Does my bladder know it's middle-aged? Apparently so. Scarcely three months into my restful old age, I started running into the loo 6-7 times a day. I started losing weight even though I avoid exercising like the plague. (Although I must say I do eat a lot less rice in retirement.) "AHA!" exclaimed one of my smartass Googly friends. "You sound diabetic! Woohoo!" And after googling & Binging all over, I have to agree -- I do seem to have all the symptoms of a diabetic. I am seeing my doctor in 2 weeks for confirmation (KAISER doctors have more patients than the Vatican has saints.) So, I have decided to stop using the word *glorious* in reference to retirement. Now, I'm just pissed.
Sorry about neglecting this blog for a bit, but things happen. Medical appointments, weeds in the garden (some taller than the rose bushes) and everyday, new ones grow, especially after a spring rain. I have been talking retirement with my twin sister too -- originally, she wanted to work for 5 more years (she has a great pension coming), but I guess the diagnosis of congestive heart failure alters one's mind set. Personally, I would love for her to retire -- we would then be two old fogies in our tatty waffle bathrobes, arguing about who will pull the weeds. :)
I used to think that retirement (well, until I got that kink in my hip) would be an unalloyed joy. I would sleep until 9AM, watch all the SEX & THE CITY episodes I ever missed, and eat wildly unhealthy food from PANDA EXPRESS.
But when I get emails from the people I used to work with in my old workplace, I'm just sad. Almost every message mentions a layoff, someone being fired for the most trivial reasons, or someone departing because they couldn't stand their boss. As it is, there now seems to be more "management" than there is staff to manage. We even have "directors" who get paid in the $90,000-$100,000+ range who supervise only one person.
It wasn't always this way. Many many moons ago (in the 80s, when I was first hired), we only had One Director and one other guy who was in charge of Administration. (I'm not sure what his official title was, but he was not called a Director), and I used to be able to send him funny emails when I asked for supplies. We also had a feisty Human Resources lady and two secretaries.
Now, we have an Executive Director; an Interim Senior Director; a Senior Director/Chief Technology Officer, and a Senior Director of Administrative Services. We also have a Communications Director (apparently, maintaining the dullish website, and tweeting about exciting library events like brown bag lunches is worth $80 grand a year.)
Meanwhile, we also have a Finance Manager (that's the accountant, folks) and the Human Resources Executive Assistant (receptionist) who sits at a very nice desk, records the minutes of every Board Meeting, and orders the birthday cupcakes for the Quarterly Staff Meeting. And of course, the ones who lose their jobs are the lowly support staff, the part-timers, and the *uneducated* creatures without an impressive degree. (Librarians are almost never fired -- most of them leave to escape the toxic surroundings.)
I wish I didn't have to write this post, because the library is already behind me. But my friends' uncertain job situation pisses me off, and everyday, I wish I could help them.
With the coming of Glorious Spring is my sister having breathing issues and now heart trouble. Fortunately, she didn't wait too long and the doctor was able to diagnose high blood pressure, irregular heart beat and weakened heart (congestive heart failure). So she stayed in KAISER Hospital overnight and they drained four pounds of fluid out of her lungs and ankles and feet. I know the term *heart failure* is quite alarming, but apparently, that's what doctors want to call it. (What about Naughty Heart Syndrome, eh, doc?) Hopefully, she will come home tonight after two more cardiac tests. The doctor seemed quite lovely.
According to a fabulous new book, LIFE AT HOME IN THE 21st CENTURY (2012, J. Arnold et al.), refrigerator doors are the final resting place for much of our modern detritus: advertising magnets, photos, kids' art, invitations, take-out menus, charts and real estate calendars. While our 20 year old fridge has its share of these artifacts (I counted 47 items, oh dear!), I did notice something else: almost all the photos feature our late lamented dogs (particularly, Killer, our sweet-tempered Lhasa Apso), who were usually posing with a family member. Meanwhile, our 35 year old box turtle wanders about the weedy garden, having the time of his life. I expect he will outlive us all.
What does one do while waiting for the Election of the New Pope? Why, go shopping on AMAZON of course! This is what I purchased in the last two weeks. (No, I don't have a car and yes, the UPS man hates me.)
3 bottles of LYSOL Toilet Bowl Cleaner (Buy 2, Get 1 Free!) Only $7.41!I have seen a bottle of this stuff for $4+ at the supermarket, so I think this was a good deal. Free AMAZON PRIME shipping too!
RESCUE Disposable Fly Trap, 2 traps. $5.86 each. This is no bargain but I can't be bothered going to HOME DEPOT either. After about a month, particularly in the summer, you will have collected so many flies in this trap that the bag resembles a smelly bubbling stomach of writhing raisins. Delish!
LIFE AT HOME IN THE 21ST CENTURY. By Jeane E. Arnold, et al. $16.47. An interesting look at the way families live in the here & now. Many many pictures of clutter. Still, you haven't REALLY seen clutter unless you visit a flat in Tokyo.
CASABELLA LOOP 3 PIECE BRUSH SET. $9.62.3 brushes of varying lengths with extra rigid nylon bristles. I could probably have gotten these cheaper elsewhere, but I like the different shapes & colors.
THE 106 COMMON MISTAKES HOMEBUYERS MAKE (AND HOW TO AVOID THEM). By Gary W. Eldred. 2005. $11.35. A little outdated, but still useful. I purchased this for my brother who is looking for his first home. Since his budget is exceedingly limited, I hope he doesn't wind up with some haunted fixer-upper.
HIGH CRIMES: THE FATE OF EVEREST IN AN AGE OF GREED. By Michael Kodas. 2009. $6.40 paperback. I wish I hadn't bought this deeply depressing book. So far, in the first few chapters, Everest seems to be populated by evil thieving Sherpas. I hope the writing gets more even-handed by the conclusion.
LITTLE CITY DOGS Monthly Flea Control Pills, 12 Lufenuron Capsules $25.I was quite upset when I found that PROGRAM no longer produced the meds I used for my demon-possessed Maltese, so I am glad these suddenly showed up in my search.