If you don’t want to pay some more

18 03 2015

So. I made considerably more money this year than last—which is good, sure, that’s good.

But: this means that instead of getting a state tax refund, I’ll be paying. Which is not good.

Yeah, yeah, I choose to live in a high-tax locale, and I generally support redistribution blah blah, but I’m not going to let a little political hypocrisy get in the way of some personal complainin’.

Anyway, since I owe NY money, I’ll wait to file that return: it’s almost the same amount that I’m getting back from the feds, so right around the time that money comes in, it’ll be time to pay out. BASTARDS!!!

I do have one question, however: if I made so much more money, WHY AM I SO BROKE? Where did all that money go?

Damn.





Marchons, marchons

16 02 2015

FINALLY.

I’d collated all (+/-) of TNC’s posts on the Civil War, then at some point began annotating the list. There were two large chunks (120+ posts total) which remained naked.

Until today.

Since I didn’t have work for my second job—office was closed for President’s Day—I thought I might as well start backfilling those annotations. I didn’t think I’d finish them, but at some point thought, Ah, what the hell.

I’m sure I’ve missed posts I should have included and included posts I should have missed, and some of my annotations are. . . odd, but the mess is now more or less complete as of today.

~~~

Another reason for doing this might have a little something to do with another bout of self-pique: yesterday I turned a bunch of my dissertation research into printer paper—did I really need to keep a copy of a DOE ELSI Contractor-Grantee Workshop from 1997?—and proceeded to have a mini-meltdown.

Nothing serious, and nothing I haven’t had experienced before.

It happens whenever I confront all of the work I have done and how little I have done with that work. If the paper of all of that research wasn’t wasted, it seems like the research itself was. Yes, I created a dissertation out of all of it, but beyond that, nothing.

Nothing.

The dissertation matters unto itself, but it’s also supposed to serve as the cliff from which one is to dive ever further into the work. And for me, it didn’t: I peered down from different overlooks (my bioethics fellowships), but ultimately backed away.

Reasons, reasons: I had my reasons, but those reasons were no good.

And so, periodically, I am reminded of what I tossed away when I walked away, and not having any good way to deal with that deliberate waste, I stew.

Today, at least, I did something productive—if not with my own work, at least with someone else’s.





Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

26 01 2015

Yes, it’s January in New York, so cue the surprise at the prospect of snow.

I snark because I care.

Anyway, WNYC had a half-snarky/half-serious segment on the impending deluge, during which they asked what folks are doing to prep. One woman bought flowers.

Me? I’ll be hitting the gym in a few hours, as there might be issues* in getting to it tomorrow.

And milk, I need milk: I dunae like dry cereal.

Other than that, it’s winter in New York.

*The train system really does make a difference in my indifference: I don’t have to worry about the state of the roads in my travels. That said, the MTA is apparently planning to shut down some of the express lanes tomorrow and use them for train storage. (No, I don’t know what that’s about.) And while CUNY’s semester begins Wednesday, my class doesn’t meet until Thursday, so, again, I gots no reasons to fret.





My dog reminds me of this whole world

19 01 2015

Death sucks.

I mean, I don’t what, if anything, it’s like for the dead, but for those who live past the dead, it sucks.

Two and a-half weeks ago, Jon Katz announced on his blog, Bedlam Farm, that his charming and ornery mule, Simon, had died.

Shortly thereafter, he noted that Lenore, the “Love Dog”, was out of sorts; she died less than a week after Simon.

Then, this morning, I popped over to Love & Hisses and found Robyn Anderson’s obit for her beautiful 5-year-old tabby, Corbie.

I cried for each of these creatures.

Yes, these are animals, not people, and these are not my animals—I had never met nor expected to meet any of them—but they were familiar to me, a presence, and now they are absent.

Such absence, of course, puts me in mind of my own critters—Chelsea and Bean, Jazz before them, and the family pets before them—and made me sad all over again.

While Katz doesn’t believe in the Rainbow Bridge, as Robyn does, he does believe that his animals will have a life beyond this life. I have no such belief in life beyond life—tho’, as an agnostic, I can’t/won’t completely rule it out—but understand the desire to believe that those who were here are not gone forever, but simply moved on to another place.

As a general matter, I consider death simply a part of our condition as living creatures: we are born into life and leave it at death, or, more succinctly, everything living, dies. For some it may come too soon, others, too late, and for some, as a relief.

I would like to live a while longer, but not everlastingly longer, and to have some sense of my death, when it does finally come. It will be my end, and I will be no more—a closing, not a loss.

No, the loss is for the living, when others are no more.





Take a chance

11 01 2015

Have I mentioned I’m lazy? I think I’ve mentioned I’m lazy.

Not in every aspect of my life, but certainly in too many. One of the more benign, yet highly irritating, forms is my middle-aged-onset laziness with regard to t.v. and movies: I don’t want to watch something in which I don’t know what happens.

This goes beyond not minding spoiler alerts into not wanting to endure uncertainty. I know something’s going to happen, and it about kills me not knowing the what and the when and the how.

I think that’s why I like procedurals: there’s such an established pattern with the plot that any anxiety over what-next is smoothed into mere waiting by the predictability of the genre: in Criminal Minds, for example, there’s the initial crime, then a second crime, then either the nabbing of a third victim (during which clock-ticking the team discovers something from the past) or a failed attempt that gives the team crucial information to identify the guy. Then they find the victim.

Bones had (has) its own pattern, as did Numbers, but they all had/have a pattern. I might roll my eyes at the predictability, but you betcha I rely on it.

That bothers me. Not that I like procedurals—who am I hurting?—but that I’m unwilling to try something else that I might like, might miss a movie which could move me, all because I get so wrapped up in not knowing the what-next that I can’t sit still for the what-is. And even when I am willing to try a new show—Flashpoint, Bletchley Circle, Lie to Me—what are they?

Prcedurals.

Pitiful. I used to watch so many different types of movies, read so many different types of novels, and while I might still read fiction, it’s not as much as I’d like. I used to enjoy, if not not-knowing, then at least, the getting-to-know or the finding-out. Not knowing was a chance, not a threat.

A little predictability isn’t the worst thing, but so much, too much, makes me feel small. I don’t always need to be big, but I miss the chance.





What a drag it is getting old

31 12 2014

Hey kids, what kind of fun are you going to have tonight?

Yer not out partying or else you wouldn’t be reading my rambling bits—so maybe you’re like me, sacked out on your (new-to-you!) loveseat, drinking beer (and maybe later, whisky) and watching bad t.v. shows and/or movies you’ve seen before, on Netflix.

Whoo-hoo!

Well, I will celebrate—not New Year’s, just the end of the evening—with my cats later. After I shut down the computer and turn off the lights, the critters run to the bathroom for big fun: Trickster yells at me until I set the faucet dribble to just the right rate of runny-ness, and when Jasper hears me scraping out the catbox (TMI?), he jumps in the tub and bats down the foam golf ball I’ve set atop the unused soap dish, and waits.

Yes, people, it is not even 2015 and I have discovered a great cat toy in the golf section!

Big Red Box Store was out of the foam cat toys, so I wandered over to the sports section on the off chance they’d have ping pong balls. No dice (which was probably good, as the noise those things make is annoying as hell), but I espied these foam golf practice balls.

I was intrigued.

I looked at golf wiffle balls, but came back to the foamers. They were light. They had give.

They were cheaper than the foam cat balls.

Sold!

Now, if you’ve used the foam cat balls, you know they kind of go dead after awhile, and then dry out completely after a greater while. That may happen with these things—lemme see if I can find a picture. . .okay, here one is:

Only mine’s in yellow, because orange isn’t my color. (Okay, yellow isn’t either, but but that’s all they had. And besides, it makes it easier to find underneath the new-to-me loveseat.)

. . . but the denser material makes me think it may last longer.

The real bonus is that, unlike the foam cat-balls (stop thinking that, you perv), these can get wet without getting gross. Which means I can leave in the tub for Jasper to play with without worrying about fungi or general disgusting-ness.

Since I’ve put one in the tub for Jasper, he now expects me to bat one around with him for 5 or ten minutes every night before bed.

Exciting, I know. And I wonder why I don’t have boy- or girlfriend.

Anyway, happy feckin’ new year to youse, however you may celebrate it.





Happy trails to you

30 12 2014

My friend J. moved to California, which makes me sad.

But she sold me her loveseat, cheap, which makes me glad.

The cats freaked out just a tad.

And I got rid of a chair that was. . . bad.

. . . aaaaaaand that’s enough of that.

I’m actually happy for J., that she’s finally got out of the city. I’d been a shitty friend to her this past year—wasn’t really tuned in to her hints about how crappy a previous relationship had become—but I did get to spend some time with her (and her new(ish) beau) before she left.

We had such a good, if too-short time; why had I not made the time, before?

Anyway, she is off, and finally able to try to find her own life.

Not a bad way to go.








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