Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You know what I hate?

Hospitals. Open floor plan hospitals. Good Christ. The disgusting things I heard. And the personal medical histories I heard. Is methadone used for anything other than getting over heroin? Must wiki that.

Thankfully, I was only there for a minor medical procedure in a section called "Short Stay." I rather liked that. Thankfully, it was relatively painless and the turkey sandwich was relatively edible. Thankfully my own personal short stay was only about six hours.

Seriously, though... the farting. I don't need to hear people farting. I know it wasn't their fault - part of their recovery from whatever gastro procedure they had was being able to pass gas - but, good Christ. Oh, thankfully, though, my nose is super un-sensitive so I didn't smell anything. That was a blessing.

Alrighty. Not related to anything, just had to vent. As you were.

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's snowing again?

Hi! It's snowing again today. We've had some warm weather, recently, and we were tempted to believe that gd rodent Phil that there would be an early spring. Never believe what a rodent tells you. That's just good advice, there. (On a side note, we've been watching a lot of the movie Cars here at chez Penny. I've come to not hate Larry the Cable Guy (is that capitalized?). It's a very confusing time for everyone.)

Anyway, the snow isn't bad, but, instead, very pretty. A dusting. New Jersey saying, it's still winter, you know. Don't get ahead of yourself. And? New Jersey is also saying, "See? Sometimes it's pretty here. Sometimes it's beautiful. Enjoy it."

New Jersey is talking to me. I just entered a whole new level of lameness.

Also, I finally got the news about the MRI and it wasn't good. Lots more testing, but it seems I'll have a diagnosis in a little less than a month. I don't really want to be specific (to the two of you, max, reading this), but just want to say it'll be fine. Ultimately, fine. Manageable.

I haven't really enjoyed telling anyone about this and having to defend my symptoms. "No, really. It really is a bit serious. My fatigue isn't fake. My back ache isn't fake. I'm not faking. I'm not lazy. Oh, yea? Eff you, then. YEA? EFF YOU!!!" That last bit, ok the whole thing, was in my head. Never said it, just felt it. The reactions to my news have ranged to optimistic denial, which is nice, but I don't know what to say to it, to complete freaking out (my mom). I'm tired of it already and haven't really told any of my friends. Maybe telling them makes it more real. And I don't want it to be real, really.

I desperately want the energy to get the last of the goddamned boxes from our move last year out of the garage, moved to the basement, then gone through carefully. I desperately want the energy to paint our rooms upstairs, remove the ugly wallpaper from our bathroom downstairs, and maybe, maybe even start a garden this spring. A true vegetable garden for the kids. And for our very own rodent, Niffy. We have our own groundhog in the backyard that my daughter named Niffy. She's good with the names, that one.

It goes without saying that more than those things, I desperately want the energy to do right by my kids. To do more with them. To be there for them. To play with them. Instead, lately, I drudge through my day. I usually end up laying on the floor of the playroom with my son while he plays around me, pleading with me to play with him more. Two year olds can be so needy. All I can say about this (and forgive the cursing) is, Fuck.

I also want the energy to be able to make some money teaching. That would have to wait a couple of years due to my son, but I want to be able to do that. We have a contact at the Rutger's chemistry department and they need lecturers. I'd like to do that. And then work on this Phebe project. Sadly, that's last. She needs to be higher on the list, dammit. But she doesn't pay. A teaching job would pay. And I would be more useful.

I enjoy thinking about her a lot, though. My latest thing on her, totally fantastical, granted, is that she was a Patriot spy in her Loyalist household. That she helped her brother, a General in the Continental Army, to foil the British plans in Long Island. There's a link on the side from the reenactor's website. They reenact her brother's militia unit. I have no idea how to say that, really. This is fantastical. But I enjoy thinking about it. My own private romance and intrigue novel.

Must run start the day. I should probably shower at some point. More details later, I hope. We'll be travelling the end of this week until Monday, so I won't have anything to say about her this week. Maybe next.

Alrighty. Later.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


So, I'm waiting on the news from my spine MRI last week. Waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

And here's what I think. 1. The neurologist is so busy with other patients that she doesn't have time to check the fax machine or her email. 2. She has checked them, but I'm in line behind lots of other patients, and she has to go in order. Or 3. The news is so bad, something so traumatic, that she's consulting with her partners about how to tell me. Should she tell me over the phone? Should she schedule a special time to talk to me so that she'll know I'm home and not driving or not in the middle of getting my kids ready for school? Should she tell me when she knows my husband'll be home from work? Should she have me make an appointment so I can come in person to get the results? Maybe, because, after having met me once, she's so upset by the news, it's hard for her to function. Maybe she's taking some time to summon her resolve, to calm herself down, before telling me.

Guess which scenario I'm going with?

Update: OMG, I just thought of something. (Sorry, I haven't heard from her yet and my brain's still in overdrive.) But here's what I thought. What if the news is so bad, that she wants to come out here (to New Jersey from Manhattan) in person and, you know, since that takes a few hours, she's got to block out her schedule. My dog was feeling bad last night due to getting vaccines yesterday (I'm guessing) and so he woke me up in the middle of the night and I couldn't stop fixating on this thought. Effin modern medicine. Veterinary and otherwise.

Yet Another Update: Good christ. Nothing. It's been 9 days. Nine days! And I called on Thursday (when it was only 7 days) and left a message and then called back a few hours later and was cut off by the receptionist "She got your message." Wait. Did we sleep together, this doctor and me? Am I trying to have the day after phone call to reassure myself it wasn't a horrible, horrible drunken mistake? No. No, it's not. I'm a 38 year old woman who went to see a specialist who said I could email her. Who said she would review my MRI and get back to me. That's what this is.

Lame. Lame, lame, lame, lame. What happened to my thinking she was so upset she'd drive to New Jersey to tell me in person? Gone. Forever. Now, she's just a coward who isn't brave enough to tell me I have something horribly wrong with me and she's waiting for my next doctor to do it. To quote my sister-in-law (who was addressing my mother at the time), "DONE! I'm done with you! Done with you!" Yelled, of course, while pointing her finger at my mom. This is what I do to my neurologist.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Year's Goals, One Month Late

So, last night there was an incident. And it shocked me back into thinking about the future more concretely (my head's in the clouds a lot of the time - see all previous posts, but in particular, the last post) and to taking my job as parent a bit more seriously.

First off, less time on the computer while watching the kids. This is just a general thing I need to do.

Secondly, swimming lessons for both children starting now. This one inspired by last night's "incident." My husband walked away from my daughter in the bath. He came downstairs to talk to me and we lost track of time and then heard screaming. My son, who my husband had already dried off and dressed, had leaned into the bath and fell in. He was submerged, but righted himself, but it freaked every single one of us out. So, now I give the baths exclusively and never walk away. That's one change. But the more actionable change is that I'm doing swimming lessons starting now. I've found a couple of places online and will try them out. I expect suck from the other mothers and possibly instructors, but the main thing is that they learn how to swim.

Thirdly, more Phebe research while H is in school. This one's for me, not really having to do with me being a better parent, except for the fact that it makes me happier. Trips to Freehold's museum and other historic houses will be frequent, I hope. This needs to be a priority. The problem is that when I get info that's new, I tend to spend way more time on the internet, thus breaking resolution number one, but I need to learn to balance.

Fourthly, plan to plant a small vegetable garden with my kids. I need to figure out how to do this. Library, I'm guessing, is a good place to start.

Alrighty. Glad I got this down. As this blog is my witness, I will never suck as a parent again! Or something.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

And then it got weird. Or, WTF, me?

Hi! So... I'm on a teeny tiny bit of a manic roller coaster, it seems, cause I'm in a good mood today! I love the idea of the roller coaster, although in real life, I've never ridden one (not even DisneyWorld's Space Mountain - damn you Bethany for freaking me out about it in the 7th grade - I should've just gone, couldn't have been that bad, right?) So, watch the following scene from Parenthood. Or don't. I'm just going to include it.

I've always loved that movie.

Alrighty. So today's post. WTF, me? This I ask myself a lot. I have the tendency to make even the most banal exchange with other human beings extremely awkward. Unnecessarily and completely unconsciously. This happened yesterday.

I was at the speech therapist with my son for his weekly appointment. Routine stuff. Same people in the waiting room, usually. Same goddamned horrible shows on the tv. Does anyone watch Let's Make a Deal regularly on purpose? Christ, it's horrible.

Alright. So, the following was extraordinary. Usually, the speech therapist comes back with H and he has his lollipop or his candy cane (full sized, wtf, Ms. Lucy?) and we chat a bit about his progress and blah blah. Only this time, no candy cane, but a hexabug or whatever they're called. Little robot bug thingie. So, I naturally think it was his to take home, but whatever. Apparently, he thought that too, but no, it was hers and she was going to take it back. But, because he's a good kid and generally listens to grown-ups (especially those who aren't me), he gave it back to her. His bottom lip started to quiver, though, mostly, I realized, because he got no candy cane or lollipop. Mercifully, she realized that too and invited him back to her office to get one.

While they were gone, I'm standing there getting my coat on and stuff ready and one mom in the room, who last week created an impromptu time out corner in the waiting room, to everyone's extreme discomfort, said to me, "Wow. That's impressive. If that had been my kid, I would've had to wrench that toy out of his hands, chasing him down the hall."

My response? "Yea, well, he has an older sister, so he's used to things being taken from him all the time." Which was a completely stupid thing to say for lots of reasons. First of all, the reaction in the room was overwhelmingly pity for poor little abused H. For the little brow-beaten boy who no longer fights back for what he wants. Sad, that. Only, here's the thing - completely not true. He always fights back for what he wants with his sister. There's constant fighting. And he turns it on her all the time, too. Taking her toys and then not giving them back when asked to.

Why did I say it? I'm guessing, subconsciously, to get myself back to being a bad mom. That's my guess. Plus? To make things weird. Which distances me from people? I didn't want this mom's admiration, the one who had done the time out thing the week before. That was horrible. And she was probably doing the right thing, I don't know. It's not what I would've done, but then, I would've taken the kid out of the room, to let him save face and to let him calm down and to stop it from being a battle of wills. Oh, plus, to save the other people in the room from being uncomfortable. It was awful.

All I had to say was, "Yea, he's a good boy." But that would've possibly made this person I care nothing about feel bad. I guess. Or better, "Yea, I'm surprised too. It's not usually that easy." Crap! That's it! That's the right thing to have said. I cannot believe it took writing this down to realize this. Wow.

Apparently, learning a script is the main way Asperger's kids, girls in particular, adapt or cope. Once I rejected my mom's script, because people began looking at me funny due to the anachronistic 1950's Southern woman world view it was based on, I started going on my own with limited passing. Well, now I know what to do when someone compliments my child. I can now use this when that situation happens again. Which, who knows when that would be.

In any case, I do this awkward thing a lot. Sometimes to put myself down and make myself less threatening. Sometimes because I'm on auto-pilot and just really don't think about what I'm saying. Sometimes, who knows why. I guess I don't have a script available always at the front of my brain, or tip of my tongue or whatever. The thing about it too is that new situations baffle me. I have a hard time categorizing them and then remembering which script is appropriate. Baffled. A lot of the time. So I end up just stumbling through, even if I've successfully identified what should've been said (see the last paragraph).

Another case in point, a few months ago I went to a reading by David Sedaris. I've wanted to do that forever. I love him. So I stand in line afterwards, to get him to sign a book, and he says, as I walk up, "You know, you see so few women with natural hair color." Referring to my gray hair. And I mumbled something about my guru aunt (true) whose hair went white at 35 and how I'm staying true to family tradition or roots or something. Crickets. And then changed subject. But, since that time, I've thought of tons of good responses. 1. Have you ever been to a hair salon in New Jersey? Jesus, the thought of going there every six weeks for the rest of my life is like a goddamned sentence. 2. I'm going for distinguished. Does it work? 3. Dude, have you seen George Clooney in Up in the Air? Salt n peppa, baby. And hot.

Etc. etc. Seriously, though. George in that. Hot.

This past summer, Conan O'Brien went on the "Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television" tour and I could've tried to get tickets. But I didn't. Because... it's complicated. Here's why. The ad for this said something like "A night of music, comedy and awkward silences" or something. And I thought, "Really? Him too? How's that possible? Really? He's a tv talk show host. Is that real? Come on." And, while it may have been true, the thought of it being something a lot of people deal with, and not something unique to me, was weird to me. Plus, is it cool? The issue of awkward silences. People do it on purpose? I don't know. Seems suspect.

Plus, I don't think I can properly explain this, except to quote Woody Allen who was quoting Groucho Marx: I don't want to be part of a club that would have me as a member. So I didn't want to go to see the tour. I can't believe I'm quoting Woody Allen, fucking perv. I don't care the situation, step-dad/step-daughter "relations" are gross. Anytime. Anyplace. And now I'm singing that same inappropriately risque song by Janet Jackson. Which is weird. WTF, me.