This is my life

Friday, 2 December 2016 05:15 pm
carose59: adulthood (without being supervised)
"Well, A Person Who Thinks He Has Walls Is Infinitely More Interesting Than One Who Does."*

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Two weeks ago, I finally got around to seeing a lawyer to deal with the house. I called and left a message, he called back, and we made an appointment.

I had gotten his name from the AFSCME website (that's the union I belong to, and union members get a discount). His address was listed as being on Alabama Street.

I saw that he had his own website, so I thought I'd check it out—I like to get my information from as close to the source as possible. On his website, his address was listed as being on Market Street.

So the day of the appointment, I drove downtown, parked, and walked over to the address on Market. I went to sign in and found someone had spilled coffee all over the sign-in sheet. I found this by sticking my hand in it. They'd also spilled it all over the lobby and there was a trail of it going to one of the elevators. Right about then someone who apparently worked there showed up, noticed the coffee, and went to get it cleaned up. I went upstairs and washed my hands in the ladies' room.

It was an interesting building. Built in 1955 (according to the cornerstone), it had been renovated and decorated with non-fuctioning clocks. I've never seen so many clocks with the wrong time on them. It was, as I say, interesting.

I waited until ten—my appointment time—nervous because there was no-one to check-in with and I couldn't figure out where his office was. I played out the worst-case scenario: I didn't get to see the lawyer today and had to come back. Oh, no! The world would come to an end. Or, I'd just have to come back at a different time. Anyway, at ten I called and left a message saying who I was, what time it was, and where I was, and that if either the time or place were wrong, I'd really appreciate him calling me back.

In a few minutes he called back. Right time, wrong place. He'd moved to an office on—you guessed it—Market. I told him I'd gotten the address from his own website, and he was quite embarrassed. He asked if I'd like to meet him at the City Market—a block away from where I was—and get some food. I thought that sounded good, so that's what we did.

We talked about the whole thing—which is really just probate vs no probate, depending on the value of the estate. His wife is in real estate and said the house looked to be between forty and sixty thousand dollars; fifty is the cut-off for not having to go through probate, and he said that with me being an only child (meaning nobody contesting my inheritance), we could squeeze by with the house being worth under fifty. I told him that the house was built just after WWII and the plumbing and electric has never been updated, and he laughed. "Definitely under fifty then," he said.

He outlined what he was going to do and I gave him a check for a thousand dollars, but I should be getting money back. It's all really easy.

I'm really glad to be getting this taken care of, but I'm particularly glad that I was able to handle the whole wrong-place thing so calmly. It was a little adventure. I got to see a cool building.

*Lillian Carlson
carose59: MKK (richer than i you can never be)
"I Have Been Asked To Tell You That Your Cries Of Anguish Are Keeping The Whole Neighborhood Awake!"*

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Monday night, my mother called to tell me she had a sore throat and wanted to go to the doctor the next day.

So, Tuesday morning I made her an appointment at a medcheck place. They did a strep culture on her, but she had no fever and the culture came back negative. They diagnosed allergy and gave her a prescription for a nasal spray. She enjoyed going to the doctor and talking to them.

After that, she wanted to go to to Fazolli's and pick up spaghetti. That was going fine until it wasn't; suddenly it was all too much for her and we had to go home. Of course it wasn't that easy; it took a few minutes for them to give us the food we'd paid for, and I had to actually drive home.

Once we got there, she had a hard time getting out of the car, and I was almost thinking she'd had another stroke. I asked if she wanted to go to the hospital, but no, she wanted to go into her house. Instead of her walker, I'd gotten her wheelchair and I wheeled her to the steps. (She refuses to have a ramp.) She made it up the steps and into the house, utterly exhausted. I went to work, wondering if I was doing the right thing, leaving her alone, not arguing about the hospital.

Yesterday evening, she called to have me come over because she'd fallen. One problem we have is that the wheelchair slips on the hardwood floors. (I'm going to get some rubber mats.) I don't know if that's what happened, but she seemed fine, she was herself. I got her settled in bed and came home and felt awful because everything is my responsibility and I never know what to do and she won't listen to me.

This morning, before I left for work, she called again. She was trepidatious about getting herself to the bathroom and wanted me to come over and watch her. I got dressed, went over, and watched her get herself to and from the bathroom and took her a bottle of water. She didn't want any food.

This evening, she called for me to come and watch her go to the bathroom again. After that, she wheeled herself into the dining room where her chair is. She was in good spirits, except for crying about Grandma and how hard the end of her life was. I got her a Boost and some more water. She didn't want anything to eat.

I can't make her eat.

I can't make her do anything. I can try to persuade her, but she listens to me even less than she used to.

She tells me pretty much every time we talk that this has been going on too long, that she's ready to go. I'm already mourning.

*Linus Van Pelt

Three random things

Friday, 20 May 2016 11:14 pm
carose59: crime and other violations (i read the news today oh boy)
"Yeah, Good News From My HMO. What Do You Think, I Won A Free Colonoscopy?""*

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The other day at work we had a health evaluation thing that's connected to how much our insurance costs. It consisted of a blood pressure check and a blood test for the standard stuff.

I was expecting a finger stick, but there were needles.

I'm not afraid of needles; I just loathe the whole experience, how hard it is to find a viable vein. I hate how they don't take me seriously when I tell them how hard it is; I hate getting stuck multiple times; I hate how I feel like this is my own fault for being fat.

I was lucky. The phlebotomist was very, very good and got me with one stick. He was also very nice.

The next day I got an email letting me know my results were available.

My numbers weren't anywhere near as bad as I was afraid they'd be. All the bad stuff was too high, of course, but not oh, my God, I'm going to die! bad. This is good, because it means I can do something about it without being paralyzed. That's what happens when the doctor acts like something being a little high is EMERGENCY! CODE RED! First I freeze, then I cry, then I just quit eating until I'm too hungry to think, then I eat whatever I can get fast, which is seldom the best thing. This, I can deal with.

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The other night I dreamed I was having lunch with Christy.

We were sitting outside at a restaurant in Lansing, Michigan. We were saying goodbye, in a very friendly way. We'd decided not to talk for a while—a few years—but it wasn't the "I'm never speaking to you again" situation that happened in real life. It was nice, but bittersweet. I wish that's how things had really been.

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Could somebody explain to me what happened to the word cheeseburger?

I like hamburgers. I do not like cheese on them. It used to be, you could order a hamburger and that's what you'd get. Now, if you're lucky, they ask you if you want cheese on it (which just makes me want to say, "Did I say I wanted a cheeseburger?"). But chances are they don't even ask, because it just comes with the damn cheese and if you don't say you don't want it, that's what you get.

What the hell?

They need to just keep their cheese to themselves unless they're asked for it.

*Adrian Monk

Another good day

Sunday, 7 February 2016 08:21 pm
carose59: holidays (i got a rock)
If You Want To Survive You Must Find Out How To Love What You Are.*

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Well, it's starting again. I'm cleaning. I mean, today is my birthday and I took the recycling to the park and cleaned two of the shelves in the bookcase in the hall. This is not how I usually celebrate my birthday. There was leftover pizza and chocolate cake, so that was nice. But the cleaning was a thing I wanted to do.

My mother called. Yesterday she told me to have breakfast at Texas Roadhouse which, I don't understand. They're not open for breakfast. Today she called to see how my breakfast was. I told her they don't even open until eleven, and she claimed I used to tell her all the time how I'd gone there for breakfast.

And it stopped being about a present for me and became a story I was supposed to act out because she wanted to see it. So I didn't go at all. Honestly, she's acting like my father when he was having a breakdown: we were supposed to have "fun" and be the "happy family" because he was telling us to. I don't respond well to that.

I did watch a few movies I'd been wanting to see again. First was Applause, which was on TV in 1973. I had loved it then—and I still love Lauren Bacall. But now I've seen All About Eve, and much as I love Lauren Bacall, she's not Bette Davis. She doesn't have the edge. And the rest of the cast really isn't that impressive. Nor is the music. But I'm still glad I got to see it again.

The next one is a comedy with Mary Tyler Moore and George Peppard called What's So Bad About Feeling Good? and it was as good as I remember it. It's a sixties comedy about a virus that makes people happy. Of course the government is against it because happy people aren't dependent on alcohol, tobacco, or anti-depressants, and they don't vote. It's a silly movie, and I enjoyed it very much. It was also Thelma Ritter's last movie, so there's that.

And finally there's Penelope with Natalie Wood. Another sixties comedy, this one about a bank president's wife who robs his bank to get his attention. The best part of the movie is when Peter Falk, the cop, is suspicious of her and they walk around town talking. I with she'd ended up with him, but it was still a fun movie.

Fun is the name of the game. I'm trying to be happy. And I am better. I know this because I watched a horror movie a while ago. Last month I couldn't have, I was feeling too fragile. Between that, and cleaning, and having ideas, I'm definitely better.

*Aaron Raz Link

Not a bad day

Saturday, 6 February 2016 10:58 pm
carose59: crime and other violations (i read the news today oh boy)
"A Man Was Born, He Lived And He Died. The End!"*

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I saw something odd this afternoon.

I was downtown to see Diane, parked in the parking lot for Roberts Park Church, and there was a line of men at the end of the parking lot. It wasn't readily apparent what they were lined up for; there was nothing at the beginning of the line. But a few yards away was a bench with a couple of men talking on it, and another man just standing there, a few feet away. From what I saw, it looked like the men were lined up to talk to the guy on the bench. I don't know what the man standing there was doing; maybe he was the guy's secretary.

I have no idea what this was all about.

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I walked over and got a pizza from Bazbeaux. (It's about a block from the church.) Besides having really good pizza, they're the only place I know of where I can get a shrimp and red pepper pizza.

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The session with Diane was good. I no longer feel like a sociopath. I figured out that I no longer care if my mother approves of me or is happy with me, because her disapproval and unhappiness aren't caused by anything I'm doing. It's very freeing. I'm mostly worried about feeling guilty about this later, but even if I knew how to make myself feel crappy right now, I don't think it would ward off bad feelings later. So I'm going to focus on coasting and enjoying myself. (Worrying about feeling bad later is typical manic-depressiveness, in my experience. Neither ups nor downs last forever, but the feeling that downs are payment for ups is pervasive.)

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Biting is very important to Meg, but he seems to have learned that there are acceptable ways of doing it. He bites my sleeves, and he also does this sort of mouthing thing where he only uses his lips and not his teeth. I praise him for this because it doesn't hurt and it's adorable.

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At the book sale the other day, I found a copy of one of my all-time favorite books: The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes. I love anecdotes, and I also love that the book itself is seven hundred and fifty-one pages long with a green cover. Its title refers to the publishing company Little, Brown. And besides all that, it was edited by Clifton Fadiman.

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Tomorrow I turn fifty-seven.

*Lucy Van Pelt
carose59: crime and other violations (i read the news today oh boy)
"I Seem Very Concerned."*

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I'm supposed to care that my mother doesn't seem to care if she sees me or not. It used to be if she was upset with me, I'd fall apart. I couldn't deal with it. Now, I just don't give a shit. I buy her groceries. I do her laundry. I pick up her prescriptions. And when she starts talking to me in that tone of voice, I hang up on her.

I did that Monday. A nurse was supposed to come see her. The nurse called me to check on the time and I called my mother. My mother wasn't enthusiastic, but she agreed.

The nurse called back when it was about time for her to get there and I called my mother, who didn't answer her phone for forty-five minutes. When she did answer, she had that tone again, the LA LA LA LA, I CAN'T HEAR YOU tone. The nurse couldn't come, it was lunchtime. No, she couldn't come after lunch either.

I was pissed. Not because she didn't want the nurse to come, but because she didn't just tell me this in the first place. So I hung up on her.

I didn't see her yesterday. I was supposed to arrange for people to come, but we'd just go through this all again and I'm tired. So I stayed home and peeled apples.

Peeled apples? I hear you wondering. Yes. They had golden delicious apples on sale at Kroger. I bought thirty-six of them and peeled thirty-one. Two were attacked by squirrels The other three, I just ran out of steam before. I ate one of them and the rest I cut up and cooked. It takes a long time to peel and slice thirty-one apples. I watched Dark Shadows while I did it. Well, some of the time I did it.

They've done this totally weird thing. They've edited a bunch of episodes together and are calling it The Haunting of Collinwood. Understanding what's going on is apparently not necessary. We go from David and Amy being trapped in Quentin's bricked up room to them being outside—not just outside the room, outside the house—and in different clothes, with no explanation. If you don't already know what's going on, you'll just be baffled. Also, if you're looking for Barnabas, you'll be disappointed. He's on the show a lot during this time, but mostly he's helping Chris deal with his lycanthopy. Since they're not even including all the important details of the story they're focusing on, you can't expect them to include tangential stuff like Quentin's grandson (great-grandson?)'s lycanthropy problems. At this point, we don't even know Chris is related to Quentin.

I have to admit, I didn't watch all of it; I slept through some. It was over three hours long and I was unhappy.

I'm supposed to care about my mother, but I just can't seem to. On the other hand, I think that caring about her right now would be counterproductive to looking after her.

*Willie Garson
carose59: crime and other violations (i read the news today oh boy)
"You're The Most Beautiful Woman I've Ever Seen In The Elevator."*

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I stumbled on a scarf my friend Christy made me—mostly turquoise, but with a strain of purple though it, and it goes lovely with my coat. It was even in a laundry basket with a lot of clean stuff, so I don't need to wash it. Then, when I went to the dollar store, I found a pair of turquoise gloves that match the scarf. So I'm all set for winter to really hit.

While I was standing in line, a man behind me asked if he could go ahead of me because he was only buying a pack of cigarettes. I said sure, since I had a bunch of stuff and wasn't in any big hurry. That was fine.

But then he kept turning around and making "amusing" remarks. (One was, "Maybe they won't even let me buy the cigarettes." I don't know what that was supposed to mean; apparently it was a joke, but I didn't get it.) I wanted to tell him, "Isn't it enough that I let you go ahead of me in line, do I have to pretend to laugh at your cryptic little jokes too?" Instead I pretended to be unnaturally absorbed in the various kinds of chewing gum they had for sale.

I brought my mother home from rehab again today. Someday I'm going to write about all that, but this is not that day. I did laundry. I cut Meg's claws. I watched a few episodes of Nichols, an odd western James Garner did between Maverick and The Rockford Files. I didn't like it much.

Then I watched Sea of Grass, another Tracy & Hepburn movie. (By the way, I have no idea how Desk Set sipped my mind yesterday, but it's actually my favorite of their movies.)

Sea of Grass isn't my least favorite of their movies—that would be Woman of the Year. This one at least has Melvyn Douglas in it. But Spencer Tracy is a horrible person, and I can't figure out most of what's going on between him and Katharine Hepburn. It's a movie that makes me less happy than I was when I started watching it. I'm just being a completist—though I don't think I'll go so far as to rewatch Woman of the Year.

Now I'm watching Vertigo again. I watched it New Year's Eve, but I fell asleep before it was over. My favorite parts are with Barbara Bel Geddes. (I know, that completely misses the point of the movie. I don't care.) I want to know what happened to her, she just disappears halfway through. After she tells the doctor Jimmy Stewart is in love with Kim Novak #1, we never see her again. Does she come back when Kim Novak #2 is dead, to look after Jimmy Stewart some more?

*Hamid Hirani
carose59: crime and other violations (i read the news today oh boy)
"Shut Up! I Let You Have Your Grenade, Took You For A Nice Drive To The Bronx, Gave You A Nice Meal. That's All The Babying You're Going To Get Today."*

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I got up this morning and watched The Philadelphia Story, then went shopping. It's gotten cold for the new year; it was twenty-eight with I left the house this morning.

I got myself a nice new winter coat, and one for my mother—after returning the one I bought her last month. (It was too small.) My coat is purple and her's is red. She's very happy with hers. I haven't worn mine yet, except to try it on.

I did a little grocery shopping, and looked for a new scarf (which I didn't find) and exchanged some shoes that were the wrong size. (I had the silly idea that if size nine is a little small, size nine and a half in the same brand would fit. Instead, they were smaller. There's some logic there I'm not getting.)

I went to AMC and got my mother a bag of popcorn, then picked her up to come home and watch the Winter Classic (hockey). That didn't work out too well; the broadcast was so pixilated, it was stressing me out. You couldn't make out what was happening, or understand what was being said. I came home after the first period and watched Pat and Mike.

It might be my favorite Tracy & Hepburn movie. It might be the first one I ever saw, too; I really don't remember, but I do remember the first time I saw it. It was early-early on a Saturday morning, and that afternoon my parents and I went to see the play Sabrina Fair. (I was still living at home. I think I was about nineteen.)

I had seen Sabrina (loosely based on the play) many times. I'd also read the play and knew how different it was—I love it for its own sake. I might have been the one to suggest we see it.

Katharine Houghton (Katharine Hepburn's niece) played Sabrina, and when she walked on stage, I think I gasped. Having just seen her aunt in similar dress, with similar hairstyle, not much younger than I'd Hepburn was in Pat and Mike—the family resemblance was astonishing.

Since I got home from taking my mother back to the rehab place, I've watched Stage Door (highlight: Eve Arden. But then, she always is.) And now I'm watching Mary of Scotland. The most important thing I've learned is, never try to out-shout a man who has a dozen soldiers with bagpipes at his disposal. In case you were wondering what the point of bagpipes are, keeping religious fanatics from swaying their audience is a pretty good one.

Mostly I keep wishing that Bette Davis was playing Elizabeth I in this. I know, they didn't do things like that back then; we're lucky to have Frederick March, since most movies got one star and a lot of supporting actors. That's not a complaint; I'm a girl who'll watch a whole movie just for a scene with Thelma Ritter or Eve Arden or Ralph Bellamy or Edward Everett Horton. But it's true that most Hollywood movies of the time had one A-list star. Bigger movies had two stars, and then there were the real rarities (like The Philadelphia Story) had three big name stars. Still, it would have been fun to see Bette Davis as the one plotting against Katharine Hepburn. She would have been a fit adversary.

The day has felt strange, though. When I got up, it felt like Saturday, then it kept vacillating between Saturday and Sunday. I kept having to tell myself that it's really Friday. The disorientation is the one thing I dislike about holidays.

*Burke, Blue Belle
carose59: road trips (see the usa in your chevrolet)
Never Face Facts; If You Do, You'll Never Get Up In The Morning.*

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I went to the movies (Phoenix) and it was all right—the movie itself, I mean, though I did fall asleep for a little while. It was in German, and I like listening to German.

But before the movie, there was the escalator.

I don't go down escalators because I have depth perception problems. That makes being sure exactly where the new step is going to be is tricky, and the idea of falling down an escalator does not appeal to me. But going up has never been a problem.

Well, everything was fine, and then about halfway up, I looked down, and nothing was fine. I felt like I was going to fall. I clung to the handrail and I didn't cry or fall, and I got to the top and got off OK. I kind of lunged off.

I got there too late to see the movie I really want to see—The Best of Enemies, about the debates between Gore Vidal and William S. Buckley Jr. in the sixties. I love Gore Vidal. But I did want to see the other one, so it was fine.

I was a little headachy when I left the theatre. I walked around the mall a little; it's been a very long time since I did that.

I decided to take College Avenue home. It's a little quieter than Keystone, which is how I went. But I'd forgotten how hilly College can be that far north, and again my eyes were doing things and I got panicky. (This is the third time this year hills have been a problem for me.) I did not pull over to the side of the road and cry, although I wanted to. I was afraid that if I did, I'd never be able to make myself start driving again. I got off College and onto Meridian Street, which is fast but not hilly, and is the street I work on. I got home OK. But I still have a headache. It's probably allergies, and that's probably part of this. But I think some of it is my new eyes. They don't work exactly the same way my old eyes did. I'm going to need to be careful what routes I take.

It's going to be very hard to make myself go back to that theatre this week, even to see Gore Vidal.

Sylvia Plath had terrible sinus problems. Sometimes I wonder if she killed herself more because of that than because of her depression.

*Marlo Thomas

Things I did today.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009 02:20 pm
carose59: crime and other violations (i read the news today oh boy)
"Why Must We Have Something To Look Forward To? Why Can't We Just Look At Now?"*

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1. Went into work late because I was up late last night because I went out for dinner with my family. Because I was going in late enough for Subway to be open, I picked up a chicken salad sandwich on my way.

2. Finished one of the projects my boss gave me, but she wasn't there for me to tell.

3. Called my cousin Alan to cancel lunch with him. After spending half the day with Tony on Sunday and a few hours with family last night, the idea of having to be social made me want to scream. Fortunately, Alan is very much like me in that regard, and he understood. He told me to go home after work, turn off the phone, and go to bed early. I can't turn off the phone, but I am going to bed early. I need a lot of down time.

4. Stopped by to give my mother corn on the cob and was told she really appreciated my speaking up so forcefully and telling everyone that no-one was putting her in an assisted living facility. "They were trying to talk me into it when they came to visit Sunday."

5. Talked to Patrick--did I mention that I was lending him the Compaq I bought at a garage sale and he offered to buy it off me? I told him sure, and was going to let him have it for fifty dollars (five dollars less than I paid for it), but today he told me he was giving me sixty, which he's adding to the rent check he gives my mother in a couple days. Since I'm the one who deposits/cashes' the checks, this is very convenient. While we were talking, his pizzas were delivered (it's a a two for one place) and he gave me one.

I'm not hungry though, so I'll have pizza for lunch tomorrow and the next day. Tonight I had a little chocolate ice cream, and I hope to be in bed before eight.

*Jerry Rubin

July 2017

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