Dear Dear Diary
Okay, now that I have a little perspective... and I'm exhausted, here's the poop on the wedding I went to recently. As described in IM conversations with friends, names changed to protect the not-so innocent:
BLAMEME: exhausting! and I got so ill!
INNOCENT: I've been wanting to ask how the bachelor party went!
INNOCENT: Oh NO!!!
BLAMEME: but I survived. :)
INNOCENT: Stomach flu ill or Cold ill?
BLAMEME: have I mentioned that I have multiple chemical sensitivies?
BLAMEME: I'm violently allergic to perfume, paint, cig smoke, roses, etc.
BLAMEME: as in I stop breathing around it (worst reaction), develop migraines, GI upset, joint pains, etc.
BLAMEME: so I expected to have encounters with stuff that would set me off.
INNOCENT: holy crap
BLAMEME: there is some mitigating I can do, and I did what I can.
INNOCENT: oh my, at a wedding....
INNOCENT: I bet all of those things were everywhere!
BLAMEME: the bachelor party went very well. We went to the Ale House which has 36 beers on tap and tried to drink them all. :)
BLAMEME: no one was wearing perfume, and in NY, all smoking has to be done outside.
BLAMEME: since I was driving, I had an excuse not to get completely drunk, which was good for my system. :)
BLAMEME: But Friday and Saturday involving hanging out in PA, where smoking is allowed in bars and in restaurants.
BLAMEME: And the wedding party did a lot of that.
INNOCENT: oh yipes
BLAMEME: Friday we met at the bride's home, where everyone put out their cigarettes as soon as I arrived.
BLAMEME: which keeps the problem from worsening but is still plenty of ambient!
BLAMEME: it was grey in that kitchen.
BLAMEME: So while waiting for everyone else to get there, folks headed off to a bar in walking distance. I enjoyed the walk and the air was marginally cleaner in the bar.
BLAMEME: We went to the church for rehearsal. No smoking in church (hallelujah!).
BLAMEME: Then to a restaurant for dinner. The restaurant was definitely walking through a smoking section to get to the back.
INNOCENT: oh man
BLAMEME: Then I made the mistake of going to pee.
BLAMEME: The toilet is apparently where the help smokes.
BLAMEME: By the time my pants were around my ankls, I was seeing things.
INNOCENT: oh crap!
BLAMEME: No, just pee. so I managed to get out of there, hacking up a lung, and run outside to the fresh air of car exhaust. Everything in PA seems to be on a highway.
INNOCENT: Oh my!!
BLAMEME: I made the groom drive us home, because I was still seeing things and coughing heavily.
BLAMEME: I slept in as much as I could which helped reset the system a bit.
BLAMEME: my bedroom is as close to non-alergenic as I can get, and it's my refuge.
BLAMEME: Sleep is a very good thing~
INNOCENT: well how miserable that must have been!! I can't even imagine!
INNOCENT: Well, I sort of can...
BLAMEME: But we had the wedding to go to. We had to leave here at 11 so we could all meet at another bar before the wedding at 2.
INNOCENT: Cigarette smoke made me throw up when I was pregnanty... lol
BLAMEME: Then while the bride was careful about giving me silk flowers, she had real roses in all of the other bouquets- including the one on my husband.
BLAMEME: roughly 7 dozen roses in all.
BLAMEME: And I was the only woman in the back, so I pinned flowers on all of the men.
(I could insert a story or 7 dozen about the pastor here)
BLAMEME: Naturally, by the time the ceremony started, I was reacting to the roses. Coughing loudly throughout the ceremony.
BLAMEME: Ceremony ended about 2:30. Reception didn't start until 5:30. Guess where we spent the interval?
BLAMEME: that's right, a bar.
INNOCENT: HOLY CRAP!!!!
BLAMEME: The bride tried very hard to be helpful and asked that no perfume be worn at the reception.
BLAMEME: Did anyone obey the request? Well, I could not tell.
INNOCENT: You were too busy avoiding all the smoke in all the bars??? LOL
BLAMEME: I got lots of whiffs from odd people, as well as a layer of air freshener in the restaurant, and of course, it's a restaurant where smoking was permitted.
BLAMEME: They tried to make smoking only happen in one section- the open bar.
BLAMEME: For the most part, people obeyed that. Except of course the one woman sitting in front of me with the smoke blowing on my face during dinner.
BLAMEME: so I could not even eat.
BLAMEME: I was at the Head Table. it's extremely rude to leave it.
BLAMEME: My husband and I left shortly after the First Dance.
BLAMEME: We both spent yesterday just lying around trying to recover.
BLAMEME: But then, he's the designated drinker, so you can imagine his is more hangover than anything else.
BLAMEME: The bride was lovely, the groom quite handsome, and her family very scary.
BLAMEME: but overall it went well.
BLAMEME:comforting my German friend... he and his wife were furious about the "dirty socks in the living room right after the reception" - apparently the father-in-law as soon as he gets home strips off shoes and socks and will not ever pick them up.
BLAMEME: that's small potatoes, I think.
BLAMEME: I'm still happy I didn't see any wife-beaters, torn jeans, or bowling shirts.
BLAMEME: they obviously made an Effort
INNOCENT: oh geez! lol
LAMEME: They's very classy. no apliances on the front porch, no hunting dogs under the porch, no rusting car hidden by grass anywhere in that yard.
BLAMEME2: Why you can't doing any hunting from the bathroom winder neither- too many dang houses about there.
BLAMEME: And, at no time during the festivities did anyone mention a gun rack or offer to take anyone target shooting in the yard
BLAMEME: SADGROOM: if it wouldn't be for the dirty socks in the living room after the wedding ...
BLAMEME: which beat the hell out of used crack pipes, smashed beer bottles, and buckets full of caught drips.
BLAMEME: Hell, they got indoor plumbing and electric lights!
BLAMEME: and he did confirm my feelings that made me so happy we snuck out early from the reception.
BLAMEME: The DJ brought a Karoake machine. The father-in-law can't stand for long periods, so they felt he wasn't up to a dance. So the bride sang to him, a tender ballad.
BLAMEME: Called "Daddy's Hands". She did a lovely job and her father cried through it.
BLAMEME: except it reminds the groom of incest.
BLAMEME: "Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands."
BLAMEME: and of course, later in the evening, someone didn't guard the mike well... and Gosh. There was karoake for Everyone! how painful.
BLAMEME: Because most of the guests had been helping themselves to the open bar all night. (plus all the meetings in the other bars)
LAMEME: It's a wonder anyone could stand up to sing.
BLAMEME: But for all I know, they just took up chairs.
BLAMEME: Yeah, it was certainly quite the social occasion.
INNOCENT: It sounds like fun was had by all
INNOCENT: (Except you with your allergic reactions!!) :-O
BLAMEME: I had fun when I could.
For two glorious hours, I didn't have work to do.
I breathed a joy. I took a moment to actually see what I was wearing. It even kind of matched.
I made dinner and paid bills. (Add going to the bank to my to do list tomorrow, so none of that bounces).
I sat on the couch and made jokes with my sweetie and teased the cats. I even touched my current sewing project.
I feel better.
Of course, those two hours are up now and I'm back on my deadline, but GOSH. That was a welcome reprieve.
At the laundramat last week, I met a nice couple on par agewise with my parents. They'd never been to a laundramat before. I had to show them where the soap and softener went, and what the numbers meant in terms of quarters, time, and temperature. They were certainly the best dressed folks in the place and I tried to keep an eye on their wallets so no one tried to help themselves.
She confided in me, "It's my first grandchild. We came all the way from North Carolina."
I was very happy for them. But it made me wonder. They were washing the whole house hold's clothes. I was washing cat beds and blankets. How sheltered are folks who have never been to the depressed hell that is a laundramat? I thought of long nights I'd spent in the dorm at college, studying while sitting on the washing machine. I have found that if you show up at 2 a.m. on Friday or Saturday, and if you sit with the machines, no one else will try to remove your load or pile your wet clothes on top of a machine while they sneak into the dryer before you get the chance. Did it greive this genteel lady to harried by the oddments? There was of course the horribly obese woman with small child who was paying her no attention and running around the place screaming MOMMY and she obviously lacked the energy to deal with him. He was trying to play with the little charmer- a little girl close to his age and well behaved, who stayed with her parents who were well groomed and clean. In contrast to the one person in the joint that would be drawn surrounded with flies and one wonders why they were bothering to do laundry, if they were doing anything at all besides checking all of the machines for loose change. And the college students were doing shy glances at each other over their school books.
There's always oddness in a laundramat.
How I pay for my fun.
This week was caught up in the wedding of a dear friend. It was a week of crowded smoky bars, cheap booze, long nights, and too much god damn perfume around me. I had to be there. The bride and groom did try mitigate things, a little. They carefully gave me silk flowers. They just as blatantly filled the church with real roses, without thinking that might be a problem. I spent the entire ceremony coughing loud enough to echo. And then after for the receiving line, they wanted me to get in the vestibule with several dozen roses. I don't think so. I was more sensible and stood nearby but not in- the scent of roses was still barely tolerable from the distance I kept.
I can be in a large church with only 3 roses and begin coughing after about 45 minutes. In a medium church with at least 6 dozen by my count? It takes 5 minutes. In an elevator with a single rose, I'd be into severe hyperventilation by the third floor. Possibly dead by the 6th. I'm just that sensitive.
The reception hall had air fresheners going. The guests were all perfumed, despite the line on the invitation that requested no one wear perfume. Because our current culture suggests that you aren't dressed up, unless you have perfume on. I spent half the reception avoiding the other guests. The smoking section rule was only violated by some woman who happened to be sitting by me with the smoke directly at me. I was at the Head Table, trying to eat. I think I managed some mashed potatoes, before I resigned myself to being horribly rude and walking away. To the Car. Where I had more pain pills.
Friday I was so ill I actually saw little sparklies around my eyes. They only happen when I am very very near the end of my endurance.
And today, I am pooping almost white runny floaty stuff. My innards aren't happy. My throat is sore. And I'm just happy the migraine is controllable. I called and let someone else run my meeting tonight. I'm just going to spend most of mine on the couch.
I always mitigate what I can. Inform where I am able. Yet this is how I end up physically. Is it any wonder I cannot bear travelling much? I hate being so weak.
I keep having terrible nightmares. They don't help me with my quality of sleep and they don't make me feel refreshed. I've been dreaming more and more about car accidents. And stranger dreams than that. I have nightmares more often when I am cold, so I am positively fanatical about too many blankets.
This afternoon I napped, and I dreamed, and I met Gram. She looked about 50 and very happy, which was a mild comfort to me. She chided me about her hair- why on earth had anyone told her not to get with the times and let her keep wearing the same hair style for decades? She cut the curls off and let it be, and with the curls went her wrinkles and all of the weight she'd been carrying metaphorically- it was the burdens and worries that made her back bent.
And I dreamed of other car accidents too. And of courting a pirate while living in my mother's house, which looked like a small Catholic church- only with a bar where the altar ought to be. That creeped me right out, really. I tell myself I should not let myself get so exhausted, but then I don't sleep at all, and I think that's worse.
I worry too much.
Hooray! I finished the wedding wallhanging. Good thing too, since the wedding is this weekend. So if I don't post a lot this week forgive me. I'll be the nutter in the corner.
They want me to give the blessing, simply because it's something they think I can do. Since this couple met on the EverCrack, and I used to be a cleric in EQ, and in fact I have performed in character wedding ceremonies, this ought to be cake. I just hope they don't object to the phrase "for richer for poorer, in lag spikes and dings." Because I'm saying it. I *know* they'll always be gamers. I sincerely hope the best for them, but I really have to doubt my optimistic nature... I have begun to wonder for most couples of my aquaintance when the divorce will happen. Fortunately, I don't share these thoughts with most people or the couple I am doubting.
I'll try to put a link up for the wallhanging. Now that's done, I'm taking a break from that and sewing for cats. I have to, just to maintain my sanity.
I think what creeps me out most about the Catholic Church and a lot of the modern hymns of any Christian church is the continual reference to "Those that eat of my flesh and drink my blood shall have eternal life." And all I can think about is zombies or vampires. Eat my brains, and you're a zombie. Drink my blood and you are a vampire. Do both and you are vampiric zombie, and then I start thinking of the Sims 2, in which you can have zombie vampires... But really, if people started talking about eating flesh and rising from the dead in any other context, someone outside of that context is going to be yelling Cult! Heretic! Let's exorcise them and save their souls!
I end up with heebie jeebies.
The only thing that makes me feel worse is using the mantle of Christianity as an excuse to hate other people. To feel Righteous about I'm better than you are, because I believe this way and you don't. But Christ himself hung about with people deemed unworthy by the societal standards of his day. He prefered the company of the poor and the sick and the dying, to offer whatever comfort he could. He believed in the importance of *giving* and of *sacrifice* not in the gathering to his followers to money.
If I have a patron saint, it's St Francis di Assissi. He believed in taking care of all of God's creatures and in simple contemplative worship and a personal walk with God. When the order he founded became organized and tried to build a large church to "follow his ways and honor him" - he got angry because he didn't want anyone to *follow* him- but to find their own path to God and their own salvation through good works, and not whatever worked best for him, but for each individual and for God.
I do burn when I hear someone tell me what the proper Christian thing to do is, and whatever they say to me isn't Christian. I am not a mindless zombie. What is between my god and me is mine and God's. And in respect, I try very very hard not to tell anyone how they need to believe. Judgement is mine, sayeth the Lord, and then I feel guilty about being Righteous myself, and recognize that perhaps I'm being just as bad by judging what others do as Wrong.
But I'm as mad as Heaven, and I just don't want to take it any more.
Don't let them steal your joy. I had to appreciate the core of IRON in the voice of Francine, when we told her we'd be there for her when she needed us. And she kindly invited us to the Dinner after the Funeral, and usually only Family comes to that.
Tom is getting downright talkative these days. When he first came, he'd make meowing motions with his mouth, but nothing came out. Now, he's got a proper meow, and he's happy to use it. And he chirped at me while I was napping- wake up and pet me and can I cuddle too? which was very welcome. And as soon as we straighten the rugs in the kitchen, there he goes. VROOOM. BLAM. Only one eye- no depth perception. If he slides on them too much, BLAM, into the cupboards he goes.
Maybe I can do some sewing next week. I hope, I hope, I hope. I think when I stuff mice, I'll do it on the porch. And then bring in the empty containers and let them roll in the containers, while I stitch the ends closed. That'll work. Stoned kitties are just fun.
Today I baked cookies. I made shortbread with jam and springled with powdered sugar. I was pleased at how well it came out, because I'm not normally good with shortbread. And I made snickerdoodles just because I like saying the name.
Focus on the positive, and maybe, just maybe I can sleep tonight.
Some days are just not good days. Some days, you do what you can to remain upbeat.
I can look at today from the negatives and wallow. The car would not start. AAA came and jumped it. Car ran for more than half an hour than I felt badly about the carbon footprint and still had work to do and could not leave the house. So I shut it off. An hour later, AAA had to come back and start the car again. HAd to take it to the garage and they can be downright rude to walk ins. Those that made appointments are served first, and I can understand that. It's a good garage as a general rule. They don't try to cheat me. But they won't give an extra inch if they don't have to either. So I spent 4+ hours of my day in the waiting room. Then I could go to my appointment (late, of course). Then I forgot to get the dog's drugs at Sams - and they always make me feel second class there, because it's such a second class kind of place, and because I'm not a member I get odd looks. You don't have to be member to use the pharmacy and it tends to be the cheapest place to get the dog's pain killers. I managed to almost get lost in a subdivision turning around so I could go and get stuck in the traffic jam in front of the place. The building next to the bank is being torn down, and that sort of destruction is downright depressing. The half shorn look of the building and the backhoe tearing at it with its jaws evokes other horrors in my mind I'm not comfortable explaining. And then I got home to hear the news that our neighbor Joe died today. Must find out calling hours and argue with the spouse about if we are sending flowers, and he has dart night tonight, so we have to pretend we're fine even if we are depressed. And I didn't get the assignment I asked for so I can enter The Arts & Science competition of the year this weekend. Bah- like my personal vanity really matters on a day like today.
But if I look at the positives, I met someone kinda nifty at the garage- she was handquilting something for her neices and nephews. She may get together with me some time and I can show her how to machine quilt. I learned to do the embroidery on my machine so I can label things. I have three very large tubs of catnip and a lot of flannel, and I'm just trying to find the free time to sew. And a check cleared on paying off my student loan, so I'm one step closer to being more debt free.
I have a title I think ought to be written. "Two for Sorrow, One for Joy." Most of the literature I've been reading of late is more heartache than heartleaping variety, and I find it easier to craft things in those terms. Personally, I don't have such issues, but gosh, I can see where it easily can become one. I read a lot of murder mysteries and fantasy with unhappy endings. There's probably more of a market for that kind of thing than what they try to sell these days.
The ache to write is growing again, and I am fostering it. Spending a long hour in a café and pretending to free-write in a silly lavendar journal in my purse. And yet, I'm overwhelmed slightly by the potential for projects and my list gets larger for non-writing things to do. Selflessly and selfishly, I have too many things to do. But I ponder in my free time.
Okay, I feel a wee bit better. I opened an IRA today.
Yes, I know. I'm 37 and I don't have an IRA. I have various 401Ks left over from various jobs, but no official IRA. And I probably ought to have one and attempt to save money through thick and thin, or my older years will be very thin indeed. I ought to roll over all of the various accounts in one location too. That way I can feel better about the measley amount I have set aside.
And at least, it's something I know of which Gram would approve. Unfortunately, this put Gram on the brain, so when I went to Kmart to get new sheets, I lost my composure over vinyl tablecloths. Time for more face in the kitty fur and I'll feel better soon.
I'm still feeling a little guilty for having bought the embroidery sewing machine. I could have done a lot of other things with that money, including investing in solar panels for our roof. But I got to admit, I don't know the first thing about solar panels and very little about getting off the grid. And yet I look at gas prices and my NYSEG bill and that fucking war in Iraq, and I weep. My carbon footprint is too damn large, and I'm not sure how I can begin to shrink it.
I worry too much, I know. And perhaps I put my worries here publically even more too much.
The wedding wallhanging is almost done. The fabric for the full Elizabethan outfit is almost here. Now if only I could figure out how to request more work so I can up my paycheck a wee. The easiest way for that is to start writing again. I don't know why I haven't. I need to finish the necro story, or The Real Story here. Or at the very least, open them and read them. And write a little. Even if it's just an hour a day. A lot can change with just an hour a day.
Yesterday was the auction at Gram's.
When I was too young to appreciate such things, Gram and Grandpa Walt used to make a hobby of going to auctions, garage sales, estate sales, etc. They would buy old things, refurbish them, and sell them in their garage sale. They both very much loved working with their hands, and they loved a good bargain. I remember going with them to one particular sale and finding black opera gloves that just fit me and silk stocking. *real* silk stockings, with the back seam and need for a garter belt and all. That's the ultimate way to play dress up as a teen!
Gram wanted the entire contents of the house to be sold at auction, and then the proceeds to be split amongst the kids and grandkids. Mom declared it not practical to get everyone there at once. So we went through everything first, and then left it all for this auction. I can imagine Gram showing up and sniffing. All the good stuff has been picked over already.
The house has been sold. The auction is over. I'm going to miss the rhubarb and the apples, and the wide open back yard, the edging of woods where Max is buried (german shepard we had before I was born), the closely shorn grass, the lilacs and the grape arbor.
I've missed them for a while. I guess I just go on missing them. I'm not young any more. And I can't get used to that.
Dear National Forestry Service,
I have heard about the intended sale of various parcels of the national protected forests. I read the lists. I see that there is nothing for sale from my state of New York, but that does not lessen my anger. I have heard the excuse that the money sold will to go to support our hamstrung educational system. I personally feel that is total bullshit.
This is *not* the way to raise money for education. It is not a way to raise money for the government or private enterprise in any way, shape or form. This land should not be sold. It is held in trust for our children and grandchildren, and the future of our world. We need to remember what trees and wild forests are and what they are for, and we cannot protect our future by selling off our protected areas of wildlife refuge. We are their caretakers and their guardians. It is our duty to protect them from craven attempts to turn them into strip malls. Selling off the lumber, allowing access for oil drilling or other methods of depleting these resources in trust are all equally morally bankrupt, and I am outraged that the very idea is even considered.
Yes, our children deserve a genuine commitment from the administration. But the government must go back to the drawing board. If schools need funding let's restructure our budget so children's needs are paid for, not the Pentagon's. We need to invest money in education and in health care and in caring for our seniors, and in our future as a great nation. We should not be wasting money on other stupid causes nor should we be selling our future short to meet short-sighted and short-term goals.
PS. For those reading this post, PLEASE consider sending your own letter to your senators, to your representantives, and to the National Forestry Service. This is how to contact the NFS on this matter:
You should submit your comments by March 30, 2006 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered only to the extent practicable.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by e-mail to SRS_Land_Sales@fs.fed.us, by facsimile to (202) 205-1604, or by mail to USDA Forest Service, SRS Comments, Lands 4S, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Mailstop 1124, Washington, DC 20250-0003. Electronic submission is preferred. If you submit your comments by e-mail or fax, you do not need to send a paper copy by mail.Another link with more links and information here.
Coherency is overrated. I have lost my argument with a sinus infection. It won. Yesterday I realized the benefit of my new glasses- things were slightly out of focus thanks to sinus pressure, until I popped on the glasses. They are very annoying to wear with headphones, but I guess they prove useful.
The new sewing machine works as anticipated. I made my flannel blankey, and now all I have to do is snip it and wash it in the laundramat. But it's *useable* now, and about the right size. Have moved over to the wedding wallhanging, and I plan to play with fancy stitches. I hope I don't over do it, but frankly in this condition I'm not sure I can over do much of anything without several naps.
And of course tonight is when they are offering Karoake at the local bar. When I have no voice. Sigh. Pity. Wah. /whack. No pity party for you, silly person. Just off to the couch and go watch your cartoons young lady! Take your tea and keep that coming.
I can wallow in the cold a little- I have little pressing to do this weekend. I'm probably going to miss a big meeting in the shire, the yearly election, but it ought to be okay, since they already know what I want to say. And they can't elect me for anything I didn't volunteer for. :)
I made my flannel lap quilt today. The first one I made was square and too short. This one is definitely rectangular and too long. I may cut off a few rows and sew them to the sides to fix that. But that means I have to frog stitch. (Rip it, rip it) and I don't like that- I don't know anyone who does.
It's not "finished" yet because the edges need to be snipped, and then I have to brave the Laundramat and use their machines. Flannel quilts are often called rag quilts for a reason- the edges of the seams stick out deliberately and get fuzzy with washing. But there's a softness and a comfort to them, and that's why I like them. They're also fairly fast to make. I'm glad I have rubber ducky flannel and cats in pajamas, because ya know, that's just comforting to me too.
And I've managed not to cry the entire time I've worked on it. Just a little bit now and then. And maybe tomorrow I'll try it out with a nap and a cat, and then maybe I can work on happier things.
I talked to my neice today. I'm very sorry I am going to miss her graduation, but she could probably use the cash instead. Florida seems a million miles away right now and years and years away. But she graduates from college in 53 days. I remember the day she was born- the confusion and excitement. It's not good for either of us to think too much about those days. But there's going to be a lot of confusion and excitement in her life, and gosh, I sincerely hope things work out well. If I could give her a gift, I'd give her wings. Maybe I'll make some and include them with a check. Purple. Without feathers. And they don't have to be large. Just big enough to hold some bravery and confidence, and she can fly.