Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Too Many T-Shirts

6 June 2017 - Tuesday at 4:09 AM is what is says at the top of the screen of this application and I originally used that as the header.

I can’t sleep. I miss my mom. My mind whirls with all the tricks it is using to cope. Mostly in buying things, because buying a thing gives me a temporary moment of relief from the sadness. Buying things is how I ended up with far too many t-shirts that I will not wear and will end up giving to charity shops. I’ve already discarded one, the rest are not too far behind.

My mind plays tricks to cope, which is why I lie in bed and obsess over a phone I do not need and don’t really want. Except that J’s phone died and it makes sense to get him the most recent model of something, hoping the new one will last 4+ years through a screen and a battery replacement. But it does not seem fair that he gets the latest and greatest, which I wanted, and that I have to spend money from my savings to pay for it.

He has not been much help - he told me to just pick something out. The only problem is that I don’t know what he wants and it does not seem that he even cares to make the effort to go to one of the stores and play with the phones there before making a final decision.

I have a long day ahead of me, work until 5:00, a bus ride home, a trip to the mall to replace the phone. It will be a long and sleepy one.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Tale of Two Sunscreens

Observe sunscreen A, at $26.88 (which is slightly less than the $31.55 I paid several days ago):

Decleor Aroma Sun Expert Protective Hydrating Milk High Protection SPF 30 Sunscreen for Unisex, 5 Ounce

Observe sunscreen B at $32.09:
Decleor Aroma Sun Expert Protective Anti-Wrinkle SPF 30 Cream, 1.69 Fluid Ounce

Sunscreen A is marketed as "unisex".
Sunscreen B is marketed as "protective unit-wrinkle cream" (a quality of most good sunscreens).

1. Which one is marketed to women?
2. Which one is marketed to men?

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Saturday Thoughts on Sunday Night

Yesterday J and I celebrated our 17th Wedding Anniversary.

After a respite lasting several years, I came down with my first serious sinus infection. Naturally this illness began during my 15 day break from work, shortly before Christmas and I stayed sick right into the new year. I cycled through the normal progression of infection, starting with headache and bad congestion and ending with two days of glands so swollen that I could not move my neck properly, only to feel better right on time to go back to work.

The point of the digression is that J caught it this week and has been really miserable. Too congested to use the CPAP and sleeping on the couch like he did pre-CPAP.

And, in spite of his misery, he got up and headed in the frigid weather to our favorite bakery, Boy Alien in tow, to buy peanut butter blossoms and flowers for me. While I stayed happily ensconced in bed reading and continuing the setup my new laptop1.

It was a good day, favorite cookies and flowers aside. I spent most of it in my pajamas, changing at 3:30 into a dress and boots to have an early anniversary dinner at the Monterey Bay Fish Grotto.

The restaurant sits on top of Mount Washington, along Grandview Avenue. We took advantage of the valet parking, as parking in general is rather dear in that neighborhood and usually involves a hike of several blocks. A pleasant journey in the summertime, a terrible one in January when the temperature is negative and the winds are wild.

From the lobby guest take an elevator to the dining room. I admit that the elevator stumped me at first, I hit one of the unlabeled emergency buttons instead of the giant oblong metal button labeled “Dining”. Which meant we waited far longer than necessary before my brain finally made the connection and J pushed the button again.

It was worth the wait. We were a bit early and the maître d’ sent us down the stairs to the lounge, to have a cocktail before dinner.

Although we ordered drinks, we never got them. This was not the fault of the bartender, even in a high-end restaurant such as Monterey Bay customer assholery abounds. The bartender’s time was taken up by a man who was demanding a receipt for the payment he made via a gift card and he was rather determined to be unhappy as he harangued the bartender. Our pager went off 30 seconds after we finally ordered, so we decided to just re-order them at the table instead.

We were seated next to the windows and I demonstrated again that I don’t get out much as I got confused about where to sit and had to be gently instructed to take a chair that faced the window. That really happened.

·      The view was magnificent.
·      The old fashioned I ordered was strong and perfectly made.
·      I asked for a recommendation on a wine to drink with the entrée and the waitperson bought two different chardonnays for me to sample. Both were buttery and light and I could not tell the difference between the two, much to J’s amusement.
·      The oysters were insanely fresh.
·      The octopus starter was good, but not something I would order again.
·      J enjoyed his first try of the rockfish.
·      The scallops stuffed with crab were a rare treat – perfectly cooked without a hint of bitterness.
·      The Brussels sprouts were sweet.
·      And the Angel Food Grilled Cheese dessert was divine.

The biggest surprise of the evening was the sheer number of young children in the restaurant. Monterey Bay even has a kid’s menu and it was clear that they were used to serving families and making adjustments to ensure that even kids are happy. And all the kids we saw were well behaved.

I suspect better behaved overall then the miserable man we saw in the bar. He had a seating in the dining room but was long gone by the time J and I finished our meal.

And thus we marked seventeen years.

1.            I will sorely miss my old MacBook Pro and would still be using it, but the screen finally started to die, two years after I dropped it in such a fashion that the screen separated from the aluminum case. Coupled with symptoms of motherboard failure, a dead DVD/CD drive and its agonizing slowness, a new laptop came as an expensive relief.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Couple Attempts to Head off the Inevitable

I've written about my in-laws, especially my father-in-law, a fair amount in the past. Not so much in the present, as I have not really written much of anything since the boy alien came along.

J's birthday was this week, and fell over a workday. Due to demanding work schedules we decided to push any celebration to the weekend. J wanted to go on a drive "somewhere" with no definite destination in mind. Since taking a meandering, hours-long drive with no set destination is a six year old boy's definition of hell and boy alien was scheduled to spend most of the week with his grandparents anyway, we asked J's mom if we could bring him a day earlier then original planned. My mother-in-law checked her schedule and said yes.

And in the background, during a recent call, J could hear his father asking when J was coming, as he had work that he wanted J to do.

My father-in-laws' standard operating procedure in circumstances such as described is to wait until J arrives with the boy alien and then drop a set of chores on J that need to be done before J can leave. He rarely gives advance notice that he needs help, always underestimates the amount of time these tasks will take and usually drops these need bombs on days when he knows that we (as a couple or as as a family) have time sensitive activities planned.

It is galling. It is especially galling because he does it on purpose to create havoc and drive a wedge between J and myself. He has pulled this stunt numerous times during the course of our marriage. He takes advantage of the fact that J is too nice to say no. He takes pleasure out forcing me into being the bad guy as it gives him an opportunity to complain to other members of the family about how difficult I am behaving and how ungrateful I am.

Since we had some advance indication of the inevitable, J called his mom this morning and asked if he could bring boy alien this evening. He explained that since he had no idea how long it was going to take to do the things that his father wanted done, he would rather bring boy alien down early then watch our plans blow up and put me in the position of being the bad guy again.

J asked if I was interested in going with him tonight and attempted to bribe me with wings from one of our favorite wing places. I turned him down, as I am irritated with his father and have little desire to put myself in the position where he can give me a hard time this evening.


I don't even know where to start with this.

I had a truly awful high school experience. I have written about it in the past, but not recently.

The short version is that I was not verbally bullied (although there was an element of that) as much as I was socially ostracized. I was not invited to parties, to the movies, to go bowling, on sleepovers or to just hang out at the mall for a few hours on a weekend night. I had one close friend, but even our time outside of school was limited due to the fact that she lived 20 miles away, in another town. My class was very small and I spent the better part of six years very unhappy, including a stint in therapy for suicidal ideation.

When I graduated from high school, I made no effort to keep in touch with my classmates. As of today I am in regular contact with a total of 2 former classmates (3 if I count my brother) and the above mentioned friend is not on the short list, due to my realization that her social views had hardened instead of evolved.

After I graduated, I made no effort to keep my mailing address up to date and ignored reunion invitations. When mom and dad downsized to a smaller house last year, I destroyed my high school yearbooks, as I did not want a reminder of how unhappy I was.

I don't even hate my classmates. It is just as a group they represent a very painful part of my life that I prefer not to remember.

Thanks to technology, a former classmate found me on Facebook last week and sent a friend request, which I accepted.

The next morning she added me to the class reunion page and I learned that the next reunion is in a couple of weeks.

Since then, I have wrestled with whether I want to go or not. Part of me does, out of prurient curiosity and I admitted this to Jeff a couple of nights ago.

The other part of me is dealing with a mild anxiety attack, manifested as an inner shakiness, which started last evening at dinner and has continued unabated for most of today. It is not paralyzing, just the sensation of inter vibration coupled with the feeling that if I don't get up and move I will come out of my skin.

I don't know what to do with this anxiety. Even after 25 years I am not emotionally equipped to deal with a class reunion and I should pass on this one. But I feel cowardly.

79°F Sunny

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Miscellaneous and More to Come

Mainly about our lovely, lovely neighbor, who will henceforth be known as "AN". I'll leave up to my one astute reader to determine what the "A" stands for.

AN especially enjoys throwing parties that start in the wee hours of the morning, after the bars close

I have sampling of his behavior, courtesy of one of his guests. At 7:30 on Sunday morning. But the video is not working right now.

I also have to fix a syncing issue with my journal application, as there are more details to come.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Every Day Something or Other Ouch

I try very hard not to write at work, or at least to write on my journal app during a break. But I had conversation with my mother this past weekend that has been gnawing at me in a small way that spotlighted the ongoing issue I have with feeling like she does not listen.

Mom and I were revisiting an old discussion about our schisms with the Catholic church. My issues go way back to grade school (I think) and I fell gradually away as soon as I felt I could do so without negative repercussions, starting in college.

Mom's last straw was seeing the implosion (for the lack of a better word) of a priest she truly admired and the revelation that the Catholic church covered up decades of sexual abuse of children.

It was in this context that she told me that my younger brother, when tapped to serve the early mass (as the Catholic school in which we attended was a great resources of involuntary servitude for the young men of the school, who were required on a rotational basis to serve at the morning and noon masses) refused to serve morning mass said by a specific priest unless my mother attended the service. This priest unsettled my brother out to the point that he would rather serve detention.

When I was young, there were times when I was forced to allow myself be manhandled by adults who made me feel distinctly uncomfortable under the guise of being polite. My protestations about my discomfort were set aside, I was told to "be nice" and that those individuals "meant no harm".

In short, under very similar circumstances, my brother was listened to. I was not.


Monday, February 08, 2016


I dreamed of Squeak Saturday nigh. I took him to the vet. I had to park my car in a space without feeding the meter. I stood in line to check him in, realized that I had forgotten some papers, so I had to retrieve and stand in line again. He was sick, I would have to leave him overnight. The kennel section at the vet had a window facing the street. As I walked past, I could see a tech cuddling him. He was happy, snuggled against the tech's shoulder. He saw me as she it him down and looked at me. I held my hand up to the window, then walked away.
Now I am in tears. It has been a long time since he died. I miss him terribly right now, but I am strangely happy that my brain bought forth his memory so I could see him again.

27° Clear

-- So it has been a day and Squeak is remains in my thoughts. It was around this time that we bought Wigford home from the shelter, several months after Squeak died.

I still feel guilty about missing how sick Squeak was at the end of his life. He should not have to suffer the way he did. I've tried very hard not to make that mistake again. Letting go of Axel and Lucy Snowe was difficult, but there is not a moment that I doubt that I did the correct thing.

I have one photo of Squeak, an analog shot taken of him as a half-grown kitten sitting in a basket of clean laundry, being scratched behind his big ears by an old friend. I don't have his ashes (there was no money at that time for more than basic cremation). All I have is memory.

Twelve years and I still miss him so much.