2006.02.01 Mental afflictions, addictions

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

It ain’t easy being Colleen.

If only I had changed my last name to my husband’s I could say, like Kermit the Frog, it ain’t easy being Green.

But you get the idea. You know you are about to hear the foibles and follies of being me.

Actually, it’s not so much foibles and follies as the permanent state of being mentally deranged.

All because of an expression I heard recently, I know not where, I am questioning my sanity.

“What, are you mental?”

Did you used to say that? My dim memory recalls frequent use of that expression during high school days. But I’ve realized that my 30th high school reunion is this year, so maybe I am off by a few years. Maybe it’s an expression from a movie that transported me back to my high school days in New York.

“What, are you mental?” is a great expression, although you risk being politically incorrect and socially insensitive. But, said with a New York accent, it just makes me feel at home again.

I call my Greek friend Kay to see if she remembers using that expression back when we were in high school.

“Where did it come from?” I ask.

“It comes from the Greek,” is her immediate response. “Everything comes from the Greek.”

“It came from Brooklyn,” says her boyfriend, Jerry. Guess where Jerry grew up?

“Who remembers expressions like that from high school?” Kay asks. She thinks I’m nuts for asking.

“I remember things like falling on my face when I jumped the hurdles in track,” she says, “and how you wouldn’t stop screaming when we were donating blood in the gym.”

They are no help, but Kay does think the expression has been around for a while, so I think maybe I am not so crazy, after all.

Except that I am rethinking my brother Kevin’s comments about addictive personality disorder which he says is common with children of alcoholics. I never gave it much thought beyond my inability to stop eating chocolate. But now that I’ve given sudoku a try, I’m convinced I’m a goner in the addiction department.

When I first heard about that puzzle craze, I thought, “What a waste of time!” Why would anyone want to figure out which number goes where in a box of nine squares within a grid of nine squares so all the numbers from one to nine are used only once within each box and all the numbers are used only once in all the columns and rows of the grid?

Crossword puzzles at least involve the use of a dictionary and learning new words or expressions. Sudoku just seemed like a mind-numbing waste of time. Bob Dister was explaining it one day and I just gave him what-for about it. And then later I thought, how can I judge something that I haven’t even tried? So I tried it and man, once you start, there’s no stopping. David walks into the kitchen saying, “One, six, nine...” trying to distract me as I struggle away filling in those squares, dishes undone, dinner unmade.

I have to completely ban myself from the activity. It doesn’t work to set the timer for 30 minutes of sudoku and then start dinner. No, I have to refrain from opening the newspaper to the puzzle page in the first place. Otherwise, there will be no dinner.

However, for voodoo purposes there will be dinner. Monday night, I made oven fried potatoes and chicken fried rice.  Part of the reason I made them was for Rozee who returned safely from Rome, but for complicated reasons left for Traverse City and wouldn’t be home for dinner. My wacko voodoo calls for me to do things that don’t make sense to anybody but me. Making those potato nuggets of joy and chicken fried rice that Rozee wasn’t going to enjoy is just part of my perverse arsenal of bringing-’em-home-alive tricks.

The potatoes, delectable little buggers coated in olive oil, sprinkled with salt, cracked pepper and granulated garlic and baked at 450 degrees for 45 or so minutes were especially delicious.

“These potatoes are really good,” I say to David.

“Yeah, don’t OD on them,” he says.

“OD?” I ask.

“Overdose,” he explains.

“I know what ‘OD’ means,” I say. “Why would you say that?”

“I don’t know...” He’s sounding sorry he said it.

“Are you trying to tell me something?”

OK, now add paranoia to my list of mental afflictions.

– February 1, 2006
  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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