Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Peeing in the dark

My agency is all about not wasting electricity, which is great, but there is one minor problem with motion sensor lights, which I realized yesterday when the lights went out on me while I was in the bathroom: The motion sensor is set at a level for walkers.

A lot of people are off this week, so the darkness was kind of dangerous because no one else came in. I wound up transferring back to my chair by the light of my iPhone.

I think it was a bit of a big deal as shortly after my email to our building people, I got a reply that the building manager would fix it ASAP.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tunes for a cool yule

I got an unexpected Christmas present Friday: The lung nodules were stable. Unexpected in that I didn't think they'd call Friday; I was pretty sure the lungs were OK.  So it was late and I still wonder whether to leave my doctor, but I am not dying (from that anyway).

Given that news and Patrick's request, I am thinking Christmas music here on the third day of Christmas. (I am still waiting for my French hens, by the way.)

Most of the songs in my top 10 are religious -- from my youth -- but whimsical and joyful. I think the latter is because that is what Christmas should be. Religion too. The former because religion was so much easier when you're a kid, and you just accept God is awesome. I know God exists, but there are  an awful lot of gray shades that I didn't have to worry about when I  was listening to:

Joy to the World

I was looking for a video of this perennial closing hymn at St. James when I was a kid (They also used Oh Come All ye Faithful, which is not as good.), and came upon this version. I forgive the running together of verses because of the Tambourine Guy's unbridled joy, which is what this song and Christmas is all about. We may have ISIS and ebola, but "the Lord has come."

Wondrous Love

When younger, I used to mock Mom's Christmas Revels album. I can't get enough now. Sorry, Mom. Again, who doesn't wish for someone who loves and protects them?

O Holy Night

I am not sure why I like this so much. I suspect it has to do with the notes you have to hit to sing it.

Go Tell it on the Mountain

Another Revels tune and more joy. How cool is it to have good news to share?

Blue Christmas

Either by Elvis or a little girl singing to Santa, this is just great.

I Believe

OK, this song makes me cry.

This is my Box

This is from Amahl and the Night Visitors. I always thought they should have remade this with Michael Jackson as Amahl, and the king would not have a storage box but a boombox.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Well, of course. Merry Christmas, Baby rocks, too. He just seems to have such fun.

For Unto Us a Child is Born

This is my favorite piece from Handel. I like "the government shall be on his shoulders" line. The world could use a wonderful counselor in charge.

The Lord of the Dance

A final Revels song. It paints a picture of such a happy God. Perhaps because I can't, dancing is so cool.

This leaves out some good ones. Good King Wenceslas, my only song-writing credit till someone records Funky Cold Molina; the dance song from the real Nutcracker, the one with lyrics  and narrated by Bob Keeshan; Even a Miracle Needs a Hand; and so many more.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


It has been a somewhat challenging week, and Christmas is not till tomorrow!

Sunday was the shortest day of the year and I have been waiting since then for the sun to return. I suppose in theory it has, but it has been awful gloomy this week. I haven't seen it.

Plus, I have several nagging medical issues. Well, not so much medical issues as doctor office issues.

The place where I was getting my therapy -- I went twice and wasn't enamored -- charged me $95 at my second visit. I paid it but thought, that's a steep co-pay. Then I got the Explanation of Benefits and it said I owed $20 in co-pays. What was the $75? Apparently, you aren't allowed to reschedule appointments. My original appointment was Friday. We rescheduled the Tuesday before for the Tuesday after and got fined $75.

Worse is my problem with my primary care doctor, who I have been with more than 15 years and who I love. But I am thinking of leaving.

I had a CT scan Dec. 8 to make sure my lung nodules are stable. The technician said my doctor should have the results in a few days. I called my doctor and left has a message that I had the scan and to let me know when she got the results. I called again Friday and left another message. On Wednesday  Mom called and talked to someone who said they didn't have the results yet. On Thursday she called radiology and they said they'd send the scans right away. I called again Monday and left a message.  Still nothing.

And the woman who got me my current job is retiring.

Oh, and still sad and guilty about Claren.

It's not all been bad. A friend at work made me some delicious buckeyes. The next day she spotted my water bottle was leaking, fixed it and said, tell your sister, I'm looking out for you.

My niece and nephew bring me joy.

And I love Christmas music!

Saturday, December 20, 2014


On Saturdays, I usually sleep till Mom comes over about 9:30 or 10, so when my door opened about 9:30, I figured it was Mom ... until something furry leapt on bed and started licking me.

Kenny has figured out how to push open the door, so when he gets bored, he comes in.

It was so great to have him there and play with him ... until i thought of Claren.  She can't get on the bed anymore.

I love sitting on the floor with her, but that's not something I can easily do anymore.

There is a good reason only young dogs are service dogs, and it isn't all about their work. I miss having a dog I can play with and easily pet.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Mego miracle

Mego Spider-Man was not in this year's nativity. Spidey keeps me company at work, watching over me from the top of my monitor.

I was showing him to a friend who was unfamiliar with Megos. She was saying that Spidey probably curses when I leave because he got left out.

I argued that if the Toy Story movies are any indication, Spidey is living large when I leave and even happier when everyone leaves -- free to swing through the office without care.

Perhaps the Megos who should be pissed are Batman, Robin and Captain America. They are in my room but are in vehicles on shelves, so they got left out.

Spidey, on the other hand, is not only free to party every night, but my friend saw his uniform needs a quick stitch and said she'd bring in a needle and thread tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A very Mego Christmas

It's been kind of a gloomy year in Matty's Toyland: no new action figures. And by new, I don't mean MOC (mint on card) or MIB (mint in box). I mean I didn't get any action figures this year. In fact, counting the nine pounds of figures I sold on eBay last month, I've had a net outflow of figures. If that isn't sad, I don't know what is.

But never fear, the Megos (and lookalikes) are here to save the day and Christmas.

For the unenlightened few, Megos are perhaps the coolest action figure made. Our (my brother and I and a friend) favorite game with them was to take some fishing line into the upstairs of Gram's house, run it from an upper story window to the ground, then slide the Megos down the fishing line. Most of them had hands that easily held the line. At some point, we decided it would be even more fun to put a tub of mud underneath the fishing line and try to make the heroes fall off the line into the mud. (Some still have mud in their crevices even now.)

Anyway, they are gathered round the "soft glow of electric sex" to fill in the nativity.

To the right of the Christmas Story lamp are the three Kings. Black Falcon is the only official Mego among the kings. He may be my favorite Mego; I think it is the boots. I am afraid I am falling vicotim to typecasting here: I needed a black king.  The Spirit is next from right. Granted few kings wear suits, but one of the first Spirit stories I read had in some Far East setting, and he was awesome. Next is Dark Phoenix, a woman so not technically a king but she is wearing regal colors, and trust me you don't want to tell her she can't be a king. Leading the kings are a few lead knights I made when I was far too young to be playing with molten lead.

Kid Flash is not at all new, but I did buy him new boots this year. Before he was wearing high heels. Can you imagine trying to run in heels? He'll be playing the part of the plucky little shepherd boy. Hulk has promised in advance to smash nothing. 

Shazam is not new either but he has been put away because she was shoeless and capeless. This year, I replaced both and brought him back. I think with that wild hair Thor is best suited to be a shepherd, which means Superman and Shazam will compete to be the angel. I envision it as a Kingdom Come-like struggle. "Shazam, shazam, shazam!" Or the Rocketeer could be the angel. What an awesome movie! If I had an action figure of his co-star Jennifer Connelly, she'd definitely be the angel. 

That leaves Green Arrow and Daredevil, more shepherds, I reckon. Green Arrow has the right weapon for a shepherd, and Daredevil would not have to worry about leaving the flock to find a lost lamb because who could sneak away from him.

Next year I will make it my solemn vow to have new figures.

I just realized the star leading everyone to Jesus could be the leg lamp or it could be me and Claren.

Here are the ones from 2007,  20082009201020112012 and 2013. These posts also have some background. And God must be amused by this because I have not been struck down yet.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


My brother-in-law was unable to comply with the second of two requests I had for him yesterday when he came home.

In his defense, my plea to him was along the lines of: Can you come help me and not make fun of me/

Also in his defense, when he came in, my chair was in the bathroom, my shower chair was out in the room, and I was on the floor in the middle of the room.

Let me explain.

When I work from home, I use my phone to play music. That means I often go to the bathroom without my phone. Stupid? Yes. Yesterday I found out how stupid.

About 1:20, I went to the bathroom. I slipped getting back in my chair, so I was homeless, phoneless and on the floor of the bathroom.


The slip was caused because my foot got caught under my char, so first things first, I moved my chair.  then, calling on my Herculean upper-body strength, I managed to stand up and sit on the toilet.

I needed to move my chair back so I could transfer to it. I did, but it nicked my foot in such a way that I slid off it again.


I knew I didn't have it in me to pull myself up again, so I decided to get my phone.

To do that, I proposed to slide on my back over to my desk and somehow pull down my phone. I hadn't figured out how yet, but ...

To get out I needed to push my shower chair out of the way, so out it went. Then I started sliding.

Shortly after my brother-in-law got home.

I was back in my chair by 1:45.

I have already ordered a new mp3 player.  

Monday, December 8, 2014


As I went to the elevators to leave today, a woman and her boss were getting off. He is our chief technology officer, a very nice guy.  The woman is nice, too.

At my office, when you get out of the elevator on our floors, you are greeted by locked double glass doors. Our ID cards open them and entry is easy: I push the button, the door opens inward, and I scoot inside. Leaving is less easy. The door still swings inward, and it swings into the button. So I need to go up, hit the button, back up, go around the opening door and exit.

I just talked to some people about fixing the problem, so it is a known problem to the building people.

But today, the woman noticed me leaving and started explaining to her boss why it is bad.

I explained we're working on it, and he said, good, and that he would bring it up to people and that if I need anything to let him know.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Blame it on the rain

My sister and brother-in-law got new furniture recently, which meant they were going to get rid of my old Laz-Boy recliner. Instead. I decided to get rid of my chaise and reclaim my recliner.

After about a week, I am ready to pronounce the change a success.

It's been so good in fact that today I spent maybe 30 waking minutes out of the hair.

Rainy days suck.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bloody Toes

It's not just falls I joke about. This morning I asked my sister to put a bandage on the bloody big toe on my left foot because it was just jealous of the bandage she had put on the right big toe yesterday.

She did, of course, and even wiped up the blood on my bathroom floor.

I am not sure what it is about winter. The skin on my feet feels paper-thin, and my legs feel more jittery. The result is my feet rake themselves on the wheelchair or the shower chair almost daily when  I transfer. And it hurts!

But I am so freaking hilarious, it hurts less.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A joking matter

Of course, I made a joke when being helped off the bathroom floor. That's what I do ... unless it is really, really bad.

It doesn't matter if it is my sister doing the helping, my brother-in-law or as it was today, my co-workers.

It also doesn't matter that it is about the last thing I wanted to do. I'd rather curse using words even my sisters don't use regularly. I'd rather cry and sob. I'd rather curl up on whatever floor I am on, damn God to hell, then wake up from this awful FA dream

I don't do any of that. I put my helpers at ease I let them know that I am OK and that helping me won't be a trying emotional experience. And by laughing and making fun of myself, I try to put myself at ease and let me know I am OK. I'm not sure I really am.

The texting for help worked well, though both helpers were out today. They got the message and called someone else to go help me.

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