; Cwyn's Death By Tea: August 2023 ;

Friday, August 18, 2023

Okay okay

I am still here in the asylum of tea madness and increasingly disorganized. Some of you are emailing, thank you for checking in. Overall, things are okay with me, though I am suffering more and more with don’t-give-a-flyingfuck-itis, which a privilege of retirement. Not gonna lie though, I fell off the blog wagon, and everything else mostly, as two years nursing an elderly cat along with its accompanying sleep deprivation ground in day after day to the point where all I wanted was sleep. If you have had a cat with hyperthyroid disorder you know what it is, the animal is manic with hunger, never sleeps, and the more you try and feed it the more it comes out like water on the other end. 

I say the details are ugly, and I tried to convince the vet that the cat was beyond needing to be put out of its misery, but the kidney tests were still where the vet wouldn’t do it, so I paid him in tea and took the cat home, whereupon within a fortnight the cat took matters into his own hands to stop the pills and regulated feedings and just took off. That was 3 months ago. I don’t think he made it, but oddly a young cat with the same face has started checking us out. That one looks healthy and belongs to someone.

But five months ago, in the midst of feedings every two hours like an infant that never reaches the 6 month sleep-through-the-night mark, it’s time for even fewer hours of sleep. That’s right. Been 7 years since Mr. B. went off the rails. Mr. B. is an itinerant musician I have written about in the past, he lives with us from time to time, usually several years at a stretch, then he can’t stand it and descends into drinking and mania. 

To be fair to Mr. B., since his last episode at the start of the pandemic, he has been stellar. Best I’ve ever seen him, these past three years. We got hit by a tornado, I’ve been sick, had surgery, the cats sick, all kinds of stresses on the daily and our household pulled together in strength through all that. Mr. B. is more than his worst days and he ran errands and we all worked to patch up the damage on the house and deal with the ex’s wrecked car. (Ex is still in Guangzhou, his leg got banged up and he’s in a cast.) Anyway, Mr. B. was a rock-solid citizen with us through all the craziness in the world since 2020. 

Until he wasn’t. Things got bad. As always, cousin Greg phones.

“Do you want a Marshall amp such-and-such in your house? Because he’s here at the guitar shop and he wants an amp that I’m telling you will blow the windows out of your house, and I’m checking with you first,” Greg says.

“Nope I really don’t.” 

“He calls me 10 times a day. I can’t answer the phone,” Greg says in what is literally a repeat of last time. 

“That’s not bad, Ron says he got 28 calls one day last week. I get 12 a day and I just live downstairs.”

Mr. B. brought home the amp anyway. This time he got more focused on me and Dear Son than on his music career. Like laser-focused. When he’s manic and drinking he only needs 3-4 hours sleep a day and the rest of the time he makes it impossible for me. Thankfully Son grew up with a musician dad and sleeps through anything. 

Neighbors fenced us in. Btw, there is a bluff
off in the distance you can’t see.
Canada wildfire smoke this summer.

But we became Mr. B’s arch nemeses and he went on to terrorize the neighborhood. My next door neighbor Dale put up an 8 foot tall fence “so that I don’t have to deal with him every time I come out of the house,” Dale said. My neighbor on the other side Tony put up an 8 foot tall fence the last time Mr. B. went off, which is where Dale got the idea.  

I fully expected 10-12 weeks but it was 5 months, starting February. Since then, Mr. B. got in two car accidents drinking and driving. The state of Minnesota drove him to the Wisconsin line after one joyride culminating in a crash fight with a guy in a pickup, and the cops said don’t come back, a similar deal Mr. B. has with the state of Tennessee, no more Opry for him.

The cops showed up here aplenty, the clip above was on my birthday. Another neighbor filed a harassment complaint, so the cop showed up for that. Drunken rages at all hours. 

I got another friend with the same issues who also likes to come after me. 

I had two of them on me and no sleep to speak of. “How can you stand it?” Dale said. I literally didn’t care. Mentally ill people don’t bother me which is why I worked in psychiatry for so long. I’m not fond of drunks, though. The drinking got bad. 

Man, all I wanted was sleep, like to sleep for months. I didn’t care about anything, I was zombie living. But dear Son and the neighbors could not cope. Then in July, Mr. B. decided he wanted some new tires for a vehicle and didn’t pay rent. Nothing I can do at that point, apart from evict him. You have to go to court now even if you don’t do a lease and even when the unwanted guest in your home refuses to leave. 

Mr. B’s room when it got bad.
That’s a full plate of burnt toast.

Pandemic-era law that needs to go, in my opinion, and it cost me $175 in tea money that I won’t do again. Pulled the cop reports, and Mr. B.’s non-stop binge drinking party of 5 months came to an end. He left the night before the court date. He’s up at the junkyard now. His friend will let him stay indefinitely. It’s in the countryside, in the middle of nowhere. I been there once and don’t think I can find it again, quite honestly.

So that is how life gets on the way of my tea hobby. Last year sometime or maybe this year I dunno, but I re-upped on my white2tea monthly tea sub. Part of the idea was to be on a sort of no-buy, and the tea sub is the way I tried to channel my non-tea-shopping. Don’t look at the websites, because I have my tea box coming in the mail. Actually the truth is I wanted whatever the tea was the month I re-upped. But I don’t remember what that tea was. I don’t know what is in any of my tea boxes and some of them I haven’t even opened. I’m not going to review any of these teas, OolongOwl does that much better than I ever could. 

Mostly this tea sub has worked to keep me from tea shopping. I haven’t really bought anything since I re-upped, and I haven’t even looked at Yunnan Sourcing for three months now, the longest I’ve gone in 15 years, though I did look at Houde recently because he had new teas up. 

Buying hongcha doesn’t count as tea buying, just saying.

The disorganization gets worse. The tea photo above at the top of the post was supposed to have the tea I’m currently drinking, not even sure what it is in the envelope, and also a 2021 Arbor Red sample I haven’t cracked into, but I put them someplace to do the photo and then couldn’t find them minutes later. I don’t know what that tong is, I meant to dust it off but forgot to do that too. I might think I’m senile but the lack of sleep can do it. I’m actually sleeping now, we’ve had a few weeks of peace. 

So when people start emailing me, okay I need to start writing and meant to do sort of an unboxing and at least get the packages open, but can’t be arsed today. I’ll just write this and get it on the blog. Probably the most interesting thing about the tea photo is the Lins Ceramics water boiler which I’ve turned into a hongcha pot. Quite accidentally, my son wanted a tea and I needed something for two people. Turned out Lins Purion is excellent for hongcha, normally I save Purion for nasty unidentified aged puerh, and this is a water kettle now turned into hongcha teapot. 

I did find out that Lins is now shipping to the US, though it is expensive. I really would not look at their website if you have a teaware problem, the pots they are making now are so gorgeous and I think I might get the clay water dispenser. They even have a clay coffee drip thing. Whatever those are called. The site isn’t secure, but I know that wouldn’t stop you from looking. You are welcome.