Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's the last day of NaBloPoMo,

and the temptation not to post is almost overwhelming. Nothing like sabotaging yourself at the very last minute, right? I'm getting some rest and cleaning out the TiVo (and probably the pumpkin pie pan) on this drizzly, dank Sunday here in Massachusetts. I had the house to myself for a part of the day, and that was a treat. A nice, quiet treat. I also bought some Christmas presents online, wrote a post (that I haven't published yet) for the Books for the Holidays blog, and backed up my computer to my hard drive. Now for this week's episode of House (What the heck was I doing on Tuesday this week?)

NaBloPoMo: completed.

:big sigh:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A quiz to pass the time.

You Are Chess

You are brilliant and shrewd. You can often predict what people will do in the future.

You thrive in complex situations. You deal with contradictions well.

You can have many streams of though going on at your mind at once. You keep track of things well.

You are very patient. You have lots of endurance, even when your energy dwindles

Alright, I'll take that... I like the description, even though I never really liked chess. I like Wizard's Chess, though: much more exciting.

Friday, November 28, 2008

You couldn't get me into a brick and mortar store today

for all the money in the world.

But I'm willing to let you try.

Hope you are having a calm, relaxing post-Thanksgiving day. We're doing leftovers and game night tonight, and Youngest Nephew is going to sleep over. I am trying to take it easy, as I am sore as hell today. I fell last night, banged my back up a bit. I think it had to do with coming off of the medicine that's been making me dizzy & just being plain worn out.

I'm really bad at the whole walking-away-before-you're-completely-exhausted aspect of things, even 14 years into this whole chronic illness thing. Special occasions are especially difficult: walking away when things are just getting rolling, when everybody just starts laughing, when the game boards come out - yeah, that's really tough for me. But I know there are a lot of things between ALL IN and FALLING DOWN, and I just have to pay more attention to the other options; kick people out of my big chair, take the medicine before things get really bad... I know all of this, but I need to do it.

Sometimes I feel like a dope, wishing things could be different instead of doing things differently.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


they Rick Rolled the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. How awesome is that?

Of course: infinitely more awesome if someone in your house knows what the hell you are talking about, but that's what I have you for, right?

Happy Turkey Day, Friends.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pie baking day

AKA Thanksgiving Eve.

It's been a hard year here in the world of NTE, and I'm feeling it quite a bit as the holidays get closer and closer. But, that doesn't mean that I'm not aware that there are many things that I have to be thankful for. Tonight, I'm going to remember that I have a lot of people in my life that are vital & important. That they make the hard times bearable, the normal times valuable, and the special times extraordinary.

For those of you who take the time to read this please know that I'm grateful to have you, too.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My idea of fancy lately

Lil Girl put this on my finger first thing this morning, and then refused to let me take it off all day long. It's probably a sign of how sad my life is that it sort of made me feel weird. I don't even own rings that fit anymore. (And wouldn't wear them if I did), but having something on my finger just made me move my hand differently. Cuz I'm special like that.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hello Peoples

... would you like to guess what I am? If you guessed 'sick' (and if you've been here more than once, why wouldn't you guess that?), then you are correct. It's the tonsils again. I do believe I would rip them out of my own throat at this point. It's feeling like a reasonable option today, where one tonsil - who apparently felt lonely - decided to triple in size in order to meet the other one on his side of my throat. Again. Me and my tonsils, we are fighting.

In other news, the new med continues to make me dizzy (but definitely less than the first day), and I have to call Zack tomorrow because there has been no improvement in pain and he only gave me a week's worth of this stuff, so I don't know what I'm supposed to do next: keep taking it and wait or just knock it off? I think you know what my vote is.


Yesterday I went to the mall. Because I AM AN IDIOT thought it would be good to spend time with my sisters. Unfortunately, the sister whose plan it was didn't actually have a plan. So there was a lot of random wandering of the mall, and texting tag ("In Hallmark: Meet at Sears?"), and although there were some nice/funny moments (like when SisterCh tried to shove me in the car that I was falling out of and said "But your BUTT can't hurt!" really loudly; or how SisterK put the wheelchair in the backseat and left herself no room for, you know, sitting; or how SisterJ was totally with me on the whole "this store is loud and annoying and we're just going to walk right back out" deal) I shouldn't have gone because, honestly, I was already getting pretty sick. And I knew it. But I felt bad about having to cancel so often, so I went. And... it was too long of a day for me and now I am paying for it. But, oh well, because still: I made the decision, I left the house, I got to hang with 3/5 sisters... we'll call it even.


I meant to have a picture up for MBSM today, but that just ain't happening. I'm going to have to try for tomorrow, at which point, it will just be a random picture, but you're not going to complain, I don't think.

So... that's my update for today, I'll try to check out what you are up to soon!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

If by 'lively' you mean 'batshit crazy and homicidal', then you're right on target.

Thanksgiving Horoscope for Gemini

You're the sign most likely to bring up interesting and controversial topics at Thanksgiving dinner.

Your signature dish: Sweet potatoes with marshmallows

Your signature dessert: Pumpkin cheesecake

This holiday: Play bartender. You're family is much more lively with a few drinks in them.

Friday, November 21, 2008

See how I almost forgot about you?

But I didn't.

And it wasn't so much a case of forgetting as it was a case of thinking I'd already written this, and then realizing I had written an e-mail to my friend instead. Since my blog is (mostly) anonymous, my IRL friends don't check up on me here, so I have to like... actually talk to them or send them e-mails or something in order to catch up with them. I know! It's prehistoric. Anyways, let me just recap what I was telling Best Friend/College Roommate:

It is very, very cold here ("Mid January temperatures" the weathermen proclaim gleefully as I wonder at their sanity. And also at the accuracy of our calendar - perhaps it is, in fact, Mid-January, but we just didn't notice. With the type of life I've been living lately, I would not be at all surprised.) Also, I don't really know why I told her it was cold here, as she lives 40 minutes away. Northern minutes, so, if anything, it's probably a few degrees colder than it is here. But I told her anyways.

I am on day two of a new medicine that makes me very woozy. So woozy that I am now appalled that I considered myself dizzy before this. But the doctor says that generally only lasts for a week or so. If you - or he - has a free week in which to feel like you are on a rocket ship even though you are not moving any part of your body - and especially not your head - please feel free to volunteer. I may not have much of a life, particularly, but the one I do have requires that I am somewhat able to converse with people without feeling like my head is filled with helium and is rising to the ceiling and I am barely holding on to the attached string.

The best thing about my new medication is that it makes No. Sense. Whatsoever. Not that this is new to me: It makes no sense for me to be on half the things I am on, but I take them anyways on the off chance that they might help me. But this new drug? Is stretching it even for me - It is a blood pressure medication for people with high blood pressure. To lower their blood pressure. I? Have very low blood pressure (and/or a very low pulse: it varies). I am taking this medication - a very, very, very low dose - because it has been shown to help blah de blah blood vessels, and they think that might help the blood flow around some of my more painful areas and... honestly? Zach lost me pretty quickly with this one. I thought I understood it yesterday... Wednesday, I mean, at the appt., but the woozy part is not helping me to remember it clearly. All I know is this - I am taking a medication that's originally designed to help lower people's blood pressures, and when I started taking it yesterday, mine immediately went up. And then down. And did the same again today. I do not understand it, and I do not like it. And I may give it the week, but if it doesn't start changing something - for the good - soon, I don't know how much longer I'm willing to take it.

The people who came to see the house on Wednesday are very interested. Extremely interested. This is good and bad - we, of course, have no other place to live, so should they go from 'extremely interested' to 'actively buying' in the near future, we will go from 'temporarily stuck in a bad living situation' to 'having no living situation', which I'm not sure is an improvement. But we'll just have to wait and see there: Mum continues to house hunt, I'm considering all my options. We'll see.

Other than that - Family members currently driving me insane = (I was totally going to count them up and everything, but what's the point) All; Craft projects started and as yet incomplete = 9; Local radio stations currently playing "all Christmas/all the time" and thereby making me want to boycott them for life = 2 (Dear Oldies 103.3 & WROR 105.7 - Midnight on Halloween is not the opening bell for the Christmas season - you are skipping over Thanksgiving, at the very least. Stop it. Seriously); Number of mice still taunting me somewhere in my room late at night = at least 1; Pies to bake next week = at least 3 (must hunt up new recipe for blueberry pie... do not like the way last years leaked); E-mails that still need to be written (off the top of my head) = 4; things that could keep this list going = infinite.

So there, that's my update. Anybody out there?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Yeah today was a lot worse than yesterday: Post Doc PAIN & fatigue, a new med that's making me dizzy and faint-y, Lil Girl in an... emotional mood, and a sister demanding that I read 757 pages before she left for the midnight showing of Twilight. Other than that, quiet and peaceful.

Sure, quiet and peaceful.

I do not like this new medicine, but I'm remembering that my first week on Lyrica was sucky and a half, but it did wind up helping a tiny bit. I'll take another tiny bit and keep on building on it until I feel halfway human. Since today is not that day, this is the best post I'm capable of writing right now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

House Showing

and an appointment with Zack have made today a "must rest now" day. I'll check back tomorrow, and tell you all about the lady who saw our house today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I can't get anything done today

although... that's not actually true. I have done some things, just not the things I should've done. This is not exactly a surprise, as generally what I plan to do on any given day doesn't really wind up being what I do on those particular days. Usually through no fault of my own.

Today was supposed to be a Lil Girl day, but Lil Girl's mother called this morning and said she wasn't coming. She's fine; STB-Sister-in-law just would like to change our days of the week.

Umm... what?

It's not so much that we can't change our days, it's how about asking? How about having a conversation about it? Since, you know, it's something that we're doing that's helpful to you (and extremely joyful and great for us, but still demanding), how about having the courtesy of letting us know before a half an hour before you're supposed to show up? And... just, I don't know: I may just be making more of it than is necessary, but it really feels pretty shitty to be taken for granted.

So, right now, I'm supposed to be writing an e-mail to STB-Sister-in-law, to have our discussion about the changes: the why, the details, the how it can't start tomorrow because I've got an appointment with Zach, etc., and instead I'm ranting a little bit here, because I'm afraid if I write the e-mail right now it'll say something like "I've been doing my very best to help you raise your kids for the past 8 years, and it's brought me more joy than I've ever known. It's also been extremely difficult at times - especially health wise - and, on a lot of occasions, I've done more than I should have, more than was smart, or healthy, for me, and I've done it (sometimes even against doctors' advice) because I love and care about them, and you, and my brother and because it's important to me to be the best aunt possible. I'm not looking for special thanks, or big cheers; but I don't really think it's out of line to expect just the tiniest bit of consideration in return."

Which I don't really want to say, because it sounds horrible. And it says more than it should (I don't really care if the doctors tell me I should do less: it's not as if I'm going to listen to them anyways... they don't know anything), and it feels more mean spirited just reading it back to myself than it did just writing it. So, yes, it blows the whole thing out of proportion, and yes, I'm glad I could rant a little here, so I didn't just blurt it out to her.

But seriously, people? Just because I want to help doesn't mean you can walk all over me. Assuming I'll just fall in line isn't really fair to me (or Mum, whose POV I totally didn't even write about here, but also just pisses me off even more so now I'll have to calm down again), and it would be nice if I didn't have to point that out to you.

End Rant.

Deep Breath.


Monday, November 17, 2008

A pretty good line up.

Monday is a good night for television (and an even better night with TiVo, who, in case I haven't mentioned it is either my very good friend or my total nemesis: we're still deciding), so I'm putting down Eclipse in order to watch a few of my favorite shows.

Big Bang Theory is both hilarious and sadly true: if you are a geek, or have geeks in your life, you know that people actually do have conversations that revolve around Shroedinger's cat or Hobbits. You'd be surprised how often George Lucas or William Shatner could come up in a conversation.

How I Met Your Mother has some of the best characters ever. Specifically: Barney - It's gonna be legend-... wait for it... and I hope you're not lactose intolerant because the second half of that word is DAIRY! - Stinson.

Chuck is on at the same time, but thanks to TV I can watch it later. It's a well written show, and has the added benefit of having Jayne, with a gun (although it's not Vera).

Heroes is not living up to its past seasons or potential, IMO, and if it doesn't improve, I'll probably move it off my Season Pass list.

I won't mention Two and a Half Men, which I think is unbelievably dumb and can't believe is still on; Worst Week which is just lame and will probably not make it through to the end of the season; or CSI: Miami which is a show about sunglasses. I know they're on, but I avoid them. At 10, I generally watch Boston Legal which vacillates between being fully annoying and fully amusing.

And then Jon Stewart & Steve Colbert team up to keep me happy & sane. They certainly have their work cut out for them.

Hope your week is going OK, everybody.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lessons in aperature

Angie is untangling photography for me a little bit... I'm still not getting everysinglething, but I'm trying to get one thing at a time... Since I"m pretty comfortable with ISO and shutter speeds, depth of field and Aperture are first: the converse mathematics are just so... convoluted that I'm having trouble getting it down. I just need to keep practicing, which means I need to find things to take pictures of, and I've been a little uninspired/totally freaking insane & busy lately. (take your pick)

But I'm going to keep practicing anyways. I will conquer F Stops. I will.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Technology is depriving kids of ... horrible smells?

When I was younger, we didn't get an allowance. There were 5 kids, and if we needed money for something, we'd ask and take our chances on the answer. The money I had was mostly presents - Christmas or my birthday, a dollar from a visiting great uncle or whatever Nana passed out at report card time, that kind of thing - and I tended to be a saver, so it mostly all went - clink and cram - into a piggy bank: first a Funshine Bear, and later on a purple Opus. But there was one way that my brother and I could actually earn money, and that was by taking the cans and bottles back to the recycling center.

Back in the late 80's early 90's, recycling was a pretty new idea. At the very least, it was new to me, and newly popular in our area. It hadn't yet blown up to the degree that it has now though: I had never seen a recycling bin, and probably wouldn't for another 5 years or so, and there was only one bottle and can redemption center in our town. Luckily it was pretty close to our house, down one big hill on a street parallel to ours, about 3 blocks over. (Everything in our city is either up or down at least one big hill. Our city was once called the "Rome of Massachusetts" because it was founded on 7 hills. Inane trivia, meet the internets. Internets; inane trivia.)

At the time, we were mostly 2-liter bottle drinkers (soda in cans was beyond our price range then), so we'd lug humongous garbage bags filled with empty plastic bottles and smaller bags with whatever beer or wine cooler leftovers my parents had from our house down to the center. I don't know who did the job in the winter time - probably my mom, while we were at school - but all spring, summer and fall, every couple of weeks my brother and I would trudge down the hill with at least 5 of these gigantic bags, praying that one wouldn't bust open and lose its cargo or (as the years went on) that none of our friends would be outside to see us.

You couldn't do the job yourself: why we never thought to make more frequent trips so there'd be less to exchange, I don't know, but by the time we got around to it, it was always a two man job. The bags were light, but unwieldy: You couldn't just drag it along behind you (ahem, some of us know this from experience), because it would snag on rocks and cracks in the sidewalk and eventually spill open and cause a commotion... the 15 extra minutes it added to your trip as you chased after every last rolling bottle was never worth it. Especially with your big brother standing there impatiently, or, even worse, sitting on the curbside laughing as you "play in traffic:" I might have been thankful that the walk was downhill with all the bottles safely ensconced inside a bag, but once they were let loose, I could only curse our path. I would spend most of the walk trying to negotiate with the bags, the sign poles, other pedestrians and my feet - the only time I was graceful as a child was when I was dancing.(It's the reason they started me in dancing in the first place, but unfortunately, that ease of movement just didn't carry over into other aspects of my life.)

I know we did it for months every year, so I'm sure it must have been cooler some times more than others, but I always remember it as being hot. And humid. So that, by the time we'd finally get to the center, my face would be that nice red it adopted whenever I was outside &/or exerting myself, and people passing by most likely thought that I was lugging bricks instead of empty plastic bottles. The thing I remember most of all though, from all of those trips, is the smell.

The smell of old beer, and tonic gone past sweet to cloying.
Of heaps of plastic sitting, baking.
The redemption center was just a large warehouse, and it smelled like every basement I've ever been in, only ten times worse.
Just moldy and yeasty and dank.

It was always dark, even in the middle of the day with the cargo door wide open. The walls were made of tin, so that when one of the soda bottles would roll off of its pile, it would 'ping!' before hitting the ground. And you could hear all the bottles clanking together as workers shifted them off the tables and into bins.

When we went in they'd have cafeteria tables set up for you to put your stuff on: it was up to you to take each bottle out, line them up in rows and wait for the guy to come around and count them. This was my major contribution, since Only/Older Brother usually carried about 3 times as many bags as I did.

I'd take each tacky bottle out of the bag, and line them up in rows of 5, usually getting about 50 on a table. It wasn't required that these rows be need, but I mostly couldn't help it - even though I wanted to get out as quickly as possible, if I was putting them in a line, they needed to be in a straight one. My brother would roll his eyes if he saw me fixing the ones that were already on the table, so I had to try (discreetly) and get it right the first time, which made it seem an onerous task.

By the time I was finished, my hands would be sweaty and sticky, and I almost always wound up pulling at least one bottle with that last little drop in it out of the bag upside down and getting watered-down soda on some part of my body. My shoes would be gummed to the cement floor, and I'd wait for the money man, trying to edge closer to the open door to grab some fresh air.

The guy who ran the place would eventually heft himself out of his folding lawn chair and make his way over to our table, lit cigar in his mouth. Or there'd be a kid - maybe 16, 17 - who'd wander over from the piles and count our load out loud. Either way, we were never short changed, and the money would go from his sticky hand to my sticky hand - insane totals like $4.35 or $11.80 - and I would carefully split the take in two and give my brother his half (extra nickel going to the person who'd guessed closest to our actual take). Then I could escape outside again, into the bright sunlight and away from that smell. My brother would head off for who knows where and I'd go back home to shower the stickiness and stink away.

Which is all to say that today I waited in the car while my parents ran into the liquor store. We were parked close to the door, and when it opened, that same smell came out and I thought "Who'd drink anything that smells as bad before you drink it as it does rotting away afterwards?" And also? I saw these machines that just eat up your old bottles and count them up for you, which I knew they had, because Mum does them every couple of weeks now, but still. Whatever, technology.

(please pardon the glare, since I was in the car.)

Friday, November 14, 2008


I'm just going to direct you Over Here: I don't know this person, but I wandered onto this flickr stream while trying to find some pictures to cheer up Youngest Nephew (who was feeling sick earlier this week), and I find myself giggling over them still today. So, if I'm still thinking about them a few days later, maybe you'll find one that tickles your funny bone, too. (They're Star Wars related, btw. In case you needed more evidence that I am a geek.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Office is on tonight

And that is happy making. I'm going to keep that in mind as I work through my day. (Which includes Lil Girl, a sinus headache and trying to clean up the house for another showing tomorrow.)

Simple things, people, simple things.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Idea for the day

Some wisdom for your Wednesday...

"Buy Books for the Holidays is a collaborative blog that will showcase books, serve as a central point where we can all report our progress, give bloggers a chance to showcase reviews by genre, help people find the perfect book for that difficult or challenging person on your list, announce internet or bookstore specials, and raise awareness of literacy charities to promote a culture of reading in the future."

I'm totally on board...

and you should be too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday has not been my day

I missed my best shot monday, but maybe tomorrow I'll get one up... we did take a couple of family shots this weekend (which was both odd and comforting), and if I can get myself motivated to get them out of the camera, that would be good. Motivation and I? Today? Not even acquainted.

So I'll catch you tomorrow, and I'm glad I have this goal of NaBloPoMo, giving me something OTHER to think about.

Be Back tomorrow!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Because TV always knows what to say, even when I don't

Jason Morgan: The first time I ever saw grief was when Sonny's wife Lily died. It made me understand that bad things happen fast but you live through them slow.

It's from an episode of General Hospital, which, I know: not exactly the bastion of knowledge that you expected. But I still remember hearing the character say this... still know how true it is. I'm sure it's been said a million times, a million different ways, but when I make it through the weeks like this past one, it's the line that goes through my head... you live through them slow.

Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers for my family. They are much appreciated.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

My month is starting off sadly, as my uncle with Down's Syndrome, who (I explained somewhere but can't find the post for) has been quite sick, was removed from life support last Friday, because his organs had been shutting down. He's been largely unconscious for the past 2 months, so it's not a tremendous surprise, but it is a tremendous loss. I went to see him on Friday, and watching my eldest uncle hold his hand and put his head close to Uncle Mark's in the way they always have, well it was tough. And this is my Grandmother's third child to die in the past 9 years: None of them was over 55 when they died; my father was 39, my uncle was 51, and Uncle Mark is 45. He's lived a lot longer than they told her he would when he was born - his life expectancy then was 3, then 8, then 18 - but it's never enough. It's never long enough.

I think his life has been happier than not - he spent most of it surrounded by & cared for by his family - he worked at a local center for adults with disabilities during the day, and spent his evenings in his chair rocking and watching television with the rest of us. His vocabulary was rough, and grew more and more limited in the past few years, as he was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's and had seizures that made things even more difficult, but he knew most of our names (there were 9 kids, 16 grandkids, and 5 great-grandkids, so keeping track is not easy for anybody), the name of what show was supposed to come on next:"Jeopardy!" or "Judge Judy", most likely; and he gave crushing, killer hugs.

In the past few years, he'd been getting sicker - developed mini-seizures, and ultimately, this year, major seizures - and had to be moved into a residential program, with most of his friends from work and a lot of wonderful caregivers. (My 91 year old grandmother and 67 year old uncle just couldn't manage to do things like give him showers once the threat of the seizures became constant.) When I visited, 3 of the caregivers came by to see him & one was in tears in the hallway when we left... he was, they assure me a "well loved man."

Judging by the friends, caretakers, and administrative people who showed up for the two night wake and yesterday's funeral, I have no doubt... A teacher he had over 30 years ago came. All of the clients that worked with him. A nurse from the hospital. One of his friends, a woman in her 30's with Down's, cried through the entire funeral mass, all the while saying "I'm not crying for Mark. He's my best friend" and "I miss him." Another client blew a kiss at his casket as he walked by. I was holding up ok (ish), but that slayed me.

Of course, then the fact that the priest brought up all of the family members who would be greeting Uncle Mark in heaven - my favorite uncle, my father, my grandfather - and reminded me that I'd met him before: "at one of these - your dad's?" didn't help. And watching my grandmother deal with this is one of those things I just don't have the words to explain today.

So, I'm going to rest, and know that he was well loved, and, for today, I'm going to just let myself believe what my Grandmother believes - He's in a happier, better, pain-free place.

Friday, November 07, 2008

All I have to say today

is that I'd really like to stop going to funerals.

I'm ok (ish), so please don't worry, but I'm just not up to the long explanatory post today. I have to go to yet another family funeral this morning, and after two long nights of a wake, I'm already in enough pain to want to just up my pain pills until they actually Freaking Work. My uncle died on Sunday, and there have been some really tough moments in the past few days. But I'm getting through, holding on, being-haved, holding hands and hoping for the best.

I'll be back tomorrow, and I'll try to make more sense then. But for now, I just really don't want to have to go to any more funerals.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

It's Thursday, so a poem...

Because today I'm out amidst the "real and acid rain," I'm leaving you with a poem to keep you company....

In Bed with a Book
Mona Van Duyn

In police procedurals they are dying all over town,
the life ripped out of them, by gun, bumper, knife,
hammer, dope, etcetera, and no clues at all.
All through the book the calls come in: body found
in bed, car, street, lake, park, garage, library,
and someone goes out to look and write it down.
Death begins life’s whole routine to-do
in these stories of our fellow citizens.

Nobody saw it happen, or everyone saw,
but can’t remember the car. What difference does it make
when the child will never fall in love, the girl will never
have a child, the man will never see a grandchild, the old maid
will never have another cup of hot cocoa at bedtime?
Like life, the dead are dead, their consciousness,
as dear to them as mine to me, snuffed out.
What has mind to do with this, when the earth is bereaved?

I lie, with my dear ones, holding a fictive umbrella,
While around us falls the real and acid rain.
The handle grows heavier and heavier in my hand.
Unlike life, tomorrow night under the bedlamp
by a quick link of thought someone will find out why,
and the policemen and their wives and I will feel better.
But all that’s toward the end of the book. Meantime, tonight,
without a clue I enter sleep’s little rehearsal.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Big Sigh of Relief

It was a pretty amazing night, last night. I'd like to sit here and bask in the happiness of actually making a difference, for just a little bit. And yet, I spent most of the night being petrified that someone in the humongous crowd was going to do something desperate, that I would watch a horrible history unfold instead of a triumphant one. That must say something about me, that I couldn't just let go of the fear for one of the most inspiring speeches I have ever heard, but it's where I am... I have had that kind of a history with elections (the whole thinking we've done it and then getting crushed like a bug), and it's been that kind of a year for me personally: the kind where the other shoe just keeps dropping, and landing on me. So, I'm going to cut myself some slack on the whole fear thing.

But it was a wonderful, wonderful thing, and I'm so glad that things have changed enough in this country to let us get to this point.

I've been looking over some of the ballot questions and am distressed to say that other changes in our society aren't occurring as fast as they should be - Arizona, California (maybe), Florida, all passed bans on gay marriage & Arkansas passed a ban on same sex couple adoption. This makes me crazy, and yet I remain hopeful, since today's a day where it is pretty obvious just how far we've come, that we'll get there eventually, that all people will be seen as equal, if we just keep doing the work.

- Oh, and an aside here: When Obama's speech began with a list of groups of people (gay, straight, white, Hispanic, etc) and actually included "disabled and non-disabled", I cried. Because just the acknowledgement that we exist is something that's been missing for a long time... And remind me to write a little bit about voting as a 'disabled' voter and wth it's so freaking complicated -

On the positive side, voters in Colorado refused to amend their constitution to change the definition of a person in such a way as to ban abortion & South Dakota voted against banning abortion all together; Michigan voted for stem cell research and medical marijuana; and my own state of Massachusetts kept its collective head by voting against repealing the income tax (you know, so we can have.. schools and roads and stuff) and decriminalized marijuana in small amounts, calling it the sensible marijuana policy.

So, all hail the sense - common and good - that enabled us to make changes. And let's keep on working for the changes yet to come.

Happy New President, America.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Nudge Nudge

Because a lot of people are saying it better than I ever could, I'm going to just post some links today... Let's get out there and make a difference, reader(s)!

Here's 10 Reasons to vote Obama, and I'll add a couple of more:

He's got support from a lot of Republicans who think he's the right guy for this job.

I'm more nervous than ever that he might lose, and I'm not the only one.

This guy's already written his strip for tomorrow, and he'd be embarassed if he was wrong. AND SO WOULD WE.

And if you need still more convincing check out these very funny lists (helpfully rounded up over at Chaos Theory).

Please go vote. Even if you're voting (wrong) for the other guy.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Tomorrow, we vote. I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, although I think you'll be able to figure out where I stand in the next few minutes - I'm just going to remind you that vital to vote, because what you care about matters.

The past 8 years, and the two presidential elections I've been eligible to vote in, my candidate has won my state, but lost the country. 4 years ago, when Bush (II) was reelected, I literally cried, amazed that parts of our country were either so blind or so stupid as to want to continue the policies that I felt were ruining a lot of what is good about this country. I'm still amazed, but now I don't know that they were stupid or naive, just that they've been scared. I've been scared too, and I'm still pretty scared. Scared that tomorrow night won't go the way I think it should, and I will be stuck with another four years of policies that go against what I believe in, another four years of someone who doesn't really know what they are doing. Scared that I'll have yet another president I feel I will someday have to apologize to my children for. I hope that won't be true, but I really thought it wouldn't be true four years ago, so I'll just have to wait and see.

I'm sick of being scared, and while I know that Obama is not the Almighty returned to earth, and that his (please god) presidency will be full of ups and downs and trials galore, I also think that he will at least try. He will make an effort to address all of the injustices that I see everyday. At least, that's what I hope.

And hoping, sometimes, is all we have.

"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic.
It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory." — Howard Zinn

MBSM: Spooky

I'm pretty sure they'll be a ton of costume pictures today on the My Best Shot Monday rounds, but that's what today's for. Besides, I Love Costumes and we had a sum total of 6(!) trick or treaters.

So here's two of my three loveys, in their costumes:

We had a colonel (on a secret mission, apparently)

Angelina Ballerina (although she had no idea who that was: "I's a mousey. With a Crown!")

And here they are together:

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Things I am doing today instead of writing my post

- Getting my hair cut (Finally! Big huge thanks to SisterJ, who, I'm assured would not make me look ridiculous.)

- Taking a shower, and then having a shower coma, because of all those little hairs

- Watching the rest of my West Wing marathon on Tivo. Tivo loves me, mostly. And I definitely love him.

- Mourning over the fact that we can't have President Josiah Edward (aka Jed) Bartlett, because if Josh, Toby, Sam & CJ were there, I would feel so reassured about the state of the country.

- Wishing Aaron Sorkin would write another TV show. Also, PS ---> I actually liked Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip for all its flaws. And, although I save my Sports Night DVDs for times when I am feeling particularly crappy, I'm considering breaking them out again.

- Wishing I felt like scrapping, as The Clump (of birthdays) is getting underway & I haven't finished the next three people's scrapbook pages yet.

- Telling lies in my list post: It isn't that I haven't finished them, it's that I haven't really started 2 of the next 4. And that I never finished SisterK's, even though I'm giving them to her as is, anyway. There's plenty, and I'm 'saving' the rest of this year's pictures till next year, that's all.

- Cursing the PUS who vacuumed during my shower coma, which was definitely not appreciated.

- Focusing on my frozen, ice cube feet, which will not warm up.

- Editing a thousand, zillion pictures, because that is the next, necessary step towards scrapbooking. Only I'm not editing those pictures. I'm editing the Halloween pictures so I have something to post tomorrow. And also, because I don't want to look at those other pictures ANY MORE.

- Searching for West Wing quotes to pepper this post with. Prepare to sneeze:

Toby: It's not so much that you cheat sir, its how brazenly bad you are it.
Bartlet: Give me an example.
Toby: In Florida, playing mixed doubles with me and C.J., you tried to tell us your partner worked at the American Consulate in Vienna.
Bartlet: She did.
Toby: It was Steffi Graf, sir!
Bartlet: I'll admit the woman bore a striking resemblance to her.
Toby: You crazy lunatic, you think I'm not going to recognize Steffi Graf when she's serving a tennis ball at me?

Mrs. Landingham: How are you, Josh?
Josh: I've been subpoenaed.
Mrs. Landingham: Oh, I'm sorry, dear. Would you like a cookie?

Bartlet: We meant 'stronger' here, right?
Sam: What does it say?
Bartlet: I'm proud to report our country's stranger than it was a year ago?
Sam: That's a typo.
Bartlet: Could go either way.

Josh: I denied it for half an hour, they wouldn't take no for an answer!
Bartlet: You were clear?
Josh: I was crystal clear! They said, "Do you think that, if the President has a plan to fight inflation, it's right that he keep it a secret?" I said, of course not!
Bartlet: Are you telling me that not only did you invent a secret plan to fight inflation, but now you don't support it?

Jeff Breckenridge: You got a dollar?
Josh: Yeah.
Jeff Breckenridge: Take it out. Look at the back. The seal, the pyramid, it's unfinished, with the eye of God looking over it, and the words annuit coeptis - he, God, favors our undertaking. The seal is meant to be unfinished, because this country's meant to be unfinished.
We're meant to keep doing better. We're meant to keep discussing and debating. And, we're meant to read books by great historical scholars and then talk about them...

Bartlet: "We hold these truths to be self-evident," they said, "that all men are created equal." Strange as it may seem, that was the first time in history that anyone had ever bothered to write that down.
Decisions are made by those who show up.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Hey all!

Be prepared to be amazed as your Bloglines and Google Readers overflow, while at the same time your blog reading time shrinks to a minimum & you wonder how the hell you'll ever catch up. That's right, it's National Blog Posting Month!

I've participated in NaBloPoMo for the past two years, making this my 3rd Annual NaBloPoMo, and I figure if I could manage it last year, while my family was literally falling apart, then I should be able to handle it this year too. (Of course, that means you get treated to all of the wonderful drama that is my life, but you wouldn't still be reading if you didn't enjoy some of it, right?)

This isn't a bang-up first post, but I've got to go clean a bit for the house showing we've got in under an hour, and the piles are mocking me. Although today? I am not leaving during the house showing, even though it is sooo awkward. "Hello. Just ignore me. Please just make your own plans for my childhood home, and I will sit here and be as invisible as possible." But it's been a busy week, and I've got an even busier one coming up this week, so rest I must. They'll just have to deal.

Alright: see you tomorrow! Or sooner, you never know.