Sunday, October 31, 2004
I really, really wanted the Red Sox to win the World Series this year. If I liked baseball, I'd be a Red Sox fan, just because my dad is. (I really detest sports.) This year, Stephen King was going to write a history of the BoSox, win or lose. I said, when I heard, "wouldn't it be cool if they win the World Series this year?" Ha ha ha.
So unless you've been in a cave for the last two weeks, you know the Bosox came from behind in a 0-3 pennant run against the evil Yankees to go onto the world series and kick butt 3-0 against some unknown team. (really, no one ever heard of them.) In fact, Osama Bin Laden even came OUT of his cave and made an announcement. I'm not sure if he mentioned the Red Sox or not, but he probably was stunned and forced out of his cave with the knowledge that they won.
My cousin's girlfriend is a major Yankees fan and she said my cousin was making the BoSox win. I told him to tell her I wanted Boston to win for my dad, but she wasn't convinced that was a good enough reason.
Well, the gods heard my prayers on behalf of Stephen King and my dad, and they won.
My mom said my father was hardly even aware of it. He said "yay" and that was about all. He's lost his enjoyment of the game. I could be grateful and say that thank god I won't have to hear the game in the background at every meal during the season, but given the choice, I'd have a fully functioning dad and and deal with the sports.
There's all sorts of superstitions about the Red Sox game on Stephen King's web site. For instance, in the last few Dark Tower books, link he mentions "19" a lot. The date they won: 10-27 10+2+7=19 and it was a full moon AND an eclipse (so the moon was blood red, the Crimson King). The last time they won was 1918 which adds up to 19 (1+9+1+8). It was 86 years since they last won, and they were last in the series in 1986. I doubt any of that will make that into Faithful, his book on this season but it's fun anyway.
Friday night, I was practicing with my wireless keyboard/pseudo- laptop to make sure I could upload to my computer. The infrared port died, so I had to plug it directly in. I had to get up to reach the back of the CPU and not once but twice I hit my head on the new wooden shelf Will built me. I didn't think anything of it until I woke up Saturday (yesterday) morning and went to put in my contacts and my left eye was half blood. I kind of freaked out a little (the whole blood thing, and eye thing) but I figured it was nothing bad. My aunt Bert had her whole eye go red and it was no big deal. (I am grossing myself out here ewww.)
Two hours later Will comes home from work and I show him my eye and he tells me I have to go to the doctor. I call my eye doctor and managed to get someone although it was 12:04. She said go to an ophthalmologist OR the emergency room. I was afraid to drive (who know what they'd do to my eye and if I could see). I grabbed my contact case and my glasses and my mom took me to the old hospital in Meriden (where I was born). They said, as I had thought, that it was no big deal. So I have a bright red blood eye. Perfect for Halloween.
It's 8:16 and NaNoWriMo starts in less than four hours. I am going to try to keep this up as well as crank out 1667 words (not quite 7 pages) a day for 30 days.
YAY for spring ahead-fall back. I get to sleep later. :)
Saturday, October 23, 2004
As NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org) grows closer, I will post less & less. Don't expect much in November, at least not until I've got my 50,000 words written. Since I'm working this year, it's doubtful that I'll finish my 50K by 11/11 as I did last year. I'm franticly plotting away, gearing up for that Novemeber 1st start date.
I'm very happy that the Red Sox won the pennant. (Is that what it's called? I am such a sports ignoramus, and proud of it.) My dad is a major huge Red Sox fan. I am hoping they'll win the World Series (what's it been? 89 years? Is there anyone even alive who REMEMBERS that game?) and make him really happy. I haven't seen him since that record-breaking game 7 (which I did watch some of, amazingly enough). But Mom says he's "in his glory." (Does anyone else use that phrase? What the hell does it even mean? Sounds Biblical, doesn't it?)
I really don't have anything new to post on the dad situation. A new lady started working with me, and her dad has it too. She told me she was staying at his house while her mom was in the hospital, and at 2 a.m. he was about to drive away in his pajamas. He said he was going to the bank. She convinced him that the bank was closed and to go back to bed. In the morning, he realized what he had done and explained it away by saying he was actually going to the dump. Funny but sad.
My friend Agrimeer gave me permission to quote his poem "Split" (mentioned in entry 26, above):
The thought of you
ruled my thumb
14 times last night.
Hitching, I found the jungle,
then ditched the road.
When dew thins I glimpse an ocelot.
From where I squat he
walks on water, takes interest
in the cricket bending a reed,
but then he notices me,
springs to the bank,
forgets all movements
The thought of you
ruled my eyes
15 times today.
I could still see the path
where grass is bent.
(c) by Agrimeer 2004 quoted by permission
Also, I wanted to note that the woman who followed me home from Stop & Shop did not come to the circle of light meeting, nor did the girl from the car repair place. Frustrating, yes, but what can I do? I can't force people to come if they aren't ready.
argh why can't I change the font on this anymore? where's the font button gone to?
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Yesterday was my 11th wedding anniversary. Kind of scary to think it’s been this long. I could list all the things I meant to do during these first ten years, but it would be too depressing.
Usually we go away for our anniversary. At first it was to Cape Cod, but now we’ve discovered the Carribean. I have such a longing for Grand Cayman but it’s obviously not meant to be this year. The hurricane (no, I don’t remember which one. The 3d one?) really hurt my beloved island. When I was figuring out the cost to go to Runic Con, I decided to do a compare-and-contrast to a 4 day trip to Grand Cayman and no matter what dates I chose, Expedia.com came up with “nothing’s available” so it still must be bad down there. :(
Yesterday my car still wasn’t ready. Luckily my mom had the day off so she nicely took me to work and picked me up afterward. We had to do bank stuff (there should be a book “guide to banking for Alzheimer’s patients’ families”). First mom took me & Will to Wendy’s for lunch. We spent (no lie or exaggeration) TWO HOURS at the bank. The printer wouldn’t work so they couldn’t print any of the account change forms. The guy who helped us, Duke, was left-handed and he wrote backward–right to left, not left to right. Very strange to watch. He was also wearing the UGLIEST shirt I’ve ever seen. It looked okay on him and it actually went nice with his jacket. He was a black guy-they can wear strange color combinations that us white people never could.
I had meant to go home and work on the plot for my NaNoWriMo novel, which is actually just part two/book two of Ridden (takes place in a different time and place than part one so I’m counting it as a new book). But we didn’t get out of the bank until almost 3:30 and we were going to dinner at 4:00. So I just picked up my car and went to her house. I might have made a new friend at the car repair shop, a pagan who’s looking for pagan friends. We’ll see. Don’t remember if I mentioned the woman who followed me home from Stop & Shop on 9/17–she didn’t show up to the Web of Love event on 9/18 so we’ll see if she comes to the Circle of Light meeting on 10/13. Same with this new girl–will she show, will she call, will she take classes?
Since it was our anniversary, my parents took us out. Willy had originally said he wanted to go to Sushi House, but I hate the stink in there & my father said absolutely not. So we compromised and went to Red Lobster. I had to beg my dad not to get the clams and linguini. He got that when we went to RL on my birthday and it stunk so bad I couldn’t eat my own food. Nice, huh? The Red Sox game was on so he kept asking Will for the score and/or going to the bar to watch the game. (I believe they won–I despise sports and try not to follow that nonsense.) He had to listen to the game all the way home, all that high-pitched AM radio static that just cuts right through my head and into my bones. Ouch. Then Dad wanted to wash my car windows, so I let him. He was upset that I didn’t put the game on. I tried to explain that I have ONE speaker which works, and it’s in the back, and I can’t turn it up very loud.
Good news, of a sort. My parents went back to the doctor and had my father re-tested after 3 months of being on Acricept and he did a little BETTER in the math. He had some trouble with the word “watch” but my mom said he knew to point to his wrist. So that’s pretty damn good, I think. To hold your own with Alzheimer’s is like improvement.
But honestly, what do those tests measure? I think he’s gone downhill in other aspects. He still drives, but he’s ultra-cautious in a way he never was. When he was following me, I made sure every time I pulled out into traffic there was enough space for two cars to pull out, but he would wait and I’d have to pull over so he could find me again. When I told him I worked near Lido’s, an Italian restaurant he likes, he had no idea what Lido’s was or how to get there. Once we drove past it, he knew exactly where he was and even said he knew we were near the spring water place. It’s like he can’t visualize things anymore. He has to SEE them. He’s very concrete.
For instance, at RL, Will was trying to find something for my dad to order which wouldn’t stink and ruin my meal. He showed Dad a picture of a piece of salmon (another stink food) with some shrimp pasta and suggested he get the shrimp pasta by itself. My father agreed, but when the plate came he asked where the salmon was. We tried to explain that he hadn’t ORDERED salmon, but he said “the picture showed salmon.” Then he said, about his shrimp cocktail, “When we go to the other place they give me seven, there’s only six here.” Where the other place is, who knows (maybe the Rustic Oak–I think he’s gotten shrimp cocktail there). When we got back into the car to go home, to the lovely screeching accompaniment of AM radio, he thanked us for the meal my mom had just paid for. Sigh.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
I’m so sad.
It’s selfish to be so sad. But I am sad nonetheless.
The Native American guy who worked on me a few weeks ago said all my problems stem from my sadness. He said I need to own my sadness, and feel entitled to it. He said I need to cry more.
Beth had her baby Monday. She’s a happy mommy. No, I don’t think she’ll consciously dump me and tell me to fuck off because she has a kid. But babies take over your life. All my other friends just drifted away; their only topic of conversation being babies, their only interests were baby-related, their lives revolved around The Baby. Yes, in caps. “Don’t call me, The Baby is sleeping and she’ll wake up.” “I can’t e-mail you because the computer is in The Baby’s room.” “I can’t go out because I have no one to watch The Baby.” How can anyone who’s intelligent and active allow her world to shrink to the size of a ten pound ham? I am trying to stay in contact with her. I don’t want to be frantic or grabby or needy about it. But I hate feeling this way. I guess I have to own this fear too.
Last night my car started peeing green antifreeze everywhere. By this morning it had bled out. My father agreed to drive me to work. I dropped the car off at a service station and he brought me to the office. On the way there, he was ranting about his “papers” that my mother took. He says he got a letter saying “they” were taking away his Social Security. He was yelling, almost crying, “I’m sick, I’m going to die, and they’re taking away my money!” I KNEW that wasn’t true. He said he was going to “go down there” (wherever there is!) and swear at them. I told him NOT to do that. They (whoever they are) would definitely call the cops. My dad’s pretty incoherent when he’s NOT upset. When he gets upset, forget it.
When I was getting out of the car, I forgot my bottle of water in his car. No big deal, right?
I called my mom as soon as I got in and established that they are actually giving him MORE money, not less. And yes, she took the papers to stop him from going somewhere and making a fool out of himself.
So I’m working on my database of advertisers and in comes my dad, with my water. I said, “how did you find me?” He went to EVERY business in the building until he found me, to give me my bottle of water. It didn’t occur to him to call and see if I really wanted it, or to call and ask where I was in the building. That’s why I’m so sad. My dad is such a nice guy. It’s not fair.
While he was there, I tried to talk to him about his Social Security. He insists the “papers” say that they are taking away his money. I lied (if I was a Christian, certainly I would go to hell for lying to my Alzheimer’s father) and said, “Mommy read them to me,” but he didn’t care, because he KNOWS they said “they” are taking away his money.
Then after he left, the car place called: $724.64 to fix my water pump, and while they’re in there, my timing belt (since to replace the belt requires taking out the water pump and the belt’s kind of old). So definitely we are not going to Ohio to Runic-Con. I didn’t want to spend $700 to go there, and now I’m spending that to fix my car. Is there some kind of message there?
I just want to curl up and cry and cry. I wrote a terrible scene in my novel Ridden where Tse-Nen-Ray, the main character, gets raped and beaten and she thinks, “Goddess, why do you hate me?” Tse, honey, I know just how you feel.My friend Agrimeer the poet, who reads this when he can (hi!), wrote me a poem about an ocelot a few days ago. If he gives permission, I’ll put it here. He said in another e-mail that I should not even consider chemical mood enhancers (anti-depressants) since my sadness is absolutely understandable. He said that “any human” in my situation would be sad. That’s encouraging, I guess, to think that I’m not a just a big fat whiney cry-baby.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
My best friend had her baby yesterday. I wanted to go see her as soon as I got out of work at 12:00 but her husband didn’t call me until 2:00 and I had a distant attunement at 4:00. He went on and on about how many people were coming after 4 and then said “But I don’t want to discourage you from coming”–thanks, you just did.I actually have father-related things to report as well.
Last Thursday, I went to this Senior Review (yes, it was misspelled that way, instead of “revue”–sigh) with my parents & grandma. My mom said that I simply had to see these old men dancing in tutus. I thought it would be a quick 45 minute or 1 hour thing at the senior center. Ha. It was at the high school, it cost money to get in, and it lasted for hours. I kept thinking, “I’m missing the presidential debates for THIS?” I mean, some of it was okay, but I’m not into Broadway show tunes so those parts were boring. The excruciatingly long skit about Snow White, done entirely by children (hello?! I thought this was about the SENIOR CITIZENS) was painfully awful. I left to go stretch my leg in the lobby. While I was out there, a lady comes up to where I was (silently) watching the show from the lobby with a gentleman who had been in the show, and says “I have my orders” and closes the doors literally in our faces. I tried to get back in–and the doors were locked. I was locked out for about ten minutes, until someone else came out and held the door. Isn’t there fire hazards involved in something like that? If the lobby had caught fire, I would not have been able to get inside to warn anyone or save my family. Luckily grandma got bored and wanted to leave early.
When I got to my parents’ house, my father had the calculator and my mom’s paycheck. She had gotten some extra pay for unused sick time and he was trying to figure out how much it was after the taxes. (If I had to do it, I’d just look at what her check usually is and subtract. I guess that’s too easy.) I was watching my dad use the calculator like it was an adding machine, constantly hitting the plus sign. He couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t come out right. I tried to tell him what he was doing but he was already mad and in shouting mode. Then my mom starts yelling at him. I tried to get her to stop. Yelling at him solves nothing; it just makes it worse. Finally we left and went to the “review.”
When we exited the review I saw that my grandmother was very shaky. She had her cane but I thought she was going to fall. She says she gets “lightheaded” from her ears but it seemed like it was her legs not holding her up. I got the car keys from my mom and ran ahead to get the car and come back for my grandmother. My dad came with me. He was amazed that I was able to trigger his Hyundai with my keys. I tried to explain that I had Mommy’s keys, but he didn’t get it. Grandma, of course, didn’t wait, so I was only able to save her from about 6 feet of walking.I told my dad right out that he was not to yell at me or correct my driving, even if I was going to hit a moose. All the way there, he fiddled with the windshield wipers and the lights and corrected my mom’s driving. She started yelling at him, he yelled back. This is old news, of course, they’ve been doing that for years. Except that until this year my dad drove EVERYWHERE, my mom NEVER drove my dad anywhere.
My dad didn’t enjoy the show much. He kept saying he couldn’t hear. My grandmother, who is getting deaf as a post but won’t admit it, said she could hear fine. I explained some of the jokes to him but it’s hard to tell if he gets them or laughs because I tell him it’s funny. I was amazed at the number of dirty old folks jokes the announcers had.
Here’s a sample: Two old ladies are at a bus stop smoking cigarettes. It starts raining. One old lady pulls a condom out of her bag, cuts off the tip, and puts it over her cigarette. The other old lady says, “Wow, what’s that?” “It’s a condom. You get them in drug stores.” So the second old lady goes to the drugstore the next day and asks for some condoms. The pharmacist is puzzled why such an old lady needs condoms but he humors her by asking “What size” to which she replies: “To fit a Camel.” That one was pretty funny.
Two old men walk by a naked old woman sitting on a bench. One man says “nice outfit” the other one says “she should iron it.” Not so funny.
A pair of statues, of a naked man and a naked woman, stand facing each other in a park for many years. A fairy godmother lands between them and says “since you have been such good statues, I am going to turn you into flesh for 30 minutes. You can do whatever you want.” The two statues run into the woods. The fairy hears them laughing and the bushes are shaking. After 15 minutes, they come back out looking very pleased. The fairy godmother says, “You have fifteen minutes still.” The female statue looks at the male and says “you want to do it again?” and he says “Yes, this time I’ll hold down the pigeon and you poop on it.”
I tried really hard to explain that to my dad, but he didn’t get it.