA warned people that this was going to happen, because it’s a Really Stupid Order.

      1. Typical.

        Oh, and it turns out that a lot of the legal fentanyl from China is made by a crime syndicate from China, so some of the illegal stuff is “diverted” and some is shipped right off the production line to criminals here. So that company was named a Criminal Trade Organization, and that makes for a lot of scrambling.

        Epoch Times has a videocast called “China Focus.” It’s pretty good stuff.

        1. Oops. The US named it a “Transnational Criminal Organization,” or TCO. One of the companies is Global United Biotechnology, which is owned by the Zheng drug gang, under one Fujing Zheng. (Allegedly.)

          1. *puts on lives-with-a-geek-for-this hat*

            That’s what they call the cartels, too.

            Who amazingly also happen to be interestingly involved in their country’s official politics….

            Heads up, I’m expecting a new push to paper over the cartels, there’s a really big push about the “lost women of Juarez” or “forgotten” or some such thing trying to make a big deal out of there being female deaths in one of the more deadly cartel-and-gangs areas along the border.

            For comparison’s sake, it’s not unusual for the city of Juarez to have more murders than the state of Texas, although they had a really good five or six years in the early teens when people stopped vanishing from El Paso and reappearing, dead, in the Mexican desert.
            (wall was started in ’08, and they got serious about enforcing it a few years later. But totally unrelated. /eyeroll)

        2. My only complaint with that clarification would be to ask how on earth one can tell a crime syndicate from the official way things are supposed to be done in China. Is it a layer of international deniability or what?

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