Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Cuckoo's Nest

After many months, tonight I talked to my Dad. And he was in rare form.

He said my brother's behavior has gotten so erratic that he's been expelled from his group home and his day care. He started opening car doors while the vehicle was in motion. He tried to choke one of his roommates and broke a caregiver's arm. This is not him. What happened to my sweet little brother who was so kissable when we were younger?

My brother has been institutionalized. Dad says he's so overmedicated that he can't climb stairs unassisted and sleeps all day.

He said that one day he was dropping him off at the group home before the expulsion. They arrived at the house to discover there wasn't a staff member there. They drove around waiting for her to arrive, all the while my dad was struggling to keep my brother from kicking the glove box, shifting gears and jumping out of the car. When the employee finally arrived, she didn't have her key. She finally located it, and after they got into the house, my brother went into his room and brought my dad an old family photo of the four of us. Didn't say anything, just brought him the picture. Like that was what was wrong.

In 2000, I made myself the outsider to this situation by moving away. So, by definition, I can't feel as bad as they do about this. But in reality I hurt so much I can hardly even type. But I still don't want to be an insider.

People, when you choose to have children, you should hope this isn't your life 26 years after you make that decision. Right now, I can't see myself ever taking the chance.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Iraqi-robics

My friend Tina had 6 words for me today: "YouTube. Iraq. Jumping jacks. Go."

And so I found it:



Take that, Richard Simmons.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Enough to Choke a Donkey

I am not one to poke fun at bodily functions. Yeah, I get the occasional snicker when being regaled with the tale of the 'FLF' (foot-long floater), and one time in eighth grade I peed a little laughing so hard when my dad broke wind as he was napping on the couch. But I'm not going to poke fun at them now.

I am only going to tell you how incredulously horrified I was tonight when I realized that my cat farts. And these are superhuman, atomic bomb type farts. That's right. You don't hear them, so you don't know to leave the room. And they hit you like a ton of bricks.

The worst part? Unlike a human fart, cat farts cover large areas in a small amount of time and smell like a rotting zebra carcass being broiling in the Serengeti sun. FOR TEN MINUTES.

The other night, he crawled into bed with me, and I smelled this awful stench. I grabbed him and lifted him off the bed, searching his paws and butt fur any sign of kitten doody. I looked all around my blankets for any tiny pebble of cat crap, but could find nothing. The next day I realized that he was farting, and that feeding him cheese had caused it. I think tonight, it's the chicken.

Cough, cough.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Going Forward, Another Day

Today was my last day of work at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene. It is truly a "blessed" institution. I have never seen a group of leaders that care so much for doing the absolute best for the patients. With no question in my mind, I would go to Sacred Heart for any medical procedure. They are motivated emotionally and fiscally, towards becoming a top-notch hospital. It is, without a doubt, a truly remarkable hospital.

But every day is complicated. And today was no different. I packed up my office in a box, cleaned out my drawers, and deleted the history on my computer. But I didn't say goodbye to anyone. I told Lisa, hey, today is my last day. Keep my number, let's have a beer. She has a big secret that she's struggling to keep. And even I don't know what it is.

Today I woke up, knowing that I would once again procrastinate in communicating with my parents. Actually, I shouldn't say 'procrastinate,' but let's just say I knew I still wouldn't be ready. But I owe my friend Megan props, because, in response to an email he sent me on Wednesday, my dad will find this in his inbox on Monday:

Dad,

I know this may seem like an unhealthy way of dealing with things, but I've come to a point where I've realized that my priorities and boundaries need to be adjusted. Things in my life are finally changing and I just need some time to get things figured out. That may seem like a lot to ask, but unfortunately this is not the kind of thing that can be rushed.

My conversation with Mom in July was a real eye-opener for me. Despite its brevity, it brought to light the stark contrast between who I am and who she is. Respectfully acknowledging those differences while coming to terms with my anger has been quite challenging. I don't think she realizes how hurt I was by her intimations, and garnering the energy to re-confront the situation has been an exercise of Herculean proportions. While I've gotten much better at mitigating the things I take personally, I am still quite a sensitive person.

I am fortunate to have very supportive friends who've tolerated this "drama", and who've been able to shed light on why this has been such a difficult situation for me to motivate myself to resolve. I guess what I need to ask of you is this: speaking as an unbiased party, how would you suggest I move forward without necessitating an apology from Mom? Looking at that as a rhetorical question, I'd suggest that I can't expect an apology and I've got to figure out a way to get over this without one. And it's been hard doing that because I don't ordinarily feel anger. It stopped coming naturally to me a few years ago and so now it's just really uncomfortable and confusing. I've had to ask myself - how much of this is me, and how much is her? And no matter what angle I look at it from, I have no answers to those questions. That is where I'm coming from, and that is why this time and space are really important; because I have to get over the hurt I feel and figure out a way to get over it (faster) the next time without asking her to contribute to the healing process.

The bottom line? I feel I have to get over this without talking about it with Mom because I'm afraid talking with her about it is only going to result in me being labeled 'melodramatic,' which is how the conversation ended in July. Having my feelings diminished in such a way was an immediate roadblock for me. It was incredibly disrespectful and I didn't deserve it, especially when I was trying to tell her how I was feeling.

I am not asking for your intervention; the last thing I wanted was to involve anyone other than Mom or myself. But since you've taken the time to offer your help, I suppose you could lend some experienced advice on how to proceed.

I hope your Thanksgiving and anniversary are happy and healthy.

Love,
Stephanie

And today, I discovered why Snoop Dogg is so obsessed with gin and juice. When made with Odwalla Superfood, it's de-lish!

What a great day.

Cheers!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Avoiding Vitamin-G

So, right now, I'm sitting in my living room, on the couch, watching TV on the internet because the TV would make too much light. Why, you ask? Well, please allow me to explain...

In the summer of last year, I started playing racquetball with my neighbor, Gavin. I had always thought he was kinda cute and was generally interested in a vague, if-nothing-else sorta way. We began our hot, sweaty racquetball sessions which were so intense that I'd be laid up on the sofa for the rest of the day. So, yeah. They were a bit arousing. But we were strictly platonic. Until the symphony. He asked me to the symphony like "hey, I got an extra ticket to they symphony. You wanna go? You know. Huh?" All cute and awkward like. So, I dressed up like a hooker and we sat up in our balcony box and watched the Eugene symphony. And that was our first date.

But I didn't really get that date vibe from him. There was nothing about it that said date and he certainly didn't kiss me afterwards, so how the heck is that a date? I was confused. And on our first date. Over the next month or so, we continued to go out to dinner and watch movies at my place, no funny business. Around our tenth date or so, I started thinking that we weren't dating because he still hadn't tried anything. And then it just happened. We started fooling around on the couch one day. I can't explain it, but we were watching "Panic Room," and we just started messing around and then he left. That's it. No second or third base action. Just smooching and cuddling. Weirdness.

I should pause to explain that I'm used to a much more aggressive approach. I'm used to guys leaping on me at the end of the first date. And I'm not saying I'm that sexy, just that I'm easy. And I like sex like most people, so, you know, I'm always up for it. Especially if I dig the dude okay but I can't see him in future family photos. Which is how I felt about Gavin.

At the time we were dating, I was still thinking that I'd really like to have kids one day. So when Gavin made it clear to me that he "doesn't believe in children," I knew we would never work together. That, and, he's the stingiest motherfucker I've ever met. Let me explain this briefly as I further digress...

I didn't pay for the symphony ticket. He did. But I paid for dinner. Because when we got the check, he stared pointedly at it but didn't make a reach. So, I offered to pay. Of course, he accepted. When I expressed my interest in going to the movies on a Sunday night, he put me off stating that there'd be too much traffic. (Traffic? On a Sunday?) When I asked him to pick me up at the airport, he asked me for $10 for gas. Ugh. I have dated only one guy who was cheaper - the guy who, prior to taking me out to dinner to celebrate a promotion I'd gotten, came over to my house and asked to use my computer to check his account balance he was afraid he'd overdraw. (The following weekend, that guy lost $400 in five minutes at the blackjack tables.)

Anyways, that night on the couch, I noticed that Gavin had developed a nasty rash. Actually, you can't even call something that mangy a "rash." It was a crusty, scabby, red, inflamed open wound along the inside of his lower arm. I asked him what he was using to treat it and he said tea-tree oil. I said WHAT??? I told him he needed to be using something that would actually decrease the inflammation and promote healing. You know, like soap and water. He finally went to the doctor who told him he had eczema and got some antibiotics which made him sick. Unfortunately he neglected to tell me this. He was sick for a week and didn't call me or write. Completely incommunicado. And by the end of the week, I (reasonably) deduced that he wasn't interested in me, began seeing someone else and told Gavin to bite my ass. He took it like a man, no discussion.

Over the last year, he's made the occasional contact. He's always been the person I've asked to get my mail whenever I go on vacation. I don't know any of my other neighbors, so who would I ask if I didn't have Gavin?

Recently Gavin has reinitiated contact. En masse. He will not quit. Emails, phone calls, let's go to the movies, you wanna hang out, hit me back if you're interested. Ugh. Only now I'm really not interested. Ick. Eczema? Gross. (Just kidding.) I don't know why I'm not interested. Wait, yes I do. He's cheap, boring, old, doesn't want children and is obsessed with politics. Oh, and I'm not even getting to the part about the vitamins. That's for another blog. And I thought I'd gotten my point across but then last night he said he'd call me today after he got home from work to see if I wanted to get together.

I don't. Does this need saying?

I probably should say that, GODDAMMIT. WHY CAN'T SOMEONE BE INTERESTED IN ME WHEN I'M INTERESTED IN THEM? I have two crushes right now, and neither one of them is Gavin. [For Meg, Ali, and Kelly: one of my crushes is another Jeff!!]

Back to my story. I don't want him calling tonight. But I don't want to totally alienate him because I need someone to get my mail when I go on vacation! So I turned off all the lights in my apartment so he'll think I'm asleep. It's 7:30 p.m. Do you think he'll fall for it? What will I do if he does call? Why am I doing this? Could I be any more pathetic?