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Diary
By toxicfur (Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 09:04:15 AM EST) (all tags)
ana's going to be doing the weekly Sunday brunch prompted writing chat thing (a toasted-cheese.com feature), so I thought I'd write a diary in three 10-minute chunks, with minimal editing. I'll pay about as much attention to the prompts as I do when I'm writing fiction.

Oh, and is anyone else on twitter? I'm just figuring out how to use it, but I'm finding that I like the one-sentence method of diarizing.

Inside: Mostly, a holiday round up.

Okay, go!




Prompt 1
I knew the holidays were going to suck. My therapist reminded me in late October that I needed to figure out what I should do to minimize the suckitude. Everyone says that the first $event after a loss is the hardest. I hope that's true. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day weren't so bad -- I stayed busy both days, and had enough down time that I wasn't utterly exhausted. I mean, flying on Christmas Day isn't ideal, but it wasn't too bad.

As ana has already reported, we went to Colorado to visit my in-laws. As usual, we were picked up at the airport by ana's brother, and we arrived pretty late -- late enough that we wound down a bit and then went to bed. The next morning, we wrapped the gifts for the kids (the complete Bone by Jeff Smith for 12yo niece, a magnetic Rube Goldberg-like marble game for 10yo nephew, and a toy accordion for 9yo niece). Thanks to an Amazon shipping problem, we ended up with an extra copy of Bone and an extra They Might Be Giants cd (the cd we gave to all three kids; the copy of Bone will find a home eventually).

The day after Christmas is the day we generally celebrate at my in-laws' house. BiL and SiL cook, we open gifts, 90yo aunt and her son (who is mentally ill in some way, and has a somewhat tenuous understanding of how the world works) come to visit. It was a long, exhausting day, and all I wanted to do at the end was escape.

That's when we found out we couldn't borrow my MiL's car this time. I was really, really angry. All I wanted to do was to have some ana&tf time, and I couldn't. So I went to my room, cried, and watched episodes of Angel on hulu.com. I wasn't angry at being told we couldn't use the car -- I was angry that we weren't told until it was too late to come up with an alternative plan. I really don't think that my MiL did that intentionally. She has a really hard time with short-term memory, thanks to a series of TIAs, and I honestly think it just didn't occur to her that she should tell us until we were there in front of her, about to ask for the car keys.

While I cried in our bedroom, ana looked for a solution to the problem, and the next day we were able to rent a car -- a Chevy HHR, which was the first rental car I've ever gotten attached to.

Time

Prompt 2
The rest of the trip was reasonably good, and I think that ana's family is quiet enough that they didn't notice that I was quieter than usual. I had less of a shield, I think, or something. My therapist described it as a membrane that's gone past permeable. Things that I would ordinarily shrug off hurt more deeply. I don't have the strength to fend off this stuff.

I inadvertently pissed off my BiL by not understanding that he expected me to cook one night when they came over. That part of the trip still bothers me, but I think I would remember if I'd volunteered to cook for 9 people, including 3 kids who are somewhat picky in their eating.

We got back home on New Year's Eve, landing in a snowstorm complete with crosswinds. The gusts made the landing a bit more exciting than usual, and it was the first time I've been on a plane in a very long time, where people applauded when the landing was over. I mostly ignored what was going on, though -- I was reading a Discworld book, and trying not to think about how long it would be before I could get off the fucking plane.

There's a theme here -- I hate being stuck in some place with no way out. I get that from my mom, I think, who always wanted to be the one who drove places. She hated carpooling, because she hated not having control over when she left. As she got sicker, she relied on people a lot more for transportation, and I think it really bothered her. New Year's Eve a year ago, she drove my brother home while throwing up into a large plastic cup. That may have been the last time she drove herself anywhere.

New Year's day we did pretty much nothing, I think. I slept late. Ana shoveled the driveway and sidewalks. I played Castlevania on my DS and poked around on the internet. We went to the grocery store.

Then, on Friday, we picked up the dogs from camp, we picked up my car from the shop (finally -- it was nearly 6 weeks from time of accident to when it was finished), and we went to a friend's house for dinner and Wii-playing. It was my mom's birthday on Friday. She would've been 55. The evening was low-key and distracting and just fun. I have very few close friends locally, but the ones I have are amazing.

Time

Prompt 3
Last night, we pulled out my mom's 1973 avocado-green fondue pot set. I learned that stores don't seem to sell sterno, but I managed to get the little paraffin-oil fueled candle-thing that came with the fondue pot to light. It's pretty clear that my mom never used the fondue pot, and yet she moved it with our family every time we moved (and there were lots and lots of moves when I was a kid). She has it in its original box, though the instructions are missing and the box is torn on one side. I know that it was a wedding gift (that's how I know the year), but I wonder who gave it to her. No way to know now.

The fondue recipe I used (from Simply Recipes) was really good. The flame kept the pot a bit too hot, and some of the cheese stuck to the bottom, and the lamp oil I used smoked a bit too much, but overall, it was a successful meal. I think my mom would have been amused.

Speaking of food, I'm planning to renovate our kitchen sometime in the next year. If I have a New Year's resolution, I guess that's it. After the small fire, the vent fan and light no longer work, and the oven light doesn't work, and the light over the sink doesn't work. Even before that, we needed a new stove top (one burner doesn't work at all, and one is inconsistent in flame-height).

Based on advice from a friend who's done serious renovations relatively recently, I bought a bunch of home-decorating magazines and I'm trying to figure out how I want my kitchen to look and feel, in addition to figuring out what is going to be the most effective and efficient use of my space. I'll think about budget later -- right now I just want to figure out what kinds of things I like.

I mentioned this to my SiL, who went through a kitchen renovation some years ago, and she laughed. "I hope you have a psychiatrist on retainer," she said, and then proceeded to try to talk me out of it. It'll be too expensive, take too long, etc. etc. etc. It kind of pissed me off. She finally said, "well, I hope you like doing your dishes in the bathtub for six months." I get that it'll be a pain in the ass, but maybe -- just maybe -- it'll be worth it. Yes? Please?

Finally, I don't want to go to work tomorrow. I checked my email about 3 times since Christmas Eve. I answered one of those, only because I was online sending my hours to the time-keeper before I forgot. I need a few more days of doing nothing, I think. I just hope that the world hasn't fallen apart while I've been gone....

Time
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Prompted to Write | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
fondue, etc. by Kellnerin (4.00 / 2) #1 Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 10:14:17 AM EST
We also got a fondue pot for a wedding gift. I've used this recipe -- it's simple and it works well. And I have no trouble getting Sterno. Actually, every time we think of doing fondue I get afraid that we have no fuel so I get some, then D makes fun of me because of course I bought a package of three cans last time. But fondue ingredients without fuel would be no fun, would it?

My in-laws recently redid their kitchen (actually, it was an expansion of their kitchen/living area and their bedroom, which is adjacent). It took a long time, and was inconvenient, and expensive -- but also totally worth it. It turned out really well -- it's unrecognizable as the same room and yet at the same time it looks like it's always been like that. Hopefully you can end up with a similar result.

I'm not looking forward to going back to work, either. There are all sorts of things I vaguely thought I'd do in my time off that I just didn't. I've resisted checking email on vacation though. The nothing really has been good, even if I will pay for it tomorrow.

I didn't think I would be, but I'm kind of tempted by Twitter. Clearly I need to work on being less verbose.

--
"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM

fondue by Dr H0ffm4n (2.00 / 0) #4 Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 11:27:04 PM EST
If the cheese sticks to the bottom, then, well, yum. Cheese stuck to the bottom is the best bit of fondue!

[ Parent ]
clock is on twitter by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #2 Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 10:33:13 AM EST
you should PM him for his info.

kitchen redos:  it all depends on what you're trying to do.  tearing everything out to the studs and rebuilding from there sucks, is expensive, etc.  if you just want to do some updates (new cabinet doors, repaint, new appliances) it sucks much less.  If you're hyper-organzied it can suck a lot less.  Also, using the garage (or wherever) as a staging area helps quite a bit as well.

updating is always worth it! (but i'm an interior decor whore)

sterno by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #3 Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 01:52:55 PM EST
seems to be available in the camping sections of some stores, but i've never actually specifically looked for it.

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if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
Sterno and kitchen redo by notafurry (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 08:50:29 AM EST
Easy to find around here, at least, in camping/outdoor/sporting goods stores and departments.

There is a simple test to determine if the kitchen redo will be worth the time and expense -

Are you a cook? A real cook, someone who enjoys cooking and does it often? (Yes, I already know, that's not the point ;) )

Do you have a clear picture in your head of what your kitchen could be like? Layout, storage, work surfaces, traffic flow?

Is the kitchen the center of your home, the place where you can be found, where messages might be left, the place people gather for talking / socializing? (Possible answers - yes, no, and "no but it should be")

The first two are essential. They MUST both be yes before a redo will be worth the time and the effort. The third is more optional - but if the answer's yes, or that third option, then you'll get that much more out of it.

Prompted to Write | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback