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(kein Betreff) [Jul. 23., 2016|12:56 pm]
Da
This week, the caseworker raised the possibility of monshu coming home before the end of the next week. Which has left me in something of a quandary for today: Do I stay home and get shit done to get the place ready since this might be my last chance for a while or do I go out and have fun with my friends since this might be last chance for a while?

Right now I'm splitting the difference by staying home and accomplishing nothing. *sigh*
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This post recycled from Made In America parts [Jul. 19., 2016|09:49 pm]
Da
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Everything washing out of Cleveland these last couple days has been so awful and depressing, and then Melania Trump went and gave us the gift of that plagiarised speech, which became a meme fountain the likes of which I don't know I've seen since they heyday of Rachel Dolezal (who makes a comeback in one). I was literally laughing out loud during the break in our 3-hour moves planning meeting sharing them with coworkers.

Then, of course, the sharpness of the cleverest ones started to become dulled with repetition and the ugliness of the sexist and nativist ones became harder to ignore. Finally walkthelight had to point up the pathos of her one big opportunity thus far in a campaign she clearly never wanted to be dragged into to present herself as something other than just a pair of boobs blowing up in her face and now I'm back to counting just how many damn weeks are left before November.
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Butterflying [Jul. 14., 2016|12:42 pm]
Da
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Things have settled into a routine, which is a both good and bad. Good because it means that monshu's condition is stable and improving steadily, but bad because of the false sense of normality which will be shattered the moment we have either a major setback or a major step forward (i.e. his coming home).

I could be using this time to accomplish things which really need to get done around the house. Instead, I'm still doing the minimum there and squeezing in all the socialising I can. Before he was in the hospital, I felt like I'd seen almost nobody all year. Hospital visits are a tricky thing, since the point of them is not really to spend time with me but with the patient. (An acquaintance I saw over the weekend told me she was staying away for just that reason.) Trying to split the difference and combine them with a meal out with me wasn't too feasible back when things were more iffy, but it's better now.

I imagine I'll hit my limit before too much longer and be back to hiding in the bedroom reading again. (I try to do that, but it's tough to ignore calls and texts when any one of them could be from my husband or a health provider--and now Dad's back in the hospital, too, making it all worse.) So in the meantime I should be doing more to fit in the people I really want to see rather than simply those who are being most persistent, but that requires a change of personality I'm not yet up to effecting.
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It's all fun and games until [Jul. 8., 2016|03:11 pm]
Da
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There's a bullying streak in me that I'm not at all proud of. I'm not sure how much of it I picked up at home (from my older brother and my father) and how much from my peers but it's been a part of my personality since at least primary school. It most often manifests itself as "taking the joke too far".

Today I took a joke too far with one of my coworkers. He's a vocal Cubs fan, so I enjoy rubbing my Cardinals' loyalty in his face. We generally always make a minute or two when we meet to give each other the business about this or something else. Today, that all went terribly wrong.

I was sitting on a bench in the corridor outside my office taking a break to check my social media and I heard a tremendous THUMP on the wall behind me. I looked around the corner and found said coworker grinning at the water fountain. I wasn't amused. "That was super mature, you know," I told him. But then we exchanged a few friendlier words and I went back to work and forgot all about it.

A couple hours later, I was coming back from lunch and saw him ahead of me on the path wearing his Cubs cap. So I rushed up behind him and snatched it off his head. He made no attempt to chase me, so we continued toward the building, chatting all the way. I kept about ten-foot away from him at all times, just in case, and mocked him about the dampness of the sweatband. "The joke's one you if you ever try to put it on," he told me, smiling.

As we got nearer the building, I spied a post and ran up to it to perch the hat on top. And this is where things took a heinous turn. I was standing near him and he asked me to fetch the hat. "I think it looks good up there," I said. Suddenly anger flashed in his eyes and he said, "I'm not fucking around any more, go get my shit." "Calm down," I said, but since I didn't make an immediate move toward the post, he grabbed my hand and wrenched my mobile phone out of it.

He demanded again that I get the hat. I insisted he return the phone first. "My phone is a lot more valuable than your hat." "As far as I'm concerned, they're the same. What if I just threw this away and broke it?" This is the phone I carry with me always, since it's my primary means of contacting monshu when I'm not at the hospital with him. So I stood my ground. He gave me the phone, I retrieved the hat and tossed it at him before walking directly back to my desk without a further word.

My best guess is that my playground behaviour triggered some ugly old memories in him and he responded in kind instead of how would be appropriate for an adult with a job to lose. His jibe about reporting me to the head of personnel for "harassment" (flung out seconds before he snapped) began to weigh on me, so I wrote up an account of the incident, just in case. I hadn't intended to report it myself, but I ended up saying something without naming him because I found myself so jumpy I was looking around corners whenever I left my desk.

We agreed it would be best to give him the weekend to cool down. I suspect he probably needs a little time to deal with why his reaction was so disproportionate anyway. At the moment, I don't feel physically safe being in close quarters with him. If I'd had any idea this was a possible outcome, I never would've started something, but people carry around so much psychic baggage that I should know it's always a possible outcome.
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Sweet county [Jul. 6., 2016|02:03 pm]
Da
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From the B. Kojo Laing novel I'm reading:
There seemed to be an edge to everything he said, and beyond this edge was a precipice which, of its own volition, was deepening over the years. His energy was the basis for most of his friendships, the speed of his mouth drew people to him, but eventually he built walls around himself with his gesticulating hands: those who wanted to persevere with him had to climb high over these walls, with patience.
This may be the turning point for me. It's a work of chained vignettes and I still haven't been able to tease out an arc, which has prevented me from getting too involved with any of the characters. But this chapter--about the marital tensions between a professor and his wife--finally had some emotional resonance for me.

Since it's the steamy heart of summer, I'm finally back to reading the Snopes Trilogy again. The first book is going quickly, not just because I've read it before but because it's not as dense as I remember. Of course, most of the density is associated with the bovine romance in the second half which I haven't gotten to yet, so we'll see how smoothly things go then. It's in a big fat hardback omnibus that I don't like carrying around, but making it my bedtime reading is problematic, too, because it's too good to set down easily.
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Resetting [Jun. 21., 2016|03:07 pm]
Da
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So my sleep may not have recovered, but my health has: bowels are working normally once more and my weight has bounced back up to 12½ stone, which basically puts me and the Old Man at about par. Incidentally, I worry about the muscle mass he's losing, but there's not a whole lot I think we can do about that until we can get him into acute rehab somewhere (an idea I'll push again at next week's meeting with the surgeon).

I've also gotten back to reading again. Not as much as I used to, but a regular commute makes a tonne of difference. I've got less than a hundred pages left in Er ist wieder da and no real idea what to follow it with. Maybe just some more challenging English prose? But Search sweet country seems challenging enough, to be honest. It's not so much the language as it is the structure; if there's a unifying narrative, it hasn't emerged as of yet (a mere 40 pages in) so everything is feeling very vignetty. As I've mentioned before, that's fine and dandy, but it doesn't really make me feel compelled to read another chapter.

And I'm really taking the advice about self-care and caretaker burnout to heart and trying to fit in as much socialisation as I can without shortchanging monshu. It's helping, I can tell, but the household is paying the price. Of course, entertaining is really the only thing that ever prompts me to do a proper cleaning, so this could be a problem that solves itself eventually. If not, Mom is returning for a visit soon and maybe she'll feel so inclined.
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Solstitial blues [Jun. 20., 2016|01:04 pm]
Da
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I'd been a bit puzzled why I've still been shorting myself on sleep despite the fact that things have gotten so much quieter with monshu. In theory, my stress level should be if not exactly normal then close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades. Then it occurred to me that things began to get better just as the days were lengthening to the point where the sun no longer sets before 8 p.m.--and I'm quite often on the streets that late coming back from the care facility. So I think it's just my dumb brain saying, "I have HOURS before I need to go to sleep!" and clinging to that in defiance of all evidence to the contrary.

It's the same problem on the other end as well. Today I woke up to find sunlight shining through my bedroom window. My bedroom windows all face north. I don't use an alarm clock; I rely on the brightness of the room to wake me up on time. I'm pretty good at adjusting for the change the light (mainly by knowing whether it's safe to go back to sleep or not, confirmed with glances at the clock when necessary). But even so, it's hard to to convince my reptilian brain to shut down again.
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Out on a school night [Jun. 2., 2016|11:34 am]
Da
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zompist and his lovely wife came up to the care facility yesterday and though the amount of phone tag necessary to confirm the visit was kind of ridiculous, the payoff was worth it. I arrived late enough that monshu had a chance to chat without my sucking up all the air in the conversation and Mom woke up in time to join us for dinner.

I let her choose the venue, which is how we ended up at Lady Gregory's instead of someplace actually good. My salmon was basically flavourless, making the brussel sprouts the standout element of the meal by default, but at least I got my cold fries replaced without any fuss. We mulled dessert there, but then I sold everyone on George's, a choice our server wholeheartedly endorsed. When she admitted she'd rather be going there herself, I asked what she wanted and then overwhelmed her by returning with a scoop of blueberry cheesecake ice cream.

It all made for another late night, however, and I'll most likely be nodding off during my afternoon meeting again today. Will I be able to get to sleep before midnight tonight? Probably not with Mom still in the house.
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Springer [Jun. 1., 2016|11:58 am]
Da
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Summer is following so rapidly on spring that it feels like everything is blooming at once. Iris are everywhere, but the first peonies and roses are opening as well. Not yet at our place, but the old climbing rose is covered in buds. Meanwhile the lilacs and chives are peaking, the ornamental allium is just coming into bloom, and the clemates are ramping up. Out front, the lungwort is fading just as the spiderwort is preparing to take over and the celadine poppies in the sunniest spot are blooming even as the columbine in shade fades.

We did get one blossom from the all the irises I planted last year but someone broke it off almost immediately. I'm hoping for bigger, more vigourous plants next year that will stand up better to the abuse they've been receiving in their precarious position along the alley. All the rain has been great news for the woodland plants; I swear the epimediums look twice as large as last year. But the real standout is the persicaria, which seems to grow centimetres every day.

I still need to find spots for the wild geranium, whose seeds I hope to collect and stratify in situ, and the marginal wood fern. The latter cost a pretty penny at Gethsemane, but I'd been sorta obsessing about one (though not as much as I have about a Scutellaria ovata) for a couple weeks so it was worth it. The only plant which doesn't seem to be doing particularly well is the mayapple, which once again faded without blooming. I'm thinking I need to mark the spot so I can dig it up in fall and replant it somewhere it might be happier.
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My hobby is old enough to drink [Mai. 31., 2016|01:01 pm]
Da
Another very satisfying Bear Pride. After all these years, I think I finally have my expectations calibrated correctly for my experience to end up in the range "contented" to "pleasantly surprised". Among the pleasant surprises this time around were meeting a minor celebearty and having a catch-up session with old GLBers. Some people remembered me and some did not, but that was okay because I forgot several names and faces myself and people were super tolerant of that (at least to my face).

Of course, there was the awkwardness of the "How's monshu?" questions. It was somewhat awkward giving updates to people who have been following his saga through my cryptic FB posts and have only the sketchiest knowledge of the details, but it was very awkward having to fill in people who knew nothing at all. Like Rubeus. He seemed genuinely upset to hear the news and wanted me to convey his condolences to the Old Man. Which leaves me with a dilemma, of course, since if he were really that concerned he could break his longstanding avoidance of us and convey them himself, so is telling monshu simply going to open old wounds?
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