Musings on a Late-Week Monday

Lately, I’ve been bitten by new car fever. Not just any new car fever, though. New car fever involving a Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 6-speed manual. I might seriously consider such a beast except for one important factor: the car’s recommended fuel is 91-octane or higher premium. Who in their right mind would buy a car that requires premium fuel? Damn. I sure like the looks of the car. And I bet it would be fun to drive. But, alas (added for the benefit of a some-time reader who thinks “alas” is the linguistic equivalent of pretention), I shall not invest money I don’t have in a car that prefers gasoline that I refuse to buy. Instead, I will sulk and continue driving my wife’s seventeen-year-old hand-me-down Toyota Camry.

During the last seventeen years, we’ve put only about 9,000 miles per year on the car. That’s not much. Especially considering that we’ve averaged about 16,000 miles per year on our newer car, the 2016 Subaru Outback. Though I call the Subaru my wife’s car, it’s actually the “family car.” We use it when we’re driving together, when I’m almost always in the driver’s seat. I am a steering wheel control freak. I much prefer to be the driver than to sit in the passenger seat, under the driver’s control. But I’m getting better about that.

It’s unusual for me to be sitting at my computer at 10:00 a.m., typing a mindless post that will add no significant value to the world’s literature. The reason I’m sitting here is this: I requested (online) an appointment to have my eyes examined and I’m waiting for a phone call to confirm a date and time for my appointment. I think my prescription could use some tweaking, at least, and I know I need new lenses. My frames are at least five or six years old, so they probably are ready to break (actually, I’m relatively sure they have broken and were repaired, so they’re ready to break irreparably). So, it’s time for an entirely new set of glasses. Two sets, actually, inasmuch as I do not want to find myself with broken glasses and no backup. And I want slip-in sunglasses. It’s only money. And a lot of it.

I don’t want to derail my recuperation by saying anything too early, but I have a hint of a sense that my esophageal nastiness may be improving ever-so-slightly. My cough seemed to have almost disappeared after only a single dose of a codeine-laden prescription cough syrup, but then I made some comment about it and it returned. I haven’t taken more of the cough syrup because the warnings associated with it suggest I could die a horrible, horrible death from side-effects. I’d rather not risk it, but if that’s what it takes…

Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to swallow again? And wouldn’t it be deliriously wonderful to be able to eat spicy foods?! And foods with texture?!  Oh, the joy of the very idea!

Today feels like Monday for some reason, though I can’t say why. The only reason I have to feel Mondays these days is that my chemo treatments are on Mondays. I do not have a chemo treatment today. I have one next Monday. So why would today “feel” like a Monday? It’s not like I need to go to work today, though going to work might be kind of nice, especially since going to work usually suggests that a paycheck will follow at some point. I miss paychecks. I really do. I should have thought about that before I retired. Actually, I should have thought about retirement when I fell into a career. Had I been smart, I would have chosen a career that involved a generous pension for pensioners. As it turned out, I have no pension. Never did. Never will. I have only savings. If I live long enough, I will have Social Security income. We decided to defer claiming Social Security until I turn seventy. Based on recent health-related matters, the likelihood of that happening is considerably less than it was just a few month ago. So now I’m wondering whether I should go ahead and claim it. See, that sort of thinking is what makes today feel like a Monday. That’s the sort of thing that might engage one’s thought processes on a Monday. I suppose I can consider today a late-week Monday. Nothing’s to stop me from deciding to do that. Nothing but rational thought and concerns that I might be branded as ripe for involuntary institutionalization. So maybe I’ll let it slide for now.

In case I was wondering, which I was, I’m hungry. I feel like something substantial, though what that substantial something might be remains a mystery.  For the last two nights, we’ve eaten meatloaf. My first meat in ages, it seems. I was able to swallow it, which was wonderful. The serving size, though, was monstrous. I should have split it in two, but I didn’t. I greedily consumed the entire thing, gaining ten pounds in the process, I suspect. No, the meatloaf did not weigh ten pounds, but as we all know, once ingested, the weight that food adds to one’s body increases exponentially. For example, if I were to eat two ounces of meat, those two ounces would multiply by two as I swallowed them. By the time those four ounces reached my stomach, those four ounces would multiply by themselves, resulting in sixteen ounces, the entirety of which would be affixed to my weight. I would, therefore, gain a pound by eating only two ounces of meat. Now, imagine what would happen if I ate an entire pound of meat! Here, I’ll show you:

16 x 16 =256 (I swallow 16 ounces, 256 ounces, or 16 pounds, would make their way to my stomach)

256 x 256 =65,536 (by the time the meat reaches my stomach, it would weigh 65,536 ounces, or 4,096 pounds)

Clearly, by eating just one sixteen-ounce rib-eye, I would gain 4,096 pounds! Obviously, then, one ought not to eat such large, luscious, mouth-watering steaks, no matter how hungry one believes oneself to be. Instead, one ought to rub a single leaf of celery on one’s lower lip, allowing the flavors of the celery to just barely activate the taste buds. It’s the healthy thing to do.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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