Saturday, June 30, 2018

June 30. Teaching

I'm a special education teacher. I work in an urban low-income middle school, rough population, lots of effects of generational poverty and low levels of education. About what you think that would be like. This part, the second stuff, the outside factors, are fine. As a teacher I'm good at meeting people where they are.

I used to teach math, just straight math, and loved figuring out how to reach kids and bring them to understand the math I was presenting. It was my favorite thing and I figured due to this, I would be good at special education as well.

I am.

But it isn't fun anymore. Even though I'm a content expert (math) I'm viewed by the other math teachers as just a special education teacher--I'm seen as essentially a teacher's aide unless I'm in my self-contained math class, where I'm in charge and happy for a brief 80 minutes a day. The other special education teachers I work with see me s a non-traditional path kind of girl. All of them got their BA's in Special Education and see themselves as experts in kids, not in subjects (which many of them are).

I stand in this middle zone, condescended to a lot by teachers, rejected by students with special education services because they don't want to be associated with "being special", and given scut work to do in my co-taught classes.

I'm miserable.

I'm so good at what I do and I miss being a regular education teacher. I miss having my space and being the expert on the subject AND my kids and being recognized as such.

But the money is so good.

And that's what I need right now (single mom/new house/teenager with a car/new puppy (why?)/about to be a college mom/private school tuition/student loans that will be forgiven if I do 5 years in a low income school).

I need to recognize how fortunate I am. I went from a terrible situation that left me destroyed and hopeless to the best paying district in my area. I went from being disgraced and shunned to being appreciated by my new boss. So it's not bad.

I just miss feeling good about my days.

Friday, June 29, 2018

June 29 A long hard post

I'm not even going to pretend to make this fit 100 words.

I went out with a friend last night. Didn't drink too much, made sure, because when I drink I get confessional. I say things, I tell things, I share things. Shared appetizers and had some beers.

I hadn't talked to him in over 6 months. In the meantime, I got divorced, I lost a job, I moved in with my parents, I got a new hard job, I bought a house, I navigated a lot of shit, basically. And he wasn't there.

In fact a year and a half ago, there was a really hard thing that happened. My middle child, Maeve, had an asthma attack like none she'd ever had, and nothing the ER tried worked (albuterol, steroids, magnesium straight into her veins). She was admitted to the PICU and I joined a club of mothers who would do anything to not have membership to that club. Maeve survived, and as I've written else, my father the former ER nurse handed me a glass of really good whiskey and told me he's seen people die of status asthmaticus, that it was "one of the true lung emergencies".

During that time, every single person in my life, EVERY SINGLE PERSON, responded exactly how they should, or better than I ever could have hoped. Coworkers brought casseroles. Good friends, my dearest friends, visited me or took me away from the hospital for a couple hours once the true danger had passed. Other friends and those far away wrote me texts and emails of encouragement, asked about how things were. Acquaintances commented on social media. The director of Maeve's theater group visited her. Maeve's friends texted her. Neighbors and relatives watched my other kids and kept the house clean and answered the door and the questions.

It was, hands down, the worst week of my life and it showed me that I was loved in spite of all my foibles, flaws, and fuck ups.

Except for this friend. He stayed away. Completely. Enough that I asked a mutual friend if maybe he was out of the country and therefore didn't have text access? She let me know that this sort of thing just wasn't his thing. He just didn't do sadness. He didn't do hard things.

Oh, ok. I get that, people have hang ups.

Except that this friend is a priest. If Maeve had died, I would have leaned on him. I would have had him do the funeral. He is important both as a dear friend and as a minister of faith.

And he didn't show up.

In fact, on a group text to the mutual friend, she had asked for an update and I gave it to them, and it wasn't a great update, and he responded, "yay prayers for Maeve".

I thought I had forgiven him and moved on--in fact, he was the priest who sat by me as the principal pushed the manila folder across the table to me, although he showed up for that moment after I made it clear that he NEEDED to do this for me after what had happened with Maeve (to which he responded with confusion and claimed he didn't even know it had happened, although the texts and the social media and what??).

So I took a break from him. And he asked to go out and I went out and it was fun to sit and chat about the things we both like chatting about. Chatty chat chat.

I came home and called a friend and told her how it went. And how it was hard, but maybe good, but I don't know. And I said, "The thing is, he doesn't want the hard stuff and right now my life is a lot of hard stuff and I've been there for him, it's not like our friendship was only fluff, and then we got talking about the break I'm taking from the Church and he got a little prickly."

He did. And I hedged to keep the peace but couldn't outright lie. He said I needed community and I needed church, and I held my ground to my great surprise and then he clammed up.

I continued to explain on the phone: "Right now what I need is to come home to my cute little house and my cute little dog and be with my kids and my friends and try to recover from the last year and a half and then figure out what to do next. He doesn't get to tell me he knows me, he doesn't get to say anything to me."

And I burst into tears. Because that last sentence was true, horribly true. And it is heartbreaking.

I'm not over it, how he wasn't there in any fashion when I needed him most. I don't know when I will be. And I don't know how to make it happen, even. But I'm pretty sure it's not at his table, literally or figuratively.

And that sucks.

It just sucks.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

June 28 Choices

I don't like too many choices, too many objects, or too much of much of anything except good ice cream, whiskey, and sleep.

But choices are the worst.

I get the same thing at any given restaurant every time. Each place has its own dish--it's not like I always get the Cobb salad everywhere I go. But I find menus overwhelming and so I find my one thing and stick to it.

I have a beer hierarchy. Red ale, lager, iced tea. I have a hard time branching out. And I don't want any nonsense even if it's good nonsense because I want to be able to repeat it--no seasonal beers for me.

School choice made my head explode.

High school choice even more so.

Lord have mercy now my oldest is getting ready for college.

When I was looking for a house, I told my agent the geographical rectangle I was willing to live in, my price range, and she found me 6 houses. I picked one.

Too many choices hurts my heart and fills me with buyers remorse.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

June 27 Grocery Shopping

Moving, I live about 4 miles from my old place, where my ex-husband still lives (and my parents live a block from him). But too far to go to that grocery store anymore--which sounds ludicrous I'm sure to my rural readers. I am lucky to not live in a food desert and the nearest basic plain vanilla grocery store (as opposed to upscale [Whole Foods or the local Straubs or Dierbergs] or downscale [Aldis or the local Shop and Save or Sav-A-Lot etc]) is only about 3/4 a mile from my house.
But it means I have to relearn a grocery store. I have to sift through the choices again. I live in a neighborhood close to to a Bosnian enclave, so the ethnic food is different (before I lived near "The Hill", the still-very-Italian neighborhood where old ladies still go to stores pulling their little carts behind them and talk to the clerks in Italian). The store, even though it's the same chain, isn't set up the same way.

The butcher has different promoted cuts of meat. The produce section is somewhat less varied.

So I have to relearn the shelves. The aisles. And there are too many choices. My favorites aren't where they used to be. It's just hard.

Wah. As if this is a thing. I could just drive the four miles.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

June 26. The Neighbors IV

So that same weekend we blew leaves in the street, we cleaned up the backyard as well, and the husband was in his backyard with the radio playing. Shirt off, old blue ink tattoos randomly placed on his chest, scraggly beard and a cigarette.

A Michael Jackson song came on and he turned it up. Looked over the cyclone fence at us and said, "Gotta turn it up when it's Michael." Maggie smiled at him, which was obviously a huge mistake.

I only listened to part of the conversation because there's a part of me that protects myself from crazy, and I could tell this was crazy. I remarked to Maggie afterwards that she's kind of a concierge for crazy people, that something about her makes people think they can just talk to her about anything.

Here was the basic idea of his story: Jesus talks to him. Sends him messages in the clouds. And 9 years ago Jesus spoke to him and told him that a special message was coming. And then, two weeks after Michael Jackson's death, he appeared to him in the clouds. A cloud image of Michael Jackson, complete with his white gloves, appeared in the clouds.

He went on to say that he was collecting photos of clouds that send him messages and plans to write a book.

He has been in contact with Tito and LaToya. Janet won't take his calls. He thinks this is something that the Jacksons will be keenly interested in. It's been a long time but he's confident.

He showed us a picture on his phone of the cloud. And I will admit, with that story ahead of time prompting me, I could see how you could see Michael Jackson in the cloud. He swore it wasn't photoshopped, and if I wanted, he would send it to my email so I could see it on a bigger screen. I avoided the question.

"Did you see all of that from your front porch?" Maggie asked him.

"Oh, no. I was in the parking lot of the Pizza Hut."

Monday, June 25, 2018

June 25. Neighbors III

I have a friend, Maggie, who has a far bigger yard than I do, and she offered to bring her weedeater and leaf blower over to help get my yard trimmed up for spring (which of course doesn't exist in St. Louis, but it was good thinking anyway). She brought them over and we cleaned up the yard of all its fallen sticks and stray rocks and whatnot. I planted a few hostas and mowed the grass. She used the weedeater on the edges and the fence line and then, between my house and the house next door, not the Neighbors, but just the neighbors, she blew out all the willow oak leaves that had collected over the winter.

Blew them into the street.

See, I live in a city with street sweepers. When I lived in the 'hood, the street sweeper came once a month and cleaned everything up. I just figured it was the same thing here, same city, same streets, better neighborhood, even.

Two days later the Neighbor was in the street with a broom and when the same friend came over to pick me up to go get a drink...she lectured her.

"THIS is how I like my street!" she said.

Maggie defended us, saying that in my old neighborhood....

"NOPE! That's not the way it is here! The city doesn't pick up after us. We have to do it ourselves. The city is out of money. We get shortchanged!"

Her husband chimed in that he should get a job with the city and make $18 an hour and so on. She nattered on about neighbors cleaning up after themselves and when I was told of this bizarre situation, I called bullshit.

Because we do have street sweepers.

And what we have done is perfectly acceptable.

And I refuse to change just because she doesn't want a few leaves in the damned street. Maybe if she and her husband had something better to do than smoke on the porch it wouldn't bother her so much.

And in one fell swoop, she made me feel like a hoosier, a bad neighbor, and a bumpkin all in one. Screw that. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

June 24. Neighbors II

It started with a sweater. There was a sweater in my doorway between the screen door and the door itself (which is curved at the top like I'm a garden gnome, I mean it, the house is too sweet for words). I brought it in, thinking my mom must have dropped it off.

Neighbor lady, the next day, "Did you get the present I left for you? Too small for you but it could fit your girls."

I said I did, with a smile, confused.

Then it was a bag of oats. Sophia answered the door to that one. So now I have a bag of oats.

Then it was a knock on the door at 11:30 one Friday night while I was drinking and laughing at the table with friends. It was scary (remember I used to live in the somewhat reformed 'hood). But it was just a trashbag of clothes that smelled like smoke.

Neighbor lady, the next day, "I clean houses for a living and I got to tell you, they throw out all kinds of stuff. I'll just leave you things."

A book about sailboats.

Two boxes of off-brand cereal.

"What are we going to do?" Sophia asked, earnest and stressed.

"Be polite and reserved," I decided. "I can't go full on crazy on her, she's just being nice."

Saturday, June 23, 2018

June 23 Neighbors I

So I moved. I left the house in South City proper (like, the hood all gentrified and shit) and moved further south to a sleepy little neighborhood that never saw the urban decay and decline that my old place survived.

I live in an adorable little three bedroom gingerbread with original woodwork and appropriate updates and a bone dry basement with a TV room for the Xbox and friends who stay the night. It is smaller, sensible, with lots of closets (houses twenty-five years older had no closets, built in an era of chifferobes and wardrobes or I guess no clothes to hang?). It is clean, tidy, really, and just the cutest little place. Every day when I walk in from work it's like coming home to a vacation house.

I mean this. 100%. I love this house, and it's a two block bike ride to my son's friends and there's a damned snow cone stand a half block west. You cannot beat it.

Except the neighbors. Oh no. With the Jesus stickers on the truck and the indoor furniture on the porch and the windchimes. They never get old, you know.

The neighbors with the snide comments and the bizarre relatives and the granddaughter who dances in her kiddie pool like she's auditioning for a Lady Gaga show.

The neighbors with obsessive lawn care and smoking on the porch at all hours and hassling my friends and my kids' friends and me and my kids, frankly.

They have opinions on my oak tree. My garage. My dog. My other neighbors. My lawnmower. My piano.

I'm officially too tired and worn out by my year to put up a fight.

Friday, June 22, 2018

June 22 Guitar

My daughter Sophia got a ukulele for Christmas two years ago. She taught herself to play. For real.

She broke a string earlier this month. I'm going to get it restrung this week and that's all fine and good. But in the meantime, she picked up my old guitar. The guitar that I painstakingly learned 4 chords on and can't even strum well. It's my dad's guitar, not mine. I love it, and it is beautiful and so warm-sounding. I'm just lousy at it.

Of course she already has the basics mastered. Again, on her own. Just like that.

Don't get me started on the piano or dance or any of the other things my daughters just seem to do.

While I plod along unmusically, awkward, like a rottweiler in clown shoes, unable to even create a believable simile.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

June 21 A walk in the park

My masters degree has been a stroll in the park. Thus far, I have 21 hours under my belt and I'm about to finish another 3.  Nine left to go.

I have just started a class designed to teach me how to do my capstone project in the fall.

And this is like strolling through the park having a root canal.

It is suddenly so hard and I have to put down my parasol and shoo away the singing birds and say WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?

44 assignments are due over the course of 4 weeks. I have co-teaching and collaboration articles coming out of my ears and I'm spewing phrases like "meta-analysis" and "critical survey from a disability rights perspective" AS IF I HAVE ANY CLUE WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT.

By the time late November rolls around and I have to present this to the public and the faculty, I can't even think of a metaphor appropriate to describe how overwhelmed and yet bored I will be.

But then I'll have my masters. And I'll get to wear a silly hood around.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

June 20

John died June 8, 2017.

He was almost 29 years old and he died horribly of malignant hyperthermia--he died in a third-rate emergency room handcuffed to a bed, cooking to death from the inside out. He was brought there by local cops who thought his frustration and agitation at being pulled over yet again was a sign of drug use. Late on June 3 he was brought in and given the wrong sedative and his body reacted by savagely killing itself. And no one checked on him until it was too late.

He was helicoptered to the nearest trauma center--only a mile from my own house and I likely saw the lights heading down Grand--where university physicians worked on him for 4 days before letting him go.

My friend in Portland, Jan, saw a random post on Facebook while looking for him, wondering how he was doing, having read my blog in which I chronicled my time together with him 2013-2015. She sent me a message on June 20. A year ago.

Between June 8 and June 20 are 12 days in which he was already dead and I didn't know.

I met him when he was 11.

I lost touch with him when he was nearly 13.

I found him again when he was 24.

He lived with me when he was 25.

It's a lot of numbers and it's a year now and I'm still playing math games and looking for Cooper's Hawks*.

And the worst of it is I still feel like I don't deserve to grieve.

*His last name was Boedeker, which is Dutch for "barrel maker". Cooper is the medieval profession term for barrel maker. I see Cooper's Hawks all the time, around my old house and my new. More than red-tailed, more than crows, more than any other large bird.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

June 19 revenge

Revenge doesn't often happen. And sometimes, like from Hamilton, no one else is in the room when it happens. Sometimes revenge happens in bits and pieces, and only rarely does it happen publicly and in a deeply satisfying way.

I'm still waiting for an even score. I don't even need to win. I just need things evened up. I am starting to accept that this will never happen. No, not accept. Understand.

My high school nemesis moved to Ohio and got married and had a few kids and her mom, who was an utter abomination, died a couple years back. But that's not revenge. It is too late for anything there--that dish got way too cold. That adage only holds so true: the best revenge is served cold.

The last workplace that treated me dirty was my old parish, and I didn't get revenge or learn about it secondhand from an old friend. I just simply survived everyone who was part of the dirtiness. I survived and did so well. I guess that adage is sometimes true: the best revenge is living well.

I will never feel ok about what happened to me last fall. I will not let it go. I will not ever be whole like I was before it happened, no matter what the lawyer who finally took my case said. I will never look back and say, "eh, it's no big deal." It was a big deal.

All I can do is learn from it. And there's no old adage about the best revenge is learning from something horrible and humiliating.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

June 16

He makes twice what I do. More than twice what I do. Each month we sit down and argue (ahem, "discuss") which bills apply to children's care and which are normal expenses that do not need to be split. I keep a meticulous budget now, never forgetting to write something down and record a check or receipt. Everything is gone over with a fine tooth comb. He complains that he has nothing to give. He can't get my daughter a car with me. And yet I still have access to his bank records because he has still not taken me off the account. Somehow he is rolling in money. Somehow.


It's making me put out my own fires, being single after 25 years being attached. And this is one of them.

I hustle with the best of them. I make it work.

But I'm not letting him off the hook.

Friday, June 15, 2018

June 15 Paper Thin

My old house was built in 1905. Rock solid brick construction with heavy plaster walls. I could sit in the living room, watch TV and talk on the phone, and no one upstairs would hear a thing.

I have moved to a house 24 years younger than that one. Still solid brick construction (three courses of red brick--the outer walls are byzantine thick). Still plaster on the inside. But something changed. I am typing this in the quiet living room, and I can hear one daughter downstairs talking to the dog and watching TV, and the other daughter upstairs doing aerobics (or whatever it is nowadays) to a video. I could literally do the exercises along with her, it's so clear. And I know what episode of M*A*S*H Sophia is rewatching.

Paper thin ceilings and floors. I don't get it, how much could change in 25 years in one city's construction patterns.

So I tiptoe through my own house and whisper into my phone.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

June 14 The Alley

The house I've moved to, like the one I moved from, has an alley. I LOVE ALLEYS. All the utilities are behind the house along with the garage. Nobody puts trash out on the curb--we have dumpsters to sort recycling, yard waste, and garbage. We can put bulk items out once a month and they get whisked away. All the wires are out back. I just love them.

But what I don't love is what is peculiar to our alley, which is wide enough to be a European thoroughfare as opposed to most, which are often one-ways and very narrow, the hooks of the dumpsters dangerously close to our cars as we drive by, is that the people who share the alley with me like to parallel park in the alley.

It's bizarre. They will parallel park in front of their own garages--or an elderly woman's son will park in front of hers--and not just to drop something off or whatnot. Like all damned day. Thus making the alley narrow and stressful all over again.

One particular family seems to do this a lot, and they just wave and smile as I drive past.

I'm new here. I'm not one to rock boats right away. But there's a whole street to park on--and most of the houses have a garage and a parking pad (though this particular house uses the garage as a mechanic shop, and the parking pad has a boat parked on it).

It's not a big deal; I'm three houses from one end and I could just come in the other direction.

But I don't want to.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June 13 Keeping the Peace

I talk a lot. I fill the silence. I share. I laugh and cry with people and I keep the peace more than I should.

I don't challenge people when they say things that are inappropriate or incorrect. I keep the peace.

I don't ask hard questions.

I keep the peace.

I think this makes me a bad person. And also a confusing one, as those whose opinions and philosophies I do not share (or find downright abhorrent) eventually come to see that I wasn't the person they thought I was. And they feel, perhaps rightly, shocked and betrayed by this.

Because I kept my mouth shut when they made assumptions about who I was. And they didn't like me much when I finally revealed myself.

I'm not brave enough.

I keep the peace.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June 12. You do too much

Every few years I panic at the sight of my calendar and come undone. I cancel memberships, I make kids hone down their activities, I stop going to meetings. I say I'm focusing on the essentials. I'm getting back to basics. When soon as that plate is clean? I fill it right back up again until the mashed potatoes fall on the floor and the gravy is all over everything.

I just like stuff. And people. A lot.

I'm not good at not doing too much.

Monday, June 11, 2018

June 11 curtain rods

I almost exclusively use tension rods and shower curtain (tension) rods to hang curtains now. I know I suck. But I can never figure out all the intricate directions and ridiculous amount of hardware required to hang fancier rods. And I can build IKEA furniture like a champ so I don't think it's me.

Or maybe it's me. Either way. Curtain rods can suck it.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

June 10. Parkas

As a child, I had a navy parka with blaze orange lining. It was a thrice hand-me-down from cousins and went to my brother after me and then to younger cousins. It was followed by another navy and then an army green version. Fake fur trim around the hood. Waterproof, warm, sturdy metal zipper.

Their tags were from K-Mart and Sears.

They were not high-dollar items. They were sensible, basic, functional.

I cannot walk into a Target or JC Penneys and get a sensible, basic, functional kids' parka that will last through 7 kids. They are cuter...but not as warm or sturdy and almost every one of them has a plastic bustable zipper and a removable (easily lost) hood.

I can find high-end versions of this through online catalogs, but even these are done after two kids. And our winters aren't even so cold anymore.

This frustrates me beyond belief.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

June 9. Song Grammar

"I feel the magic between you and I..."

"Lay down Sally"

"In the end it's him and I"

"Everything she do just turns me on"

"Proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free"

"I got you! I feel good!"

 "Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed"

"You and me could write a bad romance"

Friday, June 8, 2018

June 8. Commercial-Free

The local radio stations brag that they do stretches of 103 or 120 or ten thousand minutes "Commercial-free".

But the idiot DJs still ramble on to each other with fake laughter. They still bring up "current events" and make fake phone calls to embarrass people on-air and take the 9th caller to answer the trivia question. Thinly veiled misogyny and racism abound.

Give me a good commercial for engagement rings or personal injury lawyers any day.

Or public radio.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

June 7. Birds

My best friend says, "I want to get a bird feeder."

I help her find one and she puts it up on her back porch. Chickadees, finches, cardinals, rose-breasted grosbeaks, Northern flickers, bluejays, American tree sparrows. Happy birds.

My mom says, "I want to get a bird feeder."

I help her find one that can do thistle seed on one side and safflower on the other--we have a huge squirrel problem in South City and this helps deter them.

Immediately, purple finches, house finches, goldfinches, a cardinal pair, juncos, a damned bluejay, come and thrive. They get a bird bath. They study, and purchase, capsaicin to keep the squirrels further at bay. They have a beautiful bird yard.

I move just a few blocks from a beautiful city park that I know is full of birds. Across the road from an old cemetery also friendly to birds. I put up my feeder.

I get starlings and house sparrows. You know, the invasive species pair.

One female cardinal. And so many stupid stupid mourning doves.

And that's it.

I let the feeder go empty except the thistle seed, since none of them were eating that. And last week I got a solitary house finch.

I'll keep trying.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

June 6. The Rose

Some say love, it is a pancake...

I don't want to go to any more weddings with this song integrated over a slide show of happy pictures of the bride and groom.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

June 5. Girls' Clothes

Dear clothing manufacturers,

Please make clothes for girls that are decent, cute, not degrading, and cover at least part of the anatomy designed for reproduction.

My daughters are not interested in careers in the sex industry.

Thank you.

Monday, June 4, 2018

June 4. Brewery Smell

I live in St. Louis. Maybe you've heard of our local brewery. Or seen the pretty horses in commercials.

In the evening, when the wind shifts a bit or even sometimes when it is dead still in South City, you can smell the hops. This isn't so bad as industrial odors go. But if it is a hot damp sweaty summer night and you take a deep breath, you can taste the air. And it is beer-flavored.

That sounds enjoyable but it's really not.

Air should not have a flavor.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

June 3. Indirect Communicators

Wouldn't it be great if?

I think that we should do this. What do you think? Just let me know.

If it's ok with you, I'd like to...

Would you like to get those to me by....

I have a boss now that rubs some of my coworkers the wrong way. They say she's harsh and kind of mean and doesn't support them. But I love her. Because she says things like "I need to turn in the numbers by Friday so you will need to get them to me by Wednesday afternoon" and "I see that you didn't follow the correct [insert federal guideline]. This is the correct way to do it. Let me know when you have completed the correction, I expect it by Tuesday."

I know exactly what she wants, I do it, we get along fine.

My last boss said stuff like "How about if you could, get me those numbers maybe by next week if that would be ok?" And then would brutally punish us for not understanding the urgency.

Just be direct.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

June 2. Lack of Spring

St. Louis is known for its summers, intense above 90 degrees. Nothing like Houston but still hot from Memorial Day Weekend, give or take, to the week after Labor Day. Then the weather breaks and there's fall and Indian Summer (can we still call it that?) and a nice October, brisk November, dreary December, and then January and February tend to be chilly, icy, sometimes snow.

March, April, and May are penciled in each year as Spring. But somehow it never works that way. March stays cold. Not brutal but damp and chilled and rainy. April comes and we wait for the first real spring day and tick the dates off on the calendar until suddenly it's May and it's still not great out. How we wish for the 45 degree lows with the 65 degree highs.

This happens for three days in late April.

And then it is summer, brutal thunderstorm steamy hot summer.

Friday, June 1, 2018

June 1. Internet Providers

"Hello this is Bob from Spectrum, how are you doing today, ma'am?"

And thus begins my thrice-weekly call from my internet provider trying to up-sell me into a streaming service for my television. No matter how many times I explain why I don't have cable, why I don't need cable, how in 2001 I cut out cable for my mental health, how I can't afford to add to my bill now or when the deal expires, no matter what I say, they do not leave me alone.

I've gotten vicious on the phone. Sarcastic mean and bitter. I ask them to put me on the no call list. I threaten to leave them for AT&T. But nothing stops them.

They're like herpes.