Watch out! He’s armed.

This evening after work I went to a CASA in-service thing. Kind of like continuing education or whatever. They pick a speaker and a topic; tonight was sensory integration and dysfunction thereof. Not really important, I guess, but it was interesting. Anyhow, they fed us dinner, it’s casual, held in this little room in the facility where they do various therapies for little really kids, birth to three years. So they have several chairs set up around the perimeter of the room, but apparently there aren’t enough big people chairs in the place, so there are also several “cubby chairs”, these plastic blocks that you can sit on and put your shoes or whatever in the little cubby on the bottom. I was lucky enough to get a real chair, but they quickly became scarce. Of course all us younger people try to give our seats to the older or less spry CASAs, but not one accepts. So I’m sitting next to this teeny tiny little old man, cute as shit, right? Totally grandfatherly, horseshoe-bald and silver haired, glasses, snowy beard but so…wee. He wouldn’t be Santa Claus, he’d be like the smiley head elf, and his wife (she’s a CASA, too) would be like the chief cookie baker. Oh yeah, there were cookies, too. Balla. So we’re munching our sandwiches and he goes for his bag of chips. I’m like, awesome, I won’t be the only one crunching while the speaker’s speaking. I try not to look over, but after a while he’s still crinkling and not yet crunching, so I glance. He’s whipped out a pocket knife and is ever so neatly slicing along the top seam of the bag. I don’t know why, but that just tickled me to no end. Really, it’s another glimpse of how getting old must suck, not having the finger strength to pry into a bag of Lay’s. And yes, it’s just a pocket knife, but it was still completely out of perceived character to me. Like Santa’s elves brandishing switchblades. Awesome.

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Tea Time

A long time ago my grandma mailed me this little crocheted magnet sleeve type thing shaped like a teacup. It held an individually wrapped teabag and a little slip of paper that said, “I wish that we could sit down and have a cup of tea. But since we can’t, when you have this one, I hope you will think of me.” I don’t drink tea very often, but when I do, I can’t help but think of her every time.

Obviously I’m avoiding the task at hand.

Some recent Plinky prompts:

What would you like to do on your next birthday? List the things that would help make getting older a little more pleasant.
I am still trying to pull together a girls’ getaway to New Orleans, but doesn’t it suck not being independently wealthy? So I guess the things would be dollars. Beyond that, I don’t want for much when it comes to knowing how to celebrate.
What three songs remind you of a specific time in your life? Describe that time and these songs’ ties to it.
Hmmm. Steely Dan’s Reelin’ in the Years reminds me very specifically of early childhood Sunday mornings. There was a classic rock oldies radio show on WTUE by the same name that used the song as it’s theme. Every Sunday, heard it driving either to or from Mass. My dad would tap his fingers on the wheel keeping the beat and I would pester him to explain or enunciate the lyrics of many songs I couldn’t understand. Breakfast with the Beatles was never quite as good.
Weezer’s Say It Ain’t So reminds me of sophomore year of high school. Sleepless nights and blurry days. Puppy love for a man who acted like a boy. So right, so wrong. So beyond me yet so stunted. Simply and innocent and spontaneous yet completely contrived and covert. An introduction, lessons worth learning and a battle worth losing. It usually is a blessing to not get exactly what you think you want.
This one’s shameful, and I can’t even just give a song, it takes two whole albums. The summer of ’99 my family took a trip to Niagara Falls, Canada. I had recently finally gotten my first, really-my-own in-my-own-name car to park at my own squalid apartment, an obnoxious little used Mitsubishi Eclipse. Five-speed, red, but of course. I was trying way too hard, but I will say this for it – having now power steering, it was good exercise for the arms. Welcome to the gun show. Anyhow, so I was not about to be stuck in a car for eleventeen hours or whatever it takes to get there with my parents and siblings, not being able to smoke and be an obnoxious kid with my awful music. Yes, that’s two obnoxiouses in the same paragraph. Because there is no better word for me at this age, I promise. Acting as if I’m doing my family some type of favor by going on a family vacation even though I didn’t live at home with them anymore. The entire way there and back I listed to Dr. Dre’s 2001 and Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP over and over and over and over again. I mean, I kill my favorite songs like that still, but that is just…yes, obnoxious. So any given song on either of those albums reminds me of being young and totally exhilarated by my own freedom and drinking legally at the hotel bar and cruising past the wedding chapels in my little red sports car and buying cigarettes to sneak. Yes, a pack of um…oh, crap. The uh…Players…Lights..? please? Hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Perhaps you had to be there.
List the worst pickup lines you’ve heard (or can think of). Some people just aren’t as suave as they think they are.
I’ve only got one; it happens to be also from sophomore year of high school, which back in our day, was the first year of high school, as freshman were still housed back at what we called the “junior high schools,” of which there were two in our school district, so when you get to the high school, you’re lucky to know about half or so of the kids in your grade. It was the first day of school, mid-day, I think. Most kids in my classes at least a little nervous I think, being the first day of high school and all. I remember feeling pretty shy. It was Biology class, I walk into the classroom and take a seat in the middle of the room – my strategy is to just blend in as much as possible. The bell hasn’t rang yet, but I’m surely glancing around the room, checking out who is in my class, hoping I can snag someone familiar and friendly to sit next to me, as the desks are set up in twos – lab partners, obviously. This tallish, skinnyish, dirtyish blondish kid walks over, tells me his name, and proceeds to inform me that we should hang out sometime, you know, because he’s hung like a horse. I dissolve into giggles. Poor kid is looking at me like, oh shit, what now? I can’t help it. He obviously doesn’t even know what he’s saying to me, so I can’t really be offended. Dude needs a lifeline. I ask him if he has any idea what that means, he admits not, I let him in on the joke, he blushes, insta-buddy. I honestly don’t remember if he ended up sitting next to me for the year or if he retreated quickly to another seat, but we did stay friends of a sort. At that point I certainly didn’t have my own car and was lucky to catch ride with driving friends until I finally got my license and schemed successfully on occasion to borrow my parents’ car. But he had his own and would cart my girl friend and I home from school on many afternoons. We’d even hang out alone every once in a while, me being careful to clarify that these were not dates. I could just never take him seriously after that kind of opener, as weirdly endearing as it turned out to be. Ah, yes. Adolescence can certainly be hell. I probably wouldn’t want to redo it if I could, but it’s nice to look back and laugh as well.
And you?

Happy Hangover

I got my itinerary for Germany yesterday. There was talk of a night or two in London on our way but that got nixed. Boo. Still, the flight numbers alone are enough to prompt a page’s worth of exclamation points – but I won’t do that to you. I’m a little bummed that the dates mean I’ll miss my CASA kid’s final disposition hearing, though I’m incredibly grateful to the director of the program for being willing to sit in on it for me. Also bummed that I’ll probably be released from the case once this hearing is over. I’d hoped to stay with the kid until completion of a treatment program, but the fact that treatment is being provided must be enough. Just going to be odd to have that name that I’ll always google, and I admit I’ll be devastated if I ever find the name in a news story. Unless of course it’s a local-person-does-good kind of thing, which I honestly think is equally as likely. Weird to be so proud of a person you don’t really know-know, other than the horrible things they’ve lived.

So yeah, that means I have to write the report. Spending a Saturday reviewing and summarizing the documents and notes chronicling a child’s life gone wrong – though hopefully redeemed, or at least on the way to redemption, as much as you could get in such a case – not the most cheerful thing I could think to do with my day. I think first I’ll go stare at the airline and rental car reservations. The countdown is on!

Updateish

Having less soreness each day, which seems right. As long as things aren’t getting worse, I’m satisfied. Though I am still finding new bruises here and there. Right hip must have gotten rather up close and personal with the seat belt buckle, and the one on my knee is spreading in a lovely purplish fashion. Hadn’t noticed that one on my hip until just now! If only bruises were the new tattoos. But my foot’s not swelling or hurting any more than the previous days, so I’m still feeling extremely lucky to have escaped with no more serious injuries.

On the non-bodily aftermath front, not quite as rosy. Spoke to the cop again yesterday. He tracked down the driver of the truck, who of course said that he had two to three car lengths behind/between his trailer and my car. Uh, no, dude, no. To make that matter worse, the taxi driver that called in the tag number of the trailer said the same thing to the cop! Okay, so riddle me this, Taxi Driver: if the driver of the truck/trailer did nothing wrong, why call in the plate number? So this makes me, what? Suicidal? An extremely twitchy and overreacting driver? Just an idiot? Also, if you were behind him, as you must have been to get the tag number, how could you really tell how much distance was between our vehicles? Sigh. So right now the cop can’t actually fault anyone as it’s he-said-she-said. The guy that stopped and waited for the cop with me isn’t returning the cop’s phone calls yet, and he’s my last chance to even up my side of the story. Not looking too good. Frankly, I don’t even care anymore. It will suck the ultimate suck for our auto insurance rates to go up if they no-fault it, but I must allow myself to be satisfied walking away alive, mostly unscathed, and able to be made whole. Whether they fix my car or total it, meh. Obviously I wouldn’t mind getting a new car, but on the other hand it would be nice to not have to deal with that whole researching and deciding thing, too.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Hopefully this situation doesn’t devolve from totally manageable to utter disaster in the next few days. Would be awfully nice to forget about it for a while.

This should be better, but it is what it is.

Blogger’s handy-dandy Dashboard informs me this will be my 500th post. It doesn’t say anything about substance, which there probably isn’t 500 characters’ worth of at this url, but it seems as though I should somehow commemorate it. I’ve kind of got nothing. I googled “five hundred” just for the hell of it and was not very inspired, either. Lame, I know. Some card/dice/outdoor games, some auto and auto racing references, meh.

But also, an HTTP status code for Internal Server Error. Or, an SMTP status code meaning a syntax error has occurred due to unrecognized command. Okay, good enough. That’s pretty much what got this here dusty, nearly three year old blog started. My own special internal server error. Something in my body commanded, Breed! And something else in my body said, Fuck you, your grammar is terrible, will not comply. And then my mind said, what the fuck is syntax? And it was bad, as well as a bad metaphor. But writing here helped, a lot, over time and eventually. So I’m grateful for that. But I have noticed one odd side-effect, nearly three years later. I’ll liken the heartache I went through or put myself through to what you feel after a horrible breakup, one in which your lover leaves you for another, perhaps even another that you know and were close to. At first, it’s all you can do not to drop tears into your beer in the company of those you know will listen. But after a while, be it a few days or a few weeks or a few months, depending how patient and sympathetic your friends are, you realize that people are tired of hearing about it. Hearing you say the same things over and over again; there are no more comforting words they can offer you that you haven’t heard before at least once. So you shut up about it, already. Pretend to move on even if you haven’t. Even if you still think about it forty times a day, like a man thinking about sex, it just randomly passes through your head. Sometimes it’s distracting, sometimes it’s just a vague reminder of how everything else sort of relates to it now, though it never did before. So you don’t ever bring it up, and people stop asking, if they ever asked to begin with. It’s amazing how much time can pass in that phase. A very, very, very good girlfriend of mine not too long ago said something almost in passing indicating she had been somehow under the impression we’d been trying again for quite a while. I was shocked, frankly. I’m rather open with personal thoughts and details even here, knowing that most of the people reading probably don’t consider me a close, personal, intimate kind of friend in in-person life, though they certainly know who I am and I consider us friends. So you can imagine how freely I tend to speak among people I’ve been close friends with for a decade and a half. To have my best friend come out and basically say, well, I assumed you’re having some type of infertility issue…WTF? Like I wouldn’t have mentioned that?!? As if. Made me realize that writing here has been more of an outlet than I’ve given credit to. Yes, I’ve ranted and raved and had to go back and delete things I wrote and published before sleeping on, but for the most part it’s been incredibly liberating. Having a place to write things that you might never say out loud, knowing that you may be judged but will in all likelihood be supported as well, well, it’s just priceless.
Reading the piece featuring Schmutzie the other day, I thought about the back and forths I’ve gone with anonymity. (Go here to see a photo of the print article – they didn’t use the coy photo in the online article; must have had a stupid editor.)

“I don’t think my writing would have come as far as it has, or that I would have been as candid,” she said. “But you’re never truly anonymous … these are real human interactions, as virtual as they appear.”

I like that. I’m sure it’s true. If I had kept this to myself, I’d have been and would now be even more candid, and perhaps I’d have honed the horrid writing skills further (yes, all these prepositions can just dangle.) But I do believe I prefer the real human interactions that have resulted in “real life.” It’s difficult to always own what you want to say when you’re prone like I am to feeling before thinking, but I think knowing that what I write here is easily traced back to my actual, legal identity is helpful as well. I could be a much bigger asshole, but really, what’s the point? Some things dealing with sex or drugs or whatever I’ve chosen not to publish via feeds to Facebook as more relatives and such have surfaced there, but I have not deleted the link from my profile to here. If they are curious, have at it. I’m not embarrassed to think what I think or write what I write, but perhaps I need not plug my goofy bullet point posts of perverted things my husband says to me. Those are probably only really funny to me, anyhow.

Yes, we all choose to portray what we think are our best points online, for the most part. Of course self-deprecation is required for balance. Some post no photos of themselves at all, some only shady shots or avatars. Some cringe at those who publish photos of and stories about their kids or spouses. It doesn’t really matter how hard you try or don’t try to conceal yourself, what you put out there counts if you want it to count, even if only to yourself. Truthiness is found in every degree on the internet, but I think like everything else in life, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. It’s worth taking a chance, being a little vulnerable, if only to learn something about yourself that you may not have known before you took the chance.

I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Thanks for playing along, I hope it’s been at least half as good for you as it has for me.

The Morning…Afternoon After & GiST

Overall not too shabby. Pain didn’t keep me awake thanks to Advil PM, but every time I’d move I’d feel the soreness setting in. I’ve been up and moving around, albeit slowly. I bet this is a tiny taste of what it’s like being old and not so able bodied. Sucks. My foot and knee aren’t looking too much worse yet; I ventured out to get some arnica for the bruising and some Rescue Remedy to hopefully help unclench my jaw at Moxie‘s suggestion. I suppose my nerves are rather jangled. The seat belt burn on my collarbone is a bit angrier today, as is the general achiness through my neck and shoulders. But hopefully if I’m not really any worse off at 24 hours then I’m headed in the right direction.

As I mentioned in the comments on the last post, I did get a call from the cop this morning to say that the trailer’s tag number called in by another driver belongs to someone with an address in a suburb to the northwest of town. He was going to travel that way and let me know what he finds out, so here’s hoping.
  1. Insurance, with allowance for a rental car. Hello, speedometer maxing out at a completely unnecessary 180 mph.
  2. The kindness of strangers.
  3. Ibuprofen, heating pads, hot showers.
  4. Extra pillows.
  5. Friends calling and emailing and commenting and whatnot, checking in on me.