I win!

My husband has the capacity to sit and stare at the television for several hours a day. In the evening he prefers if I sit and stare at it as well to ‘keep him company’. Considering that we spend 24/7 with each other I don’t understand this.

Over a period of time I downgraded cable television from “everything on offer’ to basic cable to cable internet only but superfast speed to, just recently when my husband quit working,  basic internet speed. And it still costs me $95 a month.

We’ve had Netflix for close to 20 years, from back when it was mailed DVD’s. Over the years we have added BritBox and Acorn. Then Hulu to substitute for live television that we used to get via cable.

Last year Hulu prices became insane and they stopped carrying our local news channels. I switched to Youtube TV so my husband could watch the local news and World News tonight with David Muir.  Since his illness in January he started watching tv during the day and we needed local channels for that (because, you know, Let’s Make a Deal and The Price is Right is essential television viewing.)

Youtube TV was $15 a month less than Hulu Live plus it had our local channels. Yes we lost Disney and ESPN – boo-hoo, who cares, never watched them. Just this week Youtube TV increased its prices and I’d had enough. Spending $75 a month just to watch the news? I don’t think so.

Now we have Peacock TV and Paramount+ for a monthly total of $16. My husband has live tv but only CBS and NBC. ABC is only available via Hulu Live. Good-bye David Muir. (And I think one of the game shows, I’m not sure, I don’t care!)

All the ways my husband can rot his brain: Hulu-No Ads ($14.99), Netflix ($15.49), Britbox ($6.99), Acorn ($6.99), Peacock TV ($6.00), Paramount+ ($9.99), PBS Passport ($60 a year for a PBS membership), I get Apple TV for free from my mobile phone provider and then there is the Roku Channel that comes free with the device.  Oh, I almost forgot – Prime Video as part of my Amazon membership.

That my friends is a boatload of crap.  How much of any of this do I avail myself of? Pretty much none of it.  If we didn’t have a television I wouldn’t miss it. If, by some chance, I actually wanted to passively sit and stare at a screen I could use my computer.  As a matter of fact when I DO want to watch something I watch on my computer because my husband and I have different notions of what constitutes entertainment.

He always says “I’ll watch whatever you want” My response is “You don’t like what I do and you just fall asleep” He says “A nap is always good” sure a nap just before bed. And why should he not be able to watch what he wants?  He has no interests or hobbies or anything to occupy his time. Let him watch what he wants, I say. Me? I don’t really give a rat’s ass. Plus – I have options.

To make up for him losing David Muir, I discovered I could give him a gift subscription to the New York Times, free, from my digital Times subscription. He is happy with that. He reads it on his iPad.

Hallelujah!

Went, Goes, So

When writing I start a lot of sentences with the word SO. And that is bad. Sloppy, lazy, bad grammar, bad writing.  Recently I have noticed, when speaking, people are starting sentences with SO – lots and lots of people. It irks me, my ear picks it up immediately and I automatically frown. Since I am also guilty of this, not so much in speech I don’t think, but in writing, I have no standing in criticizing anyone else. Still, it grates.

There is this bit of language usage where instead of saying ‘he said’ a person says ‘he went’ or ‘ so he goes…’ and ‘then I went..’ Went and Goes instead of  said or says. 

I always thought this was a New York thing but I’ve heard this usage in movies and tv shows so I’m guessing not. Unless the scriptwriters are New Yorkers – could be, probably not.  What say you? Do people talk this way where you live?

I use a lot of slang, but to my mind it’s not slang so much as a regional/cultural language quirk. When I was writing papers in college I wrote the way I spoke, as I do even now on this blog, and it cost me in the grade department. It’s why I could never be a professional writer or even be successful in graduate school. You know my writing style, can you imagine a thesis written in this style? Me neither.

The question is, can I write ‘properly’? In good, solid academic English? Probably, if I tried really hard, if I really put my mind to it, of course I could. I simply don’t have the inclination therefore it mustn’t be important to me. My love affair is with words, in and of themselves, words are solid things to me. I can feel them, smell them, taste them. How I put them together in a sentence is personal.

The only time I labor over how I choose and use words is when I write poetry. While I think in quatrains they aren’t always exactly how I want them the first time they present themselves, well rarely.

If you have ever seen my notebooks (and you have if you remember) then you know how carefully I craft a poem.

Prose and poetry – different voices, different effort. Even my humorous poetry is carefully honed. Therefore not a matter of content or even intent.

I’m just meandering …

Idle Thoughts

4:20am – I’ve been awake since 1:30a and up and about since 2:30-ish. Took care of some paperwork, had breakfast and a couple of cups of coffee. I would kill for a cigarette but we’ve quit again; I don’t really see the point, not at our age – like I told my doctor recently, “I’m 76 and I wasn’t planning on living forever.”

My entire left side is crap, common wisdom would suggest it should be my right side since I am right-handed and therefore my right side is considered my dominant side. But Nooo – not me. Everything that goes wrong in/on my body does so on my left side.  My left shoulder hurts, my left arm and elbow and wrist joint hurt, my left hip and my lower back, on the left side hurts…

I’m back sharing a bed and bedroom with my husband and the expensive mattress we bought 2 years ago is one of the causes of my aches – the mattress suits him and his comfort – it is hard as a block of concrete. I prefer a hybrid medium firm with the top layer being gel foam – Ahh, such a nice comfy mattress. Husband prefers a block of concrete covered with something just a tiny bit soft.

You know what’s the interesting thing – about a year and a half ago I began sleeping in my ‘office’ which also functioned as a guest room and had a single bed in it.  Mostly because of my husband’s snoring and other assorted sleep noises – I finally decided the only chance I had of getting a decent night’s sleep was to sleep in another room – with the door closed. They can hear my husband snore and snort in Cleveland!  Plus the new mattress was killing me.

Here’s the interesting thing – the night my husband had his seizure I had decided to sleep in the the master bedroom with him. Why? He hadn’t been feeling well and something just nagged at me so THAT night I decided,just for that night, to stay close.  If I hadn’t made that decision I would have been sleeping in another room with the door closed, as I usually did,  and never heard him; never known he had a seizure; never even checked on him till hours later when I got up for the day.

If I hadn’t changed my sleeping habits that one night I wonder what my situation would be today? That will always nag at me just a teeny tiny bit – I could be free right now – maybe.

Despite my crazy sleep schedule I am finally sleeping a bit more – I think I have no choice I’ve been falling asleep literally standing up – so I’m feeling a bit more rested. I’m still  brain dead by mid-afternoon but everyday I seem to have a bit more energy. Yes, I still walk into rooms intent on doing something and then can’t remember what – And no that is NOT a usual thing for me – a lot of me is falling apart but my brain is still in quite good shape. Physical fatigue is getting under control but mental fatigue is still with me. I’m not sure how one alleviates mental fatigue.

It’s now 5:15am and I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open – might be time for a little nap as soon as I get my husband set up in his recliner. He got up about 4:30am – he’s had his meds and his breakfast. He can safely navigate around the apartment now, which has taken a lot of the pressure off me but this morning he’s seems a bit more wobbly, I might just wait until he gets all his stuff moved across the room. Being a man, he thinks he can safely maneuver a trip across the room using a cane, carrying a cup of coffee and a book with only one good hand. Experience has shown that is not going to happen.

I should have gone back to bad when I had the chance, my eyes may be at half staff but my brain is in overdrive…I know that if I go back to bed now I will just flip and flop and by the afternoon I will be stumbling over my own feet and will probably wind up taking a nap, whether I want to or not,  which means when it’s time to go to bed for the night I won’t be sleepy and this crazy sleep cycle will just keep rolling on…

Miscellaneous Mishegoss

~~ I got curious about how people ‘remember’. I retrieve memories visually.  I suspect most people do – how else can you retrieve a memory? I really don’t want to go down the path of researching memory. If I want to remember something I simply picture it in mind – like the other morning – I was in the shower and couldn’t remember if I had washed my hair – I don’t always do things in the same order – so I stood with my eyes closed and re-ran, like a tape, my whole shower from the beginning and righty-ho I saw myself with the shampoo bottle in my hand.  So how would you remember something like that?

~~ I mentioned the Ghirardelli Dark chocolate and raspberry squares that I have become addicted to  – my keyboard is now coated in chocolate. I’ve gone through 2 bags of these in a little over a week – granted there are only 10 little squares to a bag…

~~ I hate laptops – I don’t know how anyone works on them – I use a mouse because I can’t figure out how to get anything accomplished without one – how do you right click on a trackpad? And then – if you even just ever so slightly brush against the trackpad you can delete everything you just typed or the screen automatically moves or something weird comes whooshing in from the sides. I hate that damn thing and yet – My first Apple computer was a 15 inch MacBook Pro  – that was like 18 years ago – I didn’t move on to an iMAC till maybe 10 years ago. I should be able to use a laptop easily and yet I can’t – Did I forget or had I never really mastered the damn thing? At any rate – I now hate laptops.

I’ve got so many Apple devices stashed in the closet – I should schlep them down to the Apple store and trade them in for store credit and upgrade my phone…I also have cords (I almost typed “chords” – ha-ha-homophone error!) that I have never used and don’t even know what they are for, only that they work with an Apple.

We have a plastic storage box filled with all kinds of computer accessories that probably go back to when we had Windows computers, also a variety of surge protectors . Oh boy do we have a lot of those! And dead mice – the computer kind not the cute furry kind. Oh and remotes – we have lots and lots of remotes – Comcast never wants them back – I can’t wait for June when the condo sponsors a ‘Get Rid of Your Junk” day – can’t come soon enough for me.

~~ My usual bad typing is totally horrendous today – any word with more than 2 syllables has had a typing error – I know I am spelling the words correctly because I am spelling them in my head and typing them like a dyslectic drunk…

~~ Things are getting a little bit back to normal around here – the husband is getting around better, walking without imminent danger of falling over –  takes a lot of the pressure off me – of course even before the seizure he was wobbly – so normal is a relative thing.

~~ I’ve got to wrap this up and disconnect the keyboard and wash it! It is making me twitchy seeing it this dirty and I think my fingers are sticking to it! Ewww.

Oh and a pretty picture from yesterday morning –

Words…

Whenever I see, hear, say the word “words” immediately my brain starts playing that song by the BeeGees, and I don’t even like the BeeGees…Anyway moving on…

Homophones seem to be the most oft committed grammar error. I’ve been writing about this for years, wondering why people have problems with this. I never found an answer. Homophone errors are the ONE error that jumps out to me – I can be fuzzy on other grammatical matters but not this one.

In this morning print edition of The Washington Post there were two side-by-side articles in the Business Section regarding Eli Lilly dropping the price on insulin – from one article we have –

‘Vile’ instead of vial. Yet in the on-line version of the same article that error has been corrected. Raising two questions in my mind – why the homophone error and which came first – print edition or on-line edition. As a third question – who caught the error/who made the error.

Also – in an article reprinted from the Baltimore Sun, and not in the on-line edition of the Post, there is this awkward sentence “…which he has briefly remarked upon only briefly since…” What? Does that make you twitch as much as it does me?

Lest you say “Grace – get a life!” I must tell you my inner editor has been alive and well for as long as I can remember. For instance – back in the early 1990’s I read the book “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe” – twice – all 416 pages. The second time was to make notes of all the errors, which I then typed up and sent to the publisher. That was fairly recent I admit.

I can’t at the moment remember a specific incident from my childhood but I can tell you one funny story from my early 20’s when I worked at the Encyclopedia Americana.

For some reason I can’t recall I had the page proofs for a section that included an article on the novel “Don Quixote”.  Also you should know that page proofs are pulled from the permanent print plates. Reading the article I noted an error – “flying pan” instead of “frying pan”. I laughed and brought it to the attention of the production manager. He was not happy. The editor was not happy. The copy editors were not happy. It could not stand, had to be corrected, therefore the whole plate had to be re-done – an expensive proposition. I was jokingly (?) told to never read page proofs again.

And yet – so many errors in what I write – words left out – tho I will swear that’s my computer messing with me. And my almost nonexistent typing skills. But that’s another story.

I Guess That’s Kinda True

My husband watches tv in the morning, sometimes GMA sometimes The Today Show. I have to listen to this crap. This morning on The Today Show I overheard a book review, a portion of it went like this: ““There’s a curse set upon the grandmother of this family and therefore any of the women who come after her are not able to fall in love. In fact, the men that fall in love with them will die,” she continues.” (Source)

“What the hell?” I said “that sounds exactly like premise of “The Practical Magic” series. How could they publish that? That’s annoying”

“It doesn’t bother me” said my husband ” doesn’t annoy me at all”

“Well it annoys me” said I.

“Everything annoys you – eventually” was my husband’s comment.

And you know, he’s right. Eventually everything will annoy me including things that I, at first, liked, enjoyed, approved of.

I often say that I have the attention span of a two-year old. Perhaps that’s the basis of my fluctuating annoyance levels…