Friday, February 15, 2008

That time again

One fine February morning in 1955 as Doris was doing the morning dishes, her water broke. My old man was working on the road at the time, so she called the doctor, who came and picked her up and so Doris went on Dr. Stannard's rounds with him, making house calls until it was time to head off to Rutland Hospital, where at 3:00 in the afternoon, I made my debut.

Actually, this was the first in a series of disappointments that I caused my mother. I remember a rather cloying expression of the time, where new babies were referred to as "little strangers". I was more like an unwelcome guest. My mother, who was never terribly enthusiastic about raising children, already had 2 and did not particularly want another one. I gather at that particular juncture, my parents were having a rough time financially. On top of that, if I was going to have the bad grace to come into the world, she had wanted me to be a "Valentine's baby". Being a queen, I arrived late.

I have in the subsequent 53 years had plenty of opportunity to reflect on the ways that this shaky start has influenced my life. A good deal of this reflection has taken place in the offices of therapists. I have come to the conclusion that happy childhoods are not all they are cracked up to be. While I would not wish the living hell aspects of my childhood on any poor child, it has shaped me into who I am, for better or worse.

One way it has affected me, is my relative indifference to birthdays. The other thing is my equal indifference to aging. The numbers don't mean that much to me. During the course of my life the only birthday that bothered me was turning 36. Why, I couldn't tell you now, and I don't think I could have expressed it then either. I am not saying that I don't find some of the inroads of the aging process irritating, mostly that I don't still have the energy level of a 20 year old however things like gray hair and wrinkles are just added visual proof that in spite of the vast reservoir of stupid that I have drawn on over the course of my life, against all odds, I am still here to tell the tale.

If I hadn't been plodding along all these years, I would never have met Wahz or C., 2 of the best friends a man could ask for. Or RG or Mike. If I hadn't been willing to change with the times and start blogging and reaching out across the ether, I wouldn't have had a chance to meet the great people who read this wretched blog of mine and against all good sense have reached out and commented and in a number of cases kept up communications outside of blogging. I wouldn't have met the Farmboyz, or Tater or Gavin who made the effort to come to Boston and I wouldn't have met people like Will or Atari who were right here, but were a part of the background noise of urban life. Come May, I will be getting the chance to meet more of you. As far as I am concerned it's worth a few more gray hairs and a loss of skin tone.

I guess what I am saying is that we are suppose to celebrate our birthdays. Another year has passed full of event. Things befall us, good and bad, and if we keep our wits about us we learn new things and grasp new opportunities. While I am not happy about the encroachment of achy joints and other attendant problems, on the whole, I'd rather be where I am now, rather than where I was 20 years ago.

We all deal with the aging process differently. If you want to bemoan the accumulation of years, I'll listen. I just may not be too sympathetic. We are all headed for the same destination by different roads. I for one am going to try and enjoy the trip, take in the sights and enjoy the souvenirs I have picked up on the way.

BTW, Doris sent me a cake.

Cake update, my beloved Quebecer baked me a cake as well. Chocolate of course. And it was really good!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valetine's Greetings

I fully expect that there will be some people out there today denouncing Valentine's Day and others writing about how sublime they think love and or romance are.

I will be spending my spare time with myself. I won't be eating or drinking myself into a stupor. I will not be railing against the foolishness of love or pining for a relationship. I have been spending the past 18 years in happy bachelorhood.

I am not ruling out relationships. It could happen. But then we may finally get that visit from ET.

You are welcome to spend the day as you will. I will be spending the day remembering the words of Oscar Wilde.

"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."

Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Repair job

Things in Ganomeland have been a little sketchy lately. I tore a muscle in my leg in around Xmas and I am still limping along and trying like mad to avoid physical therapy. At the same time, I caught "the cold that will not go away".

I finally broke down and went to the doctor last week.

Now I know the distaff side of you folks out there are all saying, "Just like a man! Why didn't you go sooner?"

The answer is pretty simple. I knew, in advance, how this was going to shake out. I have a cold. It's a virus. They can't do anything about it. It will go away eventually.

As to the knee related problem. I tore the muscle and it will heal if I take it easy and stop acting like a jackass.

Not acting like a jackass is the real problem. There is a genetic predisposition on the male side of my family to say things like, "I can lift that!" Or "I'll be damned if I'm going to waste a half hour till someone can help me."

This form of jackassitis leads to situations where skinny little men do things like move old Steelcase desks by themselves or move full filing cabinets. By move a Steelcase desk, I mean upend the thing onto a dolly, move it down the hallway, load it onto an elevator, unload it, bring it to the storage unit and offload it from the dolly. (If you are unfamiliar with Steelcase desks, the old ones are about the same size and weight as a Buick.) I think it goes without saying that these behaviors are not conducive to allowing torn muscles to heal and which may have something to do with the fact that I now look like Festus in Gunsmoke when I go down a flight of stairs. To add insult to injury here, I wasn't even doing anything stupid when I initially injured my knee. I slipped on some ice.

However, having been threatened with a physical therapist, I am attempting to behave myself. I have been staying off all the cardio equipment at the gym that bothers my knee. Unfortunately, this means all the cardio equipment. I am also NOT doing squats with the Olympic bar and my own weight loaded onto it. I have actually gone 2 weeks without doing a leg routine, period, and this week will only be trying to do a workout with light weights, which I have promised myself I will stop if I start to feel like I am straining the muscle too much.

All of this goes against the grain. Partly because I am a jackass and partly because I am having to deal with the fact that I am no longer in my 20's. Or my 30's. Or even my 40's and that it just takes longer to heal from injuries, get over colds and in general self repair when I have an insult to my body.

All of this is making me reflect soberly on where I am and where I am headed. I am trying to deal with the idea that some things are just out of the question now and that as time continues to fly by, more things will fall into that category.

I know that eventually my knee will heal and I will be able to get back into my regular routine and try and stave off as much of the inroads that time and age are making in my life and well being.

Then I will go out and do something really stupid. Hey, there are still a lot of heavy pieces of furniture that need to get moved around the department!