Wednesday, December 26, 2007

She's back from Hell and I wish she'd return!

Well, The Aunt From Hell is officially back in action. I just got home about fifteen minutes ago. She and Grandma haven't left yet. I went downstairs after changing and she asked me about a bill. I replied that I wouldn't know because noone trusts me to do anything about them. She said, "Well, you never do anything so why should anyone trust you?"

I guess devoting practically all of my time to grandma's care is nothing. I guess making sure she's fed, dressed and her sugar is normal is nothing. I will admit I spend most of my time upstairs and not downstairs waiting on her hand and foot, like TAFH does when she's visiting or Grandma's visiting her. I control enough of her life, I'd prefer we have some illusion of freedom from each other. No, I don't clean the dishes unless forced. Nor do I run the vaccuum unless forced. But I clean. I pay or contribute to all the bills but her medicals. Obviously, it's nothing.

If it were nothing then I'd damn well go out every night and actually enjoy my so-called life. I'd have a date and maybe have the opportunity to meet some nice guy before they're all married and I'm old and grey (getting there on the grey front). I'm 31 non-fucking years old and for nearly all of the last five I have devoted myself to the care of my grandmother.

But I do nothing, so there's no reason to trust me. I wish it would do any good to yell at her, but it wouldn't. She's never wrong and any reaction other than "Yes, drill sergeant, how high?!" is you over-reacting and being unreasonable for not seeing the True Light of TAFH's Infinite Wisdom and Superiority. Gods, I wish they would just leave already.

I will not be telling Mom this one. She's already on a short rope and she's having a decent holiday now. Telling her this before she really gets her time off from Grandma would ruin it. It has for me. I was nervous enough for meeting my little brother for the first time in both of our lives. This has my stomach in knots. Sometimes I truly hate that woman.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Not too bad a week overall.

Okay, I'm apparently a grandchild again and Grandma now wants to get me a gift. She doesn't remember saying what she did, of course. *sigh* Shoot me if I ever get this bad.

The kids are in and I just want to hug them and never let them go. We're taking them to Corning and the movies while Grandma's away.

Christmas is almost over and I got to avoid working with the co-workers who have been annoying me for the last month on Friday. I may get to do the same on Monday. Yippee!

Not too bad a week, visits from Mrs. Hyde and co-workers getting on the very last shred of the very last nerve I possess aside.

Oh, and I'm going to a party tonight. Of course, I didn't anticipate seeing Kim and the others before Christmas, so their gifts aren't finished yet, but I think they'll understand.

Plus, I'm making go0d progress on the Chameleon and my genealogy work (Re-work?!).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Shopping Hell and how to cope with it

I have come up with quite a few coping methods for dealing with Grandma and the fact that I'm essentially under house arrest for the duration of her care.

The first and easiest is to turn on the television to the History or Discovery channels, A&E for CSI:Miami, Spike for Star Trek or CSI, Sci-Fi for a bunch of different shows and cheesy-good movies. Watching one of the movies in my rather large DVD collection is the other option. Nothing cheers me up better than watching 1776. While I'm watching those I'm also on the computer or stitching something.

The second is to turn on music. How can you possibly feel down when you're listening to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy or Tom Lehrer? Of course, I'm on the computer, reading or stitching while listening to said music.

The third would have to be the computer. Now that I have a genealogy program, I use that a lot. Before, it was mostly surfing or trying to write. Of course, the television or music is on in the background.

So, the fourth one is stitching. It makes me feel like I'm putting my confinement to good use. It's something someone will hopefully love and find either useful or beautiful. What I make should cheer them up. Also, I have this little problem called ADD. I simply must be concentrating on more than one thing at one time to keep sane. Weird, I know.

The fifth is reading. I pretty much ordered these in reverse, saving the best for last. I have actually been stitching more than I've been reading lately, but reading is and always will be the most important. I've read since I was two years old. I literally cannot remember ever not reading. While I may have the music on while I read, it's the only one of my coping methods that I can do without one of the others. I can and usually do read without anything to distract me at all from the story.

This little exercise in self-discovery came about last night. Mom, Grandma and I went shopping for the last of the Christmas presents she needed to get everyone. I pushed Grandma around Penney's and we picked out the items for three of the cousins (1,2 and 5). Grandma was told by TAFH (who is really much nicer anymore, but I keep that tag only to continue descriptive purposes) not to get anything for cousins 3 and 4 because she was going to get them gift certificates and put Grandma's name on them. Then we went to pick out Mom's present.

While we wandered that way, we figured out that the only people left after Mom were my brother, me and his two children. Grandma said she wouldn't get the kids toys or clothing. Well, what's left? As for my brother and I, suddenly we weren't grandchildren and were getting only her traditional $5 gift in our stockings. A short argument/discussion ensued which she completely blew off. Mom and I gave up and Grandma and I went to get Mom's present while Mom made herself scarce. We got it and afterwards I managed to convince Grandma that we could at least go over to the men's section and see if anything jumped out at her for my brother. Mild drama (her picking at me and my taste in everything, as usual) and we got my brother a shirt.

Then I suddenly realized she hadn't gotten anything for TAFH's hubby-type-creature (who should be sainted for living with her if they were actually Catholic). The men's t-shirt and underwear area at Penney's is not conducive for shoving a wheelchair around, let me tell you. However, we finally settled on something and Grandma paid for her booty. We left the store without anything for me or my niece and nephew.

As we walked to the food court where I was about to have a piece of pizza and damn the gluten consequences we tried again to convince her to get something for the kids. She insisted that they weren't grandchildren, even in the face of the great-grandchildren argument. Apparently, my nephew made the fatal mistake of saying that he'd put the $5 he got last time in his piggy bank, which impressed the hell out of Grandma. I guess she thinks this means he will only want that, even though he really loved and squeed over the toys and books he got last year. She totally ignored the fact that they're kids and will want something, anything to rip open on Christmas.

Anyway, I got my pizza. Mom stole a bite and even though she hadn't wanted any, she got one for herself because it was soooooo good. It was ham and cheese stuffed pizza. I finished mine and she brought half of hers home to eat today at work. As we wandered back to Penney's so we could get to the car, we passed Gertrude Hawk's. I stopped and asked Grandma if she wanted any Smidgens, but she said she wanted fudge. I got two pieces of fudge for her. This did not please Mom, who is justifiably upset that her child and grandchildren don't seem to rate in her mother's eyes. I just figured it would be nice since she doesn't get Gertrude Hawk's very often, you know. Mom and I had already decided to get gifts and put Grandma's name on them for the kids. I did tell Grandma that she had damn well better treat cousin 2's kid the same way she treats my niece and nephew. But she won't. She'll dote on the little mite when she's born. It's predictable.

When we got home, I read. I didn't bother turning on the television, even though I knew I'd be missing two of my favorite shows: Numb3rs and Stargate: Atlantis. I read a book I had just gotten at Target when we stopped to get Christmas cards. It was a good book, too. Lara Adrian's Midnight Awakening. I could have turned on the television and stitched, but I chose to read and miss shows I ordinarily am very annoyed if I miss. I guess Grandma's attitude really got to me.

Oh, I told Mom this morning not to get me a gift and put her name on it. As an experiment, I want to see if anyone will notice that I am the only person without a gift to open on Christmas. Maybe then they'll believe me when I tell them some of the things she does. If they even notice, which I really doubt. TAFH might notice, but that's it. She actually believes us when we tell her some of the things Mrs. Hyde does.

The worst part is not that she doesn't think we deserve presents. It's that lately she's been pretty good. Mrs. Hyde has poked her head out briefly each week, but not to this extent. Not even after her fall. We've been joking this week about the present she'll get me. I keep joking she'll get me a book or a gift certificate for a book and she does her whole too many books routine. It's a running gag. Well, I guess the joke's on me, now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Grandma fell today. She's a bit confused. She knows she's going to one aunt's house for Christmas, so she keeps getting her shoes on and getting upset with us for not bringing her over, even though we have two weeks yet. She also knows she's going to TAFH's house after Christmas and keeps asking about that. Then there's the fact that Mom was going to take her to the bank today, which didn't happen because of the fall.

Lately, she's had a lot of trouble getting up from the couch and needs a hand up nearly every time. She's calling for Mom or I all night and for the stupidest things, like just wanting to find out where we are. Sunday she called me from the front room because she needed to go to the bathroom and thought she needed help walking there. It's a shorter distance from the couch to the bathroom than it is to the monitor she stood in front of to call me! If I stay downstairs, she tells me to go upstairs but if I go usptairs she thinks I sleep and won't hear her when she calls me. I slept two hours Sunday night and about four last night. I only slept that much because I slept in an hour and was late to work today!

On the other hand, she does really well late at night. Her internal clock is totally gone. She sleeps all day and stays up all night. She's aware and alert at night rather than the daytime.

Argh! Now she's on about my laundry again. Can I help it that we do not have a clothes dryer and I have to put my laundry on the radiators to dry? If I do more than one load of laundry every two weeks I get screamed at. Since it takes me about four loads to do all of my laundry every two weeks, I get in trouble a lot. I'm not even washing clothing right now. Mom's taking a shower, washing the dye out of her hair!

She was teasing us last night. It's almost like dealing with a person with Multiple Personality Disorder. She switches from totally apathetic to cheerful to the Exorcist all in half an hour's span! It's a roller coaster ride trying to keep up with her personalities and demands.

She's really sore right now from the fall and needs a lot of help. Mom has to work early so she'll be going to bed early so I'm going to have to stay up late again. I'm so exhausted.

Am I selfish to just want to sleep for twelve hours and have everyone leave me the bloody hell alone!? Mom intends for us to replace the kitchen floor while Grandma is gone to my aunt's after Christmas. We know she's going for a week, but she thinks it's for two weeks. In a way, I sincerely hope she's right. I could use two weeks vacation. One week is nice, but two weeks would be utterly amazing.

I know it sounds like I don't love her. I do but it's exhausting keeping up with the dementia and her physical limitations. Gods help me if she gets worse...when she gets worse.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Family Tree fun

I've been slacking on my stitching. I bought Family Tree Maker on Thursday and have been trying to get as much done before my thirty-day trial with runs out. I just found out that it'll be $30 a month if I keep the subscription going. I think I'm going to do it. I can afford it if I cut back on something else, probably stitching stuff. I'm finally doing what I wanted my laptop for. Now, if I can just gather all my genealogy research from the many corners of the house it's been scattered to since I've not been able to do anything with it, I'll be all set.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I'm tired and I'm sore. I wonder if this is even worth it.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Toys for Tots and Punk bands?

I'm deaf in one ear. I spent the day yesterday with a few friends at The Backstage in Kingston. It was a benefit for Toys for Tots called Christmas for a Cause. Lots of punk bands, my friend's band Devils Are A Girls Best Friends and a few very uncomfortable-looking Marines hanging out for a good cause. It was great. I heard Kim's band, some of Sorrowsun, The Cutters and Lugosi's Morphine. I think I liked The Cutters the best of the Punk bands.

LM was good except for the fact that as I was standing by the wall avoiding the lemmings having seizures I started getting dizzy when they hit a certain rhythm. There must have been something in the pitch they were using at certain times that was playing havoc with my inner ear. Weird.

Monday, November 19, 2007

First snow of Winter 2007 - picture heavy

It finally feels a little like Winter. Enjoy some picture love:

I took these last night while it was still snowing. All three were shot with flash at about midnight. Great time for photography, right? Well, I actually like the effect. You can see the snow coming down in the second shot by the streetlight. It almost looks like rainfall.

Yes, I decided to risk being covered in cold, wet, white stuff and stood under branches taking this shot. These were all taken this morning.

This would be the local RC church, Holy Rosary. I forgot to turn the photo before I uploaded it, though, so if you would kindly tilt your head to the side, you'll see it quite nicely

These are just plain neat. First, nothing can kill Mint: not snow, not frost, not even a drought. I love this stuff!

Then there are the berries. The colors against the white and dark are so cool.

And there is the really fun wildlife shot. Usually I can never get these little tree rats. They move before I get them. He stayed still until I moved in for a closer shot, but I already had one. Yay!

I love this one. It's just so moody.

Monday, November 05, 2007

B12 and Caregivers

This newest post was going to be all about how much I love B12. We've been giving Grandma a B12 shot each month for about a year and a half now and she's always a little better right afte the shot. Well, we recently began giving her B12 pills to supplement the shot. Oh, boy! Mrs. Hyde is making a lot fewer appearances lately and those times she does visit are a lot shorter. I might start taking the stuff myself.

Now, to those of you dealing with caregivers that come on while you work, what do you do when this happens? On Mondays, I go into work late, losing my $1.50 shift differential, since Mom has to be at work by 3am and my shift doesn't start until 4am. You know we'll never find someone to start at 4am so we schedule the caregiver to come by 6:30. I call for a cab to get here around the same time the caregiver should be here. Sometimes they (both cab and caregiver) can be a little late, so when the cab gets here, I go, depending on the caregiver to be there a few minutes after I leave. This did not happen today.

I called the house a few times and Mom once before my shift was supposed to start at 7am. J was still not there. So, I told my bosses that I was going to go home, stay with Grandma until J got there, then come back ASAP. I got home in 45 minutes. It's a ten-minute drive by highway, but a 45 minute to an hour walk home. I'm already beat. And J still is not here. I called her cell, but got no answer. I called Mom and she told me to giver her an hour to respond, then call Telespond.

I can't afford this shit. I need to make money ($10 of which I just wasted on a cab ride) and do my job. My income may not be as great as my mother's but a lot of the bills and resources are still paid by me, aside from my own bills like loan payments and medical. Now, my bosses were actually rather cool about it this time. They tend not to like it when I have to call off to take care of Grandma. Not that they're threatening to fire me, but you know that look your boss or another person in authority gives you when they're not happy with you? That's usually the look I get when problems with Grandma-sitting arise.

I called her as soon as I got in the house: 7:45. She still hasn't called back. Twenty-five more minutes and I have to deal with the wonderfully communicative people of Telespond (please note the heavy sarcasm).

I'm going to be working until midnight tonight to make up my time. :(

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dream Home

Is this not appropriate? I follow up a whiny/rant post with a rather cool meme...

Your home is a

Time-Lord's Villa

Your kitchen consists of dilithium-powered food replicators, manned by obedient robot slaves, who are sure to never, ever rebel. I mean, it's preposterous to even consider it. Your master bedroom has an on-call masseuse and sports therapist. Your study has every science fiction title ever written. One of your garages contains a life-sized X-Wing fighter, and KITT. (KITT was a gift from a well-meaning uncle.)

Your home also includes a robot repair bay, where your mechanized servants are routinely fitted with new restraining bolts. (It's just a precaution.) Your guests enjoy your animatronic replica of the cantina at Mos Eisley. Outside is your radio telescope, listening constantly for alien transmissions. Especially invaders. They'll come eventually, even if nobody believes you. (Nobody does.)

Below is a snippet of the blueprints:

Build YOUR Dream Home!

My Normal Day and errata

Monday: work from 7 to 3:30 (this will be switching to Wednesday after Thanksgiving); go home unless I'm sure Mom is already home, then linger at Borders for as long as I possibly can; feed Grandma dinner between 5 and 6pm, take her sugar around 8pm and give her pills, watch Chuck, try to fall asleep by 11pm.
Tuesday through Friday: work from 4 to 12:30; head home and run any errands I can on the way (must be there by 2:30pm) - If I walk to the mall I can spend some time at Borders. If I take the shuttle I just go straight home; feed Grandma dinner between 5 and 6pm, take her sugar around 8pm and give her pills, try to fall asleep by 11pm. On Fridays I watch the Sci-Fi channel and Numbers, so I tend to stay up until about 1am.
Saturday and Sunday: wake up by 8/8:30 or Grandma will wake me up just to see if I'm "ever going to get up at all" that day; take her sugar and give her pills, feed her breakfast; feed her again around noon or 1pm; feed her between 5 and 6pm; take her sugar around 8pm and give her pills; fall asleep whenever on Saturday, but by 11pm on Sunday.

As you can see, the tasks themselves aren't monumental. Grandma is able to go to the bathroom by herself usually, wipe herself and feed herself (without too much of a mess). We have a woman coming in Tuesdays and Fridays to help her bathe, since she refuses to for us. We have caregivers coming in for the times Mom and I are both at work. There is plenty of time for me to do housework if I get truly motivated - dishes and vacuuming are inventions of the devil. In fact, all I really do is stay at home or go to work - very little else.

The problems arise in getting Grandma to do the things she has to do and the general bad attitude she can have during the day if you somehow annoy her (sooooo easy to do). When you ask her what she wants to eat, her standard reply is "Nothing." So you tell her she really has to eat. "No, I don't." You run through the list of things in the house to eat and she doesn't want any of it. Finally you get "I don't care" for the answer of what she wants to eat so you get to go into the kitchen and look through the list of things you just told her about and that she doesn't want and figure out which one she'll actually eat without you having to make two or three dinners before you get to the right one. Then there are the foods she has inhaled all of her life that she suddenly takes a massive hatred to. Currently, those would be pierogies and anything with bread.

You get adventures in her taking her pills. The water must be fresh (I agree with her) even if she left over half a glass of water from her morning pills. You pour a glass of water, stick some ice in it (or not) and put it in front of her. Then you shake the pills from the container and tell her it's time to take her pills. "I have all day to do that." "Um, no you don't. Take your pills." "I'll take them when I feel like it." At this point you can either argue yourself blue in the face or just walk away. I just walk away anymore and check in half an hour. If they're still there, then I prepare to argue.

Fresh clothing every day...novel concept. Doesn't happen. If we can get her to change her clothing three times a week, that's major. Same with brushing her hair. She changes and brushes her hair when the aide comes to bathe her. Beyond that, if we go somewhere she'll have to make an appearance other than stubbornly sitting in the car, she might change her clothing depending on how much food she's dropped on it. She definitely brushes her hair then, at least.

I know that last paragraph makes it sound like we neglect her or let her stink. Hell, no. We've just learned to pick our battles. As it is, Grandma's main activity in life right now is sleeping on the couch. She gets out of bed about the same time I go to work and shambles into the living room where she proceeds to spend the next eighteen hours or so snoring on the couch. Around 10pm she'll go into her room and sleep on her bed. That's her day. During the summer she might sit on the porch and people-watch a bit. She wakes up periodically to watch some television, eat and go to the bathroom. However, my grandmother's life has gone from active independence to sleeping practically 24/7.

I love the days when Grandma is around, not Mrs. Hyde. Well, maybe not love, but enjoy a heck of a lot more than the days I feel like I'm doing this for nothing. When Grandma is around it's completely different. She still may be limited in what she can do, but she's nice and laughs and talks to me. She doesn't tell me to go to my room if I try to feed her food or her pills. She's the woman who used to beat the pants off us at Rummy. She's the woman whom I chose as my Confirmation sponsor because I respected her so much (even if the Confirmation didn't actually stick). She's the woman who worked in a factory during WWII and made my Grandpa chase her not once but twice to get her to marry him. She's the woman who called my father "Wee Willie" even though he's 6 feet tall. She's the woman I want to be when I grow up. She's the woman who finds enjoyment in the fall foliage and gets a laugh out of the kids playing at the park across the street. That's my Grandma. That's the woman I love and will mourn when she dies.

I just have to try not to remember the woman this stupid disease has left in her place half the time. The woman who yells at me for no reason other than one locked only in her head is not my grandmother. She's someone the disease has created. She is Mrs. Hyde. I know it sounds dramatic to say that, but it's true. In the story Dr. Jekyll went from a brilliant, decent man to a monster; a person who hurt people because it was fun or they just didn't matter. That's what dementia has done to my grandmother. It has a way of taking away my Grandma and replacing her with the monster. I know it's the disease doing the yelling. I know it's the disease accusing Mom and I of moving her things or throwing them away. I know it's the disease that makes me feel like she hates me and couldn't possibly love me. The problem is that the disease is looking out of my Grandma's eyes and the words are being said using the voice of a woman I thought loved me. It's hard to separate the two women and be understanding like I'm told I have to be when all I want to do is curl up in her arms and cry because she's my Grandma and she's supposed to be comforting me, not the other way around.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Well, I've signed up for NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words between November 1st and November 3oth. It doesn't particularly matter if the writing is good or not (whew!) as long as you write a large novella of at least 50,000 words. I have been doing something I never do: outlining. Which might be why I never finish a real story, actually. I think this one has a good idea behind it.

You know how everyone says to write what you know, well right now the thing I know best is caregiving, so that will have a major element in my story. For scenes with my heroine's grandmother I probably won't even have to stretch my imagination too much. I can vividly recall arguments and conversations with Grandma now, so I can just recreate some of them. Although, I think my heroine's grandmother might be slightly nicer. After all, noone would believe the truth, would they?

Anyway, I'm at the U right now, polishing up the outline and updating my NaNoWriMo page with title and such (and wasting time blogging). Mom says she's taking Grandma out for a spin today. Oh! I have to call her and tell her to go to the Alpine Inn and get some KinderEggs since she's going towards Honesdale anyway.

She said maybe, maybe not. Now she's not sure she's going at all since Grandma is still sleeping. I swear, the woman needs to get out of the house. Actually, both of them do. I told Mom she should call her friend to go out tonight, but she blew me off since Sinspired and I might possibly go somewhere, even though I told her Sinspired is busy tonight and we're not going anywhere tonight for certain. Jeez, you'd think the woman actually doesn't want a night off.

Oh, I'll probably be using Shadow's Words to update the WriMo, if anyone is interested.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Apples and Oranges

Thank the Gods for TAFH (and my brother, too, I guess). Grandma will be going down to her house one weekend a month every month (hopefully). Someone will bring her down and my brother will bring her home after his monthly weekend for the Reserves. She went down this last weekend and Mom and I really got out.

After work on Friday I got to the library to do some genealogy research. Saturday I went downtown to look for benchmarks and take some pictures. Afterward, Mom and I went to both Miller's and Roba's corn mazes! We went to Miller's first but were less than impressed. the maze was too easy. However, they had apple trees to pick. That was fun. Then we went to Roba's (successful guilt trip on Mom for once!) and got lost in the maze for about an hour and a half. Loved it!

We had to replace the thermostat last night.

Today I left work early because we had no one to watch Grandma after 9am. I left at 10:30 and got a ride halfway so I only had about fifteen minutes to walk. I just couldn't afford to leave any earlier, by money and workload standards. I feel guilty about leaving her alone for two hours, but I need to make money so I can afford to buy her food and pay the heating bill and all that fun stuff.

I realized as I was walking that I actually feel guilty about eating at home. Unless I specifially buy something for my particular consumption, I don't like eating here. I feel like I'm eating something she might have wanted. Does this make sense? As it is, Mom and I have totally given up on eating Gluten-free. It's impossible to buy enough variety of foods that Grandma will actually be willing to eat and still buy the much more expensive foods that Mom and I can eat. If the choice is to make sure Grandma eats and buy something safe for us, we choose to feed Grandma. We basically have to buy two to three times what she actually eats for her because we have to go through such a list before we finally hit something she'll eat. The woman refuses to eat GF for us. She'll eat whatever TAFH serves, but she gives us problems every time.

For lunch today, I made her a microwaveable turkey and dressing meal. She refused to eat it. Instead, she was willing (after many suggestions) to eat half a cheese sandwich. I took one piece of bread, folded it and stuck cheese in between, then I got griped at that it wasn't half a sandwich. Probably because it wasn't cut diagonally. *sigh* Adventures in Grandma-sitting, indeed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Week of Wows

Wow, has this been a weird week. We’ve done the high and low and in-between thing.

Last Tuesday: posted rant

Wednesday: Did you know there are some (supposedly) Eco-friendly Bratz dolls? *shudder* According to the packaging, it is recycleable. Of course, you have to tear it apart to recycle the pieces of it. And you get seeds and a Save the Planet badge.

Thursday: Total Grandma Day
It was a perfect day. Grandma was in a wonderful mood. Mom was in a wonderful mood. We bought some patterns and put the last quilt Grandma marked in the parlor to finish. Grandma helped. All three of us were happy and joking and no one was crabby. So cool.

Friday: Grandma breaks her streak
Grandma hasn’t had to really go to the hospital for almost two years now. Friday changed that. I was trying on a pair of shoes when I finally turned on my cell phone, topped it up and listened to my voicemail. Apparently Grandma lost her balance while finishing up using the toilet and fell. She wedged herself between the toilet and tub and managed to get a long cut on her right arm. We had three fire engines, two ambulances and two police cars at our house. The police had to smash the toilet to get her out, she was wedged that tightly. How she fit in there so well, we have absolutely no clue. Oh, supposedly one of the cops was cute, but she didn't get me his number, darnit! When I teased her about it, she said, he was too young. So I brought out the axiom, "Get 'em young, train 'em right." She just laughed.

Saturday and Sunday: typical boring weekend in which I sit home and do nothing of interest.

Monday: Sewing class
I went to my first sewing class. It was so exciting. I picked out the pattern I was thinking of using then went home. It took a total of half an hour. Then Mom convinced me to pick a different pattern. *sigh* I’m going to make a shirt instead of funky froggy sleep pants.
Before I went to the class, my cousins came over. J is pregnant. We saw the little fishy-looking blob on the ultrasound printout. I asked her what she wants the room to be decorated in and she’s talking about jungle animals. I’m not sure what her husband, B, wants. Now, we just have to finish renovating their house before the baby gets here.

Tuesday (today): Narc
I have a cold. I have asthma. The two are not a good combination. I had to take two puffs on my inhaler. Albuterol gives me all the terrible side effects, so I’m not really a happy camper after I use the inhaler. Well, right after I took it one of the gentleman (and I do use the term loosely) in the backroom decided to get pissy with me. He listens to sports radio constantly. That’s all he listens to. He has the radio in the backroom on constantly. Well, this time when I went in there, he wasn’t in it. The radio was still on, though. So I turned it off. He came in and got all hot and bothered about it. He literally told me I didn’t belong in there, even though the back room is not his exclusive property. He also told me I couldn’t touch the radio because it wasn’t mine. Technically, it’s not his either. It belongs to another backroom worker, which I reminded him. He told me not to talk about what I don’t know about. I brought up the fact that the other guy’s name is written on the radio with a nice little tag: Property of. I then proceeded to ignore him and finished my tasks. I then went to the HR person and told her about it.

Usually when he pulls his shit I can just ignore him. We all do. He’s a miserable little bastard who needs to get laid more than I do. He’s almost never cheerful and treats everyone as if they’re inconveniencing him if they so much as breathe in “his” stockroom. Everyone just says, “Oh, well, that’s just J. Ignore him.” Well, today I felt miserable enough that I wasn’t about to ignore the little shit. I’m really sick of him getting away with being mean to everybody, dammit. The funniest thing is that at times he can be really nice. Maybe he's bipolar. Whatever, he's getting in trouble today.

So, what else will happen this week?

Thursday: Grandma goes to TAFH for a few days.
Friday: Mom and I pick out fabric for my project and possibly go to Roba’s.
Saturday: Mom and I go to the RenFaire in Lancaster and pick up Grandma on the way home.

I just hope nothing else goes wrong. Knock on wood.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What a Woman Wants! (rant warning)

Someone kindly tell me what I did in a former life to deserve this one. I am getting more and more discontent with this whole babysitting grandma bullshit. Actually, I passed discontent a couple of years ago. It's so hard to maintain a positive outlook on life when the only thing you can be positive of is that you will wake up around 3am, go to work, possibly get a chance to chill at Borders for 45 minutes to an hour, come home and stay in your room waiting for grandma to actually need you. This is your life every Monday through Friday. Every weekend, you get to be the one making her breakfast and lunch and usually dinner, because your mother, her daughter, works most weekends so she can have a day off during the week in which she takes care of grandma. For this round the clock care, you get emotionally and verbally abused by a woman succumbing to dementia and diabetes. Your relatives treat you as if you should be thankful because, don't you know, you're getting a free place to live. Excuse me?! Grandma pays three bills, all directly related to her individual and specific care. She pays for her health insurance, the caregivers that come in when we have to work and her meds. Lately, Mom and I have paid for a lot of those meds and we're going to be taking over all of the taxes this next year.

I have no life. I have few friends. I have no boyfriend. I have no college degree, hence no future doing what I love to do. I feel like any time and money spent on myself is basically theft. I have arranged to take sewing classes. This will cost $75 and will run from 6:30 to 8:30 pm every Wednesday for the next 5 weeks. Mom has to make sure she can be home those nights. I get a small opportunity for self-improvement, but Mom hasn't had any time out for herself lately, so I feel like I'm being selfish in that I'm taking time that she could be using going out. Even though she doesn't.

I'm whining. Oh, woe is me, poor me, my life is so hard. I have a job. I have food (even if a lot of it is poison to me since grandma won't eat GF for us - only TAFH). I have a place to live. I have some spare money for hobbies. I may not have a lot of them, but the friends I do have are worth their weight in gold-pressed latinum. There are people out there who have none of the above and don't whine. So, that makes me selfish for whining in the first place, I guess. You know what? Feck it. I want to be selfish in this. I'm getting the raw end of the deal here. I spend more time with grandma than anyone else in the family and my only reward is abuse. I think I have a right to vent a little.

Here's a list of what I want:
1. Master's Degree in Library Science so I can make something of myself.
2. A boyfriend. Lots of wild monkey sex would be really nice. He should also have a brain that functions well above his shoulders, if I'm not asking too much.
3. Time to myself. Time to do what I want to do. Time in which I am not tied to a baby monitor waiting for my grandmother to call my name. Time in which I do not have to rush home every day and could go downtown and research if I so choose.
4. A relationship with my family that doesn't send them running the other way if I call them because I might be calling them to ask for help with their mother or grandmother.
5. The opportunity to travel and have adventures. There is so much of this world I have not seen, even with the whole army-brat thing. I want to see Africa and Asia. I want to walk the Giant's Causeway in Ireland and bask in the glory of Stonehenge on Solstice. Oh, and I want to fly to these places myself, in my own plane because before I die I will get my pilot's license. Hell, just the chance to hop a bus on Wednesday morning and take in a play in New York or visit my friends in DC would be exotic travel at this point, yearly vacations notwithstanding. Mom and I earn those vacations with every hole we bite in our tongues and every tear we shed silently when we should be trying to get sleep so we don't imitate the walking dead at work the next day.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

In Memorium - Bette Hagman

I just found out that Bette Hagman died on August 17. She can pretty much be considered the pioneer of GF cookbooks. Her cookbooks are the staple that every Celiac has in the house, at least to start with.

Ms. Hagman, thank you so much for your contribution to the good health and happy tastebuds of Celiacs everywhere. To your family, I wish to offer my condolences.

Grammar Nazi time!

Okay, this one is good. It's true, too. While surfing a blog that had reviewed a book I really like, I found this grammar quiz.

You Scored an A

You got 10/10 questions correct.

It's pretty obvious that you don't make basic grammatical errors.
If anything, you're annoyed when people make simple mistakes on their blogs.
As far as people with bad grammar go, you know they're only human.
And it's humanity and its current condition that truly disturb you sometimes.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Shark vs. Man

Here's a good one and hooray for the lifeguard. He did the right thing!

Friday, August 31, 2007

It's Mine, Mine, All Mine!

I am typing this post on the keyboard of MY laptop. It's not my mother's. It's mine. Of course, it's being paid by her salary, but she's calling it my next few birthday and Christmas presents. That's just fine with me. I never actually get expensive presents, so I'm looking at it as one.

Once I buy a new genealogy program and install it, I'll be able to finally restart my research. Right now everything is sitting in binders stored in boxes.

I don't think I can truly express how happy I am to have this silly thing. I feel like there is finally something of value that is mine. How absolutely selfish I sound.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Primary Election

So, the Democratic National Committee is intending to take away the rights of Florida's Democratic voters to choose the candidate that will represent them in the coming national election. Someone please explain to me why we can't all have the national primary on the same day, just as we have the national general election. Frankly, I couldn't give a flying fish if New Hampshire and Iowa want to keep their "traditional role" in selecting nominees.

Okay, I did a bit of research (Wikipedia Rocks!) and the main argument seems to be that candidates without the funding of the richer candidates would be on the outs or that it would mean "less important" states would be ignored by the candidates. These are valid concerns and can instead be dealt with by another plan that seems to have promise: the Graduated Random Presidential Primary System.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Nerd, Geek or Dork?

Okay, Morchades had this quiz, so I just had to take it. I'm not sure if I like or dislike the results, so they're probably spot on.

Your Score: Outcast Genius

91 % Nerd, 65% Geek, 65% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in all three, earning you the title of: Outcast Genius.

Outcast geniuses usually are bright enough to understand what society wants of them, and they just don't care! They are highly intelligent and passionate about the things they know are *truly* important in the world. Typically, this does not include sports, cars or make-up, but it can on occassion (and if it does then they know more than all of their friends combined in that subject).

Outcast geniuses can be very lonely, due to their being outcast from most normal groups and too smart for the room among many other types of dorks and geeks, but they can also be the types to eventually rule the world, ala Bill Gates, the prototypical Outcast Genius.


Also, you might want to check out some of my other tests if you're interested in any of the following:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Professional Wrestling

Love & Sexuality


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Monday, July 30, 2007

Cruise Vacation 2

Okay, Cape Canaveral is going to happen after we get back from the cruise. The rocket launch has been pushed back, so we're hoping it'll be at the gantry and can at least get a glimpse of it. We drove around Polk County instead, trying to find an interesting site that was actually open. It appears that tourist attractions not geared solely toward making money close down on Sundays here. Mom and I tried two different museums and both were closed. You gotta love the Bible Belt.

We drove on Spook Hill, which was cool. I zonked out in the car as we were passing huge mounds of sand from phosphate mining. They looked like white culm banks. I was hoping to get a glimpse of Disney World as we passed by, but the closest I got was a powerline pole shaped like Mickey's head. Yes, we got a picture, which I will upload soon.

We went to Whole Foods and bought some Tinkyada pasta, Prairie Bread and Sandwich bread to take on the ship. The leftover fruit and veggies we bought at a really cool fruit stand Saturday, we just gave to the hotel staff, since we can't take it on board.

Oh, and you should see the Target here. It's on a second level, about the same size and set-up as the Quakertown store. There was a Wild Oats on the first floor below it. We didn't have time to go there, since we had to turn the car in. :( I miss having Whole Foods and Wild Oats in Scranton.

Anyway, have to go. We have to check out and catch a trolley to the pier so we can board our ship.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cruise Vacation

We're off! We're in Florida. Mom has already gotten a call from work about a problem. The phone turns off tomorrow and we board the ship Monday. Tomorrow we go to Cape Canaveral.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Potter personality

Gee. Am I actually surprised at this?

Find out your Harry Potter personality at LiquidGeneration!

Ganked from the blog of one of my favorite authors: Tamora Pierce

Friday, July 06, 2007

Banned Book Project

Alright, being my normal geeky self, I bought a book about banned books. Yes, my brother had to make a comment about it. LOL I didn't even mind. I know that most people would think it strange to take on this challenge. Stranger still, to buy a book on banned books. He just kind of shook his head after his comments and went back to his normal attitude of just giving up on my geekiness.

Anyway, I'm listing the books referenced in the book I bought, 120 Banned Books, by Karolides, Bald and Sova. They give the reasons behind the censorship of the books they mention as well as a synopsis. I've already found one on Project Gutenberg.

So, my first book is Areopagitica, by John Milton. It is actually an essay for freedom of expression, written in 1644. He was trying to point out the wrongness of having to license any published work. Fitting, I think, that I start with this work for my Banned Book Project. Once I complete my list, I'll pick the next book.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Reading Project

I have been looking at the list of the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die and the various lists of banned books. I want to tackle one of them, at least, but so many of the books on the 1001 Books list look totally unappealing, to be generous. I think I'll go for the Banned Books instead. Some of them are actually cross-listed. So, I have two ways I can go about this long project. I can make a list of all of the banned books I can find and read them alphabetically by author or title or I can read them by year of publication.

My inclination is towards publication year. This is for a couple of reasons. One, I can read all the ancient works that I've collected and are sitting on my TBR shelf (really a series of boxes) Those books I don't already own I might be able to download from Project Gutenberg or one of the other public domain internet libraries. This way I don't have to spend any extra money that I can save for the cruise at the end of the month. After the cruise I can go out and buy some of the others. The other reason is that this would be a nice, neatly ordered way to approach such a task. You know, logical.

I'm already doing the 50 Book Challenge, but that's too easily settled by my constant reading and re-reading of my current holdings and my weekly trips to Borders. I actually passed 50 books before I even started the challenge in May. I'm almost at 50 again. I think I hit 46 the other day when I read In Darkness Reborn by Alexis Morgan the other day at Borders. Reading all of the books on the banned list (or just most of them since I absolutely hate a few of them from my high school reading) seems like a fun, and even worthy, goal.

So, I'm off to peruse the various lists I have found and try to build it from the literal ground up - earliest books first. I know Lysistrata is on one of them and I can actually put my hands on it somewhat easily. I believe I shall start as soon as I can find the box I put it in.

Oh, by the way, the ALA's Banned Books Week is being celebrated September 29 to October 6, 2007. I figure a loose goal of one banned book a week is doable along with my stitching obligations and various light reading. If I start counting next week, I should be able to read twelve of them by that week. I'll make my list and post it soon.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Transformers review

I rarely review movies. I tend not to believe them when I read them myself. Critics almost always pan movies I really love and love movies I might be able to force myself to watch once at the most. However last night I went to Transformers and I must say it was excellent. The audience (myself included) broke out in applause a bunch of times during the movie and after.

There was enough geekiness and in-joking to please the most devoted fan of the old cartoon and enough sheer kick-assness to please anyone just going to see a good sci-fi flick. My only beef is that they didn't work in the cartoon's theme anywhere in the score that I could tell. Jeez, they even got a reference to My Little Pony and Furby. My absolute favorite Autobot, Bumblebee, was the major Autobot character. Yes!

I could write tons of stuff about the plot line and spoilers but I won't. Just go buy a ticket for the movie, a big bag of extra-buttery popcorn and enjoy the show. I don't recommend anything to drink because you really don't want to miss anything on an emergency run to the bathroom. Oh, you do want to sit through at least part of the credits.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Body and self-worth

I have never hidden the fact that I am fat. I never will (as if you can). A few posts on the assorted blogs and some new blogs that I read have tackled this issue lately. The topic started on some comics blogs: Tamora Pierce post #1 (in which Sinspired, Morchades and a host of other favorite feminist and comic bloggers make guest appearances) , Carla Lee post #1, Tamora Pierce post #2, Carla Lee post #2, which introduced me to this ad campaign: Fit Light Yogurt. Compare and contrast this insulting tagline: “Forget about it. Men’s preferences will never change. Fit Light Yogurt” with Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't want to be skinny. I don't want to be fat. I want to be healthy. I want to be in that middle of the road point where I can look at myself and say, "You're healthy, happy and a good person. That makes you truly beautiful." I honestly feel just as sorry for too-skinny women as I do for women like myself that are too large. Both of us have problems that we need to overcome before we get healthy.

Sure, I'd probably enjoy it if I were one of those women whose optimal shape/size was a slender size two - for a little while. However the trade-off for that is the fact that they tend not to be as strong or tough as me. (Disclaimer: Tend not to be! That certainly doesn't hold true for all!) I'll take my increased muscle and bone mass over dainty looks any day. It's more useful. Hell, I've been a size ten and looked like a walking skeleton. No thanks.

I certainly don't think a person should be happy with their weight if they are truly overweight or obese, but I do feel a person should be able to be comfortable in their skin. People (male and female) shouldn't have to worry about that extra five pounds being so important that they have to starve themselves to lose it because the opposite sex won't like them anymore if they're *gasp* fat. A child should never have to be afraid to go to school because they'll be picked on if they don't fit into the Barbie/Bratz/Superman/Mr. Universe mold. Any debate or right to debate should never be contingent on one of the parties' physical appearance. Read Tammy and Carla's blogs if you haven't to get this reference.

Sorry if this is disjointed (it is). I'm tired and want nothing more than to seek my bed.


I almost deleted my last post. I've felt terrible for pumping out so much vitriol, but I needed to and still feel some of it, so I won't. It's just taken me a few weeks to get up the nerve to post anything else. Maybe it just took something really getting me pissed. Other than my brother essentially taking over my house and controlling the way I live and function in it for the last two weeks and the next two months.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Anger Management?

I'm angry. I find myself to be so angry I could spit nails. It's not even because of any one thing. It feels like everything is just pressing down on me and I have no way of relieving that pressure.

Mom has today off, so she and my brother are going golfing. I'm angry that she gets to enjoy her day off when I usually spend mine watching her mother while she's working. Then I'm angry at myself for even thinking that way, because she usually spends her days of watching Grandma while I'm working. My anger isn't fair. I guess anger isn't supposed to be.

I'm angry because my brother decided it's okay to lecture me about the house not being clean enough for his standards. He also wants to put my boxes of books up in the attic and down in the basement while the kids are here so there's more room. Lovely idea (phbt!) except for the fact that I would never get the damned things back down or up. If we put them in the basement, Grandma will have a fit if I dare bring a box back up. If we put them in the attic, she'll have a fit that they're even there. Also, it's much harder to get into my attic than the basement. I want them in my room, where I can get to them, t I just know Mom will side with him and we'll end up doing what he wants.

I'm angry because as my brother was talking to my step-sister on the phone he told her hello from me and she didn't even respond in kind. Not that I really expected manners from her, but they would have been nice. I'm continually angry that my cousins love to get together, but never invite me.

I'm angry because I really hate my period. I'm angry because yesterday there was a nice breeze outside, so I turned off the air conditioner and opened the doors and Grandma kept closing them and I kept opening them. I'm angry that I'm not losing any weight - losing inches, but staying the same weight. I'm angry that I keep pushing my goals in life back while I take care of someone else who is, frankly, too old to do anything else truly constructive in this lifetime. I'm angry that I'm 31 and have never been properly kissed and haven't even had a hug from a non-related guy in much longer than I can even remember.

It's all such petty stuff that's getting to me. Yet, at the same time, it feels so important. This anger feels important even as I know that it doesn't do me any good. A person can live without books (but who's want to?!), without dates *whimper* or nights at the bar with cousins. I could definitely live without my period. A person can ignore that annoying, arrogant, self-righteous pain-in-the-ass they call a brother - except he just follows you around and keeps talking and always acts like you're the irrational one.

*Sigh* I'm going to go stitch. I want to finish my Green Man by tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I'm tired. Mom's finally home. I'm going to bed.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Extremely late obit - Peter Stone

I'm watching the Tony Awards right now. I want to smack myself right now. I never knew that four years ago the writer of my favorite play had died. Peter Stone died April 26, 2003. He wrote the book for 1776 and the screenplay for the movie version. He managed to bring the Founding Fathers to life in a way most people can only dream of. I fell in love with this play when I was very young. It shows some of the flaws in those great men, as much as it shows their courage and resolve.

As an aside, John Cullum was nominated for a Tony this year, but didn't win. He played Edward Rutledge, the delegate from South Carolina in 1776. His musical number, Molasses to Rum, is an amazing piece of work, criticizing the hypocrisy of the Northerners over their stand on slavery. Sherman Edwards wrote the music and lyrics (d.1981). Cullum's nomination this year was for his work in 110 in the Shade.

Man, I've really been out of it this year. Roscoe Lee Browne died in April.

And I just saw the trailer for Hairspray. OMG! John Travolta and Christopher Walken. I'm adding a movie to my Summer list. I knew JohnTravolta was playing Edna, but I didn't know about Christoper Walken. And I can definitely see Amanda Bynes playing Penny. *sigh* I think this might actually end up being a "dream cast".

Saturday, June 09, 2007

And she's off!

I think it's a record. Aunt L was in and out today in ten minutes. Bills written out, fruit in the fridge and poof!

Anyway, Aunt P is coming over later to take Grandma with her for a drive so I can go to Borders for a book signing. I'll have a few hours to myself and some fellow book-lovers.

I got a new DVD player to replace the one my brother bought me. It wouldn't read any of the DVDs I tried in it, so I switched it out with a Magnavox, instead of another Durabrand (Wal*Mart's store brand). I also went to Borders and exchanged the Superman DVDs for another set. When they manufactured the cases, they left some small bumps inside that scratched up the original set before I'd even opened it. The manager let me open up the new one and we had to switch out two DVDs with some from the original set because they were scratched, too.

So, I have to get Grandma ready by 1pm, feed her lunch and figure out if I can afford two books at Borders instead of one. Oh, I guess I should eat something myself befre I leave.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

31st Birthday - two days late, of course

Well, on Monday I turned 31 years old. Usually my birthdays pass with very little fanfare. I get a gift from Mom, a card from Dad and occasionally a friend wishes me happy birthday. I really don't mind that. This year was different. I got a cake with ice cream and the works. Mom made me a GF chocolate cake with butter cream icing and vanilla ice cream. Then my brother actually got me a present. My brother got me a DVD player. He also bought me a DVD to go with it, from Playtime Boutique. He had me open it in the kitchen. It was hilarious. As I was opening it, we both kept looking at Granda to make sure Grandma didn't look our way and saw what he got me! Mom's present is apparently still being made. I figure she has someone making me a frog. Tee-hee :)

I like my brother's girlfriend. She seems nice and her kid is a real cutey, if much less adventurous than my niece and nephew. He's a heavy sucker. Mom and I ended up babysitting him while my brother and his girlfriend went to a movie. I don't know if she and I would be as close as my sil were, but as long as she makes my brother happy, then I will be happy to love her or at least like her. Besides, it's an easy way to get a new nephew.

So the materialistic part of my birthday aside, I guess it's time to look at last year's goals and see what I have accomplished.

Last Year's List:
1. Lose 100 pounds (at least) and get back down to a size 12. (And stay there for the rest of my life!)
2. Go back to college and get my degrees in History and Library Science. Once I get them and get a decent career I can go back for another degree like Anthropology.
3. This isn't really one I want to do, it's more like I have to: Learn how to drive a car so I can get my motorcycle license and a scooter. A motorcycle would be preferable, but a scooter would be sufficient for my purposes.
4. Learn how to speak ASL, German and Latin.
5. Have something published, even if it's just my stitching patterns.
6. Visit Ireland, England, Germany and Egypt (Along with every other country in the world and Antarctica! I'll just list those four as the major goals right now.)
7. Learn how to fly a small plane.
8. Learn sky- and scuba diving.
9. Get a cat and some frogs.
10. I guess I should add the old standard of a long-term boyfriend/husband and adopting kids even though I'm not sure they really are one of my life-long goals.

Well, as of this writing, they all stand - even though I have made progress on the top two. I haven't lost 100 pounds, I've only lost 20. However, I have dropped to almost a size 16. Another few weeks of careful eating should see me there. If I really start exercising, it'll go even faster... My loan rehabilitation program is almost complete, so I should be able to to get another loan from PHEAA for college in the Spring semester. There's a light at the end of both tunnels.

As for the license, well, I made an effort, but I needed to send in the birth certificate for my passport, so it's really not my fault ... although procrastinating so long probably didn't help. I should have my birth certificate before we go on the trip, so maybe I'll go for the written test before we leave. Maybe.

6 is actually going to be exercised on our cruise. I'll be visiting two different countries. Part of 8 (scuba-diving) might be accomplished before the cruise. Mom was talking about us taking scuba lessons before we go. We'll see.

To be brutally honest. I screwed up this last year. I could have made a hell of a lot more progress on 1 and 3. I still can. I need to make another goal, one obtainable to add to those from last year. I just can't think of anything right now. Maybe one of my friends will have an idea as to something I can improve. At the moment, I can only think of becoming more devout in my religion, actually observing all of the holidays with real rituals, rather than just simple ones.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

LibraryThing Love

Okay, I have a lot of books. I'm already at 1310 books catalogued on LibraryThing and I'm not even close to being finished yet!

I love LibraryThing.

Okay, off to shower then watch the really bad version of Fantastic Four.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Week in review, long...

This has been an interesting week - neither good nor bad, just interesting.

I managed to read quite a few books at Borders, including Transformers: Ghosts of Yesterday, by Alan Dean Foster. I bought the Transformers novelization by him to read at home. I also read the Prequel graphic novel at work, when I should have been putting it on the shelf. I couldn't help myself! It was like something else had taken over my hands and eyes and just wouldn't stop reading it. (Do you believe that? If so, there's a bridge I know of up for sale. Great price, truly.) Anyway, reading them is just making me want to see this movie even more. This is going to be a really good move summer. Between Transformers, HP, Fantastic Four and the new Die Hard movie, I'm going to have loads of fun.

I bought one of my Brit-stitch mags at Borders. There was a free Passione Ricamo pattern. She's gorgeous. I think I might show it to my niece and see if she wants me to make it for her in purple. The pattern is actually in mauve and pink. It's the full version of this one: Summer Lady. I also found an ad for a series of patterns that I really want to try "someday": Spirit Angels

Total aside: I just spoke to my cousin for over an hour. We ranged from the Supreme Court and Equal Pay to Darfur to Celiac to various relations to Guatemala to college and jobs and I absolutely adore this girl. I think she is my favorite cousin. She is passionate about causes and books. She can be petty at times (who isn't?) and is sometimes very silly (as opposed to my constant silliness...), but she is the one out of her sisters that I can trust to treat me like a normal person and not the cousin that no-one wants to deal with because dealing with me means dealing with Grandma.

What else happened? Let's see, I only worked 30 hours again, just like for the next two weeks. Target is keeping me at just over what I can claim on a partial. They did, however, give me more for the overnight differential. All of us who start work at 4am get it. It still doesn't make up for the time lost this last month or the fact that I have to get up at three in the frickin' morning. As a positive, I've had more time to myself the last few weeks. We've not changed the time I get home, even though I've been getting out earlier. The extra time has been nice. I could get used to it. I just can't get used to the lower wages.

I stashed a bit and went to Hancock Fabrics. I still want some of that linen on sale. *sigh* I might go there on Monday, since it's 60% off. Or Friday.

I wanted to get my permit, so I could say I'd gotten one of my goals for the year accomplished, but when I called I found out I couldn't yet. Apparently, I absolutely need my birth certificate (and a lot of other things!). Since Uncle Sam currently has it so he can issue me a passport, that plan is on indefinite hold.

Grandma has been decent. Her sugar has dropped mid-day lately, but it's so damned hot. Mom and I got the air conditioner in downstairs yesterday, so that should help. I'm camped out in front of mine. I like it. A lot. Aunt L came over to do the bills and I was able to make a quick run to the store for Grandma's soda while she was here.

There was probably more I wanted to note, but this is long enough. Enjoy the heat if you like it and the air conditioner if you have it. If you don't like the heat and don't have an air conditioner, I hope you're in the Antarctic!

Oh wait, one more thing! I saw that the Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition is back on the shelves. Now I just have to get the money for it quickly before they're all gone.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Summer is so cool, right? Wrong!

I have come to the conclusion that the Summer is my mortal enemy - for many reasons.

1. I have an Irish complexion. Reddish-brown hair and white-as-a-ghost skin don't do too well with the summer sun.
2. I'm fat. Having even a tiny layer of blubber makes the heat unbearable.
3. Grandma. She loves to sit on the porch in the heat, great, right? Sure, if she actually goes out. It's like pulling teeth to get Grandma to eat on the best of days, let alone a hot one where she's never hungry and refuses to drink more than she needs to gulp down her frickin' pills. "I'm not hungry...I'm not hungry." I swear, if I hear this one more time today, I'm going to get violent.

*sigh* And yet, I love growing things. I think growing plants is the only thing Summer is good for. It certainly does nothing for the slight hold I still retain on my sanity.

Oh, one question: Why is the noun "complexion" when the adjective is "complected"?

Oh, joy, she's back inside. I guess I get to go outside and stitch again. Bitch.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Book Signing Fun and Frustration

The Borders near me is having a book signing June 9. I want to go since I like one of the authors. I've been researching the other three that are going to be there and each has books that look interesting. The problem is that most of these came out as e-books and the paperback versions are going to run around $13.50 each. Gideon, by Jacquelyn Frank is a mass-market, at least.

The only thing that's annoying me at this very moment, though is that the one book that really looks interesting by Stella and Audra Price is called Fire in his Eyes. It's a dragon/shifter romance. Lovely, but they just switched publishers, so it won't be available for Stella's signing!

The other two authors showing up are Bianca D'Arc and Rene Lyons. I've already picked out books by them I want: Ladies of the Lair and Midnight Sun, by the authors, respectively.

This should be fun. I just hope Mom's not working so I can go. And that I have a spare $40 to spend on only three books...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tim Curry blew up my DVD player!

My DVD player blew up. I turned it on and loaded Clue for a few hours of mindless fun (and counting gunshots) when I realized the movie wasn't loading. I then noticed a small plume of smoke coming from the side of the player. I quickly unplugged it from the wall and the TV, showed it to Mom as I went downstairs and left it in the entrance. My room smelled like burning plastic and circuitry for about two or three hours afterwards. Mom was boggled. SO was I. I never even thought something like that could happen.

I guess this means the next one I buy will cost me more than $30 if I want it to last a significant amount of time and not burn my house down. For now, I'm watching movies on the laptop.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Your Power Bird

Via Morchades

Your Power Bird is an Owl

You are beyond wise. You are so smart, you're almost prophetic.
Your inner voice always speaks the truth, and you take the time to listen to it.
You are good at seeing who people are... including the darkness of others.
As a result, you tend to have a rather dark - yet realistic - outlook on life.
What's Your Power Bird?

I am not a bit surprised by this result. I absolutely adore owls. They are gorgeous, fascinating and best of all, nocturnal!

Dementia and Shortcake

She's getting worse. We took Grandma to the Glider for dinner the other night and the only thing she insisted she wanted the entire night was their Strawberry Shortcake (damned good Strawberry Shortcake, I might add!). Well, when we got it, Mom and I dug in. (No, it isn't GF. Fuck it.) Grandma sat there a minute, fiddling with the fork and knife next to the plate, but not picking them up to eat. I had to hand her a fork before she started to eat. I really think she'd briefly forgotten what to do. This dementia thing really sucks.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Lackawanna Politics, part 2

As promised, here's a listing of the candidates for Scranton District of Lackawanna County. I tried getting all of the candidates for Lackawanna County but the clerks were a bit stressed out and the Scranton district was all I could get. After all, there are something like 163 districts in Lackawanna County. Well, here goes the list.

Democratic candidates (because they come first on the ballot):

Justice of the Supreme Court: vote for not more than two
Willis W. Berry, Jr (Philadelphia County)
Seamus McCaffery (Philadelphia County)
Debra Todd (Butler County)
C. Darnell Jones, II (Philadelphia County)
Judge of the Superior Court: vote for not more than two
Timothy J. McCormick (Westmoreland County)
Ron Folino (Allegheny County)
Anna E. Lazarus (Philadelphia County)
Jimmy Lynn (Philadelphia County)
Christine Donohue (Allegheny County)
John Milton Younge (Philadelphia County)
James M. DeLeon (Philadelphia County)
County Commissioners: vote for not more than two
Michael J. Washo (Newton)
Corey O'Brien (Moosic)
Robert Berta (Jessup) - I can't find a website, sorry.
Evie Rafalko McNulty (Scranton)
Clerk of Judicial Records: vote for one
Mary F. Rinaldi (Dunmore)
County Controller: vote for one
John A. Mellow (Blakely)
Glenn M. Cashuric (Olyphant)
Ken McDowell (Scranton)
County Treasurer: vote for one
Edward Karpovich (Clarks Summit)
County Coroner: vote for one
Joseph J. Brennan (Carbondale)
Scranton City Controller: vote for one
Roseann Novembrino
Scranton City Council: vote for not more than two
Andrew M. Sbaraglia
William Courtright
Robert E. McGoff, Jr.
Greg Popil
Lee Morgan
Scranton School Director: vote for not more than five - see the links below for information
Paul O'Malley
Christopher Phillips
Joseph X. Garvey, Jr.
Tom Gilbride
Patrick Mitchell
Mark Dougher
Kathleen M. McGuigan
Joseph A. Matyjevich
Joe Gatelli
Carol Oleski
Patrick O'Malley
Daniel P. Keeler
Paul McGloin, Sr.
James R. Minicozzi

Republican candidates:

Justice of the Supreme Court: vote for not more than two
Paul P. Panepinto (Philadelphia County)
Maureen E. Lally-Green (Butler County)
Mike Krancer (Montgomery County)
Judge of the Superior Court: vote for not more than two
Bruce F. Bratton (Dauphin County)
Cheryl Lynn Allen (Allegheny County)
Jacqueline O. Shogan (Westmoreland County)
County Commissioners: vote for not more than two
A.J. Munchak (Taylor) - shares a website with Cordaro
Robert C. Cordaro (write-in candidate) - shares a website with Munchak
Rob Castellani (write-in candidate) - shares a website with Spinka
Phil Spinka (write-in candidate) - shares a website with Castellani
Clerk of Judicial Records: vote for one
County Controller: vote for one
Michael J. Bodnar (Dunmore) - I can't find a website, sorry.
County Treasurer: vote for one
County Coroner: vote for one
Scranton City Controller: vote for one
Scranton City Council: vote for not more than two
Giovanni Piccolino - I can't find a website, sorry.
Pat Rogan - I can't find a website, sorry.
Scranton School Director: vote for not more than five - see below
Carol Oleski
James R. Minicozzi
Patrick Mitchell
Kathleen M. McGuigan
Patrick O'Malley
Joseph A. Matyjevich
Daniel P. Keeler
Mark Dougher

I am trying to provide links that will help you figure out which of these people you like best.

League of Women Voters PDF: How to Judge the Judges
Questionnaire for the candidates for Supreme Court
PAVoteSmart - 2007 Judicial Election Information
Scranton Times-Tribune article about the candidates for Scranton School District, including opinions
Scranton Times-Tribune article about the Democratic candidates for Scranton City Council with some of their opinions.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lackawanna County Voting, part 1

Okay, I've been trying to find information about a measure on the Primary ballot. It's been rather difficult. Lackawanna County has no website or other type of information about the elections and candidates that I can find. I'll be picking up a ballot tomorrow to find out who is actually running for what and what ballot measures are on there.

There are some helpful websites, but some you have to take with a grain of salt.

Information on Act One: As an aside, it seems that Scranton School District voters don't have to vote yes or no. I don't know if that's good or bad.
PICPA Fact Sheet
LWV Fact Sheet

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania - deals with Pennsylvania statewide, rather than Lackawanna County specifically. Here's another LWV page that has statewide judicial races listed.
The Lu Lac Political Letter - a blog about politics in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties
Lackawanna County Department Listing - just a telephone and email directory of the various county agencies and departments.
Doherty Deceit - a blog about politics in Scranton (obviously, very unhappy with the job Mayor Doherty is doing)
Scranton Online Discussion - message board about all things Scranton
Gort42 - blog about local politics (and baseball)
The Independent, Conservative, Common Sense Oasis - conservative blog about local politics
Jennifer D. Wade - local blog with some political stuff
Wilkes-Barre Political Scene - Wilkes-Barre political blog (obviously)

Some of the candidates: (alphabetical order) - I know there are a lot more that I'm missing. Tomorrow I'll add them after I get the ballot.
Evie Rafalko McNulty (Democrat for County Commissioner)
AJ Munchak & Robert Cordaro (Republicans for re-election as County Commissioner)
Corey O'Brien (Democrat of County Commissioner)

Here's a LWV Voter's Guide for Luzerne County, at least.

Generic Pennsylvania politics sites:

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Work errata

Okay, there's a lady at work that I actually like most of the time. She's nice. She's also forty years old (looks like she's about twenty-five, tops), lives with her parents (pays nothing toward bills or rent) and consistently does the exact opposite of what she's supposed to do at work. She has tendonitis, so she doesn't want to pull or backstock anything because it hurts her elbow. She has sinus problems and calls off if they're bothering her. The newest ailment is bursitis in her hip and now she can't do the comp shopping because walking around Wally-world is too much for her. Nor can she climb ladders. Today, she was doing something that required nothing more than standing and reaching up or down. She left early.

As I said, I like her. She's a nice girl (if I can call a forty-year-old a girl). However, if she can't do the work (she came to my team from customer service because she doesn't like the customers) either fire her or put her on disability and give us someone who will do the work required, dammit! One of my other team-mates has had both hips replaced and walks with a hitched step. He's also damned efficient and hard-working. One of the older ladies needs her knees replaced, but she can't afford it. She's also terrified of heights and isn't very high herself *coughshortshitcough*. She makes herself go up the ladders. Another has arm problems and tires easily and makes herself do the work needed. The lady next oldest to me has blinding migraines and cysts on her ovaries that keep her in constant pain. Yes, we're a very healthy bunch. *snort* But we do the damned work!
I know, I've called off due to illness before. I won't deny it. I've left early when I was sick. However, constantly leaving or making others do tasks you just don't like is plain wrong. She needs a wake-up call. I wish my supervisor would actually do something about it, rather than just shake her head and look the other way out of fear we won't get anyone to replace her. Frankly, she's useless to us at the moment. This has gone on long enough.