Things I hate

Ewwww… I hate starting starting a post about hate that has hate in the title.

Hate is such an incredibly strong and powerful word.

And AGMA has tried to use it sparingly in my life because it conveys such bigly negative feelings and emotions.

But I’ll have to confess that I have used it to describe my feelings more in the last six years than at any other period of my life.

I think hating people is very iffy….   To AGMA, it implies that that the object of this strong emotion has absolutely zero redeeming qualities and is basically an evil person intent on inflicting as much damage in the world as possible. Up until six years ago, I can’t say that I ever used ‘hate’ to describe my feelings toward another human.  

But now it seems as if there are a number of people (an alarmingly large number) in the news cycle who definitely live up to (or down to) my definition.

Lock ’em up!

So leaving people out of the mix, here are some of the things that AGMA hates…

1.  Single-ply toilet paper

Seriously, do I need to explain this?

2.   Speed bumps (humps) 

More specifically, Chicago speed bumps.

I’ve lived 18 months or longer in 6 different cities during my lifetime before moving to Chicago.  Most have used speed bumps to slow down speeders.  But nothing, absolutely NOTHING, has prepared me for Chicago’s mountainous speed bumps. 

They are BRUTAL.

Incredibly high and often camaflogued in mottled sunlight during the summer, they can do a number on your car. 

The City paints white stripes on them to alert people of the perils ahead, but after a few Chicago winters, most fade to almost nothing.

So…surprise! Your car has now suddenly become airborne.

We’ve started naming the worst of them.

FrameBender is close to my son’s house, and bears the scars of those who have taken it on and lost.  We slowly pass over it with a reverent respect having had some close calls with it in the past.

AxelBreaker is no too far from our house close to a Starbucks with a small parking lot AND a drive-thru (which is rare and coveted in the city.)   This was the one that I hit at 25 mph and felt like my entire spine got shoved up into my brain. Thankfully, neither Peaches (my car) or I was critically injured.

3.  Reading about people my age or younger dying of “natural causes”.

 WTF???  That’s just plain wrong.

4.  Living next to a MAGA cult member.

He not only drinks the cult Kool-aid, but he drinks copious amounts of adult beverages as well.  This is not a good combination.  

He’s constantly trying to own his liberal snowflake neighbors (us) by playing domestic terrorist cult talk shows on high volume on his radio on his deck.  The fact that we live in townhomes, and our decks are only 6 inches apart makes this an interesting situation.  My question is, who owns a portable radio these days?? 

But AGMA gets that he wants to turn the clock back to the 1960’s so I guess that makes sense.

He waters his wife’s plants hanging on the edge of his deck and can never seem to not end up covering our deck with water.  I’m guessing he doesn’t realize that the deck gets rained on on a fairly regular basis, and the water will eventually evaporate.  Plus, he is actually watering some of my plants as well.

Score!

After several months of no signage bliss because he got into big trouble with our HOA for posting MAGA cult signs using foul language on the community’s fence, he’s back to posting signs again.  This time in the front of his yard, as close to our property as possible.  I appears as if he has a yuge man crush on Merritt Garland. His sign indicated he wants to have sexual relations (f*ck) with him.  The HOA took it down.

Hubs and I wonder where he was on January 6, 2021….

5.  Primary Lateral Scoliosis (PLS)

This is the diagnosis for Hubs as he continues to lose the use of his right leg, and is starting to lose functionality in the left as well.  He has walkers on each floor of our house (2) and we recently got one for Son#1’s house as well.  Hubs now has a severe S curve in his back causing him almost constant back pain.  He’s going to be evaluated soon to see if it is safe for him to continue drive (which he does rarely – AGMA drives most of the time.)  If was a betting woman (I am…), I’d say we’ll probably be putting hand controls in our cars in the near future.  And a stairlift up to our bedroom level.

It is what it is, and we deal with it.  We’re very thankful that it isn’t ALS and that he has no pain in his legs.  But if I stop to really think about how PLS has impacted both of our lives, and will impact our lives in the coming years, it brings tears to my eyes.

So I try not to think of it.

6.  COVID fragmentation

Pre-COVID, AGMA had my life semi-together.  Which was probably as good as it was going to get.

I loved my part-time job as a massage therapist, was part of a running group, had my fun little eBay business, was part of an Indivisible group helping to turn Georgia blue (yay Warnock and Ossoff!), blogged regularly, and had a pretty active social life.  

Since COVID became a thing, it’s kind of all gone to hell in a handbasket. 

Let me pause in my whining to say that none of my family or friends died or got horribly sick with COVID. In that I have been very, very fortunate.  And my intimate tango with COVID back in February was very mild thanks to the vaccine and boosters.  

But COVID has caused a serious disturbance in The AGMA Force. A speed bump of another sort…

Clearly, moving to Chicago during COVID had a major impact on our lives, and I lost all of my Atlanta connections.   But it’s been over 2 years now, and things for AGMA still continue to feel stagnant, disoriented, and ‘stuck’.   

It’s kind of obvious to ya’ll that I can’t get my blogging life geared up again. 

Duh.

I’ve been writing the very occasional post, but pre-COVID, I blogged every week.  And I would enjoy other people’s posts. And comment on them.  It’s been eons since I’ve done that.  I truly miss it (and ya’ll), but can’t seem to bring any focus or energy to it.

Or much of anything else.  

Except travel.  AGMA is still all about traveling.  But it kind of seems like it’s become more of an escape than anything else.  When I travel, I can put all that fragmented life stuff on the back burner, and don’t have think about it.  Or feel like I am living ‘less than’.

And yes, I do what some cheese with my whine please.

Actually, AGMA still loves her cycling (which, again, is a great escape.) And I adore living close to the grands and being a part of their lives – more than I can say.

So I guess it’s not all doom and gloom, but I sure would like to get my sh*t together after 2 1/2 years of internal and external chaos…

….said most everybody else in the world.

44 thoughts on “Things I hate

  1. I hear ya. It’s been 4 years now since my husband died and when I look back I think “No, that can’t be. Where did the time go and what the hell have I been doing?” And then with the start of the pandemic, the year 2020 may as well not have happened at all. One big blur of being a hermit. Spent my birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas alone save for food drop offs from the family. Bless ’em. I have more contact with them now but I, too, feel kind of “stuck.” The present political climate isn’t helping. Having my blog to blow off steam helps some. And taking care of pets (geriatric Chihuahua and a cat) gives me something to get up for in the morning. I shouldn’t complain either because there is so much misery that I am fortunate enough not to have to endure. But, yeah.

    Liked by 2 people

    • And I just finished reading an article on WaPo about a 34 year-old guy who has ALS (many family members of his died from it) and I feel bad for even complaining a little about my situation. I’m 75, for cryin’ out loud. This guy may never see 35. I need to tell myself what Cher famously said in “Moonstruck”—snap out of it! And with the Italian accent too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I kind of do the same thing (see the above post!) – I have a pity party for myself. Then something like Uvalde happens and I just want to slap myself (and the NRA, the gun lobby, the MAGA politicians who put our children at risk on so many levels, and on and on and on). So many people are struggling with so many serious issues (poverty, addiction, debilitating physical ailments, mental illness, being a Republican…) that I feel so trite and Karen-ish for complaining about my lot. But the $64,000 question – how do we snap out of it? I try and it works for a spell, but then I get whiny again.

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    • Yeah… It feels like 2020 and a good part of 2021 didn’t exist. I forget about them when I tell somebody I did something 2 years ago when it was actually 4 years ago. I’m so glad that you had family to bring you treats during those ‘alone’ holidays. Are you getting out and about now?

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      • In the “P.C’ years (pre-covid) I used to take a Zumba class a couple of times a week. That came to an end in 2020 and then the wellness center that held the classes started a big building renovation project and outsourced everything to other locations. I just didn’t get back into it because of that and lingering fears of infection since Zumba was held in a relatively small space. So I take my little Chihuahua for walks in his stroller every day for at least a half an hour. I must admit, I like being outside better than being in the indoor classes. There’s a Japanese term I came across called “Shinrin-yoku” which roughly means forest bathing. That really appeals to me and I think it does help to be outdoors appreciating nature, even if it is in a city environment. I live in a tourist town with a lot of old historic buildings and there’s always something new to observe, if you keep your eyeballs peeled.

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      • I always thought it would be fun to work (stay with me on this one…) in a microbrewery or winery giving tours. I mean, people are ALWAYS happy in those places! Or I might like to be a docent somewhere. That might be a fun thing as well. You’d get to do a whole lot of observing then… I also know folks who, pre-COVID, volunteered to usher at theaters so they could see the live performances. Do any of those sound fun?

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      • Hmm. Wine tours wouldn’t be my thing. My town is in a big wine producing area here in Texas. Our little main street has been overtaken by wine tasting bars with people walking around openly with cocktails, etc. and there are tons of chauffeured wine tours. Also there are lots of short term rentals that cater to brides and their bridesmaids so I see them whooping it up all the time when I’m out and about. There’s “happy” and there’s “drunk as a skunk.” Ugh.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I try not to use the word hate… But I hear you!! Like TTPT, I’m widowed…hubby died in 2016….where did that time go? Honestly, Pre-Covid I was doing ok….but since then, holy heck. Arthritis in my hips has kicked in, my mobility is shot to hell….lost 75% of the vision in one eye, so I’ve basically become a recluse and now finding it hard to assimilate myself back into society with my limitations. And Like you, I couldn’t even think about blogging of which I’m now trying to get back into it. I still start and end each day grateful, knowing things could be so much worse, but yeah, sometimes I have a very serious dislike of things.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I told Hubs the other day that I didn’t think the COVID ‘pause’ wasn’t as big a deal for younger folks. As a percentage of the time they had left to be healthy, it’s small. For us elders, it’s a big deal. If I figure I have (and I’m being optimistic) 10 to 15 years left before a serious decline in my healthy limits my ability to navigate life, the time lost to COVID is a huge percentage of that time…

      I am so very sorry to hear about your mobility and vision challenges. That sucks. I know some other folks (Hubs included) who have experienced a significant downward trend in their health during COVID (unrelated to the virus that is…). Folks who were doing well at the beginning are coming out of it not so great. I think it’s more common than we realize.

      COVID has me feeling a bit like a hermit and Hubs is worse than me. When we aren’t watching the grandkids, we sit at home. Then I get angry with myself for sitting around the house.

      We need to try to come up with a strategy to get out of this sinking cycle.

      I think we need to give ourselves a lot of grace. It has been a rough couple of years. And we need to not just walk before we run, but take it one step at a time before we try to walk. Doing something (any little thing) that gets us out of that rut we’re is a step in the right direction and is full of positive mental feedback (to counter the negative talk that we – at least I – am engaged in.)

      Last week, I registered for a free seniors acting class through the park district. I have no idea if I will like it or not, but it was a step, and it made me feel a bit like I was taking some control back. It feels good.

      Are you thinking of a hip replacement? Something to consider if you are really struggling with your mobility. I have a friend who had a hip and 2 knees replaced (at different times…) and she said the hip was way easier to recover from than the knees. And she is getting around just fine right now.

      Let’s stay connected and cheer each other on!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I get it. What crumbled for months was my weekly schedule of Tuesday choir, Wednesday dance, Pilates classes and so forth. When the gym settled down and classes were back to normal, it was a huge relief. Have you got a new schedule yet? It needs to include people outside family, for me at least. As for blogging, you just blogged!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks – you are right – I just did blog! And I’m actually replying to comments sooner than 5 weeks out! Yay!

      I’m glad that you have been able to return to your schedule. That must be a huge relief and a way to try to bring back some normalcy. Bravo!

      I did have a schedule in Atlanta pre-COVID, but I have no history here in Chicago, so now that things are getting to be semi-normal again, I have nothing to return to up here. I have to create a new schedule and it seems overwhelming at times. It’s difficult to fit in and takes a whole lot more energy than I have right now.

      But I am taking small steps to try to get engaged. So that’s a positive I can build on. Time will tell!

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    • I live in an overwhelmingly Republican county here in Texas. All of our election officials have resigned recently due to death threats, stalking, etc. The county judge has asked the state for direction about how we’re supposed to hold our election in November without anyone to administer it. It’s just nuts. The head elections official (a woman) said there were over 300 new voting laws that she was supposed to keep up on, which she said was impossible. She’s served in this post and a previous elections related one for over ten years but she said now she feared for her safety and that of her co-workers, some of whom had asked for police protection. And this is in a Republican county that went for Trump by big margins!

      Liked by 3 people

    • I soooooo want to tell all those who told me I was a “hater” when I went to the Women’s March in DC in Jan of 2016 and who said I needed to give Orange Cheetolini a chance, a big I TOLD YOU SO!! He and his enablers have brought out the worst in people who might otherwise be semi-normal. The sad thing is, another neighbor told me he used to be way more friendly and even dressed as Santa Claus every Christmas for the kids in the neighborhood. When we first moved in, he would right his bicycle around Chicago for exercise. Now I just see him outside getting rid of his beer and whiskey bottles in his recycling bin. And of course he’s outside to get our deck all wet and turn on his radio to blare conservative talk radio. I don’t think he has a job. I wonder about his wife, and how she is dealing with this drastic change in him. Last summer, she was out on her deck a lot, but now I barely see her. It truly is a cult.
      Oh – and today I found my little garden flag that has “Love is Love, Black Lives Matter, science is real, no human is illegal, (etc)” pulled up from the garden area it was in and the middle of our tiny lawn. I wonder how that happened… (she said sarcastically!).
      It’s just all so sad.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Was that a tongue in cheek question Margaret…?? 🙂 Lack of motivation- that’s a great way to put it! I am just not motivated to hassle with getting things back on track. As I said in my comment above, the time COVID stole from us of a certain age is a pretty large percentage of the time that we all have left to live independently. No fair, but then again (as I told my children when they were young), life isn’t fair so we need to make the best of it. What would motivate us? Help me out here…

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      • Hi AGMA, “Could it?” was only partly tongue-in-cheek. Alas, I don’t have a magic bullet that will cure all ills for all people. Wish I did — I would be a bazillionaire by now. The closest thing to a “magic bullet” that I can think of is laughter, which you supply in buckets-full (thank you, thank you, thank you). Laugh, and the world laughs with you, etc.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. AGMA, I have missed you but it wasn’t your lack of writing blogs. It was my lack of focus. I had the Covid, the first Thanksgiving after Covid. I did find from articles that there is a biological reason for Covid Fog. Of course there’s the obvious: lack of human contact, except with close family or others brave enough to venture out masked and armed with hand sanitizer. https://joyful2beeblogs.com/2021/05/15/my-covid-brain-fog/.
    I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I have a mild scoliosis. The CF is real and varies in how long it lasts. Just keep on putting one foot in front of the other and doing the best you can.

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    • Great advice Joyful! I’m not sure if it’s COVID fog, or just (as Margaret said above) a total lack of motivation to try to get out of this funk I spent quite a bit of time earlier in the year trying to find a running group I could do run/walk with because I LOVED my group in Atlanta. You would think in a city the size of Chicago, that would be easy. Not so if you are a ‘mature’ slow runner. I literally spent hours trying find a group with no success. So discouragement plays a part of this whole process as well… I did register for an acting class that starts in September so that’s a step in the right direction! How are you doing?

      Liked by 1 person

      • AGMA, I made a discovery. After a long summer doing the same thing every morning and the same things each week and eating helthy foods all summer, I started craving chocolate chip cookies. i started to analyze what was going on. I was taking in something to fill a void for something else that I was missing. I realized I missed being around people and learning things. I used to belong to the Senior Center within a mile of my home before Covid. So I signed up for several different classes over the fall. Most of the free. I am excited about learning about some new topics. I can’t wait to start. All I need to do now is loose the 5 pounds I gained from the chocolate chip cookies! Best wishes for you and your husband I hope things get better for you both.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s PLS. My husband is recovering from chemo treatments, so I definitely can relate to what it’s like to have your best buddy deal with medical issues.
    I saved your post about travel through Ireland because I am heading there in less than three weeks. Most of the time I’ll be on an organized tour with OAT, but when it ends, I’ll be traveling independently.
    What is it about Trump supporters that they are so “in your face”? About a mile from us, this house has a Trump 2020 sign hanging from the front of their garage. I guess they didn’t realize that ship sailed almost two years ago. At least change one of the 0’s to a 4, will ya? Jeez.

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    • How is your husband doing? Is his cancer in remission now? Is he going to Ireland with you?

      And they are so “in your face” because they are senseless zombies who can’t think for themselves and do what FOX and right wing extreme talk radio and TFG tells them to do. I’m praying that Twittler gets convicted on one of the charges he’s facing (or should be facing.) It won’t be pretty dealing with his crazy cult as they would be furious and try to start that treason nonsense again, but that would be far better than letting him get away with espionage and trying to take down our democracy.

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    • Aren’t we all, Danielle?

      And AGMA, I hear ya and feel ya. Let’s face it, most of us don’t or haven’t aged gracefully though have reluctantly accepted there are certain things we are no longer physically able to do, that we used to do and which we expected to be able to do for the rest of our lives, especially if we did all we could to ensure that. Yes, I’m talking about you and wishing I was talking about me! I don’t think either of us is going to give up that pursuit, though.

      So, if it makes you feel any better, or even if it doesn’t, I want you to know that I have reached a point in my life where I can and want to follow your example when it comes to travel. I just signed up for some fare drop notifications to just about anywhere! I was going to look back at some of your prior posts where you talked about how/where you did that. Are they still the same or have those, like most things especially those “technical”, changed?

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      • You are so right my friend…we must NEVER give up! I’ve accepted (grudgingly) that my back will not allow me to run another marathon. But I can run/walk 6 miles, so I’ll do that as long as I can. And when I can’t do 5 miles, I’ll do 2. I haven’t figured out what comes after that…

        And it DOES make me feel good that you want to get out and see the world!! So sign up for Scotts Cheap Flights. There’s a free version, but I highly recommend signing up for the premium. And they are having a SALE right now, but you have to sign up by tomorrow (8/30). Even if you don’t get the sale you will make your minimal membership fee back the first flight you book.

        I also use the price tracker on Google flights. So for example, I’m thinking I want to go to the Greece next May. I will pick some dates in May that will work for me and look up the fares on Google flights. The I will press the flight tracker notification button and it will send me notifications when the price changes.

        Travelzoo is great if you are thinking you want to go on a tour. They send an email out every Wednesday with travel deals. They are not an OTA – they just gather the best deals of the week – it could be through Gate1 or Exottica or Great Value Vacations.

        I have also used the app, Hopper. It’s a bit like Google flights.

        Also, on Google flights, you can type in your origin and then do a very unspecific destination. So I can type in going from Chicago to Europe and the dates, and it will give me the prices to all the major European cities. Europe has so many low cost carriers, that it’s relatively cheap to fly on to your destination from another city in Europe. So we are going to Bordeaux next month. It’s expensive to fly from Chicago to Bordeaux (and you have to connect in Paris). Instead, we are flying into Paris then I booked another flight 5 hours later to Bordeaux on a low cost airline. Fingers crossed our flight to Paris isn’t horribly late… That’s a risk!

        Let me know if you have any other questions or need any other travel suggestions. I’m here to help!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Chicago is a great theater town—fall play season is just starting—come on out and it will pull you away from the bad mojo.

    P.S. I like speed humps because of the “Speed hump ahead” signs. Never going to be mature enough not to laugh at those.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tee hee! We’re all just 13 year olds in an adult body!

      Thanks for your advice about the theater. One of the things I was really looking forward to when we moved to Chicago and COVID settled down was going to see the world class shows.

      But it’s a challenge since Hubs mobility issue has gotten worse. Everything we do has to be planned for accessibility, and it’s feels overwhelming at times. We did go to see Six, but it was a process – I had to drop him off, park, get back to the theater, get him to his seat, scout out an accessible restroom, then do it all in reverse after the show. Back to the parking garage (alone), waiting in line to get out (post theater crowd), and figuring out how to navigate all the one way streets to pick him up. And driving in downtown Chicago is a bit nerve wracking for me since I am still not all that familiar with it. And forget lower Wacker Drive – that is crazy!! It feels like it’s a heck of a lot easier just to stay home.

      We did go to a couple of shows at Ravinia this summer which was fun and not quite as stressful since he was able to ride his mobility scooter in from the parking lot. We saw Bonnie Raitt/Mavis Staple and The Gypsy Kings – wonderful!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not at all trying to make light of accessing theater with a wheelchair—actually that is part of my job and it is always helpful to hear how complicated it can be. I wish our public transportation system was easier to navigate for wheelchair users so the parking debacle could be avoided. Glad that Ravinia was a little easier for you guys.

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      • Thanks much, but I didn’t think you were making light of it. It’s like anything else, if it isn’t your reality, you don’t realize all the logistics that are involved. My #1 issue in going places with Hubs in Chicago is parking. It seems like it’s either expensive and far away, or non existent. It’s discouraging. But honestly, we have yet to live in or visit a city that has public transit that is easy for wheelchair/scooter users to navigate, so in that, Chicago is not really any worse than any other city we’ve been to. I could tell you soooo many stories about me carrying his scooter up or down subway/train stairs in Paris, Lisbon, Berlin, London, etc when an elevator has been out of service. Or having him get up off of his scooter and walk into a train while I pick up the scooter when the gap between the platform and train is too big for him to drive across. But we have also run into quite a few wonderful individuals who have given us help out of sheer kindness. That kind of restores your faith in people!

        We’ve found Chicago to be a young city. Great in the energy and optimism that youth brings, but not so great for those of us who need a little more help or different kinds of activities. There appear to be good programs/support for low income seniors. And the seniors flush with $$ can buy whatever they need without blinking an eye. But those of us in the middle kind of get lost in the shuffle. But right now, I think the city of Chicago has bigger fish to fry…

        Thanks again and we really do want to go see some shows this fall! I just need to figure it out.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with you in needing to get up and take a step in the right direction. After much prayer Ive been given the opportunity to move back to PA and be near my older children and grandchildren (after my husbands passing I followed my youngest daughter and her family here to NC). The first few years were ok…but the last 2 years has found me sad, depressed and unhappy…..this move back has ignited a new little spark in my heart.
    As for any medical intervention with my hips, not on the radar at the moment. I find riding my stationary bike loosens things up a bit and helps with the pain…
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I’d love to stay connected. 😊 Hears to cheering each other on!! 📣📣📣

    Liked by 3 people

    • So when are you moving back to PA? Eastern or western PA? I’m from PGH originally. I moved away when I was 17, but have always missed the hills and the rivers! And the green – it was all so green! We lived in Cincinnati for 30 years which had hills (not as high) and a the Ohio river so it was almost like Pgh. Chicago is flat and has a lake – not quite the same. Ha! I’m excited for your move!

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