Saturday, April 29, 2006

Swingin' grownup party night!

The boys were all invited to a sleepover last night. Hubby and I went out for Thai food and watched Sopranos. Had to walk the dog after midnight, but otherwise it's been mellow and recharging.

Finally got up the nerve last night to tell Hubby about my mom's comments about her grandmother, and my appearance. He brushed the whole thing aside. "What is she talking about? She's just working out her own insecurities on you. You're a lot better looking than your mother."

It's funny. I really do think that, for the most part, Mom's comments are much less able to immobilize me than they were before Dad's hospitalization. But she still can get in, if she really wants to. I guess I should keep that in mind. She just may up the volume, to make sure I hear her. But hearing her doesn't mean I have to accept it all.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

am I still a writer...

...if I only write a couple hours a week? If I take frequent breaks to scrub toilets or empty the dishwasher or nag the boys about the condition of their fingernails?

Yesterday I wrote up an advertorial piece and did a phone interview for an article about Big Brothers/Big Sisters. This morning I edited a creative nonfiction piece that has been accepted for publication in an anthology. This afternoon I will meet with the PAO about a weekly column I'll be writing for the base paper. And tomorrow I will write the BB/BS article while the boys are in TKD. I feel like I'm barely writing at all.

Then again, it IS nice to smell cleaning supplies around here. It's a delicate balance.

Monday, April 24, 2006

"The worst part of all this for me..."

Dad should be coming home today. I went up Saturday and he looked great. Almost himself.

So he was finally talking about the whole hospital experience, a conversation I have been looking forward to, though not willing to press him for. I figured he'd talk when he had something to say.

And so he did. He mentioned that he had no recollection, at first, of not only the day of surgery, but several days before and after it. So he woke up after having been returned to ICU and had no idea where he was or how he got there. He assumed he had been in a horrible car accident. That incredible disorientation, combined with the hallucinations caused by the drugs, (and the amazing number of invasive tubes and wires, while strapped to a hospital bed and surrounded by my weeping mother and sister and an ever changing roster of priests,) was his worst moment. Fair 'nuff.

Mom said HER worst moment was when they told her to say goodbye, before the surgery.

My worst moment, as several of you know, was when my mom called to say he'd had a heart attack (when he actually hadn't), a deadly case of pneumonia (before he actually had pneumonia), and, the winner and still champeen, a stroke (which, again, he did not have). If this sounds like the worst part of it for me was the fact that my mom made up bigger, more operatic problems to enhance the whole illness experience, you are right! ding! ding! ding! ding! ding!

A minor, but nagging, additional crappy part was just dealing with my mother's constant criticisms of

*the hospital
*my father
*their friends
*my uncles
*my father's dead relatives
*the entire extended family

and, of course, me. If I have to hear one more time about how UGly my great grandmother was, and how she used to stare into the mirror and CRY about it, and "you're the spitting image of her, Christine", I will scream.

When I saw them last, my mother recounted a dream she had this week about being on the playground, and everyone was teasing her about her grandmother. "Stop teasing me! It's not my fault she's so unattractive!"

I am going to take that as lightly veiled concern that MY appearance is an embarrassment to her. Because, honestly, what else could it possibly be?

And, the third worst part was the weekly confrontation with my absolute inability to drive well in DC. I have taken quite the tour of Anacostia and environs over the past 6 weeks, and am glad to be here blogging about it today.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Commercials work, ok?

I saw a commercial for this today and HAD TO HAVE IT. It is installed in the master bath and Son #3, who shares the bathroom with Hubby, is happy to be in charge. Oh, the joy of a shower I never ever will have to scrub...I can hardly wait.

So, in the spirit of blogger humility, here is Neglected Shower, day one.

Update: After 29 days, this is what I have:

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

For a guy who says he doesn't want to waste my time...

the owner of L&G Billiards sure was happy to waste a big chunk of it today. We had an appointment for an interview. When I arrived, he refused to speak to me or even acknowledge that, since we had an appointment, it was rude of him to let me show up and then show me the door.

Every few months, I run into one of these guys--business owners convinced that their time is too valuable to call me back to cancel, but my time is so completely worthless that it's ok that I drive around town to see them. At least I am out of the stage where I had to pay a babysitter for the privilege.

Inconsiderate people suck.

Those darn voice recognition things

Had to call Sears today to get an address for sending a payment...ended up with one of those Press or Say One machines. It took forever.

I was press-one-ing while the boys made a ton of noise. Every time I told them to be quiet so I could hear the phone, the machine would hear me and re-route me to another line. I eventually did get the address, but not before I practically had a stroke.

Definitely a total waste of time.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Not the kind of father who goes places or does stuff or looks at you

Today I am going up to the hospital to visit my father for the fourth time in 15 days. He is finally out of ICU but may have pneumonia. It's very frustrating, because it's hard to tell what we as a family could do differently, that would result in him healing and going home quickly.

Son #1 pulled me aside the other day for a conversation:

"So, Pop-pop can't walk around, or do anything much, right?"


"He can't talk to you yet?"


"And you drive two hours up there and two hours to get home, right?"

"Unless I get lost in DC, yeah, then it's more like two-and-a-half, yeah."

"So you drive four hours, instead of staying here."


"Can he at least see you?"

"Yes, he can see me."

"That's an awful lot of driving, just to look at somebody

"Yeah, but you would do the same, right?"

"Oh, yeah, yeah, I would do the same."

This is how civilization is transmitted, I guess.