Welcome to my world!

My life's been crazy since my Daddy moved in with me immediately after my mother's death in October 2010. My one and only kiddo headed to college at Carolina at the end of August. So...I lived on my own, for the first time in my life, for a total of a blissful six weeks. Then, I started the parenting gig with my dad. He's a combination of a grouchy old man, a surly teenager and a temperamental toddler. Needless to say, I get very close to the brink of insanity sometimes. I get through life by finding the humor in difficult circumstances. And for some reason, I wind up in the weirdest situations. I couldn't make this stuff up. So I wind up having lots and lots crazy adventures which make great stories to share with my friends. Writing about my life is so therapeutic. My ramblings range from funny to sad to angry (full of cuss words) to sweet. While my focus is dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a parent to my Daddy, I have lots of random, totally unrelated posts. Whatever's on my mind. I love to make people laugh, and I'm happy to think my readers will get my strange sense of humor. And maybe, people who are in my situation will be encouraged. That's all I can hope for...

Monday, February 28, 2011

Don't Miss This...

...it's life changing."Spiritual Life Coach" Now Working As Consultant For Memphis
I'm gonna hurry up and try to get one of those 21 remaining spots for 6 months of spiritual training with this amazing, enlightened, civic-minded woman. Wonder what kind of "unprofessional conduct" would be so bad as to make her lose her nursing license? No wonder The Med went downhill after Lady Lucy left the helm.

I'm 12 Years Old Again

It's true. There was a seismic shift this weekend. At first, it was so endearing. The D offering to fix jello for me. Carrying fallen limbs out to the curb after the storm. Explaining the mysteries of wildlife behavior to me. He even told me about a woman with arachnaphobia out of the blue last night.

Now, I have to admit, I am the biggest baby in the world when I'm sick. I have a good story about an old bastard at the doc-in-the-box who should've had M.F. behind his name instead of M.D. I was on the sprawled on the floor clutching the big metal waste can and couldn't stop throwing up. He took the opportunity to lecture me on the evils of Xanax. I screamed, "Just call 911" and he said, "Oh, no, young lady. I'm not admitting you." Then he gave me a shot of phenergan in my ass, which knocked me on my ass, but made the vomiting stop. Damn, here I go about vomit again. Three blog posts in a row.

Ok, back to Daddy. All of a sudden, he's the grown-up and I'm the child. I'm getting tired of it already. This morning, he marched into the den and asked me when Kiddo was coming home for spring break. I said this coming Sunday. He said, "You need to get his room cleared out." Then he came back dragging the huge cardboard box that had housed the big-ass TV I bought for his bedroom, after the 20th time Deb told me how much The D loved to lie in bed and watch TV. News flash, Deb. He sets the sleep timer for 30 minutes at night. When it goes off, he switches to talk radio. Here I go again, getting off-track.

So he wants to put the box out by the street. Call me irrational, but I live in fear of putting obvious evidence of recent purchases of expensive, theft-prone merchandise right in front of my house for the whole world to see. It wasn't worth the argument, though. Hey, maybe I should get him to show me how to load his 38 Special. He had it when he was in the military police. I might need it tonight. With my luck, I'd shoot him. Or Kiddo would surprise me by coming home early from college (a la the Hallmark commercial) and I'd shoot him. Actually, I have my wasp spray by my bed. According to a helpful email I received, that's the best deterrent for intruders. But then the bug man told me I could be sued by said intruder if his eyes were damaged. Fuck. There's never a sure thing, is there?

Sarita was here today and made lunch for The D. I got hungry around 4:00, so asked Daddy if he wanted to eat at Dixie Cafe. He did. We went. Had a nice dinner, complete with Early Bird Special. A whole frickin' dollar. But worth it because I didn't see anyone I knew. Why is it you always run into everyone you know when you look like crap? And always someone you haven't seen in at least five years? Or who dumped you six months earlier?

Ok, back to being 12 years old again. The D did his usual routine of telling me where to turn. Including onto my street. As if I don't know. It wears thin. He asked me what I was going to do with all the stuff in Kiddo's room. I bit my tongue and said I'd put Sarita on it. That seemed to satisfy him. A little while ago, I went to ask him if he wanted a milk shake (so I could sneak the golden ground flax seed into it), but he'd already helped himself to a Skinny Cow. He doesn't need me any more.

A good thing, right? Maybe I should take him for a driving test. If I bought him a white Cadillac or Lincoln Town Car, he'd be right at home on Poplar Avenue. Believe me, people may not pull over for emergency vehicles or stop for school busses, but if a big white land yacht is backing out of The Clock Shop or Gift & Art Shop on Poplar, everyone, and I mean everyone, yields the unofficial right of way.

Ok, this has been the most meandering post ever, but after the last two delightful posts, it's bound to pale by comparison.

The Nausea Returns...

...but not from the flu bug. It's because I turned the TV on to catch Castle at 9:00 with seven excruciating minutes remaining on The Bachelor.

And the fact that my head is now clear enough to smell the skunk chair. I give up. It's going to the curb tomorrow.

Actually, I'm happy to report that I survived the night and woke up this morning with a new will to live. The cough syrup with codeine is nectar of the gods. Sarita was here bright and early, The D was happy, all was right with the world.

But first, I have to vent my spleen about The Bachelor. 1) How many seasons has this ass been on this show? 2) Is he the same one as the fake pilot who was such a douche-bag? Can't remember the reasons why, but I do recall seeing the carnage on the People magazine covers in the check-out line. 3) What the FUCK is wrong with the gaggle of humanoids who lack Y chromosomes and fight each other like pit bulls to get a fuckin' rose? I'm sorry, but I simply cannot bear to call them "women." Desperate, pathetic leeches with no lives, pride, shame or self-worth is more like it. I could go on and on, but really and truly, I'm about to throw up in my mouth.

Forget all that. I'm gonna try to.

Well, I started this out intending to write a very different post, but that idiotic show derailed me. Since a friend suggested I add an appropriate picture to yesterday's vomit-themed post, I think I'll do that here, and then close the chapter on all things emesis-related...
P.S. Never do a Google image search for vomit. P.P.S. This isn't bad - it looks just like sausage pizza.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Role Reversal

My head and chest cold turned into a full-blown flu last night. My GF Jo and her beau were cooking out and invited me over to join them. I bade The D farewell and he told me he was going to take a shower. He was doing better so I decided that he probably wouldn't fall. Besides, I had cabin fever.

Headed over to JoJo's and we had so much fun just hanging out - laughed our heads off, like usual. Then we settled in to watch Little Miss Sunshine and I was out like a light. At some point I woke up and went to the bathroom, and that's when it hit. Huge waves of nausea. Followed by copious quantities of barf. Over and over and over again. She came running and held my hair back (definition of a true friend). Got a wet cloth and a towel while I drove the porcelain bus. She got a waste can and took me to her guest room, where about two minutes later, it started up again. Oh My God. I was pitiful. I hate to throw up. In between the retching, we wondered how anyone could be bulimic. She sweetly sat on the side of the bed and rubbed my back while I cried. I told her that whenever I'm sick, I want my mama. And I boo-hooed knowing I couldn't have her. I was pitiful. She was a good substitute for my mama. She is such a nurturer.

Finally things stabilized and Jo brought me some alka-seltzer and a glass of water and tucked me in. I fell asleep, with intermittant coughing spells. Bad ones. At some point, I woke up and the barfing began again. Until finally there was nothing left. I started worrying about The D. What if he'd fallen in the shower? But I was too weak to drive home and besides, I didn't want to wake J up at four in the morning.

Finally, daylight broke and I gingerly got out of bed. By then, fever and chills and body aches had set in. I swear, I am almost never sick, but when I am, it's awful. I think the last time I've been sick was about six years ago with a summer flu.

Jo heard me stirring around and when I got my sea legs, I bade her farewell, with a plastic bag in hand for the drive home.

When I got home around 7:00, The D was asleep in his bedroom and not unconscious on the bathroom floor. Huge relief. I opened the fridge to get a diet coke, and there, like a mirage, was a big bowl of sugar-free strawberry jello. I'd made it for Daddy the other day. And I remembered The D's cough syrup with codeine. I headed to the sofa in Daddy's living room - it faces east and gets lots of light. I turned on the tv to wait for CBS Sunday Morning to come on, and piled up under a blanket and ate my jello and drank my coke.

Of course, I fell asleep, and when The D appeared, I told him I was sick. I had to say it three times between his hearing and my froggy voice. He said I had what he'd had. He was remarkable spry. And sweet. So he sat in his recliner and read the paper while I dozed in and out. When I woke up, Wild Kingdom was on. Long time since I've seen it. Of course, it had the usual stuff. Copulating animals and sickening scenes of predators ripping the flesh off their prey. I said "Yuck" and The D said "That's how animals do." He's a regular Marlin Perkins.

I asked Marlin to get me some Jello, and the third time he understood me, and jumped right up and fixed me a bowl. How sweet is that?

He told me his pill box was empty, so I had to get right on it since he hadn't had his morning meds. Luckily I had enough of everything to do two weeks' worth of pill boxes. I realized that I distributed 210 pills (15/day times 14 days). Damn. I have to break one of them in half, and alternate doses on another one - two pills every night but only one on Sundays and Thursdays. So I have to focus when I do it.

Deb brought some lunch, but I couldn't eat it. It was chicken pasta from Macaroni Grill. It'll be great tomorrow, I'm sure. Daddy didn't like it, but he ate it anyway. Deb brought me some chicken noodle soup with crackers. Perfect.

I told her about the 210 pills. I showed her my elaborate Excel spreadsheet and told her if something happened to me, she needed to know how to do the pills. She didn't seem concerned.

She walked around the house with a napkin over her face and never came within six feet of me. Except when she brought the soup. She cleaned up the kitchen. What a sweet sister. She told me about her plan to sue the gastroenterology group which had treated my mother a year ago Thanksgiving when her GI problems started up. Her doc had overdosed a few months months later. That what's the nurses said, and they know. And tell. I made the mistake of asking one of Mother's other doctors about it, and he acted like he'd heard nothing of the kind. I remembered later that he'd been in and out of rehab more than once. I was a little embarrassed, but probably not as embarrassed as he was. Maybe that's why he doesn't like me.

Deb was talking about calling one of the personal injury attorneys who advertises on TV. The "Heavy Hitter." I told her to knock herself out. I don't have time for a lawsuit. But she should split the proceeds with me.

Ok, I've been upright for too long - feeling very weak. Gonna hit the sofa again. I can't believe it's only 2:30. It feels like 10:00. Gloomy day with major storm on the way.

As for the title of this post, I guess for today, I'm the Daughddler and Daddy's my Daddy. And that's very consoling...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Tantrum

He's killing me.

I guess The D's bowel-blasting elixer worked yesterday. Because he took a shower last night. I'd asked him to let me know when he wanted to take one. He was unsteady on his feet at the doctor's office the day before. And yesterday morning, when he first got up, I walked into the living room and asked him how he was feeling. He said, "What do you think? I'm sitting in this chair and I'm light-headed." He fell in the shower a couple years ago when he had bronchitis. See why I was worried?

Last night, I went into the kitchen to make stinky cabbage soup (I figure that's good for constipation), so I didn't hear the shower. All of a sudden, he came stomping/stumbling into the kitchen and flung himself into a chair. Shit. I over-reacted and told him I needed to take him to the hospital. He shouted that he wasn't going to that place. I told him that if he fell, he could wind up there anyway. Maybe in an ambulance. He hollered at me some more. So I just turned around and started fixing his dinner tray. He bounded out of the chair and headed to his recliner.

I took him cabbage soup, a yeast roll, broccoli and a chocolate shake. When he finished eating, he said he didn't like that soup. I felt emotionally battered, unappreciated, and like a martyr since I didn't try to administer corporal punishment. I called Deb, told her what had happened and asked her to talk to him. Useless, because he just bitched about me. But at least he didn't stink any more.

I laid on the sofa, had a good cry and fell asleep. The usual. Woke up at 1:30, headed to bed, turned on talk radio and fell asleep. Didn't sleep well from my coughing fits and breathing through my mouth since my head is a big block of snot. I repeatedly woke up with an incredibly dry mouth. Also, on the few occasions when I drool in my sleep, it wakes me up. Ugh. To make matters worse, one time when I was on my back, it seems like my tongue was hanging out. I had a flashback of my poor mother lying on her death bed with her mouth open and her tounge hanging out.

When I woke up for good this morning, I thought it was Friday and I jumped out of bed because I'd slept late. Then I realized it was Saturday. A small relief. I have a hard time on the weekends these days. I guess I'm too busy during the week to think about things, and when it slows down, lots of emotions surface. And I feel more isolated than usual because my phone calls and emails dry up. My friends tend to have lives on the weekend. So I think about going shopping or hanging out at BFF Angela's, but I don't because I have so many pressing things to do. Kiddo's FAFSA application is due Monday. In order to do that, I need to have my 2010 tax return done and do a balance sheet. Ugh. Still haven't figured out VA benefit application. Or stopped Mother's pension. Filed for her life insurance. Sent threatening letter to fucking funeral home to ask for a refund since they screwed the pooch in about 15 ways with my mother's funeral and burial.

All of these things could mean significant dollars. What is wrong with me? I just can't seem to make myself do them.

So here I sit, blogging away with HGTV going in the background. Stupid, I know.

The D woke up late. I was a little afraid to go check to see if he was breathing. Right after Mother died, Deb told me she thought The D would die in his sleep. I'm embarrassed to say how many times I went into his room to see if he was still breathing. Since he sleeps on his tummy and doesn't snore at all, it's hard to tell. God, I'm so neurotic.

I usually fix Daddy french toast on Saturday mornings, and I thought about that, but decided against it. I'm going to steer clear of him this morning. Thankfully, I have my den and he has his living room.

Oh, even with my congested sinuses, I can still smell the skunk chair. Hopefully, my day won't be stinky, too...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Care and Feeding of The Daddler

Today's been a better day. The D seemed better this morning. Really grouchy. A very good sign. Must not be feeling too bad.

I, on the other hand, am going downhill fast. Major coughing/chest congestion, sinus crap, and exhaustion. It's a good thing my dance card is empty this weekend. My friend-girl JoJo is heading to Tampa. Without me. Just as well. I've flown with congested sinuses before, and I thought my head would explode. Literally.

Now I'll get to the title topic. The D. He's feeling better today. I know that because he's been mean to me. Plus, the psuedo-nurse (secretary) called and said his bloodwork was good. Thank god I don't have to take him for another clotting test for a month. No infection. I guess that's why he doesn't have a fever.

But now, he's focused on pooping. When I got home today, he told me that he hadn't gone to the bathroom in three days. I said, "Daddy, you've barely eaten." He didn't care. I asked if he was cramping and he said, "No, but I haven't gone in three days." He wanted some sort of laxative, but couldn't tell me which one of the myriad of pills and powders he wanted. I offered celery and carrots, but he didn't want that. He did his sign language thing and I shifted into interpreter mode. He made a pouring motion. I picked up the bottle of Walgreen's version of Miralax. No, that wasn't it. I showed him the empty packet of Dulco-Lax he'd given me the other day - wanting more. I've seen him sneaking them - laxative dependent. It's psuedo-nurse's fault. And her quack boss's.

I thought, maybe he's thinking of the prescription version of Miralax (which is the same as the $16 Walgreens brand and the $25 name brand but only costs $3 as a scrip - great health insurance), and that since the labels are different, he thought it was different. But I was wrong.

He kept making the pouring motion and the light bulb came on. It's the coke bottle full of colorful liquid. You drink the whole thing and you'll blast off from the toilet. It's used before colonoscopies. He'd given it to me from his hidden stash a few weeks ago and I asked him to eat celery and carrots instead. I pulled it out of the fridge. His face lit up. He asked if it would hurt him. I said it would blast him out. That maybe he should drink half. He said he might need the whole thing. I handed him the bottle.

Hell, I don't give a shit. Pardon the pun. If he poops, he'll be happy and take a bath. Between the skunk chair and Daddy, it's toxic around here.

Just went into the kitchen and the empty bottle was on the counter. I swear, if he'd just drink a beer, he'd be fine. But he won't. He drinks his glass of boxed red wine every night, but he won't drink a beer. It works for me. I know - TMI (Too Much Information). But I googled it and I'm not the only one.

Oh, I happened to notice that he was wearing the same clothes as yesterday. Only because I helped him with his shirt at the doctor's office. Last time I said something, he got pissed at me. So I think I'm going to sneak into his room and swipe that outfit.

All of a sudden, his hair is too long and his eyebrows are like tree branches. Deb has to work tomorrow so she can't take him to the barber. I might take him. I can drop him off and shop at my fav discount store, which is conveniently close. Then take him to eat lunch.

OMG. It's 6:30 and I haven't fixed his dinner tray. Better run. Hope to have a good poop-report tomorrow.

Over and out...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Unbelievable Cluster Fuck

No cute picture with this one, y'all. It's been a roller coaster ride. Bumpy. With no seat belt. Or those bars that always made me feel trapped.

I'll pick up where the last post left off, not that I remember. It got kinda better and then the bottom dropped out. Shernitra showed up. Sheila (once/week housekeeper) couldn't come yesterday because her husband was in the hospital, damn him. I told Shernitra - she loves Sheila - so she started doing the heavy duty housecleaning Sheila usually does. I love the smell of bleach. And Pine Sol. She changed the sheets, cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen, did laundry, vacuumed and mopped. For the first time ever, The D came into the den to watch TV to avoid the noise from the vacuum. He sat in the skunk chair. I guess he was too congested to smell it.

OMG - Just now I heard him sneeze and cough and I swear I thought he was shouting "Help me." I ran into the living room and he was fine. I asked him why he hollered "help me" and he said he was just coughing. He complained about the huge antibiotic pill hurting as it went down. I made him eat yogurt after so he wouldn't throw up. Oh, by the way, the meatloaf-vomit episode Monday night was just from the meatloaf. Shernitra ate the leftovers the next day even though I told her to throw them away. This morning when she got here, she said the meatloaf must've been bad. I hate that she was sick but at least I was able to eliminate that symptom from the current illness. I'm just a regular House M.D. You have no idea. I'll tell you more and you'll see.

Oh, the panic from hearing The D cry out is a remnant of the horrible shingles he had right after Mother died. A couple weeks after the onset, he started having shooting pains from his jaw up to the top of his head. He'd pound his foot on the floor and I'd go running and he'd be crying, "Help me, help me." It scared the holy shit out of me. It would be totally random. I couldn't sleep - I was like a soldier in a fox-hole - on constant alert for an attack. It made me crazy. I spent lots of time at the ENT's office with him and fortunately he prescribed something that works well with chronic pain. It happens to have an antidepressant effect, too, and I think that's been a good thing. But I had to titrate it up to the full dose because he was like a zombie at first.

Deb was there once to witness one of his attacks. Scared the shit out of her. I was glad she was able to see what I was going through. Bitch from hell has NOOOO idea. Screw her. Damn, I thought I'd stopped the hatin'. It's times like this that I get so enraged. And I miss mother so much. She took such good care of Daddy.

Oh, funny thing. Kinda. The day Deb was here and The D had the attack, she, for some unknown reason, decided to move a piece of furniture in the living room. I thought it was Daddy's foot pounding and ran from the den to the living room in a panic. She laughed, but apologized. I guess it helps to see the humor in things, but at the time, I couldn't.

Back to The D just now. I bought him Halls Honey & Lemon cough drops. What did they used to be called? Mentholyptis? They don't call it that any more. I think menthol's gotten a bad name. Seriously - I think it's bad for you. Still, it's a blast from the past. I took the cough drops in a little bowl and he questioned me about them and about the horse pill he'd just taken.

Ok, I'm telling this all out of order. I think I'll hit the high spots, and then I'll go back and elaborate.

1. D way confused about time of appt - he was dressed and ready at 8:30 even though I'd told him it was at 1:15 more than once. He's always rarin' to go to the doc.
2. Got work done at church client. Lots of work compressed into two hours.
Thanks to Mikie. She's way smarter and better than me. Gotta get her to sign a non-compete!
3. Shernitra called at 11:30 saying The D wanted to know where I was. I'd told him we'd leave around 12:45. This worried me a little bit.
4. Home at 12:30 and he bounded from his recliner. I told him to give me 15 minutes. Loaded Mikie up w/ work and sent her on her way. Told Daddy I was ready to go and he high-tailed it to the car. He pulls the door handle when I'm trying to unlock it and it takes about 15 times to finally get it open. Like a little kid.
5. Forgot my purse and had to go back in. I swear, I never leave the house without at least TWO trips in and out. Average is three. Purse, tote bag w/ client stuff, big plastic bin with client stuff, those laminated grocery bags with handles, my shopping list, calendar, cell phone - you name it. I need a checklist at the door.
6. We got there in plenty of time. I opened the Memphis Busines Quarterly Who's Who in Memphis Business Power Players. I'm proud to report I had met about a fourth of them and could call 10% of them acquaintances (they'd know me.) I dated two of them.
7. They called Daddy back to the exam room.
8. Dr. SAD (Stupid Asshole Dummy) miraculously appeared. I was trying to explain The D's symptoms and while I was talking, he said "Breathe in..." Not to me. To Daddy. Was he listening to his lungs and me at the same time? No. I was being ignored. The worst thing anyone can do to me is to ignore me. See why I hate him?
8. Some inept person started jabbing needles into Daddy's arms and dropping half full vials of blood on the floor. Seriously. He was all tensed up. She told him to relax his fist. Right. I said how many more? She said, "I have to get four." I said, "Why?" She said because they have to spin them in different machines. I figure it's more like - we need a couple spares in case we lose them or mix them up or drop them on the floor one time too many. Poor Daddy was moaning, so I reached around the large inept one and held the hand he was supposed to be relaxing.
9. After a few minutes, another, not so inept one, appeared to take Daddy for an x-ray. I held his hand - he didn't seem too steady on his feet and hasn't eaten much in three days.
10. The D reappeared and not-so-inept-one said he could put his shirt back on. I helped him get his t-shirt on and then his sweater. We struggled over them - he was trying to get them straight, but I had them ready to pop over his head. It reminded me of Kiddo as a toddler.
11. I noticed that he smelled really sour. Come to think of it, I haven't seen any wet towels in the laundry in a while. Since just takes a shower after he poops, I asked him about that. Of course, he'd barely eaten anything for three days. I told him to let me know before he took a shower and I'd come help him in case he got light-headed. That I'd turn my head, of course. This must be hard for him, too, to be mothered by his daughter.
12. Dr. SAD came in and started writing. He said there was some fluid on his lungs but it wasn't pneumonia. He wrote a scrip for antibiotics and some kind of "pearls" to suppress the cough. I asked for cough syrup with Codeine. Didn't say so, but I wanted it for me.
13. SAD said D would be fine. I asked him to step into the hall. I said, "I'm worried. Last time, he fell in the shower and wound up in the hospital. He's been getting much worse so quickly. He seemed very confused about the time this morning. He's not eating. He's not taking his daily walks." SAD said, "He'll be fine." I said, "How do you know?" He said "Don't worry." I said "Give me your cell number." He said, "Just call the answering service. I'm on call." I said, "Just give me a fucking reason to sue your sorry ass, you bastard." Ok, I made that last one up. I could go on and on about dude, but The D would be furious if I changed doc's, and there are political reasons involving extended family traitors (his wife is a FaceBook friend of Bitch from Hell."
14. I asked SAD if they had results of bloodwork (including blood clotting test I asked for) and he said they'd be back tomorrow. I'm sure I'll have to call his nurse/bitch, who it turns out, is his secretary. WTF? Since when did secretaries get to wear scrubs? It's bait and switch. Or something. Verrry misleading. I've had to open multiple cans of whoop-ass on her. Bitch has an attitude.
15. I took Daddy to Wendy's drive-through. He got a big chocolate frosty and a chili. Chili smelled gross, but I was glad he wanted it. Took him home. Fixed his tray. Headed to the pharmacy. They know me well. I gave them the scrips and did a little shopping. Ice cream, chocolate syrup, a mechanical pencil for me (I know it's weird, but that's my way of pampering myself), and of course, some cold beer. Oh, kitty litter, pet odor cleaner stuff (for skunk chair) and the Hall's cough drops.
16. Schlepped this crap back to the pharmacy and asked Dr. Dale if my shit was ready. He said, "Let me get this call from a doctor's office." I said, "Tell them to wait." He ignored me. When he finished, he said there were problems with two of the three scrips. Natch. SAD didn't specify strength on cough suppressant pearls. And they didn't have the cough syrup with codeine in stock. Fuck. Being the Dr. House that I am, I asked Dale why SAD would give someone with fluid and congestion in their lungs a cough suppressant. Wouldn't it be better to loosen it up? An expectorant, maybe? (I swear, I know more than SAD, but that's not saying much.) He said, "Yeah, it seems like it." I went off on SAD. He said they'd called SAD's office and told them I was waiting, but I'm sure they got the secretary's VM. I told him, "When they call back, tell them to catch a clue and then deliver the fuckin' meds to my house."
17. At the last minute, I remembered that my brand new, handy-dandy, light-up, quick-read thermometer (which I got during the shingles phase), had a dead battery. I whipped it out and went to the battery section. Couldn't find it. Asked some drone in a red vest to help me, and she was no help.
18. I went by the battery place. That's ALL they sell - batteries. They didn't have the fuckin' battery. He checked the computer and not a single store in their fucking chain had this elusive battery. Dammit. I asked him to call Radio Shack. He said, "They won't have it." They did.
19. Headed home with most important things. Antibiotics and beer.

I think there's more. Did I tell the part about calling the pulmonologist for a second opinion? Still waiting. He was at hospital on rounds. He's a mensch. Love him. Mother loved him. Stories about that. He came to see her on the hospice unit, even though he hadn't been called for a consult. So sweet. He had some kind of rotation on the unit and saw her name and stopped by. For the hell of it. Gotta love him.

I think I might need to write a part II. So much more to tell...

Carol and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Today's not lookin' good, and it's only 5:17 a.m. Here's the play by play. Or should I say blow by blow? If you don't have three hours to waste, skip the italics for my original content. But DO take a look at the bold italics.

Woke up at 1:50. Coughing. Thirsty. Shit. I don't have time to be sick. After coughing fit, I climbed back into bed. Turned on talk radio. They had a renaissance man for a guest. I can't do it justice, so I copied this from Coast to Coast AM:

Philosophy & Hidden Knowledge

Radical academic and empiricist Jeffrey Grupp shared philosophical and metaphysical concepts, and discussed how hidden knowledge is sometimes suppressed, and used against the general population to control them. The "telescreen"-- the barrage of mass media images and information that floods human consciousness, is a kind of everyday mind control that acts to despiritualize the populace, he explained.

Grupp outlined his concept of "Dark Ecstasy"-- a kind of religion that the Illuminati practices in which they derive spiritual euphoria through artistic expressions of death, sado-masochism, murder, war and pain. This force has influenced and tainted an incredible number of humans, he added.

A former atheist, Grupp said he's found empirical proof for the existence for God by seeing the "golden ratio" displayed throughout nature, the cosmos, and in quantum chaos. He also spoke about "telementation," a variation on the Law of Attraction that focuses more on feeling reality into existence rather than using belief or visualization to manifest things.

Through his study of numerology, Grupp noted that the change into the 21st century, with years all starting with 2 instead of 1, signifies a large change. This suggests we're entering a time of dramatic camaraderie, and improvement for humanity, he noted.


But at least I missed the first hour. That topic always scares me. Daddy has a pacemaker - cordless phones are terrible for that. His ticker works fine. Wonder if the EM smog which is thick in my house (wireless routers, cordless and cell phones, microwave oven) can affect the lungs... In case you're interested, here ya go:

Cell & Wireless Dangers
First hour guest, researcher William Thomas shared an update on the dangers of cell and wireless phones. He reacted to a new report that cell phone usage causes increased brain activity, saying that the study downplays the hazards. We are looking at a "brain-wiping of our population within the next few decades." Children using cell phones now will be senile by the age of 30 and unable to function in society, he warned. Thomas advocated taking steps to avoid or mitigate exposure to electromagnetic smog including removing wireless routers from the home, as well as cell phones and portable phone cradles (which he said give off even more radiation than cell phones).


The brain-wiping thing might explain a lot. I'd rather die than give up my cell phone, though...

Then the WSJ reporter came on to say the stock market futures were "markedly lower." Dammit. Thank god I bought a gold ETF not too long ago. And a silver stock.

Needless to say, I couldn't go back to sleep. Somehow, it popped into my head that I need to pay Mother and Daddy's county property tax by Monday. Shit. What if I'd missed it?

Then like every other morning for the last four months, I started thinking about the fact that I haven't cancelled Mother's pension or filed for her life insurance. At the rate I'm going, the life insurance proceeds will be less that what I owe the government. I have such a mental block about this.

Jumped up and headed to my den/office, remembered that my ComCRAP email (the one I use for biz) wasn't receiving messages. At least they were coming through on my phone. I decided to call. I was told by the Stepford CSR that, due to unusually high call volume, my expected wait was more than 10 minutes. At three-o-fucking-clock in the morning? I put it on speaker and decided to try the chat help at the same time. They always come on quickly. Needless to say, neither Cyril the Chatter nor Bobby the Phone Drone(whose real name had to be Kumar or Dhangadamajhi) helped me in the least. I had to repeat my phone number four times for Bobby. In the meantime, Cyril kept asking me if I had tried the series of random instructions he gave me, including a trouble shooting link that would explain it more clearly. GMAFB. I just made that up. Give Me A Fucking Break. I decided to save the transcript for posterity. Here goes:

user carol has entered room

carol>
prob w/ email

analyst Cyril has entered room

Cyril>
Hello carol_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Cyril. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Cyril>
Welcome to Comcast Live Chat Support. Thank you so much for bringing Comcast to your home. In line with this, we do promise to provide you the best service you deserve. You may call me Cyril, I will be your Customer Representative to assist you with your concern today.

Cyril>
Carol, I definitely know where you’re coming from and I truly apologize for the inconvenience. Comcast is determined to resolve your issue today and I know you we can do this together.

carol_>
so how are we going to do this?

Cyril>
Do not worry Carol your satisfaction is my top priority. I will do my best for you to be able to log in to your account before this chat ends

Cyril>
Can you give me the exact problem that you have with your comcast email please ?

carol_>
i am logged in but not receiving messages on my computer. they ARE coming on my phone though as well as another computer

Cyril>
I am sorry to hear about that

Cyril>
May I know if your are using SmartZone or Outlook for your Comcast email access ?

carol_>
windows mail

Cyril>
I see..

Cyril>
Before you can used windows mail to receive and send email ..

Cyril>
You will need to set it up for Comcast configuration

Cyril>
Have you setup your windows mail for Comcast settings?

carol_>
yes. it was fine until yesterday.

Cyril>
I see...

Cyril>
can you please check on the following on your windows mail settings

carol_>
ok.

Cyril>
For email client port settings;

Incoming mail server :
mail.comcast.net
port value : 110

Outgoing mail server
smtp.comcast.net
port value : 587

Note : You will need to check the option : the server needs authentication

Cyril>
You can also refer to this link " Verifying e-mail settings in Windows Mail " : http://customer.comcast.com/Pages/FAQViewer.aspx?Guid=76514850-837b-4299-9fa3-746c6651199c

Cyril>
Carol, can you open the link ?

carol_>
trying to check settings through tools

Cyril>
By the way , Please also note that you can have up to 7 email accounts and they're all for free with your Comcast subscription. This way, you can have the secondary accounts acquiring their own email access without the hassle of knowing the primary email account. GMAFB
Cyril>
Okay..

Cyril>
the link that I have provided is more accurate on checking on the settings for your windows mail.

carol_>
changed outgoing mail server from 25 to 587. didn't do anything.

Cyril>
Can we check on your email username and password please

Cyril>
Can you please try to login to http://www.comcast.net to check if the password works.

Cyril>
click on the link then look for the sign in link

carol_>
ok

Cyril>
try to login using your comcast email username and password that you used on your window mail

carol_>
i'm in.

Cyril>
Great

Cyril>
can you please try to re-type the email username and password on your windows mail settings

carol_>
wait pls

Cyril>
Okay

Cyril>
Please check again on the mail server settings and please do not forget to click on APPLY and OK button when you change the settings

Cyril>
How are we doing so far , Carol ?

carol_>
hold on pls.

Cyril>
thank you for your cooperation in resolving your issue ..

Cyril>
Carol, is everything working fine now ?

carol_>
no

Cyril>
Do you have an error message ?

carol_>
wait

Cyril>
Okay

Cyril>
Carol, how are we doing so far ?

Cyril>
Carol, I want to ensure your issue is addressed. Can you please acknowledge that you still require support? If I do not receive a response from you, the system might automatically disconnect this session due to inactivity.

carol_>
wait. i'm still trying

Cyril>
Okay

Cyril>
thank you for responding

Cyril>
Carol, are you still with me?

carol_>
yes. i am still trying. can't you help someone else until i am finished trying?

carol_>
every time you ask me, the chat window pops up and i lose my place.

Cyril>
I am sorry ..please continue

carol_>
cyril, i give up.
this was not helpful in the least.

Cyril>
I am really sorry to hear about that , Carol

carol_>
i think i will call att & sign up for u-verse. it's cheaper anyway.

Cyril>
but to fix your issue we just need make sure that the settings are correct

Cyril>
can you try to use the comcast email portal in SmarTzone

Cyril>
try to send yourself an email

carol_>
fixed the settings like you said but it did nothing. my incoming settings were right to start with.

Cyril>
to check if your email account is fine

carol_>
cyril, i don't have time to deal with this. i can assure you it is not working. thanks for trying to help though.

Cyril>
I am really sorry for all the troubles , Carol but I am sure that your comcast email account is fine since you can receive it on your phone but not using windows mail

Cyril>
we can check further on this

carol_>
cyril, i can assure you the problem is not windows mail, but i've already spent too much time on this. i'll just figure something out.

Cyril>
We check if you can send and receive email using the SmartZone email portal in Comcast.net

carol_>
no. i've already done that. gotta run. have a great day!

Cyril>
try to check if you have the time

carol_>
i did and i don't.


Cyril>
I am really sorry for all the troubles

Cyril>
You can contact us back

Cyril>
so that we can check further on your issue

carol_>
bye bye.

Cyril>
It has been my pleasure serving you today and I truly appreciate your understanding and cooperation. Do you have other concerns for me today? I will be glad to assist you further

carol_>
no

Cyril>
Thank you Carol for giving me the chance to help you today. I'm glad that you used COMCAST Chat Support and it was a pleasure having you on chat. We strive to provide with you the best service we can. GMAFB

Cyril>
Again, my name is Cyril . I hope that you would take the time to rate the services that you've received today by answering the 3-question survey after this chat. Please click the END SESSION button to end the chat properly.
Have a wonderful day! Goodbye.

Cyril>
Analyst has closed chat and left the room

analyst Cyril has left room


At that point I bade Kumar the phone drone farewell. I fixed the problem myself by trying something a little different involving the multitude of user id's an passwords ComCRAP requires. I had 710 new emails. Great.

As for the title of this post, here's the plot summary from Wikipedia:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

From the moment Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair, things just don't go Alexander's way. When Alexander gets out of bed, he trips on the skateboard and drops his sweater into the sink while the water was running. At breakfast, Alexander's brothers, Anthony and Nick reach into their cereal boxes and find amazing prizes while Alexander ends up with cereal.

On the way to school, he doesn't get the window seat in the carpool. At school,[1] his teacher, Mrs. Dickens doesn't like his picture of the invisible castle (which is actually just a blank sheet of paper), criticizes him for singing too loud and leaving out 16. His friend, Paul deserts him to his third best friend and there is no dessert in his lunch.

At the dentist's, the dentist, Dr. Fields tells Alexander he has a cavity, the elevator door closes on his foot, Anthony pushes him in the mud, Nick says he is a crybaby for crying, and Mom punishes him in the act of punching Nick.

At the shoe store, they're sold out of Alexander's choice of sneakers (blue ones with red stripes), so Mom has to buy him plain white sneakers, which he refuses to wear.

At Dad's office, Alexander makes a mess of things when he fools around with everything there (the copying machine, the books, and the telephone) getting to the point where Dad tells him not to pick him up from work anymore.

At home, the family has lima beans for dinner (which he hates), there is kissing on TV (which he also hates), bath time becomes a nightmare (too hot water, soap in his eyes, and losing a marble down the drain) and he has to wear his railroad train pajamas (he hates his railroad train pajamas).

At bedtime, his nightlight burns out, he bites his tongue, Nick takes back a pillow, and the family cat chooses to sleep with Anthony. No wonder Alexander wants to move to Australia. The book ends with Mom's assurance that everybody has bad days, even people who live in Australia.


Wonder if I'll have bad days if I buy the parsonage? Maybe I should get a priest to bless it. But it IS a parsonage after all. If that doesn't work, maybe he could do an exorcism. Wonder what that costs? Mary Celeste did tell me it might take two weeks to feel the whole effect of my clean Chakra. It's only been one.

Ok, I'm sitting at my desk and for the fifth straight day, I spend the first two hours at my desk smelling the skunk chair four feet away. I have nowhere else to put it because my house is chock full of two households' worth of stuff. It's a great looking leather chair Deb gave me. I'm sure her four cats must've pee'd on it. Shernitra has been sweetly wiping it down every day. I wonder if it can be salvaged. I guess after two hours, I get used to the smell and don't notice it.

Dammit, Dow futures are down 52 points. Jobless claims come out at 7:30 - maybe they'll be good. The rest of the globe is falling apart. I'm thinking of dumping every single stock I own. And putting it all into gold and silver. Bury it in the yard. Better see what Cramer said last night.

GM just released 4Q results and beat the street. Hopefully, it won't be the only bright spot in my day.

Gonna end this endless post and fasten my seatbelt. It's gonna be a bumpy day...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

To Beach, Or Not to Beach...

My best girl, Jolynna, is going to Tampa on biz next week. Thursday to Sunday. Asked me if I wanna tag along. Golly, I want to. Don't even know where the fuck Tampa is (well, I know it's in Florida, but that's a big, oddly shaped state), but it's gotta be better than here. Plus, if she's there, we'll have fun! Free hotel room.

Gonna shop airline tix tomorrow - she thinks I can get non-stop for $3C. If so, I'm in. I think. Gosh, I can NOT make decisions. Should stay home and work and save the $$ for new house. But could really use a break. I think I'll decline. Time is money, and kiddo's coming home in two weeks. Plus, I have The D to think about.

Ok, made up my mind. Another time.

Besides, I have a feeling she'll find a suitable companion... ;)

The D is Sick...

Dammit. I hate this. I'm feeling kinda icky, too. Daddy has a bad cough and just isn't feeling well at all. I scheduled an appointment with his doc for tomorrow afternoon. I worry so much about him.

At least the nausea's gone. He drank a big milkshake and ate half a Chik-Fil-A sandwich last night. He has some lung conditions (chronic bronchitis, for one), so it can be much more serious with him. A couple years ago, he fainted a few times and had to go in the hospital. It took a week for them to diagnose the lung problems. They did lots of tests to eliminate heart disease first.

I'll never forget walking into the hospital room. He had thrown up on himself. Mother had done her best to clean him up and then called the nurse to bring a new gown and bed linens. That had been 30 minutes earlier. I turned into Aurora Greenway and stormed down the hall and told them my daddy was lying there in fucking vomit and they'd better get someone in there stat. I got the usual look of "Eat Shit and Die." But I stood there and waited until they dispatched some pseudo-professional with an acronym for a title to his room. They hate me. But they're afraid of me. I throw around the hospital president's name - used to go to church with him. Half of them don't know who he is. I've learned to just call risk management. They tend to have brains in their heads. They're always VERY sympathetic. And they actually know their boss's name. More importantly, his wife's name. I usually say, "Fred and Ethyl are good friends and they always ask me about my parents' hospital stays. I'd hate to complain." That's much more subtle than, "Don't make me call Fred Merton on you. Ummm, he would be your boss. No, I know Nurse Ratched is your boss... Oh never mind. Will you get Nurse Ratched?"

So here I am. The lioness (born in July, no less). Fiercely protective. The D won't eat supper. Glad I made tomorrow's appointment. I got chicken and dumplings from McAllister's for him for lunch today and he would only eat a little.

Jolynna showed me some houses tonight. It just confirmed that I love the parsonage. Hated the comps. Good to have clarity. Gotta work out financing, but not worried. She's amazing - chatted up their realtor and found out that they're willing to come down 10k. She'll shoot for more. Love, love, love that girl.

We stopped by Half Shell for a quick drink on the way home. We were the belles of the bar - but all the prince charmings were much older. Left full of drinks we didn't pay for, feeling sooo desirable. And young. Played our bar game - easily identified the banker, architect and salesman. Well, we just said "technical field" for the architect. And then we left, feeling silly and light-hearted. And young.

Jolynna dropped me at my door and as I walked up the back steps, reality set in. As I suspected, The D wouldn't eat anything. He didn't look good. I felt his head (he was a little feverish) and hugged his neck and reminded him that we'd see the doc the next day. I feel the very same way I did when Kiddo was little and got sick. Worried. Protective. Like a mother lion with her cub.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Freedom...

...Janis Joplin said it's just another word for "nothin' left to lose." I define it as not givin' a flyin' fuck. The opposite of love isn't hate, it's apathy. I've been struggling to process a recent betrayal. I've suffered from intense anger, hatred and resentment. See my Fear and Loathing post, on, of all things, Valentine's day.

After my Chakra Cleansing and lots of soul-searching, I'm much closer to apathy. I want to say I don't give a shit. And mostly, I don't.

Little sis said the most profound thing to me. She said, "Carol, you're giving her control." Truer words were never spoken.

So that's why I've decided to post real pictures of The D, and me and Daph (who's real name is Deb, by the way.) I'm trying not to be afraid the evil one will sue me. So I won't mention her real name or address or phone number. Thinking of posting her social security number on FaceBook, though. Just kidding. Kinda.

So here's what I'd like to say to her: "So sue me." The Jewish version of "Fuck you."

So much to tell, but I'm fading fast. Quick update. Great meeting with prospective biotech CEO. He's a hard-ass, but that's a good thing in my book. We talked an entire hour before he bolted. I figure most of his interviews last about ten minutes. I think I exuded the right mix of confidence, intelligence and irreverance. He told me I was blunt, so he'd be blunt. I took that as a compliment. His blunt question was why he should hire me. I won't bore you with the details, except to say I told him he'd be lucky to have me, in so many words. And I believe that.

The proof is in the pudding, though. And the pudding is headed to the beach for the entire month of March. Just as well. I'm pretty booked up. Still, I hope it works. I think it'll be fun.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Oh My...

Daddy just threw up. It was yesterday's meatloaf. He's barely eaten since.

He ran to the bathroom and hung his head over the sink. I couldn't talk him into the toilet. So now I have a sink clogged with barely digested meatloaf. Not that I care. I'm just so glad that crap is out of his poor stomach.

I gave him a cold cloth and took him back to his recliner. I fixed a sugar-free ginger ale and some Tums. I think he's better.

Golly, it's that same feeling I had when my baby was a toddler. Even though it's probably not serious, it breaks my heart to see him so sick.

Taking care of The Daddler brings on deja vu. It reminds me of how much I love my kiddo. And now that he's managing just fine on his own, living it up and having the time of his life at UNC, it's comforting to know my Daddy needs me.

I'll keep my ears open tonight, but I think tomorrow will be better. Maybe we'll even get some sunshine...

A-T, G-C

Good Jeopardy question.
What are Adenine, Thymine, Guanine and Cytosine?

The building blocks of DNA. I have to admit, I've over-prepared for my interview with biotech company/prospective client. Pulled out my 1978 paperback edition of The Double Helix. Figured out that one of the principals has done lots of research on the retinas of mice. Nice coincidence is that Daph works for a world-reknowned retina specialist. For people. I want to drop his name (he knows mouse-retina dude well), but I'm afraid he won't give a good reference. He's only seen me in kook-mode.

The truth is, they don't give a shit what I know about DNA, retinas, lab rats or anything to do with science. They've got that covered. On the other hand, it might make me stand out from the crowd of accountant-drones. But maybe that's what they want.

Oh, well. Either way, I'm sure I'll reveal my goofball non-accountant nature and they'll either love me or they'll hate me. Both are good outcomes, ultimately. I tried to express my philosophy in my proposal. Which reminds me - I need to scan it and send it now. Hang on a minute!

...ok, the die is cast.

As for The D, he's having digestive problems - not the usual ones. I've been giving him bananas, Teddy Grahams and Pepto Bismol. I guess the meatloaf didn't agree with him yesterday.

Shernitra is back! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord. I told her I loved her about 15 times today. And I do. Soooo much. My bed is made, my socks are matched, the kitchen counter is clean, laundry's caught up... Life is good.

Ok, I need to stop blogging and go figure out tomorrow's interview outfit. Client work before and psychologist appointment after. Couldn't have planned it better.

Oh, heard from my sweet GF, Melanie - the Jewish Carol - tonight. Love, love, love her. It's been a year since we've seen each other - I went to Baltimore last February.

Better go lay out my clothes and set my alarm. This proposal took much longer than I anticipated so I need to get up early and do some major bank-rec work.

I hope to have great news to report around this time tomorrow...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Coming Up for Air

After a non-stop Saturday, including a client meeting at 4:00 and a few other things, I had dinner with people fewer than 30 years my senior last night. My GF Jolynna is the sweetest girl and the best hostess in the world. Poor thing somehow hurt her back, but being the trooper that she is, the show did go on. I brought my heating pad and a couple pain pills I had left from my sprained ankle two summers ago. She fixed lots of great food and we grilled hamburgers. By the way, the ground beef from Folk's Folly meat market is the best in the world. Oh, and my buddy Shlomo brought a birthday cake that said "Happy 80th Birthday!" Long story there - I'll have to tell it another time.

After that, we piled up on the sofa and watched Cold Mountain. Depressing as hell, but a happy ending. We criticized Nicole Kidman's attempt at changing her Aussie accent into a southern one. And Jude Law - British into southern. I decided that they enunciated too well. And as I recall, they never said "fixin' to" or "y'all." Maybe they didn't use those words during the War of Northern Agression. But Renee Zellweger nailed it. Of course, she had an advantage. She's from Texas. She stole the show. Talk about a spunky girl.



We had a problem with Nicole's hair looking so great considering they clearly didn't have showers, shampoo, conditioner or other hair care products, much less a blow drier or big barrel curling iron. So how did she get those lovely tousled waves? Renee's hair was a rat's nest - one more reason to love her.

Home by midnight. The D wanted to go to church this morning. So we went. Good sermon. Ruth and Naomi. I felt rather Ruth-ish - she lived with her mother-in-law, Naomi.

The D and I skipped the biz meeting following the service and headed to a new place called Southern Hands. It was great. Good food and lots of it. We'll get at least four more meals from our leftovers.

Now we're home and I've got an urge to shop. I'm gonna hit the thrift store (I live for that place) and a couple other places. I'll go by Fresh Market and get Daddy some muffins. He loves them and we're out.

I'm gonna run. So glad to be able to write a bitch-free blog post! But it's not even 2:00 yet. We'll see how it goes.

Over and out...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fan-fuckin-tastic Friday

Golly. Crazy week. Ups and downs. But I'm happy. Big things are happening. Good things. Scary things. I'm feeling fearless, though.

D is a happy camper. I think he loved our day trip to Reelfoot yesterday. And my Angel of Mercy, Shernitra, reported for duty today. OMG - I love her. I think The D was even glad to see her. She was having a hard time and wasn't reliable, but after the surfer girl (the web - on her phone - in my kitchen), I couldn't deal with any more unknowns. I can't begin to describe the ways she makes my life easier. Suffice it to say that my stress level is way lower. Besides, I can pay her way less than my billing rate It makes biz sense.

My new associate/employee, M, started this week. She's organized. I swear, we're perfect together. It takes me at least 5 times of doing something to remember. She takes notes. I would do that, but I could never find them. So she is quickly becoming the golden child. I should probably make them sign some agreement so if they hire her, I'll get 15 years of her earnings as a finder's fee.

A funny thing. Today, my adderall was wearing off. M was doing my work and I was searching in my purse for the little azur pill. I had a small pharmacy, but no adderall. Daddy's blood thinner, some anti-anxiety meds, the dementia med I've been searching for (The D's, not mine), some random folic acid (not sure what that's for) and some unidentified white pills. Tic Tac's maybe?

So sure enough, by 4:00, I was incoherent. Luckily, my client gets me. And doesn't mind when I argue with her husband. He knows how I am since we worked on another start-up company three years ago. I guess my bull-in-a-china-shop nature wasn't a bad thing.



And it seems to me that I'm not going to walk the plank. I need to figure out some kind of non-compete thing, so when I hire people smarter than me, I'm not left out in the cold.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Our Exciting Day Trip

Such a good day. The D, Daph and I boarded the church bus right on time this morning. It was a nice little group of 12. We headed to Reelfoot Lake - about a two hour trip. Luckily, I brought loads of magazines because my cellular coverage was horrible. Major withdrawal for me. Daph was texting and emailing away. I asked to borrow her phone to check my stocks. She smirked as she said, "AT&T has more bars in more places." She's drunk the Apple Kool Aid, too. Figures. Nothing scary with my stocks so I decided to just forget about it. After an hour or so, she wanted to lay her head in my lap. Being the sweet big sister that I am, I let her. I even rubbed her head, tried to french braid her hair, and in general, treated her like the baby she is. Oh, speaking of her hair, she told me that one of the patients at her clinic asked her what had happened to her hair. He said, "Have you been in a fight?"
"No."
"Did you get your hair caught in the shredder? Were you struck by lightning?"
"No. And no. My sister cut it."
He asked if I were a hairdresser. She said, "What do you think? She decided to thin it the other night."
"Did she have thinning scissors?"
"No. She had her kitchen shears in one hand and a beer in the other."
He said, "OOOH girl, I can help you. Come to my salon."

I have to admit, Daph's a good sport. Unfortunately, I got carried away and there were sprigs of hair on the crown of her head that stood straight up. I told her she should've said that she was participating in an anti-fur protest. Then she'd seem like a fanatical animal-loving kook instead of just stupid.

Back to the trip. We were on a mission to see eagles. We saw two of them in a field when we got close. That's it. I kept spotting them and some old bag in the back kept saying they were too small to be eagles (Lady, they were far away, not small!), and that they stayed near the water (What about the two in the field on the way?). Then The D piped up and said they were buzzards, not eagles. Hell, I know a buzzard when I see one. I bit my tongue and told Daph to tell me they were eagles. She said they were. She didn't seem very sincere, though. She's still pissed about the hair.

After scanning the area like a secret service agent at a Tea Party demonstration, my eyes were strained and I was sick to my stomach. Thank god, the old buzzard in the front seat said it was time to eat. We went to this catfish joint that was almost empty and they asked me if we had reservations. Ummmm, no. Is that a problem? Turns out it was amazing. I'm not a big catfish person, but they had a great cheeseburger. Real onion rings - not those frozen things. The best white beans ever. Good fried okra. Hush puppies. Good catfish. Cole slaw. And the best yeast rolls in the whole world. I bought three dozen to take with. And two pints of beans. Supper. I went back into the kitchen to tell them I needed to hurry because I was afraid they'd leave me behind. Like in Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Started with 12, and one by one, they disappeared/died.

Daph saw me come out of the kitchen and asked me what I was doing in there. She said, "Didn't you see that Employees Only sign on the door?" I said, "Hell. We're in the middle of nowhere - they don't care." She used to be a waitress, so she was appalled. She's a little paranoid. One time she found a band-aid on her pizza. I'm not making that up. And a roach in the duck sauce at the chinese restaurant. Luckily the container was clear and the light hit it just right so we didn't use any.

Back to the catfish joint. Daph and I were walking toward the register and we noticed about five $1 bills sprinkled carefully around the table. I went back to the waitress and asked her if they'd added on a gratuity. She said no. I said, oh. Sorry. Old people don't tip, do they? She smiled sweetly and said no. I gave her a $20 and asked her if that was enough. She assured me it was. Daph was proud of me. Anyone who's ever waited tables is a very generous tipper. I never waited tables (way too clumsy for that), but I am a good tipper.

Next, we headed to the state park visitor's center. We DID see eagles in their little chain link fence-enclosed sanctuary. I climbed over the fence to get a picture through the openings and Daph started shrieking at me that I wasn't allowed to get that close. I said, "Who the hell cares?" Do you see a pattern here? Then I pointed to two open gates in the fence. It was just more fun to climb over.
We went into the gift shop and the lady who worked there was holding the sweetest little screech owl named Luna. So cute. Daph wanted to pet her but the lady said they couldn't replant severed fingers at their little hospital, so it might not be a good idea.
I need to close now. I'll show you the picture that makes me smile. Do Luna and The D look a little alike? I think so. They're both so cute...

My Chakra

My chakra is clean! Cleaner than it was, at least. Last night was my Energy Healing session with my good friend, Mary Celeste. You can read about it on her website. I have her link in my favorite sites list.

Now, I should tell you that I'm a skeptic about this kind of thing. It reminds me of the hypnosis attempt at the Mid-South Fair. I was a teenager and the hypnotist invited the audience to come to the front and be hypnotized. My aunt grabbed my hand and we ran to the rope. There were about 30 of us in a circle, holding onto a rope. After some mumbo jumbo, we were told we wouldn't be able to let go of it. He clapped his hands, and I let go. One or two other people did, too. But all the rest couldn't. The non-believers were shooed away. I felt so inferior. No really, I felt special. And relieved when I saw people wandering through the audience selling imaginary hot dogs, crowing like a rooster and doing other strange and embarrassing things.

I love the expression "drink the Kool Aid." I remember the mass suicide Jim Jones orchestrated in Guyana in 1978. 900 of his followers drank cyanide-laced grape Kool Aid. Actually, it was Flavor Aid, but that's neither here nor there.

Lately, I've been saying I refuse to drink the Apple Kool Aid. As in Apple computers, phones, iPods, etc. I just don't like that they're such a monopoly and they don't play nice with other devices. The whole iTunes/MP3 thing bugs me. Plus, they're so expensive. When I have to use a client's Mac computer, it makes me crazy.

Back to my chakra. I really was amazed that Mary Celeste could sense specific aches and pains in my body. I told her about the biggest problem I'm dealing with right now. That's the anger and resentment I feel toward my older sister - I blogged about it in my Fear and Loathing post, if you're interested. She told me to think of her as an animal, and I chose a snake. She told me to talk about what I'd do with a snake I encountered, but she told me I couldn't chop its head off with a garden hoe. Damn. All I could think to do was to run away - not the best solution. So she told me to imagine the snake being turned into a rock. I like that. She asked me what I'd do with the rock. I threw it into the Mighty Mississip. She said the rock was with others of its ilk. That felt good.

Hey, I just thought of something. I'm going to see the eagles at Reelfoot today. Don't eagles eat snakes? That's a nice thought.



Ok, The D is up and dressed an hour ahead of his normal wake-up time. I need to get ready, too. I told The D we'd go early and stop for breakfast on the way. I'm excited.

I'm sure I'll have lots to tell tonight!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wow! Wednesday.

An amazing day. Started out a little rough. Email from #1 client's banker that his account was overdrawn. My reply: "Crap, I have a check - I'll get it there today." Fuck. Two times in one month I've overdrawn this client's bank account. Thank god for private banking. No bounced checks. No fees. I tell them to reverse fees or I'll never bring them any more biz. That's just a joke. Really, I tell them to let me know and I'll pay the fees personally. And I make sure there won't be any effect on client's credit rating.

Still. Dammit. My clients are gonna doubt me. Or maybe they'll see me as a genius who can't be bothered with details. That's why I'm thrilled to have hired a self-professed linear thinker, detail-oriented person this week.

Ok. Way too much biz talk. Now, the fun stuff.

Happy accident, but I found the perfect house for me & The D and Kiddo today. Gonna buy it. Close by. Walking distance (less than a block) from my BFF Angela. Also, adjacent to playground. Hot Damn! Too good to be true. Meeting with realtor Monday. I can make it work. The D and I toured it today and we both loved it. More about it later.

Signing off. Time for my Energy Healing soon. So excited. I'm sure it'll be good blog fodder. Plus, tomorrow is Reelfoot Lake eagle tour.

Over and out...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday

After a rough start, things improved.

I woke up later than usual. So late that The D was already up. I walked through the kitchen to get my Coke Zero and Daddy's empty pill box was on the table. I settled down to load it up, and I was missing two prescriptions. I swear, I got them filled. Couldn't find them to save my life. I checked the empty bottles and one was due for a refill, but the other wasn't. I called my friendly pharmacist and before he could say, "Thank you for calling Walgreen's Pharmacy. This is..." I said, "Hey, Dale." He replied, "Hi Carol. What is it now?" Sad that we recognize each other's voices. I explained my dilemma and he told me he'd take care of it. Luckily, missing meds weren't life or death.

Next, I got a call from my church client. The toner was low. I said I'd stop by. Thank god I bill this client an hourly rate.

By the time I got showered and dressed, it was time for The D's lunch. Luckily, he was amenable to have last night's leftovers.

I headed to new client's office and decided to stop at Kroger to get some clearance Valentine's candy. Turns out, there were amazing deals on potted flowers. Orchids for $3, Kalanchoes and tulips for $2. I loaded up. Exercised restraint on candy. Hershey's mini's and almond kisses. And my Achille's Heel - Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Yum.

Needless to say, I was very popular with my client - something for everyone. My work went well.

When I left, I dropped by the opthamology clinic to see little sis Daph. Every time I go there, everybody recognizes me - we look and sound alike. I had a Kalanchoe complete with Happy Valentine's Day balloon. One of her co-workers told me she'd just kicked Daph in the shin. They love her. Daph appeared and called me into an exam room. She was with a patient - Mrs. B. Daph introduced us and I told Mrs. B she'd better leave and ask for someone else. Explained that Daph had lost her last 10 jobs for blinding people. Mrs. B was cool. She said she wasn't worried. I said, "You've been warned. Just check the label if Daph wants to put drops in your eyes, and don't let her near you with a sharp instrument."

Daph told me to leave - there were hoards of people in the waiting room. I told her to let them eat cake. I told her to take me to Dr. R - her boss. She escorted me back. Doc ushered me right in and I told him I had a corneal abrasion and I wanted him to perform an eyeball-ectomy. He said he didn't have a procedure code for that. He'd seen me before for dry-eye, which felt like someone was stabbing me in the eye with an ice pick. We go way back. He told me to sit down, and I told him my eye was fine.

I told him that I was sick and damn tired of Daph calling me every day on her way home from work telling me how much she hated him. That she couldn't stand that arrogant bastard. And that she was hot for the new doc. R said he knew better. That Daph was the president of the Dr. R Official Fan Club. I confessed that she was his stalker. He asked if she had made a shrine with his pictures and candles. I told him she had, and that she had a lock of his hair and a used kleenex of his on display. Then I told him to get to work - it was looking like Egypt in his waiting room and they were chanting for him to step down. I happily walked out into the beautiful, mood-lifting, sunny, warm day.

Stopped at pharmacy. Came home and fixed good din for The D. He liked it. But he came into the den a little while later and told me that I was giving him too much food. He patted his stomach when he said that. I told him to just eat what he wants. I think there's a thing for anyone who lived during WWII. They don't want to waste food. I remember sitting at the kitchen table for hours while everyone else was watching tv. A plate of cold liver, cauliflower, or some equally undesirable food in front of me. They used to say I was stubborn as a mule. The real problem was that my siblings got the jump on feeding Pooh under the table.

Got home and had a follow-up email from my prospective start-up biotech client. Exciting. We meet next Tuesday. Can't wait.

Best part of the day, though, was finding out that Daph has Thursday off, and we can go to Reelfoot Lake to see the eagles. The D's church has a group going on the church bus. We leave at 8:30 and we'll do the eagle tour and then go to some great catfish joint for lunch. We'll get back by 3:00. Perfect. Can't wait. D's excited.

Better run. Lots to do since I'm taking the whole day off Thursday. I'm overdue for a break...

Monday, February 14, 2011

On a Lighter Note...

I was somewhat delirious when I wrote this morning's post. But it was all true. I won't change a thing.

It was cleansing. So I was open to a new day. No expectations.

I tried to embrace structure, and managed to take my shower before 9, but I was still in my robe with my hair in a towel an hour later. I asked The D if he wanted to head to the senior center, and he said he did. Great! Today - baked chicken, baked potato, English peas, salad, rolls and Valentine Cake for dessert. Turns out that V-cake was red velvet cake. OMG - that brings back memories for me. Another post...

I wanted to be at my client's office by 10, but it was closer to 11. No biggie - just working on my own. Dropped D at the door and said I'd see him later. He's turned into quite the social butterfly. It makes me so happy that he's comfortable on his own.

I got some good work done from 11 - 12:30, then had to head home to interview an accountant friend, Mikie. I desperately need help. I'm soooo excited to say that we're a perfect fit. I am so relieved. She knows how to pay bills. Close books. I can say "A/P" and she knows I mean Accounts Payable. Doesn't seem like a big deal, but every profession has its own language, for a good reason. It's SOOO much more efficient. Even though I like the idea of teaching, I'm terrible at it. I've experienced way too many deer-in-the-headlight looks. Mikie has actually done it. She can put her thoughts into words a non-cpa can understand. I can't. She's bright, funny, loud and irreverant. Gotta love that. We spent a good two hours talking about my biz, what I need, and what she wants. She's perfect. Happy to do anything. I think this will be more of a partnership than an employer/employee relationship. What a relief!

After our two hour convo, I asked her if she was on board. She said, "I wouldn't have spent this much time with you if I weren't." Girl after my own heart. I said, "Great - you're my first employee!" I want to give you a signing bonus. Took her into my crazy den/office and tried to print my second QuickBooks check on my new LLC account, and it took us 15 minutes to get the printer to do it. The cool thing is that she completely got it. Has the same problem. We both do the same thing. Turn everything off and then back on. Works every time!

I printed her check with the memo field - Signing Bonus :) and proudly handed it to her. She said, "Do you want to sign it?" I said, "Good idea. If I forget, go ahead and make my squiggle." She laughed at my nano-second signature. I'm so proud of it. Saves time. Truth is, you could sign - "I'm a monkey" and the bank wouldn't notice. Unless you called and said, "I didn't sign this check." Too complicated to explain except to say, "No harm, no foul."

I realized it was time to pick The D up from senior center. Stopped at Fresh Market on the way to find something for dinner. Rotisserie chicken and cinnamon muffins for breakfast. Forgot the lunch menu was baked chicken. Oh, well. He was watching Dr. Oz when I got there. He said he'd walked not one, but two times around the track. Once before lunch and once after. Whoa. It's a mile long. Weather was nice. He said he went to the pool room and watched the old men play after lunch. He didn't mind that I was a little late. We talked about his day on the way home.


I took a shortcut through a really great neighborhood, and slowed down when I saw a sweet pooch wandering in the street. Clearly a pet. Fat. Cute. Sweet. I jumped out of my car and grabbed him up. Threw that 100 lb. creature into The D's lap. Told D to check the tag. He said, "It's Louie." I looked at the tag and found a phone number, but no address. Luckily, a lady answered and I told her we had Louie. She told me she was in the big white house. We were in front of it. She said she'd come out. The D and Louie were bonding. Major Bromance. Both were hard of hearing. The workman had left the gate wide open. Poor Louie. We hated to say goodbye.


We headed home and The D checked the mail, brought the garbage can back from the curb and I unloaded groceries. I watered the pansies, put away the clean dishes, loaded the dirty ones, pushed wrinkle release for the 15th time on the load of clothes in the dryer. Steamed broccoli, sliced rotisserie chicken, made real mashed potatoes... You get the idea.

And here I sit. Feeling less panicked. Not so overwhelmed. Sad that I don't have a valentine, but ok with it. I have a feeling that this time next year, Valentine's Day might be very different. But if it's not, I'll be just fine.

Fear and Loathing

Saturday night, on the way home from our double date with Ruth and Jerry, The D told me he wanted to go to church the next morning.

Sure enough, he was up bright and early, and I heard him in the shower. I knew that he hadn't forgotten. I didn't feel like going, but knew I didn't have a choice. I drug myself out of bed and got a cup of coffee and went to the living room to read the paper. It was only 8:30 and church was at 10:30 so I figured I had 45 minutes or so before I had to jump in the shower. I was happily ensconced on the sofa with my coffee, paper and CBS Sunday Morning on TV. Daddy watches it every week and I've gotten hooked. He appeared in the living room, dressed in a cornflower blue shirt with a perfectly coordinated tie and his suit pants and dress shoes. He looked nice. I told him so. I could smell Old Spice. Daph had gotten him a new bottle for Christmas.

He sat in his recliner and looked at his watch. When he wants to go somewhere, he is sitting on ready and doesn't like to wait. I was prepared for him to ask me if I was going to get ready, but he didn't. He kept checking his watch in a very obvious way, but he didn't say anything. I guess he could sense that I wasn't in the best mood.

At 9:30, the show was over and I retreated to my bedroom. I was dressed and ready in plenty of time. And we headed off to church.

When we got there, everyone was so happy to see The D. They were sweet to me, too. We've only been once since Mother died. A week or so before Christmas. The D said it was after Christmas and I said it was before, and reminded him that we'd sang Christmas carols and there were poinsettias, but he said, no, it was January. I didn't argue.

The pastor gave me a bear hug. He'd been through the whole ordeal at the hospital and funeral and saw the unbelieveable family dysfunction first hand. During the visitation, when I was with Daddy in the emergency room, he came to see us. This was right after my evil ex-sister had burst into the exam room. I told her to leave. She grabbed me by the throat, threw me across the room and started screaming threats at me. The nurse was in the room and quickly escorted us out and called security. I was stunned. I couldn't even react. My only concern was that she'd done it in front of Daddy, who was lying on the bed with his blood pressure close to stroke level. The evil one was shouting that I wasn't going to keep her from "her daddy". Strangely, she was suddenly so close to him. Odd, since she'd never had a kind word to say about him. Also odd since she's made no attempt to call or see him in the four months since.

The nurse said, "I'll take care of this." She asked her name, went into his room, came back out and said, "He wants Carol. You need to leave."

It just so happened that the police were there - they'd been handling a case in the adjacent room. She twisted this into one of her patented lies. The whole family believed that I'd called the police. The truth is that I asked about filing a police report to document what had happened in case she did something else, but they told me since she was related to me, it was domestic assault. Much more serious than simple assault, it turns out. If I filed a report, the police in her home state would have to arrest her and extradite her to dreaded 201 Poplar and she'd have to appear before a judge there. I couldn't bring myself to do that, but I've imagined it a hundred times since. You can be sure, if the tables were turned, my ass would've been sitting in that jail.

But see, it isn't just that I've taken the high road. I think it's that when something is bothering me, I just say it. And since I was calling the shots because my parents had assigned me legal responsibility for everything, she didn't tangle with me. Until she couldn't stand not being in control. That's when she exploded in rage. I suppose it was easier to be furious with me than to experience grief that must've been so complicated by the strained relationship she'd had with her mother.

With all my foibles and flaws, I'm blessed with the gift of being able to speak my mind when something's bothering me, and then let it go. Forget about it, even. But maybe that's just my poor memory. She, on the other hand, has the uncanny ability to remember every slight (real or imagined) she's ever suffered. For example, a good five years after one of our cousins married, she told me that she'd never gotten a thank you note. Called our cousin white trash. Seriously. Like choking your sister in a public place is proper, genteel behavior.

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be light-hearted and fun. Just a way to laugh about my crazy adventures as I navigate this whole role-reversal thing. It's turned into much more for me. Somehow, I've been able to bare my soul. And that's been immensely therapeutic. When I started this exercise, I was fearful. Afraid that somehow, she'd find out about it and use it against me. That my colorful language, beer drinking and general irreverance could be construed as making me unfit to care for my father. She'd been adamant that I put him in assisted living. I'd told her that I'd promised mother he'd live with me. She kept bring it up and finally I told her I wasn't going to change my mind and I wasn't going to discuss it anymore. That was probably a turning point. She wasn't in control. That kills her. I don't get off on being in control, but I am. It's a huge responsibility. I can't tell you how many times I've wished my brother were alive. He would've been the one in my shoes. He took such good care of my parents. So in addition to grieving the loss of my mother, it feels like my brother died four months ago instead of twelve years. I miss him so desperately. He would've handled this. He would've put her in her place. He always protected me.

Back to my fear of the evil sister. I worried she would sue me for libel. Take me to court and challenge my fitness to take care of The D. Accuse me of taking his money. With her, nothing is outside the realm of possibility.

So I've debated over and over how open I want to be. And whether I should try to fictionalize this somehow. I've gotten differing advice from friends. One was concerned that if one of my clients read this, I could lose their work. My answer to that is that this is personal, not professional. I'm not going to tell them about it, obviously, but if the work I do for them isn't what they value most, so be it. In the immortal words of Popeye the Sailor Man, "I yam what I yam."

So, as for the title of this post. I'm learning to let go of my fear. The loathing will be much harder. One of these days, I hope the anger, hurt and resentment I feel will be transformed to apathy. To IDGAF. I'll never be able to love her again, but hopefully, I won't loathe her. In the sermon, the pastor said it's not possible for love to exist without trust. I've thought so much about that. I think it's true. He also talked about how love bears all things. He looked at me, and said there were families in our church who are experiencing the reversal of roles, where children were beginning to care for their parents. Needless to say, the tears spilled out. I was glad The D was in the row behind me so he wouldn't see me cry. There was only one spot available on his and mother's regular pew, so I was on the one in front of it.

Later that afternoon, Daph told me that The D had told her something at lunch Saturday. It was a small thing, but it made me think he didn't trust me somehow. So I decided to talk to him about it. It was hard to do, but I needed to be sure it was resolved. Naturally, it was a misunderstanding and nothing at all like I had imagined. I was so reassured. I decided to talk to him about his oldest daughter. I asked if he remembered what happened at the emergency room. He did. I told him that I hadn't talked to him about what had happened after that, but I wanted to tell him. I explained about the lies, and how she had turned his family against me. How when they call to talk to him, they never ask me how I'm doing, just say they want to talk to him. He told me not to worry. That all he cared about was me and Daph. I was surprised by that. I told him that I never want to come between him and the rest of his family. Once again, he told me not to worry. I couldn't help crying. Hard. I haven't cried in front of The D before now. I've been so focused on protecting him.

A strange thing happened. For a few minutes, he was my father and I was his little girl. I felt loved and protected.

And the fear was gone.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday - Part II

Whoa. Too much to tell.

Won't even try. Fun dinner with Ruth and Jerry at Huey's. Preceded by crazy, horrible afternoon involving dead mini-van battery.

I want a dog. Maybe that'll cure what ails me.

Or not. I'll figure it out later.

Good night.

Today so far...

Up at 7 - slept through alarm set for 5. Got into hyperspeed and cranked out the work for 5 hours. Ready for client meeting at 1. They just called and said they'd be about 30 minutes late, so I thought I'd use that time to blog.

Daphne picked up The D for lunch just now. He was awful to me this morning. I'd noticed that he rarely puts his clothes in the laundry - except socks and underwear. Then Daph said he's wearing the same sweater every time she comes over. It's true. It's the one my niece gave him for Christmas. So I teasingly mentioned that to him last night. He didn't react. This morning, though, he walked into the den and stood in front of my desk. He had a handful of laundry, including the sweater. And he said, "Are you happy now?"

I told him Daph had noticed it, hoping to spread the blame. But she can do no wrong. Right about then she called to say she was going to pick him up and take him for a haircut or wherever he wanted to go. I put him on the phone with her and his face lit up. I felt like the typical middle child. Neglected and ignored. Got in the shower and had a good cry. I'm better now.

And I always feel better after my Saturday meetings with my favorite client. He and his wife are so sweet and there are kids and grandkids coming and going, and it's just a happy house. He's so affirming - especially when I start telling him about all the money I've saved/made him. We always save the best for last - my shedule of his gains & losses on the stocks he let's me pick. I live for that. He always says I've done better than his brokers. Which is true for some of them.

I could go on and on about my stocks, but I need to wind it up. Around 5, The D and I are going to dinner at Huey's with my new best friends - Ruth and Jerry. Daddy likes them, too, but I think he'll have a hard time understanding their accent. Hell, he has a hard time understanding me.

All for now...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Cinderella...

Yup. That's me. Can you believe there was only one google image of the pre-fairy godmother Cindy? When I say I feel like Cinderella, I'm thinking of the poor, exhausted girl at the beginning of the story. Complete with an evil step-sister. But that's a blog unto its own.

I'm so frazzled on Fridays. Totally fried. Seriously. New client with incredibly difficult software and very complicated biz. Love my client, but struggling to keep up. My ADD medicine wears off around the time I get to their office, so I'm transformed from an intelligent, competent professional into a blithering idiot. I think they're starting to doubt me. Today I had about 12 different manila files with scribbled, nonsensical labels, and the owner asked me what invoices needed to be paid. I started frantically flipping through the files, and could not even see what was in front of me. She stood and waited. I got more anxious. Finally I said, "Can I have a minute to regroup? It's here somewhere." Her cheeks got red (as in flustered, or worse, angry), and I felt like I was in trouble with the teacher.

I'm this way every week, but today was worse. I'd just sat through 2 hours of online software training with a doofus who was reading a script. I'm proud to say I stumped him a couple times. He said "Development is looking into that." Right...

The good news is that I figured out how to do some better reports. Turns out, the icons are tiny - you'd never notice them. He kept saying "These are small but we're trying to preserve real estate on the screen." I struggled to stop from blurting out, "How about preserving my eyesight??" On that note, I thought ahead to bring my glasses. I only need them to see the cards on the poker table and to wear under 3D glasses at the movie theater, but I knew there'd be several of us clumped around a monitor and figured I'd need them. The glasses helped, except they're bifocals and since I never wear them, I kept rolling my head around, trying to focus. Damn, now that I think about it, client probably thought I was strung out on LSD or something. Or whatever would make your head roll around. I'm not good with my street drugs. At least not yet. Gimme time.

I finally finished up everything that couldn't wait until Monday and packed up to go at 5:30. I told the owner that I was going to start coming at 10 a.m. as many mornings as I could - starting Monday. That I'd be much fresher in the morning. And that by working only two or three hours at a time, I'd be much more productive. I thanked her for her patience and promised her that by the end of next week, I'd have a system in place that would make sense. A good set of files, some forms and checklists, and whatever tools I need to get organized. I think I'll use colored folders. That always helps. She seemed relieved, so I left feeling better.

I decided to stop somewhere on the way home to get The D something for dinner. Bless his heart, he's gotta be sick of cabbage, veggies, salads, bran muffins, grapes, peaches, prunes and high fiber oatmeal. He was overdue for something fried and fiber-free. Time to give that Lipitor a run for its money.

I bellied up to the bar at Rafferty's. Asked for a menu and a beer. Was having trouble making decisions, but settled on the chicken tenders with a baked sweet potato. They brought me a huge beer. Turns out that draft is double the size of a bottle, for the same price. While I drank and waited, I checked my stocks. They had done very well that day - that always helps my mood. I had two that were up around 8% - un-fuckin-believable. My food came so I settled up and left.

I walked in the door at 6:30 with The D's meal in hand. He was waiting for me like a puppy. He usually eats around 5, so I was late. I whipped out his food and put it on his tray. He was happy as a clam. He liked my choices. He devoured it. Even said it was "good." Not "pretty good" or "all right", but "good".

Ok. Back to Cinderella. While I was sitting at the bar, the atmosphere was festive. People were starting their weekends. Meeting friends. Laughing and talking. I felt forlorn. My BFF Jessica was in Vegas on business, while I was stuck here. I didn't have time to stay and drink another one of those big, frosty draft beers. Just as well, empty stomach. No time for a DUI. As I left the cozy bar and headed into the dreary, dark, cold night, I thought of that sad Fogelberg song - Same Old Lang Syne.

And fought back the tears.