Friday, February 20, 2009

Something new to worry about

Like I needed more, right?

So, a couple of weeks ago, our new Boss Lady says we need to put together a seminar for our faculty on distance education. Late April, early May-ish. So, go find some people who can talk on topics A, B, C, D, and give her their vitaes, and we'll get the seminar set up.

I start coming up with names, from my professional contacts. Among those names is South Carolina. He teaches these kinds of things all the time, and he'd love to see this area. Good match.

I sent him an official and "unofficial" email about it. He's definitely interested and excited about the prospect of coming here. I just needed his vitae.

Then, the days passed. No vitae. Finally, I emailed him again. The answer came back, "Sorry. I had surgery yesterday. I'll send it later."

Surgery? Surgery?

So, I called him.

My phone call found him propped up on pillows, in such a way as to relieve pressure on his backside. The surgery was colon-related, although he spared me the details.

"They biopsied something," he said.

I got this nasty little chill in my spine. SC could have colon cancer? "When do you hear results on that?" I asked.

"At the end of the week," he said. He was still trying to make light of it, telling me stories about calling his doctor a Yankee for comparing his ass to the Lincoln Tunnel.

SC was on some serious pain meds and loopy as hell. Still, he promised to send the vitae, and I let him drift off. He said he'd be at work the next day, so I figured I'd see the vitae then.

The next day came and went. No email from SC. And the next day. And the next. I had my meeting with Boss Lady. I gave her the vitaes I'd received, explained that SC just had surgery, but would get his to me soon. That was fine with her. For now.

I sent SC a text and email, gently reminding. A couple of days passed. I checked Yahoo Messenger. He uses that for office communications and keeps his status updated all day. If he's not listed on it, then he's not working.

He wasn't listed. For days.

Finally, I sent an email to every address I had for him. I sent texts. I left voicemails. I left Messenger messages. I said to eff the seminar. I just need to know if you're okay.

That was three days ago.

Yesterday morning, I get a text. "Not really....will call you later."

He appeared on Messenger, but listed himself as "Busy - in a meeting." I left a message, saying I was there if he got a chance to talk. He replied, saying it was better to talk later that night.

"I understand," I said. "I'm just worried about you and anxious to know if I can help."

He never called.

Guess how I'm doing with that?


Monday, 2/23/09: I finally got to talk with SC. It seems his surgery removed some benign spots, but there are other "suspicious" ones they couldn't get. He's having a procedure tomorrow to get at those. So, we're all still waiting on the outcome. How's SC doing? "Scared shitless," he says.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Doctor news

So, I don't have cancer.

(Insert sound of much rejoicing!)

He said the lump in my lymph nodes was "not impressive." And he knew the cause.

I have a rip-roaring chronic sinus infection. It's apparently draining into my lymph nodes and causing the swelling. (Sorry to be gross!)


Actually, I've had one as far back as I can remember. But this guy is determined to banish it forever. So, for the next month, I'm on antibiotics, nasal spray (for a week), nasal washes twice a day, and acidophilus (to combat the nastiness the antibiotic will cause).

Should be fun - not! But it could be a lot worse, so I'm thankful.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Random Acts of Humor

And I soooo needed it, at the time. Remembering it makes me smile, too, which helps all over again.

Here's what happened. Son and I are sitting at a light. We're heading home. We're listening to music and not talking. We're not mad or anything. Just tired. I'm really worn out lately, but I'll explain in a moment. All that matters is that I was sitting there and feeling the pressure of recent problems.

An older man in a large truck pulls up beside me and starts signaling for me to roll down my window. Oh great, I thought. I must have a flat tired or someone hanging out the back or some such. Perfect.

"Can you tell me why," the man is yelling across to us, "the watermelon and the honeydew had to have a big church wedding?"

I glanced at Son, who looked perplexed. He thought the man needed directions. I smiled and hollered back. "No, why?"

"They can't elope!" he said. "Get it? 'Cantaloupe'!"

I laughed, big and loud.

"I know, it's corny!" he hollered, as he drove away.

We laughed all the way home. And we really needed it. God bless that man and his courage to tell a silly joke to a stranger.

So, here's why I needed it. In a nutshell, Ranger's job is going south and so is Son's relationship with Drama Queen. One thing at a time....

First, Ranger's job. His bosses are in trouble. They've been audited by the Postal Service and, across their five mailing centers, they are missing $10,000 in inventory. At Ranger's location, he's the expendable one. So, the job hunt is on, in a market flooded by those laid off by Circuit City and other closings. Pray, please.

Second is Son's situation. The night before the Random Act of Humor, I was trying to register Son for the SAT. I needed his username for the College Board site to do it, though. Son couldn't remember it, either. So, I told it to send us the username, which goes to Son's email address. It said we should have it in 20 minutes, so I told Son and asked that he give it to me as soon as he got the email. We were in the last hour before the registration deadline.

Twenty minutes goes by. Thirty. I hear Son on the phone with his gamer friends. He's not going to check that stupid email, I thought, fuming. Okay, fine. I have the password (this is a rule with my kids). I'll get it myself.

I got into the email, and I got the password. Something else caught my eye, though. A long, long list of PictureMails from Drama Queen's phone, dated over the last week.

I finished the SAT registration and snagged one of the PictureMails. Oh. My. God. Three dozen (yup, 36!) self-portraits of various parts of a naked Drama Queen, most involving the use of sex toys.

She's sixteen. At sixteen, do you know what I knew about sex toys? Nothing. Much less owning them.

Oh. My. God.

It made my head hum. And not in a good way.

I ate dinner in silence. After it was all cleaned up, I told Son we needed to talk privately.

"I had to go get the username myself," I said. "What else do you think I saw?"

"Oh," he said. "Uhm....PictureMail."

"Yeah. Three dozen of them."

He nodded, looking down. You could see it in his face. No sense denying it this time.

"Whose idea was it to take those?"

"Both. Things have been rocky lately," he said. No kidding there. She hadn't been over to our house in two weeks. "We thought it might fix things."

"Son," I said, staying remarkably calm. "Do you understand that sex doesn't fix anything?"

"We haven't had sex," he said. "Well, not for a long time."

There you have it. The first time he's admitted it to me. Her dad was right.

I kept it from my face and said, "These are sex pictures, Son. You know what I'm saying to you. Nothing sexual fixes a relationship. Unless that relationship is based on sex. And that's not the foundation for something you want to last the rest of your life. I mean, what do you have when you can't have sex?"

He looked at me.

"Oh, yes, dear. Believe it. There will be times when you can't have sex. Your relationship has to have something else to it, or you've got nothing when the sex is gone. That's a flimsy foundation."

He frowned, but didn't look surprised. I saw it - this lesson is being learned. He didn't want to say it, but it was hanging in the air. He and Drama Queen got a charge from the sexual stuff, but when that waned, they had nothing else. He knew the futility of his situation.

"Sweetheart," I said. "Think about this. If this is what you think of to 'fix' a relationship, is it worth fixing?"

We finished talking. I sat there alone and thought for a moment. Then, I called DQ's mother.

I told her the whole story. I told her about the pictures of her daughter I'd just seen. All 36 of them. I told her about the sex toys. I was blunt. I don't tiptoe around the terms; I communicated the nature of the pictures clearly.

"Uh-huh," she said. I kept in mind that I was talking to the woman who has recently been pushing her young daughter to get one of two things. Her choice, but it must be a navel piercing or a tattoo. Pushing. Seriously.

I told her I was worried about DQ. "Here's what worries me," I said. "Son said they thought this would 'fix things.' I don't want DQ to think this is her worth in a relationship. She's very talented. She's very intelligent. She's much more than this. I don't want her to think that's all she has to offer, to make her worthwhile to a guy."

Her mother agreed and said they'd talk. I don't know the outcome.

On Saturday, I took him shopping for Valentine's Day and DQ's birthday (also this week). It was telling that all of his grand ideas of a month ago have been pushed aside for, "How little can I spend on this?" The child has about $400 in the bank. His previous ideas ran about $50.

He spent $6 on Valentine's and $8 on birthday. And even that seemed to hurt a little. He left them in their plastic shopping bags to give them to her, too. I pulled the price tags off.

She painted an egg-shaped canvas of a dolphin with an iPod for him. Odd, but he seemed to understand it, even if he wasn't particularly "moved" by it.

DQ didn't come over on Valentine's Day. Son said she had to be home by 7:00 that night, so she'd come over on Sunday instead. Personally, I suspect that DQ has something else going on. A friend told Son that she saw DQ at the mall with another guy. Then, having to be home early on Valentine's Day instead of with her boyfriend? Sounds like another date. In my humble opinion.

I picked her up on Sunday. On the way to our house, I asked her when she needed to be home. Son said they were planning to watch the second "Lord of the Rings" movie. "A decent time," she said. Okay, that gave enough time for the movie.

We ate dinner and were about to get started on the evening, when the doorbell rang. It was DQ's mother, coming to pick her up. It was barely 6:00. WTF?!?! DQ wasn't surprised that it was time to go. Son wasn't surprised. I repeat, WTF?!?!

Something smells fishy. It's become the elephant in the room. A fishy elephant.

In the eye of the storm is me and Ranger. I took a day off of work, slipped into something soft, and cuddled up in Ranger's bed. He applied for jobs online. I dozed. We watched junk TV. We made love. I lingered in my cocoon until time to go home, and start the insanity again.

For Valentine's, I got a big Whitman's sampler and an evening to watch that movie about that other Jones's Diary. He said I'm cuter than her. Gotta love that.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

At the dimming of the day....

So, something is weighing heavily on my head lately. It's a subtext to my life, though. It runs in the background, but I think about it really often.

In the meantime, life is happening okay. The kids are doing pretty well. Son is enjoying homeschooling and is handling it well. He's starting to enjoy seeing the psychiatrist, which he didn't think he would. He's too obsessed with a particular computer game, but he does that now and again. Daughter is doing...well, spectacular. She's obsessed with a particular Anime forum, but she also does that now and again.

I think our house in Texas might finally be selling. It's been nearly two years and a huge financial drain. But the blood-letting just might be over. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Ranger is doing well. He needs a better job, with reliable hours and pay. He might have some consulting opportunities, though, and he's working on getting his rock shop up and running again. That'll require a trip to Missouri soon, though. That's okay. I need to see my sister, and I need to meet Ranger's daughter. Here's a weird thing -- his ex has made a pen pal of me on Facebook. She's learning that I'm harmless, though, and that's a good thing.

Ranger's son is struggling. Funny, his problems are similar to my son's, but maybe worse. He's failing out of school and displaying very clear depression symptoms. What's bugging Ranger is his lack of communication. About anything. He's often silent in their conversations. That's another reason to head to Missouri for a bit. Ranger needs to see his kids, face-to-face. This is weighing heavily on him, the last couple of weeks.

For me, work is plugging right along. I'm watching my back more now. I'll be glad to go to Reno in March. I've been asked to go review the distance courses at UNR. I have friends there, so it'll be good. I need to go to Texas soon, too, to testify in a friend's case against the University there. Fun, fun.

So, in the background of all of this, I have my nagging thoughts, my pressing desires, my problem I'm trying to work out. And here it is.

I want to be married.

To Ranger.

In the ten years since my divorce, I've had three "official" marriage proposals. Two weren't right. The third is literally the charm. It feels so different. It feels like...yes, it's time and this time it's right. We take care of each other. He tells me his goal is to make sure I'm happy every day of my life. He says he doesn't want to step in and "dad" my kids, but he can be the best friend and support they've ever had. And at the end of the day, when the world is quiet and dark, it's each other we crave. I love him with all my heart. We fit.

The Corrs have a song called "The Dimming of the Day." It describes how I feel perfectly. For the most part. A couple of lines don't fit, but here goes. Click the title to hear the song itself (if you right-click the link and tell it to open in a new window, you can read and listen at the same time):

"Dimming Of The Day"

This old house is falling down around my ears
I am drowning in a river of my tears
When all my will is gone you hold me sway
And I need you at the dimming of the day

You pull me like the moon pulls on the tide
You know just where I keep my better side

What days have come to keep us far apart
A broken promise or a broken heart
Now all the bonnie birds have wheeled away
And I need you at the dimming of the day

Come the night you're only what I want
Come the night you could be my confidant

I see you on the street in company
Why don't you come and ease your mind with me
I am living for the night we steal away
And I need you at the dimming of the day
Yes I need you at the dimming of the day

Yes, he's asked. Not just asked if I'd consider it, like earlier, but really asked me to be his wife. No ring or any some such yet. It's between us, and we're gradually bringing those around us up-to-speed with the idea. We've talked about it with my kids. I mean, they've been accustomed to my undivided attention for ten years now.

Ranger has told his ex he wants to marry me. He hasn't told his kids. My kids and I have met his son - and he likes us - but I need to meet his daughter, too. I won't allow her to be blindsided, like my kids were by my ex's second wife.

I've spoken to my mother about it. We have a big stumbling block with the question of where to live. First, my son doesn't want to move again. Second, we don't have enough money for a house just yet. Third, we do not want to start a life together in the same house as my parents.

For obvious reasons.

So, for now, we save and plan and hope and dream. And when the day turns dim, we long for the comfort of each other. In the night, we reach to an empty side of the bed. When a new day dawns, we start all over again, wishing to see each other when we wake.

Sappy, I know. It's just how I am.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

My dog watches TV

The funny animal segments on America's Funniest Videos really enthrall her. For real. Animal Planet is her favorite, I think.

Anyhow, I was laughing at the animal clips on AFV last night, and looked down to see Matsi just riveted on it! The human part? Not so much.

Here's a tidbit.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Anime Me

So, my daughter is quite the little artist. She always has had that creative spirit. Music, art, drama. It's all right up her alley.

When we'd go on trips when she was little, we'd see something cool and Son would reach for his camera. She'd reach for her crayons and paper.

Her latest passion is Anime-style illustrations. She draws portraits of her friends in that style. They make up characters and she draws them.

Guess what? She did a portrait of me. She even used an outfit I often wear and that I've been wearing my hair up (with a hair stick) lately.

So, here it is. Blogget as an Anime character.