Eight Random Thoughts on the Eighth Night Of Chanukah

Some thoughts:

1. I think there should be a Chanukah drinking game involving Bernie Madoff where you get to curse his name and then drink. Something reminiscent of the Purim noise-making when Haman’s name is mentioned or fun stuff you get to do when the plagues are enumerated at the Passover seder.

Ach. That shyster should rot in the Hell I don’t believe exists.

2. Someone at church who shares my love of Yiddish called me a “tummler” today. Here, look it up. The world needs more Yiddish. I am taking it as a compliment (especially from him). We had a fun service and I gave a sermon called “Outrageous Stories From Twelve Years in Parish Ministry.” The recording will not be made public, because although I used no names, changed a few pertinent details and was intentionally vague about what happened where, I did tell some true and truly outrageous stories.

3. What is this “restless leg syndrome?” Here’s why I ask: I am a very light sleeper who has a very difficult time getting a good night’s sleep if anyone else is in the bed. This has created some friction in relationships, as in, I refuse to marry anyone who won’t eventually agree to the idea of separate bedrooms. So I’m thinking maybe I can use this syndrome as an excuse. Who wants to spend the rest of their life sleeping next to someone who kicks them all night long? “I do love you, sweetheart. It’s just that I have Restless Leg Syndrome. That’s why I want you to move into the bedroom across the hall. Don’t take it personally. It’s just for sleeping.”

4. Can someone explain to me why my cat and my dog both clamber on top of me in order to smell my breath very carefully whenever I’m sick? They’re like little nurses with really serious boundary issues: I’ll be sound asleep, maybe running a little fever, and I wake up with this enormous pair of worried cat or dog eyes staring at me and a canine or feline snout practically in my mouth as the animal worriedly sniffs for… for what? What are they doing? Do they go out into the hallway afterward and consult?
Did I already write about this? Well, I’m still confused about it, that’s why.
But check this out. I’m not surprised.

5. I’m turning 43 in a few weeks. I can’t muster any interest in this birthday because 43 strikes me as the most boring possible age to be. I’ll be in Texas at the time and I’ll probably even forget about it. I won’t even know when it’s January 14th. Forty-three? That’s so uninteresting I’ll probably just start saying that I’m “Forty-Whatever.” Like I used to be “Thirty-Something,” now I’m “Forty-Whatever.”

6. Guess what? My blood pressure has gone down to totally healthy levels. I think I have a certain beagle and tabby cat to thank for that, so I feel that I can medically prescribe adopting a dog to all of you. I am a big believer that more animals = higher cuteness+hilarity factor+ walks every day = lower blood pressure. See? I’m right!
But did I tell you? After having lost 25 lbs. on Weight Watchers last year, I’m now on the Bread, Cheese, Christmas cookies and Fried Party Food diet. It’s pretty rigorous but not as much as the Pizza, Panera and Salty Snack Foods diet I was following this fall. That really took some discipline. So anyway, if you attend Weight Watchers meetings in Amarillo, Texas, we can go out for (decaf, low-fat milk) coffee afterward.

7. I would have to say that the second best thing to being in a great romance yourself is to watch your friends fall in love with someone new. YAY.

8. After shopping extensively for a tricked-out Verizon-compatible phone that would let me write and retrieve e-mail, web surf, show me how to get where I’m going, and do my nails for me, I took the advice of my dear friend Huntington Lyman III (his real name) and got an iTouch instead. Because I have had an epiphany: I hate the phone. As Hunt said, “I don’t need to be more tethered to the phone.” So now I can leave the phone at home and have music, photos and the internet in my pocket, and if there’s no WiFi around, I can’t even access the internet. Technology is beautiful.

11 Replies to “Eight Random Thoughts on the Eighth Night Of Chanukah”

  1. 43, uninteresting? No-no-no, she clucks. Lemme tell you a story about one of my heroes, Fred Rogers. Yup, Mr. Rogers.

    (This story came from an interview he gave to Esquire in 1998 … it has stayed with me.)

    One day, as a young man, he got on the scale and it said 143. It touched him inside and he felt it was a gift from God, as the number of letters in each word of “I Love You,” was 143. Ever since that day, he lead his life in such a way, eating simply, exercising daily, so that his weight wouldn’t waver, so that every morning he could get that greeting once again.

    This was no new-age numerology thing for him — Mr. Rogers was also an ordained Presbyterian minister.

    So … 43 … “Love you.” From God? From yourself? From all the people who will cross your path during this year?

    43 — UNinteresting? Mais, non.

    [OH MY GOSH. See, what’s why I love you. Who else would have ever thought of this? You rock my world, girl. – PB]

  2. I LOVE that Mr. Rodger’s story, which I remember from Esquire. It was also republished in Best Spiritual Writing of, I guess 1998. Great story.

    and I don’t know about your dog or cat, but I can always tell when one of my kids has a sinus infection thing by smelling their breath. It just smells off. An Alaskan Native friend said that his dad used to smell his (the son’s) breath every day to see if he was healthy or getting sick, same deal. Kind of a sweet gesture actually. Happy Chanukah!

  3. A few random comments:

    First, random thoughts are quite often the best. Don’t ask me how I know this.

    Second, what a lovely tribute to your furry ones. There have been a lot of studies showing that animals can sense when a human isn’t feeling well. I imagine they know your “humors” better than you do and are checking your vital signs the only way they can, so your “nurse with boundary issues” analogy is accurate.

    Your restless leg strategy sounds good to me. My DH and I will be married 11 years and have had separate rooms most of that time. He’s got RBNYS (restless body and nightmare-yelling syndrome) and I have SLWS (snore like a warthog syndrome). Ain’t we a pair.

    Cheers for the New Year!

    Oh, and you’re quite right, the world does need more Yiddish.

  4. I am going to be 43 in mid-February. I will wake with a smile and a “Love You, too” for anyone who wants to hear it!

  5. Re #4…..good question! I’ve got the Christmastide Cold & Crud that’s going around out here, and at 4 a.m. this morning Sugar-sweetest-cat practically stuck her entire muzzle into my mouth as part of her periodic checking on me…..the next hour was Roxy’s turn, and she was slightly less forward, but her whiskers are longer and tickled more….

  6. Well MS PB, before you become too enthralled with the Amarillo Weight Watchers scene, be sure to heed my earlier suggestion about sampling an authentic Whataburger (and/or visiting the local Taco Villa) while you’re there. Honest to God West Texas “Friday Night Lights” cuisine and the architecture to match it. Shouldn’t be missed. Here are the links (I hope) <www.whataburger.com and http://www.tacovilla.net [Tim, Tim, Tim. Only for you would I consider this. It’s true that I’m not being a total vegetarian because of digestive issues, but I’m pretty sure Whataburger doesn’t use humanely farmed beef. Still, as I said, I will consider this. Only for you. – PB]

  7. Oh, and about the animal thing. Why aren’t they sleeping in your be ALL the time? That’s where they belong, you know? Get you over that restless leg thing and all those other light sleeping things right away. It’s the smooth, rhythmic breathing of the entire menagerie together that brings out the really DEEP sleep. That’s why the puppies sleep so much more soundly with the old fashioned alarm clock in their crates…reminds them of the heartbeat of their mommy….
    [WHATTYA TALKING ABOUT? OF COURSE they’re both sleeping with me all the time! You think I could STOP them? Max sleeps huddled to my left side and Ermie sleeps tucked under my right arm. By the middle of the night Max has scootched up to rest his head on the pillow next to mine and Erm has scootched up to cover the top right corner of the bed by the bedside table. It’s our total den! It’s my favorite most safest warmest and furry purring soft beagle snoring place in the entire world! – PB]

  8. Forty-three is not boring. Forty-three is a Prime Number, and Prime Numbers are always interesting. Why? Because they are Prime, of course. And so are you!

    There is an old tradition that Jesus was 33 at his death, and that therefore 33 is the perfect age that we will all attain in heaven- but then consider that 33 is the product of two Prime Numbers, 3 and 11. All of us trinitarians understand why 3 is cool, but I’m not so clear on 11.

    I am not qualified to assess whether or not you have achieved perfection, but it is my considered opinion that you, dear PB, may declare to the world that you are now in your Prime.

    Congratulations, and Happy Birthday.

  9. Well, if we’re going to talk biblical numbers, hel-LO, 4 + 3= 7. Seven is considered the perfect number, the number of completeness. I mean, come on, you only hit any age that adds up to seven in each decade, right? So 43 is really the most perfect year in your 40s.

    Happy birthday, PB.

  10. >What is this “restless leg syndrome?
    simply put, it’s an” unpleasant sensation in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move when at rest in an effort to relieve these feelings” Better described as feeling like you have bugs inside your legs.
    I’m not qualified to diagnose this, and one would never diagnose an illness this way anyway (ie: on the internet); but it doesn’t quite sound like what you’re talking about. Could you mean Periodic Limb Movement Disorder?

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