Dying Less is Good — Aug. 30, 2021

Dying Less

I think we can all agree that it’s not exactly a good thing to stop breathing more than 53 times an hour while we’re sleeping, yes? OK, good. There’s at least one thing that isn’t divisive in this country right now.

When I had my first sleep study in February, I was not breathing 53-plus times every hour, thanks to severe obstructive sleep apnea. I got an APAP machine, the fancy-shmancy cousin from the Upper West Side of the CPAP. And my numbers got better. I was dying only between 13 and 20 times an hour. But the generally accepted level of deaths-per-hour is less than five, so yeah, still not good.

So I went back in, got hooked up to 35 wires on my head and chest and was told “We’ll be watching and listening to everything you do. Sleep tight!” This test confirmed obstructive sleep apnea’s bitch stepmother, central sleep apnea, which, unlike obstructive sleep apnea, is not “merely” an airway problem. No, central sleep apnea is when your brain just forgets to tell your body to breathe! WTF, brain? I mean, really?

Last week I traded in my APAP for it’s fancy shmancy cousin from Greenwich, the ASV, which I’ve named Angelina. Well, me and Angelina didn’t get along so well the first few nights, namely because she’s a huge pain in the ass. She goes about her job by jamming large quantities of air up my nostrils if she senses my brain has started going down a YouTube rabbit hole of QAnon conspiracy theory videos and forgotten to take care of basic functions like keeping us alive.

In the past few days, Angelina and I are having more fun in bed (while Wifey-Poo sleeps right beside me! I know, kinky, ain’t it?), and check out those numbers! That’s 0.1 deaths per hour! I’ll take it.

The Crazy Facebook Marketplace Lady

No one needs to be told there are crazy people on the internet. Most of us have experienced such looney-toons for ourselves. But in case you were, for some absurd reason, thinking that things might be getting better out there on the world wide web (remember that term?), I bring you Crazy Barbara.

A bit of backstory: My mother-in-law recently downsized into a senior living community. When she did, we bought her house and moved in. But Mom still has a crapton of stuff here that she either no longer wants, will not fit into her new digs or both. And a lot of it is … well … let’s just say I made a commitment to my boys to leave a lot less stuff in my wake when I make my journey into the next world or go live in the Land of Perpetual Ambulance Visits.

One of the things that brings me great enjoyment is writing funny ads. So I told Wifey-Poo like a king asking for meat, “Bring me something to sell, woman!” And after she punched me, she brought me a hodge-podge of cardinals. So I wrote this ad:

Do you like cardinals? No, I didn’t say THE Cardinals. I’m talking about the bird. Well if you like them, you should meet my mother-in-law, Judy, or as I like to call her, “The Judester.” She just downsized and has far too little space for all of her stuff. Enter her hero son-in-law, who told her he’d sell all her junk err stuff and make her a million bucks. Help me not look like an idiot and give me ten bucks for this stuff with cardinals on them. You’ll get a candle and vase (or, if you’re fancy, a vahhhse), a little statue thingy, another little statue thingy and a matching pair of other cardinal statue thingies that my wife just told me would sit on a wire rack or something.

Enter Crazy Barbara.

Crazy Barbara messaged to inquire about the availability of this lovely little collection, telling me, “I love red birds.” Hey, we all gotta love something, right?

I told Barbara they were, indeed, available. She then informed me she doesn’t drive and would I bring them to her in Crystal City, which sounds a lot more interesting than it is, trust me. Oh, and did I mention that Crystal City is more than an hour away? I told her driving a bunch of fake birds an hour in exchange for ten bucks probably wasn’t going to happen, so she asked if I would ship them. Now, forget the fact that the ad said “local pickup only.” I said, “Sure, but shipping is going to cost $15 because these red birds that you love are fra-geee-lay. At which point she said, “Oh my!” Hey. Don’t blame me. Blame the post office.

Now, it was 10:20 p.m., and I was tired. It’d been a long day So I told her I was going to bed and that if she wanted the beautiful red birds, they were hers, and she could pay me with the generally acceptable electronic payment options of PayPal or Venmo.

I awoke this morning to the following:

‘I pay CASH.


I DO NOT even have a DEBIT CARD.’

Which seems like a rather difficult way to go about commerce in the modern world when you are seeking lovely red birds from sellers more than an hour away whom you are unwilling or unable to actually go meet, but hey, to each her own.

Crazy Barbara wasn’t done. Two minutes later, she had written:

‘You sure go to bed with chickens.’

Um… what?

I think she just called Wifey-Poo (And Angelina) a chicken.

But I really don’t have any clue what she was getting at there. Do you?

Needless to say, Crazy Barbara won’t be receiving the red birds she loves so much, and she now is blocked on Facebook.

Oh, and if you’d like to buy the birds, here you go.

The ‘Don’t Blame Me, I Didn’t Say It’ of the Day

‘You sure go to bed with chickens.’

Crazy barbara

Going Once, Going Twice, SOLD!

We agreed to terms today with someone to buy Old House. Closing is set for Sept. 27. I’m happy about this. I’m not happy that I listened to advice from my Realtor, which cost me way too much money than I want to think about. Lesson learned, as I wrote about yesterday: Trust your gut, John. You know what you’re doing.

Remembering the Worst Day of My Life

Twenty-one years ago today, Wifey-Poo and I went to the Baby Doc to see our first son for the first time. It was her 20-week ultrasound, and we were thrilled to get a look at our developing child. Our worlds were shattered when the screening revealed something was wrong and that our baby boy wouldn’t survive much past birth. The following four months were hell, and the doctor’s initial thoughts were true… little Jacob lived four hours on Dec. 20, 2000. Being there with my boy when he breathed his last breath was hard. But even now, I still believe that Aug. 30, 2000, was much, much harder. That was the day innocence died for me.

I miss you, son.

Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

  1. That moment when you see an individual lightning bolt shoot from the sky toward the ground and say, “Oh wow! Did you see that?”
  2. Celebratory toasts.
  3. Smart home stuff that enables you to turn lights on, lock the door, adjust the thermostat and make you a sammich without getting off your ass.

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