Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What's with people?

I haven't been blogging or reading blogs much lately. The stress thing. And the Facebook farm/cafe/yoville/aquarium obsession...

But in the past few months, most recently this week, a couple of the blogs I read have been temporarily (I hope) shut down because the blogger shared her very personal thoughts and was blasted by ugly commenters. In one case another blogger used her situation to write a whole mean blog about her. Since both of these people seem to be kind, funny, good spirited people, I don't understand what compels people to blast them in blogs. (Not to say that being biting & funny is a request to be blasted either.)

Blogs are public, and we know that when we push the button that says, "Make blog public." We know we lay ourselves out for comments. We know we risk pissing off relatives and friends and co-workers and anybody else who stumbles in. Thanks to recent court cases, we know that we are liable for evil things we say about others, even if we think there are only 12 people including the French guy who wants to sell Viagra on our blog reading what we write.

But, within reason, blogs are our little rant spaces. We can share what we feel without tempering it with good girl (or boy) voices that run our lives.

You know, the ones that say, "I'm sure she had a good reason to invite everyone in class to her party except you. Don't judge her harshly." Or, "Be happy for Sally for winning the contest you both entered." Or the one I really hate, "I cried because I had no shoes until I met the man with no feet." OK, it sucks not to have feet, but at least his feet aren't cold. It also sucks to have no shoes.

Sometimes you have to let go and say, "This is how I feel and I don't care to look at anyone else's point of view. So shut up." Sometimes you have to say, "Some people may have it worse but I don't care, I feel crappy. So shut up."

Blogs should be that place.

And, here's the kicker... if you don't like what you read... don't read it. Move on to one of the thousands of blogs in the world. Don't kick people when they are down. Don't slap people who have shared their own sorrow. Leave my buddies alone, dammit!

However, if you want to write nasty comments about this blog, go ahead. I've got plenty of gin. I can handle it.

Dr. Sleep says I'm normal...

...which is really sad, now that I think about it. Is it normal to dream all night long about having to clean up a motel that looks like it was hit by a frat party during a hurricane and wake up feeling tired and frustrated? Probably not, but the problem is not apnea or anything that is easily solved by a small pill or a large medical device. Oh well.

Dr. Sleep thinks it might be depression. Although I initially said, no, depression is when I feel my skin crawling and want to jump through the mirror in the bathroom, after some reflection (har-dee-har-har), I thought, maybe not. Or maybe yes. Maybe I do have either chemical or situational stress and or depression. (Ya think?) And maybe there is a small pill or a large medical device that can help.

In the mean time, exercise (other than walking to my car), eating well (real food not wrapped in Styrofoam), and meditation (working on it) might help. I'm also trying to spend more time with my family.

I know that sounds counter-intuitive, since part of my stress might come from living with seven people and 12 cats (Ya think?), but it has occurred to me that if I embrace the family instead of hiding in my room under the covers, I might be less stressed.

I also think that maybe I sleep too much. Again, counter-intuitive, but clever, huh? Maybe if I stay up later, I'll sleep better. Maybe I'm not tired enough to sleep well.

Of course, I'm still looking for the happy pill to give me energy, good spirits, clear skin and shiny hair. If anyone has any suggestions (other than Carolyn, who will tell me to exercise & eat better) let me know. OK, Carolyn, you can go ahead and tell me exercise and eat better. Maybe one day I'll actually pay attention to your very good advice.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dr. Sleep

I had a sleep study done two weeks ago. Did I tell you this? I can't remember anything these days. That's part of the reason I had the sleep study.

Bob tells me that I snore in an indelicate manner. Not a little "pip-pip-pip," but a great big "snock-gack-pshoo." He says that sometime I just quit breathing, which is bad. I know that I have woken myself up with my snorts. I know that I remember dreams all the time, even if they don't make sense and that that can be a sign of frequent waking during the REM cycle. I know that I am freaking tired ALL THE TIME and that I can fall asleep in about two seconds, but wake up easily.

I arrived for the sleep test at 8 o'clock on Sunday night. A nice lady took me to a little room that looked like a small hotel room with no windows. It did have a mirror on the wall, which sort of gave the impression of a window. I don't know why that was important to me, but it was.

I dressed for bed and sat and waited while she attached wires to my head, chest and legs. I had a tube at my nose to measure air flow and bands around my chest to measure my breathing. All dressed up and ready for bed.

Of course I fell asleep easily. And I woke up several times. Even though I didn't drink after lunch, I had to get up and pee. And I just kept waking up and staring around the room, trying to figure out what the "window" was. The nice lady had to come in and fix my wires at least once. At one point, I woke up and heard snoring somewhere else in the building. And then I started dreaming that I had overslept and was late and had to clean my room and get packed and get out in time...

So yeah, it was a normal night's sleep, except for the wires, tubes and bands. I suppose it's good that I didn't sleep like a log. What a waste that would be.

And now, today, I go talk to Dr. Sleep and see what he can do for me. I'm hoping for something simple, inexpensive and non-intrusive that will make me sleep better, have a cheery disposition, lose weight, smooth my wrinkles, and make my hair shiny. Not too much to ask, huh?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Feasts, Friends, and Fried things

I love to know what people eat.

I think I get this from my Dad, who will watch the food channel all day long if he can (with quick flips for M*A*S*H reruns & a CNN news fix.) For as long as I remember, Dad's narrative of his day at work consisted of what he ate for lunch. His trips are a diary of food. Since he is a person who will try new foods in new places, it makes for an interesting story. Ireland, Germany, France, Cuba, Indonesia, Colombia --- all opportunities for new food. All I know about their trip to Maine and Nova Scotia is that there are many many ways to cook lobster.

I love to see what people consider to be essential food for holidays. "It's not Thanksgiving without: ______________."

There is turkey, of course. I don't love turkey, but I always eat it because you are supposed to eat it on Thanksgiving. If someone offered me roast beef, which I like, I'd feel cheated. That's not Thanksgiving. My oldest son doesn't like going to his wife's family for Thanksgiving because they don't have the essential food. My husband's family's meal is not quite right to me even after 25 years.

Their cranberry sauce is jelly, not made from fresh cranberries simmered with orange juice until they just pop. Mom just chopped cranberries and orange peel, which I hated. Dad insists we have that, and we do. I just add mine as well, and we end up with way too much cranberry sauce.

It's not Thanksgiving without my brother's stuffing. We call it stuffing, even though we don't stuff the bird. I don't know why. He makes two kinds, at least. One with onions, one without. Sometimes he uses oysters, I think. It's made with bread, not corn bread. One time we had a guest who was used to corn bread dressing, so we added that as well.

Nothing gets taken away, we just add more. And although sometimes it feels like too much, I guess it's all good.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hard Candy Christmas

Every year I think we are going to have a hard candy Christmas, and every year I somehow manage to put together at least a milk chocolate Christmas. This year is probably going to be different for a couple of reasons:

First, we really don't have any money. We have eight people in our three bedroom ranch style house, and only two of them are working. Two are in school and have been told that school is their job right now. Two are struggling with various illnesses and conditions combined with a tough economy. I'm not letting them off the hook. My Christmas wish is that they'd either go to school or get jobs.

Second, even though we are probably less materialistic than most people I know, we are too materialistic for my taste right now. This is not to say I don't like stuff. I do. As I've said before, I am bordering on obsessive hoarding, if I haven't crossed the line. I'm working on that.

It seems to me that when people like me decide to dematerialize Christmas, or any holiday or festival, we don't replace materialism with something else. If we don't have shiny wrapped gifts, what do we have? Most of my family is not religious and those who are are not religious in the same way.

I would like to replace the trauma of Christmas with family time. (I'm seeing the blank stares and rolling eyes.) I'd like to take the family on a walk through the Congaree Swamp, for instance. Or to the zoo's Lights Before Christmas (costs money, but not as much as a Wii.) I'd like to make cookies, maybe. I'd like to make fruitcake like my mother used to make, only edible. We can maybe make Christmas decorations and trim the tree. I guess I want to try to replace stuff with time.

Weird, though. This kind of makes me feel panicky. Time and money are two rare commodities in our life right now. But I guess I need to decide what is important.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Still not dead yet

It is Sunday morning and the live ones in my house are sick. They claim a stomach virus, which I've always found to be vague and convenient.

The nuclear family within a nuclear family (Robert, Katy & the babies) are in Hampton to celebrate Katy's birthday and let her participate in a birthday celebration for her late father. I'm hoping she'll get closure, whatever that is. As my mother, who died three years ago in October, said just the other day in a not too unpleasant dream, "Maybe if you cleaned out the refrigerator you would know what you have to eat." Which is one of saying, "there is no closure. Only perspective."

The house has been quiet this weekend, and that is a good thing. I love the babies, but I love the quiet. Is that a grandmotherly thing to say, or what?

Quiet is good. It has not been quiet for a while. The babies are the least of the worries, and they are cute, so it's OK. It's been a rough couple of months. I don't want to talk about it. I think you'd be grateful, trust me.

I am leaving for church in a few minutes. I am helping with the Sunday school class, and the brilliant, witty, and handsome Morgan is sharing the lesson. (He will read this, so that's a little thank you. It's true, of course, I never bother to lie.) I am meeting with a couple of people to help with the bookkeeping and trying hard not to get committed to doing it again. Of course, I'm thinking about it... For now, I'm just doing the payroll for the next month (or two?) and straightening out the computer. And trying to teach an old bookkeeper new computer tricks. I am sure he will be able to handle it. I wish they had hired the USC student I'd suggested, but they seem to distrust her youth. She is young, but she's extremely well organized, smart, & precise. Now she has other commitments, unfortunately.

Oh, and I'm going to have to change my comment moderation. Some of my old posts (since all of my posts are old, these days) have been getting interesting comments in French. It turns out I'm not extremely popular as a English lesson, though. And "Viagra" is viagra. You know?

This is not to say I don't welcome comments in French or German or anything else, as long as I know someone who can translate them for me so I know I'm not selling male enhancement products or state secrets. But pretty much, a comment is a comment. Thank you very much.