It’s funny ’cause it’s true.

You Are Boston

Both modern and old school, you never forget your roots.
Well educated and a little snobby, you demand the best.
And quite frankly, you think you are the best.

Famous people from the Boston area: Conan O’Brien, Ben Affleck, New Kids on the Block

What American City Are You?

This falls under the No Shit, Sherlock category.

In other news: We close on the house tomorrow. Aaaaaaaaack! I’m so nervous, excited, stressed and about 800 other adjectives that I can barely see straight. (Should there be a comma between adjectives and that? This is one of those grammar/punctuation rules that drives me insane.)

And – O’s father told her that he was not going to drive all that way to pick her up every other weekend, even though we are planning on collecting her on the Sundays she’s there. O just kind of shrugged it off. It really seems like she’s become totally disillusioned with her father, although she could just be putting on a brave face. O has an appointment with a therapist on Thursday and I told her she needs to talk to the woman about all this stuff, that she should have some suggestions for O that will probably be helpful.

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Then from the gladdened multitude went up a joyous yell.

So, we got this guy.

No, wait. This guy.

Who replaces that friggin’ traitor, Johnny *spit* Damon.

And this kid? This kid rocks:

Nick Rowland, an 11th-grader from Orwell, Vt., wore a No. 18 shirt with the word ”Traitor” stenciled across the back — a reference to Damon, the Jesus Action Figure who was Boston baseball’s uber-celebrity in spring 2005, but crushed Sox fans by joining the Yankees this winter. Rowland and a lot of other Sox fans have embraced Crisp, the charismatic outfielder from Cleveland who is replacing Damon in center.

Screw the swallows at Capistrano. Yesterday was the first full roster workout. Now it’s spring.

I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

Yesterday, O’s stepmonster was supposed to pick her up at 2:30. O called at 2:15 to say she and TCBIM were running about 10 minutes late. SM started yelling and swearing at her. Her father (P) called me and bitched at me about them not being at the house at 2:30. O called again, at 2:40, and said she’d be there in 2 minutes. SM said too bad, she’d already left, and yelled and swore at her some more.

When O got home, she called her dad and told him she didn’t want to go over at all because of the way SM talked to her. Her dad tried to convince her, but she stuck to her guns and said no. Her SM called her again and told her that O couldn’t come over until she changed her attitude and stopped spouting what I was telling her to say. O replied that she wasn’t, she was saying what she wanted to say and that she was tired of being yelled at all the time. SM hung up on her.

Her dad called several times last night to try to convince her to come over, in spite of what SM said. O doesn’t want to go at all, but we talked about it and I suggested she tell her dad she’ll go, but if SM starts in on her, she will ask to go home.

I don’t really know what else to do. I have called my lawyer and explained the situation. She is writing a letter to P about our move, since he won’t speak reasonably to me about it and the lawyer thought it would sound better coming from her. I explained what happened yesterday, but I don’t know that there’s much that the lawyer can do about it. If O refuses to go with her dad, he will make her life miserable. He will probably accuse me of not letting her see me and will probably drag the police into this, since his wife works for the city police department and has a brother on the force.

I’m just so sick of it all. I’m not trying to keep O from him – she’s decided all on her own that she’s tired of this. She does want to see her dad, but she doesn’t want to be yelled at by the SM. And of course, the SM only does this yelling when P isn’t around. So P doesn’t believe O about that, either. He refuses to believe that O is telling him the truth about how she feels – he thinks I’m putting her up to it. He’s threatened to try to get custody of her. He’s told O that he “could take M (TCBIM) in a fight” and that he screams at me on the phone because he knows it scares me.

O talked to him again today to say she didn’t want to come over until Friday evening. He told her he wanted her to call him back when she “stopped being a snotty little bitch” about it. She told me she’s not calling him.

I’ve decided to just let the lawyer handle it. It’s ridiculous. O shouldn’t have to be subjected to all this stress and nor should I.

I’m so unbelievably frustrated and upset by all of this, and O is, too. I am very proud of her for standing up for herself, though. She never would have done that before. I hope this continues. And I hope P doesn’t take off with her, or pull some stunt this weekend by not bringing her back to me. That’s my biggest fear.

Amazingly, in spite of all this crap, her blood sugars have been pretty level.

***NB: I called our work’s employee mental health program to get a counsellor for O, since I’m not having any luck doing it on my own. The woman asked me if O was afraid that she would get hit while she was there and I said I didn’t think so, but I just asked O now and she said yes, she was afraid of being hit. God. I’m just sick about this. I informed the lawyer. I just don’t know what else to do. I just want to go into a room and cry.

Can’t live with ’em, can’t sell ’em for science experiments

Y’know. Ya KNOW! I’ve just about had it.

TCBIM is out of work at the moment. He is looking for work, and looking hard, which is good. However. He can’t seem to see why he should get out of bed in the morning and give me a hand getting the baby ready to go. I need to make sure I get in at least 40 hours each week, which means I have to leave the house by 7 a.m. at the latest, in order to get to work by 8 a.m.. I get up at 6 a.m.. In that hour, I have to shower, get dressed, get the baby’s food and milk together for the day, get my lunch, feed the dog, put the dog out, feed the cat, feed the baby some breakfast, get her dressed and try to throw in a load of laundry (that generally falls by the wayside). I’ve started getting her lunch ready the night before and I’ve taken to having oatmeal or soup for lunch because it’s quick and I can just toss it in my handbag. Packaged, of course. Globs of oatmeal in my bag would just be messy.

This morning, the baby woke up when my alarm went off. Sometimes she’ll go back to sleep, but not this morning. She came toddling into the bathroom while I was in the shower and stood there, so cute in her little pjs, babbling at me. I dried off quickly and scooped her up. TCBIM is snoring away in the bed, oblivious to the fact that Boo has made a break for it and was roaming the house. (Did I mention that she still sleeps with us? Did I mention how SICK I am of that? Consider it mentioned.)

I woke him up – and you have no idea how I had to restrain myself from giving him a good prod with my toes – and asked him to please get her dressed while I got her lunch together. Instead, he hauls her back under the covers and tries to get her to go back to sleep. She’s having none of it. So while I’m cutting up veggies and fruits and meat for her to take to daycare, she’s shrieking like a banshee. Cue much stomping by me as I snatch her out of bed and get her dressed in record time.

At this point, I had to have a yell. “Can you please get your arse out of bed and help me? I have a finite amount of time in which to get ready in the morning. You have all day to snooze, should you choose to do so. It would help me if you could get up, get the baby dressed and feed her some breakfast so that I don’t have to run around like a crazy person. Were you the one racing around on a time limit, trying to get yourself and her ready to go, I certainly wouldn’t just lie there in bed, watching the news, while you scrambled around doing twelve things at once.”

He just looked at me. Then he said, “Fine. I guess I can get up and help you.” I swear, I didn’t think my eyes could roll that far up into my head, but every day, it seems, I can get them to go further and further. Pretty soon, they’re going to be able to do 360s.

To add insult to injury, my underwear wasn’t fully dry when I put in on. Damp undies. My joy knows no bounds.

I need a vacation.

Avoidance strategies

It looks like this house thing is really going to happen. I kept thinking it would fall apart, that something would go wrong and we wouldn’t get it, but amazingly, it’s all going according to plan.

Now here’s the problem: O’s dad and I are divorced. We’ve been divorced for almost 8 years now, but he still wants to be a control freak about everything. I haven’t told him yet that we’re moving (an hour west of where we are now, but in the same state), but will have to do this this week. Since he often calls and screams down the phone at me over percieved wrongs, I’m extremely nervous about this.

He is a bully. My biggest concern is that he will bully O into saying she wants to live with him. She’s very eager to please him and will cave in the moment he starts to pressure her, so this worries me a lot. I don’t think that legally, he has any ability to prevent me from moving, nor can he say I’m an unfit parent, but he could persuade her. For so many reasons, I don’t want this. I’m fairly certain that she doesn’t either, although what she says to me and what she says to him can vary wildly.

I don’t know how to tell him that we’re moving. I’m really afraid of what he’s going to say to me and more so of what he’s going to say to O. She’s afraid that he’s going to yell at her about it. If he’s angry with me, he tends to take it out on her.

I’ve got a call in to my divorce lawyer, but haven’t heard back from her yet. I’m hoping she has some good suggestions. Any advice, or even assvice, my imaginary internet weirdo friends can give me would be appreciated, too.

How many euphamisms…

…are there for ditz?

The lights are on but no one is home.
A few sandwiches short of a picnic.
As thick as two short planks.
Not playing with a full deck.
Dumb as a box of rocks.

Why do I want to know this, you ask? (I can hear you wondering – honest.)

Today is President’s Day. Where am I? At work. My boss called me from vacation about half an hour ago and said “What are you doing there?” Me: “Uh, working,” thinking to myself, duh. Him: “It’s a holiday, you know. You don’t have to be there.”

Fantastic. So it’s 1 p.m., I’ve been here for 5 hours and I DIDN’T NEED TO BE!

Dipshits ‘r’ Us.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Ok, the bad luck gods have shit on me enough. My karma is in the toilet right now and I’m t-h-i-s close to losing my fucking mind.

First, there was the whole debacle with TCBIM and the online hoochie.

Then, there was the stress of trying to buy a house.

Also, being pregnant and nervous about that.

But now? Enough is enough.

TCBIM, like an idiot, gave his notice at his job even though he wasn’t 100% sure that he had the job he’d interviewed for or that we definitely had the house. And guess what? He DIDN’T have the job. To top it off, his boss fired him when he gave his notice. Not only did he fire him, but he accused TCBIM of stealing supplies. Each time he’s spoken to his former boss about this, the amount has gone up. First it was $2,000, then $5,000 and now it’s up to $7,000. Oh, and he’s insisting that TCBIM admit that he did this (even though he didn’t) and pay him back the money. Even if TCBIM agreed to do this, the ex-boss is still going to inform everyone in the industry that TCBIM is a theif. So, we have a lawyer involved in this. Due to the shoddy bookkeeping practices of this company, TCBIM and his lawyer are fairly sure that they have a good case, but still. It’s more than a little stressful. And the ex-boss has already made one phone call, that we know of, smearing his name.

Then, my grandmother died. Not totally unexpected, given her age and state of health, but still, it’s sad and kind of stressful.

We’re in the middle of signing the loan stuff and purchase and sale agreement on the house. First house, lots of stress and now that TCBIM has no job, I’m wondering how we’re going to pay the whopping mortgage we’re going to have, but whatever. I’ll worry about that tomorrow.

And now? Now my eldest, Alex, is up at the doctor’s office with his dad, having chest pains and dizziness for the second day in a row. Yesterday he was taken out of the . Oh, and did I mention that we have no insurance because TCBIM lost his job? And that while I can pick it up at my work, it won’t be effective until March 1? I don’t think he can be denied COBRA, but we don’t know yet. So we may have this insurance fight on our hands for a while. Fan-fucking-tastic.

I really need a break. A long, stress-free break. Preferably on a warm, quiet beach with a big stack of mindless novels and a gorgeous cabana boy to bring me virgin daquiris and give me massages as needed. Right there. Under that palm tree.

My grandmother

My grandmother, Letha Nelson (in glasses) with her sister Elva and brother Paul, circa 1920.

During high school – must have been around 1920 also.

Again with her brother Paul, probably closer to 1928-ish.

My sister, my grandmother and me (don’t ask about my sister’s hair) at her 100th birthday party. My dad thinks I look like my grandmother, but I don’t see it, really. Only in the forehead.

Having a bit of a tipple at her birthday party this past November.

100 years, 2 months and 25 days

My grandmother died this morning. She was 100 years old and had a really wonderful, long and happy life.

She was born in 1905 in Shanendoah, Iowa. Her father died when she was five years old, from cholera, so she and her brother and sister were raised by their mother. It can’t have been easy, at that time, to have three small children to provide for, but she took in boarders and managed. My grandmother was able to go to college and get a teaching degree.

She met my grandfather at the University of Wyoming in 1930 or ’31. He was from Peru and at the university studying civil engineering. They soon married, but becaus she was a teacher, they couldn’t tell anyone. Since it was 1931 and the middle of the Great Depression, he couldn’t find work here, so he went back to Peru. At the end of that school year, she left Iowa, by herself, and travelled by train to Los Angeles and then on by boat to Peru. They lived there for quite a few years – my father was born there in 1937.

They went on to live in Panama, Greece, Spain and even Bergenfield, New Jersey.

She had so many great stories to tell. I didn’t get to grow up with her living close by us, but she moved here in 1998, after my grandfather died, and I spent a lot of time with her over these last years. I have some great photographs of her that I’m going to scan in and will post here later tonight.

While it’s sad that she’s gone, and I will miss her, I’m glad that she’s out of pain and died quickly and peacefully in her sleep.

Hoovering up the kitchen

Who was trying to come up with a phrase for hoovering up the kitchen when low? I can’t think of a phrase, but someone made up a t-shirt.

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