Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Calgone Days

So here I sit staring at an unfamiliar screen, typing on an unfamiliar keyboard, waiting for an unfamiliar tech to arrive and (I pray) repair the familiar. You just don't realize how attached you have become to a device until it is no longer usable. It isn't just an attachment, it's also the fact that all my bookmarks and settings are there and not here. Oh yeah, and our quicken is loaded on the other so someone like me who checks and rechecks our finances and pays bills daily is feeling a bit out of control. I don't like that.

It has been a week of pile-ons. The computer is just part. Father's Day proved disastrous. The Boy is going through a phase and spent the day telling me how much he wanted his mother to help or read to him or play with him; not me. "I don't want you," he would scream as I tried to help him get dressed. He's three so I understand, but it doesn't make the rejection any less painful.

The Girl broke my glasses; my new glasses. And the Boy, not to be outdone, broke my sunglasses. A substantial new expense reared its ugly head. Our home is getting much too small, but its collapsing California equity means we are here for a while.

My wife's hospital has announced severe budget cuts and a hiring freeze (thank you Arnold, thank you, George). Medicare and Medical are reducing their payments and tightening eligibility which means more uncollected indigent care in the emergency room. The money has to come from somewhere. It's a hell of a way to run health-care. Her job is not threatened - her profession will provide substantial job security for the foreseeable future - but her department will remain understaffed and merit raises have been decreased.

Tim Russert died. That is sad. Seemed like a nice, fair-minded guy. His death however, is gnawing at me. He was young, relatively, and it was so sudden. I turn 47 in two days. At that point I will have notched as many birthdays as had my father when he died. That feels like an ominous signpost, and combined with Russert's death, is a bit depressing.

Birthdays have never bothered me. 25 was disturbing because I felt as if adolescence was booted and I needed to grow up whether I wanted to or not. But the classics - 30 & 40 - didn't unnerve me in the slightest. Now with the rather arbitrary age of 47 looming, I suddenly feel uncomfortably mortal and with two young children I grow worried for the things they will lose if I slip this mortal coil.

There is one more disturbance to my psyche that was added this week and stirred in with the others it has produced a funk in me that I can't seem to shake. I won't discuss it now but I'm sure it will come up in later posts.

The week can easily be described as something akin to A Perfect Storm, so all told I just feel low.

It must be grand to read this.


Anonymous said...

Quit lying about your age, Skando! You can't even remember 47!

Champ Baxter

lendos_girl said...

Love you

Blaize said...

It's okay to read this. It makes my life seem about on par with the rest of the world. So, thanks! And sorry about your Father's Day. Better luck next year, huh?

Steve said...

Now I don't feel nearly as bad about the fact that a recent Flash update has made youtubes inoperable in my Firefox.

arlopop said...

steve - ain't that what the whole world is suffering from: incompatiblity.

arlopop said...

Oh, and thanks Blaize. I appreciate it. As for next year's Father's Day? If only you knew...

arlopop said...

And Lendos_girl - I know, thanks.

arlopop said...

And lastly, Champ - You are right behind me boy.

And you better have some "skando" blood in you to use the term.