Today, I finally had managed to find time to get those and other things to the post office and shipped back east. I put gifts for my niece, nephews, and mother in a box to go to sister-in-law K, while the gifts for the sisters-in-law were put in another box to go to my mother.
We stopped by the post office in the truck after iberianwolf had breakfast, only to find we were 10 minutes before opening. So, we continued on to Home Depot to get the supplies he needed to build a workbench in the garage.
After we were done at Home Depot, we went back to the post office, where I discovered I could only find one of the two packages in the truck. Then I remembered when he'd loaded the truck at HD, Iberian had set the smaller package on top of the other one - which would have put it above the top of the tailgate.
I mailed off the package I still had, then we backtracked to HD and back to the PO, but failed to find it. Nor had anyone turned it in to the HD staff by the time we returned or to the PO by 11.
Sadly, neither of the shops I bought the gifts from seem to have online presences, so it doesn't look like I'll be able to get those same gifts again.
It was an honest mistake, but I've been somewhat depressed and frustrated all day and I just want that feeling to go away.
Bucky’s def. gonna chew out his ass for getting himself beat up, again. That’s a fact. Steve looks even worse under the shirt, and his drawing arm is going to be useless for the next week or two. But here’s the good news: he’s sorry. Somewhat. A little. Almost. Okay, not really. But he won’t do it again. Promise. No, listen. He’ll be more careful next time.
I hope you are okay with a worrying (excessive??) amount of abuse.
On my recent book tour, I usually began each night’s talk with a story about playing Super Mario Brothers with my grandma. Her name was Regina but we all called her Nana, and she’s been one of the most important people in my life for as long as I can remember.
My grandpa died when I was five or six, and I spent a lot of time with Nana over the next few years. I lived in the Philippines for some of that time, and Nana came to visit. We played basketball and tetherball. Then I lived in Montana, and once again Nana came to visit.
I had a difficult time for much of my childhood, some of which I’ve talked about publicly and some I haven’t. I was a juvenile delinquent and confined in different treatment centers off and on for several years. During those years, the adults in my life all said nice things about how they wanted me to be okay. I’m not sure they always knew how to handle the situation or what they should say, but they meant well.
What I remember, though, is that Nana was always consistent in her love for me. She never bothered or hassled me about anything. I’d go over to her house and she’d make Kraft macaroni and cheese, just the way I liked it. We’d play Monopoly or Skip-Bo and talk about whatever I was interested in.
We also spent a lot of time working in her garden.
One time, when I was maybe six years old, I did something bad while we were gardening. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but it was something that upset her. Nana rarely got upset, and she almost never corrected me. But that day, I had either told a lie or said something mean that was over the line.
In that one instance, the only one I can recall, she got mad at me and I immediately felt terrible. Thirty years later I can still remember the feeling of shame, for something I’d done that caused her to be disappointed. But even though she was mad that day in her garden, she didn’t hold it against me for long. She just said something like, “That’s not good, you shouldn’t do that” and then moved on.
I felt happy and safe with her in a way that I didn’t always feel around other adults. We played card games and board games and video games. We’d go to the mall and to Toys R’ Us. I wasn’t always the most reliable grandchild, with all the moving around and everything associated with coming-of-age in all the treatment centers and homes. But she was always there for me, as a kid, as a troubled adolescent, and as a young adult. I could always count on the Kraft mac and cheese, and I could always count on Nana.
Nana outlived two husbands and also one of her sons, who died from a brain tumor when he was young. When she turned 71 she told everyone she felt like she was 17. She continued driving even after she probably should have stopped. With her second husband, a kind and generous man from Michigan, she would “visit the old people” to deliver meals as part of a church program. As the years went on, she was in her mid-seventies and some of the people she cared for were a decade younger. But that was Nana’s way, jumping in the car to visit the old people who didn’t always have the same vibrancy of life that she’d held onto.
As she lost other friends and relatives yet still remained strong, I honestly thought she would outlive our entire family. I imagined losing other people and being able to talk about it with her. Over the past couple of years, though, her mind began to slip a little. She would repeat things a lot, sometimes in a funny way.
When my brother and I visited, we’d make a game of it. She was always (always, always, over and over) asking visitors if they wanted something to drink. She had a refrigerator that was used entirely for soda, which she called pop, and candy bars.
As soon as Ken and I walked in, she’d offer us a pop. If we didn’t want pop, she’d offer us milk. No milk? How about some filtered water? It went on and on.
If she hadn’t offered us anything to drink in a few minutes, I’d look at my brother.
“Hey Ken, do you want something to drink? Do you want a pop?”
That would set her off and she’d start telling us about all the different sodas she had in stock. Finally, after we had all declined numerous offers of several beverages, we’d move on to something else. But every ten minutes we’d return to the same subject and it would be as if we’d never discussed it before.
“Do you want something? There’s pop in the fridge.”
I’d start to decline but then Ken would speak up.
“Well, I’m okay, Nana … but is there any milk? I think Chris wants some milk.”
The rest of the family would give us the evil eye for playing this game. But we weren’t making fun of her—in some ways it felt like we were sharing an inside joke even as everyone else looked on. As sharp as she was, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was in on it somehow. We were still doing it as we left her house and went out to dinner on our own. “Hey Ken, do you want some beer? There’s beer in the fridge.”
Despite the onset of dementia, she was doing amazingly well when she turned the young age of 88 this summer. I visited twice in the past two months, something I hadn’t done very often before. On our last visit, we played one more board game. She hadn’t played for a long time and was increasingly confused about a lot of things, but she remembered the rules and made the right choices as she moved her pieces around the board. And then she beat us! We didn’t let her win—the victory was hers, fair and square.
When I left that night, I gave her a hug and said I loved her. It was the best possible visit. I didn’t drink any sodas from the fridge and I lost at the game, but it was great to see her looking relatively healthy.
Strong as she was at the young age of 88, sometimes an incident can trigger a health crisis that has lasting consequences. Last Saturday, she was admitted to the emergency room with acute pain. Upon diagnosis, the doctor said she’d need immediate surgery, which he didn’t recommend at her age and in her condition. She declined the surgery in favor of palliative care.
Hard as it was, I was glad she made that choice. She had often talked about wanting to die with as little prolonged pain as possible. She even used a phrase all of her own in making the decision: “No thanks, I’m ready to check out.” When I heard she’d said that, I smiled even as I was sad.
She was given a high dose of morphine. After she fell asleep, we thought she might wake up again at some point in the next day or two, but she never did. The following night, around 1:40am, she died.
I wasn’t there that night, having just made it off book tour to my home 2,500 miles across the country, but I didn’t need to be. She was unconscious after going on the morphine, and I was content with the other memories I have of working in her garden, walking around the mall, playing tetherball and video games, and all those bowls of mac and cheese in her kitchen.
I’m not always good at maintaining strong relationships with people I love. I know I should be in touch more often, but I just don’t do it. Sometimes I’ve caused harm or been selfish or just haven’t followed-up well.
Once in a while, someone at an event asks about family and relationships, and I usually say something like, “Well, I write about starting a business for $100. See the family section for advice on relationships.”
I don’t mean to be disingenuous. I just don’t want to be hypocritical. There are some things I’m good at, and others that I struggle with.
But I did learn from Nana that it’s possible to always love. She cared for me for as long as I can recall, and I know I’ll continue to remember her always.
'Must be weeks away', I thought to myself.
No, bits of various roads taped off, and as I'm trying to cross the High Street, I see 200+ Santas streaming towards me... Barely got out of the way in time.
Aaaiiieee, make it stop, my brain still thinks it's September.
Just got off the phone with my mom, who sent me thank you flowers today because she is a silly person who thinks she needs to thank me for things I loved doing. Anyways! She says she and my dad are looking at moving to the town right next to ours! I am excite! They had considered Oregon for a while, but being 10-20 minutes from here would be so much better! We've lived at least a thousand miles apart (and usually much more than that) since I was 16 years old. WTF. The idea of my mom and dad being right here in town makes me weepy, not gonna lie.
…on the other hand, this means I'm going to have to fix their wireless router and shit when my dad f***s it up again, doesn't it? :D
I have terrible feet from the point of view of buying "lady shoes." They are wide and (apparently) also deep. It doesn't matter too much because high fashion and high heels are so not my things, but sometimes it's nice to wear something a little less matronly.
I recently made the discovery that even though the Brannock foot-measuring device says that I am a 9.5 Wide or Wide-wide, I can often fit European or U.S. "comfortable" brands if I go up to a size 10 or 11 (roughly 41-42 Euro sizes).
We have a little local boutique that specializes in Bohemian-style (fashion terminology, not world culture terminology) clothing and shoes. They had a pair that I liked, but it wasn't in stock in anything but brown. Also, the design has changed slightly this year, said the shoe guru at the shop, so they let me order a pair of this year's version in black to try. And they fit!
If you want, you can see them here.
The other good thing about this is that the manufacturer has lots of different styles that I can check out later.
- Most people added me on the basis of MCU/Steve-and-Bucky stuff, and I am still into that; I just haven't been posting about it. I've gone kind of lurky. But I'm definitely not out of the fandom yet! I've also fallen back into White Collar somewhat with the new season airing (it was my main fandom for about three years) and I'm just getting back into Invisible Man, early-2000s sci-fi show, for which I'm about to put up an episode discussion post in a minute.
- About me: writer, artist, lives in Alaska. I have a sci-fi webcomic (there's an update tumblr, kismetcity, where I also reblog stuff related to science, astronomy, or other things in the same general line as the comic). I try to keep my fannish stuff at least plausibly-deniably separate, though I'm generally more careful about not talking about the fannish stuff on the realname side than vice versa.
- I don't post much stuff locked. Usually when I do, there's a reason -- original-writing brainstorming I don't want to share with the world, personal stuff involving other people, random whining, that kind of thing. But most of it's public.
- I also don't have notifications of friending/subscribing/etc turned on, so I usually will not notice if someone new is following me. I never mind new people dropping in to comment on posts. You don't feel like you need to introduce yourself or anything (although you certainly can). If you see something interesting you'd like to comment on, please go ahead!
Man, in confession: "I first tasted semen when I was seven years old."
Priest: "Certainly a startling opening line."
This film is about an Irish country priest. A good priest, and largely a good man; smart and observant, realistic and wise, and finding himself standing inbetween his church and modern Ireland. He's superby played by Brendan Gleeson.
The film itself also strikes me as part of the process of a country coming to terms with its Church and, to a lesser extent, its banking sector. The latter is perhaps a touch heavy-handed, but it fits with the film.
It's a powerful piece, and a dark one, but well-written and sprinkled with enough humour to provide relief.
I felt that it was one of the best things I've seen in a while... but I'd love to hear the thoughts of any Irish followers who have seen it.
"I think there's too much talk about sins, and not enough talk about virtues."
This trailer is mildly spoilery, but not in any way that matters:
I’ve made several calendars since I wrote about them last. I figured out how to do early November: I had day boxes for the day activities and night boxes showing him which other family members were sleeping in the same house as him that night.
Yesterday, for the first time, he requested one. It turned out that he wanted one because he thought he could persuade me to put skiing on it, and that in turn, if I put skiing on the calendar we would definitely for sure go skiing for a week within the month.
Not so much. (Today the forecast maximum is 35°C.)
But I did one anyway:
This one also has an international trip: on the days labelled “Dad”, A and I will be in New Zealand. (That’s also why he misses the swimming lesson that week: Andrew will need to use childcare on Friday.)
You can guess at a few things. We’re going on a picnic today. He’s going to the dentist Friday. (In fact, he is a bit scared about that, so I partly made the calendar so as to not have to explain every day for a week that it isn’t yet dentist day.) There’s a couple of Christmas parties. What’s not immediately obvious, but I explained to him: this calendar shows his last three weeks of kindergarten transition. It also shows his last four weeks at his daycare, ever. He’s been at this daycare for three years now, and a year and a half at the one before that. He’s not going to kindergarten with one single kid from the daycare. In terms of gigantic things that have happened to him, probably only our move when he was two years old was bigger. For more or less the same reason, his swimming lessons also end with this calendar.
In four weeks he’s done with daycare. In ten weeks, he starts school.
1. Who will answer for Allison Liao's death?
2. Video catches Kentucky fire chief's racist remarks
3. Jeremy Lin can't find the words to talk about the Lakers
4. Man killed after being shoved in front of subway train
5. Man arrested in connection with fatal subway shove
6. Ki Hong Lee named one of the "Sexiest Men Alive"
7. Woman wears colander for driver's license photo
8. Asian Vaginas End Racism!
9. Edward Blum: We won’t be used for your racist agenda!
10. Garden Grove elects its first Vietnamese American mayor
Stay angry, my friends.
Somebody talk me out of this.
Or volunteer to go with me.
We could be breathing the same air as Geno.
#also totally just saw Kaylee as the Doctor and Simon as her assistant (via extrajordinary)
I am behind this 100%
you have my attention