Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tuesday Morning Holiday Weekend Wrap Up - Now on Wednesday!

In the U.S., this was Memorial Day weekend, when we remember the people who died serving in the military. Most Americans have the day off of work, and parades and ceremonies are held. My three day weekend was spent without my kids, and quietly.

After work Corky, her roommate and I headed to see Corky's grand nephew. He is adorable and perfect, and his mom is doing a great job. We had dinner on the way home, and spent the night apart, after two nights together.

Corky came over and made me breakfast before work. We walked for a while and she went to work. I power washed the back of the house, patio and cover, and relaxed a bit before attending a friend's birthday party. Met another two babies there, and Corky joined us after work. I also started placing 1 gallon buckets in the shower to catch the water while it becomes warm. 1.5 gallons each shower - and then I used that to water the tree in front. I think I can use it to water a garden (between me and The Boys).

Slept in and spent some quiet time just reading and drinking my coffee. Tried to decide between unpacking more stuff and gardening. I am going to plant oleander in the side yard (outside the fence) and iceplant as a ground cover. Hopefully this will cut down on the foxtails and burrs growing there now. I also needed to grocery shop (a chore I strongly dislike). Instead of doing any of that, I nearly completed the Wedding album I'd placed on hold during the move. Just adding the final quotes before sending the proof to the couple. After Corky got off work, we had dinner and grocery shopped. We also realized that this marked 10 months of us being a couple. Pretty cool, and we chose a private celebration before bed. She went home and I didn't want to sleep - I missed her too much. So, I stayed up until 4AM...

Slept about an hour and a half before hearing garbage trucks rolling down the street. I rushed out to get my cans to the curb, and ended up missing two of the trucks. Went back to bed for another couple of hours and spent the day mostly in a vegetative state, reading and hanging about. Missing Corky and The Boys. Went to Corky's for dinner and fell asleep, head on her lap. Came home and went to bed early.

Woke up exhausted and miserable. Much like my children, it takes two days for severe lack of sleep to catch up to me...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I am not a writer

I only pretend to be one, and of course, I jot own the completely uninteresting details of my life here, but I do not claim to be anything other than mostly a reader.
I have been an editor though. I edited a bunch of stuff way back when X-Files was still on the air, and have recently edited just one fiction. It is a fan fiction, and if you have no idea what that term means, you may want to look it up. I worked with an author on a Rizzoli & Isles fiction which was very satisfying for me. I feel fortunate to have been included in the writing process for over a year. I am proud of the final work, which is over 100,000 words in 41 chapters + epilogue. The entire story is here, minus the Epilogue, which is awaiting publication:

Warning, if you do not watch Rizzoli & Isles, you should. If you do not appreciate love and intamacy between women, you should just skip it. Also? Some of my own experiences may have made it into this, so you will likely learn something about me in reading it. Or, if you already know me and my stories, you will recognize what parts apply.

I am going to miss this fictional world, it has been fun to be there and play for a while. I am going to have to read more, I guess ;-)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

Whew, this weekend was full of proud moments.

The Oldest got his grades back up from C's and D's to B's and C's. Lots of hard work and a ton of follow up, but I know he's brilliant, and I knew he could do it. Now that he knows he can do it, he's aiming for A's and B's before the end of the year. In Pathways, we began the ceramic Father's Day gifts, and the kids worked on the hallways for open house next week. The jazz band performed in the newly completed performing arts center, and the sound in that space is amazing! I can't wait to hear The Boys in there as they move forward in music. The evening was a fundraiser for ALS and ACS. The high school band director told of the origins of the fundraiser, a band mom who had been diagnosed with ALS and asked him not to yell at her son at band camp. Her sons names are The same as Diane's sons. Of course Diane has been on my mind, more so at band activities. The concert (5 jazz bands) ended well past bed time for The Boys, especially considering...

Had to get The Oldest to his school to board a bus at 5:45 am. I came home and slept for another hour, got The Youngest up and out the door to the band review, where the band took four first place and a sweepstakes award. Got home and cut down the strip of weeds between the driveways. When Corky came over after work, I shopped and then we continued cutting down the weeds in the front yard. The Boys helped out, and one of their friends came over. I am a bit concerned about why this friend (who has not voluntarily come here in over a year) is suddenly interested in this place. His mother came over after a bit, so I had to stop what I was doing to listen to her complaints. I was not that interested in listening, and my brain was on overdrive with all of the things I needed to do. They left and Corky arrived and I made dinner. We all went to bed at a descent hour and I slept like the dead. Might have been all the physical labor, or it could have been the ibuprofen.

Woken up at 8:00 by the same friend from yesterday wanting to come back here today. His text: "what's up?". My reply: "The Boys". They were already up, and I quickly got dressed and got us all outside to work on the side yard. It took 4 hours, but ALL of the weeds have been cut down, raked and bagged. The green bin is full, and there are an additional 5 bags for next week's green bin. The friend continued to text and call, but I was in the middle of yard work, and needed The Boys to keep focus, so I didn't respond until we were nearly finished. He was over 10 minutes later, just missing The Boys taking their showers, but eating lunch I made for them all. I am still harboring a grudge with his mom, and my conversation with her is completely overdue. And now I want to know what the hell went on over there this weekend that her kid wanted to spend his free time here. The ex picked up The Boys for dinner, after not seeing them for over a week, during which he, his gf and her 2 kids were on vacation. I went to dinner with Corky and her roommate and The Boys were back here about an hour before bed time.

This next week will be busy for me and The Boys. A dentist appointment, orthodontist appointment, lunch with the teachers, two jazz concerts, two parent meetings (maybe three), and an open house. Tonight is early bed time, after folding and putting away laundry. Oh, and more ibuprofen, definitely.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

That was a weird and haunting dream

I dream - I'm sure I dream often, but I do not remember most of my dreams upon waking. This morning was the exception. Because it has stayed with me for hours now, I obviously just need to get it out of my brain.

I (and many others) were in a Chinese prison camp of sorts - that is at least the closest I can come to a general description. It looked mostly like a combo of the inside of Urban Ore in Berkeley, the old Wolf Books in San Leandro, and the room of requirement from Harry Potter. So basically junk everywhere. dusty, not well lit, beams of light through dust in sparse shafts, not really illuminating the ground. Your eyes adjust however. We were dressed in prison drab grey/blue, collarless button up shirts, and pajama type pants. There had to be shoes, but no clue what they were like. We were dirty, dusty, grimy, sweaty and greasy. We were supposed to be digging through all of the junk and sorting it to be taken away. I was deep in the room? warehouse? with another person (think Nathan Fillion), and we were members of a resistance movement. We were looking through the junk for evidence of the propaganda being false information in order to topple the regime. I ended up finding a passport of one of the regime, but it was a US passport, claiming the regime leader was indeed a US citizen, not a Chinese National as he claimed. The passport was inside the back of an antique camera. Once I found it, there was a raid, and I was unable to get back to my resistance cohort, as we ran in different directions. I dodged into an alcove to discover a stairway going up, but it was carved into a stone wall and more of a ladder, steep with notches in the stone every 3 feet. Would have been easy to miss, but I started up as fast as I could, with regime guards on my heels. I was not high enough (around a bend in the stone) to be unseen when the guard started into the alcove, and another prisoner caught his attention, speaking in rapid Chinese, allowing me the additional time to get out of sight. I remember thinking I should know Chinese by now.

In the clear light and heat of the day, I now realize how much this dream resembles a potential scene in Firefly... I don't think it is an actual scene, but it was weirdly haunting as I woke from the dream twice before it had ended, and still vividly remember it this afternoon.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Morning - The Week that Was

It has been a week. Seven days during which The Oldest performed music, raised nearly all of his grades, turned in work on time, and was punched in the face by a kid at school.

He took it pretty well, I think more stunned than anything. The person who punched thought The Oldest had done something, while what actually happened was The Oldest helping the kid. This was corroborated by the kid who actually was doing what the puncher thought The Oldest was doing and 5 eye witnesses. The puncher ended up suspended from school, The Oldest had ice and Tylenol, and the kid who started it all wrote apology letters. I am proud that The Oldest took the hit, found his glasses (feet away), and went to the office. He didn't retaliate (though admitted he thought about it). The weird thing is that The Oldest and the puncher have known each other for years, were in the same class for many of those years, and it was an over reaction to what was thought to have happened. The people at school were also proud of The Oldest, and I feel like a tiny bit of his childhood innocence just disappeared.

During two of the mornings, The Oldest missed his first class. The first was because I woke him up early to finish homework from the previous night, and he chose to watch TV instead of work while I showered and dressed. The second was due to forgetting his backpack at his father's. The Youngest had a fairly mellow week, though his teacher finally started planning the pi day celebration (even though pi day was over two months ago).

During two of the evenings, I was able to spend time with a dear friend in from Mexico. One girls night, and the other was pizza with The Boys. It was really great to catch up, and I am so glad The Boys were able to spend time with her too.

Busy with school type meetings and teaching during the day, and an evening with friends I hadn't spent much time with recently because our kids no longer hang out together - this is the Happy Hour Playdate crowd. Corky was not happy that we spent time apart, but after last week's guilt fest, I refused to feel guilty about it, and I had a better time. One of my friends is concerned about the neediness she perceives in my relationship with Corky, and it has caused me to reflect upon that. I am a busy person with many commitments and sometimes that means I cannot spend time with Corky on her days off. Actually I work on her days off, and she works on my days off. She misses me when we aren't together, and I miss her, but I am also focused on whatever I am doing. I want a person who fits into the spaces in my life, and maybe I entered a relationship without adequate free time in my schedule. hmm. I will always choose to benefit my children by being involved in the schools. Does it cut into my social calendar? yes. It absolutely cuts into time I can spend alone or with my girlfriend. The thing is, I love Corky, and I take her into consideration when I accept or decline invitations, and make commitments. I turn down more invitations than I accept, and people are starting to notice. I need to nurture my friendships outside of my relationship with Corky. I do not wish to drop those people from my life. What I guess I don't get is, I could make Corky feel bad about spending time away from me, but I do not because it wouldn't be fair, and I don't want to be treated that way. She has commitments outside of my world, and that is fine. She needs to be connected to people outside of us, as do I. I know she reads this blog, and I know this will probably freak her out, and she may even consider telling me she won't bother me anymore. BUT, that is not the goal of this writing. The goal is to dump out of my brain all of the things floating around, and this is what is on my mind lately.

Darling Corky,
I do love you, and I want you in my life and the lives of The Boys. We will figure out a workable way to do this.

Early start to a band review for The Oldest, while the ex took The Youngest to a birthday party for one of his friends. The band review brought back memories, and was rife with parental politics. The bands sounded great, and the kids had fun. I dropped The Oldest at the ex', grocery shopped and returned home to nap. No nap. Corky came by (which was great) to cuddle, and bring gifts and snacks. On the heels of her departure, the ex texted to say he was bringing The Boys over. We hung out and watched Pitch Perfect, The Boys went to bed and I watched a couple of shows to catch up.

The Boys let me sleep in until 7:00, and woke me with cards and gifts. The ex actually took The Oldest to get me something (this is a first since we've been apart). I opened all of the gifts and cards (including from The Boys, as obtained by Corky). The Youngest made me some coffee and I got up to get ready for the day. The morning consisted of me reminding The Boys to do chores, and offering extra points to complete extra chores, Getting The Oldest to complete homework, and both showered and dressed. We headed to my sister's for the afternoon and evening, and I was able to sneak in a quick few minutes with Corky while she was on her way home. She doesn't celebrate Mother's Day since her mom passed away over 4 years ago. I understand. The Boys and I stocked up on more ammo, brought Nerf guns and xbox controllers, a green salad and cards. Dinner was great, the company better. Sister's boyfriend's family was there and they are a pretty fun crowd. The kids spent 4 hours in a Nerf war with breaks to eat. We came home, I texted goodnight to Corky and got The Boys showered and to bed.

I hope it is a calm and relaxing week for us all...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

Another busy weekend, and somehow I feel a bit melancholy at the ending.

Was in the proverbial dog house most of the day. Corky had spent the night and the morning was actually quite nice. I really did and do miss being able to say goodnight to someone next to me right before going to sleep, and I miss good morning just as much. We discussed plans for later that evening, and it wasn't until I arrived at The Youngest's school that I realized I' already said yes to a girls night in - at another school mom's home. So I reminded Corky, who hadn't ever gotten the date for said evening. We'd discussed the event, but I didn't update her once I had an actual date. She was pissed. Rightfully so, as I did not effectively communicate the final plan. She had Friday and Saturday off work, which meant she could sleep over Friday and we could have a family night. She hung with The Boys, and I went for about 3 hours to the event. It was nice seeing and talking to people I don't get to see or visit with. But the entire evening had a pall cast over it by my feeling guilty for going, or staying any length of time, and I was not able to fully enjoy myself. I felt rushed to get home. I need to work on communication and get used to running things by another person before making plans. Corky stayed the night anyway. Also? Had the ex giving me crap for "forcing" The Oldest to go, but I told them both (because dealing with childishness seems to be a gift) that this is an honor - to be considered one of the few Gentile friends invited.

A rather early morning for a weekend and preparations for attending our first Bat Mitzvah. The service was in the morning, and I quite enjoyed the singing, and the Torah passage the friend of The Oldest chose. The Youngest split his time at the ex' and at my sister's. The ex always wants to have first right of refusal to watch The Boys on my weekends, but then actually cannot take them... The Youngest likely would have been happier at an all day play date at another friend's. He did enjoy my sister's and demanded that we go back soon. He did a great job of guilt tripping me (although we will be there on Mother's Day anyway). The dinner and party at night were fun, and the kids loved it. The Oldest had a blast and didn't leave the dance floor except to eat, or as necessitated by the ceremony. It ran until 11:00, but I promised to pick up The Youngest by 9:30, and The Oldest got in trouble for telling anyone who would listen that I was forcing him to leave. Ironic. He now didn't want to leave the party he whined about attending. Completely expected. Highlights included Mine and Corky's first dance at an event with (what I am guessing) mostly straight people. If I remember correctly, Reform Judaism and the Jews I know in particular, have zero religious objection to homosexuality. Everyone I didn't already know were very warm and wonderful (as I would expect from knowing the part of the family that I do).

The Tzedaka
Torah: Leviticus 19:9-10
And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and stranger; I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:9-10) (Note: To glean is to gather the remains of the harvest left after the reapers collect)

I found the interpretation of this by Judaism, the Bat Mitzvah, and the Rabbi to be very interesting and applicable and useful to my life. I appreciated the subtle differences in their understandings, and what it means as young people grow into adults. The Bat Mitzvah added that the Earth does not actually belong to us, and we are the caretakers only. As such, we need to also care for those in need, the stranger and the poor equally. It is a lesson too few take into their hearts and their every day.

I woke up early, but went back to sleep following a bathroom break, and was woken by The Boys yelling at one another. I really had expected this, as neither went to bed at a remotely decent hour, and they both had soda, sugar, and junky food all evening. I refereed as long as I could from bed, but came running when The Oldest poked The Youngest in the eye with a pencil. It was an accident, as both attested, I didn't see any lacerations, punctures, or really any redness that would not normally be attributed to crying. So we ice packed the eye in question, and gave it about a half hour to see what it would do. In the mean time, The Oldest felt bad enough to start a complete meltdown, which included (unknown to me) texting the ex and the ex' gf to tell them he felt like shit and hated himself. After I got him calmed down, and The Youngest looked as though he would live, and his eye was fine, and about 30 minutes more of The Boys cleaning their morning mess and playing minecraft, I started getting texts from the ex asking what was going on. I then texted the details back. The ex' gf then texted The Oldest to tell him that they love him and it was all going to be okay...
A half hour after that, got another text from the ex asking how The Youngest's eye was... At that point I was already completely over the day, and it was only noon. So I finally showered and hauled my exhausted ass to grocery shop, leaving instructions with The Boys for things needing to be completed before I returned. I called them as I was leaving the store to tell them that all of those things I asked them to do, had better be done, and this was their 5 minute warning. I returned home to find most of the things were finished, and they did complete the rest when I pointed those out. I cleaned out the fridge and freezer and got some things together to take to Corky's for a BBQ dinner. I folded laundry, and made hummus and croutons for this week, and we headed out. Corky and her roommate were cool, and dinner was delicious. We watched Space Balls, and then Charlotte's Web, and of course I cried at Charlotte's Web - show me a mother who doesn't cry at that movie - I dare you. The Youngest comforted me, while The Oldest went into the kitchen to tell Corky and her roommate that I was already crying and it wasn't even the sad part yet, and could they even believe that! (teen boy typical) Corky came and sat with me and turned off the movie, could sense my sadness and asked about it. I think it really is fatigue from pubescent boys and the constant battles, and PMS, and lack of sleep. It is a combo that has me on the verge of tears even now, when I am crying for absolutely no reason, though as the sadness washes through me, I think of the many sad times of my life, the times of deep regret, and inner turmoil. The times when I failed myself. I know it is cathartic to cry this way now and again, but it bothers the younger cooler part of myself. At the same time, the older and wiser part of myself recognizes the learning I will gain from these experiences.

I need to go to bed. I need to sleep, and I need to rest my weary mind.