Monthly Archives: January 2016

Winning Isn’t The Point


I don’t know about you, but I didn’t win the lottery last night. Alas, it would have been handy. Also, just this once, the subject doesn’t manage to circle around to cats, like so much else does in this house. There had to be something that didn’t.

I think my favorite part about really big lottery pots are the increase of news articles about math and finances. No one seriously has the lottery as their retirement plan, or at least they don’t call it that. When someone implies winning the lottery is their answer to declining social security funding, it’s their way of saying they don’t have a plan. It’s sort of like a cynical American idiom.

I know I have a few blog readers who aren’t in North America, for you happy souls not troubled with constant worry over Presidential Primaries and outright horror at who our next president might be, let me quickly explain our lottery. I’m not sure what countries have and don’t have them, so bear with me.

Only 6 out of 50 states don’t participate in the lottery. In the 44 that do, and territories, you can buy a ticket, pick six numbers, and pray they match what the machine spits out on Wednesday or Saturday night. If you get all six, you win.

When it comes to winning the lottery, being willful doesn’t matter. This is the part where I get irritated that we’re in such a hurry to teach trigonometry to high school students that we don’t ensure they understand statistics. A bigger pot means more people will buy tickets, but that doesn’t mean you’re competing with your neighbor. They have exactly the same chance of winning that you do and the odds of your one ticket winning doesn’t change no matter how many tickets your neighbor buys. It’s not a raffle, it’s a lottery. You have to choose the numbers, not have your ticket drawn out of a giant fishbowl containing millions of other tickets. I’m really tired of hearing people talk like they don’t understand that.

CNN ran an article a week ago and listed some of the things that are more likely to happen than winning the lottery:


I really like that last one: you have a better chance of being struck by lightning while drowning. Wow.

And after all of this, even intelligent people will buy the occasional ticket, especially if they don’t have to go out of their way to do it. Why? Hope. And it’s fun to think about if I won the lottery I’d … But you can’t dream if you don’t play.

The Boy is unimaginative. He’s almost 16 and doesn’t have a learner’s permit yet because of his grades. We require him to have an overall and semester B average, and he had a bad year last year. But if we won the lottery, I’d pay the extra to add him to the car insurance. Also, he wants a car. See? Boring.

The Girl is thinking tactically. Lottery winners are targets, so she wants to move to a house that has a perimeter fence, and another ten feet in – like for guard dogs. Except instead of dogs, she wants guard goats. Yes, goats. A combination of fainting and screaming goats, plus billy goats to ram intruders. I’m unclear how exactly that’s better than dogs, but she has it all planned out. Something about goats are friendlier to the environment and cuter. I’m very pleased she’s not going into a security-related field.



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Sick Of Something



Everyone in our house is sick in one way or another. Hubby and The Boy have some nasty virus that has them both in bed whining about dying or something. The Girl has cramps plus anxiety from an upcoming debate event, but at least she hasn’t succumbed to the malevolent microbe. Okay, she has a scratchy throat and is wandering around with a bottle of Chloroseptic in her hand whining about the disaster that would befall the free world if she lost her voice, ignoring my pleas to shut up and save her voice. Whatever, it’s on her.

Jingles is sick of Nimoy, and Nimoy is sick of being ignored so she’s stalking her larger shadowy companion everywhere – and getting her nose whapped for her trouble. That would be fine, except Nimoy is loud about everything she does. Nimoy’s level of protest is registering with the two sick males in the house who insist they’re trying to nap and The Girl trying to memorize an oratory and study points in general to prepare for … I don’t know. Anyway, in theory the tiny kitten is threatening society.

Am I sick? Well yes and no. I have Multiple Sclerosis, which I may have mentioned before, and I’ve been fighting increasing fatigue the past few months. At the moment I’m considering the stairs. If I go down the stairs again today, I might not be able to get back up them and I’m weighing the pros and cons of spending the dregs of the day in my room versus sleeping on the beanbag in the family room tonight. The beanbag is actually really comfortable, and it’ll decrease the chances of catching this bug from Hubby … Yeah, I’m going to risk it. If I end up stuck down there, so be it.

Okay, moving on. Otherwise, no, I’m not sick. Nor am I likely to be. I have the immune system from hell. Seriously, I could probably survive ebola. Granted, it would suck, but I’d make it. As much as I look at Hubby’s misery right now and sympathize, I sit and wonder if I’d trade him places.

Here’s the deal: I don’t get sick. Okay, I rarely get sick. I catch a cold every couple of years. And at this point everyone reading this wants to kill me. This is the magic of my immune system. But this is not a superpower, there’s a catch. While I don’t get coughing, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, etc., I do get exposed to whatever bug whichever kid brought home. My immune system sees the germ, goes into overdrive to kill it so I don’t catch it, then … gets bored.

So? Well, imagine you’re holding the hand of a hyperactive toddler who’s never been told ‘no’ and he’s whining he’s bored. Also, you’re standing in, let’s say, an artist’s sculpted glass exhibit with all the delicate pieces on pedestals for proper display and appreciation. And the toddler’s hand slips out of yours …

My immune system is sort of like that. It gets revved up, then doesn’t have anything to do and turns its malicious attention on me. Like that bored toddler, in my metaphor, my immune system starts finding ways to keep itself entertained … like picking on my nervous system. Oh, joy. That’s why I didn’t have the strength to open a Ziploc yesterday even though I’m not the one with a cold. Technically.

I’m not going to make it back up those stairs.

Pushing all that aside, because the stairs aren’t currently a problem, nor are Hubby and the kids. The Boy woke, ate, and went back to bed. The Girl is upstairs (Thank God!), Hubby is … I’m not sure where Hubby is. Not here. That is the problem actually, because both cats are.

Doesn’t it always come back around to the cats? Why? I have two teenagers, writing that I need to get done, snow removal, dishes, and yet it comes back to the cats. No matter what’s on my agenda for the day or week, the cats manage to wheedle themselves in as more important at some point. At this point, I have an irritable sleek shadow casting death glares on the bell-laden fluff-monster dancing about on the other side of me. I am the barrier between them, which is fine, except for the low feline growls.

Growling in this house has different meanings depending on where it’s coming from. For Darth Jingles, a growl is anything from a warning to a declaration of impending Force Choke. Or hissing ball of claws if the Force Choke fails. For Nimoy, a growl is an invitation to play. Do you see the potential for miscommunication and hence my concern? For one cat, my outstretched legs are the Mason-Dixon Line; for the other, a tennis net.

I’m going to die.



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