We are back from a wonderful week in Stratford that included great theatre, great meals and great friends, and as I catch up on the bills and messages and stuff that piled up I am feeling increasingly cranky. I think I have figured out why.
it is not just the post vacation thing, where now I am home there is the mundane world to deal with and I have to make my own bed and cook my own meals and such. That is fine, I am very lucky and have a damn good life, and it is nice to be in my own bed and cuddling my own cats. Whining about how hard it is to come back to a pretty easy life after a lovely vacation, not going to get me much sympathy!
I think it is news overload.
For most of the week away I did not follow the news daily. I heard a few bits and pieces, but did not have my daily news feed on the computer, ignored newspapers and did not watch any tv, so not even my usual dose of The Daily Show and Colbert, which make the news more bearable. I focused on the world around me, on the time with friends and the plays we saw and walking along the river bank feeding swans and watching the leaves change colour. And oddly enough, I was much cheerfuller and less stressed! Go figure.
So now I am trying to decide how to walk the line between being stressed out by the myriad things I can't control, or being a complete ignoramus about what is happening in the world. Do I ignore the tv and turn off my news feeds? Turn off the feeds but still watch The Daily Show? What would be a reasonable middle ground? There is no point in obsessing over the way the US is going to hell in handbasket - I have no control, I am not even a citizen so my objections have even less weight and I can't vote. On the other hand, I still want to be reasonably informed enough to vote here in Canada, even if it does no good - gotta try! I want to know enough about natural disasters to know where people need help and where I can contribute, but I don't want the gory details - it just makes me cry and who needs more of that? Doctors Without Borders just sent me a donor survey, but there was nowhere the option to say "I don't want you to communicate with me a whole lot, I just want you to take my money and use it well to help people in need." That would be a good option.
So, anyone have any suggestions on a reasonable compromise on news, or what works for them?
We are heading off tomorrow to Stratford Ontario for a theatre blowout. We usually see 5-9 live professional theatre productions per year at home - Winnipeg has three professional theatres and we have season tickets to
one series and usually pick up a few more, plus some amateur productions)
But this week we go to Stratford for 10 plays in 5 days - a theatrical orgy, so to speak! We fly in on Monday, when the theatres are dark, and see two plays per day through Saturday. Home Sunday, to face the glares of pissed off cats!
This year in addition to Alan and I we are joined by one of my sisters (the childless one who can get away for the week!) and another local friend plus a friend we went to high school with who is flying in from Alberta to join us. Alan and four snarky women - he is a brave man!
In case anyone is interested, we are seeing: Camelot, The Homecoming, Richard III, Hosanna, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Misanthrope, Grapes of Wrath,Twelfth Night, Titus Andronicus, and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
So really looking forward to this, and have heard good things about many of the productions - Stratford usually does a god job so it should be a blast. And after that we should be able to do without live theatre for at least a few weeks!
Winnipeg has also been sitting under this heat dome that is blanketing the midwest, and it is just gross. I do not do heat well - there is a reason I live in a place nicknamed "Winterpeg"! (City Motto: It may be minus 40 Celsius, but it's a DRY cold!) -20C bothers me not at all, but I feel sick when the temperature is high. I am profoundly grateful that I a) have air conditioning; and b) work at home. I cling to my a/c vents when it is 37C and pat them and call them pet names.
But the heat broke for us - apparently just for a few days - on Friday and yesterday was actually a bit cool. It was DELIGHTFUL!! I spent much of the afternoon and evening sitting on our new screen porch, (which protects us from Manitoba's provincial bird, the mosquito) with a purring cat, a short rain squall followed by quietly dripping trees, volume 3 of Song of Ice and Fire and a cup of tea. Lovely.
We were able to eat dinner on the porch (it has been too hot for me to use for the last 10 days or so) and then our wonderful neighbours came over with dessert. An excellent day all round.
Today is a bit warmer but still reasonably pleasant - I gather late in the week it is supposed to go back up over 30C (which is around 86F for those who do not speak metric) but I am keeping fingers crossed that the heat wave breaks all over the midwest before we head down to Musecon in 10 days time.
And aside from whining about the heat I have come to the conclusion that I am incredibly blessed and fortunate in my life, my family, friends, home and even country. None of whom are perfect but all of whom are wonderful. (My beloved having his biopsy results come back all negative, everything benign, probably has a large part to do with a positive frame of mind!) World news makes me sad (which is why I try to avoid it as much as possible) but it also puts things into perspective for sure!
So I will try to not whine about heat and just send waves of love and fairy dust out into the ether, to hopefully improve someone else's day. Hugs and foot rubs all round!
Over the last couple of weeks, with the exception of a couple of tweets from my mobile, have not been online much and am happy to re-enter the cyber world and catch up on what people have been doing. It was a stressful couple of weeks as Alan had some fairly significant gut surgery. They were able to do the surgery laparoscopically which makes an enormous difference in how fast one recovers. He had the surgery June 24 and was able to switch from morphine to Tylenol 3 in three days and come home on the fourth day - he has been recovering very fast at home and is able to do most things for himself now, including going out for breakfast this morning which was very exciting! He has been altogether drug free for two days now. When I think of what I went through post Caesarean section - mind you, that was 25 years ago - this is almost miraculous.
And not to rub it in to you if you are a US citizen, but all it cost us out of pocket was parking for my hospital visits. MInd you, our taxes are higher, but to me it is so worth it!
As long as he doesn't lift anything over 10 pounds for another three weeks he should be good - the cats sit around looking sad and asking to be lifted so they do not have to exert themselves to jump onto a lap, but as they are each around 16 pounds they are off limits! He can start driving again later this week and so it looks as though we will be good to go to Musecon in August - yaaay!
So now feeling much less stressed and able to take an interest in the outside world again. Oddly, the outside world seems to have continued on blithely without me, and mostly being just as weird and screwed up as ever. However, I hope all my American friends are having a wonderful Independence Day - we had a very peaceful and relaxed Canada Day last Friday. Sounds like this weekend's cons were fantastic, which is great. Feeling very lucky - hugs and good wishes to all!
Missing my Dad today, of course. Almost 8 years since he died, and I am so fortunate to have no regrets about our relationship or things left unsaid. Not that we never disagreed, and he certainly knew when I disapproved of some of his actions, but we always had the time to sort out anything between us and neither of us ever doubted the other's love, right to the end when I was holding his hand.
Thinking about him today made me realize that he is one of the major reasons I have very high standards for the men in my life. (Fortunately, the one I am married to meets and exceeds them!) Although far from perfect, he was the most supportive father anyone could want (and not, despite the title of the post, in a "give her everything she is perfect kind of way"). He was supportive by making sure I had as many opportunities as I wanted and by always assuming I could do anything I cared to put my mind to doing.
And for a man born in the 1930's he was an amazing feminist, who not only encouraged his wife to go into the same field as him (law, and when they already had a small child at home) ) but was never anything but incredibly proud when she surpassed him in public recognition. When my mom was appointed a judge he nearly burst his buttons with pride, and he loved introducing himself as "Myrna's husband". That is rare even in this day and age, let alone in the 1970's and 80's.
I was blessed to have him in my life. Happy Father's Day, Dad. I miss you.
Hello anyone out there - just starting out on LJ as it appears this is the place to connect with the filk community. I think I actually know a few people here, and know of/admire the work of many more. Hope to get to know you online in the coming weeks/months. - Morva