Saturday, August 30, 2003

Woo Hoo- I Figured Out Comments!

So, hopefully there is now a comment feature here...

We shall see if it works.

Yesterday I got mind numbingly bad legal news. Today I saw my shrink. Life is a whirlwind, and I am a little speck of aerial flotsam/jetsam. The fun never ends...

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Avoidance Mode

I say … and you think … ?
Bay:: watch
Boarding school:: rich kid
Riddle:: me this
Hunger:: thirst
Allergy:: sneeze
Sponsored:: by
Spin:: the bottle
Interest:: bearing
Scrabble:: game
Mold:: release
Unconscious Mutterings

The Boy is asleep. I am sleepwalking... I just brewed a pot of coffee and forgot the coffee. Imagine my surprise when I poured hot water into my milk... Yuck. So yeah, I am in avoidance mode, because the Accident case is looming, and my brain, she no work. Joy. Oops. Screaming baby...

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Don't Ask If You Don't Want to Know

Why do people ask you for advice, when they don't want to listen?

My brother did this all through law school (I graduated several years before he did). He would even ask me legal questions and then disregard the answers.

Hell, my father does the same thing, and he has no legal training whatsoever, just thinks he's smarter than me, I guess.


My husband asks me to review the refi papers from a legal perspective, and when I point out problems, he gets pissed. I guess he just wanted a rubber stamp of approval. Sorry, when I see a problem, I speak up.

He claims it is because I got angry about the few little surprises that I found in the documents. Now, I got angry at the bank fopr trying to pull a fast one. I did not get mad at him. But anytime I get angry at anything, Kevin takes it personally.

So I guess this goes beyond why ask me to play lawyer when you will just ignore my professional opinion. Not that it counts because I'm no longer practicing law, but I can still read and analyse the occassional document or a case.

My husband cannot handle me being angry.

Its either that I must really be angry with him, or that nice girls don't get angry, or that anger is dangerous, or some equally dysfunctional script running in his head. Sometimes he says that he feels like he's failed me if I get angry, because he should have protected me from being upset.

Hello? Since when is he responsible for my emotions?

When I am not curled up in fetal position courtesy of PTSD, I have the full range of human emotions. Including anger. I think that is a good thing.

Now, I also think its what you do with an emotion that can be *wrong*, but not the emotion itself.

To me, becoming violent when you are angry is just plain wrong. Repressing anger to the point that you explode over minutae is wrong. Venting is not, so long as it isn't a personal attack. Bitching loudly is not.

Kev doesn't mind pitching things across the room when he's pissed. But he thinks its a tragedy of epic proportions if I bitch and moan, or, god forbid, raise my voice.

I wish I hadn't raised my voice, but when it seems like people don't hear me (or have just ignored me), I tend to get louder, hoping they will.

Sigh.




Friday, August 22, 2003

Friday Five Again-- on a Friday, for a Change!

1. When was the last time you laughed?
Last night, with my four month old son, who had an irresistably contagious attack of the giggles!

2. Who was the last person you had an argument with?
My husband, over something totally stupid, which is our most common fight fodder.

3. Who was the last person you emailed?
A dear old friend, whom I met many years ago at a Star Trek convention...

4. When was the last time you bathed?
This morning, though with a newborn, I can't always say that!

5. What was the last thing you ate?
A vegan spinach & tofu lunch pocket thingee.

The Friday Five

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Our Own Idiotic Language

K- I think your thingee binged.
C- OK, thanks.

Translation-- the microwave buzzed.

You know you've been married forever when you can translate the seemingly nonsensical. Twelve years now. And I've known him for 21! That is mind boggling. I feel old.

Obsessive Avoidance, My Drug of Choice

I have been spending an unjustifiable amount of time reading blogs. And some of the folks I read are absolutely amazing writers. It has been amusing and edifiying and moving, and while I would not call it a waste of time, I must admit, it has been an escapist revel.

With me, escapism isn't a harmless little psychological trick to get me through a rough patch. No, with me, escapism is a way of life. Its a PTSD thing. And actually, the correct term is probably "Avoidance".

Call it what you will, when my demons raise their ugly little heads, I find something totally removed from them to obsess over and escape into. To the point that I very often come to a dead stop in my own life, accomplishing absolutely nothing that isn't required for survival. Sometimes I can actually muster the self awareness to recognize that I am in avoidance mode. Usually, someone has to point it out to me, and then have the tenacity to overcome all of my objections and rationalizations until I will look at my behavior and realize they are dead right. Then the even harder question needs answering:

WHY?

What has got me so triggered and freaked that I can't cope unless I disappear into the latest bad distraction technique?

(Bad distraction techniques past:

  • Home Shopping Club
  • Ebay
  • Insanely detailed historical research for novels only half written and probably never to be completed
  • Research just for the hell of it (I have this twisted need to know everything there is to know about topics that fascinate me)
  • Reading
  • The internet (research, mail lists I lurk on, blogs I read & write)
  • Eating (though surprisingly, NOT drinking, because it is the family pitfall I refuse to fall vicitm to)
  • The dogs (and now, maybe, the kid???)


These are my chickenshit law abiding substitutes for genuine substance abuse, but they have the same effect-- they allow me to zone out.

Look how neatly I dodged the big question by listing all this stuff...

Why am I freaked? What triggered me?

The blackout-- specifically, the tales of elevator rescues, and the one stupid ass news anchor who felt it necessary to lead the audience in a visualization exercise about being trapped in a little black box... Eeeeewwww. I am starting to flash just thinking that...

Die Gedanken sind frei, wer kann sie erraten
Sie fliegen vorbei wie nachtlichen Schatten

OK-- there's another stupid distraction technique-- trying to remember words to German folk songs, or conjugate irregular German verbs...

Ironic, because the particular song is "Thoughts are Free", and basically is about how you can beat me, lock me up, etc., but my thoughts are MINE, and you can't control them.

Except, in the wake of PTSD, that is no longer Truth for me.

I don't control where my mind takes me.

And that is the most terrifying ride of all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Trying Something Here

OK, so I am trying to add a blogroll. Not sure I did it right, though.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Blackout 2003

At a bit after four in the afternoon, on a hot and sticky Thursday, August 14, 2003, I was sitting at the computer when we took a power hit. Not all that unusual for this area on a hot summer day. But it is usually a momentary thing. This time, however, the lights didn't just flicker off, and the fan didn't just stutter.

Time passed, and the silence, humidity and heat quickly grew oppressive. The baby was in his swing asleep in the up-to-now air conditioned bedroom. I called my husband's office in New York City and left a message-- can you call the power company, the whole neighborhood appears to be out again. Kev tends to carry the bills around with him, so I figured he would have the number. More time passed, so I dug out an old power bill and made the call myself. Only instead of the usual automated trouble line, I got a fast busy signal. Great, I thought, there's something wrong with their phone.

Half an hour later, Kev calls to tell me its the entire Northeast, plus Canada affected! He reminds me that I have my little battery operated travel TV, which he happens to remember is on my bookcase. Cool. So I turn it on and learn how far reaching the problem is. They are talking about the great NYC blackouts of 1965 and 1977. While I am too young to remember 1965, and the 77 incident I experienced only indirectly via the TV in our rented cabin up at Lake George, I do remember my Dad wondering if the apartment building would be looted or burned down before we got home from vacation.

Kev works in a pretty high crime area in downtown Brooklyn, so I was a bit worried about what would happen if he were stuck there after dark. I was also beginning to panic about how the baby was going to handle the heat. I had been thinking I might have to take a taxi (I don't drive any more) to the mall and hang out there till the power came back, but the mall would be in the dark too. In fact, nearly all the businesses here were closed or closing. My friend  called me, and I asked her "if you are going to run out to the store, could you please get me some ice?" She snapped that I should go myself. I said I would, if I didn't have Mikro. She proceeded to advise me to saddle him up in the stroller and push him the half mile to the store and back in the nearly 100 degree heat. I bit my tongue and told her I did not think I would do that, because he does not tolerate heat well. (And I thought, how the hell do I cool him down when we get back, since I don't even have a working fan, much less air conditioning!) She pushed it further. I extricated myself from the conversation before I lost control of my temper, but just barely.

I realized it was time to do the emergency preparedness thing, and popped the boy back in the swing so I could go deal with gathering matches, candles and flashlights. I had just gotten done when Kev caled to say his buddy J was in the area and would stop by and help me with the generator. (Another friend gave it to us after not needing it for Y2K.) When J arrived, we did a futile run for ice and water. Everything was either closed or sold out. Then J dragged the generator out and set it up. We got the refrigerator and one fan running. We parked the boy in front of the fan, to his vast relief. We ate the mint chocolate chip ice cream I had in the freezer, and offered to store milk and formula for my neighbors with small kids.

Then the lights came back around 745 pm. We unhooked the generator and J moved the fridge back against the wall. J had a quick nuked dinner, then drove home to the City.

Kev was stuck at the office, since neither the NYC subways nor the commuter rails were running. It was way too hot to hike across the Brooklyn Bridge only to roast on the sidewalk outside Grand Central Terminal, which was closed. So he slept at the office. Apart from not being able to get anything to eat or drink except the vending machine contents at work, it wasn't so bad for Kev since his company has a generator on their rooftop and the A/C for the computer room was up at all times. He was worried about us, and we really missed him, but everyone was safe. The power stayed on all night, and Mikro was able to sleep comforrtably in the air conditioned bed room.

All that changed at 945 am, when the power went out once again. This time it stayed out until 404 pm. With the humidity, the heat index was over 100. I couldn't run the generator myself because I couldn't move the gas cans or the fridge with my neck & back problems, so we stayed in the bedroom, which kept cool for awhile, and came downstairs only after no trace of coolness was left. Mikro  was not a happy baby. I stripped him down to his diaper, and frequently wiped him down with cool washcloths, but he was miserable.

Not until 230 did I hear from Kev that Metro North had trains running sporadically. He found a city bus that would take him into Manhattan, and walked from the Bowery all the way up to GCT, where he was able to get a train home. He walked in the door around 8pm.

The power has stayed on since then, knock wood...

Another Friday Five

1. How much time do you spend online each day?
Too much. Once the computer is booted, its up and online all day. Though the kidlet only gives me brief snatches of opportunity to use it.
2. What is your browser homepage set to?
My own web page.
3. Do you use any instant messaging programs? If so, which one(s)?
No. Too jarring and intrusive. I far prefer email. (Also, I am not a fast enough typist to suit me in "chat" situations.)
4. Where was your first webpage located?
On AOl's "my place" space with my former AOL acount.
5. How long have you had your current website?
Since 1995 or so.
Friday Five

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

A Little Late... The Friday Five

The Friday Five

Aug 08, 2003

Answer the following five questions in your weblog or journal. Make sure you leave a comment here with a link to your post (or just leave your answers in the comments section).

1. What's the last place you traveled to, outside your own home state/country?
Key West Florida, several years ago with my friend Becca. When we left New York, it was 18 degrees. On arrival in the Keys, it was 89! We took a day trip out to the Dry Tortugas, which was incredible. Snorkeling, sunning, and lots of island color. Gave me plenty of ideas for paintings, and was the ultimate "Artist's Date" ala Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way-- total recharge of the creative batteries. One of these days I will get my husband to go down there... maybe once the kidlet is able to swim...
Last trip out of the country was my honeymoon. We got married on St. Patrick's Day, so it was Ireland for us. That was back in the days before my accident and chronic pain and craziness, so I flew, and drove, and lugged a year's worth of luggage on a two week trip. Saw Galway and Meath, where Kev's family is from, and visited with them. Got lost up in the Galway countryside. Took a ferry to the Aran Islands. Stayed in a castle (Dromoland Castle). It was magical, and teh best part was being together.

2. What's the most bizarre/unusual thing that's ever happened to you while traveling?
Nothing truly bizarre springs to mind, unless it was my own post-Accident claustrophobia induced insanity on an airplane... Biggest surprise was that its easier to eat vegetarian in Ireland than the USA!

3. If you could take off to anywhere, money and time being no object, where would you go?
[[Assuming pain and insanity are also no object...]] Sail around the world on an old three master with twenty or so of my nearest and dearest, with plenty of port calls at tropical islands... Jimmy Buffet should be the soundtrack to my life... in my dreams...

4. Do you prefer traveling by plane, train or car?
Car absolutely, because you can stop when you want, get out when you need to... the claustrophobia thing runs my life...

5. What's the next place on your list to visit?
The ancestral homelands... For me, Germany, France, England & Ireland. For Kev, Ireland and Poland. And Key West, most definitely, with art supplies!

Friday, August 08, 2003

Peyton Place-- My Brother's Slut Girlfriend Quandry

If there's anyone out there, I need some advice on two matters.

The first is fairly trivial web stuff-- how do you add a comments feature here?

The econd is a major mess.

It involves my brother.

By way of introduction, my brother is 36 years old and lives in mom & dad's basement, rent free. He makes a six figure salary, but has to routinely borrow money from my retired parents because he is completely financially (and pretty much in all respects) irresponsible. He has a habit of taking advantage of them, which I believe stems from woeful immaturity rather than meanness of spirit, but it is high passed time that he grew up, and my parents are classical enablers, who make it ever so possible for him to continue acting like a spoiled child. He has never had to face the consequences of any of his irresponsibility, because my parents always clean his messes up for him, making sure he never learns his lesson...

He and his girlfriend have had an extrememly on-again, off-again kinda relationship. Well, in April, they announced that they were "pre-engaged", figuring that they would make the engagement official in about a year, and marry about a year later.

I thought, wow, signs of him finally turning into a grown up!

I was happy for him.

His girlfriend is ten years younger, and equally irresponsible, also living at home with mummy and daddy. She spends my brothers money almost faster than he can earn it. I always figured that that is at least equally his fault, because he likes to act like Rockefeller's kid, and put on airs. He has a lot more than a beer budget, but his taste isn't just for champagne, its for the magnum of Dom... He is a show off, to put it simply. I am sure she doesn't know he has no money saved, or that she wipes him out every month, because I am sure he would never be honest with her about it.

OK, so those are his faults. Believe it or not, they are not the cause of the [present crisis, but may well cause him to make an irrevocably bad decision...

It seems the girl is pregnant, and it is NOT his child.

She now claims to be ever so sorry, want only him, and it seems like shje wants him to marry her post haste so she will continue to look "respectable".

She claims the father wants nothing more to do with her or the baby.

She is keeping it.

Personally, looking at my son, I could never tell anyone to kill a baby, so I have no issue with her decision there.

I do have issues with her trying to get my stupid brother to clean up her mess for her.

And he apparently may be willing to do it.

Without any thought for what the future may hold. Whether the father will decide at some point to want to be in his kid's life? Or take custody? Whether my brother can ever look at the kid and not see the infidelity? Whether he can ever trust the mother again?

He is afraid of beling alone.

So he may buy into this nightmare.

I have no idea what to say to him, other than go get tested for STDs...

I feel sorry for my brother.

I feel sorrier for the baby...

Monday, August 04, 2003

Junklock & Friday Five (Late)

No, I don't mean gridlock. We have so much junk about the house, that it sometimes is actually hard to navigate from room to room. Think Collier Brothers. I wish that I was the type of person who could ditch magazines and newspapers WITHOUT reading them first. It takes way too long my way. In my next life, I shall be one of those neatniks with austere, spartan homes. For the moment, it looks rather like a tornado hit a library. Paper everywhere, in no approximation of order. Sigh.

AND a late Friday Five:

Aug 01, 2003
The Friday Five



1. What time do you wake up on weekday mornings?
3:30, 5:30, 7:00- whenever the boy wants to breastfeed.
Generally don't actually become vertically oriented until after 8 am, if I can help it.


2. Do you sleep in on the weekends? How late?
Actually we are up earlier because the diabetic dog gets her insulin shot at 7am, and my husband seems noisier about it on weekends.

3. Aside from waking up, what is the first thing you do in the morning?
Get the baby to latch on and watch the am news or late night comedy while he eats.


4. How long does it take to get ready for your day?
Way too long, with the baby and the dogs... and the PTSD insomia...

5. When possible, what is your favorite place to go for breakfast?
I tend to eat lunch type stuff for breakfast, dinner for lunch, and breakfast for dinner... but if possible, IHOP or a good diner.