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We Call That "English", Bitches

Couldn't sleep (didn't want to sleep).

Too much to do, so of course I sidetracked immediately to say "hi". Things are going well enough at the moment.

Suddenly excited about writing a book - it will be non-fiction related to my paying job, but I want to have some fun with it as well; firing in various anecdotes related to the subject matter. I should be at a stage where that's possible.

Last posted in March... that's not very consistent of me, though not unexpected. A few key things have happened.

Probably the biggest thing would be that Christine's mom, Faye Dow, passed away in April. Her mom, like her, was a really sweet girl. Old-tymers took her away fairly suddenly over the past 5 years or so; I barely got to know the real her. But of course I get to see the best of her, I'm sure, every day. Christine took it, is taking it, pretty hard - but I think it's becoming part of her, as these things appear to work.

I'm not sure I'm a great judge of how it is suppose to feel, even if both of my (blood) parents died fairly recently. My father, certainly a better example of a healthy relationship for me, must be a good basis. But my mother... between us girls, I have to admit to a complexity of feelings that, taken in parts, does not go to the depth of my father's. Befuddlement is a good word.

I wish I could be a better example to Christine about her mom, but hers was a healthy and certainly more mature relationship. Especially given that her mom was much older when Christine arrived on scene, and they were very close - more of a friendship than anything else. She talks about having long talks (her mom was a very good story-teller). I guess we have to travel that road somewhat alone, or at least, if we travel it with someone else, we see a differing scenery - feel a different terrain.

Christine doesn't read this blog, at least not regularly, as it is somewhat of a relic from earlier times - but I do hope I let her know how impressed I was with her speech at her mom's funeral service. While the content itself was very moving, it is also that she had the chance not to speak at all - as the administration wanted to move things right along (a bit of a "you're in, you're out" feel to the ordeal), yet she drew attention to herself and stepped on up to the podium. No one would have been the wiser, but the audience - and she, would have been lesser for it. I felt real pride.

And, what else.

There was a trip to Disney at the beginning of May. Burned the crap out of my torso in about 50 minutes of exposure. I am still feeling the effects. Pretty sure I have a few spots of basil cell carcinomas on my chest. I am going to burn them (and the surrounding tissue) with a soldering iron. 

So very busy at work with the larger chunk of time taken up with traveling (one week had me driving over 1600 miles - and not all at once, for example). At least I can keep up with audio books.

As far as that... Listening to book four of a fantasy series by Jim Butcher - "Codex Alera". Finished book 3 in May. Not among the great works of literature, but I do feel compelled to see how everyone is doing. All the characters could pretty much die at any point and I'd be fine with that. Uses a magic system around a thing called "fury crafting" - basically using the elements to your advantage, if the elements were like sprites; or living entities.

And reading a few books in a series by Stephen R. Donaldson - "Gap Series". Definitely on the more literate side, and certainly the subject matter, science fiction genre, is more mature. Emotionally attached to that one. 

Kitchen project is still underway but nearly complete. New counter, sink and disposal are in place. Need to finish the trim work now.

Been getting more serious around photography. It is not a thing easily mastered, and I enjoy the hell out of it. 

Opened up the camp last weekend (putting in the water, anyway). I have to expand the dock this year.

Anyway, just a quick post so someday I can see what the hell I was up to (we call that "English", Bitches).

Good night, Wesley. Sleep well, I'll most-likely stop posting in the morning.

Joanna Newsom

This girl's music immediately brings me to tears, every time. Lyrics are amazing just as poetry, but when coupled with her instruments; voice and harp... too much. What a precious gift.

That's all I have to say this evening.

Chat from Chatt

Hey - I'm in Chattanooga, Tennessee this week. Auditing a large automobile manufacturer; big profile - no pressure...

Seriously, still an easy gig. 

What the else? Finished that island project! I said I'd post some pictures, didn't I? Hmm, will have to remember to do that when I get home (will just put them in here).

Now to finish the other kitchen parts... when??! 

My mother is still dead, apparently. See, I do try and keep up with things.

Maybe I should come up with some kind of posting system - set topics on which to make status updates. Thoughts? Otherwise I just ramble through things. An acronym would be nice. I guess that would essentially be tags... maybe a minimum set of tags. Something. 

I know, this is boring as hell. But I am alone in a hotel room and right now you're all I got. Missing Christine, as usual. 

Media (M) could be one - stuff I'm watching or reading. Like I'm reading "Murphy" by the Irish author Beckett (what a wonderful thing), listening to "The Human Blend" by Alan Dean Foster (audio book). I read a few things at a time, so there are others in play. Have read 16 books so far this year.

I feel a little bad about Eragon as a couple of my sisters recommended it to me. Terrible... finding my review... here, "The writing struck me (as a physical blow) as unsophisticated, the perspectives immature and the plot and characters derivative...."

I researched a little more, turns out the guy (kid) was 15 when he wrote it. No wonder! It reads like a 15 year-old wrote it. I suppose the writing got better as he got older, I don't know - there are I think 3 or 4 more books in the series. Maybe it got better and the people who love those books have forgotten the first one? Loathe to put myself through that read again. Pushed through the first as I felt a commitment to give it a fair shot - and I held out some hope that it would have a really pleasant, weave-making; "oh, I see what you did there" ending. It did not have that - but it did have a "but what about the... ", "where did that come from/go to?", and "Now who was Princess Leia and who was Hans Solo?" ending. I can't tell if the Dragon was the Millennium Falcon, or Chewbacca. Sometimes a dragon is just a dragon. 

And watching tons of movies (started season 7 of Smallville, for example), especially when I have some plane travel. I rip them from Netflix and Redbox, then convert them to a stand-alone video file (MP4) to watch on my computer. Only blu-ray, so everything is 1080p - cuz that's how I roll.

Well, I do have a couple hotels to book and an audit plan to email out. Suppose I should do that.

Bla bla bla, will likely stop posting in the morning.

Mother

My Mother died last Sunday - actually I think it was Sunday, might have been Saturday. About a week ago. The lack of surety is indicative of the unfortunate politics surrounding the death. 

The funeral was held quickly and in secret; of the children, only the child of my mother and stepfather attended. My mother's Facebook account was used [hacked] to send mean-spirited messages (hopefully now fixed), and there were incendiary phone calls.

And now our stepfather's response makes me feel like I have to defend myself (my own actions fortify the defense response). And so, given the forum, I indulge myself here. At some point I might even feel the loss, too.

In a nutshell, because that's where it belongs, he is punishing the children for, ostensibly, our lack of participation in her later years. There is a spectrum of participation; myself on the "not really" and either of my two (full) sisters on the "not bad' depending on the time-period. The simple fact is any amount would have been unsatisfying to either my mother or her husband.

My philosophy on my actions toward her was based in the fact she was a selfish woman. Yes, my own response has components of selfishness and, indeed, laziness - but it did require nearly equal parts discipline and selflessness. We are all granted by our loved ones a certain amount of selfishness, especially in times of suffering - but there is a limit. The limit is a function of the love and commitment one feels toward a person and the level of, essentially - betrayal, the other person exhibits. She exceed her [generous] limit.

If my wife had medical issues I would be at her side when her doctor says, for example, "If you continue to smoke, this will get worse". If she get's worse because she continued, I will stay at her side - I will always be there for her, but at every step I will support her by helping her eliminate the cause - even if we're ineffective and the steps are ever downward. Because, out of the population of the planet, I chose her to accompany me through life. While this is not intended to be a proclamation of my love toward her, it is useful to illustrate the difference between choice and circumstance. I believe also, by the way, that the younger one is; the less experienced and the balance tilts more toward circumstance than choice (less options). She is a particularly well-considered choice and so has unlimited commitment, my mother is circumstance and therefore not unlimited. 

And I don't mean to paint the picture that smoking was my mother's only medical issue because she had several, Lupus - an actual Big Problem, among them. But at every decision point she - and her husband - chose the foolish path. Given the strikes against her she should have been eating a healthy diet, exercising. And her husband should have supported that lifestyle.

It was not my responsibility, nor within my capability to perform the task of fixing her. And I'm just not good at participating in broken things. This became clear over 15 years ago. Lest I alienate my reader (assuming there is one) I should point out that I did try: attending some of her therapy sessions, conversations (fights) about living the cleaner path and making the right choices. The only leverage I've ever had was visiting, or rather, not visiting (see, I was her choice, not her circumstance) - it clearly wasn't enough, nor did I really expect it to be. 

The other interesting reality is that at some level, my mother *enjoyed* being unwell - enjoyed the attention it could potentially bring. Don't look at me like that - anyone who knows my family understands this.

Eventually she just became too broken and I too jaded to witness the decline of this woman who long ago stopped being my mother. Stopped being a chess player, stopped being a pianist, stopped being a painter - and she was not only passable in these areas, she was a genius (my spell checker just reminded me that I can't even spell the word) - such a waste.

I'm glad her suffering is over. And I wonder at what suffering caused her such suffering, because her actions clearly had a consequence; her behavior precipitated most of it - it was a conscious decision (until even that was taken from her). Was it all coercion?

At some point, her final resting place will be revealed as I do not doubt Joe will do his best to keep it secret, even to the point of keeping her on the mantle. My sisters and I and a few others will say our goodbyes to her spirit, the one who was her before she took that long journey away.

After we do our piece, I can tell you about my mother's goodness - 

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Christening

This is a placeholder, because I want to write about Kieran's Christening, but I don't have the time now.

But I will say this - it was so nice to see everyone in one place interacting without obvious tension. Odd somewhat, having both wives in the same room and interacting. 

FINE.

I really should be working...

Aww fuck it. I'm going to do the work now.

GAWD DAMMIT.

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My tweets

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A Message from the PA

Hey, I'm in PA (Pennsylvania) !

Doing an audit today and tomorrow here. An engineering company (they build factories - or the guts of them). Was up at oh-dark-thirty to catch a 7am flight out of Manchester. A bit tired out now, must say. And full! A nice Indian meal that was delivered to me, thank you very much. Hope to get a goodly night's rest.

A Fairfield Inn (Marriott). Eh - nothing special. I don't know why every hot-water dispenser/coffee machine has to be polluted with coffee. Are people stupid? Yes, I know they are. The coffee filter packet *does not* go where the water goes. Asshats.

Finished [listening to] a really excellent book - "The Way of Kings" by Brandon Sanderson. Check it out!

Need to get another audio book; what to get, what to get??

Oh, going to do some college touring with Son the Youngest. Will post on that when it happens next month.

Told you about Ernie. Still sad. Difficult to be so for a guy that is ostensibly dispassionate about animals (got that from my Father). Oh hey, it's my Dad's birthday on Friday. That should be interesting (will post).

Teeth. Fucking teeth. My antibiotics seem to be battling especially hard with the lower-right abscess. A different kind of pain than usual (call it a constant 5-7). I hope the drugs win. I'm afraid to take any NSAID's for fear they will interfere. No idea. Easier not to take them; leaning toward that. Should not impact my ability to fall or stay asleep.

...Sleep well. Good work. I'll likely stop posting in the morning.

Ernie

Mr. Ernie Poopers passed away. Mostly from just good ol' age. Sad. He was just over 9 years old.

He had a very pampered life with his own air-conditioner in the summer - his own, in-the-house, room. Plenty of good food and a constant water supply. Last year or so he was bothered with "boy troubles" that resulted in surgery, then an attack from mites of some kind. Seemed to have gotten passed all that, but was all just too much for the little guy.

Worst part was Christine was home to witness the event - a rabbit-seizure that left him stretched-out dead. And I was sitting in the examination chair at an eye-doctor when she called; letting it go to voice mail. She took it all pretty hard.

Came home to gather him up into his box and brought him to the vet for cremation. Should take a couple days.

I may forget to listen for his little enamel on metal through-the-night water bottle noises, but I will miss his playfulness and surprising rabbit intelligence, and his odd interactions with the cats. They never knew what to make of him, and he very likely was the dominant animal.

Anyway - have a carrot in Ernie's honor when you get a chance.

Ciao, Ernie Poopers.

The Hole Tooth

Had a dentist appointment today.

:sigh:

Looking at 3 failed crowns: 1 resulted in the broken tooth I mentioned, the other caused the abscess I've also mentioned, and that 3rd thing is the 3rd failed crown causing a second abscess. That's the thing that was bothering me so much earlier in the week. 

The X-ray shows gaps between the tooth and the crown; this allows bacteria to do its thing. These crowns are likely 20 years old.

I will need to get a buildup and a new crown on the broken one, and either two new crowns with root canals on the other two, or - most likely, the teeth removed and bridges put in. The bridge option is the cheaper option and I will be pushing for that.

This all is contingent, somewhat, on what the specialist for the abscess says. There may be some additional work needed to clean out any infection from the jawbone on one or the other or both (shudder) abscesses. That's not dentistry, that's oral surgery. Antibiotics might take care of it, might not. 

I'm on those now. I don't like antibiotics as a rule and I take them rarely. 

I'm in need of a few fillings as well, and a good cleaning. They gave me good kudos on my "home care", but there's only so much I can do without the professional cleanings.

Total, not including the oral surgery (if needed), I'm looking at about 8 thousand out of pocket; call it 7,500 - 10. If I can, I will put some off until next year to take advantage of my deductibles (if I can even do that). Maybe do the build-up/crown and extractions this year and the bridges next year, something like that.

Other than that, pretty good day. Plus Christine gets home later today and I miss her.

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