Posted on September 18th, 2023
I worked 11-1/2 hours today. I'm done.
Posted on September 15th, 2023
All week I've been trying to finish up a project that should have been finished last week. But something always came up. Which is why I was doubling down in committing myself that, come hell or high water, I would finish it up today.
And then I went in to the office. And was immediately hit with numerous crises that had nothing to do with my job, but needed to be handled by somebody which, alas, ended up being me.
Needless to say, I never even got to touch what I was planning on working on today.
Which means I'm working this weekend.
I thought Fridays were supposed to be the best day at work?
Posted on September 4th, 2023
It's Labor Day and I'm actually taking the day off for once. After working day and night to complete a project over the last ten days, I deserve it.
Also... I really need to finish up a woodworking build so I can have the tile guy seal it into my kitchen tile for me. I got a good start on it early this morning... only to find out that the pricey poplar boards I bought from Home Depot were absolute shit. They warped ALONG THE LENGTH, which takes real effort to accomplish. I ran to Lowes and bought poplar boards that weren't skewed to hell and... get this... cost half as much.
I don't know why I ever buy wood from Home Depot. It's never that great, even when you pay extra for the pricey stuff.
I guess I just like the convenience because it's closer.
Posted on August 28th, 2023
It's really tough to talk about the final years of my mom's life.
Dementia is a deeply cruel and terrible fate. Not just for the person afflicted with it, but those who care for them as well. In the five years since mom died, I find myself focusing on the many good memories I have and not thinking about the sad memories of how tough life became at the end. I think that's the way memories are supposed to work.
Except when they don't.
Yesterday as I was unloading the dishwasher I was stacking plates in the cupboard and was suddenly taken back.
In the last months that my mom was living with me, she became more confused and agitated. One of the ways that this was expressed was with violent outbursts that shocked me to my soul. My mom had most always been an exceedingly kind person, so to have her scream and attack me because she thought her son was "kidnapping her" took a large toll on my mental health. I couldn't resolve how the person she had been all her life would randomly disappear.
Telling myself that this "wasn't really who she was" and "it's the dementia talking" can only go so far when you're facing these challenges on a regular basis.
One of my biggest challenges was getting mom to eat.
At home, she never wanted to eat. I'd ask her what she was hungry for and she would always say she didn't want anything. Even if she hadn't eaten all day. I finally found a work-around when I realized that if we went out to a restaurant to eat, it was like a visual cue that she was supposed to be eating, and she would. So I would take her out for breakfast and dinner, but try and feed her a sandwich or snack for lunch.
As you can imagine, this became incredibly expensive. I simply couldn't afford to eat out every day. In the days leading up to payday I didn't have the funds, and tried my best to recreate the restaurant experience at home for dinner. Instead of eating on the couch in front of television, I'd set the table and try to get her to eat there. Sometimes it worked.
But sometimes it most definitely did not.
One time we were sat at the table to eat and I was trying to encourage her to try something. She became upset... then smacking dishes off the table. I tried my best to remain calm, asked her if maybe he wanted to take a nap, then lead her to her bedroom since she could never find it on her own by that point.
After the ten minutes I allowed myself to have a mental breakdown, I set to cleaning up the mess of broken glass along with the spaghetti, salad, and bread that was all over. My mom came out as I was cleaning up. I asked her if she couldn't sleep. She ignored me and asked what happened. There was no point in telling her that she had caused all this, so I said that I dropped some dishes when I was clearing the table.
Suddenly I had my mom back, and she was telling me to not feel bad as she helped me clean up.
Then she joked that maybe I should buy Corelle dishes since they wouldn't break.
Since I was running low on dishes (this was not the first time she had broken them because dementia makes you clumsy) I thought that buying Corelle was actually a great idea. So I did. And even though Corelle is not indestructible, the amount of breakage was drastically reduced.
Until even Corelle was too dangerous to risk, and I switched to Melamine plastic which is even safer from breakage (but not toxic chemicals, so there's a definite trade-off happening... but if you have dementia, it's hardly the concern it would normally be).
I still have the Melamine, which I only use when I host a barbecue or something... and even then I top them with a paper plate to protect from the toxicity you get when eating on the stuff. I still have the Corelle as well. But that's something I use daily. And it was unloading it from the dishwasher that took me back to less-than-great times, and the despair that goes along with it.
Whenever this happens, I make time to pull the photo albums I made for her from our trips and much better times...
That's my real mom right there.
And that gets me back to whatever my "normal" is now.
Posted on August 15th, 2023
I haven't given a shit what people think of me for a long time now.
It's this irrefutable truth which allows me to keep blogging on the internet.
I left a discussion group last week because an asshole wouldn't stop going after people for things like spelling and grammar, even though the meaning was perfectly clear. I finally said something... essentially saying that gatekeeping the English language isn't the purpose of the discussion... then I left. This morning somebody still in the group copied some of the responses to my comment and sent them to me before she left too. The guy I replied to replied to me with something stupid, then other people jumped in and agreed with him. Proving that I made the right decision to go.
Liz Climo put this drama into vivid relief for me...
Those poor, poor people.
Posted on August 1st, 2023
I've never understood the concept that men have to be abusive assholes in order to be considered "masculine." Is that really what society wants of us? Exploding with anger and being physically violent at the drop of a hat?
I have tried most of my life to not be that guy.
And it all started after my brother and I took a trip to Thailand.
All the men I encountered were exceedingly gentle, soft-spoken, and kind. They saw no need to be hostile or domineering in every situation. After a couple days of reading the teachings of The Buddha from the book that was in the nightstand, I understood that their gentleness was likely a function of their religion (something like 95% of the country is Buddhist).
Before visiting Thailand and being exposed to Buddhism I was a bitter, angry, volitile person who would have a meltdown if a bird pooped on my car. After visiting Thailand and being exposed to Buddhism I had a different view of the world and my place in it. The bird that pooped on my car wasn't attacking me. This was nothing personal. There is no benefit to being angry at a bird. It was just being a bird and doing what birds do, independent of me or my feelings.
I never became a Buddhist, but the precepts and teachings of The Buddha made me an entirely different person, and showed me who I wanted to be. Everything just made sense. At last. So while I still get angry, I just let it go instead of letting it eat away at my soul. Sometimes by blogging about it. I'm so much happier this way.
But anyway... my journey ran through my head after I happened across this TikTok (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@jessandskyler Replying to @user3354426333524 ♬ original sound - Jess & Skyler
"My softness and my gentleness is an act of defiance."
That's a statement that's going to stick with me for the rest of my life.
Posted on July 28th, 2023
Well, that was a day.
I need quite badly to put it behind me and chill.
Maybe I'll just drink instead.
Posted on July 26th, 2023
I was already furious that Whirlpool uses cheap-ass plastic axels on their wheels which corrode and fall apart after five years.
I mean, seriously... just look at this shit...
So when I installed the replacement upper rack glides (THIRD PARTY WITH *METAL* AXELS), I yelled "FUCK!" at least twenty times in the ten minutes it took to figure out how to work with Whirlpool's stupid-ass design. Pretty sure all the appliance manufacturers make cheap-ass fucking parts that fall apart so you have to pay for replacements... but that isn't any consolation because I am still filled with rage.
I would have gladly paid 50¢ more for my dishwasher if Whirpool would have used metal fucking axels. God what a fucking piece of shit.
Posted on July 24th, 2023
I am not particularly worried about my memory. Yet.
But I do have some memory "blind spots" that drive me crazy.
ME AT THE STORE: "Say! That's a great deal on toothpaste! Should I get one 3-Pack or two? I'll just go with one. I think I have a tube in the cupboard."
ME TONIGHT: "GUESS I'LL JUST PUT THESE TUBES WITH THE EIGHT OTHER TUBES IN MY CUPBOARD! WTF?!?"
Interesting to note how mad I got with my previous extraneous purchases, because I just chucked them in there without neatly stacking them.
Posted on July 18th, 2023
I honestly try to be a kind, caring, compassionate person. That kinda goes out the window when there are abusive assholes unloading hate on their fellow humans... I simply cannot be kind, caring, or compassionate towards them... but I honestly try everywhere else.
Which is why even when I'm driving home and am anxious to get out of the heat and relax after a long day at work, I don't climb all over the bumper of somebody going 10 miles under the speed limit (25mph instead of 35mph). Because for all I know...
There could be numerous good reasons they aren't driving the speed limit.
At least I hope there's a good reason.
Because if either you or your vehicle is unable to go the speed limit, then you really shouldn't be driving.
So there I was driving home trying not to crowd the slow, slow car ahead of me, when somebody comes raoring up behind me. And they are right up on me. And it's like... surely they can see that I'm not the problem? So why be an asshole towards me? Then I started worrying they were going to attempt to pass us both on a fairly narrow road. Which might spook the slow driver and lead to disaster. But nope.
Eventually the car turned off and I accellerated to the correct speed.
For a few seconds.
Before the speed limit dropped to be actually 25mph again.
At which point they were all up on me again.