10 January, 2009

Catching Up With Family

Category: Family,Stress — Moose @ 10:35 pm

Family can be a lot of trouble.

In brief summary, I spent the last couple of days down in Tidewater visiting my brother’s family, checking on them in the wake of another suicide attempt by my brother. What I discovered was literally a huge mess. The apartment was a disaster area, clothes everywhere, toys everywhere, trash everywhere. It looked like the inside of a white trash trailer.

(By way of background, my brother (31), sister-in-law (31), her twin sister (31), my two younger nieces (2.75, 1.5) and the twin’s son (8) all live in this 2 story apartment. My brother is currently in a mental health facility after Wednesday morning’s attempt.)

I did help get them started on cleaning things up, and I hopefully got them started on working on their bills in a meaningful way. I was not about to clean their dishes for them, though – both sinks were full, and there were more piled up on the table and stovetop. They were late on rent, they were late on the one car payment (which I did pay), and late on a storage unit (which I also paid).

Last night I sat down with two women and apologized for being blunt, but just looked at them and told them they were going to have to be adults, and the house and their finances as they were now was not how adults lived. Had I been a social worker when I came in on Thursday they would not have the kids. They have to get in the habit of putting things away immediately, and they have to take care of bills and mail ASAP. The younger girl keeps getting ear infections; I pointed out that with food trash all over the house, there was a good chance that was contributing to the kids getting sick. My brother admitted when we visited Thursday night that the mess in the house was a trigger for his depression (which the SIL heard, and I reemphasized a couple of times over the weekend). Hopefully coming from me it will get through to them, because heaven knows it hasn’t gotten through coming from either set of parents.

And my parents have said that if they don’t get this stuff cleaned up and soon that they’re going to have a talk with her parents and will consider taking action jointly to protect the nieces.

I’ll do some follow up with them over the next few weeks to see how they’re doing with bills and the cleaning. As I told them, they’ve got to get their act together and act like adults, or their situation is never going to get better, and it might get much, much worse.

I came home today, did some stuff around my own apartment, but I’m just wiped out emotionally tonight.

6 January, 2009

So Now What

Category: Annoyances,Body,Exercise,Health,Running,Sleep,Stress — Moose @ 10:56 pm

I had a follow up with my podiatrist this morning. Result: he carved a corn off my little toe (unrelated to anything else going on), and released me from follow up appointments on the plantar fasciitis. There was almost no pain when he pressed on the heel, and I’ve been able to walk around town and do some short sprints (a la running for an elevator or the Metro) without paying for it afterward, so there was no more need to go in and see him. I have the brace to wear if I feel the need to stretch out the tendons, and I’m cleared to start running when I feel ready to do so, with the caveat that I have to build up very slowly with any running I might do.

I should be relieved, but I’m more scared than anything else. Scared that starting up will mean the return of pain. That this will somehow end up being an even longer process because I’ll screw up the foot by doing too much.


I’m going to have to play it by ear. First step will be sleeping without the blinkin’ brace on my foot to see how that goes. Then maybe some running, on a dreadmill treadmill, in case something isn’t right with it. Keep your fingers crossed.

4 January, 2009

Culling & Lunch

Category: Cooking,Drinks,Food,Friends,Lists,Stuff — Moose @ 6:31 pm

Had Chris over today to help me cull my clothing collection. 20-odd T-shirts went out, as well as polos, button downs, and others. Much space was made in the drawers and in the closet. All in all, four paper grocery bags got filled with neatly folded clothes. Also found some items I shall offer to my brother for his daughters (blankets our grandmother made, etc.) so perhaps they’ll get use rather than taking up space in my closet which could be better used.

As an enticement to come play fashion critic, I offered lunch. The menu, from The Voluptuous Vegan, was pomme frites, a roasted garlic and herbes de provence aiolï, citrus and cucumber salad, and a provençal stew with couscous. Was tasty, though the pomme frites could have been better (they kept sticking to the paper, making it difficult to turn them when needed).

Finally cleaned up all the dishes (thank heavens I was cleaning as I went along or I’d never have had room for it all), and inventoried and bagged the culled clothing. Relaxing now with a glass of the pinot grigio I opened for use in the stew, and enjoying not having any more dishes to clean. It did push home the need to replace the blinkin’ dishwasher, though – doing that many by hand was trying, and not good for my hands (yay eczema).

Dreams of Geeky Proportions

Category: Dreams,Geek — Moose @ 7:58 am

Odd, odd dream last night (sci-fi geek alert). Was at a university, a graduate student. There were folks in the world with mental abilities (a la the beginning of the first X-men movie), and I was one of them. Somehow got wind of the board of directors, because of defense contracts & security concerns, voting on a proposal to have people at the university mentally screened (presumably by someone with telepathy whom they trusted) before working on certain projects. I got into the meeting just before it began and accused them all of advocating the equivalent of rape, that they couldn’t possibly know the violation of having to submit voluntarily or “voluntarily” to have their mind probed. It was a huge mess of a fight with several members of the board. And the rant I unleashed on their general counsel for giving in to them and telling them it was okay was truly stunning (ethics much?).

Why yes, yes I am a big ole geek at times. Even in my dreams.

3 January, 2009

Uberlist 2009

Category: Lists — Moose @ 6:02 pm

Got it finished, so without further ado:

  1. Breathe
  2. Find my rituals
  3. Race an Aqua-velo
  4. Fix the foot for good
  5. Go to Comrades in June
  6. Get an entertainment center
  7. Replace my shelves
  8. Reorganize the closets
  9. Hire a cleaning service
  10. Replace my dishwasher
  11. Participate in a charity ride, if there is one this year
  12. Cull my clothing
  13. Donate the old microwave
  14. Check on upgrading my cable service to digital
  15. Re-read the Book of the Way and its Power, in Mandarin
  16. Frame my graduate school diplomas
  17. Assist at CBE in April in Philly
  18. Take more pictures
  19. Knit some socks
  20. Knit Kathy’s hat
  21. Knit Tina’s baby scarf
  22. Knit something for my nieces
  23. Establish a weight routine
  24. Visit Atlantic City
  25. Make margarita cupcakes
  26. Learn to use my convection oven
  27. Paint a room
  28. Beat 2 games on the Xbox
  29. Beat 2 games on the Wii
  30. Play a game online with a friend
  31. Reduce my waist size back to a comfortable one
  32. Increase the gauge on my earrings
  33. Commission a piece of art
  34. Reduce or eliminate caffeine
  35. Reduce my consumption of HFCS
  36. Replace the old PC
  37. Get a set of blinds
  38. Clean behind the fridge
  39. “Fix” the front hall
  40. Floss regularly
  41. Get at least one professional massage
  42. Attend a heart circle
  43. Pay off another student sub-loan
  44. Read more books
  45. Get below 155lbs
  46. Have friends over for dinner
  47. Host a bad movies party
  48. Host a game day
  49. Do a massage exchange
  50. Take a knife skills class
  51. Pick up items from Les
  52. Brunch
  53. Practice erotic play
  54. Read the unread Chinese fiction in my collection
  55. Go see A in Vancouver
  56. Look into getting ink
  57. Cry
  58. Clean out the kitchen cabinets
  59. Update my resume
  60. Roomba-ize the living room
  61. Go dancing
  62. Get folks down to Cantina Marina
  63. Come up with a display for my medals
  64. Frame my finished cross stitch projects
  65. Finish a cross stitch pattern
  66. Get a power tap for the tri bike
  67. Get a body fat scale
  68. Get photos done
  69. Use my crock pot
  70. Take leftovers in for lunch
  71. Decorate the bathroom
  72. Go on a date
  73. Pay off a credit card
  74. Remember that I have an oven
  75. Record things in Quicken faster
  76. Track my cash spending
  77. Clip coupons
  78. Go to the Holocaust museum
  79. Join a museum society
  80. Meet Tycho
  81. Fix the tire sensor on the car
  82. Fix the AC in the car
  83. Get air purifiers
  84. Increase my TSP contributions
  85. Water my plants regularly
  86. Grow balcony plants
  87. Cook what I grow on the balcony
  88. Use some of my unused gear
  89. Donate more books
  90. Go to the optometrist
  91. Get my annual physical
  92. Get away from desk at lunch more often
  93. Volunteer at a race
  94. Get to a farmers market
  95. Get a pedicure
  96. Attend a play
  97. Do regular core work
  98. Reduce surface clutter in the apartment
  99. Learn how to do multicolor knitting
  100. Clean out work desk
  101. Go grocery shopping more often
  102. Readjust my sleep schedule to earlier
  103. Take chair & shelf to parents
  104. Get rid of the extra crates
  105. Dispose of roomba battery properly
  106. Get prescription goggles
  107. Store my bike rack properly
  108. Use or donate my old cooking magazines
  109. Get a better tool box
1 January, 2009


Category: Lists,Mood — Moose @ 4:06 am

Well, I’ve lived up to one of the items on my as yet unpublished Uberlist: