Comprehensively Meaningless

They knew very well that Nozdryov was a liar, that not a single word of his could be trusted, not the least trifle, and nevertheless they resorted precisely to him. What are you going to do with man? ...All his life he cares not a penny for doctors, and it ends up with him turning finally to some village wench, who treats him with mumbling and spittle, or, better still, he himself invents some decoction of God knows what trash, which, lord knows why, he fancies is precisely the remedy for his ailment.
            —Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls

I would do anything for a double whiskey right now except go outside in the chill to buy a bottle. It's not even that cold at nearly 7° C. (As you can see, I'm once more trying to use the metric system like a normal human being.) It's just as well about the weather, for I have a habit of drinking slightly more whiskey than I should or better. It's in the nature of whiskey to be easygoing in the evening only to hold a lot of strong opinions the following morning. I'm drinking a glass of Cabernet Blanc instead because it was around. I don't care for it much. With bold notes of contact cement and adhesive bandages, followed by hints of car polish in the finish, this wine would pair well with the nearest kitchen sink.

Work was a wash today. My job is 50% answering questions, 30% asking questions, and 20% doing things identified as needing me to do them as a result of all that questioning, but everyone is out on vacation for the holidays, so I spent most of the day staring at a computer, wishing my eyes didn't hurt from staring at computers so much. I gave up on my new glasses (which aren't so new anymore) and have gone back to using a beat-up pair of over-the-counter reading glasses. The optics aren't nearly as clear and don't adjust for an astigmatism in my right eye, but I can read okay, and my headaches are gone. My dry eye persists, however. All this time spent on the computer doesn't help that at all, but it does distract me from the constant, high-pitched squeal leftover from my last ear infection. You'd imagine all those nightclubs and concerts would have done me in on the tinnitus front, but nope, it was an ear infection that finally laid my hearing low. I made an appointment with the ophthalmologist for next month this morning and then ordered a humidifier that might help out my dry eyes. There probably isn't much to be done about the ear. The ENT said to come back in a month or two if the ringing doesn't go away, but my initial research suggests he's just going to bill my insurance $1,500 and send me off with a prescription to play white noise and soft music in the background everywhere I go for the rest of my life.

HR has been sending out not-so-subtle signals they're thinking about making us all come back to work at the office soon. I'm guessing that will trigger yet another wave of what we're calling attrition if and when they do. Management has been adamant they haven't committed to a definite timeline yet, but I find they give off a strong vibe that says they're definitely committed to soon. The office suits me fine, but the winter walks to work are chilly, and my desk is in the icebox section of the building, offering little respite from the cold when I get back indoors. This nagging cold wears a person out as the day goes on, so I ordered a couple of long-sleeved wool undershirts and long johns in preparation for the inevitable return to the office. I bought the thermals from a place that claims to raise and sew the wool right here in the good ol' US of A. The seller didn't mention where the fabric is woven, nor who sews the garments, how much they're paid, and under what conditions they must work, but I was charged a lot of money for the fruits of their labor, so it must be legit. Right? On the other hand, it's possibly impossible to buy an ultrasonic humidifier not made in China, which is all the more reason I try to buy American whenever possible, even knowing we're no angels ourselves.