Category Archives: Uncategorized

I’m Not Built For This

I’ve never been what you might call “nurturing.” I’m not a natural caretaker by any stretch of the imagination but I keep finding myself in situations that require me to flex these skills. It’s weird.

For instance, I was definitely not cut out for motherhood. I can’t even keep houseplants alive and folks handed me a baby and were like “okay, here you go!” Me: what? But we figured it out. I feel like I fail at it pretty much every day, but on the other hand, my benchmark for success is “did anyone die? No? Good.” So in that respect, we’re doing just fine over here!

I’m not a super-involved friend, most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and am 100% there for them if their house burns down or they lose a leg or something, but the day-to-day stuff is hard for me to remember to do. I’ve been getting better at that lately – in fact, I was getting SUPER AWESOME at it before Covid blew up the whole world and we decided to move away from all my local friends! Whoops!

So I’m really good at the Big Deal things. When Freddie had his accident, I was super-excellent at handling that. I was calm and had it totally together in public and handled a lot of phone calls and texts and other crap that is not in my wheelhouse. That was easy! But later on, when he was home and needed more TLC, well, I’m not super-good at that, you guys! He needed a little more than “but did you die?” and I struggled with that.

We got through it, though.

Now I’ve found myself in another situation where I don’t have the skills necessary but I’m doing what I can. A couple of weeks ago, my dad had at least one, probably more like three small-ish strokes. Nothing major like the first big one he had back in 1999, but at this point, even a “little bit of a stroke” is enough to fuck everything up real good.

He spent a few days in the hospital and then was supposed to go to inpatient rehab to work on speech therapy and whatnot but his shitty insurance company is – get this – NOT OPEN ON WEEKENDS so there wasn’t anyone there to authorize his transfer to rehab, so his doctors RELUCTANTLY allowed him to go home. THIS WAS AND REMAINS A PRETTY BAD IDEA, Y’ALL! But we are in America, dealing with the American healthcare system, which is complete and utter garbage at the best of times.

So my mom, who herself has like 4 different kinds of cancer, is in charge of dealing with him most of the time. My sister checks in and does what she can, which is good because she’s the only one of us with formal medical training! Ma does what she can (or what he allows her to do, which is not a lot because he’s a stubborn old donkey) and so that leaves me, the least soft and cuddly person around, to drop in and make sure things are ticking over.

And this is my dad we’re talking about here. We are basically the same person, temperament-wise, which is NOT A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS all the time. He quit talking to me for seven years one time and that is not, in any way, an exaggeration or hyperbole. Seven solid years, he didn’t say a single word to me. So there is a certain amount of treading lightly and… let’s just say “man management” involved. If you don’t know what “man management” might be referring to, then CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’RE A MAN AND ARE CURRENTLY BEING MANAGED BY AT LEAST ONE WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE. Buncha donkeys, each and every one of you.

It takes a bit of zigging and zagging to get the man what he wants within the reasonable boundaries of what he actually NEEDS. It ain’t easy and I’m telling you right now if you look up the world “querulous” it will say “see the entry for ‘ornery'” and there you will find a photo of my little Daddy, being all grumpy about stuff.

Not without reason, because holy shit having a bunch of strokes is nobody’s idea of a good time, but hoooooooooooo boy. You know? If you know, you definitely know.

He’s recovering well, and if he chooses to actively participate in the various therapies available to him, he will improve quickly and start feeling better very soon. Then we can go back to him being grumpy at us for normal reasons and I can stop having to be Florence Goddamn Nightingale, when I am ill-suited to that role.

Like we keep saying, this is why we moved here. So.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

That’s A Wrap!

This post is dedicated to Brian B, who refuses to ever get Facebook in solidarity with me and my journey through FB Jail.

Looks like I am going to delete my Facebook account. I honestly should have done it years ago but it was easy enough to stay in touch with my people, who are scattered all over the world.

Then they started in with all of this “account restriction” nonsense. That could be a useful tool if it were employed with any kind of fairness. It is not. The “Community Standards” that Facebook claims to be upholding are 100% bullshit and are unfairly and unevenly applied.

You do get the opportunity to “accept the decision” or “disagree with the decision” but that means exactly FUCK-ALL because there is no way to provide context, give explanation, or anything. And if that’s how they want to run their company, that’s fine. They’ll be doing it without me from here on out.

So after my current 30-day ban (see you in July, fuckers), I will post a farewell and that will be that for a good long while. I will think about whether or not I want to fully delete it or just deactivate it, but who knows. I just got OFF a 30-day ban and honestly, I didn’t miss it all that much. The folks I talk to are still the folks I talk to. I’m easy enough to find if you Google me. I don’t need it anymore.

Mark Zuckerberg is a shit.

Find me where you find me, bitches.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I Miss Wegmans

If you have never had a Wegmans in your life, you are going to think this post is a bit melodramatic but I’m here to tell you that YOU DON’T FUCKING KNOW, OKAY?

I looooooooove Wegmans. I was blessed to live 2.3 miles away from one for 15-ish years and even when they rearranged the store without my permission, that place always lived up to the hype. They should have hired me as some kind of evangelist/ambassador because I have almost nothing bad to say about that place.

But then we moved! We moved… AWAY FROM THE WEGMANS. The closest one to my new house is in Erie, PA. It’s 90 minutes each way and there are times when I have seriously considered making the drive because the grocery store options available to me here in the CLE are – not to put too fine a point on it – UTTER SHITE.

“Oh, you love Wegmans? Try Heinen’s!” I have. IT SUCKS. Their produce section is a tiny corner of the store with little selection. Quality is… OKAY, but not great. The rest of the store is meh, and overall, it’s expensive as hell.

“What about that local place that seems fancy?” Oh Zagara’s? It was unobjectionable, but didn’t impress me. I probably won’t shop there regularly.

“Giant Eagle is fine!” Oh, is it? I grew up with Giant Eagle and I don’t remember it being particularly good or bad, but I wasn’t in charge of feeding people back then so my eye for quality/cost wasn’t yet developed. But Giant Eagle SUUUUUUUUCKS out loud. It’s bigger than Heinen’s, but that’s about all it has going for it. The quality of the fruits and vegetables I’ve gotten there has been utterly disgusting. The layout of the store makes NO GODDAMN SENSE. Shit’s expensive. I hate it.

“Have you tried Fresh Thyme?” Yes. It’s… fine. For a place that is trying to be more like a farmers’ market, they didn’t have much in the way of things you might get from a farm. But their “natural health and beauty” section is fucking ENORMOUS. Yay?

“How about Marc’s?” Yeah, how ABOUT Marc’s? I went in there just to see and I think I left with lice. Ewww gross, no thank you.

“Ummmm… Aldi?” See above.

“Okay fine, we do have Whole Foods.” Ever since Whole Foods was purchased by Amazon, I have been giving them MASSIVE SIDE-EYE but I broke down the other day and did the weekly grocery shopping there. It was the best of the options presented to me, believe it or not. Produce section is large and the quality is decent, meat counter was very nice, and I was able to find the other things I needed and didn’t spend a Whole Paycheck (which isn’t really all that difficult if you know how to shop and you’re not a fucking moron).

So now I’m a step further on the Suburban Cliché path. I live in the suburbs. I drive an SUV. I go to yoga. I shop at Whole Foods. Whatever, it’s FINE.

I miss Wegmans, though. I’ll probably never get over it.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Flotsam

I have two weeks left on my Facebook time-out. I’m not sure what I plan to do when that is over. I will probably still use it, but I think I’m going to dump out of a lot of groups that I am in for no good reason and curate my feed a bit better. Or not. Chances are, I’ll dive right back into the shit and get to work on my next 30-day ban over something stupid.

Facebook can suck my balls.

Anyway

We’ve been in our house for almost a month and we’re slowly getting ourselves settled. There was a big backup with painters being available because apparently everyone in the world is trying to undo their Covid-19 DIY projects by hiring pros. But we found some folks who are going to come slap paint on the walls and once that’s done, we’ll be closer to being truly home. I didn’t want to wait forever to unpack my books, so I painted my office myself. It’s a lovely purple color, called “Magical.” It looks like sidewalk chalk and I love it.

Furniture is going to be challenging. We were told there is a 6-8 month leadtime on custom furniture, which is a bummer because we want to design a sofa for the front room. The den is a little easier since that just has to be comfy and sturdy but the front room needs something a little more jazzy. If we’re lucky, we’ll get it by Xmas!

I’m looking for a sideboard situation for my dining room. I hate everything I have seen so far in my price range. I’m sure the perfect piece is out there somewhere but I’d really like it to cost less than six million dollars.

The gym is nice. I finally got my membership transferred over and I’m paying the same amount I was before but now all the extra small group training things are included instead of being a whole extra charge. The next challenge is to get What’s-His-Name back in it. I did a class called Barbell Strength yesterday and followed it up with yoga today and I am feeling it but it’s all to the good because someone, who may or may not be me, got fat from stress eating. Whoops!

I am getting very good at backing out of my driveway. I have only whacked the gate once. It helps that we share the driveway with our neighbors so it’s a bit wider than most but driving backwards is not my favorite and it’s about 3 times longer than my previous driveway.

This house does not have air conditioning! It hasn’t been an issue until just today because it was VERY COLD ALL MONTH, like wtf? Do we not have climate change happening up in here? Of course, we train-wrecked from winter into summer with spring lasting about 37 minutes last Friday afternoon. Welcome home to me, I guess.

Finally got some mail with my name and new address on it so I can go get my drivers’ license and library card! They’re all “oh bring in a utility bill!” Well yeah but we haven’t gotten that yet and my license expires on the 31st. I have been better about not waiting until the last minute for things so this isn’t my fault! That will be next week’s project, probably. Unless I decide to do it tomorrow.

Still haven’t found a grocery store I like. I know I have been spoiled by Wegmans over the years, but nothing here even comes close. It’s a bummer, but everyone’s like “oh try Heinen’s! They’re super-fancy!” Uhhhhh if you say so. It’s okay, I guess. I go there for some things and go to the “nice” Giant Eagle for other things. I suppose that will have to do.

The Chinese food here is awful. I know I am on-record as not liking Chinese food but even the other people in my family agreed. We’ve tried two places and they both sucked. What’s-His-Name accused me of deliberately picking bad places so we never order it again and that wasn’t my intention but if that is the result? Score!!

We also have not found pizza that we like. I need to make a trip down to my ancestral lands and get my hands on some Guido’s Pizza but there hasn’t been a good opportunity to do that because something always needs to be done around here. Soon, though. Soon.

Overall, we’re getting comfy here and we really like living here. We thought we would, but you can never be sure until you actually get there, you know?

Comments Off on Flotsam

Filed under Uncategorized

Dusting it off

So I managed to get myself a 30-day ban on Facebook. It’s a long story, and I wasn’t even telling anyone to go fuck themselves, so it was kind of a waste. I made a jokey comment to a friend that tripped the AI and apparently I was “inciting violence” which… Facebook fucking deserves it. That platform can suck all of my balls. I have had CREDIBLE rape threats directed toward me that apparently don’t violate their community standards, but me using the word “murder” in a sentence apparently merits a month-long ban

Fuck Mark Zuckerberg right in his gross poached-egg eyes.

ANYWAY

It might be a blessing in disguise, you know. I am always meaning to blow the dust off this thing and write more but it’s just easier to shit out whatever I’m thinking on Facebook. I can do that here! AT LENGTH.

For those of you who aren’t subjected to the fuckery I get up to on Facebook, here’s a quick update: we moved to Ohio! We landed here in Shaker Heights last week and have been trying to unpack and get settled. This process has been hampered by the fact that we don’t have enough furniture for our house and due to Global Pandemic Weirdness, the run-up time on the furniture we want is like, 6-8 months. So that’s nice. We have a big front room we can play squash in because we don’t have furniture to put in it. Good times!

Our house is really cute, though. It’s in a fantastic neighborhood, and we have three livable stories, plus a full basement that isn’t a damp torture dungeon like the old house! The third floor has been commandeered by SHOUTY MAN for his home office and lemme tell ya, IT’S A GODDAMN BLESSING. There’s a whole floor buffer between him doing SHOUTY MAN WORK THINGS and whatever it is that I do every day.

The kitchen is smaller than the old one but laid out in a much more efficient way. I dig it. The yard is smaller (yay) but has a ton of landscaping (boo) that I think the previous owners just ignored. We’ve found someone to come over and help us decide what’s actual plants and what’s weeds. That should be a good time.

Our neighbors (on both sides) are delightful. We share a driveway with one side so we had to make friends with them pretty quickly. They’re very nice and were very understanding when Emergency Backup Dog went into their house and made herself at home.

The suburbs are a trip, man. Where we lived before was, I guess, technically suburban, but there was a mix of residential and retail in the immediate area that was more of a small-town feel. This is truly suburban. It’s streets and streets of houses with some commercial districts on the edges. We love it.

This week’s project is choosing paint colors. Then we’ll hire a painter to come in and slap paint on the walls (I have been *expressly* barred from doing it myself and don’t think I didn’t throw a tiny tantrum about it) and then I can FINALLY unpack things like books. I have way too many boxes of books and I might get rid of some of them, but I just culled the herd and I can’t imagine I have too many that I’m willing to part with. I guess we’ll see!

I do miss New Jersey, though. I mean, Ohio is where I was born and I grew up here, but I spent almost my entire adult life in fuckin’ New Jersey. Coming back to my ancestral land is proving to be a bit of an adjustment. People are VERY VERY VERY NICE HERE. Just… very nice. It’s weird. I’m not saying Jersey people are rude, but they know enough to leave you the hell alone because if you need help, you’ll ask for it. Here? OH MY GOD EVERYONE IS SO DAMN HELPFUL. It’s cute!

We’ll settle in here and it will be like I never left, except for the fact that I have to pump my own gas (that is BULLSHIT) and I will complain about it EVERY SINGLE TIME. It’s against my belief system! I didn’t have to pump gas for 22 years and I plan to complain about it AT LEAST that long. Fucking nonsense, is what that is.

But the trade-offs are many: we are closer to our families, we have tons of friends around, Cedar Point is 92 minutes away, and in a pinch, there is a Wegmans in Erie (2 hours door-to-door). I guess we’ll stay.

Comments Off on Dusting it off

Filed under Uncategorized

Housekeeping!

Howdy, kids! It’s been awhile, no? I feel like I start tons of blog entries that way and although I’d really like to write more frequently, when things are boring around here there’s not much to say.

And by that, I am pleased to report that things are kind of boring around here! Yay! Sorta!

Freddie’s recovery continues apace. Physically, he’s almost 100% back to normal. He just has some lingering hand issues that he needs to have looked at. One, to make sure the fracture healed properly and two, his left ring finger is a bit messy. It looks like it was broken at some point and nobody noticed? Granted, that was the least of our worries at the time but the middle knuckle there is all enlarged and I think he can bend it okay but it’s a bit stiff. Shades of Jamie Fraser up in here, but I’m confident we can get it dealt with before I have to chop it off. We’ll see!

The eye thing is still going on. Not a huge amount of improvement there, but we figured as much. The doctor said that it takes TIME more than anything else and that he wouldn’t even consider surgery until six months have passed, which would put us at the beginning of March. The other doctor we consulted also said “TIME” but suggested some other things that aren’t quite LEGAL but… something something stem cells something and it was all very interesting but expensive-sounding and now I kinda wish we’d banked The Teenager’s cord blood when she was born but maybe that wasn’t an option due to the crazy way she arrived? I don’t remember. Anyway, we’re not doing that. We’re doing the waiting part.

We did get him new glasses, which look very cute. His old ones, god bless ’em, are still functional but the lenses were a bit scratchy (this happens when you slide down the road ON YOUR FACE). He has the prism on the one side but it’s less noticeable than it was before. He still looks crazy if you look at him directly but for the most part, we all forget that it’s there.

As for me, I am in a holding pattern of sorts. I had been taking tentative steps toward making something out of my life when I was thrust into this supportive caregiver role and I’m kind of stuck here right now. That’s fine. It’s not permanent. My job right now is to keep everyone alive (so far, so good), and oversee the shoveling out of the manse so we can put it up for sale. It should surprise no one that I am doing a half-assed job of it but it IS getting done. This house is going up for sale the first weekend of March and the realtor we’re working with is confident that we’ll have offers galore. I certainly hope so.

Because yeah, we are leaving New Jersey after 22 years. It’s bittersweet, since I truly love it here, but with ageing parents and whatnot, it makes sense for us to load up the wagons and go west, back to Ohio, to the place where I came from, my ancestral lands.

I worry sometimes that it’s the wrong decision. I don’t think it is, at least not for Freddie and for The Teenager, both of whom will benefit from a slightly relaxed environment. The suburbs of NJ are a high-pressure way to live, despite my very best efforts to live up to my generation’s Slacker reputation. There’s a lot of competition and bullshit in the schools and the job market here just NEVER FUCKING STOPS and we really don’t want to be in a position where one of us is working 25 hours a day, which has been the case in the past. We’re not doing that anymore, despite SOMEONE’S best efforts.

I do a lot of yelling. And now that he works from home, if I find he’s pushing it too far, I’ll just make a ton of noise. I’ll run the vacuum and that upsets the dogs and everyone starts yelling and a good time is had by all. I mean, it took me the better part of a decade to make him realize that work-life balance was even a THING and his was out of whack. Now I just have to make him pay attention to it. We’ll get there but yeeeeeesh.

So moving the fam to the other end of the time zone is going to be good for them, but I’m not 100% convinced it’s going to be good for ME. I left Ohio for reasons (and Reasons) and even though a lifetime has passed, I’m not sure I’m ready to revisit certain places and spaces. I already have a list of People To Avoid, like some kind of reverse scavenger hunt. That should be interesting.

And maybe it will all be okay. I know I’m not the same person I was when I left (except I am) and maybe other people aren’t either (except I bet they are). I will be open-minded about things. I’d hate for the State of Ohio to have to add to my police files, after all.

On the flip side of that, I am actually excited to be able to re-connect in person with a bunch of old friends. Thanks to the magic of the internet, there are a lot of people I’m still in touch with, but it will be so nice to be able to hang out in person again. That will help a lot.

And we’ll see how The Teenager does. It kind of hurts my heart to uproot her in the middle of her high school career, but it’s not like she’s even BEEN to high school yet. She was physically in her school building 10 times this year (so far) and that’s just dumb. She says she doesn’t care and that she’s looking forward to a fresh start but I still feel a little bit like I’m failing her? I think that’s all me. I know she will be fine and will probably thrive to the point where I’m mad at how well she’s doing. I hope so.

The other upside is that we’ll have a whole city to explore. New places new faces new food new beer new parks new lakes new new new new. The ADHD brain thrives on NEW BETTER FASTER MORE and hooooo boy we are going to be serving up a ton of that!

In the meantime, we are whipsawing between BORING AS HELL and TERRIFYING AS FUCK. Everything is normal.

Comments Off on Housekeeping!

Filed under Uncategorized

Unbreakable

Hi kids! Long time no see, eh?

That’s a good thing, you see. It means life settled down and got really boring.

Oh, except IT DID NOT. Life will never settle down and get boring ever again, apparently. This is fine.

Since we last spoke, Ol’ What’s-His-Name has improved by leaps and bounds. We had the Great Re-Toothening a couple of weeks ago and our dentist is a goddamn WIZARD with caps and implants and stuff and you can almost not even tell that his front tooth was replaced. The temporary one that was in there was taken out and a permanent crown was put in and he looks 99% like he used to, so there’s less of that body-snatchers feeling when I look at him.

We still haven’t ruled out a body-snatcher situation, but if he HAS been replaced, they did a good job on him. Close enough, you know?

He went to the facial surgeon this week to discuss the stitches in his upper jaw. They’re supposed to dissolve but he was still feeling them to off he went to the doctor. APPARENTLY, the discomfort he was feeling wasn’t stitches, it was a bit of leftover numbness from the plate they put in his jaw. Which… I’m sure someone told me that at some point in this journey but I have no memory of that conversation. Turns out I did get the Wolverine package in the rebuild, but I guess I have to pay for it piece by piece. Hrm. But everything looks good and is healing well and moving along nicely there.

I also sent Himself to see a neurologist, to chat about the eyeball thing and what the prognosis is and see if there were any other therapies or interventions he could take advantage of to speed this process up. There are a couple of things but they’re not feasible for us (for anyone, really) so the best/only thing to do there is WAIT. The doctor did discuss some kind of stem cell treatment situation, but he said it’s not FDA-approved and so he couldn’t *officially* recommend it, but y’know, it’s a thing that if you’ve heard of it and if you heard that maybe such-and-such doctor was researching it you could ask and see… ALLEGEDLY. But this alleged, totally hypothetical not-a-suggestion-at-all costs around $75K to do because insurance won’t even look at it so… yeah, homeboy is gonna have to WAIT for his brain to get around to fixing it on its own.

Patience turned out to be the theme to 2020. I have had to exercise a remarkable amount of grace and patience this year. I am not good at EITHER OF THESE THINGS but here we are. You know how when someone is counting to 10 in their head because they really want to just STRANGLE YOU so instead they take a deep breath through their nose and then whoosh it all out? THAT’S ME. I like to be the star of the show! I’M SUPPOSED TO BE THE BLACK HOLE THAT ALL THE ATTENTION GOES IN, YOU GUYS. That’s my role! That’s my comfort zone!

Fine, let’s call it “personal growth.”

I look at 2020 as a hill. It started out with me at the bottom of a near-vertical climb. I didn’t want to, but I started climbing. AND IT SUCKED. Then it started to even out a bit and the climb got a little easier for awhile. It never really flattened out completely, but it was manageable until The Bikening, and then it got vertical again. But I kept climbing. And I dragged the family along with me, even when they didn’t want to go. I carry all of these chuckleheads with me: Partial-Wolverine, The Teenager, Main Dog (and her ENDLESS NEEDINESS), Emergency Backup Dog (with the one leg that refuses to work anymore) and Auxiliary Cat (who poops on EVERYTHING and barfs on anything he doesn’t poop on). These are my people and BY GOD WE WILL END THIS YEAR TOGETHER AND INTACT IF I HAVE TO DRAG THEM ALL BY THEIR NOSTRILS.

This is a lot, as you can imagine. I am handling it… admirably, let’s say. After all, they’re all still ALIVE, which is really the baseline goal for any given year. I take care of my people and in return, they do whatever I say, all the time.

So even though everyone is more or less alive and whole, we aren’t going to be getting back to ‘normal’ anytime soon. There’s a lot of crazy stuff in the works for 2021, some of it BIG AND SCARY unknowns and some of it intentionally planned. I’m not sure how much of it will involve bicycles, however. And I’m not sure how much of it will be within my control. But I do know that I can handle it, because if this stupid year didn’t break me, nothing will.

Comments Off on Unbreakable

Filed under Uncategorized

The Uncanny Valley

In body-snatcher type movies, there’s always one little detail that the aliens or whoever get slightly wrong, which makes our heroine go, “waaaait a minute, something’s not right here.” In some of the poorer-quality movies, it’s very noticeable, like, maybe the guy’s thumb is on backwards or something. In the better class of film, it can be as subtle as a slightly-altered hairline. This is what I’m dealing with now.

Yesterday, we took The Artist Formerly Known as Cletus The Pirate to the dentist to get his tooth [temporarily] fixed. Easy enough! He had a root canal a few weeks ago and so now he has a temporary crown in place of the snaggletooth he’s been sporting for the past two months. It looks… normal?

BUT IT DOESN’T, ACTUALLY. Let me explain.

Are you familiar with the concept of the “uncanny valley?” It’s a term coined in 1970 by a Japanese scientist named Masahiro Mori. It’s how he described his observation that as robots/computers get more life-like and “real” looking, our acceptance of them rises… TO A POINT. There’s an undefinable line which, when crossed, we start to back away slowly. So it really IS a fine line between “cute” and “creepy” as anyone who owns a Cabbage Patch Kid can tell you. Mori noted that as a robot’s looks (and, I guess, behavior?) approached this unseeable borderline, our feelings toward it drop into a valley (see what he did there?) of strangeness and dread and a general feeling of freaked-out-ness.

This does nothing to explain why I feel like that all the time, unless you’re all robots, which would EXPLAIN SO MUCH.

So all of that is to say that now we have this [temporary] tooth replacement and it’s maybe a half-millimeter too short and IT IS FREAKING ME OUT. It’s a tiny, tiny, TINY difference but y’know I’ve been looking at his face for almost 30 years now (we first met in 1993) and while we’re not the fresh-faced weirdos we were in the 90s, I’ve been there for all the changes the years have brought so I’ve had time to get used to them. This is very subtle but also VERY SUDDEN and IT’S SO WEIRD.

To compound the weirdness, I’m a Cute Deaf Lady and rely on reading lips to understand most of what people say so I *have to* look directly at his mouth when he talks. This all seems like some kind of cruel taunt from the universe, which… I probably deserve it but oh my god enough already.

The permanent crown will be installed on December 2nd and it will probably not be exactly “right” and I will have to figure out how to hike through the uncanny valley and come out on the other side. Or maybe I’ll just feel weird about it forever, who knows. He’ll probably wonder why I always seem like I’m just about to laugh but I do that when I’m nervous!

Still, even my not-exactly-right-looking husband is preferable to the toothless wonder I’ve had! And getting this tooth fixed is a HUGE relief to him, too. I know he’s been struggling with handling video calls and whatnot (although, the other day I heard him say “put the video on, you have to see what my tooth looks like!” I assume he was talking to a client or the president of the company or someone equally important. Who knows). One step closer to 100%!

Comments Off on The Uncanny Valley

Filed under Uncategorized

Baby, You Can Drive Your Car

Dudes!

I let Freddie drive the car yesterday and today. It went well, which was not quite what I was expecting! I let him drive to Starbucks yesterday and that was… scary. He saaaaaaays he can see okay and all of that but homeboy was drifting far-ish to the right and pulling into a parking space was… interesting. His reflexes seem okay and his car is one of those judgy bitches that will automatically hit the brakes for you if it thinks you’re too close to the car in front of you.

I do not like this feature because um, HELLO, if I’m riding your ass it’s because you are going 65 in the left lane so MOVE OVER, SUSAN. But nooooooo the car gets all finger-waggy about that. Still, it’s a good feature to have if you’re trying driving for the first time in two months.

Today I let him drive all the way down to Flemington, where his physical therapy is. That’s a 20-minute ride on a pretty busy road and he did very well! I didn’t grind my teeth nearly as much as yesterday! Parking is still challenging, though, so we might work on that. Or, I’ll just have him park far away and take up however many spaces he feels he needs. We’ll practice and see how it goes.

We’ll also need to work on parallel parking, because we can’t be a family where NONE OF US can do it. I am very very very bad at it, so I usually don’t even bother to try. I will park a full half-mile away from a place and walk if I have to. Sure, I could practice and get better at it but I could also go out and run a couple of miles and get better at it and you certainly don’t see my sexy ass doing THAT, do you? No, you do not.

The driving thing is definitely going to be helpful. That will take a little of the burden off of me, and give him a bit more freedom to do stuff without having to be concerned about me sitting around, waiting. I’m still going to keep him on a fairly short leash, especially with Fun Weather coming up, and I realllly don’t think he needs to be driving at night, which starts at 1:37PM right now. But he’ll be able to take The Teenager to school when and if we ever start doing that again and that will be… yay!!

Next week is a big week!! We’re finally getting The Tooth replaced, so any of you who have seen his crazy face on video, enjoy it while you can because it’s going away and he’s going to look slightly more normal. When he can tell I’m having a down day or if I’m feeling stressed or sad, he grins at me and I can’t help it but it makes me laugh. I felt bad about laughing at first but it’s so absurd, the way his face looks, that I can’t help it. What a nerd.

The only downside to all this recovery and improvement is that I am going to have to start helping out around the house more. I can’t keep saying “it’s good for you! Part of your recovery!” EVEN THOUGH IT IS! I have a list the rehab place gave me of activities that are good for people with brain injury and all of them involve things like laundry and other housework!

Sigh. I knew it couldn’t last.

Comments Off on Baby, You Can Drive Your Car

Filed under Uncategorized

Progress!

Today should have been the FUNNEST DAY OF THE YEAR. It’s Halloween! It’s Saturday! We get an extra hour! There’s a full moon! Last year we had talked about having a big Halloween party this year because why not? We hadn’t thrown a good party in awhile.

Then the world fell apart.

Then MY world fell apart.

So here we are, putting things back together, piece by piece, like the most fucked up Lego set ever devised. We’ve been busy, so I only purchased pumpkins YESTERDAY. We carved them up this morning. And anyway, if you’re not doing your holiday decorations half-assed and at the last minute, are you even doing your holidays right?

Our Boy Wonder continues to improve. His vision is still crazy but his left eye has a lot more mobility than it did a few weeks ago. Rehab is helping and the eye exercises he isn’t doing regularly enough are helping too. That’s a very hopeful sign that maaaaybe this thing will resolve itself without surgery and we can put a cap on this adventure sooner rather than later.

Memory and cognitive function is improving, too. He’s been doing the New York Times mini crossword puzzles and the other day he branched out into the big puzzles, which force him to use his brain in different ways. Some things are still elusive, though – when we were getting ready to do the pumpkins this morning, he couldn’t find the word for tablecloth. He had “placemat” and then “the thing you use to cover the table” but couldn’t find “tablecloth” in his brain. He got there eventually but we bump up against these kinds of walls sometimes. I am getting better at not just immediately supplying whatever word he’s looking for but it’s hard!

He is getting close to wanting to try to drive the car, but I’m still not sure I like that idea. Driving in New Jersey is a challenge at the best of times and only the strong survive. If his eye mobility keeps improving, I *might* allow him to drive around town a little but there’s no way I’m letting his crazy ass attempt the Somerville Circle or route 22. Yet.

As for me, I’m still tired. I made the mistake of really looking at myself in the mirror the other day (something I generally avoid) and whoa, I am one tired lady. I’m getting a reasonable amount of sleep but this tired is more of an existential tiredness. I have been in crisis mode for one reason or another since December of last year. Life exploded and just never really let up. People are like, “whoa, how do you handle that?” What choice do I have? This is what I have been given to do, so this is what I do. “Oh you’re so strong!” Am I? What would it look like if I wasn’t? I can’t just up and abandon my whole life because it got weird and hard. That’s what life is. You do what you are given to do. If you’re lucky, you get a break sometimes.

That said, this would all be a lot weirder and harder without my kick-ass personal Rescue Squad. Individually and together, they have fed me, listened to me, laughed at my jokes (especially the really bad ones), sent me hilarious pictures, offered up their time and energy to help keep this boat afloat. Everyone should have a personal Rescue Squad like mine. Soon I’ll be in a place where I can try to repay all of this kindness, so everyone be on high alert for hugs that go on WAY too long and inappropriate butt-touching, because that’s how we show love around here.

Comments Off on Progress!

Filed under Uncategorized