Sunday, October 31, 2010

More Perfuckity

If blogging was a regular job, I'd have been fired months ago.

But I keep the blog going; it represents my hopes for getting back to me time.

New home, new job, staying on top of things so unbloggableness doesn't rear its ugly head. Yeah, it keeps me busy.

Lately, the problems of caring for our elderly mother have resurfaced. Those of you here last summer might remember. Those of you who helped me with phone calls and emails are forever in my grateful prayers.


Despite mom's outbursts, manipulations, and craziness; we got her into the assisted living place she wanted. I should not say we as I take no credit. My nephew and niece in California physically moved her days (minutes) before she would have been evicted.

My nephew paid for her first three months (her long term health care does not kick in until after three months).

Mom's doctor had the paperwork for her insurance application. Mom needed help with her meds, big time. She needed help bathing and dressing as she had fallen three times - breaking her arm twice and splitting open her head once. She needed help with her finances and paperwork as she was declared "mildly" incompetent. Mildly my ass.

Once in, you would think she would be grateful and relax.

But no.

She fought my sister (who took the responsibility of POA). Mom would not let my sister do anything. POA doesn't override my mom, just makes sis partners. Mom's doctor didn't think mom was crazy and incompetent enough to sign off on a conservatorship.

Doc did, however, change mom's insurance application at mom's request. She took off the check marks for bathing, dressing, and meds help. Just left the mildly incompetent. This was to save mom money as each need adds more to the bill.

Doc did not bother to notice mom's insurance won't cover her for only one check mark.

The assisted living home let it slide (they were getting paid).

Now, mom's insurance got denied and suddenly they are calling my sister and nephew more often than the stupid political campaigns.

Ever had one of those years where EVERYTHING was difficult. A challenge.

So. NOW they (and mom) want our help.

I'm posting the letter I wrote to the doctor tomorrow. Any of you ever get in a similar position, feel free to take it and revise it for your own.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Scary is as Scary Does

This is a repost, those of you who have been reading here for the whole two plus years might have read it before. But the Spin Cycle this week is Halloween. And I've been wanting to get something up this month, October, for breast cancer awareness month. And this post gives me the opportunity to double dip.

Circa 1960’s
When I was young and growing up in the San Fernando Valley with my two sisters, Halloween was a huge deal. We COULDN’T WAIT for dinner to be over and dark to descend so we could go trick or treating. My dad had this horrid awful mask that he would drag out, not only for Halloween but also for slumber parties. It beat the shit out of anything they sell today. It was MORE REAL. Not so rubbery. It was the scariest, creepiest, wrinkled, evil face ever. My sister has told me it came off a movie set (my Uncle was a cameraman). My dad would wait until our guard was down, which means sitting on the floor, sorting our candies; and with mask, trench coat, and big ol’ boots, he’d slam open the back screen door and come tearing at us. Clenching hands and BRUUUUUHAHAHA. I’m surprised we never pissed our pants. That’s how much we fell for it every year.

Halloween 1991
Daughter was just over two and we had mostly managed to keep her from chocolate and sweets. Instead of taking her trick or treating, we all dressed up and took her to a restaurant/club. You see, my husband and I met working at Bobby McGee’s. I was cocktailing to pay my way through college and my husband was a waiter. EVERYONE wore a costume at this crazy place to work. Even though we had both moved on, we still had a lot of friends there and they did a happy hour thingy on Halloween. So we dressed as the Flintstones. Cave clothes- mine and Daughter’s hair twisted around big, fake bones. It’s a great picture of back in the day when my husband and I had our youthful bodies. Daughter was the most precious Pebbles ever. Not that I’m prejudiced or anything. We went at about 5 PM, and even after a shitload of fun and frivolity, we were back home by 8. Within 5 minutes of sitting down some kids came trick or treating. There was no hiding from the two year old child the fact that I was giving stuff away and that was the end of her not getting candy for Halloween.

Halloween 1993
We had just bought our home that summer and it was Son’s first Halloween trick or treating. He was 16 months old. He had the CUTEST fucking tiger costume. He toddled along and I swear our block looked like that scene in ET, where swarms of kids come out right at dusk. Being a new neighborhood, it was a beehive of toddlerhood. I was holding his hand and waited on the sidewalk as Daughter and our friend’s kids went up to the first house. Son could barely talk, but he sure let it be known that he had observed what went on at the front door. He grunted and grumbled to see inside the kids pumpkin buckets. When he figured out that they were partaking of give-away stuff, he pulled and pulled on my arm until I walked him up to the next door. That was the beginning of his professional status at trick or treating. Everyone thought the baby tiger was too too cute and gave him twice as much candy as the other kids. But half way around the block he figured out how to unwrap a piece of candy and that was the end. Afterwards he wanted to sit in the middle of the sidewalk and eat his whole loot. My friend had to take all the kids around so I could haul his little butt home and check his candy before he scarfed down a razor blade or an LSD tab.

Halloween 2006
My children are 17 and 14 and they have made plans to go out with some friends. Son is actually trick or treating in a friendly neighborhood that lets the teens keep up the good work. His professional status is still intact. Daughter is in a play and after rehearsals they are having a party. My husband has to work. I have the night to myself, but I’m being a Halloween Homebody and I have decided I don’t want to answer the door and give away candy by myself. So I turn the porch light off and all the downstairs lights too. I go upstairs and treat myself to an aromatherapy bath with candles. As I leave the bath I look at myself in the candlelit mirror and contemplate the effects of the last few months. I’m still officially bald, but the first soft down of baby soft fuzz can be felt more than seen. My radiation treatments, finished just two weeks before, have left a thickening of red welts under my left arm. But it’s not as bad as they said it would be. The aloe must have really helped. My scars are still fairly new and jagged and my skin still has the sallowness of all that chemo. The dark circles under my eyes could be the center of a zombie mask.... But I made it. I’m done with the treatments and starting my recovery. I walk to the upstairs window and peek through the blinds to see the families on the sidewalks with their ballerinas and spidermen. I don’t feel the least bit sad to be by myself. I had insisted my kids not stay home for me; I want to make up for all those days and nights they had hung out with me in my room the previous summer, fear haunting their faces despite their efforts to hide it. I curl up in bed with a book, grateful that the worst is over. Happy that life is moving forward and getting back to normal.

For more spins on Halloween, head on over to Sprite's Keeper.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hump Day and that's all folks

My birthday's in a couple of weeks.

Let's hope a camera in my purse will revive my creative instincts.

Right now, I've got nothing.

Maybe you do?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Awesome Surf Shop

Ever had one of those weeks (months/years) where everything that can go south does so?

Don't you hate it when the bumpy road involves expensive items acting up? Breaking down? Not living up to the hype?

I hate having to put my I-can-be-a-bitch-if-you-make-me on and dealing with companies that don't back up their products.

I might do a post on the two companies that have caused much time suck in this house of late.

But today is Travel Tip Thursday, so I will focus on the company who made me happy.

We broke down and bought Son an expensive surfboard a couple of weeks ago. A belated graduation gift. After being furloughed 17 days last school year and Hub's hotel being slow, in May all the boy got was a family dinner and some much needed clothes.

Anyways, we bought him his "dream board." In less than two weeks a fin broke off the tail when he was turning at the top of the wave. The company who made the board has a total ass hat as the rep in charge of replacing bonker boards. I might do a post and show you all the ass hat's emails.

HOWEVER, the surf shop where we bought the board stepped in and gave us a full refund. Told us they would deal with the ass hat. The manager was always nice, empathetic, and willing to whatever it took to keep us happy customers. He said he understood how making such a huge purchase was supposed to be a happy thing. Proud parents. Stoked graduate. He derailed the train wreck the whole ordeal was becoming.

Local Motion. A local Hawaii surf shop. If you are visiting the islands, visit one of their stores. Take back T-shirts to all your family. The manager of the Ala Moana store is my new favorite person.

Got a Travel Tip? A post on living like you are on vacation in the middle of a work heavy week?

Link on up....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Random Intercession

AKA Why I haven't been blogging over the break like I thought I would be....

Hawaii public school teachers were on break last week. We go back to work today. As if I wasn't working all week without the kids.

The hours add up like this: 15 spent doing pacing guides from last quarter that I was supposed to do last quarter....

20 hours planning and prepping the first 3 weeks of next quarter for the 3 different classes I teach....

5 more hours writing the pacing guides for those 3 weeks and 3 classes...

10 hours grading so I can hand out 1st quarter final grades today.

* * * *

My son thought I should get back in the water. We used to be surf buds back in the day. As in the days when he was 9-14 years old and needed a ride, plus would go out to spots where an old bag felt comfortable.

So he took me out to a spot I have never been. Where he encouraged me to jump off a cliff into deep ocean and wait for the push of the wave off the cliff to "go left." And chided me for hanging out not by the cliff.

Here, check the spot out...

OK. It wasn't this big the day he took me out, but let's just say I only caught one wave, lied and told him I caught three. But the one wave was fun, but a bit too scary with the cliffs just to the side. I guess I am getting old.


I managed to get out to breakfast once, lunch once, and sunset drinks.... yes, once. Come on back on Thursday and I'll feature one of these spots. I am still challenged by the no camera thing, but my birthday is next month and I am pretty sure I am getting another little snap and shoot digital wonder.

For more Randoms, head on over to The Unmom's...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Spreading the News...

Travel Tip Thursday is running late.... there are reasons, but they are not interesting enough to blog about.

Anywhos. My good friend Smart Mouth Broad is in NYC for a business trip. So I thought I'd post a few pics and tips from our one and only visit there in the summer of 2007. The video is meant to accompany for mood...

Take a walk or three in Central Park and make sure you see John Lennon's Imagine....

A friend of mine said not to be embarrassed about being a tourist and to get on the double deck bus. And we did and had a blast. What do I care if New Yorkers think I'm a tourist? I was.

You can get on and off the busses all day long. We shopped Canal Street, had coffee in Little Italy, got off again for pizza and shopping.... the list is endless.

The bus drivers were awesome. Loads of personality and lots of tips for what to do and where to go.

Our favorite deli lunch would be hard to pick, but I think Stage Deli might be it. I thought I had a photo to post, but sorry, none without me and la familia in it.

Anybody have tips for Smart Mouth while she's there? Please leave them in the comment thread.

AND!!! WTF is up with blogger now with the new dashboard. Anyone?

Have a travel post? Link on up.....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Household Chores and Bongs...

Did the title get your attention? Ha!

* * * * *

So. I'm trying to catch up on everything work and have been in grading crazy mode the last two days. One of the assignments is part of an historical novel unit and is a drawing that shows the inside of a Puritan house. The boy is coming in from outside carrying firewood. The girl is sitting at a cauldron of water and dipping the candles she is making. The mother is on a spinning wheel.

The students were asked to make inferences on the life of the Puritans based on that drawing.

A male student wrote that the difference between the boys and girls was that "the boys do all the hard work while the girls do easy housework."

Ack. I was slightly offended and had to hold my hand back from writing on his paper that perhaps he should volunteer to do all household chores at home for a week since household chores are so easy. To make the experiment more Puritan-ish he should not allow himself electrical helpers.

The Universe was good to me though, and within seconds I came across one girl who wrote, "Boys carried wood into the house while girls had to drop things in a pot, they had to make things to eat in a fire, they had to make clothes out of threads, and then they probably had to serve the dad and all the boys. Nowadays boys just have to take out the trash while the girls have to wash clothes, dry clothes, fold clothes and wash the dishes. The difference for boys and girls is that boys get all the fun or easy chores while girls do all the hard work."


* * * * *

Hubs and I went to a memorial service the other night for the mother of one of hub's high school friends. It was a beautiful service. The mom lived in a house above Honolulu with a gigantic back patio that looks out over the city. This patio is where they held the service at sunset. There was a microphone and people came up and told stories they remembered about the woman who had passed away. Funny stories. Poignant stories. Stories of lives she had changed and lives she had influenced. I had only met her a few times, but after the service I felt as if I had known her.

Afterwards, there was a buffet and a bar and a wonderful musician playing guitar and singing. Mostly Hawaiian music, with the twinkling lights of Honolulu in the background. The musician is another high school buddy of the son. Listening to the music, looking out on the city lights, toasts to the history of the house and the life of the matriarch. It was perfect.

* * * * *

Apparently the musician didn't play his whole repertoire. When we got home hubs got on YouTube and shared this song with me that would not have been in good taste at the event.

But it's a bit fun.

Perhaps Trixie took up her bong to avoid falling into the hard chores of housework....

For more Random, head on over to Keeley at the Unmom's