Day 485: My Nemeses

Nemesis means (according to Google):

the inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall.
“the balance beam was the team’s nemesis, as two gymnasts fell from the apparatus”
synonyms: archrival, adversary, foe, opponent, arch enemy

a long-standing rival; an archenemy.
“will Harry Potter finally defeat his nemesis, Voldemort?”

a downfall caused by an inescapable agent.
“one risks nemesis by uttering such words”
synonyms: downfall, undoing, ruin, ruination, destruction, Waterloo


Nemeses is the plural form of “nemesis.”

I am grateful to the ancient language of Latin, right now, because:

  1. In words ending in “is” (like nemesis or hypothesis), we  get to use a plural that saves time, letters, and, sometimes, spit,
  2. I took Latin as a foreign language in school, thus skipping the necessity — at a young and impressionable age — of seriously screwing up a foreign accent, and
  3. My Latin class in High School joined the nation-wide Junior Classical League, which meant I got to dress up in a toga without also having to get drunk.

So, yes, I am grateful to Latin, this morning.

You, on the other hand, might be grateful if I return to the topic, which is “My Nemeses.”

I shall do my best.

It is a truth universally acknowledged1 that every hero needs a nemesis. For many parts of my life, I have been no different. That is, I have identified a nemesis — somebody or something I have seen as “the enemy.”

This seems to be human nature — to focus our fears, insecurities, negative feelings and thoughts — on something external. Once we do that, we can plan, protect, act, and fight with a sense of purpose.

Here are some past nemeses of mine:

  • A classmate in school.
  • A nurse who, for whatever reason, lied to me after my first operation.
  • An unkind medical resident, named Dr. H., who called me a “spoiled brat” when I was in pain.
  • A co-worker, at a job.
  • Spalding Gray.

One of my points about nemeses, this morning?  We think we need them, so we often create them.

At the same time, I acknowledge the truth that I (and probably you) have met people who have acted and seemed like enemies.  How have we known these nemeses?  By the pain we have felt.

And why do some people cause pain?  Is it because they are:

  • cruel,
  • insecure,
  • ignorant,
  • envious,
  • thoughtless, and/or
  • misunderstood?

I shall never know why other people do what they do, because I cannot read their minds.  I can only speculate.

In these self-proclaimed Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, I have been trying my best to let go of focusing on others’ motives, because the only mind, soul, and heart I can truly know is … mine.

And yet, while I am fighting that good fight, I have also set myself an interesting blogging task this morning: to look around and choose possible nemeses.

That seems sort of paradoxical, contradictory, conflicted, and complicated, doesn’t it?

Welcome to my world, people!

Here are the Nemeses candidates, for our consideration, this morning:

#1 The Evil Stove-Top


There are many evil aspects of that stove-top, as you might notice. For one thing, all the control knobs (see right) have melted from the heat of the burners. Also, the gas pilot doesn’t work.

These days, I am doing my best — especially now that I am home with pneumonia and have more time for such domestic issues — to control, fix, replace, or otherwise vanquish this arch-enemy of mine.2


#2 Confusing Cooking Directions

In a continuing heroic attempt to provide my 16-year-old son with a breakfast he will actually eat before leaving for school, this morning I returned to an old favorite of his — Meatless Corn Dogs:


As I was trying to complete the complicated food preparation for a single serving of these, before my son rushed off this morning, I encountered this, on the side of the box:


How the heck was I supposed to choose the correct cooking time, with such a huge range of choices: between 1 and 11/2 minutes, for a single corn dog? In my mind, this required the use of math — division, specifically — to find the upper range of acceptable cooking times (5.5 minutes, according to my calculations).

What did I do?  I used my best guess, and microwaved that sucker for 1.5 minutes.

Did I overcome my nemesis, in this epic morning battle?

Well, my son ate the corn dog, before he left for school. Draw your own conclusions.


As usual, I could include other examples in this blog post, but I should really end it,  so I can attend to my other duties as Super Recovery Woman.3

Actually, endings are another nemesis of mine. I find them difficult to do. And, there are some other, really obvious nemeses I could name right now, such as:

  1. Pneumonia and
  2. Unhelpful thoughts.

… but I’ve already written about those, several times before.

How about this? Let’s end this post with a guessing game (which is a great antidote to the nemeses of boredom, depression, and other “down” feelings, I think).

Here’s my question: What possible nemeses are these two creatures reacting to?



Here’s another photographic hint for you:



Thanks to the ancient language of Latin; to those I have seen as nemeses (and then seen in different ways); to people who have helped me in my daily battles;  to creatures everywhere who have different responses to guessing games;  and to you — of course! — for visiting this blog.

1 My son started reading Pride and Prejudice last night, and those are the first six words of that favorite book of mine.

2 I have to tell you, though, that The Evil Stop-Top doesn’t seem to faze, slow down, or otherwise negatively affect my hero, Michael, who does most of the cooking around here.

3 These super-hero duties include relaxing, reading, watching movies, napping, eating healthy-enough food, drinking water, and, sometimes, expressing myself.

And before the end of Day 485, I’m adding something that feels missing to me: a video of the song “My Nemesis,”  from Phineas and Ferb.


Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

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45 thoughts on “Day 485: My Nemeses

  1. I love how you make my mind wake up and always put a smile of recognition of my human condition on my face.

  2. laurajfairbanks

    Um, I feel bad pointing it out, but it might save a corn dog – while horrible typography on the packaging – the instructions actually are trying to say 1 – 1.5 minutes for one dog. It looks like 11 minutes at the far end, because the “1” and the “1/2” aren’t spaced well.

  3. Debbie Terman

    The corn dog package unnecessarily confused you. It is badly printed. For one dog, I believe it is trying to communicate “1 to 1.5 minutes”. But because it did not use smaller type for the fraction”1/2″, and did not use a common convention of inserting a hyphen for (questionable) clarity “1-1/2” (to indicate 1.5), you were misled into thinking it actually meant 11/2 or 5.5 minutes.

    • Debbie, you and my wonderful niece Laura are being super-heroic in trying to save corn dogs, which I appreciate, very much. Sometimes, I must admit, I am misled for a moment and then realize my mistake, and then attempt to create humor from that situation.

  4. Dang, Ann, I’d blow up myself if I had to cook on that Evil Stove Top.

    My best cat guess is, they hate the rain?

    Carpe new gas range control knobs.

  5. Niko

    What a cute cat! 🙂

  6. Ahhh, the evil, dreaded stove top…I purchased at Walmart, for the princely sum of 99 cents, a package of 10 foil stove top protectors. And they were square instead of the usual round ones you see. and disposable. I love these things. As for the cats, I am going to guess blue jays. It is nesting season and they are ruthless dive bombers.

  7. Spalding Gray??? LOL!

  8. Those poor kitties and their feathered bothers! 🙂

    • The kitties seem okay right now, though, as you make your appreciated appearance here, today!

      • They’re probably enjoying the thought of the chase! Mine are constantly chattering at the windows at the birds in our yard, but the one won’t venture outside.

  9. I would be worn out if I went looking for someone or something to be my nemesis! I have enough issues on my own without going looking for more! After reading through I’m left feeling very happy that I don’t feel the need to have conflict or drama or a nemesis in my life! 🙂 Hope your recovery is going well!

    • I am happy for you, too, Kate! I am doing my best to be more like you, that way. Thanks for the visit and for your kind hopes.

  10. Haha! I do wonder who the professor’s nemesis is…

    Stop him from reading that! It’s dadblamery!

  11. Got to run and find out why happened between you and Spalding Gray (may he rest in peace).

  12. There are always two ways to look at cruel healthcare folks. After my first surgery, I had a tube protruding from my nose which hurt much more than the surgical wound. The nurse in charge of getting me out of bed to walk used to grab hold of it to guide me — causing me horrible pain. I hTed her.

    A few years later I met a post-surgical nurse socially who told me that they were TAUGHT to “guide” patients by the tube!, so my nemesis was just following what she was taught!

    • There ARE always different perspectives, Elyse, and I found your thoughts here a very useful and helpful reminder of that. Thanks for the visit.

      • I think the key in being a patient is to talk to your team. With a few exceptions they want to help.

      • I think you are absolutely right, Elyse, and — thank goodness! — I believe that, whole-heartedly, about my current medical team.

  13. I love your energy and spirit with this post Ann! Nemeses and humor make for a fun read 🙂

  14. Mmmm, I have had a few nemeses in my life. After much thinking time for each case I have managed to work out that since the person hurting is me, the person who can choose to stop being the victim is also me. This is a lesson I have had to learn again and again… though maybe something has stuck as I seem to be free of them these days. Bats or birds – as your niece suggested.

    • Yes, Hilary. I can relate to your experience of relearning those lessons. Not bats, but birds is correct!

  15. Pingback: Day 489: Mistakes and Consequences | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  16. Pingback: Day 490: Out with the bad air, in with the good | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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