In da funk

I don’t know what it is about February. For being the shortest month, it is one of the most effective in putting me in a snarly, short-tempered mood. Part of it this year could be age — or the growing realization of age. My middle daughter turned 18 last weekend. My oldest daughter turns 21 the last weekend of the month. While I’m happy for them, I remain totally and absolutely convinced that I ought not to be old enough to have kids that age.

Certainly the weather ain’t helping. Being a lifelong South Dakotan, I know we can encounter lengthy periods of cold and snow. In fact, we’ve probably been lucky this year and the last couple. Still, when you tack a couple days of getting up early to clear the driveway and sidewalk onto the stretch of colder than normal temperatures this month, I’m getting as antsy and testy as the dog. At least I don’t have to go outside to relieve myself.

The news, if that’s what you want to call it, ain’t helping either. At one end of the spectrum are the endless stories on and fascination with the presidential race. GODDAMN IT, the election is nearly two years away — at least have the decency to GO AWAY and leave us in peace for a few more months. At the other end is treating the death of Anna Nicole Smith as if it has some significance to the world or our lives. It strikes me there is more to be gained if the media looked at why people in this country are dying in squalor rather than foaming at the mouth over the death of a woman who led a lavish and profligate lifestyle thanks to the fact her breasts were 100 times larger than her brain. Then, of course, there’s what amounts to the middle ground these days — fascination with the fact someone in the astronaut corps could be subject to the same personal travails that cause others to freak out. But then, those others don’t wear diapers when driving, something that evidently makes the story that much more newsworthy.

For various reasons, I’ve left Sanford Health alone as I think the gift and its ultimate purpose and goal are tremendous. But the last few days I can’t help but wonder how many uninsured people could benefit if just the money used in promoting and advertising this event were dedicated to that aim.

The other problem is that when this level of irritation strikes, the writing genie goes and hides. I have at least two book reviews I need to get done and haven’t gotten farther than a couple grafs in each. So this rant serves a couple purposes. One is to simply left off a bit of the steam. The other is the subtle hope that writing one post will thaw the creative juices necessary to get on to those reviews and other matters.

Oh my
Life has passed me by
The country I was brought up in
Fell apart and died

“Lowdown,” Chicago III

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