Let’s Try This Again

I’m notoriously bad at maintaining this blog. I guess I want my entries to all be meaningful, but my life isn’t Bones or The Blacklist. I don’t have some startling new revelation once a week for half the year (and reruns in syndication).

I have this tendency in other areas too, that if something isn’t perfect it’s not worth finishing. Even when no one else might notice the flaws. I also want writing this to be fun, but the weight of perceived imperfection weighs on me so that it becomes a chore. I’m not always witty or clever. I won’t always write something life-changing.

But I want to do this, and even feel a need. Because it’s important to check in with myself, to keep track of my thoughts and emotions, because Depression clings to me like I cling on to life.

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So here I am. My week was not the best. I’m painting the boys’ bathrooms at one of the high schools, which the upstairs ones need as they’re the old color scheme. But the downstairs were painted a year ago and most of the problems I’ve been able to take care of by cleaning. And what, you ask, is this miracle cleaning product that is able to remove most of these messes?

Water.

Yeah. I’m using a wet rag to clean the walls. Now, I admit that I’ve never received any formal training in janitorial work. I don’t know the proper ratios for mixing cleansers, I don’t know the proper techniques for using and maintaining floor scrubbers, I’ve certainly never applied a fresh coat of wax to a gymnasium floor. But maybe, just maybe, rather than asking for a new coat of paint every year, you teach your custodians to use a wet rag?

But here’s the real pisser. I applied for a position in the Safety Shop, where I would work full-time with the fire and security systems. The foreman really wanted me to apply and talked me up for the position. They were even going as far as talking about paying for my training for the low-voltage license. My interview went well, but they went with someone with more experience.

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So now I’m stuck with that. I’m still working with them in my ancillary position at night and I can’t fault them for choosing a more qualified candidate over me, but I still feel a sense of betrayal. And when the new guy shows up I get to just pretend that everything’s cool and hide any resentment I feel for his getting the job that I wanted.

Being a grownup sucks.

The Longest Night

Merry Christmas.

Happy Hanukkah.

Blessed Jül.

Happy Kwanzaa.

Merry Malkh.

Blessed Mōdraniht.

Happy Newtonmas.

Joyous Pancha Ganapati.

Raucous Saturnalia.

Peaceful Soyal.

Blessed Yalda.

I guessed on most of the greetings, but all of the festivals are (or were) real. Winter Solstice celebrations have always been a part of human culture and usually involve gatherings of the people we love in light and warmth. It’s a time of celebration for the joys of the year that’s passed and hope for the year to come. A time not just for giving, but for sharing; for opening our pantries and our hearts and our homes to those around us. So on this solstice, let us remember to be the light in the darkness; and that the longest nights offer the most time to gather with each other and share our love.

This One Goes Out To All You Long-Haul Truckers

Okay, I'm back. This is frustrating for me. I want my blog to be fun, but I also want to use it to keep friends and family updated with my life and how it's going. And sometimes those two are mutually exclusive. But I think I'm in a good place now, and this is the part where things start looking up.

When last we left our hero, he'd just hopped a plane to California and been chauffeured be his amazing Auntie Carol to the hospital, where Dad was at death's door.

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Mom had a group text message going to a core of Dad's loved ones, who were passing the news on to others. I wanted to keep the news going, of course, but I wanted to ensure that people knew this was a new, distinct voice from my mom's. I also wanted to maintain a positive outlook while conveying accurate info about a dire situation. And that's when inspiration hit.

I spend a good deal of my working hours listening to podcasts, one of which is an AM call-in show in a town vexed by paranormal happenings. It's half-comedy and half-drama and is delightfully true to its format. The "show" on before theirs is a jazz format, with a smoky-voiced host who loves the ladies (or tries, at least) and occasionally we get a minute or two of him before the transition. So I knew what I had to do: channel my inner Chet Sebastian.

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I posted this shortly after midnight and kept it going from there:

If you notice the dates and times in the text messages, once Dad's fever broke he was able to sleep okay that night. What I didn't share is that for the first few hours, his blood pressure was so low that the nurse had to give him IV fluids before she could administer any pain meds (which is why I mentioned his BP in slide three). The plan had been that Mom would wake up early-ish Saturday, and that I would head back to their house and crash. I consider it a great compliment that she slept in and didn't get to the hospital until 9:30 or so. In her update she took on her DJ mantle ("sparkle" is her favorite color, so it seemed appropriate). Also, the term coming up is "ileus" — not "ileum," which is the part of the small intestine that transitions to the large intestine, so probably they're related.

Along with the ileus came fever and chills Saturday night, so we really bundled Dad up for a few hours until the antibiotics kicked in. Once he was comfortable I napped on the fold-out couch in the hospital room. I'd wake up whenever the nurse came in or Dad needed something. Image 5 includes Princess, Mom & Dad's cat who certainly doesn't get enough treats. I stayed up with Dad after the doctor's visit, until Mom got there. In the hospital is not the best place to spend Fathers' Day, but it's way better than the funeral parlor so we were happy for it. Carol once again stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park for us:

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Dad of course received lots of well-wishes via text, and also opened the cards he'd received.

Sunday and Monday night he'd recovered enough that I could crash on the fold-out for most of the time I was there. I'd been sleeping for probably 6 hours at my parents' house each day and running on adrenaline and coffee the rest of the time, and it finally caught up with me, so I didn't post another update until Tuesday morning (like daylight morning, not the midnight kind). Also, I may have gone a teensy bit overboard on the 50's lingo.

So there we are. KERR has been off the air ever since, and thank goodness. In fact, M&D have their new travel trailer and have taken overnight trips both to the beach and the mountains, and he had his new drain removed at the end of July. After so many false hopes we're all thrilled that Dad is doing so well.

Oh, and of course, I thoroughly enjoyed my Auntie's party.

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“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”
― Frank Herbert