#WDYS — Hollow Man

Bit by bit, I sold myself to the lure of success.
I wanted to be king of the hill,
To reap the rewards of power and wealth.
So I sacrificed who I am to reach the pinnacle.
And when I got there,
Standing all alone
Looking back at the devastation I left in my wake,
I realized that there was little left of me.
Just the hull of a man,
Hollowed out by my pursuit of material things,
At the expense of my humanity.
Everyone can see right through me now
And recognize that there is nothing left inside
Worth saving.

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See prompt. Photo credit: Not All There – The Enigmatic Sculptures of Bruno Catalano.

Truthful Tuesday — Supply and Demand

Di, of Pensitivity101, is our host for Truthful Tuesday. This week, Di asks us:

Do you think the hike in prices for flowers, especially red roses, as we near Valentine’s Day, is warranted?

I woke up at 3:00 this morning and was having trouble falling back to sleep, so I picked up my iPhone and saw Di’s Truthful Tuesday prompt in my reader. My original thought was to just comment that if you’re concerned about price gouging by florist on Valentine’s Day, don’t buy roses on the one day of the year when they are most in demand. Duh!

But then I thought about my economics courses in college and realized that it really all about the basic economic theory called “The law of supply and demand.” Simply stated, it is the theory that prices are determined by the relationship between supply and demand. If the supply of a good or service outstrips the demand for it, prices will fall. If demand exceeds supply, prices will rise.

The demand for flowers, especially for long-stemmed red roses, skyrockets on one particular day each year: February 14th, Valentine’s Day. So are all of the florists out there are just ripping you off because they can due to that huge demand? Or is there something more to it?

There is, indeed, something more to it. I don’t want to come across as an apologist for the flower industry, but the fact is that flowers are an agricultural product and are highly perishable. They have to be farmed and harvested well in advance so that the flowers are ready to be shipped at just the right time.

In order to meet the huge increased in demand on Valentine’s Day, more labor must be hired to harvest the roses one stem at a time. The timing is critical because roses cannot be stockpiled. They have to be sent to the wholesalers immediately after they are picked.

Ensuring that the demand is met on that particular day is a logistical nightmare that brings together growers, field hands, cargo planes, truckers, and customs officials across several continents. Everything must be perfectly timed. If the roses arrive too early, they’ll start to wilt, and people won’t want to buy them. If the flowers arrive the day after Valentine’s Day, nobody will be interested in buying them and the florists will be stuck with stock that they can’t move.

The bottom line is that it’s really expensive just to get these millions of roses to the market in order to satisfy what is essentially a huge one-day spike in demand. The retail florist is at the end of the long line of entities involved in getting the product to market. The costs of all this planning and execution are, of course, passed on to us, the consumers.

So is the hike in prices warranted? Based upon the law of supply and demand, yeah. Is there anything that can be done about it? Yes, stop being a lemming and falling victim to this Hallmark holiday hype by thinking that you need to buy the love of your life a dozen long-stemmed red roses every February 14th. Think of the money you’ll save if you buy them a month early.

“Honey, I know Valentine’s Day is still a month away, but I love you so very much that I couldn’t wait until then to buy you these dozen long-stemmed red roses.” It’s a win-win solution.

January 2023 — Whatta Month

I’m so very happy that today is the last day of the month. For me, personally, January 2023 has been the worst month of my entire life.

There were only eight days this entire month that I was relatively pain free. The month started off with me hurting my back on New Year’s Day and suffering from severe lower bag spasms. Within four days of that injury, though, the back spasms had stopped and I was close to pain free. And that period of painlessness lasted for another week.

Then I fell off a latter, busted my hip, had hip replacement surgery, and spent two weeks in the hospital (including rehab). Now I’m at home and am undergoing home-based rehab services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and visiting nurse visits.

(That sounds redundant, doesn’t it? “Visiting nurse visits”? By definition, visiting nurses visit patients, so I’m not sure how else to describe what they do. Oh well, deal with it.)

So anyway, today is the last day of the worst month of my life. February can’t possibly be any worse, although I’m not expecting it to be a particularly fun month. I will be going through in-home rehab for the entire month, and hopefully, by the end of the month, I’ll reach the point that I’ll be able to walk again without having to use a walker.

So here’s the deal.

First, I expect you’re getting tired of my whiney posts about poor Fandango and his broken hip. So I’m going to try to minimize such posts. Second, as my energy level improves, I will try to get back into reading more of your wonderful posts, responding to daily word prompts, photo prompts, and to share my observations and perspectives on what is going that doesn’t involve poor Fandango and his broken hip.

Although, truth be told, it’s been kinda nice not paying attention to all of the political and societal bullshit during the past three weeks. Almost blissful.

FOWC with Fandango — Loose


It’s January 31, 2023. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “loose.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. Show them some love.

TMP — Activities of Daily Living

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off.

Okay, maybe I should be grateful that, after having fallen off of a ladder and fracturing my hip, I can still do these things at all. No, check that, I am very grateful that I can still do these things at all. It could have been worse. But that doesn’t mean I can’t grouse about it, does it?

What am I talking about? I’m talking about activities of daily living. Things that those of us who are able-bodied take completely for granted. Things like hopping out of bed in the morning and jumping into bed at night. Like getting dressed and undressed. Like going to the bathroom, taking a shower, grooming. Like walking.

Yes, I can still do these things, but not without a bit of a struggle. Most of these activities take me anywhere from five to ten times longer than they did in the before days (before I broke my hip). Getting dressed is an ordeal. I have to use tools, like a grabber, a hook, a device to put socks on. I have to use a leg lifter to get my leg up on the bed at night.

Sure, I could ask my wife to help me out, but my occupational therapists says it’s important that I learn how to use these aids and do it by myself.

And even sitting down or getting up from a chair takes concentration. I’ve got a 50% weight bearing limitation on my left leg, so I need to focus on what I’m doing so that I don’t inadvertently put too much weight on that leg. Even walking using a walker requires concentration so that I don’t take a misstep.

And then there are the half a dozen or so home exercises the physical therapist has me doing: three sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise three times each day. It’s all so fucking exhausting!

Okay, I’m done with this peeve.