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Posts Tagged ‘Sleep’

I listened to an economist the other day on a business news channel who said that basically the prosperity of the last decade was all a lie.  A lie built on credit. People borrowed money they didn’t have to buy houses and cars and stock they really couldn’t afford.  This happened with corporations and investors too who bought stock, that made the stock market rise. They saw the stock market and the real estate markets as an ever growing thing where you couldn’t lose. The only way you lost was if you weren’t in the game. So you borrowed to buy more. It was a  No Brainer borrow at 7% to buy into a market that was going up 10-12% a year.  And the real estate market in some areas was going up 20% a year.  But then when the credit market tightened up and you could no longer get easy credit, it all came falling in.  People who got loans just because they had a pulse and said they had good jobs, maybe they did, but in many cases they overstated their income, started to default on their loans.  All during this time you had average citizens who wanted to catch up with the Jonses, fast. It may have took their neighbors 4-6 years in college and hard work to get where they were.  Or their parents many decades of sacrifice to have the nice home in the suburbs.  But why wait with EZ credit you could have it now.  And why stop at one home, how nice it would be to have a rental property or a vacation home at the shore or the mountains, just sign here, maybe take a second mortgage out on that home you bought 2 years ago with 0-5% down.  If you couldn’t afford a vacation home then at least a Time Share. You know the one where you took the free 3 day vacation and they wore you down into buying a time share.  Seemed like a great idea then didn’t it.  And hey having a decent car isn’t good enough, you need some real wheels, a BMW, Hummer, or at least a Caddy. don’t have the down payment on that new or second car, no problem, you can Lease it. Just don’t drive more than 12,000 miles a year or scratch and dirty it.  While your at it throw in a motorcycle, or a boat.  And the kids, they got to have what every other kid has.  The latest PS3, a Cell Phone with all the bells and whistles by age 10 and not just an mp3 player that would be embarrassing, it has to be an Ipod. The whole family can have cell phones just sign up for the family plan and get 5 free phones, just pay the big monthly fee.  The big games coming up, have a TV under 30″, that’s just too hard on the eyes. To really enjoy the game and life in my house in the burbs I need to have at least 50″ plasma. No money no problem, no payments for 12 months or go down to Rent-a-Center only $35 a week.  And while your at it for just $10K in easy installments you can have perfect breasts and pearly white teeth.  Why not I’ve got a wallet full of credit cards.  The majority of people lived way beyond their means.  But they had all the toys.

They say we may recover back to were we were in about 3-5 years. Personally I hope we never get back there. I hope that this time has the effect on our generation that the depression and WWII had on our grandparents and parents. What I mean by that is that we get a new respect for saving, for getting by with less, and for using cash, not credit to get what we need and want.  To realize there is no shame in driving a car more than 3 years old, or renting a home. I’ve driven used cars the majority of my life, and also rented homes and apartments the majority of my life.  Yes I have owned a home, bought 2 new cars, and made the big mistake of leasing a new Saab. I can tell you there is something to be said about not having a car payment every month or being a renter. The nice thing when you rent is when the roof leaks or the heater fails you call the landlord, not the repairman. Helps you to sleep at night.  Spiney

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Warning this is semi graphic.

My apologies to Lennon & McCartney for the title and anyone who knows me.

Time frame Saturday evening until Sunday evening, early January.  Evening started with a wonderful visit from my sister and her husband and most importantly my Daughter who I don’t see enough of.  My other-in-law whom I live with spent the previous 24 hours frantically cleaning her house in anticipation of guest. The house got cleaned post Christmas this year because this is the 1st year we didn’t have a large family Christmas in this large Victorian home. Many happy Christmases have been had here with large gatherings, lots of children of all ages, and way too many gifts. But then unexpectedly the man of the house died. He was hospitalized for 45 days from just after Thanksgiving thru Christmas and into January of the next year. The holidays in this house haven’t been the same ever since. There were attempts, but they were pushed trying to be happy and it just wasn’t the same.  Then this year another tragedy struck. A family member became very ill. Instead of celebrating Christmas at the big house we all gathered at his families house and had a nice Christmas gathering. He gave a meal prayer that God willing we would all do it again next year. That left a real lump in your throat. Anyway that was a long way of telling you why the house didn’t get straightened up until after New Years, and why This Family gathering was important.  Spiney did his part by helping to clean his little piles of existence around the La-z-boy, and doing whatever the ladies asked.  Most days I need to be told what to do or I’ll do nothing. Not because I’m lazy, but depression and pain make you want to take the path of least resistance. If you’ve seen the Cymbalta commercials, that’s what it is really like.  Mom being an incredible cook, cooked us a wonderful dinner of stuffed pork chops, real mashed potatoes, stewed apples, and vegetable dish that Spiney didn’t partake in.  Being in my mental state I was nervous. When in depression you like what is familiar.  Anything that disturbs your groove, even though it may be a very positive thing, makes you nervous.  I was nervous as to what I would say. Would I have enough to say for more than 10 minutes of niceties?  When the majority of your days are spent with you, a cat, a rabbit, and the TV your conversation skills aren’t honed.  Except for those in your head.  They are very well exercised. You run the coulda, woulda, shouldas through your head all day.  Sometimes they even get a chance to come out.  And sometimes you have to yell “Shut Up” to get them to quiet. A noisy head is no fun.  It doesn’t allow for great productivity.  Well all that came to rest when my guest finally arrived.  They offered up conversation, as did the other two ladies of the house, my Wife and Mother-in-law.  So that gave me a springboard to jump in.  There was a time you couldn’t shut me up.  I was once class clown, life of party, foot in mouth guy, and once had very long, very meaningful conversations with my daughter. These conversations kept us both sane during her teens, and really bonded us.  I know she misses them and can’t understand where that went.  I miss them too. I have god days and bad.  Unfortunately the good are spread pretty thin and you got to be there when they happen.  Sometimes they are weeks or even months apart.  and when they come, I feel like I can do anything.  Anyway we had a great dinner. I did disturb my sister when I kept disappearing during the visit and meal. My medications make me thirsty so I drink a lot. I drink diet Sierra Mist Free because it’s  decaffeinated.  The 2nd part of the equation is drinking makes me pee a lot, but the pain killers I take 24×7 make it very hard to go. So I have two speeds in that department.  I either can’t go, or I go every half hour or less.  I take Flomax for that, which again is always advertised on TV.  I could be doing TV pharmaceutical commercials. So I kept going to the bathroom and this upset my sister for some reason.  My wife, mom, and cat are very used to it. If my sister reads this and gets upset that I call my Mother-in-law my Mom it is not out of disrespect to our much loved, deceased mother. It’s because she treats me very much like a son, she is a mother figure in my life, and it’s easier to write mom, than mother-in-law all the time.  We then exchanged belated Christmas gifts with my Sister and Brother-in-law before they had to leave.  I know my sister wants a closer relationship too.  Both our parents are dead, our older brother is estranged, many of our aunts and uncles have passed on also.  She feels I’m all the family she has, even though she has three sons, two that are married, one grandson, and a granddaughter on the way.  So she has family.  I wish we did more together too.  But again she doesn’t understand that while I look normal, my days are far from normal.  I bid her and her husband goodbye.  Then My Wife and I exchanged gifts with our daughter.  That was nice.  I think we surprised her. She’s our one and only so we did the best we could do.  We wanted to give the gift or more time together doing things we all like, such as concerts and plays.  But our schedules and the distance between us, about 1 hour, make it difficult. So we have that on the back burner in case we can work it out.  We then sat down to watch a movie. Since the Spineys don’t get out much we invested a windfall last year in a 42″ LCD TV.  This Christmas we followed up with surround sound.  This is our entertainment since we don’t get to the movies and such.  So we broke out “Mama Mia”  My Wife and I had seen the play in NYC and loved it.  This was the first time for our daughter and Mom to see it.  The first time actually for all of us to see the movie.  It was fun and uplifting.  The only bad part was feeling bad for Pierce Brosnan. They should have used a vocal dub.  Everyone else could sing pretty well, especially Meryl Streep, but not poor Pierce.  During the movie I was in a good bit of pain because I had been up quite awhile without rest. I sat with an ice pack on my shoulder, then my aching knee, and also used the massage of the La-z-boy throne. I had to change position constantly to redistribute the pain.  I also disturbed the others with my constant trips to the bathroom.  I got up probably 5 times during the movie.  At the end of the movie we checked out some of the bonus footage, because we all wanted a little more.  Then knowing I had to get up to travel the next day, and being co-dependant I kept asking my daughter if she had to go.  I was worried about her driving home, I was selfishly thinking about going to bed, and I was in unfamiliar territory.  At one time this was very familiar territory. When we all lived together My Wife, Daughter, and myself would often have all night movie, music, TV, or cleaning jags. We were all night owls who had gobs of energy at night and loved to sleep in late the next day.  We lived in a 2nd floor apartment with no neighbors. We would break out 100’s of 45’s from when I was a DJ and have our own little listening and dance parties till the wee hours.  Music, Family, conversation, and 13 rabbits we a big part of our life then.  That was before the 2 big operations and subsequent downturn of my pain. Plus our daughter grew up, moved out, went out on her own, had a life changing epiphany, we moved away and closed our business. A lot changed in a few years. But when we are together I think we all realize that we miss being a family.  I know my wife and I do, and we sense it in our daughter. And I will state here, I have changed the most. I’m in pain, I’m depressed, I’m alone a lot, and I’m not real fun to be around anymore.  So back to day.  Our daughter stayed a bit more, we had a bit of desert and we all bid adieu.

At this point I wanted to crawl right into bed, but we had to clean up the house to the spotless condition it was in earlier that day because everyone worked so hard on it.  Then we retired. Part of our nightly ritual is after we brush and such, and take my nighttime regiment of about 7 medicines I get a massage from my wife with a handheld percussion massager. This is every night to break up the pain. It usually last about 5 minutes though it could go one forever as far as I’m concerned.  It’s a concert of a little to the left, a skinch to the right, yes yes right there, that’s where it hurts.  Then onto another hurting spot, or instructions back to THE spot as my wife falls asleep.  And I have to have pity on her because she needs to get up the next day, I usually don’t.  But this day We both do, to travel to her Fathers for a belated Christmas gathering.  One last thing before we retire.  I get an Ice pack which is a semi frozen blue gell in a plastic pack, wrapped in a light towel.  I get one for each of us.  My Wife uses it to fight back her constant headaches, and I use it for my shoulder, neck, and back pain.  In fact I will go through about 3-4 throughout the night. We keep them in a small refrigerator freezer on the 2nd floor, just for this purpose. We now have 9 on hand at all time.

This is getting really long and I’m tired. Thanks for sticking with me.  It’s 1:45am so as they say on TV to be continued….

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To use and update a Bruce Springsteen’s song we have 357 channels and nothings on.  Bruce’s original was 57 channels and nothins on, an ode to cable TV.  We we don’t get out much here at the Spiney household so we invest in digital cable which gets us many channels, but not alas any of the subscription ones, or the one that has the movie or show that looks interesting.  Tonight we had a little age regression in the Spiney House.  The Mrs. and the Mother-in-Law both worked today after having travelled or had a busy day yesterday.  Spiney, yours truly did a little traveling today.  While it was a beautiful 60 + degrees, it was very foggy.  Also I had travelled much both before, during and after Christmas, so my pain threshold was low, my pain was high, and we were all tired.  Well when your a kid, someone tells you when to go to bed, and you resent them.  When your an adult, there is no one to be the voice of reason.  Your tired, your cranky, and on top of that you just had a very late supper of take out Chinese.  A bad setup indeed.  You then feel, somewhat justified that you deserve a little entertainment before you give in, even though you are tired and cranky.  A check of the regular suspects ABC, CBS, and NBC shows re-runs, or Sports, or the Sound of Music.  Personally I could have lulled into the alive hills full of musical sounds, but it was on until 11pm, and lights out was 10pm.  So I suggested we watch Mama Mia, light, airy, no-brainer.  I was shot down, the girls weren’t into a musical.  I then saw Paladia had Christina Aguillera concert on.  Looked good to me, “No Music was the cry of the land”, but I wanted to see it so I hit record on the DVR.  We had 20 things on the DVR that someone wanted to see bad enough at one time, so that they taped them.  But noooooo, no one wanted to watch those.  So disgusted, I turned the entertainment selection over to Mrs Spiney.  She was tired, cranky, wanted to watch something, but like a cranky toddler, nothing suited.  Then to top it off, we get a phone call from someone who wanted to talk, probably needed to talk.  But when your tired, cranky, and miserable the last thing you want to do is talk.  I tried, but gave up after 10 minutes.  Finally after wasting probably an hour the voice of reason called off the hounds, turned off the TV and said lets go to bed.  This made Spiney think about the origins of two great little numbers.  The previously mentioned “57 Channels and nothins on” by Bruce and “I want to be sedated” by the Ramones.  I could relate to both.  Why when we are fully emancipated adults do we not know when to quit?  Why do I hear so often I’m so tired at say 3:00 in the afternoon on a day off.  I reply, lets take a nap.  Not some convoluted ploy to get Mrs Spiney in Bed, just a simple let’s take a nap.  I can’t I hear, it’s my day off and I need to do something.  The Mexicans, or anyone else that is wise enough to take a siesta, my hat or sombrerro is off to you my Amigo.  You are smart enough and man enough to say Whens when.  And what is wrong with silence, music, read the paper, or talk?  I love entertainment, but if there is truly nothing on, why then keep searching, or worse watch a re-run, just to watch something.  Thank God cooler heads prevailed and we pulled the big plug and called it a day before I had to be sedated.  Can you relate?  If so drop us a note of how you and yours doesn’t know when to quit and call it a day.  Thanks,  Spiney

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