What was I mad at? Let me count the ways.
I was very annoyed at Europe. Somehow, the fools running Greece have an insta-switch panic button connected directly to my 401-k and my college 529 accounts. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars are vanishing because the media-business-greed-and-fear machine seems incapable of putting anything into perspective anymore. Memo to Wall Street: Quit looking around for reasons to be skittish. There's ALWAYS a reason to be skittish. Start looking for opportunities. Start putting MY money to work making more money. Or else you're fired. You do NOT get to screw with my kids' college money.
So I discovered maybe it's time to turn off the news for a while. A firehose of info about things I can do nothing about isn't helping my mood.
But turning off the radio made me start paying that much closer attention to the massively beat-up roads in this town. Hey clowns working in front of Xavier University, why does it take two-plus YEARS to repave three blocks? My younger kid, now in junior high was in freaking fifth grade when this road work started. Will you EVER restore that road to normal traffic?
Multiply this annoyment by Madison Road, Galbraith Road, Losantiville and many, many more roads just on the east side of town. If I have to drive over one more steel plate, or dodge one more elevated sewer lid, I might...well, I might start swinging a war hammer around.
And now the road-ruiners are digging up our neighborhood roads to put in new gas lines -- with no word whatsoever on when and whether they'll ever re-surface the streets to smooth out the numerous street cuts they're making in a previously smooth road. Please explain how a project that is designed to cut the street at every single house address could possibly be done without immediate plans to re-surface? How can "just patching" be good enough?
This hasn't just rattled my teeth. One of the resurfacing jobs exposed a pothole that I hit in the dark and tossed my car's front end out of alignment, maybe even caused more serious damage. I'm not in the mood to pay for even more car repairs. I'm dreading the trip to the mechanic.
Speaking of car repairs...I'm also annoyed with Volkswagen. They built a nice Cabrio in most respects. But the electronic stuff just stinks. One of my headlights has shorted out -- again. One of my tail lights has shorted out -- again. It takes multiple tries to get my power windows to actually close. They have a habit of closing partway, then reversing course. Then not responding. Then finally responding. Had that checked out a while ago. Replacing window motors isn't cheap. Have to wait until it actually breaks completely -- or I win the lottery, which I don't play.
Meanwhile, the exterior radio antenna rusted at its base and has snapped off. This has rendered AM radio an insufferable ball of static. Then again, that's not much of a change, really, is it?
I hate it when old cars start falling apart. Today...if I had a war hammer, my car would have suffered greivous violence.
As these joyous moments occurred, I might have shared some of this semi-entertaining whining on Facebook via my iPhone. But lately, the iPhone itself has been a source of great annoyment. Routine stuff that used to be quick suddenly takes forever. Like following a link to an interesting story -- the story takes forever to pop up. A slow iPhone is like going 20 mph on a highway. Not supposed to happen. And I use my iPhone all the time, so it's like being in a traffic jam all the time.
And I really, really hate traffic jams. I've regularly adjusted my life to avoid them. I take getting caught in one as a personal failure of situation awareness.
So, my iPhone would have been crushed into shards of glass and silicon if I had a war hammer today.
Meanwhile, I'm annoyed with my body. It too has decided to fall apart. This morning, I was dealing -- again -- with a recent bout of shoulder and neck pain that has, so far, required three doctor appointments and an MRI. Now I learn that I face a schedule of physical therapy.
Why did this occur? Is it a bad disc in my neck? Is it a partial tear of my teres minor muscle in my shoulder. Is it arthritis-related swelling? Is it repetitive motion-related swelling? Or is it some combination of all of the above? Medical testing has revealed possible yet not-quite-conclusive signs of all of these maladies. Nice, huh?
I don't have time for this. I haven't even complained yet about losing my hair and being annoyed with my paunch. I have work to do.
But I do know this, if I did have a war hammer, I would have aggravated my shoulder while wielding it. In fact, it was a sudden strange inability to even hold onto a small sledgehammer while pounding in our Halloween gravestones that sent me running to the doc in the first place.
It would have been fitting if I ended up dropping my Hammer of Terrible Venegence on my foot while trying to smash my iPhone. As my kids might have said: epic fail!
Insert barbarian roar here.
OK. I'm done. Sorry. Thanks for lending an electronic sympathic "ear."
Jackie asked me last night what I want to do for my birthday later this month. My response: How about not have one? Not much redeeming about turning 47 -- except not getting to turn 47, I suppose.