Sunday, January 31, 2010

Phone call from my mother

Okay, I said that I might come back later and write about getting a phone call from my mother, and now that I've had some time to cool off, that is what I will do. But first let me say that the weather that threatened to get messy was only that, messy and and wet, not icy and dangerous. So it didn't really do anything to me or to anybody that I know, and my husband got home safely and all of that.

Anyway, a few days ago, I got a phone call from my mother, again asking me to help out with grandma. If you have been reading a while you know that this has been going on for more than five years, and that I keep thinking that we are done talking about this and that she won't ask again, but somehow she does.

So several months ago we had this serious talk on the subject, and she acted like she didn't get it that I really didn't want to do this, that the subject was closed, that I was avoiding talking to her because whatever the reason for calling me was supposed to be that she somehow managed to bring up grandma and couldn't I help her out with that, etc.... Now, I have tried to be nice, tried not to be mean and just blurt out "no, I don't want to do that, and I'm never going to, so just shut up," but I can't believe that I was somehow unclear on the subject. So I spelled it out. The subject was closed years before, and this was never going to happen, and it was now at the point that if she didn't tell me she understood that I would just have to stop talking to her at all.

So she said that she understood. She wouldn't ask me anymore. She really didn't understand that "I'm not comfortable with that" and "I would rather not" meant "It absolutely isn't going to happen."

And so I thought we were finally done with that.

A bit before Christmas, my grandma had to go into the hospital. And it was decided that she would need someone when she got out of the hospital, cause she really couldn't stay by herself anymore. And I just know that she isn't suggesting that I do it, cause we have already had this discussion and I had made myself very clear. And while my mom is talking, she even mentions that I have made myself very clear, she is just talking about what has been decided needs to be done for grandma, even though she understands that she can't ask me to do it.

But after she is talking for a while, after I relax cause she has said that she knows she can't ask me, she does sort of get around to asking me again, but she thinks that this doesn't count as her asking me, cause she is asking me on behalf of her brother. My uncle agrees that someone should stay with grandma, even if we have to go out and hire a stranger, but my uncle thought that I should have first refusal.

And so I was about to refuse when she mentioned how much money they would pay me.

Okay, I really could use the money, so I was thinking about it. I convince myself that the worse thing that could happen is that it wouldn't work out and I'd have some money in my pocket before they figured that out, and then they would know that I couldn't do the job and they would never ask me again.

Of course, that isn't the worse thing that could happen. There are much worse things that could happen, like I could get in a really bad fight with either my mom or grandma or my uncles or even all of them, and this could permanently damage our relationship. Or, they could leave me alone with grandma, and something could happen that I couldn't handle, and then what would I do?

And of course my mother never addressed my original questions of what would happen if I did take this job and I hurt myself. I wouldn't get workman's comp like at a real job, and I can't very well sue my grandma. Was mom going to take care of that sort of thing from her own pocket.

I never did get any of that straightened out. She seemed to think I was making all that up.

But still, they were dangling money in front of me, and I was thinking about it.

So, my plan was to help out for a few days for free, once grandma got out of the hospital, and then I would have a better idea what the job would actually be and be able to say yes or no, and if there was something I couldn't handle there would be other people there too. Only my mom said that she didn't need any help the first day, or the next day, or the next day.

And then she seemed to be getting worse. I don't remember the conversation exactly, but I hear something that told me she was beyond my ability to help anyway, that she really needed a nurse or at least a nurse aid, someone used to dealing with sick old people. I forgot about it and mentally moved on.

So a few days ago, my mother calls, and she needs an answer soon cause she really needs to hire someone, even if it isn't me.


I told her I assumed that was done with, that grandma needed more than I could do, and that everyone knew that, and that was why no one had wanted my help when I offered to do stuff for free, and no one had even talked to me about it since December.

And she is asking me what exactly it is that I don't want to do, and I tell her some specific things that I refuse to do, and she says that I wouldn't ever have to do that.

And I say that I don't believe her.

And I say that since my offer of free help was turned down, that they must need a lot more help than that. They just didn't want me over there to see how bad it was.

And my mom is saying that she has to go do something, and that I should think about it and she'll call me back.

She doesn't call back as soon as I would like, so I decide to get it over with myself. I don't want to think about it. It took me two weeks to talk myself into offering to help before, and I had mentally moved on when they didn't want my help. It would take me another two weeks to talk myself into trying again, and it would be a very unpleasant two weeks, and probably nothing would come of it, or nothing good anyway. So I call her back and tell her that I don't need to think about it, I just need to say no and get that over with. She said that she understood and she would talk to me later.

I keep thinking that we are done with this. I wonder if we are.

My skin hurts again. The stress of talking about this stuff with my mother and the earlier incident have ruined all the progress that I thought I had made. I have all this work that I plan to do, but most of it doesn't get done and I stay in bed and watch a lot of TV.

Enough of that. My skin still hurts, but I have to make cookies or something before the meeting today. I doubt that the meeting is going to be fun, but at least it should be a distraction.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Today was weird

So, I live in Texas, in a part of Texas that rarely gets really cold, but unfortunately not in a part that is warm and sunny all the time, and I live nowhere near the beach. But anyway, in this part of Texas, with some extra work, one could probably garden all year round, though I am not one of those people committed to doing that extra work, and I would rather not be doing that much work at all. Still, after a week of really nice weather, I thought that it might be a good idea to get started on the spring stuff, and of course right when I decide that is what I should do, then it rains and it is going to freeze later and all of that.

Now the thing about getting started with the gardening is that if you start a particular project that you have to get certain parts of it done before it starts to rain again, or else it looks worse than before you did anything. So, if you were going to turn over a bed, and you get it done before it rains, then that is fine. And, if you decide that it is still too cold and do nothing, and then it rains, then that is fine too, except that you will still have work to do later. But if you decide to turn over a bed, and you don't get done with it, and then it rains, and then you have a bit of a hole in the ground which then fills up with water, and the hole is then surrounded by piles of dirt, which during the rain turn into piles of mud. And then it looks really ugly, and the job isn't finished, and then when it is dry enough to try again you probably didn't save that much time by getting started on it earlier.

In fact, sometimes you have made more work for yourself, as the piles of mud might get to be really wet piles of mud, which travel a bit and it is really a hassle getting the dirt back in the state that was meant to be so that you can plant stuff.

So that is very similar to what has happened here, except that I was moving some dirt from one place to another, and hadn't quite got to the part of digging the hole, but I still a lot of what was almost usable dirt and is now a lot of really wet mud. I was attempting to mix the dirt with sand and compost, and I didn't get much of that done, and I will have to wait for it to get really warm again before I can finish. And while I am waiting for it to be nice warm weather again, it all looks a bit messy, even more so than last week before I got it into my head to get out the shovels and such.

I haven't done much house cleaning this week, as I was trying to do this little garden project instead, and I wanted to do a lot of work before it rained. And then that other stuff happened, and then the rest was just the usual bit of everything taking a lot longer than I imagine. And it is quite wet now. I had thought that I would at least do some work outside this morning before it rained, but I guess that it rained some last night that I did not notice until I went outside this morning. Not a really good rain, just enough to get everything wet so that gardening was out of the question.

So then it was back inside, and I got a bit more rest, since there didn't seem to be any rush to do anything. There was then a phone call from my mother, which I won't get into now but maybe I will post about it later. And then I thought that I would get started with the prep work for lunch, and then I would watch a video before going to the library so that I could take everything back. And then my husband walked in the door.

I wasn't supposed to see him again until Friday night. But there was some screw up at work. I might have made fun of this before, but my husband always seems to work for someone who cannot connect the idea of "working out of town" with "he isn't home." So they will send him out of town, and then they will call here looking for him, when they know that he isn't here. The first few times that this happened, I really panicked and thought that he was missing and must have been in a accident. Over time I just get used to the fact that these people who are supposed to know all about going out of town and such still just don't get it, and that they can't be bothered to look and see which is a person's home phone and which is a cell phone, or even bother to find out if there is a cell phone, and so they just call here, and no one ever makes a note that this is not a cell phone. And they will also never make the connection that supplies needed at the site should be sent to the site, and not to the house when he isn't home, and possibly there is no one home, and possibly the packages left on my doorstep would just get stolen.

So that was the first thing that happened, that this new person called my house to talk to my husband who was more than a hundred miles away at the time. And I had no where to forward the message to, and it wasn't an important message anyway. It wasn't anything like tomorrow's schedule has been changed. She just wanted to know how things went.

So that was Wednesday. Thursday morning, my husband went to the site and waited out in the car until someone eventually showed up to tell him that they had cancelled a couple of weeks ago, and he wouldn't be needed today.

Now, he should have called to make sure that Friday's schedule hadn't been changed and then just gone on to the next site. But, having the whole day off, he came home instead, having not paid any attention to the weather reports. He just thought that he would stay here and get up really early in the morning rather than spend another night in a motel where there is nothing to do.

It is going to be cold and rainy, and possibly there will be freezing rain either tonight or tomorrow, and staying here tonight is just out of the question, unless the schedule had been changed, which so far doesn't seem to be the case. So it was decided that he would stay for lunch, but not dinner, and that after spending a few hours with me he would drive on to the place where he is supposed to work tomorrow.

So, after we got all that worked out, it was time for lunch, maybe a bit early but close enough. I finished cooking, and then went ahead with my original plan of watching some silly video, only now my husband was watching it with me.

The video was Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and I had grabbed a lot of videos from the library, knowing that it was probably going to rain and that I would probably not have any TV to watch, but maybe getting this particular video was a bit too much. But how bad could it be, right?

I hope that I pushed the wrong button or something. It seems like you have to select either the version shown in the theater or an even longer version, or something. So I selected the theatrical version. Or, at least, I thought that I had. If this was the version shown in the theater, I just can't imagine what was added later.

Anyway, someone said the "F" word every five minutes, and there was full frontal nudity and everything.

Okay, so in the three or four hours that I'm trying to have a nice afternoon with my husband, half of it was spent on this dumb movie. And then there was other stuff, and then there was more food and then there was a trip to the library, and then he headed out.

And now I'm wondering if that was all a mistake, that he should have left right after lunch, and now he's going to get stuck in all this rain, if not worse.

Hopefully in about an hour or so he will call and tell me he has a nice warm motel room.

So now I have this odd bit of having one more night to myself, even though I did not have the day to myself, and the only thing that I got done was cooking lunch and going to the library. Anything else that I had thought I would do today will probably have to be done tomorrow, and it probably won't get done then either.

Saturday, I have to cook something or bake something, or just give up and buy something. Sunday I have this thing to go to, and I have to either bring a dessert or a vegetable. I suppose tomorrow or the next day I will go shopping and see what speaks to me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yesterday was bad

Okay, I guess most of you reading this already know my situation. I feel physically bad sometimes because of it. But you'll notice that I now say sometimes. For about two years it was everyday. Now I'll go days or even a week without really noticing it, and even when it is noticeable it isn't that bad. If the rest of the world wasn't the way it is right now, I probably would have gone out and got a job by now.

But the rest of the world is the way it is now. And of course, when I almost feel normal again (not actually good, I don't think actually feeling good again is in my near future, just not so bad) something else will happen to make me go back to feeling bad again.

Anyway, yesterday we had a bad fight. So despite all my plans of getting up and doing stuff while I didn't feel so bad, all the positive feelings of the past month or so are gone now. But I am determined that I am not going to spend the whole day in bed feeling sorry for myself, even if it is too late to work on the particular project I had thought I would finish today.

My husband goes out of town sometimes on business. This doesn't happen as often as it used to, but it does still happen once in a while. One time he left for a week or so, and while he was gone I misplaced my car key. It was very annoying being stuck in the house all of the time and not even being able to go to the grocery store. And it is not like I go many places anyway, but that weekend I did have plans, and he wasn't going to be home in time for me to get the key from him. I did find the key before the weekend came, but the incident did leave me very frustrated that I didn't have a third key for the car. And unlike all my other vehicles I can't just go to Walmart and pay three dollars to have a duplicate made, because it is one of those two hundred dollar keys with the computer chip. I didn't want to spend that much, and I thought that there is really no reason for my husband to carry around the spare with him all the time. He doesn't drive the car, he just carries the spare for those rare times that I ask him to put something in the car or get something from the car, and he really doesn't need to have the key in his pocket all the time for that, and he especially doesn't need to take the key with him out of town where it does me no good at all. So I meant to ask him for the key when he got back, but I forgot, and I just keep forgetting, except for after he leaves on one of these rare trips. And of course by the time he gets home I forget again, so for about a year or so I have meant to get the key from him, but I forget, but it rarely matters as his trips are so rare now, and most of the time I end up going with him anyway.

So there was a sudden change of plans yesterday, and he was going out of town for three days, and the schedule was such that it would have been inconvenient for me to go with him, even without the fact that I keep saying that I should get some work done, probably in the garden, and I should not use this trip as an excuse to again put off doing the work. So it was decided that I would not go, and I was trying to help him with getting packed and such, and then I remembered to get the key off of his key ring. Only he saw what I was doing, and he took the key away from me. So I tried to take it back, but this time I was physically restrained from getting my key. My arm is still a bit sore from the incident, but I did finally get my key after we had a fight about it. And he has said that he is sorry my arm hurts, and that he didn't realize I would be injured, but this is not even the first time he has said this, and he doesn't seem to get it that he did anything wrong by trying to keep my key in the first place.

And no one could really be that stupid. It can't be that he doesn't get that he was wrong, he just doesn't care. He wants what he wants, even if it is something bad or something that makes no sense, and if I object or get in his way, that is too bad, and he will say it is my fault if I get hurt, whether it is mental or emotional or physical. Like it would only really be his fault if he hit me with something bigger than his thumb.

I really don't know what to do. I wish I had moved back in with my mother, back in that very small period of time that we were getting along. Maybe if I had we would still be getting along, or maybe without his interference I would have gotten the job that I really wanted and would have found some other way to come up with the rest of the money that I needed to take care of myself. But this really is too much, and when he gets back I will have to act as though nothing has happened, or it will be even worse.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A few thoughts on being an adult

I was reading another blog, and I tried to leave a comment, cause I disagreed with the author. Most of the other thought out comments also disagreed with the author, but I didn't think that they went far enough, so I proceeded to write this really long comment.

And then there were technical difficulties, and my comment was eaten.

So rather than have that happen again, I will write some things here, and then maybe later I will go back to copy some of it there.

The author of the blog sometimes gets letters from other readers, asking for advice. This week's letter was from a girl who was twenty-two years old, still living with her parents, and in her last year of college. She complained that her mother treats her like a child and wants to know where she is and what she is doing at all times.

There was no mention of the college student paying rent, just that she still lived with her parents and didn't like that they weren't treating her like an adult.

I don't think the college student is an adult. She has lived a certain number of years, and the law says that she's old enough to know better and follow the rules and such, and that she is old enough to vote and old enough to drink if she chooses. But that is about it. If she has in anyway earned adulthood, it wasn't mentioned.

Our civilization doesn't require an adulthood test, just that we reach a certain age, and if we reach that certain age, that probably isn't something we can take much credit for either. If we didn't die when we were younger, it was probably due to our parents, or some other family member, or maybe a teacher, or maybe a doctor or a cop or someone else in emergency services. But you probably didn't get to the magic age of eighteen or twenty-one because of anything brilliant you did. If left to your own devices, you would have done something really stupid before then, you would be a face on a milk carton, you would have died in a car wreck, you would have drank yourself to death or overdosed on some other drug, ended up in jail with some of your buddies, etc....

In other cultures, it is different. You don't just magically become an adult just because you have lived long enough. You have to do something to earn it. You have to get married or become a good parent. You might be expected to safely bungee jump or dive off of a cliff. You might have to prove that you can hunt for food or kill a dangerous predator. You might have to join the military. You might have to mutilate your body without anesthesia.

But we don't do any of that. We don't even have a test. You don't even have to graduate from high school. You don't even have to prove you can balance a checkbook.

So eighteen year olds and people in college complain when some of us don't treat them like adults, but what have they done to be an adult?

Are they married? Are they good parents? Do they take care of children or elderly people? Do they have jobs and pay their own bills? Or do they spend all their money on going out and having a good time? Did they pay for college or earn a scholarship, or did mommy and daddy pay for that?

The complaining college student probably isn't a bad person, or even a lazy person. She at least is going to college, which is what we want most people her age to do. Other people who think that they are adults didn't even graduate from high school. But she probably is not an adult yet. Probably if she were really even that close to being an adult, she would not be whining about all this stuff, most of which was probably done for her own safety.

At the other end of the spectrum, those of us who have actually been adults for a long time and have done something to be called an adult other than just living to be a certain age might have some life changing thing happen that takes away whatever it was that made us feel like adults. People who had bill paying jobs have lost them. People who were buying cars and houses have lost them. People who choose to cook and clean and otherwise take care of a spouse instead of pursuing a career might not have their spouses anymore. Stay at home parents might not have the child at home anymore or might have to go out and get a job. People who take care of elderly people or invalids eventually have to deal with the death of the person they cared for, and after that they aren't quite sure what to do with their time.

I don't guess that you stop being an adult after something like that happens, but losing that thing that was a major part of your life is hard, and sometimes you don't feel like an adult afterward. Even when it is something normal, like when you get old enough to retire or when your youngest child grows up and goes to college or moves away, it is still sometimes a difficult adjustment.

Adults have real problems to deal with. If you were really an adult, complaints about your mother wanting to know where you're going wouldn't even make the list.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Morons: Me

Well, I've gone and done something not to bright. I do this once in a while, cause I feel bad and this temporarily makes me feel a little bit better. Only afterwards I don't feel so good about it, and I feel stupid for ever doing it in the first place. Still, the damage is done, and it does temporarily make me feel better, and it is beginning to look like it just isn't going to matter that much in the long run anyway. My situation is going to change anytime soon, except maybe to get worse.

I'm not feeling really bad yet, just acknowledging that I might have done something stupid.

But that isn't what I want to write about today. What I want to write about today is the car recall.

In the seventies, we had a Pinto. So sometimes car recalls are very scary. And I should have dealt with it right away, but I didn't.

After we stopped working for a certain company in 2001, we bought bought cars. Not new cars, just "new to us" cars, and much newer cars than what we had been driving. They seemed very nice and in good condition, but still, they were both about five years old and had a lot of miles when we got them. About the time all the really bad stuff happened, my husband had to have his vehicle replaced so that he could drive all over the place for his new job. He hadn't even had it for a year when he was in an accident and had to get yet another vehicle. This one was much newer, though it was still purchased used.

And while all this was going on I was having some car trouble, and it kept getting towed to the shop, where they would "fix" it, and then I would get stuck at the mall or something and have it towed again. So I was spending money on repairs, but I just think that they either didn't know what was wrong with the car, or else they were going to repair all the minor stuff, because if it turned out to be something major I just wouldn't be able to keep the car. It just wasn't worth the money to try to fix a now ten year old car.

And I just kept thinking that if I had bought a new car to begin with, that I wouldn't be dealing with this stuff, or at least not for another five years or so.

And so we finally gave up trying to fix my car and I bought a new one. Really, a new one, though it didn't cost quite as much as my husband's slightly used vehicle. This is the only actual new car that either of us has ever bought.

So we have both had our current vehicles for a couple of years now. And we got a letter in the mail from GM telling us of a recall. It didn't quite make sense. Something about a leak and something about the cruise control and the car maybe blowing up. It said that until I could get the car looked at that I should park the car as far as possible from houses and other cars and such.

I left the car right where it was. It wasn't leaking anything, so I think that it was unlikely just blow up while parked on the street. And there really wasn't anyplace else to park it anyway.

I looked up stuff on the Internet about my car, and there was a recall of some sort for the year that I bought the car, though it did not say anything about the cruise control. And it wasn't supposed to blow up just from being parked, only if there was a collision.

Anyway, my car doesn't have cruise control, which was why I was confused with the original letter.

The letter came before Christmas. We were about to go out of town, and I decided that it could wait a while. And then we got back, and I was very busy knitting and doing other Christmas stuff, and I decided that it could wait a bit more. The letter said that there would probably be a long wait anyway, since everyone else who had bought the car would also have to have their cars looked at. I wasn't driving the car much, so I decided it could wait a bit more.

And then I just sort of forgot about it for a while. It could wait til after Christmas and New Year's. Probably everyone else will have gone in for the repairs by then, and I wouldn't have a long wait if I took it in sometime in January.

As you can see, it is now past the middle of January, and I still hadn't done anything about the car. I misplaced the letter about the recall, but I didn't think that they really needed the letter. I finally took the car in Friday and told them I had this letter from GM, but I wasn't even sure that it was my car being recalled. They said that they would look at it anyway.

After getting some numbers from my car and looking on their computer, they did not find any recalls about my car, even though I had seen something about it on the Internet. Since I wasn't actually having and problems with the car, they thanked me for checking and sent me home.

So I'm thinking that I got this letter by mistake, that it was only for cars with cruise control, cause it said something about cruise control in the letter, and my car doesn't have cruise control.

So I've been trying to do a bit of cleaning, and I finally found the letter about the car recall.

It wasn't about my current car. It wasn't about my husband's current vehicle. It was for one of those other vehicles that we don't have now.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Movies and bad dreams and junk

We went to see The Book of Eli on Monday. I liked it. Dmarks will probably like it. A lot of other people won't care for it much. I had almost figured out the ending, about the book, but not quite, and it was just a bit better than what I had imagined it would be. Dmarks will probably guess it more correctly.

And then we went to see 2012 at the dollar theater. Well, I still tend to call it the dollar theater. It is more correctly called a second run theater, and the price is now gone up to $1.25 or $1.75, depending on what time of day you go. And I had wanted to 2012 when it came out, but my husband did not want to see it, so after a few weeks had passed I decided that I might as well wait for it to be at the second run theater, which happened just this past Friday. So I was planning to go sometime this week, and as we had other business in the area yesterday we both went, and I talked him into seeing the movie with him on the condition that I buy him a hotdog. I buy hotdogs at this theater, because they are a dollar, and that is about what they are worth, and I rarely buy any food or drink from theaters because the price is nowhere near what the food is worth.

And when we got to the theater, there was a line of people, which is rare on a weekday, and we wondered what was going on. And then I remembered that it was Tuesday, and I almost changed my mind about the whole thing and left. But it turned out not to be so bad. Anyway, sometimes the theater will run a promotion that makes the tickets fifty cents on Tuesdays, and I had forgotten about it and forgot that it was Tuesday. So this theater that is almost empty any other time that I would go actually had people in it. And this has always puzzled me, and I would never make a special effort to be there on a Tuesday to save fifty cents (now seventy-five cents or even a dollar twenty-five after six). Isn't a dollar or so cheap enough? I would much rather pay a little extra money and not have to deal with all these extra people. So I wonder what all these other people are thinking, that two of them don't want to spend four dollars and fifty cents (or five dollars and fifty cents after six o'clock) to see a movie and eat a hotdog, but on Tuesday they will stand in line to spend three dollars for the same thing. It isn't like actually seeing a movie for free, or seeing the movie before anyone else does, or getting a first run theater ticket for half price, or getting popcorn and such for half price.

It puzzles me, but the promotion obviously works for the theater.

And I have recently found Redbox video, which is a vending machine in a grocery store. That and the pay at the pump gas is probably the main reason that I still have an ATM card, otherwise I would have gone ahead an closed the account while I don't have a job. So we have recently watched Battle for Terra (which is rather like a cartoon version of Avatar, only without the avatars), and yesterday I also watched Carriers. I didn't watch Carriers when it was at the theaters, cause I had not heard of it. It is one of those movies about a plague that could totally wipe out humanity. I tend to watch a lot of those, and this one I had not even heard of. It isn't the best movie, but it isn't bad either. And it stars our new Captain Kirk, Chris Pine. And I was thinking that they were going to Port Aransas or South Padre Island, except that at the beginning of the movie they have surf boards, and there is no surf to speak of in Texas.

So of course after having seen The Book of Eli and Carriers, I tend to have weird dreams. Really depressing dreams where people sit around waiting for something bad to happen, and there's no gas, and maybe we have to move or something. So last night I had this dream and we had to move. I have dreams about moving, cause I hate moving. When I was eleven and I moved for the first time, it was all a big adventure, but mostly since then it has just been a big hassle. You have to throw things away, and while it is good to throw away stuff once in a while, this is different, as you end up throwing out a refrigerator or something like that, cause it just isn't worth spending money to have it moved. So I had this dream where we were moving, either back to the house (which is impossible), or back to the apartment (which is impractical). Neither makes any sense. And I have a deadline and no money to pay to move the big items like the refrigerator, and I have to throw away my artwork.

For some reason in this dream I am also trying to make out with a certain friend, and there are all these other people around, and that doesn't seem to bother me. So that is something that I would never do, especially with this particular person, as one of the nice things about him as that he is not overly touchy-feely and gives me my space, and it is just hard to imagine us ever being anything but friends so why would I ruin it by trying to make out with him? Luckily I do not expect to see him for a while, and I hope to get this image out of my head before then.

Anyway, I had this very disturbing dream about moving all of my stuff to another place which makes no damn sense, and then I woke up and could not get back to sleep after that.

I do not think that I will do much of anything today. After a couple of days effort (you didn't think that I did any work at all with all of the movie watching), I have sold a box of books and donated a box of clothes. My husband also sold a box of books and donated a lot of clothes. So that is something, but as usual I do not even see the empty space of where the items used to be. It is hardly worth the effort, if getting rid of stuff does not result in having more space. Still, I should have another go at it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A few things in no particular order

A friend sent me a link about a job, and I can't get it to work. I will try again later, but maybe it isn't worth the effort, as I missed four or five questions on what seemed to be an easy practice test. I'm getting old. I'm slipping.

We have finally figured out the whole unemployment thing. The thing about the unemployment is that you have to file all the time, even when you worked and don't need it, even when you didn't apply for a job and won't get it, even if you turned down work and won't get it, even when all this is going to do is waste time and make people at the unemployment office do more work that is totally unnecessary, and that way you are still in the system on the week that you don't work and need the money, and they send you your money in a reasonable amount of time and such.

So that is what we are doing. Unfortunately, now that we have figured all of that out, we are told that we only have ten thousand dollars left, and the way things are going that isn't going to last us very long.

My husband seems to be making an effort to be especially nice to me, if you can call it that after more than three years of him still not having done one thing that he was supposed to do for us to be roommates, much less actually be back together like nothing had happened. On my part I was having one of those moments when I think that I might as well try to enjoy myself with the way things are, as they will probably not change in the near future. He worked two days last week and two days the week before, and then he is not likely to work at all for the next two weeks, and then we don't know what is going to happen after that. So of course what we tend to do when he has all this time off is go to restaurants and go to movies and go shopping. Well, we are short on money, though not as short as we would be now that we have figured out the whole unemployment thing. We have not been going out to nice restaurants, just now and then going to Arby's and such, cause we have coupons. And we haven't done that much shopping, but we have bought a few things. While I feel some guilt over that, I can't really say that I feel bad about seeing a few movies, as we have a couple of inexpensive theaters. But there are still days when we stay home and do absolutely nothing, and it tends to get on my nerves spending all that time together doing nothing, sort of getting in each others way.

Not that the day I had to myself went any better. I had planned to spend it knitting, and something went wrong, and I don't know if I can fix it. And he was really trying to be nice to me after that, but there is just nothing to be done about it. I will just have to put the thing away for a while, and maybe after some time has past I will see a solution and not get so upset when I look at it. I instead spent the day watching videos, but I did not feel much better. The next day when he was trying to be nice to me, I did make an attempt to just forget about everything that is stressing me out and just enjoy the day, which I did, for a while. And then the next day I noticed something, and that made me think that something is going to go wrong, and that he knew about it and intended for something to wrong, or at least that he was okay with it. But even if nothing goes wrong, that is what I think of him now, that he is very selfish and this attempt at being nice is just to hide the fact that something else is going to go wrong and that he is responsible.

Christmas Eve dinner was finally rescheduled for yesterday. I ate a half dozen oysters and have no need to see anymore oysters for a while. They were really big oysters too. I'm not really complaining, the food was good, and it was good to see everyone and it was good for mom to have a break, as grandma did not get better like we thought from her most recent hospital stay.

Saturday was fun, though not what I had imagined. We did trivia as planned, but just regular trivia, not sci fi stuff like usual. So I did not win, even after having put together a really great team. And we were playing Family Feud, and the answers are based on what people think is the answer, even if that in fact is not the answer. So we were trying to "steal" points from the other team, and we just don't have any good ideas. The question involved things that turn from green to yellow, and all the good answers have been taken, and all I can think of is pears. My friend thinks maybe the answer is yellow squash, except that I and another friend have gardens, and we know that yellow squash starts out yellow, or maybe even white, and is never green to begin with. So we go with pear, cause no one else can think of anything, and the answer was squash. And then there was a question involving things associated with Texas, and the answers to this question obviously did not come from Texas, and no one was getting those right. And then there was a question about haunted houses, and I was thinking theatrical production, and I guess that the people taking the survey were thinking real house that no one lives in anymore. So we got all of that wrong too. But it was still fun, and I didn't need a silly plague anyway.

I have really had it with all the junk. This helps somewhat when we are shopping, as I have several times put things back, cause I'm thinking that I don't need it right away and I don't want it enough to find someplace to put it, and if something happened and I had to move away, would I want to pack this? Probably not. So I have stopped myself from buying a few things, but I still don't manage to get rid of much.

I know all the experts say that if you don't use something for a year (especially things that you have had in box that hasn't even been opened for a year), you should get rid of it. And I know that makes sense on some levels, but on other levels it just doesn't work for me. Like I have many craft things that I don't use for a year, but that doesn't mean that I should throw away tools or supplies that are still good (or even still new in the package). And seasonal things stay in boxes most of the year, should I throw them away cause I was too busy to put everything out this year? Throw out the stuff that I didn't put out cause it looks too old or I just don't like it anymore, sure, but just because I didn't use a particular decoration this year doesn't mean that I won't want them next year. And I haven't done any baking in forever, but I just have a feeling that in the future I will want to, maybe because of the financial situation, and then I either wouldn't be able to do anything or else I would have to go and buy all new stuff, which would be hard to do because of the financial situation.

And then like all people who have either been on a diet and gained it all back (or people who keep thinking that they will diet but don't), there are all these clothes to think about. And even if I haven't worn them in a year, it still doesn't seem to be a good idea to throw them out. If my weight changes by ten pounds either way, if I didn't keep the clothes, I would have to go out and buy clothes (clothes that might not even fit for very long), or else I would have to stay in the house all the time naked.

So I guess I would rather live with all the junk than live in fear that I'm going to be stuck in the house naked without bakeware and holiday decorations.

The other thing that I have a lot of that I don't really do much with anymore is books. For the last three or four years I have done little reading. My eyesight isn't what it was, and most of the time I just don't have the attention span necessary to enjoy reading a book. But reading has been such a big part of my life, and I keep thinking that someday I will feel better and want to read again. And it also seems silly to get rid of the one thing that is somewhat organized and I actually have a place for. I have many bookshelves, and the books that I've had for a long time have places on the bookshelves and I know where they are and I can find them when I want them. And then there are some additional books that I'm not quite sure where to put, cause they don't quite go with the books that are already on the shelves. And then there are really new books that I didn't put anywhere, cause I was reading them (or at least I meant to), and they are just here and there. So there is the dilemma about the books that on the one hand I shouldn't get rid of them because if I really put some effort into it that is the one thing that I could get organized and every book would have its place, and on the other hand books are the one thing that I could easily get rid of and there is a place to take them where I wouldn't feel that they had just been tossed out. I could even get some money for them, though not enough for that to be the deciding point. Still, I think today I will make another attempt to cull some of the cookbooks. There are two boxes of them that I meant to look through, and it may have even been a year since I last looked at them.

And while I am trying not to spend money and buy things that I will just have to put away somewhere, I am thinking of buying yet another black dress. I was invited to a party, and it is less than a month away, and since I just now learned of it I haven't been planning what to wear. Ideally, it would be something goth, and while I have plenty of black I don't think that just being black makes it look goth, and of course a lot of my things just don't fit at the moment. So I am looking through my things trying to find something that looks goth, or something that I can add to something to make it look goth. I don't think that my best black dress looks goth, but if I add enough stuff to it then maybe it does, except that I wore all of that to a party this time last year that was for the same people, and I'd rather not wear the same thing two years in a row. Though they do not have the same reason for the party as last year, they are thinking of just having a theme party as an annual event. So this may require a whole series of black dresses and gloves and hair ornaments and such.

I thought that there was more, but now I can't remember what.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Plans for the weekend

I should finish the scarf today. Well, that isn't exactly true. I should finish with the scarf being on the machine today, and then there is still a bit of work to be done (and I'm not sure how long that will take as I have never tried some of it before), and then there will be the usual bit of joining the edges and adding fringe and such which will take four or five hours.

Anyway, I am hoping that if I really work on it I should be able to finish it by Saturday and give it to my friend.

Even if I don't get it done by Saturday, it still feels good that the end is in sight, for something. And Saturday should be fun anyway. A day out with my friends is usually good. We have games and trivia scheduled. This year they expect so many people will want to play that it is planned that we should play on five-person teams. Last year it was an individual event, and I won, which means that plenty of people should want to be on my team.

I would rather have it all decided before Saturday, but so far I've only asked three people to join me (I can't decide who should be our fifth), and only one of them has emailed me back. He wants to be on my team, and he just thinks that the rest of it will sort itself out on Saturday without any problems.

Also on Saturday, we are supposed to dig up a time capsule. Or, at least, someone else is supposed to dig it up earlier so that we can have it opened on Saturday. There are plans concerning this that might get us thrown out of the restaurant, but we will see what happens.

I'm not crazy about that restaurant anyway, I just never know where else we should go.

I can't remember if we had originally planned to dig up the time capsule at the ten year point, or if they just thought it was a good idea to do it now. We had buried the thing at the home of a couple who got divorced a couple of years ago, and she's having trouble paying the bills by herself. Maybe it is just a good idea to dig up the thing while it is still her house.

Anyway, there is talk of putting new stuff in it and burying it again. I have given no thought as to what I would add. Nothing comes to mind, except maybe a scarf, and I'm not going to waste making a scarf to put into a time capsule.

It is one thing to make a scarf that no one will ever buy, and quite a different thing entirely to make a scarf that no one will ever see.

As for the rest of what is going on here, it is about the usual. We have been told that we have twenty-five weeks left of unemployment, my husband has no schedule for the next two or three weeks after Saturday, I am now told that while I thought at least everything was okay with the car we are a month behind on the payments, etc.... And I get nothing useful done with my time while my husband is home, and so now of course he is home all of the time.

But at least I'm going to go do something fun on Saturday.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Excuse me a moment while a go and reheat my hot chocolate

It is cold today.

It is 18 degrees or something like that now. It is very rarely that cold here. Rarer still, it is going to stay below freezing for days. At some point Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, it dropped below freezing, and it is going to stay below freezing til sometime Saturday or maybe Sunday. That just doesn't happen here very often. It will get below freezing overnight, but then about lunch time it will warm up again, even if it is only temporary and freezing again the next night.

Well, I did not think this was going to be any great deal to me, as I do not have a job or school now, and I have no great need to go out and do much. And even if I did have someplace to go, cold is usually just cold, and it doesn't mean anything particularly bad unless it also comes with ice, and for there to be ice there has to have been rain or snow or something before the freeze, or sleet or something during the freeze. And there had not been rain that I could remember, and last time I checked they weren't expecting any, so I probably did not pay that much attention.

When ice is expected, we all go out to the grocery store and load up on stuff. If we don't do this we will run out of eggs, bread, milk, tissue paper, etc.... And while we are there getting that important stuff, we might as well load up on ice cream and cookies and spaghetti sauce and chips and who knows what else.

This practice has always seemed a little odd to me. The tissue paper I cannot live without, but even if I run out of milk and eggs and bread, that does not mean that I'm in danger of starving to death. There is still plenty of stuff in cans and stuff in the freezer. Would it be that bad if we ate our cereal without milk, or if we baked cookie dough and the frozen pizza and ate those for breakfast instead of eggs?

Okay, so it was just supposed to be cold, not ice on the roads, but it just happened to be Wednesday, and the grocery ads came in the mail, and I thought that I might as well get some stuff before it got cold. And there did not seem to be that many people in the store, except that there was fighting over particular parking spaces, and everyone who did get into the store seemed to be in line at meat counter.

I rarely need anything from the meat counter itself, but the thing I wanted either wasn't in the case or it was marked wrong, so I had to stand in line. Except, I couldn't figure out where it was that I was supposed to stand in line.

Usually, when there is a counter like this for meat or seafood or for cutting fabric at the fabric store, you have to wait in line and probably take a number if it is busy. And usually, it is only busy on Saturday, and the rest of the time you just walk up and get what you want.

So, there are all this people at the meat counter, and all I want is two pounds of chicken. Now, if this is all one long line, the line probably starts way at the other end of the counter. If, however, there is a separate line for chicken and a separate line for beef and so on, I cannot stand in line there, or else the guy dealing with the chicken will never see me.

So I asked a couple of women in line if it was just the one line, and they ignored me, cause I wasn't speaking Spanish. So I asked a few more people, and they didn't seem to know either, they were just waiting where they thought someone might notice them. And I couldn't see if there was one of those things that gives you a number.

So, I gave up trying to be nice and walked up to the employee nearest the chicken and asked him if it was just the one line, and he didn't seem to understand what I was saying either, but he did not send me to the back of the line and I got my chicken after he finished what he was doing.

Okay, so I have chicken and a bunch of veggies, and I pay for my stuff and go home. Usually, I might go to a second store and get more stuff, but the temperature dropped somewhat while I was in the store, and I decided to skip it. Besides, it was getting too close to five o'clock for my liking. You do not want to be in that store at five o'clock.

So, I have food, I already had tissue paper, I don't have to go anywhere, etc.... And my husband's schedule sucks right now, but that also means that he doesn't have to go anywhere either. Wednesday was his last day for the week. We could stay indoors and cook and be warm.

Of course on Thursday, he insists on eating lunch at Arby's. I say that I don't want to go out, and that we have food, but he says that he has to go out anyway to drop off a package, so while we are out we might as well eat at Arby's while we are out. And as long as we are going to Arby's, we might as well go to that other grocery store, as the Arby's in located in the parking lot of the grocery store.

So now we have a case of ramen noodles and a case of mac and cheese, and we have tortillas and a few other things. And we have crackers to eat with our soup, if ever we get off of our lazy a**es and make any soup. And it will be much colder today than yesterday, and there is that whole wind chill factor thing, and we really have no excuse to go anywhere today.

I did notice some odd things when we were out yesterday. It was cold, but somehow it wasn't that cold except for a gust of wind here and there, but to hear all the talk I was thinking that the wind was going to be constant.

And there were puddles of water on the ground. So that was odd. For one thing, I don't remember it raining, so where did the water come from? And it if stays below freezing, shouldn't it be ice instead of a puddle of water? Still, the actual ground temperature is a bit warmer than the air, but the way everyone was going on about the cold, I was surprised that it got warm enough to melt the ice.

I am still not sure where the ice came from. I was paying attention until Wednesday, and there wasn't supposed to be any ice, just cold. But now there is water on the ground, and Wednesday night there was talk of having the sand trucks ready to go, and Thursday morning there was ice on the bridges and overpasses, and there were cars stuck on them, and some areas were closed while they tried to get the sand trucks where they were supposed to go, and the schools were "delayed" and a few of them were closed.

Anyway, I am not terribly cold, I'm just wishing that maybe someone would have given me some soft boots for Christmas, something that I would just wear around the house when I am too lazy to put on real shoes.

And my hot chocolate has gone cold again.

Monday, January 04, 2010

I have no plans

Usually at this time of year people make resolutions and decide what they want to be different in the future. They want to go on a diet, they want to go back to school, they want to give up smoking, they want to give up some other bad habit, they want to redecorate the house, they want to be more organized, etc.... I would guess that the majority of us are in some major group like going on a diet or quit smoking, so we would have a lot of company. And we will also have a lot of company when we fail.

Having had the same plans for several years now, I'm afraid I don't even much see the point of making the plans to begin with.

I have looked back over my blog and seen all the times that I've almost gotten this or that room cleaned, or this or that organized, and it this rate I should have it all done in a month or less. Except that it never actually gets done, not all at once, and whatever part did get done is soon back to it's usual state.

And the dieting never works out, except for the one time that I had the house all to myself for several months, and another time that I was just too upset to eat much of anything. So I had dramatic weight loss twice, though only one of those times actually counts as dieting or good eating habits. The other just happened, and I would rather not have it happen again.

As for the smoking, I have never had a cigarette, so I have never had to stop smoking. That must be a hard one, like giving up caffeine, which I try once in a while but never stick to.

As for the usual stuff that has been bothering me for the past several years, no, I am not over it, and I do not really feel better about it. I just have for a time given up on the idea that I can do anything about it. There may be a smile on my face, but the inside of my head is constantly screaming. And no one seems to notice. And it is better that way, that no one seems to notice, because when I am pretending to be alright I at least feel well enough to get out of bed most days and knit or something. I couldn't do that if my outside appearance reflected my inner thoughts.

But I had better soon work on my outside appearance as well. I'm getting zits on my face again, so it is time to go an buy some ProActive. And I do not care for the rest of my appearance either, although my a** still seems to be shrinking. I wear size ten jeans, and I even have a pair of size eight that I can get into sometimes, but I have not lost weight and I do not look any better. I am sure that there is some trick to it, like the people who make the jeans are marking the wrong size so that we will think we have lost weight and buy more clothes. But the scale does not indicate any actual weight loss, and I do not look or feel any better. I just have to buy smaller jeans once in a while.

The appearance of the house is really bad. The living room and dining room look like something from the hoarders show. This is partially the usual stuff, and partially the Christmas shopping and wrapping stuff. There are boxes tossed here and there while I look for something the right size to wrap this thing in, and then I've lost a roll of tape and toss things around while I look for that, and then when I find some tape I can't find ribbon, and so on...

I guess that I can start with that. The Christmas clearance shopping (if I do more of that) will be mostly done today or tomorrow, and I should start putting all of this stuff away. And I can throw away all of these boxes (or at least most of them) that I have been holding on to just in case I needed them to wrap presents.

And in spite of my feelings that the dieting won't work any better this year than it did last year, I really should try to do something about it. Only it is already a few days into the new year, and I haven't even made any plans. Not that I have plans that I haven't followed through on, just that I haven't even made any plans. So that is unusual. I usually have some plan but feel like I have to wait for something to happen before I get started. This year, I haven't even decided how to start.

And I probably will not come up with any plans today either. My only plans for today are knitting (as I have had to start over with the scarf that I meant to give to the pilot for Christmas), and possibly going to Target to see how much Christmas stuff is left.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Smoke gets in your eyes, and in your hair...

...and of course it gets in your lungs. Smoke inhalation. What fun.

Okay, so my friends have this New Year's Eve party, which I have been going to since 1999, and was going on for several years before I started going. At this party just after midnight, there are fireworks. Fireworks in this particular area are illegal, except for a few public shows that are usually on the 4th of July. I am not sure which fireworks get you into trouble, so I would prefer that we didn't use any at all, but I am in the minority, and the tradition continues. At some point in the past, there was an accidental fire. Not a very big fire, and it was very quickly put out, but ever since then it has been part of the tradition to purposely set fire to the grass, and then have the owner of the house come out with a hose and put it out.

Usually nothing exciting happens, but one time there was this accident that everyone else claims never happened. So I would have thought that would have been the end of that part of the tradition, but the next year there were again fireworks and parts of the grass set on fire, etc.... The only year that there were no fireworks or fire there was a drought, and we got all sorts of glow in the dark toys to play with instead rather than risk having something serious happen.

So this year we had just had snow and rain and then more snow and rain, so the ground wasn't dry. Then, just to be on the safe side, the owner of the house went out with the hose and made sure the ground really got soaked. That grass just was not going to burn.

Determined to have their fire, some of the guests brought a box of shredded paper from work. So we did have a fire, and quite a bit of it for a while, but the grass next to it did not burn. So there was a fire, and there were fireworks, and there were women jumping over the burning shredded paper, and there were men jumping over the fireworks.

And there was a lot of smoke. At some point you couldn't see very well, and these men jumping over the fireworks just ran into each other.

It seemed to me that the house was more crowded than usual. There were my friends, and people I don't know who are related to the owner of the house, and more people I don't know who are friends of the family. And a somewhat confused cat, who didn't know why there were all of these people in his house.

In theory we watch movies at this party, but I didn't. There were either movies that I had no interest in or movies that I saw two weeks ago at the last movie thing. And there was a lot of eating, though I didn't think that I had eaten so many desserts that I would make myself sick.

Then there was this really disappointing discussion, which I won't get into right now, but I really must get a new set of friends. At this point I don't think that anyone in this little group shares my beliefs about much of anything.

And it was way past my bedtime, and I was wondering why I felt so bad, and why I was still at the party when I felt so bad. So I got my things and left, and someone made sure I got to my car okay. And I got the car warmed up and such, and then I remembered why I felt so bad. The night before I'd felt a little sick and ended up getting up a couple hours earlier than usual, which is already two or three hours earlier than I would like. So by the time I got home I had been awake about twenty-four hours, and I had been up trying to do stuff for most of that time.

My husband usually gets home before I do, but not this year.

And then I woke up a few hours later, and the room was spinning. The room continued to spin for most of the day. I hadn't felt that bad the year before, and thinking I would feel about the same I had made plans to go shopping, but that didn't happen. I spent the whole day in bed, mostly watching Stargate.

Yesterday I did make myself get up, and felt somewhat better. We went shopping, though the sales we mostly over and I wasn't that interested in the shopping anyway. But I had to get up and do something.

I get confused. I think today is Sunday, though I spent much of yesterday thinking that it was either Sunday or Monday.

I still don't feel great, but soon I must make an effort to get back to the usual stuff.