Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oh, sweet heating pad on my neck. What would I do without you?

I am starting to get sick of extremely painful sore necks. The doctor told me (the last time I got one) that it was probably stemming from something I am doing to strain the muscles, without knowing it. This doesn't seem right to me because I only get them when I wake up in the middle of the night and I have been sweating. And it's cold. I am thinking it makes more sense that sweat + cold = chill = sore neck.

Whatever the cause, I need to be rid of it!! The doctor has given me muscle relaxers, which are useless if you want to keep your job. They knock you out and you can only take them if you are prepared to sleep for a while. You might as well give me Valium; I'm sure the pain would subside if I were sleeping regardless of whether or not my muscles are relaxed.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Things That Make Me Happy: Coffee

I want... another... cup... of coffee.

While at my mother's house, I got myself into a 3 or 4 cup a day habit. They drink coffee socially and for fun, not just in the mornings. (How it should be!) We would all be sitting around, playing a game together or watching a Christmas movie, and one of us would say, "Hey, how about some coffee!" We would skip to the kitchen and put on a pot and it was purely lovely. Lovely, I tell you.

Now that I'm home I have promised Boyfriend I'd get down to - gulp - 1 cup a day. The withdrawal symptoms? Not so lovely. I NEED IT! Give it to me!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Home Again

I'm back in the land of 70 degree December weather. I really miss the family already but we have spoken a lot on the phone since I've been back. Today I will try to enjoy the rest of my weekend before having to return to work tomorrow. At least it is only a 3-day work week.

Cool Aunt and I have had another falling out. Big surprise. (I really need to give her a new name, removing 'Cool' from the title. Perhaps Funny And Entertaining But Psychotic Nonetheless Aunt?) I like to think that one of my strengths is being able to admit when I am wrong. I never have a problem apologizing to others after an argument - in fact, I am often overly apologetic. I honestly cannot say that this argument was my fault. I mean, I get along with everyone else in my family and she gets along with no one, family or otherwise.

The gist of it is that FAEBPNA will not allow me to have a relationship with her that does not involve bashing my mother. She sent me an email bashing my mother yesterday, and when I said that her allegations were untrue and that it was not a nice thing to say about Mother, she told me to just do her a favor and leave her alone. She proceeded to tell me off.

Families are fun, aren't they?? :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays

It has always been a tradition in my family to open gifts at Christmas Eve at midnight. This is because my mother's family did it this way when she was a child, and since my parents did not teach Sisters and I about Santa Claus, we continued the custom. There have been various years where we've been too tired to stay up until midnight, so we opened them early. We did this last night, at around 10:30 p.m. The kids made out like bandits and were very excited, naturally. I did pretty well myself:

  • Bluetooth and car charger for my phone
  • Knitting Pattern-A-Day 2009 Calendar
  • Baby blue bathrobe with snowflakes on it
  • Various pairs of funky Christmas socks (from Sister)
  • A sweater (from Sister)
  • A book light (from Sister)
  • A statue of a geisha that I wanted several years ago but forgot about (from Sister)
  • Beatles DVDs (from Sister)
  • Four butterfly shaped candles (from Kid Sisters)
  • Birthstone earrings
  • A body spray set

I think that my presents went over well too. I gave Kid Sister #1 knitting needles and yarn (as per request), Kid Sister #2 some books that she really liked, and Baby Sister a coloring book and crayons. Mother and Sister got homemade scarves. I also made Sister a scrapbook about Father, including pictures of him from his childhood and little remembrances of his life. I was excited for her to open it, but I immediately felt terrible when she took one look at it and burst into tears. She assured me that she really liked it, and I know she did... I guess I should have seen that coming. It made me really miss him as well. We always opened presents at midnight with him (except the last few years when he was incapacitated).

Today we are going to visit Grandmother, his mother. I am hoping we can slightly brighten her Christmas. She did not want to celebrate it at all this year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm currently "home" for the holidays with my family. This trip is emotionally easier than the last one, though I don't know why. In the days before Thanksgiving, I felt terribly depressed being in the house where we lived when my father disappeared one night, never to return. It jolted me back to the time when I was a young bright-eyed English major, living in this house with my raggedy old car and my nose in a book most of the time, and when all that innocence was taken away. (Innocence... *snort*) So it was a hard trip, though it improved towards the end.

This time around, I have been here for about two days and I am feeling good. Is it Christmas? Christmas was always my favorite holiday as a child - I simply loved it - but since the accident, when everything changed, I had a hard time enjoying it again. I went through the motions for the kids in my family but it was lost to me.

Now, the first year that we are having Christmas without my father, I am enjoying it again. That is startling. Is it because I have been able to breathe a sigh of relaxation, knowing he is not alone in a room, suffering in agony, wondering where his life went terribly wrong? Do I believe in heaven subconsciously and just not know it? I miss him, and I wish with all my heart I could see him on Christmas Day like we did last year, but something has changed, and maybe that something is what will get me through the grief of his passing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I should write about my weekend because I had a damn good one. Aside from the wonder that was downtown Austin at night with Christmas lights around and a classic movie at a class theatre - which I already wrote about - I did some other really fun things. After work on Friday, Boyfriend went to the Christmas party at the group home with me. I was really excited for him to meet the girls and find out why I talk about them so much. He met them briefly as they ran out to hug me while we walked up the drive, then bombarded him with introductions. "We've been wanting to meet you!!" they yelled. "We saw your picture and Sojourness told us all about you!" They were very hyper and excited because of the party, and we didn't get to talk to them much for the rest of the night, but it was fun. I get so happy just from spending a short amount of time there with them.

Saturday I got trained for a new kind of volunteer work I am considering. I know, I can't stop piling it on. I really can't. I get such a high that I keep looking for more ways to spend time I don't have free :) After that I had lunch with my women writer's group at my favorite Indian restaurant in Austin. The food was outstanding, naturally, and the company was delightful. The women were all older than me but I knew most of them and I always learn a lot from them with regards to my work. Besides, they are fun.

After lunch I drove up north to CL Friend's house for the baking party. I met a ton of new people and we made a ton of cookies. It was a blast but by the time I got home I was exhausted from all the running around. I took it pretty easy on Sunday, knitting, reading, and working on Sister's Christmas present (a scrapbook about Father, which was a big project that took several hours).

Last night Boyfriend and I got takeout from another good Indian restaurant and watched "The Darjeeling Limited," which we had both wanted to see. It was not what we expected but I enjoyed it and I think he did too. It was bizarre and quirky and meaningful and a fun way to pass the evening, especially with samosas and naan in hand. Though, samosas and naan can brighten up anything.

I had a fantastic time seeing a late showing of "It's A Wonderful Life" at a downtown theatre with Boyfriend Friday night. It really made it feel like the holidays, and I just love that movie.

I couldn't help but think about the SNL "Lost Ending" :) It still cracks me up.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I want this one too! I think Artsy Friend needs to come over and give me an iron-on tutorial.

Mmm... We just had our company potluck lunch. There were tamales, rice, tortilla soup - this is Texas, after all - plus salads, veggies, pigs in a blanket (made by moi), cheesy potatoes, spinach balls, venison, meatballs, etc. For dessert, we had rum cake, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, homemade chocolate walnut cookies, rice krispies treats and cranberry mousse. Yowser.. it was good.

Tonight Boyfriend and I are going to a Christmas party at the girls' home and then on to a late night viewing of "It's a Wonderful Night" in my favorite downtown theatre. Then tomorrow is a writers group lunch at my favorite Indian restaurant, followed by a cookie baking party at CL Friend's house. Does it get any better?

I hope my stomach - and the rest of my body - get to recuperate on Sunday.

Note: I couldn't pass up that image. Isn't it the coolest poster ever?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008


  1. Why do I read the news when it only scares me?

  2. Why do "Girls Cut" tee-shirts never account for larger girls? I would really like this one but I'll never squeeze into their "Extra Large."

  3. Why do the characters on Party of Five piss me off much more now than when I first watched years ago? (And yet, I still can't turn away... like a train wreck...)

  4. Why do I come down with nagging colds when I have all kinds of fun stuff planned?

Monday, December 01, 2008

I'm back home. Well, my current home, as opposed to my family/city-of-origin home, where I was last week.

Sadly, when Boyfriend and I returned to our apartment, our worst fears were confirmed - his coughing, wheezing, I-can't-breathe thing is definitely because of Cat. We had hoped it was something else: a virus, infection, whooping cough, anything that could be improved without the removal of our darling girl, but it was not to be. The woman who sold her to me picked her up on Saturday. Cat cried. I cried. It was traumatic.

Aside from that, I suppose it is good being back. I had a bit of a hard time leaving my family so I am not as relieved to be home as I usually am after those kinds of trips. I just feel sad. It seems rather obvious to attribute the sadness to my father's death, as these are the first holidays without him, but I am not psychoanalyzing myself much. Just sad.

On the bright side:

*My trip home yielded tons of ancient family photos that I scanned and kept for myself. I learned, for instance, what my paternal great grandmother looked like. I also got tons of pictures of my father as a child, and am enjoying pointing out comparisons between his looks and those of myself and my sisters.

*In the next two weeks, I'm going to two Christmas parties, one birthday party and one cookie baking party.

*I finally finished all the knitting for my little sisters, so I can get back to knitting for other people by Christmas.

*It is winter, and therefore I am free to spend my nights and weekends in pajamas, reading, writing, knitting, listening to music, watching movies, sipping hot chocolate or any combination of these. In other words, winter is the time for hibernation, and the only time of year where my homebodiness as an alternative to social ineptitude becomes socially accepted. Thank you, Sister Winter.

Things That Make Me Happy: Clementines and Cocoa