09 February 2016 @ 04:24 pm
Let me sleep so my teeth won't grind  
Which is worse?

The daily 3pm headache caused by intense nightly bruxism?

Or the constant low-level nausea that goes along with it?

02 March 2015 @ 07:23 pm
I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich.  
04 November 2013 @ 05:50 pm
Haha, very funny.  
Apparently God subscribes to the "Monkey's Paw" philosophy of prayer answering.
13 October 2013 @ 04:51 pm
Happy birthday, penguin :)  

Happy Caleb's birthday, everyone!
music: Tegan and Sara - Walking With a Ghost | Powered by
12 October 2013 @ 09:54 pm
What in me is dark, illumine.  
Well hey, what better time to update my poor neglected LJ than when I'm sitting here on my ass, sick and furloughed?

Without further ado, I present to you my life right now, as told through animated gifs.


I'm so sick of Congress I could vomit.

I've been furloughed for 12 days now. I used up almost all my leave last week, and after this week it will be all gone (which reminds me, I need to get that leave request in like today). I have work I should be doing, but I am legally prohibited from doing so because I am "non-essential." I applied for unemployment, which I'm permitted to do even though I technically still have a job, but I swear to God the paperwork is so obtuse I want to rescind my claim.

I am so fucking sick of every idiot in Congress. I really like this TED Talk about why Congress is so fucked up. I just feel so powerless--what can we do to stop these people we put in power? (And yes, I do hold the Republicans responsible, but I have lost faith in every single one of them. Except maybe Barney Frank.)

Dearest Republicans:


Janek came to visit for a weekend and carried with him some crud and Jeremy caught it and then I caught it and now I feel like this.


I feel like I have the worst colds out of everybody I know. Looking forward to a few more days of gallons of snot, coughing until my lungs burn, and itchy membranes. :D



(Haha, look at me trivializing my feelings with an animated gif.)

This month it will be six months since my grandfather passed. Sometimes it still hurts just as sharply as ever, if I allow myself to indulge the memories. I broke down on Sunday; I was so sad all day that all I could do was channel it into anger and irritability and poor Jeremy took the brunt of it. I don't want to be sad anymore, but at the same time, what will it mean when it stops hurting? Or maybe it won't ever stop. Maybe I don't want it to.

My grandmother made pillows out of a couple of his sweatshirts and sprayed them with his favorite cologne (Drakkar Noir) and gave them to me. I've been letting them air out a little bit; you can't smell it unless you have your face right up to the pillow. But yesterday I walked into the bedroom and the scent hit me like someone had just sprayed it, and then dissipated.


So three weeks ago, Mom and I drove out to West Virginia to pick up our half-a-cow's worth of beef. All told, maybe 350-400 miles of driving. I was heading home, maybe 5 miles from the house, when my car shook like I had gotten hit from behind. Then the "D" in the PRNDL in my instrument panel went out and an "AT" lit up next to it. It came back on and went out the rest of the drive home and shook hard every time and I prayed I could just make it to the driveway before the whole engine fell out or I stalled in the middle of an intersection.

oh balls

I got home and opened my owner's manual and apparently "AT" showing up means I have a problem with my automatic transaxle. I took it in the next day to my awesome mechanic, Gordon, but he couldn't say for sure that it was a computer or mechanical problem, although he suspected the former. In that case I'd have to take it to a dealership because third parties can't do the computer stuff, or something? So I did, and the dealership is a bunch of lying liars who gave me a laundry list of stuff wrong with my car in the amount of $2000+. Eff that. Took it back to Gordon, he messed with it some more, and still came up with nothing.

My options now:

  1. take it to another dealership (warning them that the other one was full of shit and do not try to fleece me, dammit) and hope they can just reset the computer;
  2. take it to a transmission shop and hope they don't need to rebuild my whole transmission;
  3. get a new car, which I would really rather not do as I'm rather fond of mine (even if it has ~109,000 miles on it).

I've been car-less for almost three weeks (on Monday); fortunately Jeremy and I work in the same place, when we're allowed to work, and when we don't, we're not really going anywhere anyway.

Guhhh my ears really itch. There are people outside going "aaaaaghhhhh" and I don't know what that's all about.


Mom went to see a divorce lawyer last month and hopefully he doesn't contest so we can all be rid of him that much sooner. :D


I have been on a piratey kick lately (I don't know if it's obvious, ha), having watched the first three PotC films like three times each within the past two months (once by myself, once with the commentary, and then once again with Jeremy and the kids).

I don't think it occurred to me quite so clearly the first time I saw the movies, but for all that Orlando Bloom is handsome, why would Elizabeth choose Blandy McBlanderson over Jack Sparrow? Now she's stuck on an island waiting for Will to come around once in a decade, when she should be out pirating. Ahhh I've been reading too much fanfic.

I haven't seen the fourth movie, and now I'm hesitant because there's no Elizabeth Swann and they try to foist Penelope Cruz on me like she's been Jack's One True Love all along. Blahh.

I mean look how hot they are.

so very fucking hot

Ay, Dios mío.

(Also, how old is too old for one to be swooning over fictional characters and their relationships? Which brings me to my next point...)


I'm going to be 30 in two months, ashjshdfjdgadfg.

I told Jeremy I want like a whole day of non-stop fun stuff, if not the entire weekend. Two months. TWO MONTHS Y'ALL.

The end. :D
music: Lucky Soul - White Russian Doll
10 May 2013 @ 11:38 pm
I own every bell that tolls me.  
Well hey. I've had, um, a crappy month-and-a-half. I am going to tell you about it the same way I've told a million other people. I am tired of thinking about all of this, but I would hate much more to forget it. It's going to be long and I'm not sorry.

On Easter, March 31, I saw my grandfather and everything was fine. The next day, April 1, he said he felt good and was going to go get his new glasses on Tuesday. Tuesday morning at 7am my mother texted me and said Pop went to the hospital.

Now. A few things you need to know about my grandfather. He was a Marine and served in Korea. He was notoriously stubborn, hated going to the doctor (this was why he pulled out all of his teeth himself). He didn't even go back in January when he was sick. So if he voluntarily went to the hospital, it was no good.

His ICU doctors and nurses (with the exception of the night nurses, who universally sucked) were awesome (one actually went to school with my brother until high school; he used to come to my grandparents' house and play paintball in their woods) and honestly tried everything they could to help him. BiPAP, Ativan (for anxiety about being unable to breathe), Precedex, antibiotics, morphine. A million things. Nothing helped to make him better, just more comfortable (I swore if someone said "comfortable" to me one more time, I was going to strangle them). The first two days in the ICU, he had the BiPAP on almost constantly, so he couldn't eat or drink out of caution against him aspirating anything. His mouth was painfully dry. His heart rate in the ER had been something like 160, 170 for HOURS. In the ICU, I saw it drop to the 80s at the lowest. His heart was remarkably strong (I mean that literally as well as metaphorically). Finally on Thursday, he went without the BiPAP for six hours and I was hopeful that he was going to get better and we were going to go home and everything was going to be the way it was.

I stayed with him almost every day and night. My boss, Chandan, could not have been more awesome in letting me "work from home" (I swear, I did try to get work done when I could). Mom and I slept in the armchairs (we managed to score a second one); I looked forward to sleep, however uncomfortable, because it was the only time I wasn't sitting there worried sick, wondering what life was going to be like without him.

But he just plateaued in this state of kind-of-okay-but-not-really. The strength was gone from his legs. He ate sparsely (he would always give me his chocolate pudding or mousse or his fruit cups). I made sure the Orioles were on every day. Daytime TV sucked, so we watched a lot of Investigation Discovery or TV Land. He was still his meticulous self, asking us to throw away extraneous napkins or straw wrappers or whatever, clearing the clutter off of his tray. Once when it was just he and I, I got up to fix one of the...I don't even know what to call it. Cart with drawers and wheels? Anyway, one was askew and had drawers half-open, and I got up to straighten it out, and he said, "THANK YOU, that was driving me crazy." Now Jeremy knows where I get it.

He still struggled to breathe, more so when he was talking a lot, which he did often because he was so gregarious.

In the hospital he was anointed three separate times because he didn't quite believe that it was really that simple. Doubting Thomas to the end. I know none of you are terribly religious, but it made him so happy to be anointed and to have everything forgiven. Every new person he came across, he told them about it. I can't imagine what was weighing on his conscience so heavily.

His early mornings were particularly rough. One night he didn't sleep at all, really. I woke up and found him flipping through the channels. He did nod off at one point, though, and I could tell because he had stopped it on ESPN and left a basketball game on for 10 minutes (he hated basketball; sorry, Sam). I stayed up with him as long as I could until Mom woke up and I tagged out.

After a few days, they moved him to a step-down unit. He stayed there for a few more days (all in all he was in the hospital for about a week and a half, although it feels like longer) and then the doctors said they had done everything they could and he was going to go home on hospice. (Side note: A lot of people have no idea what "hospice" implies. I guess they figure it's just a nurse who comes to your house. I had a guy at work say to me, upon my telling him that Pop was in hospice care, "Oh, I'm glad he's feeling better." What??)

The day he was discharged, Mom-mom and I went home early and rearranged the living room to make room for the hospital bed. It wasn't nearly as nice as the actual hospital bed. The case manager for the hospice came and Pop spent a lot of time BSing with him. He slept a lot because of the morphine (it has a bad reputation but it was a small dose to relax him), but we did watch Abbott and Costello in Jack and the Beanstalk together.

The next day (I think? sorry, my days are a jumbled mess) his hospice nurse, Jenny, came out. She was absolutely amazing, and Pop, being the charmer he was, always told her he loved her. And she responded in kind, genuinely. Her son is a Marine as well and she said she hoped he would turn out to be like Pop. He introduced her to Il Volo (oh my God, the way he was enamored with that group; he called them "the boys") and one day she stayed longer than she needed to, to watch the Il Volo DVD with him. Saturday, Mom and I drove into the city to Koco's because she had wanted to get him a crab cake.

But it kept getting worse every day. Sleeping more and more. Loopy when he wasn't. It was like talking to someone who's only half-awake. Eventually he was sleeping all day, and when he would wake up, he would insist on getting out of bed (which he wasn't physically able to do), ripping his nasal cannula out. Every time, it broke my grandmother's heart more and more. Mom kept telling him, "We'll walk tomorrow," but there wasn't going to be one. He was harder and harder to rouse. Mom was looking all of this stuff up on the internet because knowing about the dying process made her feel more in control of an uncontrollable situation. I didn't want to know. I couldn't bear to know what he was suffering, what was happening to his body. Ignorance is bliss. Jenny came by and talked to Mom and Mom-mom separately in the kitchen. She didn't talk to me, but I knew what the gist of it was. When she left, she leaned over to give him a hug and kiss (as she had always done) and I saw a tear rolling down her face.

The last thing he said to me—specifically to me—was, "I love you too."

Jeremy came by on Friday, too, and Pop sleepily talked to him for a little bit, but by Sunday we were barely able to wake him up for medicine. Mom, as always, refused to leave his side. He had told her in the hospital that he didn't want to "die in [her] face," but she didn't want him to be alone when it happened. I slept in bed with my grandmother that night (there is no way to phrase that without sounding awkward), on his side, listening for the sound of the oxygen concentrator.

Monday, when Jenny came, she told us he had hours, maybe a day. His breathing was so labored. But not deep gasps. Just short, quick, shallow, rattling breaths.

My aunt came up from Virginia that day. She had been up on Saturday the 13th (? I think), and Mom talked to her and she gave this weird kind of response, like "Aren't you ready to let him go?" (She went kind of crazy Catholic conservative fruit loops on us in recent years, so I wasn't completely surprised.) But on Monday she was on our same wavelength. I let her have my seat next to him (one of us was always with him, holding his hand). I dragged every photo album we had out of the closet and she and I looked through them together.

I texted Dan and told him what Jenny said. He came over and then my grandmother asked him to go out for Chinese food. At the same time, Mom had to run out for an hour or so (the reason is part of a long story that I might tell someday, but it's irrelevant now--just know she was obligated). While Aunt Sue and I were sitting by his side, Pop suddenly woke up. Well, that is an overstatement. His eyes opened, he lifted his head a little. I called for my grandmother to come in from the kitchen. (She had been concerned that he would go as soon as she left the room, because that is what happened for both of her parents.) He stopped breathing, and Aunt Sue and I were hysterical messes on the floor, holding each other, wailing, while my grandmother got this weird zen-like focus and held his hand and talked to him. He started breathing again. Ours stopped.

Just then, Mom walked in with some bags and was starting to put them down like normal but I told her, no, go, other room, go now.

He waited for her to come home and then he was gone.

Five minutes later my brother walked in with Chinese food.

I stumbled around in a stupor, found the bathroom, threw up. I sat on his bed for a little while by myself and then I rummaged through his jewelry box (I don't know what else to call it, he didn't really wear jewelry) and found a steel bracelet with his name, "Charlie Friedel," engraved on it. I don't know why he had it, and neither does anyone I've asked. Then I called my uncle, who was at work. He already knew why I was calling.

I couldn't look at him. He was there, in that bed, but it wasn't him anymore.

We called the hospice. Mom called Jenny, who was off-duty, to let her know. Danny helped us go through Mom-mom's address book to call family and friends. Mom's cousin Jason showed up and he knew someone at the funeral parlor so we didn't have to wait for hospice to make arrangements. I went outside on the porch to call Allie, paced back and forth, talked and cried for half an hour (without a jacket, I realized later, which Pop probably would have gently chastised me for). I watched the hearse (? whatever the vehicle is called that takes the body to the mortuary) pull up and leave but I'm glad I wasn't there to watch them carry him off.

Viewings, funeral, wake. Because he was a Staff Sergeant in Korea, he got a Marine Honor Guard with the presentation of the flag and all of that. It was really nice and I know he would have been happy.

Before he died, I had a dream about him. I'm not going to pretend that it was prophetic or that it meant anything other than that he was on my mind a lot, because I have a lot of weird dreams that mean nothing (like Dr. Margolis from work leading J and me on a treasure hunt through the clinical center). But in the dream, he and I were going on a trip together. I remember thinking that it was strange because he wasn't well enough to travel, but shrugged it off. We were going to fly somewhere, and I couldn't figure out the self-check-in (although he did with no issues). Once we got to where we were going, we rented a car. I didn't know where we were. There was a sign that said "Australia" but I disputed it in a crappy Australian accent, which he thought was so funny. But he drove me to this weird rock formation, and a place where people had manipulated trees to form animals (like a big elk head). I took a lot of pictures. We kept driving; I still didn't know where we were. I got the impression that we were going to visit someone he knew, and even though he was sick, he made an appointment and he was going to keep it.

Like I said, it probably doesn't mean anything.

Anyway, since then, I've been...well, dealing, I guess. There's nothing else I can do. Most of the time I'm okay, because I'm in Rockville and he wasn't in Rockville. His absence isn't in my face like it is at Home (my "capital-H Home"). But I cry when I'm by myself, thinking (usually this happens in the car), because there is nothing else I can think about. It's hard enough that I love him ceaselessly and he died. But I watched him die. Mom kept trying to send me home to Jeremy; I was afraid to be there for that moment, but I didn't want to make that decision for myself by leaving. I would feel like I was abandoning him. Nope, I would be there until the bitter end. And now I can't get it out of my head.

But I will see him again. I don't care what your religious beliefs are but I have to believe that I will see him again. If I thought that was the last time... I couldn't bear it.

See you later. Call me when you get there.

Now I am going to post some stuff so that I can have it for posterity.

The stuff I posted on Facebook )

What a ride )

What They Don’t Tell You About Grief )

The Space Where You Used To Be )

The Truth About Losing Someone )

What Happens When You Die )

You loved. You are loved. You will be missed.
29 June 2012 @ 05:16 pm
We're goin' where the wind is blowin'  
Jeremy and my puppy are off to Minnesota* and I'm really sad about it. I don't know why I'm acting like such a big baby. We've been apart before, like when he went to San Diego and San Francisco for conferences (wait, I think I cried then too). I'm paranoid something will happen to Eddie. I'm being an idiot.

* I'm not going because I want to go with my mom to Myrtle Beach--I know she wants to go, but she can't go with Asshole and she doesn't want to go alone, and I think it'll be healing for her to spend some time away from him, with just her kids. And we'd have to leave on July 7th, and Jeremy won't be coming back until the 11th or so, and flights out of Minneapolis are so expensive. So here I sit, alone, for a week.

He and the dog might come down to Myrtle Beach Thursday through Saturday, but that's contingent on whether Chandan's ok with it and on how much leave he has left. It would be cool, though.

Ughhhhh, what am I going to do here for a whole week?

Oh, and a shiny green bug bit me on the back of the knee. Thanks, asshole.
06 June 2012 @ 03:49 pm
would you please  
mood: not well pleased.
14 November 2011 @ 10:25 am
It's the final countdown~  

It is a weird, weird thing. Isn't it?

I was a monstrous bitch over the weekend, stress compounded by massive PMS. My hands are kind of trembly but I don't think I had really steady hands to begin with, haha. Can I just sleep until Thursday? That would be great.

24 October 2011 @ 05:12 pm
Love you madly.  
I have my hair/makeup trial tonight. Wedding is in 25 days. TWENTY-FIVE, DO YOU UNDERSTAND

The other night I went digging for our wedding rings (they were where I thought I'd put them, just buried a bit deeper), and for shits and giggles I decided to put mine on. Jeremy saw what I was doing and put his on, too. I asked him if it felt weird, him not having worn a ring for 6 years. I was afraid he'd think it was irritating because he doesn't wear jewelry, not even a watch, but he said, "No, it feels good. I don't wanna take it off." Which was so sweet, but I made him give it back because he's not allowed to wear it yet, dammit.

PS, this might be TMI, but by some miracle, the commies came 4 days early! This means they will literally JUST miss my wedding. I couldn't have hoped for better. :) That would have been terrible, in a big white dress...

PPS, did I mention that I busted my finger like a month ago and it still hurts? No? 'Cause yeah. At what point do I go to the doctor? Ha.
music: The Magnetic Fields - You and Me and the Moon | Powered by
13 October 2011 @ 10:35 pm
Like a record, baby  
Happy Caleb's Birthday!

round and round
11 September 2011 @ 09:38 pm
Like a daydream, or a fever.  
At last, a post of substance.

I'm tired. I've been sneezing all day (visited Mom and I am super allergic to her dog, Max everything). I'm going to the allergist on Wednesday to hopefully put an end to all this shit. It's been awful this year and I never know if something innocuous is going to set it off.

Oh, let's see, this summer )

Wedding crap yay! ) went like this: )
04 September 2011 @ 12:21 am
Come hell or high water  
I am updating this thing this week.

(sorry to get your hopes up.)
10 August 2011 @ 05:18 pm
Yup... I owe everyone an update.

In the meantime, please enjoy this.

A message from the future (10/18/17): I have no idea what this music was! :D
21 July 2011 @ 12:48 am
Melt with you  
Holy balls, you guys, it is fucking HOT.

I'll have a real update soon, promise. It's Caleb's fault.
02 June 2011 @ 10:40 pm
High five anxiety  

Dude, hey, Unexplained Anxiety! I haven't seen you in forEVER, how the hell ARE you oh my God it's been so long you're looking great I really appreciate this sweet shortness of breath and nausea you brought me why don't you keep in touch

29 May 2011 @ 05:49 pm
No date, no place, no time, no RSVP  

I had the worst dream: it was my wedding day and it was at the reception and apparently I had literally just come out of some sort of fugue state that I had been in for MONTHS. Like I said in the dream, it was like I woke up and there I was, standing in the middle of the reception.

And worst of all, [ profile] eurii was nowhere to be found, so Caleb had to be my bridesmaid stand-in. (Not in a dress, Caleb.) And [ profile] bigangry wasn't there either, and I couldn't remember if he had RSVPed or not. And then I realized I didn't know if anyone had RSVPed, because I couldn't even remember sending out the invitations, because of the aforementioned fugue state.

But at least everyone liked my dress!

I think this must be some sort of metaphor.

25 May 2011 @ 10:34 am
Follow that unicorn on the road to love!  
Happy slightly belated Sam's Birthday!

may you always be THIS HAPPY
12 April 2011 @ 06:22 pm
I'm searchin' the city for sci-fi wasabi  


So, it looks like I'm employed for a little while longer. I was starting to look forward to a government shutdown because it would force us to take some time off and get some shit done around here, but Reid and Boehner pulled something out of their asses at literally the eleventh hour, so we all got to go back to work.

Jeremy and I still took off today just to have some quality time together, so we went down to DC and poked around in a few gardens (both sculpture and botanical) and the Air and Space Museums. Now my feet ache. He, for some reason, is still out there shoveling stone for our drainage pipe, even though he should be too sore to move after shoveling stone for most of the day yesterday.

Oh my God, my feet hurt. And my lip is twitchy! And writing this on the iPad is making for all sorts of weird typos, which I think I've been catching as I go, but I'm not perfect, so watch out for inexplicable mentions of goats and whatnot.

I am also excited because I got my oil changed and my tires rotated! By an honest mechanic! Hurrah! Being an adult is pretty boring. Maybe I'm just doing it wrong.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

location: US, Maryland, Rockville
03 April 2011 @ 06:10 pm
Variations on a theme  
My grandmother's old boss, the OB/GYN who delivered yours truly into the world (for which I will never completely forgive him) (haha), passed away last week. Somewhere I still have the stuffed cat he gave me back then. Her name is Samantha.

Also, last night I had a dream that (amidst a live-action version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail) Casey Boo had returned to life, sort of like that dog that survived euthanasia, although even in the dream I didn't see how it could be possible after so long. It's been almost a year since she died, and it's still a gnawing thing that lingers in the back of my mind and gets me when I'm not expecting it.

Also also, I'm watching the fifth season of Buffy right now, and of course this is the season where Joyce gets a brain tumor and dies, which of course leads me down all sorts of thought paths, like, "What if this happens to me? What if this happens to my mother? Or my grandmother? What will I do when my grandparents die? How will I ever get over that?". So--I really, really think I'm going to have to skip that episode.