good party

Nov. 17th, 2012 01:37 am
grinninfoole: (Default)

I drove down to the grand opening of our new store in Mamaroneck NY this evening with Mad Dog and his charming kids. There was a good sized crowd there (30-50 people) of enthusiastic customers, which suggests to me that we have done a good job of creating buzz about the business over the past year. Also, there's a very tasty pizza place nearby, and one of Lefty or Fuschia's friends really knows how to bake a cake.I have been working with a personal organizer who calls her business Chaos Control. It's helping clean up my place, and brighten my mood. I'm back at work as normal on Monday, but I'll fill in tomorrow running the Magic draft. I'm really glad I accepted an invitation at the beginning of the year to join a gaming group playing Deadlands . I like the people, the system and the campaign (and my character) and I'm glad [livejournal.com profile] millari has joined us. Looking forward to seeing my cousin from HI over Thanksgiving. Mom finally seems to be on the mend (knock wood). Today, she was able to stand on her own, and she's no longer feverish during the night. And, in trivial news, I came across an essay suggesting watching the Star Wars saga in a particular order(ep IV, V, II, III & VI, omitting Phantom Menace entirely) will drastically improve its narrative tension and impact. I haven't tried it yet, but if I learned anything in grad school, it's that narrative inclusion/exclusion and order make an enormous difference to a story.



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1) I'm pleased by the results of last week's election.  Four more years of Obama will be better than four years of Romney, and six years of Elizabeth Warren will, I think, be better than Scott Brown.  More generally, I'm pleased that the hateful and blinkered clique that controls the GOP was so soundly rejected across the land.  I hope the real Republicans retake their party from the zealots.  We need them to call us lefties on our many failings.

2) Millari went back to see my family with me this weekend, and that was big help. She's been a rock for me, and I hope I don't lean on her too much.

3) Talking with friends has helped me to recognize that I'm someone who forms intense romantic bonds.  In the case of Grounded, the ones I formed many years ago, once unearthed and confronted with the marvelous reality of who she is now, became very strong once again.  Yet, I just don't see that she feels the same way, and I don't think the lives we have separately chosen mesh well.  So, I'm going to break off contact with her for a while, until I can accept things as they are.  I hope this won't take 5 to 10 years this time. :(

4) M and I saw Cloud Atlas the other day, and it's fantastic.  I love the book, and the movie adapts it for the screen well, keeping enough of its nested narrative structure to evoke the parallels and contrasts it featured, while keeping the action moving and providing a gorgeous spectacle.  Several actors played multiple parts in different times and places, and I think the complaints about 'yellow face' or other race fail problems miss the forest for the trees: all the actors who play multiple parts are made up in a different race or gender.  This isn't done as mockery or appropriation (the main issues this sort of race fail raises), but as a commentary on the fluidity of gender and identity.  I will not dispute with anyone who considers the experiment a failure, but I don't think it offends in the way that the Jazz Singer or White Girls do.

EDIT TO ADD:
5) I have a friend who works for FEMA, and who is deployed in Brooklyn.  Apparently, even two weeks after Sandy, things are still pretty rough out there, and many people are desperate.  Kudos to the relief workers who are struggling mightily to help people, and kudos to the activists of Occupy Wall Street, who have started organizing their own informal relief effort.

6) Louis CK did a great bit on Saturday Night Live last week in the style of his sitcom, except he was playing Abraham Lincoln as a sad sack comedian.
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I have taken this week off from work, in the hopes of clearing my head and getting a better handle on managing my life in light of the problems with my parents' health.  I seem to need some help, too.

It's an ongoing grieving process as they fail and die on the installment plan.  My Dad is slipping slowly.  His mental acuity has declined, so that he's much like the other human ghosts in the home, and he's physically much less steady on his feet.  Soon, I think, even a walker won't be sufficient.

Mom has returned to the rehab hospital, and hopefully will not bounce back to the hospital for more acute care.  The good news is that she is definitely recovering from the back surgery: she can sit up without pain, her legs don't hurt, she doesn't look so washed out.  The bad news is that she's despondent and a bit confused. She's not remembering new people well, and she's asking me about driving back to Maine or called M by the wrong name.  It's too early to despair, but this is what Dad's dementia was like at the beginning.

On top of that, I'm worried about what we are going to do in the longer term.  Mom will, I hope, go back home by the end of the month, but I don't know how mobile she'll be.  We have arranged for some in home care for now, but in the longer term, if Mom needs a walker that house becomes very difficult for her, and impossible if she's in a wheelchair.  Finding a new house is something we have all acknowledged will be useful, but I'm at a loss for driving the process forward.  I'm more reactive than strategic in my thinking, and that's a weakness in this context.  The stress of confronting a problem whose limits I can't define, the next step for which I can't see clearly, and the consequences thereof could be severe for my family, eats at me.

Personally, I had a terrible job review last week.  Honestly, it was more of an intervention.  I have, apparently, gone from being a great ASM to a bad one because of the stress and worry and sadness I'm dealing with.  This is not merely a knotty problem, or an extended crisis, it's a protracted grieving process.  Apparently, it's leading me to be short with customers and employees, which cannot stand.  I'm definitely forgetting things as they slide through my ADD brain without sticking.

The worst thing about it, though, was not hearing that I need to straighten up and fly right.  I have heard such things before, and while I'm somewhat chagrined that I need to be told, it's sadly part and parcel of ADD.  No, the worst was realizing that I needed help, and that these three people in what was ostensibly a professional context were going far beyond the call of duty to throw me a lifeline. 

I'm ashamed that I let things get so bad they had to step in.  I'm ashamed I didn't ask for help sooner.  I'm especially ashamed at how Lefty, who I honestly feel like I can annoy at any moment without meaning to, made it very clear that he trusts and respects me professionally.  (He even offered me a job as his full-time #2 again with the NY store.  O.o)
EDIT: It occurs to me that I suffer from the fond delusion that I'm a bit like the Doctor: the compassionate madcap who pops out of the background from time to time, helps people, and then disappears while folks shrug and get on with things.  

I guess this sort of distress is hard for me to notice. Instead of causing pain, it causes numbness.  I'm going to have to do better in keeping it in mind.  I need to work on re-establishing and maintaining my domestic routines, which will help me keep it together.

Which is my project for this week. So far, I'm off to a crappy start, with dozing away much of yesterday and today, but I have at least paid some bills, done some cleaning, and seen my therapist.  I'm going to call a personal organizer to come and help me set up some systems to better control the chaos towards which I tend.  I also could definitely use help from friends.  If any of you would care to come by and help me sort through the clutter, I'd appreciate it, especially if you could come over and help me sort comics perhaps tomorrow evening?
grinninfoole: (Default)
Back in Andover for the weekend.  I was going to a friend's wedding this weekend, but instead I'm here.  My mom has had some back pain for about 10 days, and it got worse, and her doctor is a useless git, and now she's at Lawrence General, where the did a kyphoplasty.  Yes, rather than try anything less extreme than surgery, they decided to deal with mom's compressed spinal disks by fusing her T12 and L1 vertebrae together.

Looks like we need to arrange for some in-home care, and I need to get on the stick with the insurance company. 


I'm off to see her now.  Cross your fingers that this will improve things, folks.

EDIT: it turns out that Mom's problem was more serious than simple irritation of her discs, but rather a compression fraction of her lowest thoracic vertebra.  Thus, the spinal fusion was the correct decision.  Yes, this does mean we have also discovered that she has osteoporosis.
grinninfoole: (strangelove)

I worked late today, and after work I stopped by M's place to divvy up the farm share. Wound up having some dinner, and then joining her for a trip to Popcorn Noir for Zack Snyder's 300. I cannot recall having ever seen a worse movie.

The visual effects were OK in places (well composed, so stylized that they weren't interesting), some of the photography and cinematography were aesthetically striking, but otherwise it was just bad. I didn't hate the film, because that would have required it to evoke an emotional response beyond mild boredom and disdain, but it's an embarrassment that should never have been filmed (or, failing that, released).

Not to mention that it was obviously racist, sexist, and homophobic, filled with ridiculous decisions, a pretentious and unnecessary narrator, logical inconsistencies, question begging, and fundamental historical inaccuracies that completely subvert the crapulously earnest speeches all the Greeks make.

Mind you, the many slashy scenes were so incredibly over the top that it's the closest I've ever seen gay subtext come to being text without quite making it. It should have just been a gay porno.

Oh, and I couldn't but compare it Tarantino's Kill Bill, which I disliked intensely because it seemed to have little point beyond reveling in violence and bloodshed. Say whatever else you wish about Quentin Tarantino: he made a film I didn't like because it was basically an excuse to watch Uma Thurman flight and mutilate folks. 300 should have been the same, but mostly I just didn't care about anyone on screen. So, meh.


Oh, and tomorrow evening the store is celebrating it's tenth anniversary. I hope you'll all stop by and join us.

grinninfoole: (Default)
A clear sign my depression is waxing just now:  I find keep minor piano chords as my internal sound track, and I find myself imaging dying in various circumstances, and trying to come up with the funniest last words.  (What can I say?  Edmund Kean is my hero.)

In the mean time, trying to limit myself to ONE sticky bun.


EDIT:  Another Tuesday evening drained away at home suggests to me that my marriage might also have had an element of coping strategy to it.  M is the best anti-depressant available without a prescription.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I know it's just my depression talking, but I still think that the fact that I can't find any company on a Friday night is a sign that I'm a failure at life. I imagine dinner and TV will help.

EDIT: in fact, they did. :)
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I meant to post a few days ago, but I got sick a few days ago, and I'm only recovering now. (Some sort of gastro-intestinal whatsis, which made it so I couldn't eat for almost 2 days straight. Now I'm feeling better, but I still feel a bit of discomfort just below my sternum.) M was so kind and helpful in taking care of me during this ordeal.

My dad has, as they say in biz, plateaued. He's not likely to get much better, so he's switching to custodial care, which means Medicare won't cover his bills any more. Which means it's time for me to step up and get serious about making claims on my Dad's insurance policies, because the bills come out to more than $10,000 a month. A lot more. I don't know how families without our resources cope.

I'm going to have to work some convention in New Jersey at the end of the month. Not looking forward to all the driving, and I've already missed one weekend visiting Dad because of my illness.

M is preparing to move out at the end of the month. I'm going to stay here in our house. We're figuring out what's going to stay, and what she's taking with her, and so forth. It's pretty low key, but I do find myself tripping over the mental change from team mode to solo mode.

M and I are awaiting the final season of DS9. Until then, we're watching other stuff, like the new Tinker Tailor (which we loved, though was there gay subtext added to the story, or did we just miss it in the Alec Guinness version?), the 1981 BBC TV Smiley's People (less gripping plot, more comprehensible characters than Tinker Tailor), some Jeeves & Wooster (glad it holds up so well), and now Rome. We're half-way through a rewatch of season 1, en route to the unplumbed wonders of season 2. It's such a good show, though I had forgotten just how shockingly, explicitly sexual and violent it is.

I caught the tail end of the Superbowl last week, and I was briefly sad that the Patriots lost. While my football loyalty remains a foot wide and an inch deep, however, I did form a powerful emotional attachment to a new fandom during the game, though I suppose it's really more of an anti-fandom: the New York Giants scored their winning touchdown in the last minute, and the guy who scored it actually turned and completed the play butt first. I really can't stand arrogance or a sense of entitlement, and, which is what's always bugged me about the Yankees, and this struck me as a blatant display of same. So, I still don't care all that much about the Patriots, but I really hate the New York Giants. Funny how these things work, isn't it?


P.S. I'm having lunch with [Grounded] on Wednesday, so cross your fingers, eh?
grinninfoole: (Default)
It was OK. Not as dramatic as I had hoped/feared, not painful or joyous or intense. Really, it was nothing like what I had imagined, but just what I had wanted: a conversation between two people who used to know each other, who had had a relationship once, and who had moved on to make different lives, and were happy to catch up again.

For my, my relationship with {Grounded} had been a major, emotional intense episode in my life, unmatched by anything else. For her, I think it was part of a drama that played out mostly with other people, that started before we met and continued after we broke off contact.

In some ways, I'm pleased with myself for having made a real life for myself, that I haven't been simply sitting around pining for her, and that I'm a grown-up she can respect. On the other hand, she's got a full, busy life as a doctor, a mom, and someone with friends and interests and autonomy. I must strive not to take the opportunity to flog myself with a litany of ways I could be cooler, busier, more accomplished, etc. My life is a process, I can change the things I don't like, I can rescue myself from my dungeons, and other people who know me well don't see me as a failure unworthy of respect. (Thank you, little blue pills and years of therapy for letting me even perceive this perspective.)

We're going to get together again for coffee or something in a few weeks. I feel a bit of a let down, but I am glad to finally have some reality to deal with, to scorch away Miss Havisham in her yellowing dress. Because I still like her, and I want to get to know her as an actual person, and not a memory.

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