Sunday Morning I woke up and was unable to properly close my right eye.
I thought I had just slept funny, but I noticed I couldn't move my lips properly either. It didn't get better. Monday morning it was obvious that the right side of my face was not working properly.
I was able to visit the doctor Monday afternoon. Thankfully, it's not a stroke (always a risk for someone with hypertension). It is a fairly common condition called Bell's Palsy. Apparently 1 in 70 people get it at some point in their lives, and it effects people between the ages of 10 and 40 (I'm 41).
This is not a pleasant experience. The prognosis is good, but it will take time to get back to normal. I'm off from work this week.
It's been difficult to care about much else lately. Add to that the bitter, bitter, brutal cold we're experiencing here, already as cold as the depths of January here in mid-November. Last year I said another winter like last one would literally kill me. Already this winter is shaping up to be far, far, worse. Much of the East Coast is buried in snow, and it looks like our personal fallout from Climate Change will be a much, much, much colder and harsher climate. We've been 15-35 degrees below normal temps for the past 2 and a half years at least. It barely got above 70 all summer for the past few summers, and was mostly in the 60's. Winters will now go months without seeing 0 much less freezing (Fahrenheit). The Upper Midwest will probably be the coldest place south of the Arctic Circle now.
My Internet service is not working properly for reasons I cannot discern. My 7200 baud modem back in 1998 worked faster than the lousy Time Warner cable connection, and I assure you I am not exaggerating - it can take 5-10 minutes to download a single web page, if it downloads at all, that is. I cannot watch any video, and can access email half the time (I'm at a local cafe now).
Which wouldn't be so bad, if I didn't have to pay $150.00 a month for internet service (it was 19.99 when I started). Time Warner is, of course, a monopoly (and no, it's thanks to government deregulation, not regulation). I have a hard time justifying paying that cost for such a poor product, and am seriously thinking about cutting the cord. It's just not worth it. Thanks again, to America's extractive monopolies, crushing the economy to make fortunes for a few oligarchs, they've killed yet another online enterprise (one that didn't make any money, but still...)
I can't do that now, because my phone doesn't work either. I transferred my number to my new phone provider (Ting) but I can't make any calls. Without phone or internet, it's hard to correct these issues. When and if I get my phone service back, I'll probably do it, as I need to save every penny right now.
That will make blogging harder, of course. It won't be impossible, though, I'll just need to read and write stuff off-line and upload it at work or at the cafes like where I am now. That might be a good thing - maybe it's time for longer, reflective pieces.
I read a book by the Minamalists recently, and it made an effect on me. It was called Everything That Remains. I wish I could write a review, but circumstances intervene. Perhaps soon. You can find their site here: http://www.theminimalists.com/
I'm pretty jealous. I wish I could could quit my job (which pays substantially less than six figures), and they managed to have writing/blogging careers immediately after quitting theirs. I've been writing here for years with nothing to show for it, money-wise at least.
So, I've been getting rid of my stuff. It's an ongoing process, not that I had that much to begin with. Really, I've been a minimalist my whole life, but I'm just taking it up to the next level.
I've been using the time to read a lot. I've been studying to take the LEED exam (BD +C). Some of you may note the irony - I am a pretty bitter critic of LEED, but even I am not exempt from credentialism, and I need all the help I can get. It's hard to read the boring manual when I've got so many other reading/writing projects ongoing. Currently I'm also reading Mumford's The City in History, The Great Mortality, an excellent readable history of the Black Death, Nicholas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance, How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand (highly recommended - I need to write a review) and Poor People by William Vollman. By coincidence, I ran across this - Morris Berman on my literary hero Mumford:
Honestly, getting out of here is the only thing that keeps my going. I'm not very happy right now, and I want the use of my face back.
So, this is to say, posting my be erratic for the foreseeable future. Thanks for your understanding.