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October 24, 2006

back... with no vengeance

i've posted some trip photos to flickr. i'm going to try to find a way to edit together some of the video i snagged. mostly of the kids, and mostly of soccer. who knew my cousin scott still had the moves? or papa bill.

that's right, he's graduated. now he's no longer uncle bill... he's a grandfather, so now his name changes. "go find papa and ask him" -- it's so weird. papa bill and grampy tom. ask grampy. ask papa.

the day we start calling my aunt "grammie", she's gonna flip.

October 21, 2006

before i forget

Lunch yesterday was REAL crab sushi (not imitation crab). Amazing flavor difference. Of course this was followed by a Dunkin Donuts glazed chocolate doughnut. Chocolate and sushi should never be eaten at the same meal, but I didnt care.

I wish I'd photographed dinner last night (seared salmon with blackberry salsa over rice, with a subtle pumpkin ice cream for dessert).

Breakfast this morning was a 3-egg omelette with fresh picked wild mushrooms and onions, home fries, and fresh blueberry muffins, cooked on a wood stove like Gram used to have. And coffee, of course, all for $7.50. Can you believe it? Wicked sweet.

Last night, spent a few hours after dinner with my cousins listening to local musicians in the town bar, which closed (lucky for us) around midnight. They finally kicked us out around 12:30.

time to get movin...

shower, grab photos, call the cousins and head to breakfast. i just hope its as good as GVKH.

Breakfast = yum. Best omelette I think I've had (outside of my mom's). Home fries, blueberry muffin, and coffee all for $7.50. Localvore food, too. Not the diner, though. That's tomorrow or Monday.

Got to talk to S1s wife at length for the first time. She seems very nice. VERY TALL. Cousin V has very little chance of being short, with a dad who's over 6'4 and a mom who's at least 6'.

More stories and detail for friends when I return.

you know it's going to be an odd weekend

when you're sitting at dinner talking about your college with your cousins who all grew up 900 miles away, because they're asking. (size, football team).

when the size of your undergrad population is as big as or bigger than every city in the state you're in.

when your cousins are making plans to watch/listen to your college team's football game, and you could give a rip.

when you go out drinking with your cousins who you havent seen since 1988 and 1991 and close the bar at midnight, and you find out, despite the distance and the socio-economic differences, you arent all that different. (more on this when i get home.)

when the locals at the bar start toasting to your dead grandmother.

when you are sleeping in a barn (that's been converted, quite nicely, into a hotel).

when you hear russian being spoken at dinner.

in my family, when you hear giggling from one of the oldest and the youngest present. (B & V)

when you see the look of astonishment due to "grampy has a brother and he looks like him?"

when my dad gets a backrub from mom's cousin B and doesnt flinch.

when you hear "I'm the weird cousin" and it doesn't come out of your own mouth.

when you see cousin v glide all the way across the inn's dining area.

and that's just the first night.

October 20, 2006

almost ready

ok, going a little nutso. it's midnight, i havent eaten since... last night at 8pm. i'm frantic, so i'm (of course) breaking out all over. i'm ready to get on the road, but i think i also forgot the syllabus for my class.

gotta go sleep. maybe (with any luck) i'll send an update tomorrow.

peace out. (and thanks, B, I got the thing you sent me.)

October 19, 2006

checklist, for realsies

printouts of directions, reservations
photos copied
cat litter changed
living room cleaned
all my alarms for the morning
mp3 player with tunes
toys to alex

down to the wire...

so tired. drove to the homestead last night to drop off those framed documents for the parents to take to the memorial. Talked for about an hour. Drove back. Then stopped at Big Bird to get some emergen-C.

did i mention i'm tired?

yeah, and today i have to do laundry, pack, and remember to set all my alarms in the morning. and i have to find my tiny tripod. and my batteries. and load up my mp3 player with tunes. and remember to get directions to the hotel. and print out my flight ticket info. and my car info.

i was less panicky when i got to work. now, that calm has passed. I have 2 hours to finish a project, and then I have a meeting, and then, if i'm lucky, i can go to the dry cleaners and laundromat before class. after class, then i have to come back for meetings. yay.

October 17, 2006

moth-holes cause stress.

i seriously am going to have a breakdown by the time i get to the funeral. between framing and suitings, i've bitten off more than i can chew. and i still need to find time to pack.

October 16, 2006

planning and stuff

so, i had to go buy dress pants, because all of mine were about 1/2" too small arount the middle. that fucking sucks. my khakis stretch for my fat ass, but slacks? no way. and, a new dress belt. and new shoes, because all of my black ones kind of sucked. and an overcoat. because i didnt HAVE one. funny, because my dad had been stressing the importance of one since i was 19. and then i had to have my jackets dry cleaned and the shirts and pants cleaned and pressed.

so, care to guess what i've spent so far on stuff that (hopefully) i'll never wear again after this weekend, and having stuff cleaned and pressed? yeah, don't bother. it's a lot. and i need new glasses, btw. and i'm having my teeth cleaned tomorrow.

and now we've got a leaky roof.

does anybody wanna buy a whole collection of dc direct figures?

monday bloody monday

it started with a 30-minute nosebleed. was running late to pick up my coworker. had to skip coffee. got to work and saw a rat in the lunchroom. ew.

called the dental clinic - no openings for 2 weeks, or i could get a student, and not get an actual cleaning for 3 weeks. so I called Naladentist, and might be able to get in for tomorrow.

at lunchtime, i'm probably going to run to the dry cleaners, the bookstore, and to get new lenses in my glasses.

that is, if i can get out of the office. ARGH. This is killing me. The server went all wonky over the weekend with patches and such.

October 12, 2006

dr. nik gets a street sign

Fall and a new street sign
Originally uploaded by sponng.

This photo summed up autumn in the northeast, plus, it's got a streetsign for "Windy Blood". How cool is that?

I got an invite to a fall bonfire @ his place next Friday that I'm going to try to make. He's a friend from my old days at college way back in the long-long ago, and I have yet to meet his lovely wife, -A-.

October 11, 2006

i committed

I went ahead and booked my flight. It was only $200 total with tax, and I managed, after searching quite a bit, to find a return flight with > 30 minutes between changing planes, and still arriving back at home at a decent enough hour to find someone to pick me up.

For about another $60 (tax and fees included) I got a rental car for 3 days. I emailed one of my cousins to see if he'd be around, but he's not certain yet if he'll be around for more than just the memorial. My old friend Dr. Nik is gonna be around that weekend, and I'm trying to touch base with a couple more friends in the area.

And, I booked my hotel this morning. According to the nice lady, there is another person staying there who will be attending Gram's services.

October 9, 2006


i went to my parents' this weekend to help out on the farm.

my teeth hurt. my jaw hurts. 6 hours of rattling and gritting teeth riding the lawn tractor mowing their massive yard. and i didn't finish. there were probably 2 hours left.

plus there's some weird fall pollen in the air or something. my sinuses are killing me.

oh, and the only decision re: the funeral travel is that I won't be riding the 4 days in the vehicle with my parents.

October 6, 2006

butters vs cartman

butters farts on cartman while he's down, and then flips him off and says "f*ck you, eric"

that's the kind of day i'm having. you smug so-and-so, you're a dumbass. shut your mouth, and let us do our jobs.

seriously wanna bash some heads

I dunno -- I just wanna bash in some heads. I hear stupidity, repeatedly, and I keep wanting to reach for a frying pan.

Old skool WP Frying Pan. Upside the head. Would that be so bad?

Do you ever just even HEAR someone talk and know they're stupid, and know you're going to have to make up for it, because everyone else thinks that person is smart (and that person refuses to admit himself to be ignorant)?

WP Frying Pan. As Martha would say, "It's a good thing!"

flying vs driving

talked to my mom yesterday. they were going to plan on driving to maine and back because "flying was too expensive," and still take 2 days to get there and 2 days back, at least. i didnt like the idea, considering all the problems with my dad's back. 3 bulging disks, btw.

so, i volunteered to pay for their flights. mom found a "breavement flights" website, but the prices there were even more expensive than any of the online vendors. today i'm sending them some links to cheaper flights in the hopes they'll find something they want to do.

dad says he found a hotel in bethel, which will undoubtably cost big bucks. the cheapest in rumford is $115/night. it's fall foliage tourist season, and that sucks.

all that said, that leaves me. what am i doing? am i going? i still don't know. i think it's more important that my parents go, and get there safe and have a rental car and all that jazz. if it were just me, sure. but it's me, and them, and when it comes down to it, i've got to take care of them first.

October 4, 2006

brain sludge...

it's morning.
i've checked email, unfortunately.
plans are changing daily.
as max said, we're getting older.

dad probably won't be able to make the trip with my mom to my grandmother's funeral, as expected. this is, of course, unless he can fly. he won't have his MRI results till Friday at the earliest.

saturday, i'm helping max move a freezer... at some point saturday or sunday, i have to drive home to help on the farm, since it looks like dad won't be up and around like his old self for a while.

i had to tell the radio folks that i wouldnt be around for the parade, too.

this probably also means i'll have to schedule another weekend at my parents' this month to take care of last minute stuff.

October 3, 2006

on a lighter(?) note

i've been trying to figure out my plan for the coming days when my parents can no longer navigate stairs. the simple answer would be to say "move to florida. your house there doesn't have stairs."

the next simplest answer would be to have them downsize (again) and move all necessary things to the first floor of their home. this isnt a best solution as it does make space an issue... leading to...

the next simplest answer, which is, to build a new out-building where their tools can reside... which costs a large amount of cashola to do right.

the next simplest answer would be to buy them a home in town. my dad would never be happy.

so, the next simplest answer would be to build a new home near the old one. which, of course, is tempered by a) how much longer will they live, and b) how will i afford such a thing, because c) my mortgage will increase soon, and d) i really want to buy their neighbor's land, too.

the simplest solution? win the damn lottery.

i just wanna sleep.

so, i was sitting in class, and surfing in between notes, as to be able to stay awake.

because of the con (and the fact nobody uses my oldest email address except family), i hadnt checked email since Friday (my battery in the sidekick went dead Saturday anyway). in it was a large email from my aunt detailing the last days of my grandmother, both in words and pictures.

seeing a photo of your dead grandmother, mouth agape, within 30 minutes of her death... quite unsettling. and i question the logic. but, death does funny things to people.

my experience with seeing dead bodies is kind of minimal. zan's roommate jenny, my friend shawn... that's it. my experience with dead family members is non-existent. my grandfathers both died when i was about 18 months old. my other grandmother's still alive, and my uncles who died weren't close enough to merit my going to the memorial services, despite their being family. i'd barely met them, let alone their children, my cousins.

i've been avoiding the thought of this one. faced (almost literally) with her death knowing I saw her less than 2 months ago, and knowing she'd hung on time and time again has been emotionally draining, despite the fact that i'm ok with it. And I mean draining. I mean, I'm not sad. How could I be? She's not suffering anymore. None of us are suffering emotionally watching her wither. I got to say goodbye (again). She had a long and fulfilled, if not exciting, life. I'm just drained.

And I had been doing better till I saw the photos all taken within a week or so, and then I was drained again. So, it's gonna take a while to get back to even-keeled again. I'm not taking time off from work, because what the hell would I do?

I'm not sure if there will be a memorial service, or if so, when. I have to keep my options open for that if/when the time comes. I'm waiting to hear back from my dad regarding his latest malady, and any updates on the memorial service. I might call my mom tonight.

ok... i've got work to do. back to the grind.

October 2, 2006

catching up

hooray for not having time to mentally process anything.

seriously, i've been not thinking about my grandmother's death, my dad's health problems, and all the good stuff that goes along with that. in fact, i forgot about class tonight, too.

welcome back to work, school, and no time to reflect.

oh yeah, and anniversaries, too.
#9 for me and a certain crack addict.
mr and mrs evebird hit #14(?) today
zan and ron hit #5
gigamom and gigadad have their 40th in a couple weeks.

it's good to be home, but i really should've taken today off from work.