Coffee heat rising

Annoyance, Anxiety, and Pain?

This stuff has gotta stop.

A new doc’s appointment coming up on Friday, I’m wrapping up a blood pressure/events diary by way of discussing the blood pressure conundrum. Fack, what a Pain in the Tuchus, caps and lower-case.

By way of trying to infuse some sense into ream after ream after ream of brain-banging numbers, I took it upon my little self to mark each arguably hypertensive event with a tag relating to any concomitant circumstances or emotional states that might be relevant:

  • Pain, headache
  • Pain, other
  • Annoyance
  • Anxiety
  • Alarm
  • Hot flash

That’s about it. There really aren’t that many things that unnerve my cardiovascular system. but I guess those six are quite enough.

So today I’m organizing 575 entries (yes, you did read that right!) and it strikes me that I’ve entered “Annoyance” an awful lot. Like…oh…at least once a day. Often lots more than once a day.

Indeed. If you believe this little transcript of miseries, I am “annoyed” every single goddamn minute of my life.

Huh! Think o’ that.

Well, “annoyance” runs a fairly wide gamut: from mildly peeved (more junk mail in the postbox!) to irritated (Trump news, computer hassles, driving the homicidal roads of Phoenix) to freaking enraged (Cox makes a hash of things, Mac crashes and loses a sh!tload of data). But what that’s saying is that I traverse a spectrum of emotion that runs from ever so slightly ruffled to mad as a cat…every day. Every freaking day.

No wonder my blood pressure hovers near the ceiling.

And therein lies the issue: That, whatever it is, has gotta stop!

Exactly how one makes a steadily flowing tide of rage come to a stop escapes me. Really: I have no idea. But one expects that recognizing something makes it possible to deal with something.

So one hopes.


Ah, yes, Today: it began with five hours of wrestling with intransigent computer hardware. An hour on the phone with a Cox tech (Cox has recently taken a page out of Apple’s book and now, mirabilis! offers a service that allows you to talk with a tech in real time). After much thrashing around, he fixed one issue (re-connected the [ever-annoying…] new MacBook to the [unhappy, cranky] Brother printer. Then realized, in short order, that the wi-fi card on the stegosaurus-vintage Mac had crashed.

Finally get breakfast and a couple cups of coffee along about 11 a.m.

Feed the dogs and feed myself. Post a new chapter from The Complete Writer at Plain & Simple Press. Realize it’s a bit too bloggish and…come to think of it, out of date. Rewrite it. Add new material, expanding its scope a bit. But find myself a bit too tired after the morning’s marathon Annoyance to go on at much length.

Decide to take a full half-hour (it expands to 40 minutes) to unwind preparatory to running the last BP measure I intend to commit, by way of finishing off this diary to present to her Doc-hood. Use the time to draft a little bit of the Ella story. Don’t get far.

Numbers: Not too bad. Average: 122.4/78.1. Craziness factor: intense…

Consume afternoon in cleaning up the data I’ve collected and trying to make sense of it, the morning having been blown with trying to make the computers and Internet connection work.

My friend calls to say that her mother has passed. Not unexpected — she was very elderly and not well. But sad. We agree that she should refrain from going to the planned concert this weekend…especially since it happens to fall on her sister’s birthday.

Out the door like a rocket, running late as usual.

Naturally, Missouri Road is blocked down to one-lane-in-both-directions, preparatory to new lane-painting. Not a paint truck in sight, as far as the human eye can see. Takes for fuckin-ever to get through that mess, but fortunately I left not quite so late as it felt. Get to the Apple store right on time.

There we learn that the MacBook cannot be fixed, because Apple considers a nine-year-old computer too superannuated to be bothered with. But given that I dropped it and dented one corner of the thing pretty badly and yet it STILL kept on running, I can’t complain.

Peruse Apple’s present offerings and realize that really…seriously…I should have bought a MacBook Air. It would have cost a fraction of what this MacBook Pro cost; it has enough memory and power to do the main jobs I do; it lacks the annoying touchbar; and its keyboard has not yet been stupidized.


Peruse the iPhones. Learn how to get ahold of refurbished versions and how to recognize the ones that probably will run for a few years. Think the price, even on the second-hand models, is stupidly obscenely fukkin fulminating outrageous.


Drift out of the Apple store. Drift through Saks, check out the Eileen Fisher racks, miss my crazy friend who could spend more money just thinking about it than I can spend working at it. We loved to shop there, which was…crazy, where both of us were concerned. Once in her presence I bought a pile of Eileen’s I couldn’t afford. Took them home. Looked at them and thought holeee shit i can’t afford this. Dropped them back in the bags and returned them.

A week later, happened to pass through the store again, only to find a gigantic end-of-season sale going on. Bought back all the stuff I’d returned, 30% to 50% off. 😀 My friend never knew.

Hit the road at the height of rush hour. Remember not to turn onto Missouri. This leaves just one option: drive up to 24th and go west on Glendale. Traffic is bumper-to-bumper-to-bumper.

But manage to dodge left across oncoming traffic into the (ever-crowded) Sprouts parking lot. Dart in and grab a few things, among the Pomí tomatoes that you can no longer buy anyplace else in town, not even at AJ’s, not even at Fry’s.

Up 16th to Northern, hit a ribbon-shaped parking lot. Nothin’ going on, except a cop helicopter buzzing a ’hood to the north. Just traffic. Traffic. Traffic.

Home, park in front of the computer again. Numbers, numbers, numbers… Forget to feed the dogs. Forget to feed me. Finally give up.

Feed the dogs. Myself, too tired to eat.


Here’s a beautiful piece we’re singing during Holy Week, one of my favorites. Said a commenter on YouTube:

I felt so distressed this morning and found this lovely piece of music, and it healed my mind. Music like this is so healing. Thanks for posting. Very grateful.


4 thoughts on “Annoyance, Anxiety, and Pain?”

  1. As I get older , a couple of things seem to be more and more evident in the business world. First …tTat Ford Motor Company, with all the many descendants of Henry Ford counting on their holdings as their main source of income, is nothing more than a “pension plan” for the Ford Family that happens to sell SOME cars but mostly trucks….And second….that Apple is a “smart phone company” that happens to sell some computers. After visiting these stores in the last couple of years it is apparent to me that the staff doesn’t really give a “flying fig” if you buy a computer or not. And God help you with a problem with one of their computers. Now If you’d like to buy one of those $1K phones….they are more than happy to oblige…Just my 2 cents….

    • Actually, their support staff is awesome. You can e-mail mail them and within seconds a real, live human being will call you on the phone and talk you through whatever headache you’re enjoying at the moment. Sometimes they’ll even get online and (with your permission) sign into your computer and explore around to find and fix the issue. These folks are invariably smart, pleasant, and knowledgeable.

      Their “Genius” repair people tend to be a little more nerdly, but they also are at least TRYING to help.

      And when you come right down to it: nine years is one heckuva long lifetime for a laptop that’s used upwards of eight hours a day, seven days a week…heh…especially after its human drops it on the tile floor and dents its case over an important component… 🙄

      It looks like I can get a refurbished iPhone for between $500 and $700 — most of these are fresh-out-of-the-box returns. That’s about what an Android phone costs, only with Android you don’t get the tech assistance: you’re pretty much on your own.

      Apple, interestingly, is now offering DAILY classes in an array of tech adventures that make your eyeballs spin, from your basic “how to used our gadgets” to “how to make music on your computer” to “how to make art” on your computer” to “how to code.” I may start going over there just to socialize and learn some new techie stuff.

  2. I think a lot of us are feeling extra stress these days. There is the craziness of current politics bombarding us every day via radio, TV, online news, and social media, and the economic insecurity this induces. Then there is the horrible violence we hear about every day through those same channels. Add in our own trials and tribulations from daily life and it’s no surprise that we’re all chronically stressed.

    The key may be making time to de-stress regularly throughout the day. Maybe blogging and writing about it is one of your pressure releases; if so, keep it up, and keep dumping all the stressors out “on the page” to keep them from spiking your BP and eating away at your peace of mind. You may also want to try setting aside time for meditation/quiet contemplation/prayer every day and cutting out some of the things that lead to so much stress.

    You’ve worked so hard all of your life, isn’t it possible to say no to some of the work? That would allow you more time to enjoy the things that make you happy: singing in choir, gardening, hiking, taking the dogs for walks. I sometimes feel that we (and women, especially) will never be able to get away from some nagging feelings of financial catastrophe, but we can try to turn those thoughts away when they lead to illness and mental/physical pain.

    • Yes, all of those things are true and wise. The news just gets crazier-making and crazier-making…to the point that if my son weren’t here, I would seriously consider moving out of the country.

      One of the things that’s filling up time with stress is simply keeping track of this damn blood pressure flap. Every sitting with the effing machine soaks up 15 minutes — two or three times a day! Then entering the data and building a summary that makes sense of it: simply endless. It’s 10 a.m. right now and I’ve been at it since 6:30…haven’t even fed the poor dogs. And I see that AGAIN my computer isn’t talking to the printer. So that will be ANOTHER hour wrestling with Cox or Mac…or both. If both: make that two hours.

      And unfortunately, I really need to keep the business going as long as I can. The RMD + Social Security are just BARELY enough for me to live on. And since we can be sure the economy is going to crash soon — possibly in an event that will make the Bush Recession look like a picnic — I dare not try to fall back on the RMD/SS alone. If I hadn’t had the funds in the business, I couldn’t have paid for the car.

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