August 4, 2004


Loss And Gain
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.

I am aware
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
Has fallen short or been turned aside.

But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

Although I have nothing upon which to base such a brutal assessment, I have to say I find it likely that Longfellow got laid very rarely with that kind of defeatist attitude.  I understand that he is having some kind of midlife review crisis here, but whining over the times that he relaxed rather than keeping his driven nose against the grindstone is a bit maudlin.  I appreciate his sentiment that one's lowest moment is when everything turns around and I agree with that, but his overall tone of depression and regret seems to leave little appreciation for the "gain" part and an unhealthy focus on the "loss" bit.

I have an unhealthy focus on the pain in my thighs!  Eric and I were exploring an unused part of our property where Eric wants to build an Earth Labyrinth:  (in case you aren't familiar with Earth Labyrinths).  The area he's considering is flat, large and wonderful, in a fairly isolated location.  We would have to put up a privacy fence to avoid the blatant view of our neighbor's house, which would violate an ordinance that requires a 15 foot easement on either side of a common property line.  Not only is Eric friends with the neighbor, who likely would not care at all, but his HOUSE is encroaching on the 15 foot easement, so he can't really complain.  As we were walking through the mountain misery and plotting and planning (I have a major, inexplicable resistance to cutting down any of the living trees on the property, which is a bit of a hindrance), I felt a sudden pain in my right thigh, looked down and discovered that my shorts were covered with bees.  I quickly informed Eric of this fact (you can imagine how that went) and we left more quickly than we arrived.  He got one sting on his arm and I got three good ones on my thighs.  Neither of us are allergic to stings, but ow!  I'd forgotten how much they hurt.  The little bastards held on tight and we managed to use a stick to knock them off of each other. I would have stripped off my shorts in the yard if I could have figured out how to do so without being further stung (I mean, these guys were EVERYWHERE and evidently under the impression the area WAS in use.  I guess we stepped on a nest or something).  Finally, got the shorts off and some meat tenderizer paste on the stings.  Right away, the muscle throbbing started, along with the sting.  I hobbled to the internet to see if there were any new, innovative treatments for bee stings.  Nope.  Meat tenderizer was still best, but I did learn that if you don't get the stinger out, it can continue to pump in the venom for a whopping 20 minutes.  Stingers were all out.  Ow.

I spent the night trying to get comfortable because I had stings on the back and the front. I was nauseated and feverish from the venom and felt yucky.  I finally fell into a decent sleep around 5:00am and slept until 7:30.  Today, I feel weak and crappy and although the sting pain is gone, the muscles are sore and I'm tired as hell.  I needed to do the laundry room today and clean the closet under the stairs, but I don't think that's going to happen.  My tooth is giving me crap again (The SAME one, can you believe it?  I kept bugging my dentist, bugging my HMO and still, I've been in for an "emergency" referral since December.  Now, I'm no longer eligible for care under that plan and have to wait until our new policy takes effect in a month or so.  Normally, if I rinse well with hydrogen peroxide - why is it essential that hydrogen peroxide have the same aftertaste as semen? - and take some Excedrin and Tylenol, it's fine again, but today, it's not interested in being assuaged.)  Kids and dog are omnipresent and all I want to do is hide and rest and heal.

Life is still good, but today is a pain, literally.

Eric is paying me back for my trip to the fan club weekend back in July.  His brother, sister-in-law, sister and grandmother are all going to be in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks and he's going to meet them there.  He hasn't seen his brother in about 8 years (it's his twin brother) and it's been about 2 years since he saw his sister and Gram.  The difference is that he would have zero interest in going to LA and hanging around soap stars and soap fans and I have EVERY interest in going to Las Vegas!!!  The kids start school in the middle of his trip, so it isn't feasible at all, not to mention the expense of more than one person going.  Insert a brief, fatigue and pain induced *pout* here.

Tonight, he and I have a date to watch one of my favorite episodes of Deep Space Nine and with any luck, eat ice cream while we do it.  It's the one where they go back in time and Worf delivers the famous line of "It's not something we discuss with outsiders" in regard to Bashir's question about why the Klingons of their time look different than the Klingons of the past.  I'm easily amused, what can I say?

OK, here's a good joke:

There was this farmer, and his hens had stopped
producing eggs. Well, he talked to a buddy of his who
offered to sell him a rooster that would help up his
production. His price was $150.00, but came with a
money-back guarantee. Now this farmer had already
spent $200.00 on two previous roosters that didn't
work out on account of they couldn't satisfy his hens.
Anyhow, he gambled and bought this third rooster,
who's name (you guessed it) is Brewster.
Well, he got Brewster home an' threw him in the
henhouse. There was all this cacklin' & squawkin', and
the farmer thought, poor Brewster, he ain't a gonna
make it. He comes back to the henhouse 1/2 an hour
later and everything is quiet. He takes a peek in
there, and all the hens are satisfied and fast asleep.
Suddenly, he heard a terrible racket out in the barn,
so he ran to it and ripped the doors open. To his
surprise, there was Brewster with all the cows lined
up, and he was trying his best to mate with them!
"God bless it!" the farmer said, " Brewster, you're
going to kill yourself!" Brewster didn't pay him no
mind, and kept right on at it.
Well, the farmer had some more work to do, so he left
him there, and came back a couple of hours later. He
opened up the barn doors, and darned if the cows
weren't all fast asleep! So he went to check on the
horses, and they were tired out and fast asleep too!!!
Then he heard a ruckus from out behind the barn, and
rushed to see what was the matter.
Sure enough, it was Brewster, and he had all the pigs
lined up, and he was still going strong!
He cried "BREWSTER! You're Going To Kill Yourself!!!"
And with that he tried to pull him off, but there
weren't no budging him.
Well, it was about the time for Farmer John to turn
in, so he did.
The next morning, he came out into the backyard,
tripping over his satisfied and sleeping dog. After
checking on all the animals and finding them in the
same condition, he started looking for Brewster. But
Brewster was nowhere to be found. Finally heading out
to the fields, he found him, as a result of the
vultures circling over Brewster.
Brewster was lying on his back, ...both legs in the
air, ...tongue dried & hanging out, eye open &
glassy, wing over his chest, and the other
splayed out on the ground.
Farmer John took a ragged breath and said “Brewster, I
told you once, I told you a million times, You were
going to kill yourself, and now look at you!!!!"
Brewster slowly opened up his other eye, brought the
wing on his chest up to his beak as he tried to speak.
Farmer John leaned closer so he could hear Brewster’s
last words....
Brewster opened up his beak, pointed up to the
vultures, and said:
"Shhhh. Go'way. They're about to land."

I believe I mentioned I am easily amused, but that was just in case you had any doubt.  If you're still debating the issue, I offer you Cat Haiku:

You never feed me.
Perhaps I'll sleep on your face.
That will show you.
You must scratch me there!
Yes, above my tail!
Behold, Elevator butt.

I need a new toy.
Tail of black dog keeps good time.
Pounce! good dog! good dog!

The rule for today:
Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.

In deep sleep hear sound
Cat throwup hairball somewhere
Will find in morning

Grace personified,
I leap into the window.
I meant to do that.

Blur of motion, then-
Silence, me, a paper bag.
What is so funny?

The mighty hunter
Returns with gifts of plump birds-
Your foot just squashed one

You're always typing.
Well, let's see you ignore my
Sitting on your hands.

My small cardboard box.
You cannot see me if
I Can hide my head.

Terrible battle.
I fought for hours. Come and see!
What's a 'term paper'?

Kitty likes plastic
Confuses for litter box
Shouldn't leave around

Small brave carnivores
Kill pine cones and mosquitoes
Fear vacuum cleaner

Want to trim my claws?
Don't even think about it!
My cries will wake dead.

I want to be close
To you. Can I fit my head
Inside your armpit?

Wanna go outside.
Oh, no! Help! I got outside!
Let me back inside!

Oh no! Big One
Has been trapped by newspaper!
Cat to the rescue!

Humans are so strange.
Mine lies still in bed, then screams!
My claws aren't that sharp ...

Cats meow out of angst
"Thumbs! If only we had thumbs!
We could break so much!"

Litter box not here
You must have moved it again
I'll crap in the sink.

The Big Ones snore now
Every room is dark and cold
Time for "Cup Hockey"

We're almost equals
I purr to show I love you
Want to smell my butt?

And with that, I am going to either go take a nap or possibly shoot myself.  Not sure which.  When the Cat Haiku doesn't make me feel better, there's trouble.

I'll be back tomorrow, perky and bright eyed.  Right now, I'm crawling into my burrow and digging the door closed.

Peace, My Friends,

PS:  Stupid Bees.  >:<