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Wine Bought Angry

There are days at my employer when I allow myself to be so depressed that not even working on the five aviation museum-related tasks I can do behind my counter desk seduce me into productive action.

What are the five aviation museum-related tasks?
1. identifying and cataloging a huge array of negatives of airplane pictures arranged in clear plastic negative storage pages in a hodge-podge of 3-ring binders.
2. Correspondence with enthusiasts and friends via email.
3. Culling articles from aviation magazines to be sorted and filed at the home-based aviation museum formerly located for eight years at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport.
4. Posting and monitoring traffic to the AeroKLn0ow Museum Facebook page.
5. Posting (rarely, sorry to say) updates at the AeroKnow Museum WordPress blogs. Why? Too depressing to focus on the shame I feel from my incapacity to better steer a course to success.

I understand readers don’t care much about aviation and/or aviation history, but I share that setting, where I spend from noon to 5:00 pm, Tuesdays through Fridays, to show that I’m not making this up. The circumstance is real.

As said a few months ago here at H&Q, the circumstance is also DIRE because any day I come to work I face the possibility that I could be told it is my last day of employment with the establishment because the building has been purchased, and my employer will never resume business elsewhere.

As I left for home last March 29th, I was angry over how testy the week had been. Up to Friday late, I had kept a level head and a noble outlook, despite the nearly unceasing depression. I had been taking grocery store-bought “sleep aids” pills believing that as long as I bought what Hy-Vee Supermarket was selling to suffocate my conscious mind, I couldn’t tread on thin ice.: they couldn’t do me any harm. I hadn’t taken any probably 4 of the past few weeks anyway. My previous holy vow to drink wine only to celebrate something meant nothing on the 29th. I could not bear the burden of sustaining consciousness until 10:00 when I could justify taking maybe four “sleep aids” instead of the usual one or two. I knew the desired the “sure bet for forced death” lasting probably six or seven straight hours was possible only with wine. So I stopped at County Market (Supermarket) and bought another gallon of Carlo Rossi Burgundy.

It’s important for readers to understand that during the hours before I bought the Burg’ I was not angry at any BODY/PERSON: not my employer, not a couple of the “bent whistles” that behave like magpies during weekly model club meetings, no customers I assisted at employer, no poet friends, no neighbors . . . l. . I hadn’t been trapped behind a lunkhead driving 24 mph on a 30 mph street. If I had had a pistol in my pocket (which I never do) I would not have opened fire on unattended dogs in a park. I was just sad:: sad about being sad and sad about being angry. That’s why I allowed myself (nobody was holding a gun to my head) to buy the wine.

Soon after arriving home I ate my usual dinner – a can of soup for $1.52 or a can of chili ($1.33) and over the course those 90 minutes also listening to a local talk radio program, drank an unhurried almost three pints of de wine before falling asleep, and I slept okay.

Didn’t touch the wine on Saturday or Sunday, resumed, moderately on Monday in anticipation of another day in the land I call Fool’s Paradise. The bottle was clean empty when I went to sleep Thursday night.

Thanks for reading this post.
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Live long . . . . . . . . . . and proper.

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Temperatures as skulking upward, seemingly against their will, because Mother Nature knows I need at least 60 degrees outside to rake away a long winter’s blight to my yards. Temps in the 50s are not what I need. But “Mamma Nitche”‘ has not been a friend since September, so there’s no reason to share (or for any living, sentient human beings, acquaintances and former friends warm up to me either. This is my life. I own 100 percent of every regret.

On the positive, it’s warm enough outside that when I focus on tasks waiting INSIDE, I have occasionally perspired . . . . and the rest of the time when I’m ACCOMPLISHING SOMETHING, I endure the chill with no resentment. I appreciate days of gradually increasing satisfactions from my efforts.

It’s been a rocky several days more foreboding in that I’ve not spent every night according to my earlier intention of sleeping not in my recliner-rocker when I’d been overnighting since early last September. As a gesture of affirmation that I should behave as a fellow with a bed and ENJOY the bed, I a few weeks ago I cleared the profusion of aviation magazines, photo projects and et cetera — LOTS of et cetera — from the bed and arranged clean sheets, a quilt and pillows as seemed “fitting” and proper. I had a few challenging nights here: sleeping poorly, awakening on two nights about 3 am with stomach aches and could not settle back to sleep without taking a few TUMS ant-acid tablets. After that I was back and sleeping in something more than half an hour. To help ensure sleep, I’ve not consumed liquids after dinner, pretty much eliminating the prospect of being awakened by discomfort from an urgent bladder, heralding the necessity for me to toddle five or six steps down the hall to contribute to the waiting porcelain bowl with the seat up. I did this almost nightly for the long time I was on more frequent speaking terms with my weekly gallon jug of Carlo Rossi Burgundy. The wine has NOT been a significant factor for weeks. I have purchased none; have consumed none. Yes, there are times I miss it; time when I truly wanted — make that WANTED — to get another jug . . . but did not, and I’m glad I didn’t. My satisfaction from not succumbing to wine was far more rewarding than the “FOOL’S SOLICE” from drinking a quart or less (some nights not any wine at all).

For the past seven weeks or so, I have been dreaming more frequently, awakening with extraordinary relief from having survived the dreams, than I have in my LIFE. The dreams have not been about people I know, they have taken me to circumstances requiring emotional participation from the person I recognize as ME, and sometimes ending as I consciously decide to AWAKEN to return to LIFE. One of my early dreams recently ended in me hearing me SPEAK, “no . . . . NO . . . . . NO! – – – – – and then realizing I was awake when I was saying it! THAT TROUBLED ME! Because I don’t believe there are forces bey\ond my understanding playing a significant part of my dreams, telling me things I should consider, some things I should KNOW and write down, I have made no effort to remember the dreams or to write about them . . . . beyond this blog post.

I have devoted hours of every day in the last week or so to processing tasks I’ve ignored since the cold, in sick harmony with the tide of hopelessness continues to ebb away by the minute. I’m working CHILLY in the basement, but I am SATISFIED that I’m making real progress.

I’ve also returned to my counselor whom I’ve not seen since before Christmas. Saw her last Thursday and will visit this week too; probably every week, half an hour to 45 minutes of my ramblebabble to share with a person of competence, able to note my condition during the visits. She knows I’m not taking the anti-depressant, that two or three times a week I take a few “sleep aids” purchased off a grocery store shelf, and there are no alarm bells shared from her in response from all my jabber. I really expect no solutions from this interchange. But NOT visiting, in addition to leaving me without a living hummin ‘ bean to share more than polite patter with, woll show the surviving rest of my world that I cared enough about my life to make an honest effort to avoid what appears to bean incipient fait accompli.

Thanks for reading this.
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Live long . . . . . . . and proper.

Stream of Lethargy

I’m writing these words as I sit at my desk at my part-time employer at 1:40 pm, March 15. I’m deep in a haze of regret over today and yesterday, a horribly unproductive span of time which I aim to conclude when I leave this pace in about two hours and 35 minutes.

I have the best job in the world in terms of being permitted to roam the internet and Facebook, work on projects for my aviation museum (AeroKnow Museum – look it up), read, even write or practice reciting poetry for hours when I’m not answering the phone behind me or chatting convivially with customers. It’s amazing, this paradox that I can be so sad when “letharged” into near-catatonic fog yet still snap into “Mr. Affable” advisor to visiting strangers wanting to consider fabricated granite counter tops and other additions to home and business. Often, on Facebook, I engage friends and strangers in convivial dialogues. The banter and insights flow from my hands to the computer keyboard like water in a babbling brook. But I’m reducing time of Facebook (not eliminating) because to mode of engagement, keystrokes to keystrokes, has lost its appeal due to disappointments with long-time friends, mostly. I’m bitter and increasingly absent, anticipating a time when I will no longer be present on the internet, or Facebook, or behind any computer.

Customers kept me happily away from the blog for about an hour, and the rest of the day at “work” wasted my outlook. I felt so sad about life, I did nothing with aviation history and my museum. Six months ago, I would have returned to cataloging photo negatives of airplanes, with gusto. Not today, The rest of the day I did not advance my day. I remained motionless, mostly, staring at the computer and viewing nothing interesting.

Driving home I promised myself to catch up with my project of taking an inventory of the model kits in the collection, probably close to 2,000, but I didn’t. I was still sad. Reclined in my living room recliner, listened to the radio, ate a few pieces of candy, drank the last two inches of Carlo Rossi from the gallon jug of Burgundy I had purchased more than a week ago and drowsed in and out of a nap with the radio on low . . . . .until 10 pm, arose and came to my bedroom/office to accomplish SOMETHING with the kits inventory. First I’m finishing and posting this blab.

Life goes on.

Thanks for reading this post.
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Live long . . . . . . . . . . and proper.

Stopped Cold

As the calendar carries me into Daylight Savings Time I am coming out of a time of life when I felt crippled by the cold days, sensing I was on the verge of no more cold days for the rest of my life as I imagine it at this hour. Never in my days before turning 71 did I ever feel stopped by the cold; the process of advancing my life’s obligations arrested to my profound detriment.

They were days when I didn’t arise from bed because the air I inhaled, semi-supine in my living room recliner rocker over the long night was too cold.. I always lurched out of “recliner” after sitting motionless until boredom\ and dreary restless consumed me. A glance at the chairside clock followed by a countdown to a “blast off time” at 30 after the hour or when the minute hand was centered over the next 12 always compelled me into the new day and a first cup of coffee.

Embracing the day was the big challenge. If I had errands to run — prescriptions to pick up soon, bills to pay sooner rather than later, I always postponed them until Friday so I could do almost nothing significant at home until it was time for me to drive to my four-day, part-time employer. I wasn’t near catatonic at home, but only “token time” was spent giving token attention to my aviation collection, just so I could go to work having accomplished SOMETHING. Even a baby step, was better than feeling totally BLOTZED and feeling unfit for life. BLOTZED refers not to drinking alcohol; it describes a state of near-senselessness of awareness. Booze (Carlo Rossi Burgundy) is not an issue these days.

Being stopped cold meant I could not work in my yards raking unattended leaves, moving things to the van to take to the employer’s dumpster with his permission. It meant I could not work in the basement arranging re aviation collection removed from the airport to the new location (significantly reduced in volume, since) because it was too COLD down there.

I had not slept in my own bed since a few days before my 71st birthday September 5. About that time I sensed I was approaching “the end of the road.” I planned no observance of the big day (in comparison with the year before when several invited friends came to my party.) because though things were beginning to chill my outlook and weather, I sensed that much worse would follow over the long winter. I was right.

On Friday, January 8, I slept in a bed for the first time since the first week of last September. The bed was at the Indianapolis, Indiana La Quinta Inn. I had gone with three model-building friends to a model convention and had a very good time. Because I had taken some model airplane kits to the gathering and sold many of them, money was not an issue. We checked out the morning of January 9, attended the big doin’s met some terrific people and were back in Springfield by 8:00 pm Saturday. That night I slept in a bed for the second time since the first week of last September. It was my own, in my own bedroom, which I had prepared Friday morning before heading to Indy. I intend to spend the rest of my nights sleeping in my own bed unless I attend another event in another city or connect with a pretty friend who wants to share her attributes and affection with me. On Sunday, January 10 as I write these words, I consider either eventuality literally light years beyond the realm of remotest possibility.

I feel tempered contentment with what I expect to happen with my life in days ahead. For all I know, when I return to employer Tuesday, I will be told my last day of employment will be Wednesday. If that happens, I will financially be able to hold on to the thread that connects me to you and the rest of what matters for at least a few weeks; maybe a little longer.

In the meantime, I am PLEDGED and DETERMINED to clean up the clutter and disarray in my home which I have allowed me to be stopped cold because I saw no reason to pay more attention to LIFE. Thus, this post comes to “the end of the road” here because I have things to accomplish today.

Thanks for reading this post.
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Live long . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . and proper.



Yesterday I visited Ruth (not her real name) my nurse-practitioner at the county health center for a quarterly check up. Everything is still in the green since my visit last visit: blood pressure, lung capacity, I weigh 12 pounds more than I did in December, but I’m still under 200. I blame the Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter which I’ve been eating neat (straight from the jar on a butter knife, sans bread, sans jam) more often recently.

My days are blisteringly consistent, depressing as heck and that’s okay, the life of a simpleton. Minimizing costs for things that don’t matter much is paramount, lately, but I am eating healthy . . . if Campbell’s Grilled Chicken and Sausage Gumbo soup qualifies (three nights a week, canned Chili-Man chili with beans two nights and enough Jif on a knife down the hatch to satiate the hunger two nights on average. What’s added the pounds has been the bed-time Jif. Lunches are a single Jif & jam (Smucker’s strawberry) on Bunny whole wheat four days a week and plastic-boxed bite-size chunks of melon and pine apple. I’m not happy with this routine. Lunches used to include six-inch Subway sandwiches. I don’t know when my employer will close, so significant thrift is not a choice here; it’s a rule.

Nurse practitioner Ruth, recently returned to the county health center after three months’ maternity leave, showed me a picture of her new son, a beautiful babe. I was flattered that she shared. My body condition has proven commendably consistent for the past year or so. Still I have no problem visiting periodically. She is terrific. As expected she shared grave — make that GREAT – concern over my news that I no longer take the anti-depressant/anti-anxiety prescription my counselor Mary (not her real name) arranged for me to take. Mary doesn’t know I’ve not been taking the prescription for about three months because I’ve not called for an appointment to visit her for about three months. But I’m sure Ruth told her yesterday or today, and my news shared with Ruth yesterday prompted Ruth (with my approval) to arrange for me to visit for some counseling next week. I rather look forward to it. “Rather” suggests a less-than-rapturous anticipation because I acknowledge the arrangement as a clinical necessity; not as a doorway to allaying my inevitable departure from “this planet.” I want a PROFESSIONAL to know all I have to say about my life before I leave. YOU, reader, are sharing a lot of what I will share with Mary; not all of it, not because I’ve committed terrible crimes I’m hiding from the police but because you, the respected readers of Honey and Quinine, are people I don’t know though if I knew you, I might WANT to know more about you. I explained to Ruth I had stopped taking the anti-depressant because I expect it will be harder for me to do what I will necessarily do because I have nowhere else to go as a failed hummin’ bean. While wanting to be called into the examination room yesterday, a thought hit my brain like a croquet mallet. I didn’t write it down because I had no pen or paper, but I resolved to remember it, and I did. shared it with Ruth during our face-to-face and shared it as the title of this post. Every GOOD event that I live is an event that will return as a reason not to leave when it’s time to go. But that’s okay. I’ll deal with it.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. Look for more jabber in a week or so.

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Live long . . . . . . . . . . . . and proper.

Last Wednesday I didn’t attend a regular poetry open mic in lyrical downtown Springfield. I drove straight home, went straight to my recliner rocker where I’ve been sleeping all year and most of last, took three “sleep aids” and washed them down with some of the Carlo Rossi Paisano wine still the house from last week, pushed back in the recliner, closed my eyes and waited . . . . . .

Nothing. I had expected to drift off to dreamland, but I didn’t. So, sadly resigned to consciousness, about 7:00, I wandered into my home office, formerly my bedroom reprising the lay of the day: how things had gone. At about noon, when I arrived at work — The Granite Guy on my town’s far east fringe — BOLDLY OBVIOUS was a sign on a front window looking out on Dirksen Pkwy, indicating the building is AVAILABLE. The building is up for sale by a commercial realtor, The Garrison Group. When it finds a buyer, I will no longer be working because my employer will close for good . . . . or in my case, for BAD. The rest of the day lurched toward the 5:00 “whistle” rendering me miserable beyond words. I drove home calmly, courteous to other drivers, planning the rest of my day. As for the sleep aids and wine, both could have been a banana and iced tea. I was disappointed to be conscious. I also realized there was no point in remaining in the recliner.

My life’s long lingering MANDATE to develop my aviation collection called AeroKnow Museum prevailed. I engaged the prevalence of the hour: inventoried the contents of a few storage boxes full of model airplane kits and had a “sane” rest of the evening. Went to bed about 11, sans wine, sans pills. Just drifted off with the radio on low, the only “companion” I can keep.. Slept okay.

The next day at work, I learned that nothing is going to happen fast regarding a sale. The owner says it could be three or four months He says that, but I don’t know that he knows that. I know that without an employer, my “departure” in the “months ahead” is certain.

I’ve posted news of this “HIT” on both of my Facebook presences — Job Conger and Conger Job — and received consoling words from some good people. Someone who is 70 years old let me know that Lowe’s home improvement store recently hired him, so I should consider applying at the local store. I’m not dismissing the idea, but I’m not thrilled by prospect of applying because it’s a longer drive from my house than current employer, and I know nothing about paint, lumber and appliances. Yes, I could learn, but it would be easier to just save myself the effort. WHY” Because even working, doing something I enjoyed, how many years do I have left? Certainly no more than five, barring more health and injury issues. My museum has no future. Two friends have helped me with things relating to my aviation museum efforts. I am working on the museum just to prove my devotion to my longest dream, to be true to SOMETHING!

By the by, feel free to “GOOGLE” me or AeroKnow Museum if you want to know more about me. I have two “presences” on Facebook, both are for public viewing. Visit and observe if you like. No need to invite me to be a friend. Or invite me to be a Fb friend. As Job Conger, I share aviation mostly. As Conger Job, I focus on poetry and arts.

The saga continues. No wine in the house for about a week, and I’m okay with that. I’m not as productive with the AeroKnow as I wish I were, but that’s okay too. I rarely am.


Therefore I rarely think. (ha-ha)
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Live long . . . . . and proper.

Co-habituating With Wine

and a song I’ve sung one time in public

Surprise! After breaking my vow of no more wine in the house and celebrating a terrific poetry reciting after returning home last Wednesday, and drinking about a pint and a half that night, I successfully avoided further engagement of said medication for four whole days. Today, Monday was challenging. I am sad. Not grievously anxious; just sad. So consumingly sad that it was all I could do to RESIST growing desire to just take a few “sleep aids” (nothing dangerous; bought off the shelf at a supermarket) and drift off to the null zone in my recliner for as long as I could manage it. I didn’t do that. The BIG NET GAIN from having NO wine around is I am more inclined to stay in motion, making productive use of my time, working on my small aviation museum (brought home in drastically reduced size from its home at the local airport last year) continuing to arrange it. I’ll explain more in the future. I know this seems “highly illogical,” but I didn’t succumb to wine until evening. For nine hours I drank six cups of coffee, nibbled three small donuts, and had the most productive day working exclusively on the aviation that I have had this year. Lest you presume I had fun, WRONG! I didn’t enjoy two minutes of the day, except for the donuts which I felt I had earned. Aside from that I didn’t smile, talked to no living soul, checked Facebook only twice and e-mail three or four times. I didn’t feel good until I stopped working and ate a salad for din-din. When I finished dinner, I drank a little wine, was happy from avoiding it up to 6:30 and drank only a small glass and tried to nap: closed my eyes, listened to the radio and gave up after 15 minutes; returned to work on the museum at about 6:45 and stopped for the day at 10:30, truly satisfied with what I’ve accomplished today. I’m not touching the wine; will take a few more sleep aids about midnight and call it a day.

The song lyric that follows I wrote about 12 years ago and sang once: at an open mic at Robbie’s Restaurant in Springfield on a Wednesday night. I had trouble with the refrain melody that night and haven’t sung it since. It shares my discomfort from being solo at my decrepitating age. I never dreamed in adolescence that I could love and cherish female companionship and affection to much for so long, so warmly and STILL be unmarried so long. The ultimate answer is that I’m still unmarried because I have proven so witheringly inept at fostering lasting . . . .love. I’m not proud of this, I am ashamed, more ashamed than I was when I realized, years after my parents allowed me to quit taking piano lessons in fourth grade and warned me I would wish I had continued. I continued playing piano, wrote songs, learned to love piano and music over years hence. So here’s the lyric. Come visit me and I’ll SING it to you.


I Guess I Was Born to Be
by Job Conger


I’ve had me some sweethearts
Who said they thought me wise,
Traded love for some bounty-
ful baskets of lies.
It was all so mercantile,
I recall with a sigh.
I guess I was born
to be a single guy.

Hysterical romances all ended in a huff.
I haven’t loved often, or even enough,
But I’m done with this fool’s
game of wondering why
It seems I was born
to be a single guy.

(Here’s the refrain with the melody I stumbled over). . .
There were no greater thrills, passions more fine.
Than lusty tussles, lips sweeter than wine,
But those were yesteryears’ joys. Now I contemplate
Life chasing different dreams, as master of my fate.

No more quilt and antiques shopping.
There’s more room to stretch in bed.
I don’t have to pretend to like her friends;
I just have to pretend to like my friends instead
Haven’t vacuumed my house since last Fourth of July
I guess I was born to be a single guy.
I guess I was born to be a single guy.

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Live long . . . . . . . and proper.