Sunday, June 26, 2016

I Am A Cat Toy

Saturday was a great day. The cats woke me up and demanded I feed them or play with them. They'd been successful at getting overfed by begging both floors, so a while back we agreed that they'd be fed only downstairs. That means I have to play with them in the morning, which is not a problem, but it does make me basically a cat toy.
They have balls and things to bat around, but mostly they want me to dangle a shoelace.
The 8:15 Barre class was great, as usual. It's weird how many reps with light weights or no weights can have such results.
I shipped a case of books, and met some DAV buddies for coffee, and then sources at the little thrift store nearby. Then it was off to the VA Hospital to distribute books. My reward for that is to walk in the garden a little bit.
This weekend the ladies are hanging with their friends at Pride Week events, with the parade tomorrow and all. I'm enjoying the house and catching up on chores. It's domestic but fun!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sit-In Wednesday

I'm impressed that the Democrats in Congress are staging a sit-in to demand a vote on the simplest, most common-sense gun control laws.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tuesday Thoughts Waiting For The Bus

0% Precipitation
On The Leaves
It may be that, as Ben Franklin wrote, "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man Healthy, Wealthy and Wise".
In my experience, there must be more to the formula than that, but I don't know what.
 Well, at least I'm healthy!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday Zumba Again

It's difficult to put into words just how much I enjoy dance as exercise. I have really lost interest in exercise without music; that seems merely to be work. And playing music in the background while exercising is merely distracting from the business at hand.
In contrast, exercising to the music integrates psychological and physiological functions that help me exceed my limits. In addition, the freedom to dance - rather than merely to ape the motions of the instructor - make the exercise spiritually renewing, rather than merely good for the body.
I have tried dance exercise several times. Back in East Lansing I remember some class or other that I took with Sherry, that was basically calisthenics with music. I focussed on copying the instructor exactly, and I suppose it was all well enough, but there is a qualitative difference between that and dancing. To this insight I owe the silent coaching of Tall Joan (whose real name I don't know), a Zumba student (and in other venues advanced dance instructor), whom I saw some time last year throwing in a few extra flourishes during class. Suddenly it hit me: I could too!
It's never been the same since.
Monday night I had another Zumba class, another hour of strenuous fun. Other things happened that day, I am sure, because time went by, but I have no real memory of it; my memory is of dancing.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Judgment Time

The proceeds from the Nametka judgment came in.
I had stopped by the Credit Union to make a deposit. The balance looked funny; it had too many digits. I puzzled over it for a while until I realized that it must be so big because the judgment had come in.
I laughed out loud - literally. I had not let myself really expect this to happen. Yes, I had thought about what I would do with it, but I suppose emotionally I was not expecting it to happen. I broke into laughter with happiness, and no-one was at the Credit Union to see the crazy man.
When I got home, the first thing to do was to pay off my Discover bill. Supporting three adults has been very expensive, and I had not let myself notice just how deeply I was sinking financially. Now that I, through hard work and a bit of luck, could address this, I was disappointed to find that my good fortune might extend to cleaning up the worst of the situation but would not let me prudently blow any of it on imprudence.
That's ok. I am happy and have a chance to stabilize finances now that the younger folk are able to care for themselves.
I physically took my Discover card out of my wallet. For the rest of the year, I'm running on cash. It's a primitive method, and it may mean I will forsake some opportunities, but I never again want to live on credit. It may work for others but for me that's merely good judgment.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Saturday Circuit

1. The cats wake me
2. I make a little breakfast: coffee and salmon.
3. Barre at the Fauntleroy Y. I love this class, although I'm not fond of planks and I'm not fond of crunches. After class a woman my age complimented me on my dancing. I did not know what to say but it was a very friendly gesture. She asked if I did other classes and I mentioned Zumba. She asked if I came to the Wednesday Zumba here and I said I should try it. Later I learned it's actually Tuesday, but I suppose I should try either one, just to be social. My social awareness is just off.
4. Drive Kris from the Y to the ATM and get paid for her share of the Y membership. We do not discuss taxes. I'm just going to wait for a while and see whether she comes through on the documentation. We can be civil but I must be businesslike.
5. Meet at DAV.  The Trustees are abstinent, the membership is angry. I shake my head.
6. Drop off books at the VA hospital. I chat with another guy also using a wheelchair to carry a bag of books, which he leaves at the green cart.  I sit in the Garden and relax; it's really very effective. Also I'm happy to see my name on a plaque.
7. Stop by The God Shop to drop off boxes of stuff to give away and to buy some stock. I would not have expected to make friends at a Christian Thrift Store, but it happens. They are just part of my community and I suppose I'm part of theirs.
8. Home, I garden a bit. Mostly I'm pulling up the ginger mustard invasives. It's as relaxing as they say, but I end up napping quit a lot. Soon it is dinner time, according to the cats.
9. It may be that "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man Healthy, Wealthy and Wise", but on the evidence, there must be more to the formula than that. At least I'm healthy!



Thursday, June 16, 2016

Editing Friendships

This week I tossed two more friendships for toxicity.
The easier one was with a guy in Michigan who shared my fondness for animals but insisted on repeating any anti-Hillary, anti-Obama links he could find. We would discuss them; most were just recycled things that had been debunked ages ago, and after a while it became clear that what I would debunk on Monday he would re-post on Friday. The problem was not that Hillary and Obama have faults; they do and it's worthwhile to discuss them. The problem is that endlessly repeating debunked garbage is a waste of time. The friends admitted and even boasted that he loved stirring the pot.
I finally realized that our friendship is merely entertaining him. I unfriended him over that last month, and he asked to be back. I did, he didn't change, I unfriended him again.
It's nothing personal, but life is too short to  waste with people who use you only for entertainment.
---
The more serious case is Kris. Of course I should not even try to be her friend after she cheated on me and then divorced me, with not even an apology. Whenever I would point out that it would be a good thing to apologize, she would just cry and say "What good would it do?" If her professed lack of comprehension was sincere, then she was simply raised badly ... which is true ... but more likely it's just a power thing: she hates having to fulfill any obligation, especially when it involves me.

(But I really did like Kris as a friend. We were friends long before we were lovers.)

Kris' unreliability has been an issue from early in our relationship but it came to a head the last time I asked for tax documents. The terms of our divorce agreement include cooperating on filing taxes, which for the year of the divorce (2015) means we share wage and income information, and so forth. Kris has not sent me her 2015 W2s. She sent me a statement of her tribal income, which is well enough, but nothing from her main job. When I brought this up, she said she was slammed at work but would get it done. This scene replayed several times: I say I need the documents, she says she's slammed at work and promise to do it next Monday. Sometimes she'd say that the ADP website is hard to navigate, which is a pretty funny thing to say since she's been having the exact same issue for years. I told her not to bother but just to go order a "Wage And Income Statement" from IRS.gov - it takes two minutes and you're done.

The other day I came across a box with Kris' rafting gear in it. It would be the decent thing to do to offer it to her so I texted her a photo. She asked for more information so I sent another picture. She said she wanted it.

I reminded her that I needed her income documents. She said she was slammed at work and that she would get it done Monday and drop them off at the Y.

I confess I got angry at this. It was the same thing, over and over, and it was now clear that she was just lying to me again. I texted her back a number of things on the subject, and ended with something like "If you're slammed at work, it's no doubt with a married man".

That was a reference to the first time she cheated on me (she says...). It turned out that her boyfriend was married, and she hadn't figured that out for three years. There is some karmic balance to this, since she would lie to me about what she was doing when she said she had to go into work on Saturday, and the guy she'd meet would lie to her about his status and intentions. Everyone wins! No wait, everybody loses, except the guy she's cheating with.

Not to my surprise, Kris didn't show up at the Y with the W2s, which is my fault since I had told her that W2s are not enough; she needs to prove a W+I statement because she can not be trusted.

I was unkind but on the other hand I was putting a stop to a pattern of abuse. I feel badly about the first and good about the second. I do regret not working harder on the burn; it would have been better to write  "This time when you're slammed at work, is it with a customer or a co-worker?"

But the main point is this: I have edited out of my life a toxic influence. It's a big gap but necessary. I don't know how I will fill it or if I need to, but it's an improvement to have nothing instead of a friend who takes advantage of me, refused to apologizes, and lies badly about it.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Look At The Garden

I really enjoyed the opening of the Healing Garden at VA Puget Sound Healthcare, but it was too crowded to really get a sense of the place.
Today I went back to make my weekly book drop, and felt very peaceful in that space,




















Thursday, June 02, 2016

Good Will

I am healthy and likely to live a long, long time, but I need to make provision for what happens next. So, I grabbed a simple will, added a few clauses, and signed it in the presences of a neighbor couple who very agreeably signed as witnesses. Now if I pass on, the people I care for ... and who care for me ... will be taken care of to the extent of my ability.
It's not vast wealth, but I feel good having made a Will, storing the original with my important papers and sending a copy to someone who will take care of it. I recommend this to everyone, if only for the peace of mind!

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