Reality hits hard (with apologies to fillyjonk)

One catalog company I ordered from called me to tell me my card had been declined.

hospital-bed-talk-with-doctorThe blogger fillyjonk wrote on December 15: ” I dunno. Locally and globally, sad and difficult stuff.” She was SO right.

*Her post began: “Someone took hostages in Sydney. In a Lindt chocolate shop.” Unfortunately, that ended with two of the hostages being killed, along with the gunman.

*About the same time, I’m listening to this story of a guy killing his ex-wife and five of his ex-in-laws at three different places in Montgomery County, PA, just north of Philadelphia, before turning the gun on himself. Worst of all, I awaken the next morning to the news of 140+ people murdered by the Taliban in western Pakistan, most of them children.

*Locally, and more recently, there was an Amber alert for a five-year-old boy near around here, then canceled 10 hours later when the boy’s body was discovered. The abduction story was a crock; his 19 y.o. cousin has been arrested. Meanwhile, eight children were slaughtered in Cairns, Australia.

*The Daughter complained of sharp pain on her left side, and we went to the ER at Albany Med on Saturday night, December 13. We were there from 8:30 p.m. until 2:30 a.m., and bed after 3 a.m. I SO don’t do 3 a.m. well anymore. Then I went to church in the morning. I’ve been on fumes all week.

*She has some infection in or around her kidneys, and she has to take an antibiotic. But halfway through the regimen, the hospital calls to say that the type of infection she has is resistant to the antibiotic she has been taking, so she needs to take a DIFFERENT one and start the regimen all over.

*The illness meant that I missed two days of work, one full day, and two half days, which feels actually worse than two full days because my work rhythm is off. I was going to go to a luncheon to honor people at SUNY Central who had reached milestone anniversaries. (Because we were switched to SUNY Albany for a time, both a colleague and I missed both our 15th and 20th-anniversary luncheons.) But I missed it, seeing my boss, a former colleague, and two long-time friends get awarded. Worse, the ticket I bought ($30) went to waste because we were so shorthanded. Because…

*Our office secretary left on November 5, so we – well mostly a library colleague and I – have been answering the main phones. One of our library colleagues, Amelia, had a baby at the end of November, which is lovely, of course, but she’s out on maternity leave until late February. So when one (OR MORE) of the five, currently four, librarians is out, it becomes a strain on the system. There were just two of us two Thursdays ago (snow and the flu kept the other two at home), and two on the day of the luncheon.

We usually have a week’s turnaround on the reference queue but, currently, it’s about 10 days. This will EVENTUALLY rectify itself as the demand slackens during the holidays, but looking at the list of questions undone is depressing and frustrating. And one of the librarians will be away for a week around Christmas.

*One of our choir members has been away much of the year getting treatment for cancer in Arizona. My mother’s first cousin Robert is now on dialysis. And while I didn’t know them, I mourn the loss of my friend Steve Bissette’s parents, his father in late October, and his mother in mid-December.

*We have lost our custodian at church a few weeks ago. The Wife chairs the Administration Committee until the end of the year, so this is a task that involves meetings, et al.

*All this busyness has made it difficult to concentrate on Christmas shopping. One catalog company I ordered from called me to tell me my card had been declined; what I didn’t notice in the pile of mail unread is that the bank had pulled one card as compromised and replaced it with another.

*Of course, it’s been havoc on blogging. I have a daily blog and write one post every two days. It’s not a lack of topics, it’s a lack of time. This will explain, in part, an increase in typos.

*I’ve had a deficit in not only sleep but good dietary habits and housecleaning effort. The house is messier than even my relatively low standards can bear. Where IS my cellphone? It’s in the bedroom, SOMEWHERE.

So, happy holidays, everyone. I’m told it gets better; sure hope so.

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