Archive for the ‘The Grey Goose’ Category

Updates

October 17, 2012

When last we met, things were pretty shitty. Happily, there’ve been some improvements. I was super stressed about finding a new-to-me car and determined not to have a car payment. Luckily, a Honda dealer not a mile from my place happened to have my exact car, only a year newer. I looked around but it seemed like my best option. I had a mechanic look at it, haggled, and snapped up that sucker as quickly as I could. I hope I made the right decision. Big adult purchases always make me nervous. I’m terrified I’ll somehow blow it and forever regret my horrible decision. It’s been about a month and so far, my new hoopty is doing well. I haven’t managed to come up with a name that suits her though. She has a few more bells and whistles (steering-wheel radio controls & a sunroof) than the Goose but beyond that, is the exact same car – model and color! I’ve been so grateful to not have to adjust to a new ride on top of everything else.

My shin seems to have healed and only hurts a teensy bit toward the end of my walks. This injury made me realize how much I’d come to need the relief and release I get from walking. Turning on my iPod, turning off my brain, & hittin’ the road is so cathartic and meditative, with the added bonus of making me feel connected to nature since I’m outside. I’m hoping that winter won’t force me indoors. Since it gets dark so much earlier these days, I bought an obnoxious neon vest to wear for safety during my walks. The humiliation is far outweighed by my desire to avoid the drudgery of the treadmill.

Sadly, my Dad is not better. He improved enough to be released from the hospital but a few days later, ran into trouble again. He’d been sleeping in my bed and I was sleeping on an air mattress. One morning, I went into the bedroom and found him sitting on the edge of the bed. When he saw me, he stood up, and Frankenstein walked toward me, mumbling for help, followed by crashing to the floor on poor, unsuspecting Abby. He was completely incoherent and I was scared to death. I tried to get him up but could not, no matter what I tried, and was so afraid he’d break a hip or worse, so I had to call 911. At the ER, they ran lots of tests and found that one of his medicines caused his sodium to plummet to a dangerous level, which made him, quite literally, delirious. (The doctor said we were lucky he didn’t have a seizure.) He stayed in the hospital for a few days and was then released to a longer-term care facility. Since then, his mental condition has deteriorated even more because he was taken off a lot of medicine while he was in the hospital. At this point, his doctors aren’t sure he’ll even be well enough for assisted-living, which is heartbreaking. I do have hope he’ll get better, but I know it’s going to take a while. I’ve never seen him like this, but I’m trying to stay positive.

One day last week, I reeeeeally needed some downtime, so I followed Cakies’ lead and made some black cat & ghost lights for my kitchen windowsill. It was so relaxing and restorative, I promised myself I’d make more time for crafting in the midst of all this craziness. I’m hoping to be back soon with pictures of a new fall wreath and knitting projects.

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Trifecta

September 29, 2012

My grandmother used to portend that bad things happened in threes, which was all my anxiety-prone mind needed to commence fretting when something unfavorable arose. Despite this, when what turned out to be the first of 3 bad things happened to me recently, it didn’t even occur to me to worry that 2 more awful things were to follow.

I

A few weeks ago, I was heading home at lunch to take Abby out since I had to teach in the evening and wouldn’t be home until late. I was following a curve in the road when I saw a 4 x 4 barreling toward me. The driver, who was yakking on his cell phone when he hit me, later told me that the look on my face was one of abject horror, probably because I couldn’t believe I was getting into another car accident. This one, however, was decidedly not my fault. He plowed into the driver’s side of The Goose, ripping the side mirror off, tearing up the doors, and shattering the windows. “I just couldn’t stop,” he offered in disbelief. It had just started raining so he might’ve hydroplaned but I more suspect inexperience was the culprit; he’s very young and this was his first accident. On the scene, he told the police he had insurance. My car wasn’t drivable so he gave me a ride back to my office, as he happened to work nearby. During the short drive, he apologized several times and told me he’d been listening to Christian music at the time of the accident. It’s possible he was trying to butter me up but I thought he was being sincere. We exchanged phone numbers and I assured him that the most important thing was that no one was hurt. It didn’t take long for my insurance to uncover the icky truth – that he was uninsured. That meant my insurance would cover me and then go after him. Unfortunately, the cost of the repairs was enough that they opted to make my vehicle a total loss and give me its value. They compensated me well but finding a new-to-me car in good condition when I only had a paid-for rental car for 5 days seemed impossible. Plus I love The Goose and was not ready to give her up. *sad commiserative honk* 😦

II

I’ve been concerned about my Dad for some time. He’s bi-polar and has always struggled to keep his medicines regulated. I hadn’t actually seen him face-to-face for several years, not on purpose but because things kept coming up that made visiting difficult. But my brother and I could tell from talking to him on the phone that he was in bad shape and rapidly deteriorating. We tried intervening from afar but it was clear he needed an on-scene advocate so he flew to Indianapolis. I was wholly unprepared for the terrible state he was in when he arrived. I’ve never seen him in such awful condition and I’ve seen him in a number of bad states. He was a mere whisper of himself – a complete wreck. Ultimately, he had to be hospitalized for several weeks, which was scary and difficult but absolutely the right thing to do. I visited him almost every day before realizing how heavily it was weighing on my own mental health. It’s so sad to see someone go downhill and feel totally helpless. Thankfully he’s doing better but can no longer live by himself so it’s up to my brother and I to arrange assisted living, sell his apartment, make sure he’s being well taken care of, and OH, not have a nervous breakdown during the process. Overwhelmed doesn’t even being to describe how I feel. Double 😦 😦

III

Because I know better than to prove my grandmother wrong, I fell in my office, tripping over nothing but falling summarily on my knee and turning my ankle. Other than searing mortification, I didn’t feel much right away but a few days later, had terrible pain & swelling in my shin. I could barely put any weight on that leg so I went to the doctor. Luckily nothing is broken; my doctor thinks I tore a ligament. For my exercise for the last few months, I’d been swimming 2 days/week and walking 3 days/week so I was really nervous about this injury derailing my momentum, which caused me to spiral into panic that I would gain back a ton of weight (160 pounds lost at last check!!) and die alone, with rabid, feral dogs feasting on my bloated corpse. I was determined not to let that happen so I kept exercising but was in a ton of pain, even swimming laps, forcing me to relent. I’m in the midst of a week off, which seems to be helping but it’s clearly going to take several weeks to heal. This injury has highlighted a bizarre fear I have when I’m in the midst of any ailment, physical or mental – I’m seized by the awful thought that I’ll never be well again. I know it’s not rational but it sure is a bitch to counteract!

So there you have it – my triumvirate of suck. I’m in full-on one-day-at-a-time mode and trying to take good care of myself in the meantime. In the past, I would’ve just used food to deal with my feelings about all of this but I’m hellbent on keeping that nonsense at bay. That means using all the tools I’ve learned about over the last few years – therapy, support groups, exercise, journaling, meditating, mindfulness, and reaching out, to name a few. It’s really putting me to the test so I sure would appreciate some positive vibes directed my way.

TP Troubles

June 24, 2012

Guess what? The Goose is fixed and honkin’ up a storm but now I have a new problem – a ridiculous amount of terlet paper! You see, right before my car accident, I bought a big package of Charmin MegaRolls. (One roll is the equivalent of 4 regular-sized ones, which I love, since I’m a lazy sod.) The pack I bought contained 12 MegaRolls and wouldn’t fit in a regular bag, so I threw it in the trunk. As I was waiting for a ride at the scene of the accident, I grabbed some necessities out of my car but couldn’t bring myself to stand on the side of the road with an enormous pack of terlet paper. Once my car was at the body shop, there was NO WAY I wanted to priss into the testosterone-filled garage to fetch my TP, so I just bought another pack of MegaRolls. Now that my car is all fixed, I’ve got more toilet paper than I know what to do with! I mean if nuclear winter comes and we’re all infected with some kind of mutant dysentery, I’m all set. Maybe I should get some pals together to toilet paper someone’s house. Other ideas?

Perdóname

June 6, 2012

Ahhhh, finally – a new masthead! Here’s hoping it will inspire me to blog more often. Life post-surgery has been quite an adjustment. I already struggled with time management and now, often feel even more overwhelmed. Sometimes it seems like I can barely manage with meal planning & preparation and exercise and vitamins and protein and and and. I wonder how on earth people stay on top of everything when they have big families and busy lives. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that eating well and taking care of your body take a lot of time and continued effort. For most of my life, I only dealt with those needs in fits and starts and I definitely paid for that.

All that is to say I feel busier than a 1-armed paper hanger and yet also feel I have very little (other than a changing body – 106 pounds down at last check) to show for it. I often want to blog but actually making time to do it happens more and more infrequently. But what spurred me most recently was getting into a car accident. It was on the Friday before the Indy 500, which I know nothing about except that it wreaks total havoc on traffic here in Indianapolis. I rear-ended a mini-van in busy traffic. It was totally my fault and I felt like SUCH an asshole. It didn’t help that the couple I hit was completely adorable, a sweet pair both in their 70s. Of course the most important thing is that everyone is alright but I still felt awful. Their mini-van sustained very little damage but my poor Civic was undrivable. Luckily it’s being repaired and life goes on but the timing of this incident was of particular interest to me. Only days before, I’d been mulling over how I misused food my whole life to deal with the pain and discomfort I felt when I made mistakes. I was thinking, “I really need to learn to practice self-forgiveness. Mistakes aren’t the end of the world!” And then BAM (literally), a perfect opportunity to apply that wisdom. Naturally it’s far more difficult in practice but I’m giving it a whirl – safely, with my hands at 10 and 2 o’clock. 😉

P.S. If you have a chance, please go see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I can’t say enough good things about it!

A Spare

October 16, 2010

By the time I got back from MO, my car looked how I’d imagine the inside of a hairball might. My usual technique of covering the backseat with a sheet, carefully tucking here and there, had long since failed, giving Abby ample time to shed a 4″ layer of fluff all over. It was so bad that when I opened any of the car windows, I’d inadvertently create a spinning vortex through which stray fur was furiously sucked and expelled onto innocent passersby. It was time to have The Goose detailed, is what I’m saying and for good measure, I had the carpets and upholstery cleaned too in a feeble attempt to get rid of the muddy paw prints from when I’d taken Abby swimming at the river.

When I bought my car a few years ago, while waiting in the showroom for paperwork to be sorted out, I peeked inside a Honda Element. Because I’m such a messy klutz, one of the first things I noticed was rubber utility mats covering the carpeted floor mats. A salesman explained they could be easily removed and rinsed. I knew immediately that I must have those mats in my car as well. I’m so glad I bought them because my inevitable spills are much less catastrophic, knowing I can clean up in a snap. They add a little bulk but nothing problematic. When I got my car back after it was detailed, things in the floor mat venue seemed a little off but not enough to warrant inspection, that was until yesterday, when I knelt down to see what was going on down there. Much to my surprise, I found an extra carpet mat! It matches my interior but I checked the passengers side and backseat and those mats are accounted for so it’s definitely not one of mine. I can only imagine that some poor sod with a gray interior’d hoopty is missing one of their precious mats. Should I put an ad on Craigslist?

And speaking of cars, last week Moxy and her boyf and I went to a friend’s for a libationary dinner and when we left, found ours had been towed. Moxy had to pay $200 to free her car and I had to pay $225. The extra $25 was a “courtesy fee.” Apparently my back window was down so they covered it in plastic in case it rained. Of course that altruism didn’t keep them from savagely towing my car in the first place. It turns out that we were parked perfectly legally and the towing company was in the wrong. Trust me when I say that I will have the last word along with a swift refunding, compounded by a “courtesy charge” I plan to levy for the energy I’ve expended on this nonsense.

For the dinner party, I made these pumpkin bars with cream cheese icing and they were YUM. Moxy’s boyf said they had “a nice crumb,” which caused me to blush so I slapped him with one of my gloves.

I’m headed to Chicago tomorrow to attend a search engine optimization conference, which looks to be as dull as it sounds. In truth I’m excited for my mini-adventure and plan to see some friends while I’m there. I may even do something touristy, like Shedd Aquarium or an architecture river cruise. Stay tuned for tales from the windy city!

P.S. When I called to make a hotel reservation, I heard “Welcome to the hotel name’s voice activated menu.” I grumbled, “Oh God” and then heard “Please hold while we transfer you to Jose Gobb.” Hee! 🙂

Buh-Bye Winter Coat

March 22, 2010

The sunny weather has done wonders for my mood. And just to show spring how serious I am about its arrival, I put away my winter coat and am not under any circumstances getting it out again. I realize this decision has the potential to make me look like an ass but the chances are high that I’ll look like an ass regardless of whether or not I’m wearing a coat, so I’ll risk it.

I am →this← close to calling the mayor directly to yell at him about the pothole situation in Indianapolis. It is ridiculous! They are everywhere and they aren’t wimpy dips in the road but formidable canyons, wreaking havoc on my car’s alignment. I just took the Goose in to have one of her speakers fixed and despite the fact that my tires are new AND my car was aligned after I got the tires, two of my wheels are bent and it will cost almost $200 to fix the problem. NOT FAIR. It’s not like I’m a reckless driver who doesn’t pay attention but often times these pits are unavoidable or I don’t see them until it’s too late. The road leading away from Moxy’s condo is so treacherous, I don’t even try to drive on the right side anymore. I make sure the way is clear and pretend I’m in London until I’ve passed the potholes. A friend told me her father-in-law once complained to the city about potholes messing up his car’s alignment and they gave him money to fix it. What are the odds of things working out so smashingly for me?

I made a spring mix featuring lots of new-to-me artists I’ve been stalking for the past few months and some familiar favorites. Roll down your windows, crank it, and enjoy!

POP-OUT PLAYER

WaW

March 23, 2009

Streetbeater by Quincy Jones (Sanford & Son theme)

What a Weekend. It’s only 10:30 a.m. and I’ve been at LePeep for several hours, waiting while my car is detailed. It was looking rough after months of neglect and then moving. I swear every time I settled in for a drive, I could hear the Sanford & Son theme song in the distance.

I’m antsy to leave but it has been nice to nurse a cup of coffee and people-watch. My mind is a’swirl with ground-breaking observations like, “Hey, that waiter looks like Harry Potter.”

As soon as I wrote that paragraph, I got a call that my car was finished. It was so shiny and beautiful and the weather was so sunny and perfect, for the first time in months instead of the Sanford & Son theme song, I heard Life is a Highway so I called the girls to see if they wanted to go for a drive. I wasn’t going to let yesterday’s traffic ticket incident dampen my spirits. I got nailed for turning right on red (after a complete stop and no cars in sight) at an intersection where you’re apparently not supposed to between certain hours on certain days of the week with Qs in their names or a vernal equinox. (For Indy folks, 82nd and Allisonville). The best part is that the sign posting this arcane law is parallel to the road you’re on so you can’t see the damn thing without doing a reverse hecht and finishing with a solid 9.5-dismount. Thank You, police officer Bunghole, for protecting our fine city from heinous crime!

Life is a Highway by Tom Cochrane

Greetings from the Honda Dealer

December 27, 2008

Guess where I am? The car dealership where I bought my hoopty! For the second time, the driver-side visor is broken and flopping all over the place, so it’s being replaced. The dealer is nice enough to provide a computer and free Internet access. They also have a TV and Annie is on. I LOVE that movie! I remember playing the record over and over. My grandparents took me to the movie for my birthday. Remember the scene where Annie is hanging from that ladder? I was so scared for her, I started crying but I was embarrassed and didn’t want the grand ‘rents to think I was a baby.

How was your Christmas? Mine’s been delightfully low key and restful. I only had to work last Monday but went to my office on Tuesday too. The building closed at 1:30 p.m. though because of the ice so I relented and headed home to hold down the couch.

I think I got food poisoning from our Christmas turkey breast. I was SICK AS A DOG yesterday. It was terrible. I was sweating like a field hand and totally dehydrated. That poor turkey gave its life only to be summarily dumped in the garbage before the new year.

And speaking of the new year (oh hai 2009), what are your plans? A friend in Chicago is having a shindig, but I may just hang with the girls. It’s great timing because yesterday I bought Girls Just Want to Have Fun for $4.75 at Target.

Whoooo cares what they’re weariiiing, from Main Street to Saville Row? It’s what you wear from ear to ear, not from head to toe, thaaaaat maaaa-aaaa-aaaa-terrrrrrrrs!

Don’t Leave Your Diamond Broach With Me

December 7, 2008

A few months ago, I accidentally left my car lights on and killed my battery. And you know how once you do that, your battery is more likely to die again, especially if you leave the lights on when you go into Super Target like I did last night. This is the type of thing that happens to me when I’m trying to do too much. I leave my credit card at restaurants and generally misplace everything.

Pappy and I have the heat on full blast because of the freezing temps but it makes the air in my apartment SO dry. My poor hands feel like they’re going to crack off. To combat this, Pappy is rockin’ it old school and keeping a pot of water boiling on the stove round the clock. I hate to admit it but it really helps. We could get a humidifier but that makes too much sense at Casa de Cuckoo.

I saw Australia on Friday and it was BRILLIANT! I teared up several times and by the end of the movie, the whole theatre was snorfling and sniffling. The cinematography was stunning, with all these magnificent scenes saturated with color. I also love how director Baz Luhrmann has a thread of pop culture music running through his films. Australia was dripping with goodies, from Somewhere Over the Rainbow to Sheep May Safely Graze. Also, the little boy who played Nullah was phenomenal. This kid has some major talent and his eyes? Mesmerizing!

P.S. Did you notice that it’s snowing on my blog? If you have a WordPress blog, you can make it snow too!

Let’s Get This Party Started

November 4, 2008

It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here!! I thought election day would never come and now that it’s arrived, I can’t wait for it to be over and done. I’m trying not to check FiveThirtyEight.com obsessively or pay too much attention to exit polls but the suspense is killing me. And while I’m so grateful to have been alive during this unprecedented time in history, I’m also ready for a winner to be named already so we can move forward with the business of enacting mandatory afternoon nap legislation and honoring Inappropriate Fridays, during which you may say, do, and wear inappropriate things without consequence.

This morning, I stopped at McDonald’s to get a bagel. Alright, alright. A bagel with bacon. (But at least I didn’t get any of their sweet tea, which is basically LIQUID CRACK and have I mentioned that I’ve been completely off sugar for over a month, which OHMYGOD, I still can’t believe but that’s a topic for another time.) The cashier asked me if I’d voted and told me she wasn’t registered before matter-of-factly prophesying that Obama would be assassinated. In truth, that’s been a fear of mine, especially given our country’s past in those murky waters but HEY, I don’t recall asking for a side of GLOOM & DOOM with my bagel, thankyouverymuch.

Guess what? Some stinky bastard scraped my car and didn’t leave a note! Worst of all, it happened at work, which means I might very well be mingling with the scumbag on a daily basis. The damage isn’t all that bad but it irritates me on principle because my poor little hoopty has already been through so much. The first year I had it, I suscepted it to a number of calamities, including but not limited to hitting a deer and a good and proper rear-ending by some goober in a yellow Mustang. Then on Saturday when I had an oil change, I found out I need new tires and P.S. the ones for the new Civics are between SIX AND SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS. Yowsa! (What is with me and run-ons today?)

Ooo, I forgot to mention that one of my supervisors sent me the sweetest message regarding that evil woman who’s been leaving me nasty comments. She was supportive and affirming and I felt very blessed. Amen.