Aspirin is my Friend…

Sorry, you got ripped off Saturday. That wasn’t fair. Since it was such a short, nearly-pointless post, I’ll throw another one at you, see what sticks.

So the title, about aspirin; that actually refers to all NSAIDs. NSAIDs cause more damage to impaired kidneys – healthy kidneys are fine. My kidneys are damaged. I’m supposed to take something like Tylenol for pain, but it does nothing. Heck, Vicodin doesn’t do anything for me. But a couple aspirin, or its cousins ibuprofen or naproxen, do help so very much. Got a bit of arthritis in my back, and when it’s bad, it gets into my hips and hands. A couple aspirin – when it’s bad- helps. And it was bad last night. Losing a bit of weight will help; working on that.

Why was I so sore? Well, I had a busy weekend. I was reminded this weekend of just how much my hometown has to offer, particularly within the arts, but also in special exhibits. Maybe we can’t compare to New York or DC, but we definitely hold our own.

Abigail_1702-8 wilsonchin
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Saturday morning started like so many of them – tired and frustrated from a fruitless week at work, where we are constantly blamed for things we cannot control, I had planned to do nothing, speak to no one, and go nowhere. A friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while called and asked if I wanted to go hang out for the evening. Well, it had been a while, so sure. Interrupts my planned day of nothing (do not underestimate the healing powers of doing nothing once in a while), but I needed to get out of the house for more than just work or appointments, and I did get to do nothing for most of the day, plus,I was getting a little bored. Then she called back, saying a friend of hers wasn’t able to make a performance that afternoon at the Playhouse in the Park, so would I like to join her? It moved my time of having to actually do something up two hours, but free theater is not to be sneezed at. Especially not a show that is being staged outside of New York for the first time. Incredible performance. It definitely made you pause, and think about what you might have done in your life that was less-than savory. Basically, Abigail Williams, of The Salem Witch Trials (or, more accurately, The Crucible) fame, turns up ten years after the trials, desperately trying to atone for her testimony and the life she led after. Six actors, some in multiple roles, telling this intriguing story. The hour-and-a-half went by very quickly. The older gentleman did to a bit of scenery chewing, but it wasn’t that distracting.

After that, we headed to a Pub for some grub. Sorry. I tried really hard not to do that. Okay, not that hard.

Sunday, I had church in the morning, where we stood in front of the congregation, on stone with no give, for two songs, then had to set up for next week’s performance. While setting up, one of the choir members and friends asked if I would like to use a ticket they suddenly had extra. The person who was going to use it was ill. See, they were going to the Cincinnati Museum Center for the current major exhibit, the Dead Sea Scrolls. Not just that, though. They also had a tour guide. See, it was a church group tour. Forty people in a huge group, seeing the scrolls with a scholar from Hebrew Union College. They had me at “Dead Sea Scrolls.” The tour guide was an added bonus. I didn’t really consider how much until we got there. A huge, amoebic mass of Presbyterians, mostly older, standing in the basement of the Museum Center, listening to the history of these scrolls, these books of the Torah, and later, the Bible, wandering through artifacts intended to give an archaeological perspective. With our guide, though, we got a bit more than that. And so did the people who stumbled on our group. One man monopolized our guide for a good 20 minutes.

Cinti Mus Ctr Dead Sea Scroll banner
Well-attended, worth dealing with the crowd.

I was on my feet for about 4-5 hours yesterday. At least thirty minutes of that was spent walking back to my car, all the way at the end of the lot. It was pretty crowded; there was an Appalachian Festival going on at the same time (Cincinnati isn’t part of Appalachia, but we can see it from here). My lower back transcended pain into a screeching agony that was so great, I barely felt it. My brain had shut that down. I felt every bone in my feet, except my toes. And my hips – I half expected to re-enact that scene in Forest Gump where he’s running and his leg braces break off. Except instead of braces, it would have been my legs, popping off at the hip like a Barbie doll.

Once I reached my car and sat down, the pain in my back came back down to earth. Driving was interesting. I drive a stick – you don’t really realize how much of your body you use until you’re in agony. I made it home, and I visited my old friend, aspirin, and its cousin, Aleve. By the time I went to sleep, the pain had lessened to a dull roar, nothing more than a bit of passing discomfort.

Yes, it does cause damage to my kidneys (polycystic kidney disease – don’t look for pictures while you’re eating, or if you’re even the slightest bit squeamish). But I can walk this morning with minimal pain. Oh, I still hurt, just nothing like I would without one of the oldest analgesics.

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Greater Cincinnati Museums and Art

Cincinnati Art Museum – opened 1881
Taft Museum of Art – A National Historic landmark
Contemporary Arts Center – just as the name says, contemporary art
The Carnegie – across the river in Covington, Kentucky.
Cincinnati Museum Center – A former train depot turned museum. Also the inspiration for the Justice League of America building.

Some Performance Venues

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Cincinnati Arts Association – for shows at the Aronoff Center and historic Music Hall
Taft Theater – Taft is kind of a big name around here

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February

February’s not my favorite month. The weather seems to take vengeance on the virus that is human during this month. It is Black History Month, which is pretty good, since it does encourage some people to go beyond their classroom history books. Unfortunately, it also brings out the revisionists.

Years ago, I wrote a series of articles for a Black History email at work. At the end of each week, there was a quiz, and a prize. Not much of a prize, but it was there. I actually got quite a few responses; sort of validation for writing, since people were actually reading what I wrote. I’ve put them all on my old blog at Blogger. If you’re interested, I’ve included a link to the first one at the bottom. I hope you are interested. I think they’re pretty good.

Okay, so we’ve established I don’t like February, and it’s Black History Month. So far, so good. I guess. I’m out of anything but minutiae right now. It’s been a long, painful week, and I just want to relax. Apparently, that also means my brain shuts down. All I can think about is my dental appointment on Thursday (gotta have a root canal for a broken tooth, but no new cavities), my choir performance next Sunday and how I really don’t know the music – all my sightreading skills are being honed by this one, and a prescription I need refilled. Honestly, I’m not feeling that great, in part because of a nice chronic thing I’ve got going on, but that’s for another day.

So…here are some pictures I took in Februarys. Or is that Februaries?

Self-portrait, February 2013
Self-portrait, February 2013
Watching the waterfowl at Eden Park
Watching the waterfowl at Eden Park February 2012

 

Chinese New Year in Colorado Springs February 2011
Chinese New Year in Colorado Springs February 2011

 

Creepy street art, Colorado Springs, February 2010
Creepy street art, Colorado Springs, February 2010

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Not Just Black or White – this one I actually wrote long before the ones I wrote for work. It’s sort of loosely related.
Prolific Inventors – Focus on Lewis Lattimer. This is actually the first one I wrote for work. The one before this I lifted from a website.

This Week Could Have Been Better

I am angry. I’ve been angry for most of the week. I have things going on in my work and personal lives that I cannot control, and it’s making me angry. But I don’t want to write a rant about the complete lack of support from my boss’s boss, about how they believe in the stick, not the carrot, about the complete lie that is Six Sigma. That’s the one that’s at the forefront of my mind. I’m tired. I’m tired of all of it. But, I need an income, and there still aren’t a whole lot of jobs out there. After five years without permanent employment, I’m stuck. So be it.

Mom as a little girl.
Mom as a little girl.

It’s my mother’s birthday. She would have been 72. She wasn’t the best mother in the world, but I know one thing for sure – she did love me and my brother. I’ve seen some recent examples of what a truly horrible parent, one who should not have children, looks like. Mind you, she made some HUGE mistakes, things that require years of therapy to deal with, but yeah, I’ve seen worse.

I could remember all the awful things that happened. Well, actually, no, I can’t. Bit of traumatic amnesia. Not because of her, actually, other, unrelated, people, mostly. But I do remember a few things. Good things, mostly. The times we went sledding, and she showed us how to soap up the runners on our sleds so they’d go faster. Then we’d go out for hot chocolate, and if we could find a sufficiently-icy, empty parking lot, maybe spend a little time doing doughnuts. She never taught me how to do that, although I asked. More than once. She did teach me how to handle driving in snow and ice, and that saved my butt more than once. Not last year – we didn’t really have a winter last year – but in the years I was in Colorado, there were a few times that, but for her instruction, I’d have had an accident. Possibly severe.

She was adorable, wasn’t she? She had that dress for years. I wish I knew what happened to it. Little blue thing with red cherries over her heart. Bit of a mess, my family. But that’s for a professional to sort out.

This past weekend, it snowed. Nothing like the epic weather out east this weekend (Tracking Nemo – gotta say that with the stentorian echo), but enough to enjoy. Enough to compensate for the whole “cold” thing, anyway. It was pretty. And because it was warmer, the roads weren’t so bad. There were accidents, shortly after the snow started, causing some slick roads and limited visibility. Nothing like the huge, fatal, accident resulting from a snow squall just two weeks before, but a few bumps and scrapes. Enough that the police were no longer responding if there weren’t injuries.

There was enough to sled in, though.

Daddy-daughter day
Daddy-daughter day

I took my camera to a local park, to try and recapture a shot I took some years ago with a different camera. I wanted something larger that would make a good print. I couldn’t get that shot; there were people in the space I was trying to shoot. But I got another treat, instead.

I didn’t expect sledders at that park. It just never crossed my mind. Perhaps because I don’t have a sled anymore, and spending hours out in the cold is no longer appealing (I was there for maybe half an hour). Perhaps because when I was a kid, we had another place where we sledded, with a bigger hill, and a small ravine at the bottom. If you got going fast enough, you landed in the creek. I never made it to the creek – I was too small to build up that kind of momentum. But, with the soap on my runners, I did move pretty quickly.

There weren’t many, but there were enough that they had to be careful of one another. No real sleds, just a few saucers and a toboggan or two, but they were having fun. The pair up there, that was my favorite. I came up on them just as he was sending his little girl down the hill, shooting video the whole way. He was more excited than she was, it seemed. And she was pretty excited. The last run, they went down together…daddy shooting video the whole way. At the bottom of the hill, they watched, together. Yeah, I got a couple shots of them doing that, too. It was a good time. Then they left, and I was losing feeling in my fingers, so I left.

I’m still angry, but I’m a little more calm. I do have to work today, because we haven’t met our goal for the week. Not that I can contact anyone or get anything from them, because it’s Saturday, but whatever. At least I can work from home. Don’t have to get dressed. I’m going to try and focus on that afternoon in the park, the Daddy-Daughter day of sledding. Maybe that will keep me from grinding my teeth while I work.

Happy birthday, mom. I miss you.