Sunday, November 25, 2012

And it comes out here…

One of my fondest memories of my mother was the way she used to sing.

It didn’t matter what she was doing—cooking, cleaning, or riding in the car—if the spirit moved her, my mother wouldn’t hesitate to break out into song.

Mom loved the old standards and if she had trouble remembering the words, she’d just fill in the gaps with a series of “la-la-la’s” until she got back on to lyrical terra firma.

Like most parents of that era, my mother had little use for rock and roll, declaring that back in her day “we had real music!”

I teased her about that once when she started singing “Hold Tight,” by the Andrew Sisters.

The song contains the immortal lines, “Hold tight, hold tight, a-hold tight, hold tight, fododo-de-yacka saki, want some sea food mama,” which my mama recited perfectly.

“And you complain about my music?” I said after this performance.

My aunt told us how my mother used to drive her crazy by singing “Meet the Sun Half Way” when they were growing up and Mom sang it to us as well.

Stop hiding behind the pillow whenever the dawn looks gray. Get up, get out and meet the sun half-way.”

One morning, God knows how many years ago, I came out into the kitchen for breakfast and Mom decided she’d regale us with her rendition of an old timey tune called “The Music Goes ’Round and ‘Round.”

Push the First Valve Down...

And it goes something like this:

I blow thru here, the music goes 'round and around, whoa-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho
And it comes out here. I push the first valve down. The music goes down and around. Whoa-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho. And it comes out here.

She sang at the top of her voice. No embarrassment, no inhibitions, Mom just went to town: “I push the middle valve down. The music goes down around below. Below, below, deedle-dee-ho-ho-ho. Listen to the jazz come out…

I couldn’t believe my eyes or my ears. As a teen-ager, I was mortified to see “the old lady” behaving like this. The funny thing is that now I really enjoy the old standards and the big band music that my mother loved so dearly.

This song was the musical interlude for a Columbia movie entitled, appropriately enough, "The Music Goes 'round" in 1936. While I love the song, the New York Times wasn’t impressed.

“At least it makes no pretense of being anything but a musical interlude,” their critic wrote, “dragged in by the scruff of its neck to illustrate the devastating effect upon the public of some anonymous young busybody's question about the workings of a three-valve sax horn.”

Ouch! Well, I’m sure this guy would’ve changed his tune if he had heard my mother sing it.

Given her love of singing, it seems especially cruel that my mother lost her voice as lung disease ravaged her body. There were times when she couldn’t even speak, let alone sing. I’d give anything to hear her sing one more time.

I didn’t realize it when I was younger, but I believe now that my mother was teaching us a very important life lesson with her singing. She was encouraging us to express ourselves, to enjoy life, and not be self-conscious.

Many artists have recorded “The Music Goes ’Round and ’Round” over the years, including Louis Prima, Danny Kaye, Ella Fitzgerald, and even Betty Boop, but my favorite version—next to Mom’s, of course--is by Tommy Dorsey, which became a hit in 1936.

A few years ago I treated myself to a CD of big band numbers that included the Dorsey recording. Whenever I play that song, my heart goes round and round, my mind goes back to that fabulous morning in our kitchen, and I hold tight.

Friday, November 23, 2012

‘Send Us Your Horror Stories’

I’m trying to remember when the Black Friday “door-buster” phenomenon started.

My memory might be fuzzy, but I swear there was a time in America when we didn’t have these savage displays of greed.

Yes, there were Black Friday sales, but people behaved themselves back then--as opposed to today where psychotic shoppers camp out all night so they can storm shopping malls in a retail rendition of “The Hunger Games.”

The news footage coming out of shopping malls is absolutely sickening. These images go all over the world and I can only wonder what people in other countries are saying about us.

There was a series of violent incidents today at stores across American as crazed consumers fought, pulled guns, and ran people over with their cars in their zeal to nail a bargain and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. People who call themselves Christians are acting an awful lot like the ancient Romans.

It has gotten so bad that The Huffington Post is asking readers to “Send Us Your Horror Stories."

But there’s no point in complaining. People act like animals; everyone shakes their heads in dismay, and then the next year it happens all over again.

A young man was trampled to death at a door buster sale at a Wal-Mart on Long Island a few years ago and that still wasn’t enough to stop the madness. Don't the stores have some responsibility in all this?

At least this year there were demonstrators outside some of these big chain stores protesting unfair labor practices.

Horror stories abound. Two people died at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. One was a clown who collapsed while performing for the crowd. His wife, who was also dressed as a clown, was nearby. The other was a civilian NYPD employee who was towing a car along the parade route.

Police charged a man in the murder of three shopkeepers in Brooklyn, including Mohamed Gebeli, who owned a store in Bay Ridge. I’ve shopped in his place over the years and I always thought he was a nice man.

I still can’t believe this happened. The fact that I actually know someone who was murdered makes my skin crawl.

Police labeled the suspect a serial killer who gunned down his victims with a sawed-off .22 –caliber rifle. The suspect is an independent apparel salesman and the cops aren’t saying why he did this, but they’ve ruled out robbery as a motive.

All these horror stories, all these reminders that life is fragile and fleeting. They are constant warnings that we should focus on what is important in our lives and forget all the petty crap because you never know when your time will come.

People can learn something from these incidents, but they’re probably too busy stomping over each other to get that widescreen TV. And the horror stories will keep on coming.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Vision Thing

I walked down 75th Street this morning and saw a blind man heading toward me swinging his cane.

Had it been any other time, I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to him, other than to stay out of his way and offer him help if he needed it.

But today I had an appointment with an eye doctor and vision—or the potential loss of it—was preying on my mind.

I’ve been very lucky. At 55 years old, I’m still not wearing glasses. I’ll admit I do a good deal of squinting and I view print in three stages: small, very small, and hell, no.

I knew I’d have to give in at some point and get glasses, but I was hoping to put it off until…forever.

But last week I started seeing bright flashes of light in the corner of my eye whenever I turned my head quickly. I tried to ignore them but it was scary having these lightning bolts going off around my head.

Then two days ago the floaters showed up and refused to leave. They’re like hairs or an eyelash only you can’t wipe them away.

I raced to the Internet in a fit of hyper-hypochondria and found several possible explanations for my symptoms, including a detached retina and a warning sign for a stroke.

All of the descriptions ended with the same advice: go to an eye doctor immediately. So on the day before Thanksgiving, I was on my way to the ophthalmologist.

The eyeball grief would’ve been enough own it’s own, but I’ve also been having problems with chronic fatigue and, of course, my aching back.

I saw the back specialist yesterday and he said that I’m not responding to treatment fast enough. He set up an appointment for me with the clinic’s pain management expert, where we will discuss the possibility of yours truly getting steroid injections.

Jeepers Creepers

And, of course, as I walked along Park Row yesterday, I couldn’t help but suddenly notice all the people using canes and walkers. When it comes to misery, my vision is 20/20.

I was feeling so depressed, so flipping old last night. Wallowing neck-deep in self-pity, I didn’t want anything to do with Thanksgiving because I wasn’t feeling very thankful at all, thank you very much. Can’t work out, can barely read or watch TV, what the hell is left for me?

“I feel like an old car,” I whined to one of my co-workers.

But then I had an eye opening experience. Before I left my home, I received phone calls from both my sister and my auntie wishing me well and requesting that I call them as soon as I got out of the doctor’s office.

The ophthalmologist had me sit in a chair and went to work on me with equipment straight out of Flash Gordon. After putting drops in my eyes, he had me reading eye charts and rolling my eyeballs up, down, back, and around.

Apparently I don’t have a detached retina and the floaters are a result of age—just like my back trouble. My brain will eventually learn to ignore the floaters. The back trouble is another matter...

And better yet, my doctor doesn’t think I need glasses. Talk about an early Christmas present. I skipped out of his office, promising to come back for a check-up in four weeks.

The outside world was blurry and glowing thanks to the eye drops, but I managed to call my sister and auntie to tell them the good news.

They sounded as relieved as I was and I realized that I had been blind to my good fortune.

I had a lot to be thankful for and it had nothing to do with turkey, stuffing, or endless helpings of pumpkin pie. I have people who love me, who care about me, and that was enough to bring tears to these tired, old eyes of mine.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Street Scene

The first thing I heard was the screaming.

I was walking down Fulton Street this morning and as I prepared to cross Broadway and go into my office building, I heard a shriek that shook me right out of my Monday morning stupor.

“Let go!”

I looked to my right and there were two cops, one male, one female, wrestling with an African-American woman.

She was sitting on the ground right outside the subway entrance and the cops were trying to pull her to her feet, but she wasn’t cooperating at all.

I never did get a look at her face, so I can’t say if she was young or old, but she seemed to have a lot of energy as she fought with the two police officers.

As the three of them struggled, the woman screamed louder. Her wig tumbled off her head at one point and lay on the ground like roadkill. The male cop pulled out a cannister of mace and squirted it into the woman’s face. She turned away, but kept on fighting.

It was an ugly, bizarre scene to witness on this chilly morning and naturally I kept watching. When the combatants moved out of my line of vision, I crossed Broadway to get a better view.

The morning rush hour crowd spilt into the gawkers who openly watched the proceedings and the selectively sightless who acted as if they didn’t see any of the mayhem spilling out over the pavement right next to them.

“Stop resisting!” the female cop shouted. “Stop resisting!”

It did no good—those words rarely do. The woman kept on fighting. The cops kneeled down on her, snapped the handcuffs on one of her wrists, and fought to get the other.

People started pulling out their smartphones to record the drama and I felt compelled to sneer at them for being so crass. They were groundlings delighting in someone else’s misery, while I, on the other hand, was a keen observer of the human condition.

But the truth is I probably would have done the same thing if I could figure out how to activate the video camera in my phone.

I finally turned and walked into my office. The show, at least for me, was over, and there was nothing more to see.

One of my co-workers arrived a short time later and told me she had seen the woman sitting in the back of an ambulance. I hope somebody retrieved her wig.

I wonder what had happened to her, what went so wrong in her life that she ended up rolling on the freezing concrete with two cops. I wonder how far any of us is from being in her place. A couple of bad breaks, like losing your job or getting sick, and any one of us might end up being hauled down to the psych ward.

I'd like to think that this woman will be okay, that some friend or relative will help her find food and shelter. Thats what I'd like to think, but I have my doubts.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bright, Shining, Gentle

Clarence the angel showed up a little early this year, but he certainly earned his wings.

The Clarence in question was a customer service representative from my company’s human resources department and while he seemed nothing like the heavenly helpmate from “It’s A Wonderful Life,” he did a very good impersonation.

Yes, you’re probably fed up with any references to Frank Capra’s holiday classic, seeing how often it’s shown on TV.

But the holiday season is getting underway and the guy’s name really was Clarence, so I think the comparison is justified.

And furthermore—I love that word--the name Clarence means “bright, shining or gentle,” according to the dictionary, and this fellow was all three.

I “met” Clarence in the middle of a nervous breakdown when I thought I had missed the annual enrollment deadline for my company’s health care plan.

If you miss the deadline, you’re not covered for the following year and that’s why I make a point of getting it done in time--even though my head starts swimming whenever I read about the different types of plans.

However, this year I was thrown off because of my back trouble and by the arrival of Hurricane Sandy which knocked everyone’s plans out of whack.

The deadline for enrollment was extended, but upon coming into the office this week, I was led to believe that the final date had passed and that I was now traveling up a certain creek without a paddle.

And then I did what I do best in these situations: I freaked out.

First I called my insurance company and after uselessly shouting at the robo-operator, I got through to an alleged human who was even less helpful than the annoying automaton.

Yep, this person told me, it looks like you’re not covered. Just the thing a hypochondriac wants to hear.

She gave me the number of our human resources helpline and I pounded out the number so hard I nearly gave my phone a concussion. And that’s when I met Clarence.

Ring the Bells

He sounded young and quite professional as he guided through the enrollment process. Panic is infectious, but so is confidence and I started to relax as Clarence described the various plans the company has to offer and compared them with my current coverage.

I felt so good that when Clarence asked me if I was still a “non-tobacco user” I dropped the old line, “I don’t smoke, I don’t chew and I don’t go with girls who do.”

“I never heard that one,” Clarence said with a laugh.

And then we were finished. I was officially covered, Clarence had saved me and I didn’t even have to jump off a bridge. I was so relieved that I let out a sigh that would’ve put a steam engine to shame.

“Wow,” Clarence said. “I heard that.”

I thanked Clarence profusely and asked for his full name. This violates company policy, but he did give me an ID number, which is ironic given how humanely he treated me.

I promised myself I would call his supervisor and tell him what a good job Clarence had done.

But as I settled into work I realized that if I didn’t take care of it immediately, I’d never do it.

Two—or is three?—years ago I vowed to write a letter to Chase commending one of their employees who had helped me out when their City Hall-area branch was particularly crowded. Only I never did.

Like many people, I am quick to complain, but far too slow to compliment. I decided that has to change. I have been spreading a lot of vitriol over the last week or so after my cable service went out. It was time to share the love.

I immediately called HR back, got hold of an operator who put me in touch with the division supervisor and I told him of Clarence’s bright and shining deeds. The supervisor sounded grateful and a little bit surprised that someone was actually calling to say something nice.

I hung up the phone feeling like a decent human instead of a screeching complainer. I had averted disaster, given credit where it was due, and met some nice people in the process. It really is a wonderful life.

Atta boy, Clarence…

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Walk in Beauty

We always had plenty of presents around our Christmas tree each year and every now and then one of them would go unopened.

Usually the package had been pushed so far under the tree that it escaped our notice for a day or two. But it would eventually be discovered and if the gift happened to have your name on it, well, that really made the season bright.

I had a similar experience recently, although it had nothing to do with Christmas or wrapping paper. No, this particular present was a Japanese film called “Still Walking” that I had recorded a year or more ago and never watched--until now.

Night after night I would see the title listed on my DVR screen. I’d read the synopsis about a young man dealing with his aging parents and I always found something else to watch. I think the only reason I recorded it was because the film had a high rating from the Sundance Channel.

I had the film for so long that I seriously considered deleting the thing without viewing it. I’m trying to clear out the clutter in my apartment, my head, and, yes, my TV and this movie seemed like a prime candidate for extinction.

At least twice I had my thumb on the delete button, ready to send this movie off to digital oblivion.

C’mon, you’re never going to watch it, I told myself. Just get rid of the damn thing.

I might have actually zapped this movie sight unseen if it weren’t for Hurricane Sandy, which knocked out my TV service—except for the DVR.

My bad back has seriously curtailed my social life, so all those unwatched movies and TV shows I had recorded suddenly became a prime source of entertainment. And “Still Walking” turned out to be a beautiful gift waiting to be unwrapped.

I can’t remember the last time I enjoy a film so much. Writer-director Hirokazu Koreeda’s deceptively simple story focuses on a family coming together for a yearly visit marking the anniversary of the death of the oldest son, who drowned 15 years earlier while saving a child.

For Mature Audiences

Be warned. This film contains no CGI special effects, gratuitous sex scenes, mindless violence, costumed superheroes, or 3D explosions. I’m afraid that all “Still Walking” has to offer is fine writing, skilled acting, and solid directing. Hard to believe, no?

While the characters go through a great deal of emotional turmoil, there are none of the melodramatic screaming matches so painfully prevalent in American films.

The action here surges beneath the surface as the characters struggle with their pain, their guilt, and their inability to communicate with each other.

The main character, Ryo, is the second oldest son, living in the shadow of his older sibling’s memory. His father, a retired doctor, makes no attempt to disguise his profound disappointment in his son’s failure to follow in the old man’s footsteps.

Ryo’s mother carries the weight of her son’s loss quietly but the pain is unmistakable. In one heart-rendering scene, she becomes convinced that a wayward butterfly flitting around the house is actually her reincarnated child.

In another scene, the rescued child shows up to pay his respects to his savior’s family. He is now a grown man—overweight, sweaty, clumsy and devoid of any kind of direction in life.

When he stumbles out of the house after groveling before the dead man’s photo, Ryo’s father bitterly complains “my son died for that?”

The generation gap is never closed, as Ryo realizes that “I’ve always been a little too late,” but there is a hopeful ending. Luckily we’re spared the crocodile-tearful “I love you, man!” schtick that pollutes so many films nowadays.

It took a catastrophe for me to finally view this film and I am so glad I listened to my inner packrat. I backed off from the delete button, held on to the clutter, and finally opened my present.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Non-Apology Tour

I guess this counts as significant...

I came home tonight from a long, hard commute to find that my cable, TV, and internet service had been restored.

After all the ranting, cursing, angry phone calls and emails, I walked into my home office and saw the row of green lights glowing on my modem.

That little black box had been dark for so long that I felt like singing "When the Lights Go On Again" at the top of my lungs--only I didn't know the words.

I was told that the work crew wouldn't be in my neighborhood until Monday, but that turned out to be wrong--just like everything else the Time Wiener Cabal told me.

So I'm finally back on my own computer. I am so grateful that my sister had very kindly allowed me to hook up my company laptop to her modem so I wouldn't have to travel to Manhattan.

That worked fine for two days, but then last night her modem died. I was convinced that it was my fault, but the cable company said her modem was old and on the way out. Still, it meant going into the office today when I would have much preferred working from home for one more day.

I am glad I went in, though. It was good to see my co-workers after all this time--has it been two weeks?--and it's easier to do my job in the office. I feel so cut off from everything when I work from home. It would be different if I had my own business, but as long as I'm working for a company, I'd prefer to actually work at the company.

I suppose this is the part where I say I'm sorry for all the nasty things I said about the people at Time Wiener, how I really didn't mean to call them parasites, thieves, clowns and losers.

What, Me Sorry?

I guess I'm supposed to apologize for shouting and swearing at total strangers on the other end of the telephone.

Well, maybe I'm supposed to...but I'm not.

When you charge money for a service, you are supposed to deliver that service. If you fail in that responsibility, then you are cheating your customers. It's as simple as that. If you cheat people, don't expect them to love you.

What I am really sorry about is how I let this situation eat away at me. It was on my mind all the time. The bad back didn't help matters any. Not only am I forced to stick around the house, but I couldn't even distract myself by watching TV or surfing the internet.

I had a lousy bus ride home tonight because the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel was still being flushed out. All I could think of during this tiresome trip was walking into my apartment to a blank TV screen, a dead telephone, and a lifeless computer.

I got so angry I actually thought about going to Time Wiener's headquarters on Monday morning and demanding to see the CEO. I fantasized about causing a scene, complete with a security guard scuffle and a Category Four obscenity barrage.

Obviously I'm glad it never came to that, but I'm disappointed that I was even thinking that way. Yes, this was a rotten situation, but pointless rage does nothing but shorten your lifespan. And there may not be cable in the afterlife.

My anger seems so petty now, given how other people suffered--and continue to suffer--from the impact of Hurricane Sandy. I thank God I and my loved ones were spared and my heart goes out to these poor people who lost so much.

Ironically, one of the things I learned from not having TV or the internet was that I spend entirely too much time watching TV and surfing the internet. That has to change. I call myself a writer. Well, writers write.

Now I can turned my attention to my fiction and--hopefully--getting my health back. Now that would really be significant...

'Dear Parasite'

Calling somebody “a two-bit grifter” probably isn’t the best way to express yourself, but I was pretty annoyed at the time.

I was unloading my rage into an email to Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt, who collected $8.9 million last year but who still can’t get my phone, internet, and TV service working 11 full days after Hurricane Sandy.

I entitled my missive “Dear Parasite,” so there was no way he could mistake it for a fan letter.

In a recent third-quarter phone call, Britt was quoted as saying “We’re still evaluating the loss and the extent of insurance coverage, but we don’t expect the amount to be very significant.”

Not very significant? Maybe not for you, Glennie Boy, but you should try talking to people who have real jobs. You’d be amazed.

I am so fed up with these rock star millionaires who can buy their way into presidential elections or clog up various media platforms with their comings and goings but never seem to do an honest day’s work.

This country’s priorities are severely fouled up if someone like Britt can get so much money and still run such a lousy operation. Is this man saving lives? Is he working on a cure for cancer? No, he isn’t. So why the hell is he being paid so much goddamn money?

I swear Mafia dons must look at these modern day robber barons and scratch their heads in disbelief. Hey, Tony, how come we never thought of this?

At least Jesse James had the decency to wear a mask when he robbed people.

Not everyone with a huge bank account is the next Thomas Edison. There is a vast difference between being crafty and being creative. And greed really isn’t good; it’s gross.

I called Time Warner—yet again—and I got the same lovely lady I spoke with the other day. The poor woman has her own woes, having lost the electricity at her home, but she still patiently listened to me rant.

“He’s a thief!” I shrieked into my cell phone, referring to Britt. “He’s a goddamn thief!”

I still believe this, but it was wrong of me to take it out on this woman. I apologized to her, but the whole situation makes me so mad.

The money bags do this deliberately—they send the poor low wage schmucks out to deal with the angry customers in the same way a general sends the lowly privates out onto the battlefield.

Your country needs you, son, and if you get your head blown off, well, we’ve got this nice shiny medal and a lovely flag-draped coffin just for you….

This woman tried to calm me down by saying “we have to work together,” but I honestly don’t know what that means.

Do I have to put on overalls and go fix the cables myself? At this point I’m ready to pick up a wrench and give it a try. I can’t do any worse than the so-called experts.

I let Mr. Britt know that I have no intention whatsoever of paying my cable bill for November or December. This kind of abuse is inexcusable; I don’t care if a goddamn volcano erupted.

I signed off with the line “write back if you’re man enough,” which is sophomoric, but I’m sure Mr. Britt will get over it. For the money he makes he can afford to rent out a battalion of shrinks to massage his poor little ego.

The repair crew is supposed to be in my neighborhood on Monday and, God willing, I’ll have my service back.

If anything significant happens, I'll let you know...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Glenn and Me

Glenn Britt made $8.9 million as the chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable, but that's no resaon why he shouldn't take my phone calls.

I called Mr. Britt directly today.

I was fed up with dealing with the minimum wage androids on the company help line, the ones who seem incabable of telling why my cable, internet, and TV service has been out for the last 9 freaking days or when it might come back on.

I had to learn about Barack Obama's victory over the radio this morning because I have been denied the most basic forms of modern communication. Don't get me wrong, I love the radio, but there are some things you want to see.

It felt strange dialing Time Warner's number and, to be honest, I almost hung up. He's a big executive, he doesn't have time for the likes of me. But I held my ground.

No, goddamnit, I thought, if Glenn Britt wants to pull down all that money to do whatever the hell he does, than he can bloody well listen to his customers complaints. If my dry cleaner can do it, so can he.

This isn't Mitt Romney's America. Overpaid office boys are not some form of royalty. Most of them are clueless parasites who vote themselves raises and answer to no one.

And as far as building their businesses or making their own money, I suspect a lot of these people just waited around for daddy to die before collecting their checks. And then they buy off politicians to write laws friendly to their businesses. So please spare me the endless gushing. It's embarassing.

I got the automated answering system and I very carefully spelled out Britt's name. I felt sure I would be cut off any second or there would be some kind of internal security system that would thwart calls to the big guy's office.

But then I heard a few rings followed by a woman's voice saying, "Mr. Britt's office."

"Is he there?" I asked.

"Who's calling please?"

"My name is Rob Lenihan and I'm one his customers. And I haven't had any service for nine days!"

Oh, you should have heard the tension in this woman's voice. It was like "A customer Oh, no!"

She got so nervous I almost felt sorry for her. I hate people who pick on the hired help and I tried to calm down. I've been on the receiving end of such blind rage and I didn't like it, so I always try to keep my temper in these situations.

And to be honest, this woman did take my contact information and promised to have someone call me. I thanked her and a few hours later someone did call me.

And this woman said that the work crew wouldn't be coming out my way until November 12. I'm assuming that is November 12 of this year, but I'm not sure now.

I can't believe this is happening. I see how much I rely on the internet and I'm learning that I waste a lot of time web-surfing, but this is completely unacceptable. Except, of course, I have to accept it.

This second woman--the name escapes me--apologized profusely and said she'd try to get the crew out my way sooner. She also mentioned that she herself was living without electricity, but I was too steamed to pay much attention and I do regret that oversight.

I'm going to see if I can find another cable provider, but I have my doubts. The only other company in the area only offers dish television service and I've heard less than stellar things about the reception. But I may knuckle under because I can't stand the current situation.

So I had a problem and I went right to the top. I know my dad would have been proud of me.

I don't think I got much for my efforts, but I'm glad I let these people know that they work for me and not the other way around.

The priorities in this country have gotten screwed up and they need to be corrected--one phone call at a time.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

'More Wind Than We Deserve'

So it's Day Eight and I still don't have an internet, telephone, or television connection.

This is also Election Day, and I did my civic duty, but at this rate I'll have to get the results by carrier pigeon.

I am getting so fed up with this. If I lived in the backwoods of Kentucky, I would understand that the hook-ups would be touch and go.

But I don't. I live in New York Freaking City, the center of it all, and yet I'm forced to borrow my sister's computer to blog and tape my cellphone to my head to talk to people.

I've been away from the web for so long I feel like Amelia Earhart.

Yes, I understand other people have it worse. Yes, I should probably be ashamed of myself for complaining. But the combination of the chronic fatigue, bad back, and inability to communicate with the outside world is making me nuttier than usual.

I get the feeling that if I were reduced to just a head in a fish tank, someone would knock on the glass and say, "you know there are people worse off than you." Thanks a lot, but that's not very comforting right now,

Time Warner charges and arm and a leg for its "services" and yet now, when something actually happens, they are completely ineffectual. I have called them repeatedly, only to be told that "we're working on it." What does this work consist of--wishful thinking and rubbing two sticks together?

And what's more annoying is that my neighbors and I all lost service early last Monday--hours before Hurrican Sandy actually arrived. Did the system die of fright?

I need the internet so I can work from home--duh! My back's a little better, but I'm concerned about aggravating the condition. If I can just get back online, I'd be a hell of a lot happier.

Yes, I'm kind of down right now. Dealing with a lot of hostility and negavity-I'm essentially in a "what next?" mode, as in "what next can go wrong?" But it's never a good idea to ask that question because the answer could blow your mind--literally.

The day before Sandy hit a meterologist warned that we would be battered by "more wind than we deserve" and he called that one right, that's for damn sure.

Now that I've ranted a bit, let me say that my thoughs and prayers are with people who lost loved ones in this terrible storm and to those who lost their homes.

I can't even imagine what that is like and I truly thankful that I got through this thing in fairly good shape.

Once again, I promise to get back to regular blogging as soon as this business is sorted out. And thanks for all your concern.

See you soon..

Friday, November 02, 2012

Storm Update

Hey, blog buddies:

I'm writing to you from an undisclosed location (my sister's apartment) because the degenerate goofballs at Time Warner still can't get my internet connection going. Is this the 21st Century or what?

I hope all of you are safe and well. I did get my MRI done on Wednesday, but since my specialist is located in lower Manhattan, and thus out of power, I don't know what the next step will be.

I'll be posting and catching up on your blogs as soon as I can. I thank you all for your concern and please do me a favor and take care of yourselves!

See you soon.