Monday, April 30, 2007

Good Days

Yesterday was a Grandma Day. We had fun going through old documents in her security box. She cracked some jokes and I teased her about some things and Mom teased us both. She remembered a few things and is actually going to let me copy the tax receipts I found for the genealogy. Much coolness. I haven't really talked to her much today, so I can't say what it'll end up being.

I made out like a fat cat on Saturday at the Weinberg Library sale. $15.50 worth of books, most of them either hardcovers or Greek classics. *sigh* I love library book sales. Also, the ladies at the library are going to stay on the lookout for any books on Gregg Shorthand for me. I really want to relearn it. I went out on Friday and Saturday nights. This has been a really good couple of days. Oh, and congrats to my friend, Noelle, who got her black belt on Friday!

Human for Sale

gakked from WyckedKittie

I am worth $1,461,130 on
How much are you worth?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

irony or fate?

Yesterday I mentioned to the counselor that my cousins never come over to visit Grandma and that it really annoyed me. My second-oldest just walked through the door and is downstairs talking to her now. Weird.

Update - it turns out she came over only because she promised my brother she'd drop something off for my mother.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Forget litterbugs...

There's a squirrel littering in the park across the street from my house. He's diving into and out of the trash bin, removing items like paper each time. He plays with them for a bit, shaking them around and turning them inside out and upside down before dropping them on the ground outside the bin. Then he jumps in and grabs something else.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Limbo no longer...

The dude did something right for a change. Pope Benedict, whom I truly dislike, has changed the teaching on unbaptized Catholic infants. Instead of saying they go to Limbo, they now have their Get-out-of-jail-free cards and go to Heaven, after all.

"It stressed that none of its findings should be taken as diminishing the need for parents to baptize infants.

'Rather ... they provide strong grounds for hope that God will save infants when we have not been able to do for them what we would have wished to do, namely, to baptize them into the faith and life of the church.'

Vatican watchers hailed the decision as both a sensitive and significant move by Benedict. "

Bravo, Pope Benedict. There might be hope for you yet.

Friday, April 20, 2007

you are very sleeeeeeepy

I am tired. The keyboard is actually a little blurry if I don't concentrate on it.

So, why am I up? Why not sleep a little, especially since Mom is off work today? Because she and my brother went out and I had to wake up after two and a half hours of sleep to sit downstairs with Grandma. My brother had to go to the VA hospital for a follow-up on his leg and Mom needed to file her passport information and do something else that I can't locate in my muzzy brain right now.

*sigh* Why couldn't they at least have waited two more hours? Four hours of sleep after a hellish week of overnights and various other drama would have been sooooooo nice.

Well, at last the laptop is fixed again. If I worked on cross-stitch, I'd end up frogging everything the minute I could actually open my eyes for real.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm actually calmer now...

Barb from AAA talked to Mom and has listed the accusations as "unfounded". Great, wonderful, but they're still there and that's going to fester a bit, I think. Supposedly, she's going to try to find out what aide has been bringing food. We think the cold and the ceiling tile thing came from Lynn, Grandma's caseworker. However, we're off the hook as far as any investigation or anything like that.

I talked to a counselor today. I'll talk to her again next week and I think I might try to keep it up. I don't know how much it'll cost, but I think I need it. She asked me what I really want right now if I could have it and the answers were simple: more time to myself that I don't feel like I'm "stealing" and time to go back to school face to face, not just by computer. I enjoy school. I love going to classes and being with other students. It's fun. Of course, the only way either of those two goals would be accomplished is if: A, Mom gives up any life she has or B, the relatives start taking some responsibility for their mother/grandmother. Now, since the first is totally unfair to Mom and the second is almost an impossibility, I'll just have to keep doing what I'm doing. I'm just hoping I get out of this whole situation still loving my grandmother and not hating her for what we've gone through for the past five years.

*snort* I told her about the last two times I tried counseling and the unmitigated disasters that ensued and she promised me she wouldn't recommend letter or journal writing, so what am I doing now? No, I need to reclaim my writing, no matter what else happens in my life. It's a piece of my soul that I've been missing for far too long.

On a good note, except for the idiocy with the accusations, today and yesterday have been Grandma Days. Mrs. Hyde is nowhere to be seen. She's been talking to us, making jokes, starting conversation. She just ate some soup without a fight because she was cold. Usually I get at least token resistance about soup, no matter how freezing she is. Yesterday when we talked to her about the accusations she scoffed at them. On Grandma Days she knows we are here to take care of her. She's pretty cool on those days. Two in a row! It's when Mrs. Hyde is visiting that I stay in my room. We just ate in the kitchen together, talking nicely. She had her soup and I had a ham sandwich. It was nice.

Oh, I also finished my needle roll for my cross-stitch exchange. I really like how it turned out. The designs are based on Aesop's Fables. When the recipient gets it, I'll post a picture. Hee-hee. I worked on some of it while I was talking to Penny (the counselor). I even told her. She didn't say anything about it, so I don't think she minded. I just hate sitting around doing nothing with my hands while I'm on the phone or watching television for a long period of time. That reminds me, Mom is supposed to try to teach me how to crochet again...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Warning: Extreme Grandma Rant!

I don't know if I can truly express how angry and upset I am right now. I just received a call from the Area Agency on Aging. Apparently, Grandma's caseworker had some concerns about Mom and I when she visited last for two reasons.

1. The ceiling tiles in the bathroom need repair. They do, and my uncle has been promising to do it for the last two years. Mom and I simply don't have the knowledge to fix them. We replaced the roof a few years ago and had to rip out the old tiles. We were able to get most of them replaced before we ran into a snag that we couldn't fix. My uncle keeps saying he'll come out, but never seems to have the time. We have been slowly removing those that look like they have a tenuous hold on anti-gravity. I guess the case-worker saw them and is afraid they'll all come down and bonk grandma on the head. Fine, we've been trying to get them fixed, but I guess we should have, I don't know, hog-tied one of my uncles or the cousin who've been in construction, dragged them over and forced them to help take care of their mother/grandmother.

2. (And this is the one that really burns my ass) Supposedly, some of the aides have been bringing Grandma food because she says "there is none in the house". We buy food for her before and a hell of a lot more often than we buy it for ourselves. The pantry is full, so is the refrigerator. The problem lies in the fact that she simply doesn't want to eat anything other than chips, butter pecan ice cream, jello and fruit, with her diet soda washing it down. Mom and I buy stuff that's nutritious and filling, therefore it doesn't exist in Grandma's eyes. She eats it when she feels like it, if she feels like it and I guess none of the aides are pushing the issue with her like we have to. Of course, when TAFH is in, she eats whatever is put in front of her, because TAFH is taking care of her and dancing constant attendance.

I'm pissed, truly and utterly pissed. I'm shaking so hard that I have to keep hitting the backspace key to erase typing mistakes. I may not enjoy taking care of Grandma nine times out of ten, but I took on this responsibility and I will be damned if someone tells me I'm not taking care of her correctly. I give her more care and attention than I give my own health and mental well-being. Mom cries herself to sleep many nights. I just don't know what else to say. To think someone doesn't believe I'm taking care of her is mind-boggling.

They can live with her and try to get her to eat, bathe and change clothing. They can put up with her glaring at you if you dare to stay downstairs and watch television with her. They can learn to ignore constant insults about your weight and the fact that you "read too much" and "have too many books" and do those stupid crafts all the time (the only fucking things keeping me sane since I can't go back to school and get my degree because, surprise surprise, all the relatives are too fucking busy with their lives to let me go to classes). They can see what it's like to have one of the nicest people in your young life turn into Mrs. Hyde on you when you try to help her. They can come here and see the difference in her personality when there is anybody here but Mom and I. She's an entirely different woman: personable, sweet, nice, kind. Everyone always tells me, "Oh, your Grandma is so nice and sweet." Yeah? Live with her. She's crabby, cold, unfeeling and a plain old bitch about four days out of the week. Two of the other days, she's just totally ignoring us because we made her eat something she didn't like or had to go somewhere and made her leave the house to sit in the car with the heat on full blast (she refuses to enter stores, so we rush around like mad chickens getting stuff done and out quickly) and maybe, just maybe, she'll actually be nice to us on the seventh day. We live for those days. On those days, my Grandma is back. My real Grandma - not the ready-to-die woman I've been living with for going on five years.

Ooh, I'll bet the fact that all Grandma wants to do is sleep on the couch all day is our fault, too. Maybe we should drag her up and out of the couch and somehow force her to do exercises. Anyone have a remote-operated, body-control device I can use?

This has not helped cool me down, especially since I know, logically, that the AAA was doing what they are meant to do and I'm grateful for their existence. They do a lot of good and are extremely necessary. I just never would have thought they'd think Mom and I don't take care of Grandma right. I'm crying now. I'm going to go break my diet and have some chocolate.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Diets and Women's Sizes

I'm on a diet. It's been mildly successful so far. I've lost 2 .75 inches around my waist in a few weeks. I consider this a major step forward. It's a damn good thing I actually like salads.

I've been trying to figure out my end goal (size 12) and what I need to lose to get there. The problem is there are quite a few different measurement charts to go by. The US Standard size chart, which the clothing manufacturers in the United States aren't required to use, for some reason, states thus:

Size 10 (might be cool to be this tiny again): bust - 32.5, waist - 25, hips - 34.5
Size 12 (ultimate goal): bust - 34, waist - 26.5, hips - 36
Size 14 (goal for vacation at the end of July): bust - 36, waist - 28, hips - 38

Apparently, this sizing standard is falling into disuse by everyone because of its age, vanity sizing (yes, I believe it exists) and designers whims.

By contrast, the majority of catalog sales measure sizes thusly:
Size 10 : bust - 37, waist - 28, hips - 38.5
Size 12 : bust - 38.5, waist - 29.5, hips - 40
Size 14 : bust - 40, waist - 31, hips - 41.5

I would love to make it to the US Standards idea of size 12. I'd feel so skinny it's not even funny. However, just to get to their size 14 waist, I'd still have 15.5 inches to go in three months. I think the catalog one is a little more doable. It makes me wonder, though, I'm already wearing size 18. It doesn't take dropping almost 16 inches to lose two sizes, does it?

Oh, did I mention I keep putting off the exercise portion... *stupid stupid*

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

LibraryThing addiction

Well, I've passed 1000 books. I haven't tagged them all yet, but I'm getting to it. Can I just state now and for the record that LibraryThing is almost as addictive as LiveJournal. It's so fun just perusing others' libraries, especially if they have a lot of the same books I have.

I pretty much knew it would happen, but my tagging efforts are bringing home just how much fluff I read and re-read. So far my tag for contemporary romance is leading the pack, thanks to all those silly Harlequin and Silhouettes I buy. I was hoping my history tag would be able to win, but I really knew it wasn't going to happen. Oh, well. If I didn't re-read these books and wasn't going through and getting rid of books I no longer have any interest in whatsoever, I'd feel guilty. As it is, I do re-read them and am only keeping those I feel I really will read again.

I'm posting most of the books I no longer want on the PaperbackSwap website. There will be some I just bring to the Book Swap, though. Those are the books that I really don't think anyone will want - Harlequins and such.

Hah! The fun part now is opening up all of my downloaded e-books and finding the ISBNs that will work in the files. For some reason, those listed in the "front page" don't register with, so you have to find the books in a very backwards way or manually input them yourself. It's a good thing I'm patient.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Feminism and Dinosaurs

I have this thing about the movie Jurassic Park. I absolutely adore it. I got hooked on dinosaurs when I was a wee, little thing. Well, young and short, anyway. I've never been wee or little. Despite the movie's scientific inaccuracies or improbabilities it is one of the double handful of movies I have seen repeatedly in the theater (Aladdin [3 times], JP [6 times], all four HPs [too many to count between them]).

I just noticed something today while watching it for what must be the thousandth time (JP marathon - Wahoo!). When Hammond picks up the phone in the bunker, he automatically assumes it's Grant on the other end. Now I thought Grant was lost in the park with the kids and Ellie and Muldoon were resetting the controls. At no time in the action does it show Ellie letting Hammond know that Muldoon is dead and she met up with Grant and the kids. Now, after her verbal bitch-slap of Hammond and his "sexism in survival situations", you would assume he'd just think it was Ellie, right?

Am I just over-analyzing this? Probably. I blame my friends Sinspired and Morchades, of course. I've been reading their journals way too often if my brain is starting to process throwaway lines with a feminist slant.

Although, if you really think about it, the whole movie is a feminist heaven. Except for the dinos in the wild, which they didn't use, all of them are female. That includes the T-rex that chomps Gennaro's ass and the velociraptors that ambush Muldoon (who really should have known better since he called them a pride to begin with and knows pack-hunting behavior!). Also, the girls really get to do a lot of the heroic stuff. Ellie foils the velociraptor chasing her in the control shed - sorta. She gets to do all sorts of action-hero stuff, while giving Hammond something to think about in regards to sexism. She gets to be the wise elder of the piece with her conversation with Hammond when Grant and the kids are still missing.

Lexie, in the book, was a bratty little sister who played with a baseball and annoyed her older brother, contributing absolutely nothing. Tim in the book was the older brother who was the dinosaur expert and the computer whiz. Thankfully, in the movie they split Tim's role - or I would have suggested offering Lexie up as an offering to the velociraptors' gods. Lexie was the computer nerd/hacker who managed to get the systems rebooted while the adults were fending off one of the velociraptors. Except for her girly-ickishness regarding the brachiosaur sneezing and the T-rex trying to eat her (like we'd all react well to that), she managed to come out as a smart character who could save the day.

Most of the guys actually got the short end of the stick. Hammond got killed in the book, but just ended up as a sort of broken, old man in the movie. He had some clever lines and funny moments, but he came off as the overzealous, unthinking person who gets what he deserves. Gennaro gets chomped on by the T-rex, which he has coming to him for running out on the kids. Muldoon, well, see the parentheses above about the velociraptor. *fumes* Nedry gets eaten by dilophosaurs after betraying Hammond and setting everything into motion. John Arnold's family might be able to bury his arm someday, even though he never really did anything in the movie to deserve his fate. Malcom gets injured, has some really funny lines, leads the t-rex away from the kids and leads Ellie to the right place, but his defining contribution is his character's moralistic viewpoint. Wu and Harding get away, which I like, especially since I have a soft spot in my heart for B.D. Wong.

Grant and Tim come off the best of all of the guys. Grant, of course, saves the kids (with Malcom's assistance) and gets them home. He softens up towards children and gets to be all kick-ass with the shotgun. He notes the fact that the dinos are breeding (which never comes up again, damnit!) and gets to do the whole looking at the future and the past in the last shots of the movie. Little kids can be so annoying in movies. Tim comes off well. They gave his character the dinosaur smarts, which he uses to identify the "meatasauruses" from the "veggiesauruses" for his sister, getting them out of trouble. He gets to be the annoying little brother a few times, but is also the one who first realizes the danger of the T-rex. He even gets the best stunt.

Ah, well. A little semi-feminist snippet from someone who is now going back to enjoy the second JP movie and all the clever quips that are to come. Cheers.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Celiac Disease and AIDS false positive results

For any Celiacs actually reading this blog, I came across a link to an article regarding various auto-immune disorders and possible false positives for AIDS. Personally, I have Epstein-Barr Virus on top of Celiac Disease. EBV is listed as a possible cause for false positives. Oh, joy.

The article is from 1996, so there is probably a lot more current data, but it's an interesting read. There are a lot of illnesses that might throw off the readings.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ageism is alive and well these days...

Today I encountered a woman who put my back up in the worst way. Our very cool bus driver asked her how she was doing when we got on and somehow she ended up in a rant about young people these days. The only reason I didn't say anything was because of her age and the general rule I have about respecting old people and not calling them out for being obnoxious assholes. (This one was a nasty old bat, not an elderly person!) She went off about young people not being taught manners or respect, then just had to mention a neighbor of hers who was a slut (her words) and the children she had, all three of whom are also sluts. When Joe (the bus driver) kind of just uh-huhed her she had to mention that one of the slutty children was a man in his thirties. She then wished that he'd get AIDs because he deserves it. Of course, then the topic had to change to the fact that the taxpayers have to pay for all the children of these slutty young people, who have sex before marriage and all that.

I guess every single person of her generation (both genders) was a virgin before marriage. No pre-marital sex in the Thirties, Forties and Fifties.

I was amazed by the vitriol spewing from the mouth of this small, kindly-looking woman. I commented to Joe later something along the lines of her being the picture of Christian charity and good will. He just shrugged and said that he just lets people like her go, because he has to face them each day. He's right, the poor guy.

I would love it if, for once, some older person didn't lay the blame for everything on the younger people. I'm thirty. I have manners (mostly good) and a decent respect for the elderly (Count the holes in my tongue from not telling the old bat where she could stick her prejudices!) and my mother's generation. I also try to respect my contemporaries and the generation after me. Why is it that I am somehow less deserving of the respect due the elderly? Do these people who treat younger generations like crap not have any clue as to what they did when they were young and what happened in their own times and those before them? It must be selective memory/ignorance because some of the things my mother and great-relatives have told me about I wouldn't try if you paid me a million dollars.

Just a side note: when looking up "ageism" for the Wikipedia link, I encountered a lot more links relating to discrimination against the elderly. There were some nice links dealing with discrimination towards teens and such, though. You just have to look for them. You know, at this point there are a lot more advocates for the discrimination against the elderly than there are for discrimination against youth, although neither seem to be getting much accomplished in regards to either problem.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Nerd Type

Okay, this was too good not to post. I have found out what type of nerd I am. It's not a book nerd, despite the fact that I found this quiz while taking a short break from entering books on LibraryThing (636 books and counting). I am...

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Drama Nerd

You sure do love the spotlight and probably have a very out-going and loud personality. Or not. That's just a stereotype, of course. Participation in the theatre is something to be very proud of. Whether you have a great voice for musicals, or astounding skills for dramas/comedies; keep up the good work. We need more entertainment these days that isn't television and video games (not that these things are bad, necessarily.)

Social Nerd
Literature Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

Of all things, a drama nerd?! *swishes hair back dramatically* How absurd!