Monday, January 25, 2010

You have my permission to not offend me.

Having lived in the South for nearly 24 years, I've long since become acclimated to some of the social differences between here and New York.  The first difference I encountered was in the area of communication.

In New York (specifically, in the city), you can walk around all day spewing obscenities of varying degrees, and it will be taken like ordinary everyday speech.  My old classmate Pam would come for a visit and I'd make arrangements to get as many meals delivered to the house as possible to avoid taking her out in public.  Try as I might, I could not persuade her to clean up her mouth.  "What the f___ do I care what people think?  If they don't like it, they can go hump a tree!"  she would say loudly.
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Female Trouble

Warning:  Yes, I am about to blog in detail about THAT, so take your "TMI" complaints elsewhere.

Up until about four years ago, my cycles were so regular the Mayans could have constructed a calendar around them.  I went on low-dose estrogen birth control on my doctor's recommendation to deal with breast tenderness.  It did the job and also enabled me to schedule my cycles.  It didn't make them any lighter or less painful, but they were nice and predictable.

The paranoid part of me suspects that some religious-conservative type was working behind the scenes at the insurance company's mail-order pharmacy division, because on several occasions, my pills didn't arrive as expected, even though I'd paid for them.  This threw the cycle off repeatedly.  When I moved and changed jobs, the insurance coverage was gone anyway, so I gave up on oral contraceptives and went back to barrier methods. 
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Hour of Toad

Although my parents encouraged me heartily as a reader, and their efforts bore abundant fruit, their personal choices in which literature to send my way was not, as I've discovered, typical of a child of my age and gender.  They leaned heavily toward more contemporary material, such as a Little Golden Book called Make Way for the Throughway.  My mom also couldn't resist anything having to do with kittens.

If traditional fairy tales or bible stories found their way into the house, they were probably brought in by Dad.  His work took him to various gathering places in the Bronx and upper Manhattan; now and then someone would pass him a volume, which ended up in my hands.  Mom tended to turn her nose up at those.  Probably because they came from Dad, which made them instantly suspect.

What also didn't make the cut was the type of literature you will normally visualize in the hands of a soft-focus Thomas Kinkade-rendered little girl in a crinoline dress, seated by the fire.
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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Getting Paid for Doing Nothing

Snow day here, as in many other parts of the northern hemisphere.  An hour ago, it was coming down briskly and sticking eagerly to the grass and the sidewalks.  Now it's gone back to what I call "slow flurries."  They're predicting more, wetter, heavier snow tomorrow when I don't have the day off.  It will be interesting to see if my vehicle (which looks like an SUV but drives like a Schwinn bicycle) does an adequate job of getting me the 36 miles to work and back.
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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Honesty Requires That I Disclose This

Starting today, my posts will contain lots of Amazon links to things (mostly books, CDs or DVDs, but sometimes other items) related to the subject matter.

If you click on these and follow through by making a purchase, I will receive a commission.  The same is true for all the other ads that are sprinkled along the sidebars, etc.

Yes, I can use the money.  No, I'm not quite ready to install a PayPal link for donations.  We'll see what the situation is this time next year...

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Books I Borrowed Today...

Started off the New Year on a good foot with a visit to the local library.  Like many public libraries, ours is grappling with the problem of street people using it for temporary shelter.  People have been hanging out in libraries, spending the day dozing at the tables, probably as long as there have been public libraries.  But I'm not sure they've been urinating inside them, as is, sadly, the case in ours.  Kind of shocking.

I picked up a Books A Million page-per-day calendar at a rummage sale last year; saved each page as I tore it out and brought them to the library today.  Used it to make a short list of books to check out; got four:
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