urbandruid: (Beverly / Crushed)
This isn't the update I wanted to make, when I finally got myself together enough to do this. Not that it was ever going to be cheerful, not with everything that's been going on around here.

I started transcribing bits from my (paper) journal last month, because I didn't want to write any of it twice. Because getting that stuff down took so long- I was at it for ages. I'd write a few lines, a paragraph, a page, and then I'd have to walk away from it. Do something else. Think about something else. Be someplace else.

Too much has happened since I typed that stuff up for it to be enough of an update now. Which is too bad, because it's probably going to take me half the afternoon to write this.

In short, very little has gone right, and a lot has gone wrong, since we moved Grandpa into the Alzheimer's unit. Oh so foolishly, we thought he was resigned to being there. Not happy, but resigned. It turns out... Not so much. And he's deteriorated mentally now to the point where he doesn't understand why he has to be there, all he knows is that it's not home, it's not where Grandma is, and it's not where he wants to be.

And for the past... well, pretty much since he was diagnosed (back in '07 or '08, I think) he's done pretty much whatever he wanted, when he wanted. Grandma saved the arguments for the important things, safety issues, stuff like that. So if Grandpa wanted to go for a walk around the grounds of the old folks' home, or leave twenty minutes early for lunch in the dining hall (because he never, ever remembered that they'd backed up the time, and started serving later)... We just went with it.

It'd be hilarious if it wasn't so serious. Actually, sometimes it's hilarious anyway. Grandpa, bless him, does not want to stay in the Alzheimer's unit, and has discovered a new talent. For escaping. Yeah, from the locked Alzheimer's unit. It turns out if you lean on the gate to their enclosed courtyard for long enough, it opens. It also turns out that Grandpa was not only able to do this, but is in good enough physical shape (despite arthritis in his hip) to nearly climb over the bloody fence.

How, you may ask, did we learn about this new skill set? Mom and I were over at Grandma's one day, at her apartment after visiting a bit with Grandpa and leaving him at the unit. We were getting ready to go out and do some shopping, when the door opened. And there he was. Only Grandpa, I swear...

After that, it got a lot less funny. He's entered into a stage of the disease where he's getting violent and combative. I hate writing that, because it's the disease entirely, not Grandpa. He has a temper, or so I'm told, not that I ever saw it, but last month he threw a (small) table through the glass front door of the unit. (No, I don't know why they made the front door glass either. Even the social worker who runs the unit thinks that was stupid in the extreme, and the new Alzheimer's unit they're building won't have one.) He's also shoved staff and other patients who were between him and the front door when it was open.

He's physically healthier and stronger than any other resident in the unit, and it turns out they weren't really- aren't really- set up to handle someone like him. So first the staff tried keeping a closer eye on him, and when that didn't work, they hired an extra aide. Yep, the economy may suck, but someone gets a job out of this mess.

And not that this was in any way good, but it's been all downhill from there. There were so many escapes and incidents of him being violent and aggressive, even with the antipsychotics and antianxiety drugs they had him on, that the overall head of the retirement home basically stepped in and insisted that Grandpa be moved, temporarily, off site to a more heavily locked-down unit until he works through this phase and/or the meds get stabilized.

It's not that none of us understand where she's coming from, but nobody was happy about the move. We were all pretty pissed, actually. Especially since right up until last Monday Grandma was convinced- and pretty well convincing the rest of us- that it wasn't going to come to that, that she'd talk them around or they'd tweak the meds, or... Honestly, I don't know why I believed her. Grandma's not reliable about these sorts of things, she has too much of a tendency to tune out things she can't or doesn't want to deal with. Maybe it's just that I feel like she lied to my face, telling me last Sunday that she was sure it wouldn't happen. Then calling Mom on Monday and saying they'd moved him.

Mom was pretty pissed about that. We were quietly not speaking to Grandma for a couple of days. But it was done, and if we still had way too many questions and not enough answers... Hell, we'll sort it out somehow, you know?

So, today. Grandpa's been at the new place about a week. None of us have seen him for ages, because having us visit really agitated him and they had trouble getting him calmed down. It's been so bad that my aunt and her husband, and my great-aunt and great-uncle were here weekend before last, and I don't think any of them saw him, even though my aunt's in Reno now and the greats are from Massachusetts, and get out here on average of once a year. And, we weren't supposed to visit for two weeks while he settled in at the new place. Which was about when they'd hoped to move him back to the Alzheimer's unit at the retirement place where Grandma lives.

*headdesk*

But, I thought, okay, if he can go home then, back to the unit that's more familiar and the place where Grandma can visit easily, the place I know, and the staff I've met, who like Grandpa and who we all have a relationship with... I thought I could accept not seeing him for a bit longer, if it meant that.

Then today- the first day of my spring break, by the way- the phone rings. It's the hospital, looking for Mom because they need some info on Grandpa. So I called Mom, she called them back... Grandpa fell at the new place, we're not sure on the details yet, and they called for an ambulance to take him to the hospital. Where they were having some trouble getting anything coherent out of him, because while the paramedics were, one assumes, told he had Alzheimer's, they failed to pass that on to the ER staff. Idiots, idiots, idiots!

In related WTF? news, nobody but nobody could get hold of Grandma. Mom tried, the hospital tried, apparently the Alzheimer's unit people tried too. No dice. So Mom dashed out of work to go to the hospital. She tried to send me an email from her phone telling me what'd happened, but we think she lost it when she had to close her phone in a hurry, so as not to get yelled at for using it in the ER. Anyway, I never got it, so I had to get the story from her via illicit cell phone call.

They had to take him for a CT scan, which sounds like an adventure and a half. They sedated him a bit, but Mom still had to stay with him in the CT room, lead apron and all, to keep him kinda sorta calm enough to get the scan done. They tried it twice, so I'm assuming the second one came out okay.

So, Mom spent half the afternoon at ER, trying to keep Grandpa from trying to get out of bed (a really nice security guard had to help her hold him down at one point...) and reminding him that he had to keep the C-collar on his neck. Naturally he hates it and wants it off. Naturally he keeps trying to get out of bed, even though Mom says he was making the most awful pain faces she's seen in a while. He's bruised up all over, too, and Mom told me something in the area of his stomach seemed to be hurting him a lot, which freaks me the hell out. Please Gods let it only be broken ribs.

They hadn't gotten the CT results back last I heard from Mom, but Grandma had finally shown up (still don't know where she was, and am a bit pissed at her, but what else is new?) so Mom went back to work. Grandma's supposed to call as soon as she knows anything.

And all I can think is, the new place has an 8-foot fence. Gods and Goddesses, I hope he didn't try to climb the fucking thing!

Updates as I get them. And an update on the rest of my craptastic life when I'm not so freaked out about all of this.
urbandruid: (River)
I don't know how to say this. I've been trying to find the words for it maybe since Christmas, when I knew something was wrong. Or at least since New Years', when I learned what it was.

Around New Years' we found out that Grandpa can't stay in the apartment at the retirement home with Grandma anymore, that he's slipped too far. We started making plans to move him into the Alzheimer's assisted living unit. Had a meeting there with the social worker who runs it, even my aunt and uncle drove down for it. It's a nice place, a very nice place actually, as these things go. I think Grandpa will be safe there, and maybe, someday, he might be happy there. It's the best we can hope for, and I'm so thankful my grandparents have the money to afford this kind of care.

But a part of me hates everything about this. Sure, I knew it was coming, someday, but actually facing it is something else. Especially when Grandpa doesn't want to go. He's still with it enough to understand on some level that he has to go there, to live, and he doesn't want to go. And it breaks my heart. It's breaking everybody's heart.

And tomorrow his room is finally ready. Grandma moved some stuff down last night, nothing heavy I hope, because hell, that's all we need, for her to throw her back out or something. Tomorrow, Mom and my uncle John, and I, are helping them move furniture and whatnot.

I'm dreading it. I'm dreading the reality of it, of moving my grandfather into a place he has to be, and leaving him there. Dreading leaving him behind a door you need a code to get in and out of. I'm afraid he'll be upset, that he'll forget or not understand why he has to stay there, and why we can't. I'm afraid I will lose it and start crying, and he won't understand why. Or, maybe worse, that he will.

And because I can't have just a family crisis, I have my own. I'm a lot better from the cold from hell I've had, but I'm still coughing. Mom is pretty bad with it still. (Mom also has hypothyroidism and pre-diabetes, which we're also trying to cope with.) And me? I'm severely, deeply depressed. I have a C in Behavioral Stats that I'm struggling and maybe going to fail to keep. (I also have a test today that I kinda sorta partway understand the material for.) I'm also sucking at ballet, and too tired/depressed/whatever to practice like I should.

It looks so simple written out there like that. I am profoundly depressed. But those words encompass my whole world, sometimes. The part where I have to struggle to get out of bed. The part where I wonder why the hell I should bother. The part where I drag myself through classes, and homework, hours spent in the library killing time, when sometimes I'm not doing my homework, even though I should, because I just can't. I open the book, pull out my pencil and paper and calculator, and then I just stare at them. Sometimes I take a stab at some problems, sometimes not.

If I can't do the work, I can't pass this class. I try not to think about that too hard.

I have good days, relatively speaking, days when I almost feel normal. I can tell that today's not going to be one of them.

It's going to rain. Probably a lot. And I have to take the bus home. The bus, which has been an hour late far more often than it's been on time this semester. But I have to go. I have a test to take, then an hour of class to try and get through. And hope I understand.

And tomorrow... Mom's taking me to my ballet class at the college, then- I can't even remember if she's going over to the folks' after she drops me off or not. Probably we're not going till I'm out of class. Dunno, I'll ask her I guess. Anyway, I'm dreading that, and then I feel guilty for dreading it.

Oh, and did I forget to mention we're all worried as hell about Grandma, too? Because she's been forgetful and spacey for a while now. Too. She's always been a bit of a flake, but lately it's gotten really bad. We're all hoping she'll be better once she's not Grandpa's 24/7 caretaker anymore. We're hoping. Because if not...

Mom and I joke about a couple's suite at the Alzheimer's unit. But it may actually not be that funny, except in the black humor sort of way that we have. And that scares the hell out of me, too.

Meanwhile, I get to drag myself to school and take my exam, like everything is normal in my life. I don't even know what that word means anymore, and probably wouldn't recognize normal if it bit me.

So, yeah. All my weeks have been hard lately, one way or another, but this one... This one's gonna be really, really hard.
urbandruid: (Jaina / Invisible Girl)
So, the depression is totally kicking my ass. I don't know why that's so hard to admit, but it is. I feel like I'm doing the best I can, but mostly what I do is a whole lot of nothing. I'm slacking on everything, not because I want to, but because I somehow just can't do anything more than I am right now. Most of my energy is going to dragging myself to school the two days a week I have class, trying to pay attention, acting like I have a hope in hell of passing Stats, which I really don't think that I do. I have about a month of school left, and I just wish it was over. I feel like I really don't care if I pass or not, I just don't want to have to deal with this anymore.

My birthday is Sunday. I'm finding it hard to care.

I'll get through all this. I know that. I'll be better, eventually. It's just hard pulling myself through it, you know? Or trying to pull myself through it. But I figure, as long as I'm not catatonic, as long as I'm physically able to drag my ass out of bed in the morning and do what I have to do, then that's what I'm gonna do.

I'm tired all the time, though. Half the time I can't get to sleep at all, then when I do, I sleep for hours and it doesn't do any good. I think I seriously slept half of last weekend. Still feel like crap.

Still have to go to class tomorrow, and take a test Thursday. *sigh*

And my family- *facepalm* Grandpa's surgery got rescheduled for last Thursday, only Grandma kinda forgot to tell Mom that. She did call her, though, when he was out of surgery. I'm sure you can imagine how she felt about that one. So, Grandpa's home and kinda doing better now, except we have to wait for the results of some biopsies to come back. Mom's heading over to see them after she gets off work tonight, so maybe she'll have some news when she gets back.

It's not that the way things are going surprises me, exactly- I remember how it was with Great-Grandpa, and I know where we're headed, but it's getting hard. Harder, I should say, 'cause it's never been easy. Seeing what the Alzheimer's is doing to Grandpa... Sometimes, almost more often than not lately, I don't know who he is. He's still with it enough to ask me how school is going, which is about all we ever talked about anyway, but- Hell, this is a depressing subject, and it bothers me even when I'm not already depressed.

I don't know if it's just me, as messed up as I've been feeling lately, but I feel like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop. 'Course, I've been feeling that way for years, ever since Grandpa was diagnosed, really. So who the fuck knows? I try not to think about it a lot, which sucks as a coping strategy, but sometimes it's all I've got.

Life in general needs to stop sucking now. Really.
urbandruid: (urban druid)
Hi guys.

Some of you know my grandpa's been having heart problems for a while. Not sure if I mentioned he was getting a pacemaker or not. Originally his surgery was scheduled for next week, but the doc saw some stuff happening he didn't like, so Grandpa went in today.

It was supposed to be an out-patient thing, but they couldn't put it quite where they wanted to, so the hospital's keeping him at least overnight to make sure he's okay. Mom and I are heading out to go see him in a bit, not sure when we'll be back.

Updates when I can.
urbandruid: (Vader / Sith Happens (niicoly))
Lemmie see here... did yesterday suck as much as I think it did? Um, yeah.

Mom and I went out to do a few things; we figured we'd be back in a couple of hours. Yeah. Right.

As we were pulling into a spot at the post office parking lot, a kid in the car next to us opened her door. Into Mom's driver's side window. Which broke. Well, shattered, really. Also sliced a BIG dent/cut into Mom's door right by the handle, jamming it closed. She had to climb out over the console and go out my door, and we have bucket seats.

Everybody's okay, us and the other people, just very shaken up, but the car wasn't drivable. We thought it would be easiest to have it towed, get a rental, and go on with our day. Hah! Insurance company gave us the rounaround, sent the car to a place that isn't open Saturdays, so that now we think our car is at the tow company's yard.

I called my uncle and had him pick us up. He was going to just take us home, but since he and my aunt have another car, he offered to let us borrow his pickup until we could get a rental.

So the upshot is, we have my uncle's little pickup, Mom's going to call and, er, straighten a few things out tomorrow, by which I mean heads will roll at AAA, and we ain't paying those tow fees, no freaking way.

Yeah. We're better now, but yesterday was not good. Mom was really upset, I wasn't much better. My aunt and uncle were great though- they're packing up their house to move halfway across the state, and my uncle dropped everything to come get us.

We're heading out in a bit to have dinner with them and some of their friends, then going to finish our last errand from yesterday- buying soda at Target.
urbandruid: (Headtilt Cylon)
So. September 11th. Yeah. Moving on.

I've had an interesting week. Two tests, one in each class (thank GODS they were on different days, though like a dork I misread my syllabus and thought BOTH were Tuesday *headdesk*)

I'm mostly recovered from my cold, though I'm still coughing.

My aunt and uncle are moving. Out of town. In the next couple of weeks.

My grandfather is getting a pacemaker. In the next couple of weeks. (Aunt & Uncle will be gone by then, though.)

Next Friday I have to see my guidance counselor at school about appealing my financial aid denial, so they can pay me for the measly two semesters I figure I have left to go at City. Argh, argh, argh! Even if I DO get it back, they've screwed me for work study for this year- all the good jobs will be taken already. And ALL the good campus jobs are work study. *headdesk*

I go back to the allergy & asthma clinic of doom in a couple weeks, when I'm going to have a lovely chat with whatever doctor deigns to see me, about what the hell is wrong with me and what they're gonna do about it.

And I have to go out to dinner with my family now.
urbandruid: (Stop Pissing Me Off)
It's the trip from hell. I will be so frakking glad to get home it's not even funny. Grandma's driving us crazy, Grandpa is... oy. Too much to say, not enough time to say it. We're not supposed to check out until 11:00, but Grandma's rushing us around like we've gotta leave NOW, Grandpa keeps taking stuff that's not ready to go, out to the car, and....yeah, I gotta go.

Shoot me.
urbandruid: (Mythbusters Gasoline (beahogan))
I'm leaving in an hour(!) to go out of town for a few days. My crazy family decided this would be a good idea, on, uh, Tuesday? But it took us until Thursday to decide a.) where we were going and b.) where we were gonna stay when we get there. I mostly blame Grandma for this, 'cause Mom and I would've had it figured out by Wednesday. So we've all been crazy and running around in circles waving our arms and screaming. But that's life in my family. :)

Anyway. I'll try and update later. Might even have pics if we do anything interesting today besides drive.

I have a ton of stuff to get done/pack/finish up/etc, but I'm SO glad to be getting out of here for a bit. 10 days straight of 100+ temps, and it's not going to get any cooler this weekend. Nice time to go to the coast, I think.

PS: I think the cat's gonna hate us...
urbandruid: (Merry Sithmas)
Happy Christmas, gang. Or whatever you celebrate (or don't).

We've had a kind of strange one here so far. I still feel like Christmas should be a week or so away, maybe we'd be ready then. We just got the lights on the three night before last, and so far the only ornament we hung was the one that's been on Mom's dresser since she found it under her bed about six months ago (Sam must've decided it was a cat toy, stolen it off the tree, and carried it back there, little turkey.) We're going to try to put the rest of the ornaments on tomorrow.

Tonight we had some festive Christmas DVD watching- our classic Christmas favorite, "The Ref", and then, because we bought it last week and hadn't seen it yet, "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor."

Also baked some cookies, from some mix we found on sale. "Take out of fridge, slap on cookie sheet, bake." They're not awesome, but they didn't take much effort either.

Tomorrow it's brunch at Grandma and Grandpa's in the dining room at their retirement home. (Nowhere near as bad as it sounds, the food's actually really good and has the added benefit of none of us having to cook it.) My uncle may or may not be eating with us, depends on his work schedule. It should be... interesting. But at least we don't have to be there till 1:00.

I was going to say something else, but I'm falling asleep at the keyboard here, so, bed for me.
urbandruid: (Jaina / Invisible Girl)
I promised an update, didn't I? Yeah, I thought I had. It's taken me a few days to get to it- and I actually have been meaning to do it for a while.

I guess the easiest thing to do is to group the updates by subject, so, in no particular order-

State of the Kidneys: I had blood work. I had a CT scan. I had other tests, and the less said about those, the better. What did my doctor learn from all this, you ask? #1, by the time the doc decided to do the CT, the stones were gone. The only thing he saw on the scan were really good pictures of my poor inflamed bruised-up kidneys. He thinks I had a couple stones and they passed. No, really? #2, as to the blood work and other tests- half the reason he wanted to do these was to get baseline readings. But at least according to his nurse who called me with the results, all of my results are 'normal', nothing jumped out at them, I'm probably 'just one of those people', etc. *headdesk*

State of the School: I still think they should issue hunting licenses for freshmen. We have way too freaking many as usual. It's about the middle of the semester, and my teachers are piling on the work. Especially my Spanish prof, who is really easygoing but who I think my classmates have managed to royally piss off. Our attendance has more weight on our grades than our exams do, and you get extra credit points at the end of the semester if you have perfect attendance. Which is great, except it means everybody comes to class, even the people who don't want to be there. And all they do is talk. In English. When we're supposed to be working in pairs or groups or even when the prof is lecturing, these idiots are chattering away, texting, answering their cell phones... Today he took roll halfway through class, gave us a ten minute break, and told us we could all leave if we wanted to. He says next time he's just going to tell them to leave. Three people left, and you'd be amazed how much quieter it got after they did. Here's hoping they don't come back.

State of the Laptop Hateway: This stupid fucking computer, I swear to Gods... it's been trying to die for a while now, you all remember the keyboard adventures (I still have keys that don't work, or work very rarely) but now it seems to be spreading to other components. A couple weeks ago, Anna here decided she didn't have a CD drive anymore. And has been unable to recognize that the thing's still there, ever since. Then one day last week my mouse refused to work. It came back, but I'm seeing a sign of the times here. Mom was talking about replacing the computer for Christmas anyway; now we're crossing our fingers the thing lasts that long. Also wondering how much fun it's not going to be to try and get all my stuff off of here without a damn CD drive. (I hadn't, of course, updated my backup CDs in a month or so, as of the CD drive crash.)

State of the Big, Time-Consuming Project: Goes a little like this. School's doing a semester in London in the spring. It's not cheap, but it looks fantastic. My geology prof, who I really like, is one of the teachers who's going, and she clued me into a major national scholarship for students who want to study abroad. I had to write an essay, plan a project to promote studying abroad and the scholarship, send transcripts, and fill out a ton of forms, which is what I spent half of September and the first part of October doing. I'll know if I get the scholarship in mid December, and at this point I've just accepted that I'm going to be stressed beyond belief until then. The scholarship is up to $5,000. Even with the financial aid I discovered I qualify for this semester (*thwap* to the guidance counselor for sucking at her job as usual) if I don't get the scholarship, I can't go. And I really, really, really want to go. I think I have a fair shot, because the scholarship people like junior college students, students who've never studied abroad before, and, yes, folks, disabled students. Check, check, and check. It's gonna be great if it all comes together, but in the meantime it's also been this huge mess of stuff and bureaucracy and red tape and nonsense, and it's driving me insane.

State of the Fam: You guys know I love my family. I do. But with everything that's going on lately my bullshit threshold is practically nonexistant, and hanging around my relations isn't exactly stress free. Sometimes we think Grandpa is doing better than Grandma, which, considering, is really freaking scary. They both tripped and fell last week; Grandpa bruised his knee, Grandma gave herself a hell of a black eye with her glasses. They did at least get checked out by the infirmary people at their nursing home, but still, Mom and I were facepalming when we found out about this. (And note that we found out when we met them for dinner one night last week, when Grandma took off her sunglasses.

State of the Parent: Mom gets her own section, because she's saner than the rest of them right now. Of course, it turns out that her foot still hasn't healed from the fall she took months ago, so now she's in physical therapy for the foot. Only the doc who's sending her for the PT just put her on medicated patches, and while she's wearing those they can't do half the treatments at PT that have really been helping. Mom's been getting that kinesio tape like that US women's beach volleyball player wore at the Olympics, and she says it's really been helping. We're pretty sure all the drug patches are doing is masking the pain, and I know there've been a couple days when Mom has pushed herself too far, because it didn't start hurting when it should have. Mom's considering smacking the doc upside the head. If she doesn't, I may do it for her, 'cause I've about had it.

State of the Druid: Actually, between one thing and another I've about had it in general. It's election day, to which I say, "Thank Gods, now you can ALL shut the fuck up." We vote absentee, I sent in my ballot last week, and I really do not care at this point. California has this charming measure on the ballot, Proposition 8- asshole conservatives want to amend the friggin' state constitution to say that 'marriage is only between a man and a woman', blah, blah, blah. Bigots and homophobes r'us, especally around here. They've been demonstrating for the damn thing in major intersections, the mall, and around the Barns and Noble. I gave them the thumbs-down, each individual idiot, as we drove past on Saturday. I swear they were so pissed they were turning purple. One guy waved his giant American flag at me, like the finger of admonishment. To which I say, it was fucking raining, asshole- flag's supposed to be put away. Honestly I felt like I was very restrained- I didn't give them the finger, or roll down the window and scream at them, which is what I really wanted to do.

I really wanted to dare them to take their little hatefest on the road to San Francisco, and see how it played out there. I'll spare you guys the rest of the rant, but those people really made my blood boil.

In better election news, our illustriously moronic mayor, Alan Autry (yes, that Alan Autry, whom you might remember as "Bubba" from In the Heat of the Night...) decided not to run again, so at least we're rid of that embarrasing idiot. Who always seeemed to be under the impression he ran the county and the state, instead of just the city. IIRC, he wanted to pass a city ordinance about illegal immigration. We're in the middle of California, not the Mexican border. He spent most of his time at Starbuck's and the gym, anyway. I may miss having him to kick around, but... I think he'll be like George W. Bush. We can always still make fun of him.

*sigh* Moving on. I'm so stressed I'm hardly sleeping, or at least I don't feel like I am, and I need a vacation. Oh, and if I could just hear a "yes" from the scholarship people...

Oh yeah, I knew I forgot one.
State of the Ants: Because it's only just now starting to cool down, the little fuckers have been making incursions through most of September, and we found a few in the kitchen last week. I foolshly put on some clothes they'd had access to, and ended up with a TON of bites, 10+, which is not good when you're as allergic as I am. It rained a lot over the weekend and yesterday, and I hope they all drowned.

...I think that was everything. *hugs*
urbandruid: (Default)
State of the virus: Sorted. Little fucker's gone, good riddance. Now I'm paranoid about other stuff getting in, but hey, whatever, you know? Gone! /State of the virus

The ants are trying to make a comeback, in totally weird places as usual. We found 'em in the kitchen, which, okay, I can understand, but the other place was Mom's closet. Not even the dirty clothes hamper or anything, just meandering around some random boxes.

Our ants are on crack. But that's okay, 'cause they're also toast. We're going another round with the outdoor bug spray this weekend, and any hills we find get a bottle of ammonia dumped on them. Ants, it turns out, do not like ammonia. It's kinda like salting the earth, too, because we've never had them come back in the same spots.

Note to self: Need to go to the 99 cent store and get some more bottles of ammonia. (We have a little left, but we also use it to clean up the indoor bug spray so Sam doesn't get into it. She seems to leave the ammonia alone, but we worry about the bug spray.)

I have- eek! -two weeks left of vacation, and I'm not ready to go back to school. I was, or close to it, but I feel sort of gypped on the last two or so weeks, courtesy of the virus. Far as I'm concerned, the only good thing about school starting is that maybe in another month, month and a half, it'll start cooling down a bit.

Right now it couldn't be winter soon enough. It's not as bad as it's been- but understand when I say that, I mean "it's not as bad as the week it was 109 to 112 all fucking week." So it's all relative.

Speaking of which, my grandparents have been out of town for the last week and a half or so. They're back on Monday. We're kind of not 100% looking forward to this. I mean, I love my relatives, but sometimes they can be a little... smothering. I'm thinking the next time we end up over there, I'll offer to go check out their internet security. I think they have broadband now, and that kinda scares me. An ounce of prevention might save me from having to play "search & destroy the virus."

Somewhat randomly, to all the cat people out there, I could use some advice. Sam hates having her claws cut, to the point where if I try to get more than one (sometimes even one, if she's in a bad enough mood) she'll swipe at me or try to bite. We're pretty sure that someone used to cut her claws way too short, and it kind of traumatized her- but I've got to cut the damn things. She likes to knead things- blankets, pillows, her humans- and those things are damn sharp.

Naturally her front claws are the ones I'd really like to get, but with them being, you know, by her head, I don't like to push it too far. I don't like getting bitten. Oh yeah, and the paw with the really sharp claws, she's hiding from us. She'll lay down and curl that paw up under her so that you can't even see it.

Clever little shit. I swear if she wasn't so cute, she'd be dead by now, but so what else is new?

I had some other stuff I was going to mention, but I can't think what it is right now. Too tired.

edited to add: I remembered one thing- I'm, um, pretty sure I passed a little kidney stone last week. Kidneys had been bugging me a bit, to the point where about midweek last week I said if I wasn't better by Monday (this past Monday, this would be) I'd have to call my doctor. I've got a pretty high pain tolerance, and was fairly miserable for other reasons that week anyway. And I kept getting really nauseated even though I was making sure to eat before I took any Advil or any of my other pills.

...Yeah. I kind of did a facepalm last weekend and went, "...Oh. Yeah."

In my defense I have to say that I was pretty distracted by the virus... but I still feel like an idiot. Definitely need to keep a better eye on my kidneys than that, especally with it still being summer in the city.
urbandruid: (Nametag (jackshoegazer))
Happy New Year, everybody!

I'm off in a bit; it's Grandpa's 73rd birthday, and for a change he wanted a party. So he's having one, with about 20 people- some friends from their new place, some old friends, and the family- me, Mom, my aunt and uncle.

We're also having a Sequence tournament. I hate that freaking game, but whatever. We're also having pie, Marie Callanders pie, and Grandpa and I like a lot of the same kinds of pie.

And frankly, we're not too sure how he'll be next year, so... I'm going. It should be, um, interesting.

Yeah.

Oh, and I suspect Grandma will have us all wearing nametags, hence the icon.

I really hate nametags. :)
urbandruid: (Obi-Wan / Crazy Old Man? (lornyloo))
I'm still trying to put all my stuff away and catch up on sleep- by which I mean I've been home since late Monday afternoon, and I'm still spending most of my time sleeping, or very very out of it. And I'm discovering that while I was gone, LJ had another freakout.

I'm used to them doing stupid things, but this really takes the cake. I guess I missed most of the excitement, but I'm still staring around in total bemusement going, "What? No, really, WTF?" I seriously have to wonder where they come up with this stuff.

Anyway, still alive over here, just really really tired. I'm still not 100% sure what my name is, and I think I've been volunteered to help the relatives pack up some more stuff for their move. Though if I'm passed out asleep when Mom gets home, maybe I'll get to skip that. Ugh... I love my family, but they're like, "Oh, good, you're back. You just got home from LA 10 minutes ago? Oh, okay- c'mon over, we still need lots of help!"

*facepalms*

So. Am joining [livejournal.com profile] fandom_counts with all the journals I can remember I own, and then I'm going to take a nap.
urbandruid: (Dawn / I Didn't Do It (tehnoodle))
I'm awake much earlier than anyone who went to be dhwen I did last night ought to be, but I've got to go into school this morning to sell back the math textbook o'doom. If I don't go in with Mom, I have to take a bus both ways. And, you know... no.

I really can't wait until I'm done with this and can come home again, though. I couldn't get to sleep until around 1AM, and I had to get up at six. *whimper* Plus, I've been waiting for a call back from my doctor (the actual MD) all week, so I haven't been able to nap. Talked to her yesterday, thank Gods, and the only person who might call today is the person who does her scheduling. Whose call I can very easily return. Which is good, because I'm going to come home and fall back into bed.

In other news, my entire family is leaving town for Chrismas, or not coming here, in the case of the out of town family. Even my grandparens are leaving- they're going to go stay at my aunt and uncle's place near San Francisco, while aunt and uncle are out of state with his family. They asked us to go, but Mom only gets a day or two off at Christmas, and I think they're starting to realize that I am nowhere near crazy enough to go out of town with them, without her. Or significant other backup.

Speaking of Christmas, we got the tree up and put lights on it, but haven't gotten around to the ornaments yet. Yeah, we're lazy. Unfortunatly, Sam thinks the tree is great fun, especally if we turn the lights on.

She's, um, trying to bite the fake tree branches, and the shiny lights.

*headdesk*

Her new name is going to be "Sam, get away from the fucking Christmas tree!" in about another two seconds...

Funny, and yet really annoying, when all you really want to do is sit on the couch and read or watch TV, and every other minute, there's this telltale rustling from the tree...

Ugh. Guess I should finish getting dressed now.
urbandruid: (Irina / Be Seeing You (stratford_girl))
Christmas Eve. Bah. I hate Christmas. I have to leave in a bit to go do Christmas Eve dinner at my grandparents'. Thankfuly my aunt is cooking, so the food should at least be edible, but I still don't want to go. I'm too tired to deal with my grandmother.

Plus, they've started going to this Unitarian church, and they want to drag us along after dinner. Mom really doesn't want to go, and it's gonna be really foggy tonight, so we're going to beg off on that one.

But still... I am totally not up for this.

Wah. Why me? Hopefully I shouldn't be stuck their too long, but... it's very sad how much I DON'T want to do this.
urbandruid: (Irina / Be Seeing You (stratford_girl))
Yay, 6 icons for free LJ accounts! Now to pick three more for each of my pups... (Who are still trying for paid accounts, but I'm holding out so far)...

And now for some random real life updates-

The Car: At the electronics shop being looked over for the insurance people. Who Mom still wants to strangle for not getting the car out of the tow yard as soon as they were supposed to, leading to the tow yard filing with DMV for a lein sale on the car. Note to self: even though the car's been bailed out, remind Mom to send in the paperwork contesting the lein.

Finals: Three chapters left to review. I probably should've finished going over the personality chapter last night, but it had more Freud in it, and my brain was fried after Alias. (Priorities, ya know.) Still, I think I'm doing okay. The prof emailed us all our grades to date the other day, and I have a midrange B. It'd be a higher B if I hadn't spaced out on two assignments that were due while I had the Death Flu verson 1.0 and 2.0 earlier, but oh well. I'll be fine. If anything, I'm overstudying, since all I have to know is the answer to every multiple-choice question on the old exams, which he was kind enough to provide for download. But I'd rather overstudy than not study enough. Still, I'll be glad when this is over. This time tomorrow I'll be free.

Family & Holiday Crap: Sort of up in the air right now. My great-aunt and uncle were coming in from Mass., but my aunt has power of attorney for a friend with terminal cancer, so they're staying there. Which I can totally understand, but I'll miss them. I don't get to see them very often because they live so far away, and my great-uncle is grandma's older brother. Which means he's really good at dealing with her. So's my aunt... Anyway, now that they're not coming, the local aunt and uncle are thinking of going to see her folks, which would leave it with Mom and I, Grandma and Grandpa, and the Bay area aunt and uncle. Am trying not to think about this too much till I get through the school crap, as I can only take one stressful thing at a time right now.

Health: Speaking of stress, I'm doing all of the stupid stress-related things I tend to do. My sinuses are going nuts despite daily doses of Advil Cold & Sinus, which is probably not a good sign. I hate how wired the Sudafed in that stuff makes me, but it's the only thing that works on these headaches. (Speaking of, I need to go chase the last C&S with some straight Advil...) Kidneys are poking me a bit, too. I know why- they don't like all the caffine I'm drinking to stay awake through the Psych reading. Time to water it down with, well, some water, I suppose. Oh, and I've been neglecting my iron pills again, which means I'm anemic, which means I'm already cold, and I don't want cold drinks right now. Bah.

House: We still need window coverings and a ton of other stuff, but since we might need to buy a car... Yeah. But we started decorating for Christmas. should put the ornaments on the tree at some point, but at least we finally got the lights done. And all of my Christmas Snoopy stuff is out, including my new snowglobe, which I should take pictures of because it's just too cute.

Writing & stuff: I have ideas and no time to write them down. This is annoying me. A lot. I'm going to end up with pages of scrawled notes in my writing journal which won't make any sense later, but at least I'm trying to get the broad pictures down when they hit me. I made sure I was caught up enough on TM last week that I wouldn't have to worry about it this week, though there are a few things I may go back and write for people because they were cool topics. Also have a TON of stuff to write for That Other Thing. I have a huge list of stuff I want/need to write, that I figure I'll start digging into after the final.

To my long-suffering flist: Love you guys. Sorry I haven't been around much this week, but I'm not great company anyway with my brain fried on Freud and general psych. Give me about twenty-four hours, I'll be human again.

And now for some Advil, and then back to work.
urbandruid: (Default)
I'm tired this morning. Not as braindead as I was Tuesday, but tired.

My grandparents are nuts. They called me last night, you've got to come over. So I came over, right? They'd gone on vacation, and came back to 1000 spam emails. Plus porn. Yes, someone is sending porn to my grandmother. Imagine trying to keep a straight face when told this information.

Yeah. I was mentally facepalming the whole time I was there.

My uncle the computer whiz guy put something on the computer the last time he was in town that Grandma called a browser- but then she told me she doesn't even know what a browser is. Anyway, this thing looks like some kind of Linux to me, I think it was called "iBrowser"? Any of you guys know anything about this?

I did not tell her what I thought it was, because the idea of explaining Linux to my grandmother is just too, too much.

I'm still facepalming, actually.

Right, off to school now. Yaaaay. /sarcasm
urbandruid: (Default)
2003 meme )

Gods, I'm tired. I don't know why; it's not like I've done much lately. Of course, it could have something to do with the fact that my grandmother called way too damned early to talk to the answering machine, and woke me up.

She wasn't even talking to me.
urbandruid: (gold dust: sights & sounds)
I think I've totally lost track of what I was doing.

It could have something to do with the fact I've had music blasting in my ears all day, and I turned it off. It seems too quiet, but I'm going to have to go get ready in a bit here, so... yeah.

I've been cleaning my room most of the day. Actually seem to have made some progress, but now I'm exhausted. And of course the day's not over yet.

I still get to go to Grandma's for tonight's family activity. Which is the private little memorial thing for great-grandpa. I'd call it a wake, but most wakes involve alcohol. Ours won't. It should, but it won't. I'm sort of not looking forward to it, even though we need to do it. Even though we need to sit down, finish going through his stuff, and decide what to do with the box of ashes on the hearth.

We went through some stuff on Christmas, but nobody wanted to touch too much of it without Grandma there, because inevitibly we'd take something she felt very attatched to, and nobody wants to hear about it. I ended up with a map of "Russia and the former Soviet Union" dated 1993. Goddess only knows why great-grandpa had a map of the old USSR, but it's a good map, National Geographic or something. Nobody else wanted it, so I took it.

I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. And there's no one alive who knows why he would've had such a thing, which strikes me as, in a way, quite sad.

And morbid as this may sound, I always seem to end up with things belonging to the dead relatives I wasn't that close to, as opposed to the ones I was. I have nothing of my great-grandmother's on Mom's father's side, or her sister, my great-aunt's, and I loved them best. Miss them most, too.

*sigh*

But at least we're doing something. Because I really don't want to get older, be clearing out Grandma's stuff when she dies, and go, "oh, look, kids, it's Great-Grandpa. Can't believe he's still here... shit." You know?

So anyway. This promises to be really strange and depressing. Even if it doesn't degenerate into Trival Persuit games that last all night, or discussions of Mad Cow disease. (Don't ask. Please don't ask. I don't want to think about it.)

And there's not even any pie left. Bah.
urbandruid: (gold dust: sights & sounds)
Why is it that I never feel like I have the energy for holidays with my family? It's going to be crowded, at least a dozen people, maybe more, and I know that means less of Grandma's attention will be on me, which is good, but- ugh, I'm so tired. And all I want to do is stay home, hang out with Mom, read, and enjoy my presents.

Had a lovely morning; got up, Mom made chocholate raspberry coffee (lovely stuff), and we opened presents. I got her movies she'd asked for; she got me seasons 1 & 2 of Alias. (Also the Return of the King game for Playstation 2, which she let me open on Solstice. Mom rocks.)

And now I get to head out and hang with the relations. Yay. We bought them a new Trival Persuit game, so hopefully we'll avoid the charades trap, and we've got some other ideas for stuff to do this week besides hang out at the house and play games.

But hey. It's Christmas, I've got my Grinch socks, and life is good.

Oh yeah. Did I mention it's pouring?

Merry Christmas, guys, if you celebrate. (I don't, really. :)) I'll be thinking of you- when I'm not thinking of killing my relations.

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