2017

Oct. 19th, 2017 01:34 pm
jayfurr: (Default)


Lots and lots and lots of stuff has happened to the Furr family in 2017 -- and by Furr family, I guess I should say "Jay and Carole Furr" since the larger Furr family kind of blew up last year when my father died in March (Mom had already died, back in 2011). And we haven't really posted about much of any of it, not in any organized fashion.

I doubt that anyone really cares, since unused, cobweb-covered personal blogs are a dime a dozen, but once in a while I feel kind of guilty and think "I should post something".  So here goes: 2017 as it's happened to us.

  • We went to Hawaii for two weeks in February -- one week on board a cruise ship out of Oahu, stopping off at the Big Island, Maui, Kauai, and ending back up in Oahu, and three days before and after just bumming around Oahu.  We had a fantastic time, more or less.

  • Carole's mom Anne Stoops passed away in June after a long illness.  That leaves only one of our four parents alive: Carole's dad Glenn.  May he live for many, many more years.

  • Carole started a new job in August at the Burlington Housing Authority as a staff accountant.  Carole has had a lot of jobs over the years, but this seems like the best fit for her in quite some time.

  • Carole has long wanted to learn to cook, but has always been terrified of hot ovens and complicated recipes and so forth.   So, she signed up for the Blue Apron program, where they send you all the ingredients and detailed instructions for two or three meals a week and there are all sorts of tips and tricks and technique videos on their website to refer to if you need them.   I've helped on some recipes, but she's been making fantastic progress, mostly on her own, just by dutifully following the recipes.  It's turned out to be a lot more cost effective than eating in restaurants, too, and we can't really recall any of the meals we've been sent turning out less than "pretty good".  Most have been "great".

  • In August, we went to Kentucky for the 2017 solar eclipse.  Saw it from the Jefferson Davis State Historic  Site near Hopkinsville.  The eclipse was stunning.  The 12 hours of traffic getting from Hopkinsville back to Carole's dad's house in Dayton, Ohio was less so.

  • I turned 50 in September.   Carole bought me a cake and that was pretty much it as far as observances went.  I guess not having any friends who live in the area would have made having any kind of party in honor of the big 5-0 difficult.

  • We lost our beloved tortoiseshell cat, Starlight (aka "Torbie") to complications from bladder cancer and Carole was absolutely devastated.  I wasn't exactly turning cartwheels either, but Torbie had basically been Carole's personal cat for 15 years, sleeping on her chest most nights and so on.  

  • We adopted a new cat, Maggie, a couple of weeks after we lost Starlight.   Carole just felt that the niche in her life earmarked for "tortoiseshell cat" should not be left empty for any sizeable length of time, and instead of doggedly watching the local Humane Society's web page for new kittens, we wound up driving all the way down to the New Paltz/Poughkeepsie, NY vicinity to adopt a cat from a local adoption nonprofit down there.   Maggie is a sweet little kitten and Carole has taken to her like a duck to water.

  • We've both been dealing with estate stuff.   Even though my dad passed away a year and a half ago, stuff relating to the sale of the house in Florida is still ongoing, and one of these days it'll be done, but don't ask me when.   Carole's mom left some money directly to her and so she's got all sorts of tax implications and 401(k) rollovers and so forth to process.   I knew losing one's parent(s) is stressful, but I guess I was naive about exactly why.
  •  
  • This past weekend I walked in the 2017 Atlanta Susan G Komen 3-Day.   I raised, thanks to generous friends and co-workers, $2,600.   This was my 17th walk as a walker and 27th walk overall.  I had a bad time the first day because I'd reflexively taken my metoprolol blood pressure medication in the morning and forgotten how it really impacts any kind of physical activity.  Big-time fatigue.   That night I found out that a close co-worker had passed away from a massive heart attack, and on Day 2 I was a complete wreck.   I managed Day 3 just fine, but I've got some blisters from heck as a result of all those Atlanta hills.

  • On kind of a less date-specific basis, I've been dealing with some pretty bad clinical depression.  I'm seemingly out of the worst of it at this point, but earlier in the year I felt so bad that I shut down my Facebook and Twitter accounts and started apologizing to people for existing.  Fortunately, it didn't negatively affect my work; I'm too pre-programmed for that.  But in many other respects, I just turned into a zombie.  I'm sorry for being a drag to those of you who got to witness the whole mess.

I'm sure there's other things that might have been considered "newsworthy" -- Carole going to a cousin's wedding in Quebec City, for example -- but frankly, given that just about no one noticed I was taking a months-long sabbatical from social media, I doubt anyone's going to be going through the list, above, and ticking off things we forgot to include.   That said, if you read this far, thank you!  It's nice to know that a few people still read personal blogs.

$47,750

Oct. 9th, 2017 12:47 pm
jayfurr: (2010 3-Day Walker)
 

Hi, all.

I wanted to drop you a note to thank you for all the support you've given me -- and the Susan G Komen Foundation -- over the last 10 years. When I started taking part in the Breast Cancer 3-Day back in 2008, I had no idea whether this would be a one-year thing for me or whether I'd still be walking many years later. Obviously, I would have been delighted had some scientist looked up from a Petri dish at some point and gone "EUREKA!" ... but unfortunately, movies and television aside, science doesn't really work like that!

In ten years I've walked in sixteen Susan G. Komen 3-Day walks and crewed in ten others. This coming weekend, in Atlanta, I'll walk in my seventeenth. You can follow me at http://www.twitter.com/jayfurr, if you wish.

In these ten years, thanks to you, I've raised somewhere on the order of $47,740. In other words, I'm coming up on $50,000 in ten years, which is a pretty amazing number and which I owe entirely to the generosity of friends and family and co-workers like yourselves. I know that everyone has priorities of their own and I'm so grateful that you've taken the time to support mine. We have made progress in the fight against breast cancer over the last ten years... but at the same time, we continue to lose those close to us. I've lost friends. I know some of you have also -- friends, family members, loved ones. We all know the toll cancer can take.

I can never thank you enough for all your support and caring.

Sincerely,

Jay

P.S. If you know of anyone who might also want to sponsor me, my donation link is http://www.the3day.org/goto/jayfurr.

P.P.S. Seriously. Thank you!
 
jayfurr: (Default)
Hi, all.

In October I'll be taking part in the Komen 3-Day again (this time in Atlanta); this will be my 17th walk and my 25th event overall in the ten years I've been taking part. I've got the usual $2,300 to raise in order to take part. I'd be grateful to anyone who would be willing to sponsor me and help in the fight against breast cancer.

My donation URL is http://www.the3day.org/goto/jayfurr. Thanks so much for any support you can lend.
jayfurr: (Default)


I apologize to everyone for being a tiresomely annoying, self-centered, whiny, attention-whoring, angry, malicious jerk.


I wish I could make amends to everyone I’ve harmed.


Since I can’t, I am planning on more-or-less permanently deactivating all my social media accounts.


If, in the short term, you would like a personal apology, let me know. It’s always hard to know if a personal attempt at amends will actually make things worse, and that’s the last thing I want to do.

jayfurr: (Default)

I am mentally ill.


My mental illness takes the form of severe depression mixed with PTSD.


My depression is partly due to heredity and partly due to environment. It’s the nature of the thing that it’s sometimes hard to draw a fine line between the two.


My maternal grandmother was institutionalized in Florida off and on for much of her life; she died when I was five and I have literally no recollection of ever having met her. From what I understand, mostly she had severe depression — I’ve never gotten a detailed writeup confirming whether she also had schizophrenic tendencies, bipolar, or anything else. People agree about the depression, though. In any event, as I said, I can’t recall having met her, but genes are genes.


On the other side of my family tree, my father had severe depression that went undiagnosed and untreated; every year on his birthday and on Father’s Day he’d get his nose out of joint because we didn’t pay him enough respect and attention and he’d go climb into bed in the middle of the day and either sulk or mope, depending on your interpretation of things. He rarely interacted with others socially; generally, he’d come home, eat dinner, and then sit in a chair and read all evening. God help us if we bothered him.


He was a very emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive man who seemed pathologically afraid of giving any of his children a compliment and for whom the ultimate accusation was “You did that to get attention!” If I asked a question at a science museum, I could count on being cursed once out of earshot of the docent for “having tried to get attention”. If I got all wound up and hyper during a third grade play, you bet Dad spent the whole trip home reading me the riot act for “just doing that to get attention”. I spent my high school years going hungry when the family went out to dinner because, regardless of what I ordered, Dad would snarl that I was just ordering it to be stupid, to show off, to get attention. Finally I just stopped ordering and sat there hungry while others ate.


As for the physical part of the abuse — well, I’ll spare you the details, but I got kicked, beaten, thrown around, and more, just basically for doing the kind of things that kids routinely do. I tended to stay in my room and pray that when I heard his footsteps coming down the hall that they wouldn’t stop in front of my door. I spent quite a few high school nights running a few miles from our house in the woods outside Blacksburg to a friend’s house three miles away. That is, until I finally drew a knife on him in self defense; he went absolutely ballistic, called the police, and wanted them to put me under the jail; how dare I raise a hand to him? (They talked him down; apparently they realized at a glance what they were dealing with.)


I mention all this, not because a strange whimsy seized hold of me and said “tell the whole world about your abusive father, now that he’s been dead for a year and can’t rebut” but rather because it might help explain why I am the way I am.


I have PTSD-style reactions to anger and violence. I want to go crawl into a hole and pull it in after me, especially if the person yelling is a family member.


As for depression — I have mad self-loathing skillz.


I look at everything I do from a standpoint of “oh, God, I just did that to get attention, didn’t I?” What makes that especially bad is that I’m naturally silly and extroverted, but every time I say or do something silly in front of others, I then spend a healthy chunk of time feeling hideously embarrassed, certain that they must have thought “what a pathetic loser.”


I post things to Facebook, and then, a day or so later, tiptoe back onto the site and delete them. There’s a voice inside me so full of loathing: “you just want attention, that’s why you shared that, isn’t it?” Take a look at my Facebook profile, if you like. That’s not the result of one day’s mad deleting; nothing, really, stays on my page for very long before, cringing, I sneak back in and take it down. I assume that anyone who did see whatever it was that I shared probably had the same reaction: “how pathetic.”


There’s a part of me that likes to occasionally send strange, out-of-the-blue gifts to friendsacquaintances (note: I am terrified of calling someone my friend only to have them quickly and firmly correct me) just because I like to imagine their reaction when they open the package and find, oh, a “Unicorns Are Jerks” coloring book. But then, there’s the other part of me that knows, perfectly well, why I do it: I want attention.



I was raised from birth to believe that attention-seeking is an absolutely shameful thing, and yet, like any sane human, I want attention. I am sickened and revolted by the things I do to try to get attention, even if to another person they might seem perfectly ordinary.


I work as a technical trainer for a large corporation. I spend a huge percentage of my time speaking to and working with medium to large groups of people on complicated and convoluted software and system issues relating to the hospital and physician financial flow. I’m apparently somewhat good at it. But for some broken reason, I gain very little self esteem from being good at my job. Perhaps it’s because my brain is just mis-wired. Perhaps it’s my father’s voice in the back of my mind, reminding me that enjoying attention, deserved or otherwise, is disgusting, and pathetic, and contemptible.


Either way, though — I’m sorry. I’m sorry for those of you who have to put up with my dysfunction and my self-flagellation and everything that goes along with them. I don’t know which is more annoying: pathetic attention-seeking followed by pathetic attention-seeking, or pathetic attention seeking followed by public self-loathing. But either way, in case you were wondering: yes, I know I’m incredibly annoying. I wish I’d go away too.


jayfurr: (Coffee at Nickels)


I am mentally ill.

My mental illness takes the form of severe depression mixed with PTSD.

My depression is partly due to heredity and partly due to environment. It's the nature of the thing that it's sometimes hard to draw a fine line between the two.

My maternal grandmother was institutionalized in Florida off and on for much of her life; she died when I was five and I have literally no recollection of ever having met her. From what I understand, mostly she had severe depression -- I've never gotten a detailed writeup confirming whether she also had schizophrenic tendencies, bipolar, or anything else. People agree about the depression, though. In any event, as I said, I can't recall having met her, but genes are genes.

On the other side of my family tree, my father had severe depression that went undiagnosed and untreated; every year on his birthday and on Father's Day he'd get his nose out of joint because we didn't pay him enough respect and attention and he'd go climb into bed in the middle of the day and either sulk or mope, depending on your interpretation of things. He rarely interacted with others socially; generally, he'd come home, eat dinner, and then sit in a chair and read all evening. God help us if we bothered him.

He was a very emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive man who seemed pathologically afraid of giving any of his children a compliment and for whom the ultimate accusation was "You did that to get attention!" If I asked a question at a science museum, I could count on being cursed once out of earshot of the docent for "having tried to get attention". If I got all wound up and hyper during a third grade play, you bet Dad spent the whole trip home reading me the riot act for "just doing that to get attention". I spent my high school years going hungry when the family went out to dinner because, regardless of what I ordered, Dad would snarl that I was just ordering it to be stupid, to show off, to get attention. Finally I just stopped ordering and sat there hungry while others ate.

As for the physical part of the abuse -- well, I'll spare you the details, but I got kicked, beaten, thrown around, and more, just basically for doing the kind of things that kids routinely do. I tended to stay in my room and pray that when I heard his footsteps coming down the hall they wouldn't stop in front of my door. I spent quite a few high school nights running a few miles from our house in the woods outside Blacksburg to a friend's house three miles away. That is, until I finally drew a knife on him in self defense; he went absolutely ballistic, called the police, and wanted them to put me under the jail; how dare I raise a hand to him? (They talked him down; apparently they realized at a glance what they were dealing with.)

I mention all this, not because a strange whimsy seized hold of me and said "tell the whole world about your abusive father, now that he's been dead for a year and can't rebut" but rather because it might help explain why I am the way I am.

I have PTSD-style reactions to anger and violence. I want to go crawl into a hole and pull it in after me, especially if the person yelling is a family member.

As for depression -- I have mad self-loathing skillz.

I look at everything I do from a standpoint of "oh, God, I just did that to get attention, didn't I?" What makes that especially bad is that I'm naturally silly and extroverted, but every time I say or do something silly in front of others, I then spend a healthy chunk of time feeling hideously embarrassed, certain that they must have thought "what a pathetic loser."

I post things to Facebook, and then, a day or so later, tiptoe back onto the site and delete them. There's a voice inside me so full of loathing: "you just want attention, that's why you shared that, isn't it?" Take a look at my Facebook profile, if you like. That's not the result of one day's mad deleting; nothing, really, stays on my page for very long before, cringing, I sneak back in and take it down. I assume that anyone who did see whatever it was that I shared probably had the same reaction: "how pathetic."

There's a part of me that likes to occasionally send strange, out-of-the-blue gifts to friendsacquaintances (note: I am terrified of calling someone my friend only to have them quickly and firmly correct me) just because I like to imagine their reaction when they open the package and find, oh, a "Unicorns Are Jerks" coloring book. But then, there's the other part of me that knows, perfectly well, why I do it: I want attention.



I was raised from birth to believe that attention-seeking is an absolutely shameful thing, and yet, like any sane human, I want attention. I am sickened and revolted by the things I do to try to get attention, even if to another person they might seem perfectly ordinary.

I work as a technical trainer for a large corporation. I spend a huge percentage of my time speaking to and working with medium to large groups of people on complicated and convoluted software and system issues relating to the hospital and physician financial flow. I'm apparently somewhat good at it. But for some broken reason, I gain very little self esteem from being good at my job. Perhaps it's because my brain is just mis-wired. Perhaps it's my father's voice in the back of my mind, reminding me that enjoying attention, deserved or otherwise, is disgusting, and pathetic, and contemptible.

Either way, though -- I'm sorry. I'm sorry for those of you who have to put up with my dysfunction and my self-flagellation and everything that goes along with them. I don't know which is more annoying: pathetic attention-seeking followed by pathetic attention-seeking, or pathetic attention seeking followed by public self-loathing. But either way, in case you were wondering: yes, I know I'm incredibly annoying. I wish I'd go away too.

jayfurr: (Default)

Apropos of nothing: a quick Bulldog break:





We have the best pup! 🐾#NationalPuppyDay #GoDawgs


A post shared by Georgia Gymnastics (@ugagymnastics) on




jayfurr: (Sepia)

As of this April 16, it'll have been ten years since the horrific events that took place in Blacksburg, Virginia on April 16, 2007.

In the ten years since a mentally ill young man ran amuck with his guns and took the lives of 28 students and four faculty members -- and wounded seventeen others -- members of the Virginia Tech university community have gathered each year on April 16 to stand vigil and to remember those we lost.

I'd like to be there in person for the remembrance (I grew up in Blacksburg and received my masters degree there), but unfortunately, I have to be in Lubbock, Texas for work that day.  In fact, I've never yet managed to be there for the memorial despite my active travel schedule.  I've always hoped that I could route myself through Blacksburg on my way to Seattle or San Francisco or Tucumcari, but it just hasn't worked out.

I wish I could say that the Virginia Tech massacre served as the Pearl Harbor-like wake-up call for the American people that finally got us to realize how out of control our love affair with firearms has become.

I wish I could say that the National Rifle Association realized that there are more important things in life than maximizing gun manufacturers' profits.

I wish I could say that we, as a society, took a look at what happened in West Ambler-Johnston Hall and Norris Hall that awful day and decided "this far, and no further."  That it had to stop.

Unfortunately, I can't say that.   Blacksburg wasn't enough.  Sandy Hook wasn't enough.  Aurora wasn't enough.  Orlando wasn't enough.  Ten thousand gun homicides a year in the United States aren't enough. Nothing's enough.

Nothing's ever going to be enough.

Our society has "addict brain" where our fetish for firearms is concerned, and the only thing that satisfies the craving, however briefly, is...

More guns.
jayfurr: (Default)

Today is a bright sunny, chilly day with the remnants of this week’s snowstorm all around outside serving as a reminder that although spring may technically start tomorrow, astronomically speaking, Vermont usually has other ideas.


Richmond, Vermont -- Sunday, March 19, 2017 (around 12:15 pm)


Carole is out at a meeting somewhere downtown, and then after that she’s got a symphonic reading with one of her orchestral groups. This means that I have the afternoon to myself, and I’m running hard up against a wall of ennui, depression, boredom, and lassitude.


It should say something that even though I actually just got back from a trip to Hawaii, I’m already paging morosely through itineraries for cruises this time next year. Travel to exotic locations motivates me. Sitting around at home doesn’t.


My imaginary gopherlike being Wally is sitting down in the living room absent-mindedly paging through the collected works of Don DeLillo, and some guy with a strange accent who says he’s Godfrey of Bouillon keeps calling asking if I want to join him on a crusade or something.


There are things I should be doing around the house – minor housekeeping jobs such as hanging my stupidly large collection of baseball caps on hooks on the cap rack I bought a while back, putting away laundry, doing Quicken, but right now I’m just sitting here staring off into space not wanting to do any of those things. Nor am I terribly interested in watching basketball, reading anything, going out and doing something… really, in doing anything at all.


It would be simplest if I just kicked off my shoes and took a nap, but that’s been my answer to this ennui problem for a few years now — spending as much time as possible asleep until it’s time to get up and do something, like going to work or making dinner. Part of this may be seasonal affective disorder — the urge to cocoon when it’s cold outside and I have nothing especially fun to do. In principle, once warm weather comes and the windows are open, I should have more energy, but frankly, over the last few years that hasn’t really been true. I think I got on my bicycle once last year. And it’s a nice bicycle.


Yes, perhaps my medication should be adjusted. I’m taking citalopram and buproprion, and I know from recent experience how absolutely lost and worried and angst-ridden I get if I skip those for a few days, so I assume they’re helping in some fashion. But… I don’t think that there’s a pill that will re-instill in me the motivation and drive of an ordinary human.


I wish there was.


 

jayfurr: (Default)

Lots of things bother me. Cruelty to animals bothers me. Cancer bothers me. The weirdos who want the National League to adopt the designated hitter bother me.


Kids going to sleep at night with empty stomachs because there’s no food in the house — that really bothers me. It’s something that we take for granted — the poor and hungry will always be with us, and it’s not a problem we can “solve” — but that’s no consolation to a mother who has to tell her kids that they can’t have a snack, that there’s literally no food.


I’ve been very fortunate — I’ve never had a day in my life where I had to worry about where my next meal is coming from. My mother, who grew up in a terribly poor family in Florida during the Depression, on the other hand, was not so lucky. You don’t really realize how important food is until you’ve had to go without, not just once, but routinely. It sounds ridiculous and trite to say that, but it’s true — being chronically hungry sucks.


Here in Vermont, we’re very lucky to have an insanely dedicated organization, the Vermont Foodbank, that works their butts off to fill the food gap. They have staff and warehouses and collection and distribution operations all over the state, but even so, one in four Vermonters still struggles with hunger and access to adequate nutrition.


As it happens, the Vermont Foodbank is partnering with Magic Hat Brewing to put on the Burlington, Vermont area’s annual Mardi Gras weekend and parade. The parade is just a week away, on Saturday, March 11. The Foodbank makes use of a lot of volunteers to staff the event and keep things safe (it puts such a pall on the day when someone runs out to grab beads off the street and gets crushed by a giant green lizard float), and the volunteers are encouraged to fundraise.



If you live in (or are visiting) Vermont and you’ll be here this coming weekend, please consider volunteering:


https://fundraise.vtfoodbank.org/burlington/events/magic-hat-mardi-gras/e114437


Carole and I are volunteering, as we’ve done for years, and we’d be honored if you’d donate toward our team fundraising bucket —


https://fundraise.vtfoodbank.org/fundraise/team?ftid=103436 — click the link to the left and pick whichever of us you’d like to sponsor.


We’d like to raise at least $1,000, which is still a drop in the bucket when you consider how many hungry people there are out there, but it’s a start. If we all work together, not just one weekend a year but all year, we actually can make a difference.

jayfurr: (Default)

In my office, at work, which I never actually go in to, I have a wooden bowl containing five plastic potatoes.

I have a lava lamp.

I have a Lite-Brite.

I have a wooden Vietnamese croaking frog.

I have a 2016 Cattle Mutilators wall calendar.

I keep thinking about taking in my TI-99/4A and my one remaining CRT-based TV and hooking them up and leaving them on my desk, just to confuse people.


Office as performance art.

Awooooo!

Feb. 23rd, 2017 11:39 pm
jayfurr: (Default)

You know the drill: you’re on vacation, you go to a bar or club or something, and the owners stick a performer out there on a guitar with instructions to “keep ’em happy so they’ll keep buyin’.” Usually the musicians in question are fairly forgettable, but once in a while you come across the exception.


Carole and I took a seven-day, six-night cruise around the Hawaiian Islands last week aboard the Norwegian Cruise Lines’ ship “Pride of America”. Along the way, we encountered Marissa Hollenback performing in “Pink’s Champagne Bar” (seriously).


She definitely stood out. Marissa could cover virtually anything in her soulful, rocking style (I thought briefly about asking her to cover “Jesus Built My Hot Rod” by Ministry, but thought better of it) and had clearly rolled a natural 100 on her Audience Banter and Repartee skill. The only thing I saw all week that fazed her was when I looked up her album on Amazon.com (she had stacks for sale right there on the ship as well) and requested one of her songs. She recovered brilliantly, told us the story of how the song came to be, and rocked the place.


I doubt you’re going to rush off and buy her CD solely on the strength of my recommendation, but at least give her a listen on YouTube:


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtPMldmJ6tmciyFAGSbOeBQ


And if you would like to buy some of her music:


https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/marissahollenback

50

Feb. 9th, 2017 08:40 am
jayfurr: (Default)

As of tonight, when we arrived in Honolulu and checked in to a hotel on Waikiki Beach, I have now been to all 50 U.S. states.  I don’t count “changed planes in an airport” visits; I’ve stayed overnight in almost all states and the ones I haven’t, I’ve driven around in, had a meal in, etcetera.


My 49th was Alaska, back in 2007.  Took ten years to cross off number 50, but I made it at last.

Bob

Jan. 30th, 2017 10:36 pm
jayfurr: (Default)


jayfurr: (Default)

Mom was a child of the Depression. She was born two months before the market crashed and she grew up one of eight kids in a rural Florida family where the father was frequently unemployed and the mother was frequently in mental hospitals. A large percentage of what they ate, they grew or raised themselves. One simply didn’t waste food.



Even after she put herself through college at Florida State, went off to grad school at the University of Michigan and then at Duke, she hated to waste food. She would make jam and jelly from the raspberry and blackberry bushes which grew in profusion around our house in the mountains of Virginia, and seal the jars with canning wax. The seals didn’t always hold well and we’d find mold on top of the jam, but Mom wouldn’t hear of throwing it out; she’d scrape the mold off and insist that we eat it. More often than not, the jam went to sugar and was grainy and unpleasant, but again — waste not, want not.



When I was in middle school, she was diagnosed with high blood pressure, and told to avoid salt as much as possible. So, the next time she canned tomatoes and made tomato sauce, she used “No-Salt” instead of regular table salt. “No-Salt”, in case you’ve never had the misfortune of tasting it, is a vile salt alternative that, I swear to God, tastes more or less exactly like plutonium. It’s a nasty, bitter, metallic-tasting abomination from the pits of Hell, and Mom had a bumper crop of tomatoes that year. A decade later we were still unearthing jars of that stuff and staring at each other across the dinner table, afraid of pointing out that we’d rather go chew broken glass than eat any of the awful stuff. Mom would not have been amused.


In the end, though, the memory of Mom and food gone wrong (but eaten anyway) that I treasure the most is the time she had couples from Dad’s department at Virginia Tech over for dinner. She had purchased a couple of large tubs of sour cream and some Lipton dried onion soup mix to make what the people of that era called “California Dip” or “French onion dip”.



Only… she’d grabbed the wrong box of dried soup mix off the shelf at Radford Brothers’. When she went to open it, she found she’d wound up with Lipton … chicken noodle soup mix.


She used it anyway. Little tiny noodles and all. It wasn’t the worst thing any of us had even eaten, and I had to admit that the little tiny noodles gave the dip an interesting crunch, but still, the look on her guests’ faces when they dipped a potato chip and took a taste was something to behold. Expecting onion, they got … poultry.


In her defense, Mom never let her refrigerator get packed with spoiled or ancient food — she made sure things got eaten well before they’d evolve sentience. And she was a very good cook. It’s just that, like anyone, she made mistakes… and we all got to experience them right along with her.


Miss ya, Mom.1)RIP Dora Ann Mondon Furr, 1929-2011


Footnotes   [ + ]

1. RIP Dora Ann Mondon Furr, 1929-2011
jayfurr: (Default)

As far as I can tell, I’m the only person (or close to it) in my Facebook circle of friends who isn’t venting spleen about Trump and his deranged, totalitarian antics.


It’s not that I’m not disgusted and/or worried sick. I am.


It’s just that my brain literally can’t make sense of how so many people still support Trump. He’s going to do to the USA exactly what Chavez did to Venezuela, and even then, there are going to be tons of jingoistic fools, racists, and reactionaries who will support him. I can no more think of rational things to say about that than I can explain quantum chromodynamics. From where I stand, both are literally incomprehensible.


Words fail me.


THIS

Jan. 28th, 2017 10:24 pm
jayfurr: (Default)

Seen (and enthusiastically applauded) today on Home Avenue in Burlington, Vermont:



jayfurr: (Default)

For those of you with depraved senses of humor, here’s your Halloween 2017 costume.1)If you really want one, search for “Inflatable Mr Superawesomeness Adult Patrick Costume”. And may God have mercy on your soul.


It's apparently supposed to be Patrick Star from "Spongebob Squarepants", only I think they got the one from the universe where Cthulhu took over around 1945.


Just imagine wearing this, lumbering down the streets of your town, shouting “THERE IS NO GOD”.


Footnotes   [ + ]

1. If you really want one, search for “Inflatable Mr Superawesomeness Adult Patrick Costume”. And may God have mercy on your soul.
jayfurr: (Default)

It’s pathetic, really, but I still get warm fuzziest thinking about the time I called Carole from a crowded downtown Seattle coffee shop (one with a green and white mermaid logo) and loudly exclaimed “Hey, honey, they have Starbucks here in Seattle too!


You could have heard a pin drop anytime in the next ten seconds.  It was just perfect.


Good times.

Profile

jayfurr: (Default)
Jay Furr's Journal

October 2017

S M T W T F S
1234567
8 91011121314
15161718 192021
22232425262728
293031    

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 22nd, 2017 01:52 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios