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Normal even when it ain't. - 2014-04-24
The rock inside the smush. - 2014-04-19
Second Stage - 2014-04-14
At The Last - 2014-04-08
Snack Bar Stories - 2014-03-31

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12:07 p.m. - 2014-04-24
Normal even when it ain't.

I have most of an entry already written but the steady quack of my voice ticked me off. Over explaining as usual.

"Quick! Do a List, Overly Chatty Woman!"

Last Friday at the Gigantic Ugly Mall we:

Found a great parking space. (Not easy.)

Had lunch at Joe's Crab Shack. It was cute, but dreadfully overpriced. I did find out that watching all those food shows pays off, I dismembered my first lobster (Mick's, I had fish and chips) and my guy was delighted with the amount of meat I was able to liberate.

Got books at B&N.

Bought the child some shorts and t-shirts. Wolf has gotten ridiculously tall and all his shirts are too short.

Found a spice store. Didn't have Himalayan pink salt (boo) but did have a nice coarse sea salt for the table grinder. Yes, I have become a salt snob. Good salt really does make a difference.

Wolf had a grand time navigating the 4-storey climbing apparatus. Running up the center court from ground floor to above the fourth floor promenade is an adventuresome collection of rope bridges, balance beams, floating stepping stones, and other such scary things. The climbers are hooked to a safety harness which runs along overhead tracks, but even with a harness this is some nerve-wracking shit. Made me queasy and nervous just looking at it.

Got Mick a fix of his favorite tea (dragon fruit and assorted flowers) at Teavana. Yes, the company got bought out by Starbucks, but they still make a hella good tea.

Saw 'Noah'. Man, did this movie blow! But Mick got a Russell Crowe fix and that's what matters. (Russell Crowe is Mick's guy-crush.) Wolf and I were bored to snores.

Despite using malls for their convenience (see above about being able to get everything from sea salt to t-shirts plus lunch and a movie) we are not mall people. We go to the gigantic ugly mall maybe once a year. This trip seemed like a good idea simply for the change of scene. Mick is still very sad over his father's death. The visit to the mall did help. My dear mannie was distracted from his grief for a little while.

So it's gone for the last 11 days. We've taken care of a ton of chores and such (list to follow) and had a little fun while allowing for some quiet time to just be sad. Like Easter Sunday. MIL came over and we had a pleasant meal together but we didn't try to be overly jolly. For the first time ever MIL came empty-handed and let a holiday pass without sending out cards. If you knew my MIL you'd know how astonishing this is. Not that anyone expected her to shop for Easter goodies the week she buried her husband, but the depth of her grief has knocked her sideways. FIL was in terrible health for years and she believed she was prepared for his death, as much as one can be anyhow, but the actuality has been so very much harder. We're doing what we can. Daily visits and phone calls. Mick and Jon coax her out to the gym. Yet not much is going to help. Time is the answer here. Except when FIL was in the hospital with his various illnesses he and she were never apart. They did everything together. After 56 years of constant togetherness FIL's death has left a huge hole in MIL's life and it's not going to be easy or smooth as she figures out how to go forward from here.

Mick's coping strategy has been to keep busy. He's a 'get it done' kind of guy anyhow and his need for progress and distraction from his grief has kicked it into overdrive. Frankly I'm winded and pooped. Most of the things have required my participation. And dopily I'd suggested a few more trying to be helpful. GAH! Yesterday I hit the wall and spent a few hours here in my office crying, dozing, and trying to decompress. I told Mick I could NOT answer one more question, make one more decision, or be there for him, MIL, kid, and every other fricken person on the planet anymore. I was done in.

The List (or as much as I can remember, it's a bit blurry)

Got acquainted with new next-door neighbor. He bought Flo's house and moved in last week. Freshly divorced, pleasant enough, but at 27 is younger than one of my kids. So much for my hopes that a middle-aged couple with an attractive daughter or nice son for Wolf to hang with would buy the place. Ditto finding a friend my own age to perhaps buddy around with.

Renegotiated with the cable company and came away with faster internet, a dvr, HBO, and a monthly tab that's $40 LESS than our current bill. Pays to be a vocal and involved consumer.

Cleaned bedroom with Mick's help in anticipation of cable guy's visit. He came yesterday morning (9:00am!!! Sheesh) and spent two hours basically rewiring my entire house. But last night I watched TV for the first time in months. Guess what? There was nothing on. Not even HBO.

Went to the dealership where we got the Rogue and tracked down a wayward rebate check.

Tried like mad to find a small job handyman to fix our broken entry door. It's the house's original front door left in place when the front porch was enclosed back in the 1950's. No luck. So we went shopping for a new door and picked out a lovely full glass storm door. Arranged for installer to come measure.

Storm door guy came when he said he would. Installation in approximately two weeks.

Stopped by Liberty Travel to ask about cruises. Got piles of brochures. The agent told us about a wee 4-day cruise that leaves from NYC, goes out to sea and returns. A short cruise to nowhere. Perfect. Mick and I want to try a smallish cruise before signing up for a longer one. Neither of us knows whether we'll actually like being on a boat and whether we can deal with being in such a small cabin together. (We both snore LOUDLY.) The 4-day dealie is on our wedding anniversary weekend too. Seems providential. We didn't book it yet, but we're thinking about it quite seriously. This year's will be our fifth wedding anniversary and it's beyond time we finally take a honeymoon.

Scheduled spring clean-up with the yard service.

They came and did an adequate but not wonderful job. Ticked me off. The same lawn service does the G's yard (the neighbors on the far side of the Barky's) and their lawn is perfect. Mrs G is a known crab-ass and complainer whereas I am nice and always give the yard guys a cold drink (an iced tea or a Snapple) and am understanding if they have to reschedule. I feel like Phil and his crew took advantage of my niceness. I don't think I should have to be a shrill bitch to get good service. Yet there's the proof right there in my yard. The cranky twat next-next-door got premium work while LA the nice lady got a slop job. I will give Phil a chance to make it up to me before calling the main office and complaining to his boss, but if disappointed again I will. I will make a LOUD noise and make it clear that I expect the same standard of service that my bitchy neighbor gets. I detest taking it in the ass for being a decent person.

Bought paint to re-do the front stoop. A darker grey this time and I picked out the non-skid type of paint made especially for outdoor stairs. Painting on the docket for this weekend (weather permitting).

Made a hair appointment at a new salon. I go tomorrow at 1:00. Wish me luck. I'm going to get my old spikes back. Mick misses my pointy hair. And I must admit I miss the ease and convenience of wash, gel, and go. Fingers crossed I hit it off with this new stylist and that she gets me and my peculiar hairdo. Fortunately I have actual photographs of me and my old hair for her to go by.

Went to the optometrist last night. Mick too. He's changing over to daily-wear contacts from monthlies, plus he found a cool frame and will have new eyeglasses for the first time in a decade. I found out my prescription changed a little, not so much that I can't still wear my current wardrobe of glasses (steel rounds, black ovals, and huge pink plastic) but I'm adding a new pair in the higher prescription just because. I'll post a pic soon as they're ready. Quite a radical change for me, but very fun.

A flurry of phone calls to the ex about the Big Mess. He, like the lawn guys, has been lazy and needed a kick in the kiester. No more Mrs Nice Ex-Wife.

A tussle with the administrators of my grandmother's trust. I don't care if it's cutting into the principal I want my goddamn check. At this rate even if undercutting the principal the trust will pay out for another 35 years. Every other legatee is a millionaire, let them sacrifice for the greater good. I'm a broke starving artist.

Plus there's been all the usual. The dog went to the groomer. I made my regular rounds to the bank, the grocery, pharmacy, dollar store, bread store, the kid to counseling. The house was cleaned, many meals prepared, laundry done, cans to the curb, bills paid, cars in for inspections and oil changes, I got my %$#@& period and had to begin the count again, smooches, arguments, some laughs, some tears, you know, Life keeps on even when everything is weird and there's a death in the family to deal with.


Rolling with it, ~LA

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