Brief visit

It was lovely to see Tammy, however briefly. I met up with her in the appointed place and time. The shifter in the Echo seemed to be acting up, so no surprise when the check engine light came on and stayed on the instant I started to drive home. My response was to drive home along Kingsway and never exceed 45 kph (ducked out around Metrotown on the way back, twas a monkey howl of a nightmare around there) which angered the never ending supply of black Mercedes SUVs that seemed bent on sliding up my tailpipe the entire way. Sorry fellas, lassies.

Tammy asked me are you sure you’re not depressed? and I …. of course I’m depressed, I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is being so physically weak that I can’t walk a kilometre, being winded after climbing stairs, and experiencing crushing fatigue from standing for five minutes. That’s not depression. That sounds like long COVID to me. How I would get a diagnosis I have no idea. I’ll talk to Katie, she had a friend diagnosed, and of course make an appointment with my doc.

Today I’m thinking about moral hazard. There was a post on reddit about someone who works with the homeless in a large Canadian city, and they’re so burned out, underpaid, and subjected to having clients die, over and over again, that the person reports severe mental health issues and nothing available from work to assist.

I cried into Buster’s fur this morning. He knows I sometimes give fairly tight hugs just to feel something alive, and he tucks his claws away so he doesn’t hurt my lap. I miss Jim and can’t think of Jan and Nita and Carly (and Glenn, hi Glenn) without being hurt again by their loss, ever so much more than mine. I was standing in the kitchen and I thought “Captain Blackberry is gone” and waaaah I’m missing Tom. I think of John every time I walk through what used to be his bedroom (It’s the pinball room and Jeff’s workbench now). I should call Peggy. I don’t have the strength. These days I have to marshal myself just to do the absolute bare minimum of anything, and the slightest setback turns me into a wreck. I’m managing, but I want to skip this part. Jeff of course has been the soul of kindness.

Music and writing are impossible. I think about them, but can’t settle to work. I’m scared to call people in case I start making my mood – frangible, changeable, subject to betterment, but not necessarily – a friend’s problem.

I was supposed to go with Paul for a walk today. I may take a cab over there so we can do that… now that his car’s not supposed to be driven. Jeff and I are going to have to figure out what to do if someone didn’t show up in the middle of the night to tow it, as Paul mentioned might happen. I told Katie about it.

Holiday greetings

In no order:

Merry Xmas to the dude on reddit who asked an uncaring universe if he was a nutbar for not taking the Coquihalla this weekend to make it for a family Christmas. I assured him he was not crazy; nothing’s impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it. When an atmospheric river meets an arctic outflow, wild shit falls from the skies.

To my brother Jeff I wish the very best the ‘holiday’ allows him – which is hilarious given that he’s a phone call away from having to work at any moment – and a wish that at some point over the next couple of days we settle in for some ‘real’ Christmas telly: Die Hard, a Call the Midwife Christmas special, maybe a Lord of the Rings or Hobbit binge. Maybe even watch the King’s Broadcast, if only to mock him roundly. I disdain that boorish manchild.

Love and social distancing to the fOlks; we’re not seeing you this Christmas. Remember when the kids were little? and we were somehow obliged to drive hither thither and yon in The.Worst.Fucking.Weather that Southern Ontario could shove in our faces at the end of its tobacco-stained arm? Those days have passed. We can all thank The Grand Joculator for that blessing. Of course I’d rather be there. But the great thing about being a member of this family is that we don’t chivvy each other into social occasions by nagging and guilting the shit out of each other or trivializing each other’s safety; I find this of more comfort than whatever I can derive in a ferry lineup after four cancellations.

To my Ontie Mary and all of her kin of the Niebuhr line, even the ones that are still convinced Jesus in a UFO is comin’ for the righteous, I extend greetings and best wishes for a quiet, joyous and safe Christmas. Cousinly greets to Shauna, John and Katherine.

To the spirit of Jim P, and his surviving family; I hope you have the best Christmas you can. I love you guys and wish I had something other than my own grief to offer as a gift.

To my friend Peggy, whom I haven’t even called in a month because I’m such a bum, Warmest and Brightest wishes of the season. I don’t think I’ll get those biscotti to you before Christmas. I haven’t been busy; I just keep forgetting to buy almonds, and when I looked at the prices at Rave-on yesterday I damned near died of fright.

To the crows and wee birdies; yes I got peanuts and sunflowers; I will put out feed during the worst of the weather event.

To my friend Dave, shifting on his laurels as a soundly published poet, I offer hopes for a spark of cognition which becomes a flame of output. Yeah, right.  You and I have always been at opposite ends of the word spigot….

To my pharmacist YOU ARE THE FUCKING BOMB. Happy holidays! To any pharmacists reading this, thou as well.

To my doctor; thank you for the latest scrip; after many months my blood pressure is now pretty much normal whenever I record it.

To Sue: may the year ahead be filled with family, love, and the work you have chosen with such distinction and success.

To all my former coworkers at the House of X – even if I didn’t like you very much when I was working with you, how I miss you now! It’s a reminder of how familiarity, and time, shifts all things in our feelings. Thinking of you all at midwinter, with particular effect for Mike (of course, special mention), Jerome (seeing him on the 28th weather willing), Stephanie, Sarah, Glenda, Mohammad, Arzina, Jim, Brian, Tom, Ryan, Carlos, Darryl, Ngoc, Patricia and many others whose faces are clear and whose names I cannot now recall.

To my landlady Kim F, who is currently training her replacement and I cannot tell you how sad this makes me since she is literally one of the people I’ve known longest in this town, I’ll probably never see her again after she quits— You were a really good landlady. Sure glad I didn’t have to call you about a plumber. I hope you have a lovely holiday and your daughter brings you nice presents.

To Tammy, whom I’m supposed to visit with on the 26th. O darlin’, I hope your trip to Vancouver (she’s flying in from Hawaii on Saturday) goes smoothly, but I really don’t think it will. Even so, I wish you the best of this season and my earnest hopes for a lovely day of tooling around the lower mainland seeing sights for Boxing Day. That’s what I wish for us. (We were thinking of getting together with the fam but holy cats with the amount of respiratory crud going through that house I can’t see that being a good idea a-tall.)

For Paul, hopes for a better sounding chest; for Keith, well he already got several denominations of my best wishes for a great Christmas (and promptly spent it on groceries, foreign editions please copy); for Katie, grace and peace for 20 minutes in the middle of her bustling household. In the spirit of Christmas I publicly acknowledge that Daxus is back with Katie and we’re all trying to hold grace for someone making an effort. Katie’s happier. I don’t know what else to say. We’re allowed to change our minds.

To Alex and Ryker; a grandmother’s blessing on you. You’re not getting anything else from me, by order of mammabear.

Ah Suzanne! I have enveloped you as a family member and it’s a wonderful thing. I hope you have the peaceful, joyous and family filled Christmas of your fondest wishes. (Note. Suzanne is Dax’s mother. Suzanne knows how to do blended families and I am doing my best to learn from her.) I hope you have all the gluten free treets yer belleh can hold!  Hope three days a week of Rykercare doesn’t prove too much for you.

Fond greetings to Bonnie.

To Leo and Linda and their lively agglomeration of kids and grandkids: merry and joyous best wishes of the season to you all!

To Catherine C, Bob W, Colin H, Jan & Soon and their kinfolk, my Seattle filkfen, Cindy, Jaz, Elias and Kaitlyn (sp), Lois and Bob, kids and grandkids, Ruth and John & their kids, Juliana & household, Al P., Lorna @ IHOP, all the Doordashers who’ve brought food over the last couple of years (and the nameless kind souls who cooked it), to the people processing images from the JWST, Michael Balter & the rest of the gang on twitter, I wish health, strength, and fortune at Christmas and for the year to come.

 

 

 

 

 

Pill induced esophagitis

Yup. Perfectly explains my malaise. Jeff brought me peppermint tea which provided enough mental clarity to start running differential diagnoses. I will be on soft food and following a very strict pill taking regimen (a complete 8 oz of fluid with the pills, maintaining upright posture during the ‘settling in’ period, no lying down right after taking the pills) until I recover. I think I had this earlier this year.

Just watched a video on FB of Jim Palmer huffing helium and singing “Christmas Day in the Morning.”

sad loss

I haven’t received official word, but it appears we’ve lost a family member.

Paul got to his appointment yesterday. It was dark when we got back and I realized it was the first time I had driven in the dark for years. Unpleasant; I managed to get lost in my own old neighbourhood for about two seconds (I turned right one turn too early, had to make a left turn onto 16th during rush hour. LOL no.)

It’s 3 am and I’m up so I’m making coffee.

Gosh I’m sad right now.

pOp is on the mend, word comes.

 

quite a bit of urine

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Slept most of the day yesterday, then slept all night.  I was advised that this could happen, so it’s probably just me getting used to the new diuretic. The first time I took it I advised my brother that I was now processing fluid from the twilight zone since I seemed to have peed more than my body weight in a single morning. Jeff pictured me as a slowly turning into a raisin on the john, and I pictured myself falling into the toilet after accidentally flushing myself, so that was pretty funny.

I was supposed to get bloodwork done this past week. Today I take Paul to his doctor – appointment is this afternoon. I got the car so I get to do this; and I want to.

I feel pretty good this morning. pOp is continuing to recover well. I hope to hear more about Jim and Jan from Lois and Ruth this week and they will be meeting up with my folks on Wednesday so I’m looking forward to a full report on that as well.

We’re just cleaning up the last of the leftovers from Keith – a ground beef stew, a kidney bean chili and a tortellini stew. Much appreciated, I should tell him when next I see him.

Gotta pee, strangely enough, take my pills and then pee even harder.

Quick visits

I went to the pharmacy finally, start the diuretic this am. I shall pee with even more vigour than I do now, oh doodie.

I visited with Ruth and Lois at Caspell Junction. Both the kids were there. Ruth made a roasted yam and pomegranate seed green salad and I made myself tea and brought the chicken wings I prepared the other day (oven baked from scratch, thank GOD I bought kitchen shears, they make wing prep go MUCH faster). They got reheated along with leftover schnitzel from Balkan house in the air fryer so it was quite a lovely meal of fresh and toasty items.

Lovely (and brief, only two hours) visit, simply topped me up. Ryker is getting molars so he keeps being super busy and then grizzling; chasing after the indoor drone and grizzling, tripping over shit and grizzling. At the same time he was sweet and I got one mini cuddle with him.  Even people he live with swear he’s grown in the last week. He will be his father’s son and simply IMMENSE.

Dax was there and loaned me a DVD; he then left for home to do laundry. How long he and Caspell Junction will be two separate households is anybody’s guess but civility reigned for the occasion so I’m going to keep comments and speculations off line.

Ruth looks great and Lois has grown her hair out long so we’re all silver sisters together. They sat down with Paul previously and worked through many of the issues that have been keeping us up at night with the family and all, and them stepping up like this was matched by how amazingly compliant Paul was with them. Honestly I’d like to see anyone stand before their combined energy and blow them off. Good luck chuckles as John might say.

Keith got his ‘Christmas present’ – money. He intends to buy something entirely frivolous and computer related, which is fine by me. Katie already got her money.

Katie looked happier than I’ve seen her in ages.

THEN in a beautiful example of how nothing happens to me for weeks and then boom, Mike turned up with a new Larrivée spruce top ukelele (for himself I hasten to add) which cost an insane amount of money, but I laughed playing it, it is SO LOUD and the intonation is nothing short of spectacular. I played my ‘Fantasia on the Elementary Theme by Sean Callery’ and ‘the Vancouver song’ and ‘The Friend who bought me this ukelele’ and whatever else I’ve worked up on that instrument and he wants tablature for a couple of those so that will keep me busy; I’ve never used Finale to generate tabs so excellent chance to practice my skills.

We ordered White Spot for delivery (Mike paid, bless him), drank dealcoholized beers, watched some Rick and Morty and rewatched the first ep of Wednesday so Mike could get its measure. Then about 7 he went home. Work continues to be foul and hauling two shifts, one for here and one for training in the Philippines. He’s exhausted and has a permanent sleep deficit and insomnia and he’s just going to collapse if this keeps up but that’s capitalizm for ya.

And of course with that much social contact I was both exhausted and buzzing.

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my apologies for the late checkin

Power was off 10:30 last night to 6:45 this morning. Jeff shovelled (bless!) and we are now back to being civilized.

I’m supposed to get more meds today, including another shot at a diuretic.

pOp went to hospital yesterday. It’s his story to tell, but he’s still alive and I’m glad I was here when mOm called after putting him in the ambulance. I told her to take her walker, take knitting, take her phone and take a cab. Giving advice that gets taken is the crown of adulthood. He was in overnight and with luck should be back home today.

Grandson Alex is still sick this morning but recovering reasonably well.

wonderful housefilk

Paul was in excellent form and let the singing for a couple of tunes including the Co-pilot song (followed by Cindy’s filk of it for Stargate Atlantis), Save a Fighter Pilot’s Ass, and It takes a lot to laugh it takes a train to cry. He borrowed Jeffrey’s guitar.

Then he did something I had to pull Peggy aside and explain about. Optimism is not the long term plan. Nobody was ‘impacted’ but it was concerning.

Jeffrey and Jeri Lynn were in fine form and have since arrived back home to their cats and their comfy bed, safe. Everyone enjoyed lunch – I ordered from Big Star and Jeffrey and Jeri Lynn are now converts – she got the number 1 which allows you to experience Thanksgiving in a sandwich.

Keith made and Katie containerized beef stew. Unbelievably good although his use of thyme is liberal and to my taste buds lingering at the doorway of excessive. Jeff if you want any better get at it.

Just have to hit save on this; the wind is unbelievable right now and the power could die at any minute. My laptop’s charged, Jeff’s loaner non-phone likewise, I’ve had coffee and stew, let the day drop down on me.

I wrote 41 whole words yesterday. I could say something rude at this point but I’ll do the NYT wordle and my Lumosity training instead in case the power dies.

Alex, bless her, provides the illo

She forwarded a bunch of housefilk pics from The Dawn of Time, let us just say the best part of 15 years. That’s her, Tom L, not sure and Peggy on standup bass (probably sometime around 2007 but why let facts intrude.)

Emotionally the effect of seeing Paul every day for a week is difficult. However he was perfectly happy to be left at Peggy’s at 4 pm, which was my “I’ve been doing unpaid family related babysitting for two different generations for eight hours and I haven’t pull a full work shift since 2017 so I’m done” o’clock. Yes it was nice to see Alex yesterday (he showed off more pictures, and I loaned him the Kaossilator and Keith finally got home from his morning of difficult appointments) and I fed him and got fed on Keith’s tortellini stew (nice because Paul plated and warmed it for me) but I was ready to go home at one and I hadn’t even made it to Peggy’s yet. So he either walked home (1.9 k in perfect weather, well within his max cap) or Jeff C, being one of the good ones, gave him a lift.

When I got home Jeff had supper ready for me. I nearly burst into tears I was so relieved. Then we watched Farscape and Elementary and tried to watch Iké (a movie) but Jeff bailed.

It was delightful and sad to hear Jeff C. relate the circumstances around his father’s death and funeral (the sound system went berserk and yelled in God Voice BE NOT AFRAID while Jeff was at the lectern which is just typical Jeff; the world is an anecdote waiting to be recounted and his life is merely one strand of it.) He also talked about family history and it was very interesting. His father was abandoned by his mother to his grandmother when he was tiny. He had continuity of care but you never get over your mother going WELP DINNA CANNA. And he was organized enough to arrange to buy an anniversary card and sign it while he still could, so he was in the ground four months when his widow got the card…. very organized. Also kind of I don’t know what word to use, uncanny mebbe.

Jeri Lynn spun, using her extremely sophisticated modern spinning wheel (many bits to fall off, and they all tried to at some point), and I got to feel her skeins of unspun wool, including some baby alpaca MAN YOU WANT SOFT you will go into a swoon touching it. She was also previously baking, rolling out spice cookies with a complicated rolling pin when we arrived.

Cindy and Jas were there making Christmas cookies (the real point of the weekend) because Peggy causes someone to bring the spare stove upstairs and then they (the American Thanksgiving baking team) cook nonstop for a couple of days. I am subsidizing lunch today and it will be either ARGO or Big Star. I’m thinking Big Star and I’ll pick up a side salad. Jas was wearing a t-shirt that said ASK ME ABOUT MY HOST ORGANISM and I complimented him on it.

Brooke was in a corner doing a 100 pattern blackwork circle sampler (in multiple colours of course) and swapping Pokémons with Jeri Lynn, Greg was there ingesting hot chocolate and computer games (much as Alex would do were he there).

Finally put gas in the Echo Paul loaned me. I’m considering taking it to someplace to get the fluids checked. I won’t do it and I don’t know when Paul last did.

We didn’t bring instruments. It was my judgement that a) there are enough quality guitars in the house LOL and we haven’t seen Jeff and Jeri Lynn in yonks so let’s visit and do the music the next day (they leave today but later).

I’ll be picking Paul up around 11:30 and then we’ll drive over and I’ll order lunch for the folks. I’ll also pick up a bunch of side salads so we get our veggies.

I feel beat and I just woke up. It will be another long day; enjoyable, but it’s hard.

from theconcealedweapon on tumblr:

What an autistic person says: “How long is it going to take?”

What they mean: “I want to know whether to activate my short term waiting mode where I just wait and do nothing else, or activate my long term waiting mode where I occupy my mind with something else. I fully understand that both are possibilities, and I have no problem whatsoever with either one, but I want more information so I can best adapt to the situation.”

What neurotypical people hear: “I am impatient and demand that everything I want happen right now. Please scold me and publicly humiliate me for it.”

I’ll be talking to the fam about how much I can do with Paul and how many hours in one day/week I can manage, because if this keeps up I’ll get sick. These days I spend so much time every day crying I feel like I’m sick already.

pot8um on twitter:

So many things are out of kids’ control— uncomfy clothes, loud noises, icky food, confusing rules… As an adult, I make my own choices. I wear, eat, and do what I like, because if I don’t, I get overloaded. That’s why I don’t remind you of your 8-year-old autistic nephew.

housefilk

Peggy and a contingent from the US are housefilking this weekend and I hope to take Paul over this afternoon for a visit with the folks.

Yesterday was another challenge; Paul couldn’t log in to his computer so I ended up over at his house twice, once to bring Katie cinnamon buns before she left for work and once to get him and his computer here so Jeff could inspect it. Fed him some tea but had to take him straight home because Keith was going out and wasn’t able to sit Alex. Jeff fixed it of course. This morning I have to go over to Katie’s and hang with Alex for a couple of hours since it’s a PRO-D day and apparently I’m there to enrich his day. Anyway I went a little nuts at the butcher shop as one does when one is remarkably pleasure deficient.

I do not want interacting with Paul to become an ongoing unpaid job but I do not know how to set boundaries with someone with anosognosia. I mean I could try, but if someone is sick and doesn’t have any insight into it what are the rest of us supposed to do.

Talked to Dave on the phone. He suggested Jeff and I try ‘sort of’ which is a CBC show.

Andor first season finale sticked the landing, absolutely superb, no notes.

Farscape continues to be em single weirdest show ever committed to pixels. Brisco County continues to be good clean fun.

No photo description available.

bottom of a gold Mycenaean bowl photo credit @ArysPan