02 July 2022

Passive Resistance - A To Do List

 In light of the previous post, it occurred to me that part of powerlessness is 

Not Knowing What Can Be Done

There's the obvious: Protesting in the streets. Calling your Representatives and Senators.  Burning down the Patriarchy.

Not everyone is wired for big crowds, felonies, and telephone calls though.  Here are some passive ways to protest or support that might be helpful:

Email your Representatives and Senators.  

The addresses are relatively easy to find and often there are letters already written and available online.

Follow them on your social media.

Resistbot 

Whoever came up with this idea should get a chocolate cake every Monday for the rest of their lives.  You don't have to have a twitter account, it's just where they started:


Sign Online Petitions:  

Make sure they're from reputable sites like Change.org or MoveOn.org or organizations/leaders you trust. They can increase your spam/email so just know that moving forward.

Volunteer/Donate to Organizations  

Cash is always a good thing but not everyone can donate. See if there are volunteer options that are accommodating for your situation.  Know that even $1 is helpful, no need for embarrassment if that's all you can give.  $1 still helps toward a goal.

Stickers, Pins, Signs or Flags:

Put out flags in your yard, put signs in your windows.  Let your neighbors know that you support them.

You can do the same on your vehicles but it creates the risk of damage to your vehicle, depending on where you live or work.

Do the same at your workplace, if it's allowed.

Remember Lucy's collar?  We bought it at Mud Bay but I'm sure they're available everywhere.

Wear or Use your support: Every org has merch. Order tshirts, water bottles, or whatever.  Make your own stuff to wear.  Pay attention the "Wear Red/Orange/Purple/Jeans" days.  

These are tiny little actions that may seem like not enough but to the person who spots them and feels supported and accepted? it's everything.

Organizations that I Follow: 

MoveOn.org, Human Rights Campaign, ACLU, Moms Demand Action, EveryTown, Occupy Democrats, The Lincoln Project, PlannedParenthood.org

Don't Sh*t Post on Social Media:

What does that mean, you might ask.  That means just constantly reposting every meme, video, etc. on your feed.  People will unfollow or block because they'll tire of it, even those who agree with you.  I balance mine with Lucy and racecar photos and memes. 

Be conscientious about what you post.  Don't be the "I don't care who I piss off" person. Because you don't know everyone's beliefs and feelings. Oh, there are moments but choose wisely.

This meme summed the idea up for me better than I could:


Fact Check. For the love of dog FACT CHECK:

factcheck.org

Snopes.com

politifact.org

How to google/search:  

Searches can be written in the form of a question (no punctuation)

Do not click at the first 3-4 results as they are almost always advertising or paid to appear first.

If you go to the second page of the google, you're just purposefully looking for nonsense

Check the site or publisher name.  Make sure it is reputable and known.  the IdahoTimes.net is not going to be helpful. (I don't know if that's an actual site, it's just an example)

Check the DATE of the article.  Make sure it isn't from 2015 or 2007

If you're worried about confirmation bias, marketing or tracking algorithms, etc. Use an incognito browser page that prevents that.  (that's some high level nerdery I just dropped there)

Stay Informed - How Do I know Who to follow?

Make sure your follows are balanced.  I follow some writers and representatives from the opposite party for balance.  Obviously, they are moderate or independent leaning. Follow historians, they provide so much knowledge and perspective.

It is too easy to get caught up in following everyone so be careful.  Cultivate the ones who "speak" to you.  Don't overwhelm yourself with All That Is Happening.

One news tip: follow Reuters, AP, BBC, Canadian news, The Guardian.  Get news from out of the United States for a better perspective.

Here are some of my favorites.  I noticed that they mostly happened be women but I do follow men too. (Seth Abrahamson, A.R. Moxon, Dan Rather, Tea Pain) 

Click the names to connect to their twitter pages

PoliticsGirl (on all the socials)

Charlotte Clymer

Molly Jong Fast

Under the Desk News  (on all the socials)

Dr. Joanne Freeman - Historian  

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

The Volatile Mermaid

The Hoarse Whisperer 



Beau of the Fifth Column (on all the socials)

Trae Crowder (on all the socials) (Also: his phrase of "math hating, mayonnaise eaters" regarding particular voters will forever be seared in my brain. You're welcome.)

Finally: 

VOTE
It's easy to lean into the feeling of powerlessness.  Everything is overwhelming right now.  All we as society ask is that you participate, in any way that you can.   VOTE.  Make sure everyone around you Votes.  I don't care if it's the dog catcher and the school board, vote at every opportunity you can.  Help register voters, carpool, support folks who are standing in long lines with food, water, bathroom breaks.
Vote.





01 July 2022

We Got Work To Do

 This April it was ten years since I broke my foot off of my leg.  That's graphic, I know, but that's what happened.  It's actually called an ankle fracture with enclosed dislocation and tibia/fibia break, but that's more difficult to say.


Two plates and eight screws, two months bedrest, three casts, two months in a wheelchair, and almost a year of rehab therapy later, I am back to 97%.  Actually, I'm back to 91% as deemed by the state, who proclaimed me (hilariously) 9% disabled.

There are few residual effects but none that a person who is not me would notice.  I worked really, really hard to not have a limp, I don't use a cane.  I'm not on narcotics, even though they said I would be for the remainder of my life. (there are days, lemme tell you)  

However, there are a few things I can't do.  Hiking a steep grade, standing for prolonged times on concrete floors, sitting for prolonged periods at a ninety-degree, running.  I can jog a few steps then nope.

Sidebar:  There are a few things I distinctly remember separate from the few things that I can't do:

  • The paramedic announcing "That's not supposed to look like that" upon arriving; making me laugh as I was laying on the floor.
  • Thinking Oh SO WRONGLY that a "Break is better than a sprain" and the doctor being surprised that I was surprised when he mentioned surgery.
  • For years I couldn't remember what Kevin said to make me laugh as my leg was being reset in the E.R.  I finally remembered a while ago:  As the ortho doctor explained he was going to reset my leg, he said "I'm sorry, this is going to hurt when I put it in."  My husband dropped a "That's What She Said" joke.  I remember busting out laughing and the doctor looking at both of us like we were crazy.
  • I actually didn't mind the wheelchair at all.  It was kind of fun in the grocery store but that adventure was a real test of our marriage, let me tell you.  Kevin went by himself after that, lol.


The point of this whole post is that I have been a Whole Mood since the Court Decision. In the past, when Big Moments happen, I will text/message/email my friends and we commiserate.  With this though, I just didn't have the energy.  I was disabled, if you will, with disappointment and frustration.

And that's still not quite the point. Because of course not.

Yesterday I decided to do something that I "can't" do.  There is a trail five minutes from the house.  It is way off the beaten path and I've wanted to go on it for a long while.  The issue is that the first third of it is an uphill hike. I asked two people who've used that trail how bad the beginning of it was and they agreed that it would be rough for me but totally worth it once we reached the top. Here is the site description:

From the trailhead, the route makes a quick, moderate climb, gaining about 300 feet in elevation over 0.3 mile before easing and connecting with the loop trail where you’ll get your first peek at tree-ringed lake.

I woke up in a F&*k It mood, packed up Lucy and my cane, and off we went.  Parking is up on a high hill and from there the trail starts off immediately into the forest. There is no gentle introduction to this trail.  "Moderate" is accurate.  Switchbacks with small flat spots to enjoy the view catch your breath, gaining elevation and pitch the higher the trail travelled.  I was very glad that I had the forethought to bring my cane.  It provided not only a method of balance and rest but also a sense of security.  

Still, whew, I regretted my decision multiple times. The amount of times that I questioned my decision-making processes are numerous.

As promised, once you reach the top and spot the lake: so worth it.  


There is a pretty and easy trail that loops around.  Because it was our first time, unfortunately we only went about halfway around, which was still 1.5 miles total by the time we returned to the truck.  Relatively, that's not far but it is for me and for a 10-year-old puppy.


Going back down was both easier and harder.  One: going down is easier on the respiratory and muscle systems.  Two: the ability to plant (and feel) both of your feet going down steep-ish trails seems important.  Lucy was really good at waiting while I made my way around the hairpins and steeper parts. I didn't take many photos because of the whole trying not to fall thing.



But I did meet a few people along the trail; one of whom was very admiring and appreciative of Lucy's Pride collar. Getting that collar for her was such a little gesture yet has gained us appreciation from strangers quite often.

Lucy says "Be an ally"

So, we've chatted about broken legs, hiking, and being an ally.  What in the world of Give A Mouse A Cookie is my point?

We can do hard things.  If I can go hike the side of a mountain that I'm not supposed to be able to do.  If I can subtly support our LGBTQ+ citizens with a Pride collar.  If I can rest for one day and wake up with an attitude the next.  We can do hard things.

Ten years ago my life was altered and it felt like I was starting over.  Hopefully ten years from now, we will have done hard things and made lives better for ourselves and the people around us.

We gotta do hard things.  Get up.  Show up. We got work to do.

19 June 2022

Happy Father's Day

 




Snocks

 You know when you're super tired and something so completely dumb makes you laugh and laugh?  We had that happen last night.  

The transition between the carpet and the hard floor has little tiny nails and one keeps snagging my socks.  It happened as we were getting ready for bed.  I clarified with Kevin that it's a nail and not a screw that's holding that transition.  He said yes and asked why.  "Because it keeps ruining my snocks."

And that was it.  Laughter until tears.  Finally the emotional dam had burst for both of us after some really stressful days.

Kevin has been fine.  His fever broke early Friday morning and he's been fever free since.  He has a tiny bit of a cough but he always has one because Graves Disease and he's just so lucky.  He says he feels just fine now, just a little bit tired.

We both tested this afternoon and his result remains positive, as it will for a few days as I understand it.  Mine is still negative, honestly much to our surprise.  I don't know how in the world of Where's Carmen Diego I have managed to avoid Covid twice.  

I have to test again on Tuesday afternoon and if that remains negative then we both should be good-to-go.

Meanwhile, I took a hammer this morning and took out my frustration on the floor so my snocks stop getting ruined.




17 June 2022

That One Hour

 There's one hour a week, usually every Friday, that I just hate.  Hate it.  

And this post will be chock FULL of privilege, by the way.

I do all my errands on Fridays.  Post office, groceries, gas, farm store. I usually start it with long walkies (over one mile) with Lucy so she'll not be a 35-pound, furry toddler in the truck.  

While this is great and good, when I get home?  Sigh, this is the hour that I hate.

Unloading everything out of the truck takes time. It takes walking from one end of the house to the other and then some, plus stairs.  There's Lucy and Lucy's stuff. Groceries and whatever else I've purchased.  Then there's the cleaning out of the truck because Lucy has fur and I have OCD.  

Then there's the putting away of said groceries and sundries.  I'm  so much not a "Just leave it until later" person.  All the while squelching the "The trash needs to be taken out.  The bathroom needs cleaned, I'll just do it because I'm standing here. Throw out those bananas. Tidy the recycling" nonsense that runs through my brain.

I make myself be methodical instead: unload everything onto the counter and sort: dry goods, refrigerator, bathroom, and other.  Then I put it all away accordingly, or I try to.  This prompts the throwing out of the bananas because now I've got more to sacrifice to the kitchen gods.  It creates more recycling.  For every "I'll just..." impulse, I have to say "No, no, you won't just..." and stay where I'm planted.

Since January, I've been employing Swistles Ennui Eradicator by buying fresh cut flowers.  Add that to the tasks that mount up during that one hour on Fridays.  Granted, it's a happy task: arranging fresh flowers but it is still one more thing, happy or nah.  (cough...super, extra privilege...ahem)

Right now there's washing being done because Covid.  The groceries are 99% put away but my truck is still a mess. Because I had to get into Monica's Closet to get an extra blanket, so now here I am tippy-tapping on my keyboard instead of putting away the remaining 1% of groceries and cleaning my truck before it rains.  

And now it's raining.

16 June 2022

Positive and Negative

Just now I was standing, in the sun pouring through the kitchen window, making hummingbird food.  Happily stirring, watching the bees in the garden, and listening to music. And I thought:

"Whew, I was anxious this morning."

What had happened was:

Kevin called this morning and his Covid test came back positive. FML.  His work provides tests and he took one.  It looks like he's on the tail end of it though.  (one bright line, one faint line)  He feels like he just has a cold/allergies but he's been sick since Saturday evening.  We've been distancing from each other and staying away from family altogether.  I've been wanting him to test but his work wife finally got him to do it this morning.  

Again, louder for those in the back: FML.

So I went and got tests from my work (what a effed up benefit, by the way) and I tested twice, both with negative results.  We were a little concerned because I've had allergy symptoms this week; thus the two tests.

Kevin said "You're just too mean to catch it" which made me legit LOL.

He caught it via work and unvaxxed coworkers AGAIN.  This time he talked to the owner of the company about This Has Got To Stop.   Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot to be done.  They're Essential Services, they mostly work outside, and most employees are from the political party of non-believers.

Meanwhile, I had to think of when the last time I saw the parents; Taco Tuesday for just a few minutes.  And who else did I see?  The chiropractor and my BFF.  Thank the universe for working from home and living a small life.  Still, though, I didn't want to have to tell any of those people that I had tested positive.

To recap from an earlier post where the family hosted a possible super spreader event:

Kevin's sense of taste has gone away.  He says not quite all the way but probably about 75% gone.  His sense of smell is almost 100% gone.  

He can't drink soda or carbonated beverages or Iced tea or lemonade. Milk and coffee are Meh.  Water is fine.  Orange juice is fine but not any other fruit juice.

Food is eaten to survive, not to necessarily enjoy.

There are certain smells and tastes that send him over.  We had to change his deodorant brand because it would make him wretch if he caught a whiff.  Meanwhile, he still can't smell my perfume or anything else enjoyable.

He was ten months out from his original Covid adventure and now we're starting the clock all over again.

AND THEN, because there's always an AND THEN, yesterday morning we got a call from a friend that one of our friends was hospitalized with Covid and underlying conditions.  They had discovered him unconscious and not breathing during the night.  

He lives with and cares for his elderly parents and his mom's intuition kicked in during the night.  She checked on him and found him, otherwise he would have probably been gone in the morning.  He'll be in the hospital for a while and will recover with hopefully few deficits.

I cannot WAIT for a day that we're not talking about this.  It feels like that day never will be.

Thankful for free testing.  Thankful his case is mild and that I've dodged it twice. Thankful that our friend was discovered in time and will recover.  Thankful for vaccines that made the mildness and immunity possible.  


14 June 2022

Like Lockers but Smarter

 I am fascinated by two things that people have: tattoos and stickers on laptops.  I want both of those and am always curious to see what people choose and why.

I know what tattoo I want and where I want it.  I just have to go do it.  I had set a tentative deadline for my fiftieth birthday but then the pandemic hit so not so much.  Now I just have to do it.  Knowing me, I'll just wake up one day and decide to go.

Meanwhile, less invasive: There's an envelope in my desk where I've been hoarding stickers for a while. Stickers for my laptop.

Wait, so my Canadian friends say "decals" instead of stickers.  They EYE ROLL SO HARD at the word "stickers"  And it's pronounced "deck-all" not "dee-Cal".  I am going to use the colloquial "stickers" here even though it makes me wince every single time.

I  just couldn't quite commit to using these stickers though. I was raised that you don't decorate anything important like books, windows, etc. (weird rules in that house, lemmetellyou)  In tiny rebellion, I have decorated all of my refrigerators though since I left that house. 


Most of my laptops have been either from work or laptops that we shared or used for the racecar.  Now we each have newish laptops so there's nothing stopping me now from using those stickers.  Except for over-thinking.  Kevin, meanwhile, didn't realize you could put stickers on a laptop and was ALL UP IN THAT shortly after that discovery.

When my BFF K sent me a snap of the progress of decorating her laptop, I was compelled. I took out that envelope with excitement and encouragement.  There were less stickers than I remembered, which makes me wonder what exactly I was remembering or if they just made their way to the refrigerator instead.

I had stickers from The Bloggess Book Club and the Human Rights Campaign and the Titus Podcast plus two Doctor Who stickers. Clearly, that is not enough.  Then I discovered more Doctor Who stickers on the etsy.  I ordered a batch of those.  Then once they arrived, I ordered another batch because I loved them so much.  I ordered some sunflower stickers and some tiny bees in honor of Swistle.  

Work has been GAH because it's the end of the school year and the advocates - without fail - wait to the literal last hour to finish up stuff.  So with that and waiting for my "extra" stickers delivery, I've been toe-tapping for the time to work on this project.  

Why, yes again, I am still absolutely over-thinking this.  I feel like I have to have All The Stickers in order to begin.  But I keep ordering more and we all know how that's going to turn out.

Friday was a challenging day, full of errands and a stop at my old office which never fails to depress me.  Once I finally finished late in the afternoon, I pulled out all of my stickers and began arranging them.  A treat for persevering through the week.

Now I have too many stickers.  

Then I remembered that I really really wanted one that featured Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Finish Each Day".  Well, predictably, that added a few more stickers to my order.  (society6 is an amazing site, btw) This is, obviously, the solution to the above stated problem.


These stickers arrived today, much to my delight and excitement. Now I can call this project done...probably.  I just need to not browse for any stickers. Like, ever. #unlikely

This is a lot of melodrama for so few stickers




Now returning back to the general direction of the opening paragraphs.  While thinking about the stickers and the process of which to choose and which to save, it occurred to me.  Decorating laptops has become the Grown Up Version of High School Lockers.  Some people don't decorate at all, some people put minimal effort into it, and some put everything into it.

Like high school, I am in the middle category.  My locker is the third one from the left.

Actual 1987 senior-year
high school lockers





07 June 2022

Happy Birthday - A Rant

There were 41 people at a birthday party next door this time last week.  FORTY-ONE.  The age ranging from toddler to sixties.  Why, you’re probably wondering. Why in the name of Where’s Waldo would there be such a large gathering during the pandemic.

Every Memorial Day since I don’t know when, there has been a gathering for Kevin’s birthday.  The very first time I met him was at one of those parties.  There was a large group of friends and everyone went four-wheeling and camping.  So that's about 34 years at least.

SIDENOTE: at said party decades ago, is where I learned that Kevin and his brother were brothers.  I honestly thought they were joking. I called bullsh*t until Kevin confirmed it.  They didn’t look alike, they certainly didn’t act alike AT ALL, and nothing about them seemed like brothers.  It turns out that at the time, while they were part of the same friend group, they themselves weren’t friends per se.

Back on topic:

After a few years of not having a birthday party and against our wishes, Kevin's brother planned a birthday party for him.

Kevin has said that his Covid gift is not having birthday parties.  He's been CLEAR that he doesn't want one. FOR YEARS, even pre-pandemic.  His brother said that a friend put pressure on him to have one and it's also the littles 16th birthday. 

He claims that he didn't know that Kevin didn't want a party. Anyone who knows Kevin knows he’s not vague. He simply cannot be vague.  He said that he told his brother “I don’t think it’s a good idea.” He said “The parents can’t go.”  He said “We just skipped the holidays and now because it’s been a month, things have changed?”  To which every other human being on the planet would be interpreted as “No.”   

I saw red when Kevin told me.  He thought it was because of the whole Covid thing...and it was...but it was more that his brother made it about himself and didn't honor Kevin's wishes of NOT having a party.  Then he blamed it on peer pressure, instead of just owning it.  His brother purposefully put him in a terrible situation, knowing that people would be there and Kevin would be required to make an appearance.

But this is where I say that it's a very big birthday, he's turning 60.  So something should be done but it should be Kevin's choice.  Also, this birthday is bothering him more than any other.  READ THE ROOM, Kevin's brother.  ALSO, I mentioned to Kevin that Did it occur to him to CHECK with me?  No it did not.  

My original idea was to rent a camper and go camping but because pandemic, nothing was available. I was looking at Airbnb and dog friendly hotels until he mentioned this was happening.  If I have been able to make anything happen, we would have been gone.  Trust that I was tempted to still make something happen.

APPARENTLY, the party was supposed to be huge.  Someone accidentally let it slip that it was supposed to be all the cousins and our friends. It was "just" 41 People and his brother claims that family showed up uninvited. (more accurately: not told no when asked)  There were cars parked in OUR DRIVEWAY because there was no room next door. He still considers this small. “Not like it has been before.” Ignoring that he assured Kevin that it was small and not to worry and then act like Kevin didn’t have eyes.  

The logic is that the party is outside which is unrealistic.  It always rains that weekend and it did in the morning. Also, the guys will be standing in the garages. There was no plan for the parents, beyond taking them food and people visiting them from the yard.

And, let's make it about me: I'm exhausted being in this position, constantly having to make choices to keep myself and my family safe. This also kind of puts me in the Wicked Witch of the West category because it IS Kevin's birthday and I don't want to curb-stomp any happiness for him.  

During the party, Kevin reports the brother did the passive aggressive "Where's Surely? Why hasn't she come over?" and you can bet it was loud enough for people to hear. I know Kevin had told him so that's total bullshit. Trying to make me the weirdo.

Kevin also said that people asked where I was and everyone understood my decision. He phrased it nicely as "She's not comfortable in large groups yet and she checks in with the parents and doesn't want to expose them."  He also said he got to tell his Covid story to someone and added that not only is the sense of smell and taste gone, it's now worse. Which it is, I just learned the night before at his birthday dinner. He hadn't told me yet.  Happy Birthday, Kevin.

Instead, Lucy and I ate dinner with the parents so they would have company and not feel left out.  The mom really wanted to go but Kevin put his foot down.  His dad showed zero interest in going, which is interesting to me.  The mom said to me: “I just wish I could see the new deck” (not new, they just cleaned it)  “I wish I could see the cousins” (they visited from the yard)   “I don’t want everything to stop because I can’t come…”  Yeah, that wasn’t heartbreakingly sad at all.

However, one of the justifications of the brothers actions from his mom was "Well, I don't think the siblings watch the news so they just don't know how serious it is."  I changed the subject because I just can't.  

There was a defense of the party in the way that "most" of the people were vaccinated. When I asked how we knew Just How Much Vaccinated everyone was, then that point stalled. Then I said that we did know that one-third of the party WASN'T.  ONE THIRD.  

There was still a group of 41 people in a confined space.  Outside with a canopy so yes, technically outside but not really. OPEN AIR MEANS OPEN AIR. AND 41 PEOPLE on a deck that was really crowded 

At the beginning, Kevin said that he understood if I just stayed home entirely. He admitted he wasn't sure what to do and that it was a terrible situation.  Not only the very idea of it, but leaving out me and his parents as well.  He stood at the  edge of the deck, far away from everyone. You know, just how everyone wants to spend their birthday party. Oh and also without their wife.

The brother is upset that Kevin is upset that I am upset.  He tattled to his mom the next morning.  Who then, in turn, wanted Kevin to fix it and Kevin actually told her no, which was a zippy twist that I didn't see coming.

AND THEN THERE'S THEIR DOG.  I tried to keep Lucy home for most of it but I took her to the creek to see the kids.  Of course their dog starts body slamming and pawing at Lucy.  Now she's with Kevin but I suspect she'll be home soon.  Kevin's BFF brought their dog, who Lucy LOVES but they can't play because of the other dog intervening and being dominate/aggressive.

I know this is long but to add to the absurdity, one of the attendees is a friend-adjacent to Kevin's BFF. He literally and actually lives in an RV down by the river and is an alcoholic and smoker.   His brother invited him because they saw each other the other weekend.  (meaning then his brother would have a "friend" that wasn't Kevins)

So THEN, this is where I tell you that one of the friends posted photos on the facebook and TAGGED ME.  He tagged everyone in the family.  Then I got a notification that my niece saw and liked it and then a cousin.  I ended up untagging myself from it.  I just don’t need the drama or to be notified that this whole thing happened in the first place.

The point though is that now if my niece mentions it to my family, then I'll get to hear - or my mom will - "Well, they had a big party at their house, why won't they come here?"  Kevin suggested that I call my mom to "check in" then casually mention it and clarify that I wasn't there.  HOWEVER, that will just give gossip and judgement fodder to the family and I don't need that EITHER.

Then when I called my mom, I had the realization that why do I even care?  It’s not like their opinions are important to me.  It’s not like I owe anyone anything.  I just didn’t mention it at all.

My s-i-l posted photos (like I would, usually) on social media and I just Can't Even.  I did eventually look at the post and there were photos for the kids opening our presents to them, like that is some sort of consolation prize.  I didn't comment nor like her post.  Oh, and then this happened: her niece – the only one NOT at the party – commented “thanks for the invite”   Yeah, that’s not uncomfortable AT ALL.

Kevin and I had an emphatic discussion about this whole mess the next morning and it came up only one more time after that.  His brother did not come over at all, that next day and has made himself scarce.  I don't know if they've talked about it and Kevin had already it out with his mom about constantly defending his brother and expecting Kevin to fix it.  Sadly, she won't remember that today but at least Kevin got to say the words.

I'm still pretty mad but the UPSET part of it is fading.  I told Kevin I can't believe that his 60th birthday party happened and I wasn't there.  I don't think he quite REALIZED that until I said it.  I mean, he knew, he understood, but the whole That Was A Big Moment I Missed didn't quite occur to him.  I’m going to quote my BFF, because she summed it so neatly that it could have just been this whole post: 

Kevin had to spent a special, difficult, milestone birthday in a way he did not want to spend it, and in fact had specifically said he did not want to spend it and that he had to spend this celebration being careful, being worried about being close to people, being worried about getting sick, being worried that he might end up infecting his parents/wife, being upset that his wife/parents were by necessity excluded—and balancing all that as the Guest of Honor at a party he didn’t even want

We don't have another holiday now for a long time, which is good because I just can't. I told Kevin that I have nothing to say to the siblings that is going to be appropriate.  I am honestly not sure that I'm going to be able to get over this.  And what's extra terrible with raisins on it is that Kevin is in the middle.  

My guess is that eventually his brother will be over here at one point and make a "joke" or a "You could have come over" comment and I won't be able to hold my tongue.  Frankly, I think that's what needs to happen.  Kevin is worried that I will destroy the relationship and that's both fair and unfair. The brother did a really terrible thing and there is zero consequence for it other than my helpless anger and frustration.

One last thing: in therapy it is said that if a person has a Big Reaction to something, it’s not usually The Thing that is happening right then but something historical rising to the surface.  If you’re hysterical, it’s historical was the quote. If a person is having a lot of really big feelings about something that maybe doesn’t necessarily require them – it might be worth investigating if it is indeed historical.  

I found this very interesting when I read it, not necessarily because I have big feelings often. It's just a different perspective on why something upsets.  The point is I tried to apply it to this situation.

I poked through my feelings and was all Not that, not that, maybe that, and continued to mull.  Then in the middle of the night, I had a realization.  I’ll say it again: traumatic childhood.  What had happened was: this was just another situation in my life where adults made unsafe choices with little to no regard to anyone else. While I – grownup me and small me – get to idly and helplessly stand by. NEAT.

Finally, I'll mention that one of Kevin's crew guys is currently at home with a bad case of Covid.  So Kevin was no doubt exposed...and we're not sure when.  It's been over seven days since the party and to our knowledge, everyone remains healthy.  They dodged a bullet, maybe.

29 May 2022

New Vacuum...Who Dis

 In yet another example of adulting that I would never have predicted, I had to buy a new vacuum and I was happy about it.

The unlock pedal on mine broke and it looks fixable. BUT we have wandered into the Is It Worth Fixing territory. The internet says the part is available for about $10 and offered a video as to how to fix it.  About one minute in, I was all "Whelp, I gave it a try."  Kevin was 100% "Just buy a new one, I don't even want to try."  Fair enough.

As near as I can guess, the vacuum was 10-16ish years old and it's showing wear and tear beyond the broken pedal.  I can't remember if I bought it when we got the new house or the new carpet; either way I remember we needed one because new carpet.  Anyway, the interwebs state that the life of a vacuum is usually around eight years.  I had way surpassed that timeline either way.

I got this one:


From the amazon, delivered  for $181.00.  The same vacuum was "for sale" at Best Buy for $249, which is a little goggling.  Luckily I didn't need it right this second.  Well, I did but I waited anyway.

It's awesome and I should have done this sooner.  I thought it was going to be lighter in weight but I don't think it is.  I left off all the attachments just to simplify and to not add weight.  Also, if I'm being honest, I don't use them often and it makes no sense to haul them around just in case.

Meanwhile, off topic again, it's quieter so I appreciate that and it definitely did a better job.  I like that it's red instead of the utilitarian brown and black.  Having grown up with heavy, bagged, and loud canister vacuums, this is amazing.  Somewhere my ancestors are thinking "We beat our rugs with brooms but okay, spoiled."

This doesn't mean that Rosie is fired, I just also need a big girl vacuum because we live in the woods and Kevin comes home grubby most nights, and we have Lucy.  Rosie is perfect for the hard floors and under things and mostly for that satisfying vacuum trail that she leaves, showing her work. But Kevin nor Lucy are big fans of her dimly wandering around the house and bumping into things.

Kevin and I were just talking the other day about when you age, there are fewer and fewer things to look forward to.  This was a good example of that: the happy anticipation of waiting for the delivery, putting it together and USING it.  Aging is dumb.

I still had to find a new home for the old vacuum. It worked but not to the best of it's ability.  But it couldn't stand up on it's own and it was dusty, as older vacuums tend to be.  Kevin was hesitant about sending it off to a second hand shop so I had a little think about it.  If you don't have a vacuum, even an older dusty one for $5 was helpful.  I didn't want to sell it online though.  

Finally, I phoned a vacuum repair shop and asked if they would like it for parts or whatever.  The guy who answered the phone was surprised, laughed, and said yes, absolutely.  He was very happy that my alphabet brain somehow thought to call and ask him.

I cleaned it up a little and gathered all the tools and extra belts and filters.  The repair shop is one of the businesses that are still "Call and we'll come out to you" so they even came out to the truck to take it. It was the same guy I spoke with and he was still kind of giggling as he took it. 

So, if you have an older vacuum you no longer use, maybe see if there's a repair shop that wants it.  Or have yours repaired, as I probably could have done.  

But the new one is so cool. I have no regrets.   :)








26 May 2022

Picture Stories

With everything that has happened and a booster shot that made me Rumplestiltskin, I'm phoning this post in.  Well, with cell phone photos, if you will.  Random shots from the past week for your distraction.




This little angry bird caused me to buy another feeder.
He chases other birds away.



 
Could not find my glasses the other evening.
This is bad even for me
(Kevin's work truck rear bumper)


Kevin sent this photo to me
from his work the other morning



Anniversary Cards. 
He said he won because: two cards




Ridiculously tall tulip stems.
They're about three feet tall.
(shot through a window and the rain)






One of my favorite photos of the 
happiest puppy who ever puppied.

15 May 2022

Geology Rocks

 Every time I go to the bay or the river or the little park or to the ocean beach…well, frankly anywhere…I pick up rocks to bring home.  It’s something I did as a child then lost to adulting and have now regained.  

Part of what started this hobby-habit up again is that I spotted a rock among freshly-laid gravel driveway.  It was a little planet rock, looking like a little galaxy in a single stone.  I have written about it before here: Third Rock from the Sun.

I tend to favor smooth, white, rounded stones and wish rocks. Kind of like in the movie Somethings Gotta Give: 

Photo nipped from interwebs, real photo below

  I was starting to accumulate too many of those so I had to do something differently.  I began to think about a particular kind of rock or stone that I wanted.  Setting my intention for each walk as “I want a green rock” or “I want a striped rock.”

The fun thing about setting an intention is that most often I find what I’m looking for. Sometimes not and that’s disappointing but mostly successful.  The literal biggest one happened when I first began being intentional about it. I wanted a green rock.  We were at the bay and sure enough there was a green rock poking up out of the sand.  I scuffed it with my foot and it didn’t pop up easily.  Because look:

It was heavy to carry around the beach but absolutely worth it

One time I found another planet rock and it looked kind of like Mars.  I brought it home then couldn’t find it and it was annoying me to no end.  Cleaned the trucks, went through all my hoodie pockets, repacked both go-bags for Lucy.  I even returned to the beach where I found it – the one with the rock sculptures – in the ridiculously vain hope that I would find it.  I didn’t, of course.

Weeks went by and I realized in the middle of the night where it was.  When I bring home rocks that turn out to be not as I thought they might be, I put them out in the rock garden.  They fill in rather nicely amongst all the sharp stones.  Sure enough: there it was. I had accidentally tossed it out.  

Discovering it in the rock garden put another idea into my head.  One that I haven’t quite put into action yet.  There is a creek bordering our property with plenty of larger round stones.  Many of them were disturbed when they did the creek remediation and I can just walk down and pluck them out of the grass.  That, however, is a lot of work and will be something I can do over the summer.

The other issue is that I need to have places for these treasures.  I repurposed a clear planter/vase/thing first.  Then it was full.  I repurposed a planter that held succulents which I continually killed and now it’s full. I tried a leather-bound box that a gift came in years ago and it’s full.



The other day I had the genius idea to grab a canning jar and plunk only white rocks into it.  I loved it so I did another one, this time with mixed media; rocks, feathers, and shells. I will definitely continue to do that until I find another way. Right now I have a pile of rocks on my desk that I’ve left there because I’m enjoying them.  However, they need to find a home.  






Well, what really needs to happen is I need to cull some of my rocks out into the garden.  But my brain isn’t down with that idea completely yet so here we are.  Then I realized that I have vintage glass bowls stored in forgotten cupboards.  I'm certain that my ancestors didn't intend this as a use for their prized Sunday Family Dinner bowls but here we are.



Also, part of what prompted these little collections is a book I read last year.  The main character was an artist who made shadow boxes of items found on the beach.  The hardcover featured photos of these boxes and I was further intrigued:


So, here's the thing: I have a eleventy hundred rocks and I will always be picking up more.  If any of you would like a special rock, let me know and I'll send it to you. (free, this is a fun thing for me)  Want a wish rock? A planet rock?  A purple rock?  A flat rock?  All of them?  I will happily and gladly go on a search for you.  Just know that I am crap at finding agates so please don't ask and sea glass isn't a thing here.  Anything else, let me know.


P.S.  Points for knowing where the title came from.  
P.S.S.  Bert from Big Bang Theory

12 May 2022

Disappears After 24 Hours

 Kevin just phoned me saying WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!?!?!?  OPEN YOUR TICKTOCK WHAT THE HELL IS THAT

I went to the app and there was a notification and it's a  a message from him with a video.  Usually he sends me those via messenger or text so that was weird.  You know, coupled with his exclamations of WHAT IS THAT.

It's a video of HIS MOM smiling down into the camera, clearly not aware that she's being recorded.  

That's not the OMG part.

The voiceover says AND I QUOTE: "All Guys Pay attention, have tissues ready.  Click on the circle in the lower right corner. Watch it secretly, you'll thank me for that."




She somehow created a ticktock story and somehow Kevin saw it.  A story with a p*rn voiceover.

A couple of things to unpack here:

I didn't know there was such a thing as a ticktock story. 

HOW did she have access to a voiceover for p*rn?

How in the name of Where's Waldo did she manage to create AND POST it?

I frantically logged into her page to see if I could delete it and can't find it anywhere.  Thus the equally frantic search of "What is a ticktock story"

Now Kevin is forwarding it to his brother because "If it's in my head, it has to be in his."  

The debate is whether or not to mention it to her.  Because she'll just deny that she did it AND she probably has no idea how she did it.  *I* don't know how she did it.

Raising parents, I keep telling you: it's not for the weak.



10 May 2022

Secret Library

 When I first started doing the bloggity, I used to keep drafts as word docs instead of drafts on the actual platform.  I think I stopped doing it because it resulted in random docs on my computer that would just be ignored until I would need something then be all “Holy Hell, what is that file? And that file….and…”

Instead, it happens on the bloggity platform which is marginally better because at least I look at them occasionally.

My point though, it is one of the downfalls of working from home when you’re also a writer is that the last thing you want to do is sit down at your work desk to write.  Now, it could be said that writing is also a job and that’s true too.  In which case, I need to figure out a work-around so that I don’t feel like I’m spending all my time at “work.”

What I’ve been mulling is where to set up my laptop semi-permanently to maybe encourage the process.  I like having it on the dining table but it’s in the way when we have dinner.  So that’s a maybe.

For a while it was on the lower shelf of our coffee table but I tended to overlook it; because out of sight is out of mind. And the coffee table has moved now so that’s not accessible in that way anymore.

Then a long while ago I posted this meme on the bloggity.  It has since been added to:




Upon reading it, I immediately wanted one.  Like I have a whole house to myself but I NEED one.

But this house is tiny and it's just not an option.  Monica's Closet always will be Monica's Closet, despite my continual downsizing and delusional hopes.  The other closet is Kevin's racecar closet and it's nearly full now.  There's only one coat closet and it's a working closet so it's not an option.

Which then brings me to a phone call I received on Tuesday in the middle of the Barbie Leg thing.

I was approved to work from home for the 22-23 School Year.  HOORAY and Relieved Sigh.

Not only do they not have a place to house me in my old building, they have realized that there is zero need TO house me.  Whew.  So what I'm hoping is that we'll get through the next school year, everyone will be settled, and will forget that I work from home and that's how I'll live out the rest of my working days.  I even told my job partner, upon hearing this news, that "If I can do this forever, I was retire doing this job."  

What's funny - as in coincidental, not ha ha - is that I had begun writing a proposal for continuing to work from home last weekend. I had just signed my Intent to Return Letter and stated that I am requesting to continue to work from home.  The next step was/is signing a contract for the 22-23 school year.  So I was trying to be proactive and voila!  No need.

Then it occurred to me last night that I need to clean my clothes closet. I've been holding on to clothes because I never knew when or if I would be called back to an office.  Now I know that I am not and even if I were, it will be almost two years before that would happen.  I don't need business attire, be it as casual as it is.  I will never do direct service again or have to step in to help so out goes that clothing style.

There is an antique dresser in our primary closet, put there because I didn't have any room for it.  It holds funeral/job interview clothes and odds and ends that I wear occasionally.  If I took that out of the closet, I could have an area for a nap hole.  It would be behind the door and Kevin would likely never notice it. 

Really though, the only option is Monica's Closet.  It's big enough, I would just need to organize it so it all fits in two thirds of the closet instead of all of it.  

It's probably not realistic or even reasonable, but it's fun to think about.  I told my friend that all I want is an older house with a secret library.  Simple request: a secret library. Pull on a sconce, have a wall swing out and Secret Library. 

photo nipped from Etsy



08 May 2022

Happy You're Not My Mother's Day

 This day is "Not My Day" or "Happy You're Not A Mom Day" for me.  So a few years ago I wrote this post.  I've edited/added a bit to reflect the now.

I phoned my mom last night about Mother's Day.  We were going to go out this morning before my family was visiting to avoid that Whole Thing.  Welp, my mom had/has Covid.  She tested positive "on Easter"  Well, first she said Christmas then corrected herself so there's that whole thing.  She says she's fine, it was just like a cold but she still sounded snuffly.  

And, oh, thanks, family members, for letting me know. btw.  You're *super*.  My mom even said "I didn't know no one told you."  "Yeah, that's how it is now, mom" I wanted to say, but I didn't.

Instead, I will go down during the week to see her for a little while.  She said that it was fine and that today is "Just another Day" so that will give you insight to the dynamic as well. 

So, the pandemic has given me distance from unhealthy family dynamics and for that I am strangely grateful. 

We bought Kevin's mom a flower arrangement because she can't care for her flowers anymore and that is sad. However, on a happier note:  Kevin chose the card and it's nearly exactly the same as her birthday card that we gave her eleven days ago.  We're pretty sure that she won't notice and because we're horrible children, we laughed about it. 

With that, the annual repost for this particular day:

Having been raised by wolves, as I've regularly described my childhood, other women stepped up to make sure that I was parented when my parents couldn't or didn't know any better.

As a baby/toddler, it was my mom's best friend.  As I was a trauma birth, she was the one who cared for me the first months of my life.  In fact, she made sure I was taken care of the first part of my young life. She sees me as the daughter she never had.

Even as an adult, she had that presence.  I remember arriving at a family function years ago and it had been a crap day. I was spewing all the reasons why I was late and it was an awful day and in mid-sentence she stopped what she was doing, turned and hugged me tight.  Like a mom would.  

My paternal grandma helped while she was alive.  She died when I was five, but I still remember her babysitting and making sure that I was spoiled and had what I needed: ceramic figurines from the tea box, scrapbooks, napoleon (neopolitan)  ice cream, and affection.

During grade school, my mom became a volunteer firefighter with a group of stay-at-home moms.  Those women also stepped up and made sure I was okay over the years, as well.  Equipping me with wedding shower gifts and handwritten advice when I married the wrong man with kind of an unspoken understanding about the decision I was making. I didn't understand it then but I've since realized their support.

Where we lived when I was a child, the houses around us were summer homes.  The mom in one family was such a hippie; she did yoga and meditated and seemed quite strange to me.  She was a gentle mom and I liked her very much, even though she was a mom the likes of which I had never seen.  She passed when Kevin had Covid so I wasn't able to attend her memorial. It broke my heart a little.  The beautiful obituary that my friend wrote for her described her as Soft.  As in everything about her was soft and gentle. It clarified why she was an important presence when I was young: she was soft when everyone around me was hard.

My grade school best friend's mom was also just a quiet presence.  They were poor, I mean, really poor and she was overwhelmed with all these kids and the things that came with that.  I didn't realize it then but I do understand now. But I just became another one of her kids, like it was no problem at all.

Mostly I remember my high school best friend's moms.  At sixteen/seventeen, I was working, going to school, paying bills, and driving.  I was an adult mostly but I still felt their watchful eyes on me. They made sure I got home, school, or to work on time, had what I needed, fed me, answered my questions.  Parented me when I needed it.

So, today I'm giving a shout out to those moms who take care of kids who aren't theirs.  Not just the foster moms or the step moms.  The moms who just take in the friends of your kids without a thought.  You might not think they notice but they do.  You  may think it's nothing or just a little thing that doesn't matter. But it's not.

I appreciate every meal, every hug, every correction, every thing they did to step up and fill the gaps. 

Happy Mother's Day

 




06 May 2022

Barbie Legs

 So this has just been a super fun week.  Today is the first day in four days that I haven't been in bed.  And that's not as fun as it sounds.

No, not the 'rona.  Both hips made the decision to leave my body this week.  One hip isn't super unusual but this is the first time that they coordinated, causing three mornings at the chiropractor.  SUPER.

As a result, I've watched an entire season of Grey's Anatomy and cleared off everything that I ever wanted to watch on the DVR.  Yesterday I watched the new West Side Story.  It was good, I can appreciate everyone's love for it; it is a watch once for me though.  I've seen the original but I was a child so I had very little recall of it.

I saw my regular chiropractor twice and the second time he felt so bad about the pain that he stopped.  Then I saw his dad and he's a take no prisoners, no holds barred guy.  I thought for sure that he fixed the issue.  Then as soon as I sat up this morning, pop.  Out goes my hip again.  Yesterday I was all Pity Party but today I was just pissed.

And now hours have passed and I made ANOTHER trip to the chiropractor.

What had happened was:

My hip was still painful today but only while sitting.  I decided that I was just going to rest and medicate with pain reliever and ice/heat.  Wait and see how it plays out, maybe I was being a baby.  (I knew I wasn't, let me have my delusions)

Kevin had a tentative appointment for tomorrow at 7:45 in the morning.  On a Saturday.  Ugh. No thanks.  But he decided he didn't need to go.  I texted the chiropractor that I was still sore but unsure what to do and oh, by the way, Kevin didn't need to see him tomorrow.  Meaning that I could go tomorrow, instead of him.

Instead I get a "Come up and we'll see what's going on."  Ummmm....okay.

I had just gotten groceries out of the truck in the rain, after taking Lucy for gentle walkies also in the rain.  I discarded my wet hoodie, changed glasses (also wet) left the groceries on the counter, and got back into the truck to go to the chiropractor for the FOURTH TIME this week.

So, because the chiropractor and I talked via text, the receptionist didn't know I was coming.  She was surprised but caught her frustration fast and I heard "You....TEXTED him?"  I mean, fair enough about the texting but she didn't know the whole cancelling an off-the-books appointment for tomorrow.  All's well that ends well.

She took an elderly couple back and put them in an exam room.  I knew I would have to wait so I just checked work email on my phone while standing.

Then I hear a bird call. So I looked at my notifications bar on my phone and nothing.  Then I heard it again so I looked out the big windows of the lobby.  Once more heard it, then  I looked over to see the chiropractor motioning me from behind the desk and in the hall.  He gestured to be quiet and come back.

I went back, laughing and told him "I thought I was losing my mind, I'm hearing birds now."  He laughed and explained that was how he got his daughter's attention when they were young. Then he explained that the gentleman of the older couple "Talks.The.Entire.Time." and he thought he would save me the wait.  This is what I still drive to see him.

Hip was back out, rib was unhappy and it was good that I went in because it was working it's way up my spine.  I have zero idea what is causing it. Do I need new sneakers?  Is it the new couch? the new bed?  Bad karma?  Aging?  

I have done many things to my body: rolled a truck down an embankment, been blown up, had a few fender benders (none my fault) and it turns out that simply living my life has created this whole thing. Now I'm Suzy Correct Posture until this passes. 

Oh, and when I called out of work to my job partner on Tuesday, she said "I also have one Barbie leg. It just pops out occasionally and needs reassembly."  That legitimately made me laugh.  It's exactly how it feels, just like when the Barbie leg gets pulled out.


23 April 2022

April Fool's Saturday Edition

 There are seven days left in this month and then there better be some sort of shift to get me out of this challenging alternate universe.

Yesterday was fine, mostly.  Three trips into town but fine. (what an interesting way to celebrate Earth Day, lolsigh)   The day before I had to go into my actual office and left the most important piece of what I needed at home.  So that was one of the three trips into town yesterday.

Kevin had to work today, we're in the six-days-a-week season, ugh.  He left at 5:30 like always.  At 6:15, Lucy woke me up insisting that she had to go outside. It's a good thing that we don't have neighbors because I just got up out of bed, walked out onto the deck, and undid her gate then went back to bed.

She came back in later, after I had fallen asleep trying to convince myself to just get up and start the day.

Then she wanted back out but I told her no, got up and showered then we left to get coffee/treats.  This is one of those days where my brain won't turn on all the way.  I was going to take her for walkies but I just didn't want to so I came back home.

Instead I started my chores, which included starting Rosie/Geoff Peterson to work.  Then I got stuck in If You Give A Mouse A Cookie and ended up reorganizing the cleaners and towels under the primary bath sink.  Meanwhile, Rosie had stopped under the dining table so I retrieved her.  I took out the filter to empty it and there was grass...like a lot of grass.  

While it could be assumed with the way things have gone, that she had gone outside.  No, she found dog sick.  ACK.  Upon a panicked yet reluctant search I found that thankfully it was mostly grass and it was on the wood floor by the door.  Two things: thank the universe it was just dog sick and not poo and now I don't remember what the second was because the alphabet brain just decided that there didn't need to be a second thing.

Now I've disassembled Rosie/Geoff on the kitchen counter and cleaning all the stuff.  It was not as bad as it could have been, for real though.  But this was not on my list today.  Or any day, frankly.

In this time, the fabricator who is working on the racecar has arrived. He is not chatty so I can just leave him to his own devices, thankfully.  And Kevin came home about ten minutes later anyway.

I realized I was hungry while cleaning Rosie, which is weird but whatever. I grabbed a banana.  Yep, both hard and soft and I immediately spit it into the trash.  Now I'm not hungry anymore, I guess.  I returned to finish cleaning Rosie; just in time for Kevin to need me to run into town.  So Lucy and I went, no worries.  We're both always down for a car ride.

As we pulled back into the driveway, one of Kevin's friends had arrived. This is totally fine, I like him.  It's just that we went to high school together.  And he slept with one of my best friends at the time.  She said he was great but she didn't want to date a "farm boy", which irritated me at the time because he was a super nice guy.  And he still is.  But every time I first see him, I think "He had sex with my friend." which is at least three kinds of inappropriate.  And I don't think he remembers how he knows me, just to make it weirder.

Then as I'm writing this, Kevin comes into the house in a bit of a panic.  He needed a needle and alcohol and his glasses.  He has a larger-than-a-sliver piece of metal embedded in his thumb.  Because of course he does.  He worked on it and "thinks" he has "most" of it removed.  If I have to add "trip to urgent care" onto my April Fools Month bingo card, I will not be surprised.

Meanwhile, the mechanic wants my truck this weekend instead of in three weeks. This is good and bad.  We have to figure out how to deliver it without towing.  I started it the other day and the Check Engine light didn't come on so that's a good thing.  It's a high traffic weekend where I live so not optimum to maybe have to stop for car troubles.  

One of our friends from the coffee stand is on maternity leave.  She sent me a friend request the other day and now my friend suggestions includes a beloved former boyfriend's wife.  Thanks social media for that little bit of wistful weirdness.

I sure hope that this this post will be the last on this topic. Who knew that the Raising Parents posts could be one-upped?

21 April 2022

A Fry Will Not Defeat Me

 I've mentioned that Kevin eats very little anymore.  Not only does food not taste good anymore, he "eats to survive" to quote him.  He's just never hungry.

The other night I told him that I was going to make salmon patties and rice.  This is a meal that's not high on his list but he likes it.  I haven't made it for quite a while because see above statement.  

It's a simple recipe, I can make it in my sleep.  I started the rice and that was cooking. I mixed the patty ingredients and let them sit a minute. (no, not food poisoning)  Then I began to cook the patties on the stove.  

For some reason, they wouldn't stick together.  I don't know if I wasn't paying attention or what had happened.  They just wouldn't.  So I turned down the heat and thought that if I could get one side to stick together, then maybe this is salvageable.  Instead, it just stuck...ADHERED...to the pan.  

I tried a few times then finally said "Unless you want salmon crumble, I have to make something else."

Kevin, without a beat, says "I don't like anything that has the word crumble in it."

Fish sticks and fries, it is then.  Can't possible screw that up.  Threw it into the oven and set the timer. I live and die by timers.

The timer dinged and I went to flip the fish over.  A few of them STUCK TO THE TRAY.  I mean, c'mon.

I persevered with the fish then shook the try of fries around so they would cook evenly.  A fry fell to the bottom of the oven, next to the element, and began to lazily smoke.

Now this is where I say that I'm home alone most of my life.  That's not a judgement, it just is.  Twelve hours a day I am alone.  We know this when I said loudly: "FUCK ME"

I heard the tiniest of snort of a giggle from Kevin.  Then the hostage negotiator mode flipped on.  "Do you...need help?"  

"NO", I said in a pout "I need someone else to cook for the rest of my life or PIZZA DELIVERY."

Then I unintelligibly muttered under my breath.  

"What?"  he asked nonchalantly, like this happens all the time. (it totally does)

"The fry is on fire."  I answer, with resignation.

"Are you scared?" he asks.  

"No, PISSED.  Annoyed? YES."  

"We can just go get burgers.  Maybe it's a tavern night." he offers.

"No, because now I have to win."