On Sunday I will be taking part in the NAMI Vermont MindWalk — a fundraiser to raise funds (the best kind!) for advocacy and support of the mentally ill and their families and friends here in Vermont. (NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness.)
As someone who is mentally ill, I greatly appreciate the work that NAMI Vermont does to work toward creating a stigma-free society where mental illness is treated the same as any other illness, not as something to be ashamed of.
I would be grateful for any support and donations!
You can donate here. Thank you in advance for your support!
Some days when I’m traveling, my appetite gets extremely erratic. I’m not sure why…my current theory is that my digestion slows to almost nothing when I have to sit for like twelve hours without moving, and it may take several days to get moving again.
Anyway, we’re in Copenhagen, and I’m having one of those days. We got up and ate at the restaurant buffet (and I ate too much, as I always do at buffets). Then we went to Tivoli Gardens, and walked around looking for something to do. Unfortunately, there were two things to do: ride carnival rides, or eat at the restaurants. And I couldn’t work up an appetite for anything.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at a 7-Eleven to get some drinks. They had something under the counter called “Raw Balls” that caught our eye, so we bought 3 of those, and I ate one and a bite of another.
So that’s my total food consumption today: breakfast, and one-and-a-fraction Raw Balls.
Hey, everyone! “Steps To End Domestic Violence” (our local Vermont non-profit supporting victims of domestic violence, as the name probably indicates) is holding its annual fundraising walk, “Take Steps In Their Shoes“, on October 6. I’m registered to participate and I’d greatly appreciate your sponsorship. All funds raised go toward the fight against domestic violence and in support of victims.
Today is the one year anniversary of my mother’s death.
My mother died on the day of the summer solstice, a month and a half after her 75th birthday. I wouldn’t remember the date so well if it weren’t for those memory joggers.
Her death did not come as a shock. She’d had a stroke the previous October (that was the shock), and had been in various levels of inpatient care ever since. From ICU to transitional care to rehab facility, with a few trips to the emergency room and back to the ICU when she had severe infections. During that time, she was definitely aware of things, and could speak words clearly, but couldn’t really converse with us. She never became herself again.
Any readers who are Jewish will know that I’m using the term “Yahrzeit” incorrectly. The only thing I knew about Yahrzeit before today, was that Jews have an observance on the first anniversary of a loved one’s death. I read up on it (at this link), and learned that it is normally calculated as the anniversary of the Hebrew date, not the Gregorian date. But that’s not important to me right now.
What does matter to me about Yahrzeit is, I like the idea. I like the idea of observing the anniversary of my mother’s death, because, well, there’s a lot of adjustment to be made when someone dies, and it takes at least a year for it to sink in.
I miss talking to my mom. I missed her during the eight months she was in the hospital, but it wasn’t permanent yet. We had hope that she might get better. After she died, I had to adjust to the fact that I would never talk to her again. I don’t have any regrets about things I said or didn’t say; I think Mom and I had pretty well settled our issues a while ago. I’m glad of that, and I’m glad that I called often and kept talking to her.
Many of you know that a documentary on Me2/Orchestra and mental illness has been in the works for a couple of years. The film will be called “Orchestrating Change” and I was one of several members of the orchestra who were interviewed for it.
The filmmakers are getting very close to having it finished, but need funds to complete post-production.
A couple of months ago, I bragged about my amazing skill and unparalleled mightiness at the greatest of all tailgating sports, Cornhole. Yesterday, the Match of the Titans took place at the park opposite the Burlington (Vermont) airport, where the Lund Family Center pitted 64 teams against one another to crown the Ultimate Cornhole Gods (2018 edition).
Jay had signed us up as a two-person team (“Otter and Lemur”, naturally) more or less for the heck of it; neither of us had actually played Cornhole before. The Lund Family Center is a vital part of our community’s social network, so the money raised and donated goes to a good cause, but I don’t think that really had much to do with Jay’s decision to enter us. Random whimsy plays a large part in his decision-making.
Upon signing us up for the tournament, Jay did order a Cornhole set (boards and beanbags) and told me we’d train like madmen so I’d be ready for the tournament. Unfortunately, with the late arrival of spring weather, we didn’t break out the set until last week. I think we practiced about 4 evenings, from after we ate dinner until the mosquitoes started to eat theirs (us, that is). Well, it was better than nothing.
We wound up in a round robin against three teams:
The Corn Dogs, a team of young girls, I’d say about 12 to 16 years old, whom we managed to beat on points (meaning we didn’t make it to 21, the official game score; the ending score was 9-3 in our favor).
The Kernal Sanders, a team of five guys who didn’t have a ton of experience either but still managed to whomp us fairly readily.
The Unicorns, a mixed team of five employees of the event’s main sponsor, North Country Federal Credit Union. They beat us soundly. We threw in the towel when it was 20-9 and the organizers were making ever more strident remarks about how the third round games needed to get finished, like, now. Nevertheless, I DID get one ringer shot in that game (see video above).
The elimination rounds were to take place after the round robin, based on the results thus far. We didn’t stay around for them, having worn ourselves out over three rounds of HEAVY aerobic activity; also, we didn’t want to exhaust our wildly cheering fans.
But we had fun. And I got a great sunburn on one arm and one side of my neck. 🙂
YEA VERILY THERE WILL BE WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH. AMONG MY FOES, THAT IS
THE LUND CENTER DOES VERY GOOD WORK TO SUPPORT FAMILIES, PREGNANT AND PARENTING TEENS, YOUNG ADULTS, AND ADOPTIVE FAMILIES. NO NEED FOR GNASHING THERE! HA HA HA
PLEASE SPONSOR ME AND IN SO DOING HELP FUND THE VITAL PROGRAMS THAT SUPPORT WOMEN AND CHILDREN ACROSS VERMONT.
I SHALL BESTRIDE MY OPPONENTS LIKE A COLOSSUS OF YORE. COME WATCH ME AT BURLINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ON MAY 12 STARTING AT 11 AM. BRING SUNGLASSES TO PROTECT YOUR EYES FROM THE MAGNIFICENCE OF MY CORNHOLE BAG PITCHING GLORY
Rest in peace, Starlight “Torbie” Furr, 2002-2017.
Starlight was a wonderful kitty, from the very first day she hopped into my lap in the visitation room at the Chittenden County Humane Society in October of 2002, right up until the end. She was suffering from bladder cancer, in pain, obviously suffering, and nothing we did (even two sessions of chemotherapy) helped. We realized that there was nothing else we could do other than say our final goodbyes. Our veterinarian was good enough to make a house call so that our baby passed on in the house she’d lived in for 15 years, with me by her side telling her that I loved her.
I will never forget her. No other cat I’ve ever had has been as sweet and affectionate. I called her my “teddy cat” because I could grab her and cuddle her in bed, and she loved it and purred like crazy. I’d hold her on my chest and she’d purr even harder. On cold nights, she’d come to my bed, where I was sleeping on my back, and curl up on my “lap” to keep warm. She loved all kinds of touch, and she somehow knew how important eye contact was to us primates. She also loved all kinds of people, and she’d colonize the laps of our visitors, even (maybe especially) those who didn’t know what to do with a cat on their lap.