Friday, May 27, 2022

TGIF

Yesterday was one of my bad headache days. I woke with a headache, and none of my medicine helped. I wanted to call in sick and stay home in the dark, but that wasn’t possible. First, I had way too much work to do at the museum. There were deadlines to make, and I’ll have to finish them up today and get things submitted. 

Then, I had to leave early for my post-endoscopy appointment with the ENT doctor, which turned out to basically be a waste of time. She basically told me there wasn’t much that could be done. They could preform a surgery to remove my uvula and my tonsils (a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or UPPP), which would open up my throat more. I seem to have an abnormally small throat. (No wonder I can’t deep throat. LOL) She told me that if they did the surgery, which would be an incredibly painful procedure, that it might change the anatomy of my throat enough to make me a better candidate for the Inspire implant, but she needed to confer with her colleagues to see what the probability of success might be. The Inspire surgery is supposed to be a fairly simple procedure, but a UPPP is a much more invasive and involved procedure with a longer recovery time. I’m not sure it would be worth it. My better option is probably to continue to lose weight and hope the sleep apnea improves enough to stop needing the CPAP. 

It’s been a week. I’m glad it’s Friday and that I have a three day weekend. I need some rest and relaxation. Too much had been happening the last two weeks, and I’m tired. I want to go to the grocery store after work today and get some things for a nice BBQ meal on Monday. Cooking almost always relaxes me.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Pic of the Day

Moody

Do you ever just wake upon the “wrong side of the bed”? I feel like I did Tuesday morning and I haven’t been able to wake up on the right side since. I woke up Tuesday in an inexplicably bad mood, and I can’t seem to shake it. I hope I wake up in a better mood today. It’s frustrating not being able to find a happy place. I tried cooking, which usually helps, but it didn’t really. I even put together a menu for Memorial Day, finding recipes I’d like to try. That often helps too, but again, it did not. I don’t exactly feel depressed; I just feel pissed off. 

I have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon for a follow-up of the laryngoscopy I had several weeks ago. Maybe that’s why I’m in a bad mood because I don’t expect any good news to come out of this appointment. I already know I was not a good candidate for the Inspire device for my sleep apnea. There aren’t many other solutions left. I’ll just have to see what my doctor says. 🤞

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Pic of the Day

Why?

 

I think President Biden said what all sane people are thinking. When is it going to end? When is enough, enough?​ In God’s name, when will Republicans wake up and realize that sensible gun laws are not going to take away their right to own a gun? 


Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in response to a question from NBC News, immediately dismissed the prospect of new efforts to pursue gun control measures. “That doesn’t work. It’s not effective. It doesn’t prevent crime,” said Cruz, who instead said it would be better to go “after felons and fugitives and those with serious mental illness, arresting them, prosecuting them when they try to illegally buy firearms.” If sensible gun control measures don’t work, why is the United States the only country in the world to have so many mass shootings? The answer is simple. It’s because other countries have sensible gun laws. They have the same criminals and mentally ill, but most also have better prisons and healthcare. 

Cruz's remarks sparked a sharp rebuke from Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who was elected to the Senate just weeks before the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in his state. “Spare me the bullshit about mental illness. We don’t have any more mental illness than any other country in the world," Murphy told reporters. He also urged Congress to act.

   

 Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., also lashed out at Cruz. “F--- you @tedcruz," Gallego tweeted, "you care about a fetus but you will let our children get slaughtered. Just get your ass to Cancun. You are useless." Gallego appeared to be referring to Cruz's opposition to abortion rights and his trip to Mexico last year as Texas faced a crippling winter storm. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the shooting a cold-blooded massacre. “For too long, some in Congress have offered hollow words after these shootings while opposing all efforts to save lives,” she said in a statement. “It is time for all in Congress to heed the will of the American people and join in enacting the House-passed bipartisan, commonsense, life-saving legislation into law.”

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Pic of the Day

Sonnet XVII

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII (I don’t love you as if you were a rose)
By Pablo Neruda - 1904-1973

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.


Cien Sonetos de Amor: XVII (No te amo como si fueras rosa)

No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber como, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
Te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,
sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.  



Born Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto in the town of Parral in southern Chile on July 12, 1904, Pablo Neruda led a life charged with poetic and political activity. In 1923, he sold all of his possessions to finance the publication of his first book, Crepusculario (“Twilight”). He published the volume under the pseudonym “Pablo Neruda” to avoid conflict with his family, who disapproved of his occupation. The following year, he found a publisher for Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada (“Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair”). The book made a celebrity of Neruda, who gave up his studies at the age of twenty to devote himself to his craft.

In 1927, Neruda began his long career as a diplomat in the Latin American tradition of honoring poets with diplomatic assignments. After serving as honorary consul in Burma, Neruda was named Chilean consul in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1933. While there, he began a friendship with the visiting Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. After transferring to Madrid later that year, Neruda also met Spanish writer Manuel Altolaguirre. Together, the two men founded a literary review called Caballo verde para la poesîa in 1935. The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 interrupted Neruda’s poetic and political development. He chronicled the horrendous years which included the execution of García Lorca in Espana en el corazon (1937), published from the war front. Neruda’s outspoken sympathy for the loyalist cause during the Spanish Civil War led to his recall from Madrid in 1937. He then moved to Paris and helped settle Spanish republican refugees in Chile.

Neruda returned to Chile in 1938 where he renewed his political activity and wrote prolifically. Named Chilean Consul to Mexico in 1939, Neruda left Chile again for four years. Upon returning to Chile in 1943, he was elected to the Senate and joined the Communist Party. When the Chilean government moved to the right, they declared communism illegal and expelled Neruda from the Senate. He went into hiding. During those years he wrote and published Canto general (1950).

In 1952 the government withdrew the order to arrest leftist writers and political figures, and Neruda returned to Chile and married Matilde Urrutia, his third wife (his first two marriages, to Maria Antonieta Haagenar Vogelzang and Delia del Carril, both ended in divorce). For the next twenty-one years, he continued a career that integrated private and public concerns and became known as the people’s poet. 

In 1960, Neruda wrote 100 Love Sonnets. Sonnet XVII is the most famous of these sonnets. Neruda wrote these sonnets to his third wife, Matilde Urrutia, with whom he had an affair during his second marriage. The nature of their love, which was hidden for so long, seeps through in Sonnet XVII’s lines about darkness, secrets, shadows. The collection itself begins with a beautiful dedication to Matilde, which reads, in part: “I built up these lumber piles of love, and with fourteen boards each I built little houses, so that your eyes, which I adore and sing to, might live in them.”

There are so many poems in this collection that feel vitally important and true; poems that express hunger, desire, desperation, or a profound sense of loneliness even in the deepest and most intense feelings of love. (From Sonnet XI:  “I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair / Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.”) But Sonnet XVII expresses a feeling at once unbearably sweet and possibly codependent. So many of us have this tendency—to try and squish ourselves so close to another person that we can no longer remember where the seams are:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.
During this time, Neruda received numerous prestigious awards, including the International Peace Prize in 1950, the Lenin Peace Prize and the Stalin Peace Prize in 1953, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. He was diagnosed with cancer while serving a two-year term as ambassador to France. Neruda resigned his position, ending his diplomatic career. On September 23, 1973, just twelve days after the defeat of Chile’s democratic regime, the man widely regarded as the greatest Latin American poet since Darío died in Santiago, Chile.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Pic of the Day

Back Home

I got back home last night from my conference in Boston. While I enjoyed my time in Boston, I was very glad to be home. I was mostly just glad to get back to Isabella. Since December 2019, I have not been away from her except for the one night when I had to go to Dartmouth for a sleep study. The rest of the time, it’s just been the two of us. I always worry about Isabella when I’m gone overnight, so it’s a relief when I get back home and she’s fine. She was very happy to see me, but she also let me know her displeasure at me being away. She is not usually a vocal cat, but anytime I’m away and come back, she wants to be right next to me, and she gets very vocal with her meows. I wish I could always take her with me, but it’s just not practical. She’ll soon settle back down into her routine and so will I. I’m just glad to be home, and it seems like Isabella feels the same way.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Pic of the Day

Fighting for Love

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
—1 John 4:8

When I was a kid, I would go to church with my family every Sunday. I loved singing hymns, but once it got to the sermon I was, quite frankly, bored. We rarely had dynamic preachers, and they never kept my attention . When church was over, I couldn’t have told you what it was about. I was just a kid, though I know now that I absorbed a lot of the information. I tried to perfect looking interested , but not much held my attention back then. It wasn't that I didn't care about God or the Bible and honestly it wasn't even that the preachers were bad at speaking, they just didn't open up the stories in a way that made any sense to me. They didn’t make it practical. Everything felt distant and cold, when it wasn’t the usual fire and brimstone warnings about Hell. 

That changed in my early teens, but not because I suddenly became interested in the message, but because of a new young preacher we got from Faulkner University, the nearby Church of Christ college. He was there because we were between preachers. He was a very handsome young man in his senior year of college. (I looked him up while I was writing this, and he’s still a nice looking man, though he must be in his early 50s by now. All of the women and me had a crush on him, though of course, I never let on, nor did I probably the at it was a crush.I just new I was mesmerized. Not only was he good looking, he was also a good preacher, but sadly, he did not stay long and we eventually got another preacher.

Eventually, we got a new preacher who was more of a teacher than a preacher. He would teach us about being a better person by emulating Christ. I began to pay closer attention to the meaning of the sermons, and it laid the basis for my current faith. As I came to terms with my sexuality, I turned to the Bible to better understand myself. As I read the Bible and commentaries by more progressive Christian’s, I came to realize that being gay was not the sin I was taught it was. The real sinners were those judging others and playing God by claiming that their piety made them better than others. For many of those pious individuals, there are two major problems with them claiming to be Christians. First, their “faith” is fueled not by the love Christ preached about, but the hatred of those they deem immoral because they base their belief in a Christianity that is not backed by the Bible. Second, they come to their way of thinking by claiming they are following the Bible, when in fact if they do quote scripture, they take it out of context no they ignore passages that condemn their hateful and judgmental and hateful behavior .

If you really want to follow Jesus, then there are some questions you need to ask yourself. How do we love one another well, even when we disagree? What does it mean to follow your calling? How can God be called good when there is so much suffering in the world? (This is one I have particularly struggled with for many years.) What does it look like to fight back against oppression? How is God all powerful and yet people still die? These are the ultimate questions. hen I started to read the Bible in this way, I began to more fully understand Christ teachings of faith, hope, love, and charity. I’m a researcher by training, and I have spent years trying to understand my faith.

I saw that in Luke 4, Jesus set out a radical vision for his ministry of healing sick folks, cancelling debts, and setting prisoners free. That's a political mission as much as it as a theological one. One sabbath day the synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus read from the book of Isaiah. Isaiah 
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
—Luke 4:18-19
Romans 13:10 says, “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” If our actions, even in the name of God, cause harm then we're doing something wrong.

We must endeavor, not just to do no harm, but to stop harm from happening, not cause it as so many modern day Christians do. 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Pic of the Day

In Boston

After several delays, a stop at a Cracker Barrel for a late lunch, and heavy traffic in Boston, we checked into our hotel. Apparently, they gave me a free upgrade to a suite. I’ve seen apartments smaller than this room. I have a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. When I say kitchen, I mean a full kitchen—full-sized refrigerator, stovetop, microwave, and dishwasher. They only thing it’s missing is a regular stove. It’s kind of in a loud area. I could hear music playing from a nearby party or something well after 10 pm. There is a piano bar downstairs, but this was not piano music. Anyway, the last time I stayed in Boston in the Seaport District, it was a noisy area. I didn’t mind, because by the time it was 10 pm, I was ready to crash for the night.

I also got to meet BosGuy while I was here. He was so kind to see me out for drinks while I was here. We went to a gay bar called Club Cafe. I had one of their “Sweet + Fruity” drinks called a Dirty Girl (Grey Goose Vodka, X-Rated Liqueur, and cranberry juice. It was a bit strong but also very good. I was going to check out one of the restaurants in the area or hang around the bar some after BosGuy left, but I realized I was tired from the day of driving and not really very hungry. I decided to just take an Uber back to my hotel, where I wrote this post and went to bed.

I’m looking forward to seeing more of Boston over the next few days and, hopefully, enjoying the conference.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Pic of the Day

Boston Conference

I will be at a major museum conference in Boston through Sunday. Interestingly, I was looking through “Daily Memories” on my Amazon Photo app, when I realized that the first work trip I took to Boston was five years ago yesterday. I have been to Boston three other times for work. All four of my previous Boston work trips have been quick and busy trips. During that first one, we went to the MFA to talk to the curators there and were only there a few hours. The second time was to conduct oral histories and I was there for a couple of days, but I was very busy each day. The third was for a university function where the museum had a display, and the last one was last Thursday when we drove down and back in one day. I’m looking forward to a bit of a more leisurely trip. 

I’ll be going to receptions and discussion panels, and my coworker and I plan to have a pretty packed few days. Going to the conference is really just a way to get a vacation paid for by the museum and university. I just have to listen to some people give presentations about museums that will probably be very boring, um…I mean, interesting. Yeah, interesting, that’s the appropriate word. 😂 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Pic of the Day

Sorry

I am being so lame this week. I had another headache last night because there was a rainstorm that came through yesterday, and rain always aggravates my trigeminal neuralgia. So, once again, I remember that I was thinking about writing a post, then I got distracted and went to bed before I actually wrote one. Susan notified me that I had not posted this morning. I had woken up feeling much better had not even thought about not having a post scheduled. 

For the rest of the week, my posts might be a bit short. I am going to a conference in Boston tomorrow and will be gone through Sunday. Thankfully, because I am technically "working" Saturday and Sunday attending the conference, I will be off Monday and Tuesday of next week. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Pic of the Day

The Rhodora

The Rhodora
By Ralph Waldo Emerson - 1803-1882

In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,

I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,

Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,

To please the desert and the sluggish brook.

The purple petals fallen in the pool

Made the black water with their beauty gay;

Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,

And court the flower that cheapens his array.

Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why

This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,

Tell them, dear, that, if eyes were made for seeing,

Then beauty is its own excuse for Being;

Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!

I never thought to ask; I never knew;

But in my simple ignorance suppose

The self-same power that brought me there, brought you.



About the Poem
The official name of the poem is "The Rhodora, On Being Asked, Whence Is the Flower", and was written by Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1834. Emerson uniquely describes a wonderful and insightful spiritual connection with nature in a primitive, deified manner. The focus of the poem is to showcase to Emerson's audience that a person has the embedded ability to share and experience a kindred relationship with God through the beauty of Nature.

The Rhodora is presented as a flower as beautiful as the rose, but the Rhodora can be described as a scrawny deciduous shrub. In the poem, it is described as remaining humble and not seeking broader fame. The narrator of the poem is outside during springtime in New England and has found a beautiful Rhodora, "Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook," and is reflecting on the ability to bring beauty to such a dismal location and setting.

“The Rhodora” described the love of his life, probably his life. Emerson disliked the ordinary and the status quo. Therefore, roses are nit his cup of tea. Everyone loves roses, so he wanted a more unique ay to describe his love. When it came to describing his wife, the Rhodora plant encompassed all that he felt of her, including the lavender petals. Emerson describes his wife as stunningly beautiful through his eyes, and similar to items of immense value, she is hard to find. He gives her a grand compliment as a writer that she has a calming influence on his life and points out that she is only known by a certain few, those who seek out her uniqueness, her beauty, and her calming influence. She must have been a remarkable woman.

About the Poet
An American essayist, poet, and popular philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) began his career as a Unitarian minister in Boston, but achieved worldwide fame as a lecturer and the author of such essays as “Self-Reliance,” “History,” “The Over-Soul,” and “Fate.” Drawing on English and German Romanticism, Neoplatonism, Kantianism, and Hinduism, Emerson developed a metaphysics of process, an epistemology of moods, and an “existentialist” ethics of self-improvement. He influenced generations of Americans, from his friend Henry David Thoreau to John Dewey, and in Europe, Friedrich Nietzsche, who takes up such Emersonian themes as power, fate, the uses of poetry and history, and the critique of Christianity.


"There are many unspeakable words, forgotten, or forbidden. Great thanks to the poets who make them all become reachable."
—Toba Beta

Monday, May 16, 2022

Pic of the Day

Monday Morning

When I went to bed last night, I had thought I’d scheduled a post for this morning, but my friend Susan emailed me to say that there was no post. That’s when I realized, I thought about writing a post, but I never did. I got distracted shortly thereafter and completely forgot. I have today off for work, so I’m taking the day off completely to rest and relax. 

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Pic of the Day

Overcoming Adversity

Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
— Joshua 1:9

There has had no shortage of hard times and struggles the last few years, and as much as we’d like to run away from those struggles, we can’t. However, we can look to God to guide us through difficult times. We’ve had the ups and downs of life during a pandemic. There has been political upheavals, millions of deaths, supply shortages, economic problems, whether that be inflation, the high price of gas, or the loss of a job. A lot of us have experienced a combination of these adversities over the past few years. The writer Arthur Golden said, "Sometimes we get through adversity only by imagining what the world might be like if our dreams should ever come true." For many of us, we imagine what the post-pandemic world will look like. Some of us worry the world has changed irreparably. Some of those changes have been bad, but some have been good.

If we were going it alone, any of these things might have been enough to break us, but through it all a strong faith that God is working in our lives, that we can trust Him, and that His strength is enough will get us through these adversities and the ones yet to come. One of hardest things to do as a Christian is to have faith that God is working, and to not be afraid of all the things that come our way. Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

God hasn’t promised that we won’t suffer in this life, but He has told us that He’ll walk through our valleys with us. He’ll be right by our side, and His grace will be enough.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will [d]dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.
—Psalm 23
When we look to God He will give us the strength we need to carry through the dark times.  God has an unwavering love for us, and He will give us strength when we look to Him in prayer. First Peter 5:7 tells us to, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” With God as our strength and our guiding light, we can overcome and rise above our hardships. Psalm 46:1 advises us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Pic of the Day

Boston

Yesterday, I went down to Boston for work. The new interactives for the museum are fantastic. They are so impressive and I can't wait for them to be installed at the end of the summer. That was the good news. But, I knew from the moment I got in that rental car, that it was not going to go smoothly. As soon as I started the SUV, I realized that the instrument panel on the dashboard was not lighting up. It had worked the night before, but not yesterday morning. I tried several different things to get it to work, and nothing did. So, I thought I'd deal with it on the way. That was problem #1; problem #2 started a few minutes later when I was about a mile or so from my apartment. I had a thermos/tumbler of hot tea to drink on the way, and when I opened the spout and went to take a sip, the tea spilled all over the front of my shirt. I knew I had to quickly turn around and go back to my apartment to change shirts. I was only about a mile down the road, so it was a minor problem. The instrument panel was the major problem because one of the things not working was the gas gauge.

When I stopped to pick up the first of my coworkers, I googled on my phone how to fix the instrument panel. I watched a YouTube video and tried all the other troubleshooting sites. Nothing worked, so I had my coworker google it while I drove. She couldn't find anything else. We were running late, so I headed to pick up my second coworker. After picking her up, I tried googling again. Finally, I came across a site that said, if you've tried everything else, it's probably a blown fuse. I decided when I picked up our boss, I'd have him call Enterprise Rent-A-Car, tell them the problem, and have a car waiting for us at the place we were going in Boston. They'd been shitty enough yesterday, I thought this was the least they could do. My boss first said, "Oh, I can fix this." I said, "I doubt it." I know my boss, he always thinks he knows everything technical. So, he tried all the same things I tried, but nothing worked, just like I had told him.

His solution was to call our secretary and have her deal with Enterprise because if he or I called Enterprise, it was not going to be pretty. So, our secretary called. Enterprise's suggestion was for us to go buy a fuse and change it out. I said, "No, no, no. That's not going to work. We are on a schedule. See what else they suggest." Their next suggestion was for us to show up at an Enterprise office on the way and try to talk them into exchanging our vehicle for one that worked. *eyes roll* Well, there were two fairly close to where we were, so our secretary called them to explain. The first did not have any vehicles for rent. Then, as we were waiting for our secretary to call the second place, suddenly, the instrument panel lights began to come on one at a time. My only assumption is that the fuse came loose, and as we were driving, it wiggled its way back in place. We did not have any more problems. It was smooth sailing the rest of the day.

Today, I am finally going for my next Botox treatment. With the problems I have been having with my migraines the last couple of weeks, I am really hoping this will provide some relief. I was happy that yesterday my headache was kept to a minimum. Yesterday was a long and tiring day, and today is another drive, but only an hour, not the three hours to Boston.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Pic of the Day

Enterprise 🤬

I’m taking a work trip today down to Boston. We are driving down, having a meeting, eating lunch, and then driving back. I hate doing a trip like that all in one day. It’s about three hours from my new apartment.

We are renting a car because my university says that any travel over 50 (or it may be 100) miles requires renting a car. We always have to use Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Back when I was the oral historian and traveled all over New England conducting interviews, I had a great relationship with Enterprise. The guys there knew me and really worked hard to be as helpful as possible. I never had any trouble except they’d often give me a free upgrade to an SUV when I really just wanted a car. Those guys transferred up to Burlington, and there is a whole new crew there.

With the new crew, I have only one thing to say, “Fuck Enterprise.” We booked a full-sized car (there are four of us going, so we wanted to be comfortable). They didn’t have a car that worked (no air conditioner), so they gave us an SUV. Because I’ll be driving in downtown Boston, I had specifically wanted a car because I think it’s more maneuverable. The “free upgrade” to an SUV really pissed me off because we were very specific on what we wanted. I don't care if it's a free upgrade. I booked a car for a reason!

As I said, I used to rent cars from them on a regular basis and have never had an issue with picking up the car. Yesterday was different. I was using the museum’s travel card, which is in my boss’s name. We’ve always done it this way. But when I went to pay, I was told that only my boss could sign for it because the card is in his name. 

This has never been an issue. It’s a corporate account, and they always understood that the card may have a specific name but it was for anyone who worked at the museum. I pitched a fit, and after calling my boss to see if he could come to sign it (he lives about 30 minutes from Enterprise and was already home), the guy reluctantly decided he'd make an "exception" just this one time. I told him I've booked many cars with the museum card not in my name. He said "The policy changed." If you change a policy like this, you should probably have inform you largest customer (my university rents a lot of cars from them because they are the only place here to rent a car from).

I’m also renting a car next week, again to go to Boston, for a four-day conference. So, I thought I’d check to make sure this wouldn’t be a problem again. When I told him it shouldn’t be because the car was already paid for through a direct payment from our corporate account, he said, “I doubt I that’s true.” I told him that it was booked through our CFO’s office. Thanks made him check, and when he did, he realized I was right and assured me that there would be no problem. I hope he’s right, and I hope he remembers me and makes sure they have car available.

Enterprise is going to think I'm a real asshole. Some of you may also after reading this, but I had a similar issue the last time I tried to rent a car by myself. I was not nice then, and I wasn’t particularly nice today because they were being unreasonable. Enterprise and really anyone that changes the rules without letting anyone know bring out the bitch in me.

Oh, and to top all of that off, they didn't even have it ready. I had to wait forever for them to clean and wash the car. 🙄

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Pic of the Day

Not Much to Say

Last night, I wasn’t really in the mood to write anything nor did I have anything to say. My next Botox treatment is Friday, and it feels like the previous treatment wore off two weeks ago. It’s been a rough few weeks, headache wise, that is. So, I just wasn’t feeling like writing anything more than this for today.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Pic of the Day

Three Poems by Countee Cullen

For One Who Gayly Sowed His Oats
By Countee Cullen - 1903-1946

My days were a thing for me to live,
    For others to deplore;
I took of life all it could give:
    Rind, inner fruit, and core.

Spring Reminiscence
By Countee Cullen - 1903-1946

"My sweet," you sang, and, "Sweet," I sang,
    And sweet we sang together,
Glad to be young as the world was young,
    Two colts too strong for a tether.

Shall ever a spring be like that spring,
    Or apple blossoms as white;
Or ever clover smell like the clover
    We lay upon that night?

Shall ever your hand lie in my hand,
    Pulsing to it, I wonder;
Or have the gods, being jealous gods,
    Envied us our thunder?

If You Should Go
By Countee Cullen - 1903-1946

Love, leave me like the light,
The gently passing day;
We would not know, but for the night,
When it has slipped away.

So many hopes have fled,
Have left me but the name
Of what they were. When love is dead,
Go thou, beloved, the same.

Go quietly; a dream
When done, should leave no trace
That it has lived, except a gleam
Across the dreamer’s face.

About Countee Cullen
Born on May 30, 1903, in New York City, Countee Cullen was one of the most important voices of the Harlem Renaissance.

American writer Alain Locke helped Cullen come to terms with his sexuality. Locke wanted to introduce a new generation of African-American writers, such as Countee Cullen, to the reading public. Locke also sought to present the authentic natures of sex and sexuality through writing, creating a kind of relationship with those who felt the same. Locke introduced Cullen to gay-affirming material, such as the work of Edward Carpenter, at a time when most gays were in the closet. In March 1923, Cullen wrote to Locke about Carpenter's work: "It opened up for me soul windows which had been closed; it threw a noble and evident light on what I had begun to believe, because of what the world believes, ignoble and unnatural."

Critics and historians have not reached consensus as to Cullen's sexuality, partly because Cullen was unsure of this himself. Cullen's first marriage, to Yolande Du Bois, experienced difficulties before ending in divorce. He subsequently had relationships with many different men, although each ended poorly. Each relationship had a sense of shame or secrecy, such as his relationship with Edward Atkinson. Cullen later married Ida Robertson while potentially in a relationship with Atkinson. Letters between Cullen and Atkinson suggest a romantic interest, although there is no concrete evidence that they were in a sexual relationship.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Pic of the Day

It’s Monday

Oh well, it’s Monday again. I had a very unproductive weekend. There were a few things I’d wanted to accomplish, but I never did. Yesterday, I was feeling blah both mentally and physically. Saturday wasn’t much better. I wish I had one more day to this weekend.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Pic of the Day

Mothers

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.” 

—Isaiah 49:15

 

What the Bible is saying in this passage is: that while a mother can forget the love she has for her child, God never will. The design of this passage is apparent. It is to show that the love which God has for his people is stronger than that which is produced by the most tender ties created by any natural relation. The love of a mother for her infant child is one of the strongest attachments in nature. The question here implies that it was unusual for a mother to be unmindful of that tie, and to forsake the child that she should nourish and love. With that being said, in the passage above, Isaiah was asking a theoretical question when he said, "Can a woman forget her nursing child?" This passage praises mothers as symbols of amazing compassion, never forgetting their beloved children.

 

Mothers are not perfect. Mine sure isn’t. Every mother is flawed, just as we are all flawed. However, no matter how flawed we may be, God's love for us is unchanging and unchangeable. He gives us generous grace and great compassion for all time and throughout eternity. While my mother and I may have our disagreements, we have a strong bond, though not nearly as strong as it once was. While it is not as strong as it was before I came out, it is still there. She is my comfort, even when she is not comforting. That may sound odd, but when I was young, my mother often sang to us. Sometimes it was silly little songs like “Fishy in a Bowl,” “Do Lord,” or "Yes Sir, That's My Baby," though she had her own versions of each one. However, the one I remember most is “You Are My Sunshine.” Even today, when I am sad and lonely or having anxiety or even a full-on panic attack, I can remember my mother singing ‘You Are My Sunshine,” and I am comforted. Part of it has to do with the rhythm of the song helping to slow my rapidly beating heart, but it’s also because I remember the good times when my mother would sing this to me. For the most part, my mother has always been there when I needed her. 

 

As she has gotten older, she tends to focus more on herself, but she was a nurse for most of her life and spent her life taking care of others. Deep down, she is a caring woman; she just shows it a little differently these days. I want to leave you with a different verse because while we may see things very differently, my mother does still love me. I firmly believe that she always will. She can’t help but love me. (Who couldn’t? I’m quite loveable. LOL)

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

—1 Corinthians 13:4-7