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2:49 a.m. - 2013-06-25
Too Thoughtful To Sleep

I don't have busy brain but my head is pretty crowded.

Tomorrow (okay, it's already the 25th but I haven't been to bed yet) tomorrow is Wolf's 16th birthday.

Mick has Lyme disease again. Whether he's got a new case or the buggardly thing was dormant and kicked active again makes no nevermind. Point is my guy is ill. Cranky, frustrated and extremely bitchtastic about it. We spent 5 hours in the ER on Sunday getting him seen to, the hellacious headache and all-over weakness and complete lack of appetite finally drove him into asking me to take him to the hospital. That alone was enough to put me at DEFCON 3. Mick will go to our GP readily enough, but a trip to the ER on a Sunday? That is some serious shit.

It's two weeks until summer school starts and ask me how thrilled I am to be spending those two weeks with Mr "No One Has EVER Had Lyme Disease Besides ME ergo I Can Be A Huge Pain in the Arse About It!"? I'm fainting from the joy of tending to the World's Worst Patient. So much so that after running errands in the disgusting heat this morning (Mick's meds, b-day presents, mail, an attempt at going to the Plumb King) I got home, changed my sweat-soaked clothing, snatched up the kid and fricken ran to Shoprite. Whereupon we took as long as we could to do the grocery shopping and almost didn't mind being stuck in line behind some twerp who was using a coupon, WIC voucher or food stamps on each item (which was rung up separately) and then for the rest of her stuff tried to pay with a debit card that was rejected FOUR times and required a manager's override.

Maybe this will help...I am actually GLAD to be going to the cardiologist tomorrow just for the legitimate excuse to be gone for a couple hours.

Why did I need to go to the Plumb King? My toilet is running. Nothing as simple as needing to jiggle the handle. I tried the obvious fixes like cleaning the flapper, tightening the tension on the float, de-gunking the tank flow valve. Nada. My toilet is still happily spitting fresh water into the bowl. I have a well. A deep well. But a constantly running toilet is capable of draining even the best of wells bone dry. That I cannot fix my toilet myself is cause for grief. As is the knowledge I cannot call the ex who is a goddamn plumber to come deal with it because he is also a world-class douche and never fixed things around the house even when we were married. No big hurry-up from my douche-y ex to get his scrawny butt over here to fix the toilet these days, no way no how. So I have to call an actual never-been-married-to-me plumber and pay him lots of money to fix my damn toilet. I resent this. I resent this a whole lot.

Back there somewhere I mentioned summer school. Not only is this Mick's usual summer employment, it seems my son (he who will be 16) might need a slot. He passed the biology and world history Regents exams but flunked the algebra exam by 3 points. This is enraging for several reasons. The main one being he's had TWO YEARS to be prepared for this exam. Wolf's class grades have averaged in the high 80s-low 90s. What the hell was he taught, why was he making such good grades, and why the fuck didn't he pass the Regents? His schedule next year does NOT have time to allow him to take the course again and still attend the culinary program. Without vocational training my son's secondary education and his post-high school employment prospects are really fricken grim. Yet without passing the algebra Regents he doesn't graduate at all. I didn't receive notification of his test flunk until Saturday. By mail, thankyouverymuch. Podunkville High doesn't offer summer school. The local Catholic high school does but their registration deadline period was for a scant three hours this morning. That's it. I got up at dawn and put in a call to Wolf's guidance counselor who didn't return my call until 3:30 this afternoon. See my dilemma here? Without more class time whether in summer school or during the regular school year this kid cannot pass the exam. But the window for signing up for summer school and/or tutoring has already closed. His schedule next year has no room for a do-over.

Freaking out about this? Oh, just a smidgen.

And my jerkwad FIL has been caught pouring his life-sustaining nutritional drink down the sink again. No end to the tsoris with Mick's father. Won't do what he needs to do to live. Won't die. Just sends everyone into a tizz every other week by starving himself into a calorie-deprived dehydrated heart arrhythmia so he can be taken to the hospital where he's either stabilized in the ER or checked into his favorite spa (aka: the hospital) for a few days where he's doted on by nurses and technicians and his ever-more-weary family. He's due for his next round of "Everybody pay attention to ME!!!" on Thursday. Give or take a day or two.

Yet what's on my top mind at the moment is the made-for-TV movie 'Brian's Song'. Summer of 1975. A repeat showing of this sob-fest was on TV. Anastasia and Drusilla my recently acquired step-sisters, Gidget my actual sister, and I were watching. I was weeping. Anastasia and Drusilla were weeping. Gidget was unmoved. The very next night 'Old Yeller' was on the tube. The steps and I were casual about it. Chatting and reading the newspaper and yucking it up, but Gidget was riveted. When Old Yeller was shot she burst into huge braying sobs. This, of course, set us off. Laughing. Gidget was 9. Being snotty 12-13 year olds we elder sisters thought Gidget's sympathy for a dog hilarious. The tragedy of Brian Piccolo and his racially ground-breaking friendship with Gayle Sayers had been beyond her, but a boy having to shoot his dog? That she got. What a dope.

Not that I think this now. Now I think like a mom and find both stories equally sad. And am infuriated that a sick flick like 'Old Yeller' was made for kids. What kind of thing is that to do to a child? Ugh.

Anyway, I watched 'Brian's Song' tonight. Streaming Netflix- home to the bottom dwellers of public domain. Lots of stuff about that movie all jammed up in my head.

How far cancer treatment has come.
James Caan's adorable furriness. The man was as fuzzy as a Beanie Baby and a hella lot cuter.
The horribly over-emphatic soundtrack.
How early 1970s women's fashions are both quaint and actually kind of cute.
A giggle that the set for the Sayers' foyer and living room was the very same set of Darrin and Samantha Stevens' from 'Bewitched'. And that I recognized it.
The realization of how much I like Jack Warden.

But what really got me was the casual and non-flinching use of the word 'nigger'. Today that word would only be used with many warnings and apologies. But in context and in its time (1971) it wasn't used in a derogatory way, but as almost a joke. It was in the script to highlight just how evolved we were and how laughable that kind of crude prejudice was. The love and friendship between Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers was too solid, too valid to be thrown away over a word.

This, of course, brings me to Paula Deen.

Admittedly I am not a fan. Never was. I thought her cooking was sloppy and too dependent on fats and sugars even before she admitted to having diabetes and her kid remade her recipes on 'Not My Mama's Meals'. Certainly not a health nut, we go through 3lbs of butter a week here at Casa Sage, I simply thought Paula Deen's recipes lacked panache. And despite having a beloved friend with a similar cant to her speech, Paula Deen's accent grated on my ears like lesbian music.

What's on my mind is Paula Deen's confession and the subsequent shit storm. I've read the transcript of her testimony. What the woman admitted to was dead honest. And I think it's unfair she's being punished for it. She owned up to using 'nigger' in the past. Not recently. And not to her employees. But in the far past. Long ago enough that while not in the best of taste, not truly a crime or totally hateful in context. Paula Deen didn't sugarcoat, prevaricate, or lie. She was under oath and she told the truth. She's 66 years old. During her lifetime that word wasn't a social blunder and she used it. Then. 'Brian's Song' was made in 1971. A made-for-TV movie. For sure the word and its hatefulness were made a mock, just as it was in 1974 when Mel Brooks did it in 'Blazing Saddles'. And in today's context it's toxic. A word I have zero use for and so do all people with even a slice of conscience or brains. But the 'when' and the 'how' of the situation need to be taken into account. Many of the folk ready to crucify Paula Deen are the same ones who go to the mat when it comes to freedom of speech and the right of teachers to assign 'Huckleberry Finn' as required reading.

I don't even like the woman and I think she's getting shafted.

Kneejerk reactions should be limited to the doctor's office and a tap with that little rubber hammer, eh?

A lot on my plate, ~LA

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