Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

Another one in the books. This weekend, I did not have The Boys. They are at the ex's and perhaps doing at least some tiny portion of the shit ton of homework they have over Thanksgiving break. However, given the behavioral history of that house, I will say that it will probably be up to me to be (again) the bad guy and have them do 10 days of homework in 4 days time. Lucky me. Also this weekend I have had a cold, and started my period, and had a massive breakout on my face. So you know, there's that. Oh, and Corky is now on twitter too.

Sickness has begun. Sore throat and runny nose, so not terribly horrible. Forgot to meet the co-treasurer at the Middle school to write some checks. Remembered when she sent me a text, nine minutes late. Ran over, got everything completed and out in only about 15 minutes. Met my mother because yesterday when I was at her house fixing their computer, she was asking what I want for Christmas. Honestly? I told her a gift cert to Curvy Girl, or a bookstore. I have no need for anything really other than socks and lounge pants, neither of which she will ever get for me. As I was not feeling 100%, I was not in top form and admitted that I do not have a signature fragrance, nor wear make up (ever). Though she likely knows both of these things, she declared this unacceptable. I agreed to meet Friday morning to pick a fragrance. Wandered the perfume counters, let a Lancôme person put tinted moisturizer on my face, which my mother declared much better than my normal appearance. I told her that I do not have any issues with my own appearance, nor do I feel less self worth due to a lack of make up. The Lancôme person helpfully suggested that my mother was saying that she is embarrassed by my lack of makeup. While the sales person was nice enough prior to that comment, I was done at that and walked to a different counter. The one fragrance person was especially nice and sweet, not condescending at all. There was also the obligatory euro trash accented parfum counter woman. Mom wanted a trip through fancy dress because I also seem to need a cocktail dress for all of the cocktail parties I do not attend? I was hoping to get to a NYE party at some point, but it probably won't be this year. I left with a different scent on each wrist to test them on my skin. The rest of the day passed uneventfully. I ended up taking a late nap and thought I'd have problems falling asleep. Not so. Fell asleep quickly and snored bad enough that Corky moved to another bed which she claims was too hard. My bed is too soft, so I'm hoping we can get one just right at some point.

Slept in and woke up feeling like shit. Corky made breakfast and I got some cold meds into my system. We went shopping most of the afternoon, once the rain let up. Did a bunch of laundry, and Corky cleaned the kitchen and bathroom. Watched movies and had our first fire in the new place.

Feeling much better and did some Christmas shopping. Ran into my mother at the mall, but got so many things done. Also ran into one of Corky's exes and spent time just relaxing at home. Made a recipe found on pinterest and it looked nothing like the pictures, but tasted pretty good, so I am calling it a win.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday it is

Corky had a Dr. Appointment at 11:00 this morning, and wasn't even brought to a room until 12:50. The orthopaedic person she was assigned is not a great Dr. and has a horrible bedside manner. He has done literally nothing to help her back get any better, and it has in fact gotten worse under his care. This entire work accident has been a complete cluster fuck from the beginning. The fall happened because her manager left an empty pallet on the floor - the same floor she backs over while pulling a produce cart. That's just the beginning. She filed it as appropriate with her manager, but he did not file a damned thing for three months. He did nothing to alter her work (heavy lifting), during that time, and it only got worse. Once workman's comp was involved, they sent her to a Dr. a month later. That Dr. got her in physical therapy, which was working except for her not having any accommodations at work, so at best it was zero sum. Her back felt great after PT, until she went to work later the same day or the next day. After weeks of PT with no gain, she was taken off of physical labor and placed on desk work and referred to the Orthopedic guy. He told her to wait for 6 weeks and see him again. He cancelled that appointment and rescheduled for today. There is no improvement and her back is worse because of a dearth of PT during the last couple of months. Now he wants her to get an epidural, NOT see chiropractor, and come back in 6 more weeks. She is calling the original workers comp doctor to get another opinion.
And after a weekend when she was so incredibly supportive, I had no reference of how to accept the support, I am now at a point where I feel inadequate in supporting her. She is angry and frustrated, and I know why and think these are totally valid feelings in this situation. I have no idea how best to support her. In my most recent long term relationship, I left him alone because that is what he needed. I don't know what she needs and I feel like I am failing because if that and because she is too angry to voice her needs other than to have her back be healthy again...

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

Well this weekend left me emotionally tired and with a sore throat from all the yelling going on.

The Youngest worked a bit on his MAJOR project. Not enough to my mind, but at least he is moving on it. In the attempt to get him to a fiction genre, I got him started on Stephen King's The Green Mile. I remember reading my mom's King books at that age, and falling in love with them. The Oldest claimed he had no homework, but when I checked, he had a ton of work past due as well as several items due Monday. Homework weekend it would be... We watched Close Encounters in the evening before bed, and The Youngest enjoyed it the most, while The Oldest claimed it would give him nightmares.

Morning found us at the kitchen table, eating a delicious breakfast by Corky, and already the fights over homework began. The plea deals, the claims of my evil nature. Yes, I understand that there are things you would rather do. I also would rather not sit here making sure you do your homework. No I am not on a mission to ruin your life by making you do the work you should have already done and turned in. Yes, if you actually use the system you set up, you would get everything turned in on time. No, it will not in fact take you longer to do all of your work. The length of time it has taken you to complain is longer than the actual work involved. I worked on a few projects hanging stuff on the walls of my bedroom, taking down an old computer, rewiring the modem, router, printer, micro cell and gateway, but then The Boys would get distracted and stop working, which meant I was stopping my work to check on them, remind them to stay focused, that they were not finished with it all, check the things they did complete, make them revise those items to their teachers' standards, and signing off once complete. And on it went all day with a short lunch break, and a dinner out celebrating my first boyfriend's 50th birthday. It was a great evening.

And back to the grind of homework battles. Did not leave the house or the sight of The Boys until everything was complete at 2:00. Then grocery shopped, came home and taped The Youngest doing a project for History and English on Mesopotamia. Had a few bloopers, and finished up about time to make dinner. Corky and I also tackled the credenza in my kitchen, reorganizing it to fit the china and crystal and freeing up space for coffee, tea and associated mugs. Got out my blue items and they went in the ledge above the kitchen window where they are nicely set apart by the white shelving and wall. Corky did all of the laundry and folding of clothes during all of this and had The Boys clean their rooms and bathroom, vacuum and mop while I was shopping. There were no screens today and despite The Boys claiming there was absolutely nothing to do, they managed to entertain themselves for the evening, and even woke me up at 8:30 for their bed time. I'd fallen asleep on the couch, nearly as soon as I sat down.

Friday, November 14, 2014

It really has been that kind of week

That week. You know the one. The week you are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. The one you can't wait to end because you need to reset your mojo.

Let's review
No school for The Boys - first day of all day homework fights because they did none / told their father they have none. Spent time sending e-mails to various teachers in order to get the assignments that are missing from The Oldest.

No school for The Boys, again homework battles. Received answers to e-mails from yesterday and Both Boys finished all of the work. The youngest had an appointment with a reading specialist because the ex wanted to find out what is going on with him. The specialist came to the same conclusion I had a while ago. The kid needs to read more, and if we find him a genre he likes, he will. Basically he's fine, and needs to actually read. While out, Corky opened the garage door and it broke beyond my capability to repair. Also, it was stuck open, and I was nervous about leaving my house with it in that condition. Called landlord and was told their handyman would call. Sent follow up e-mail with pictures to say that I have never heard from nor seen this person on the previous instances when repairs were needed, and I would be happy to have it repaired and take the amount off next month's rent. Was called and told he would be here tomorrow afternoon. During the call, landlord said the problem was the spring had broken. I stated that was not the case, what the actual problem was, which was documented in my e-mail, as well as photographed.

Handyman no showed (not surprised), but was stuck at my house all day and had Corky hang there in the evening so I could go to Parent Teacher Conferences. Dun dun duuuuunnnnnn. 2 kids, meeting with 6 different teachers. The comments were in only a couple of threads.
1. The Oldest is brilliant, we wish his grades reflected that.
2. The Oldest spends his class time talking to members of the opposite gender instead of paying attention.
3. The youngest needs to read more which will build his self confidence.

Put on my underwear backward and wore it that way all day - half of the day because I didn't realize, the other half because I was too busy to get undressed. Was on work calls form 8-11 in the morning. Called landlord during the short break between calls. He was surprised that handyman no showed, called him and called back 5 minutes later to say he'd be here in an hour. He showed up 15 minutes before I had to leave to drive on a field trip. Locked up and left him at the house to take the jazz band to a gig. got home after dropping the band back at school, and the garage door is now fixed and operational. In the evening we went out. Had a glass of sparkling wine. Got sucked into the vortex of a particularly needy friend who refuses to own who she is... Tiring and Corky felt ignored. Meanwhile, another woman was flirting with Corky...

Half day for The Boys. Dropped and broke a bottle of Thai peanut sauce in the garage in my search for salad dressing that I swear I bought two weeks ago. Ate the salad anyway because I was famished. The Youngest threw a huge fit because he thought he had a weekend without homework when I reminded him that he still has a MAJOR project due next week, which he has been working on for three weeks already, and while he has done a great job on what he has, he's only about halfway complete, and he needs to give himself the week days to just polish it. It basically has to be complete before he goes to school Monday. You would think I was trying to kill him with a dull spoon for the amount of wailing he was doing. Really. Oscar worthy.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

Beautiful weekend - high temp was 90 F. Busy-ish and just right.

I won tickets earlier in the week to see the opening night of CHICAGO The Broadway Musical on tour in San Francisco. I had to pick up The Boys from school, and meet their father at my house at about the time we got back from the school. Following work, Corky and I had an early local dinner and rode BART to the theater. The cast was amazing. We ran into an old co-worker of Corky's, and his date, and I spied in the audience a former friend, whom had an inappropriate relationship with the ex, while we were still (I thought happily) married. She was with her husband, and I was in no mood to visit... We hightailed it home after the show and into bed late, "All That Jazz" ringing in our ears.

Song of the day was "Cell Block Tango". Slept in and had a light breakfast before heading out grocery shopping and looking at stores for inspiration for this year's Holiday cards. Finding none, we continue to ponder. Attended the local Veterans celebration where the middle school jazz band played a few songs. The Oldest had two solos and they sounded great. The Youngest was left at their father's with another boy a year younger. I do not think 10 and 11 are old enough to be alone for a couple of hours. My opinions mean little to their father however, and fall on deaf or angry ears. And so it goes. Finished the grocery shopping and had some alone time with Corky before heading out to dinner with a couple of friends. They were particularly bickersome, and so it was not as pleasant as it could have been. Spending time when they are like this leads to the inevitable comparison to our relationship and the gratitude we have for one another, and for how unlike them we happen to be (in general and in how we communicate to one another, and how we reflect our relationship to the public). Early bed time felt great.

Song of the day was "Razzle Dazzle". Woke up to my darling Corky making coffee and cinnamon rolls. Delicious. Also, spent some time cuddling in bed before getting up and ready for the NOH8 photo shoot in San Francisco. Picked up the boys and headed out to the city. We arrived at the time it began and only had to wait about an hour before having our pictures taken, first Corky and I, and then with The Boys. Met a couple of friends there and had a late lunch, then wandered Union Square for a bit, dessert, more wandering then home. The Boys have Monday and Tuesday off of school, and of course did ZERO homework during their stay at their father's. So as usual, it is up to me to be the strict one and make them do all their work over the next two days. I also know they didn't sleep with any particular schedule, so I get to do that too...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

In The School Zone - video

This was filmed (or shot on my iPhone) on Tuesday afternoon, right at pick-up time. I live across the street from a school and am often trapped in my driveway by people who couldn't possibly care any less for anything other than themselves. I will be occasionally posting these types of things, as I am now blind to the everyday mundane idiocy, but the outstanding acts of selfishness still strike me as odd.

Following this, I had to turn the wheel all the way to the left to avoid collision. The driver was clueless, windows up, likely music blaring... I didn't tape that part because I had to use both hands to drive.

This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, during garbage pick up in my neighborhood:

Only a bit into the red zone. Parked. In front of my garbage cans. Was thinking I'd empty them into the open window, but luckily they were both empty.

Am formulating a plan of action. Do I go over to the driver side and knock on the window to nicely ask the person to move out of my driveway? Do I ask if they are smelling burnt toast? Do I start photographing license plates and submitting to the police? I need a solution that won't mar my karma, so I am writing about it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Monday started good

Late Sunday night, I found out that NOH8 is doing another shoot in San Francisco this weekend, and I want Corky to come with me. I was hoping The Boys could come too, which their father agreed to today, as long as their images are not used for advertising (which they are not). In the morning I found out that I'd won tickets to see Chicago the musical! Free B-Way tix? YESSSSSSSS!!!!! So it looks like a bunch of trips to SF this weekend, but for totally awesome reasons.

Of course, my winning high could not be sustained all day and into the night. After school brought monumental homework battles, tears, shouting, crying, whining and arguments worthy of a Supreme Court briefing. During the arguments, I fielded a call from a friend, missed two calls from Corky, and was being peppered by so many questions from all places, that I was unable to then also put together a decent dinner for us. So I escaped to In-n-Out, picked up food and came home. During the drive, I called my mom. and then called Corky as I'd been short with her on the phone. I just wanted someone to talk me off the cliff edge, tell me it would be okay. What I got was an irritated gf, who accused me of rewarding The Boys with take out food after they behaved so badly. I explained this was not for their benefit, but mine. I was going to seriously lose my mind if I had to add any one more thing to think about and keep track of, which included dinner. I was already on The Youngest for 6 separate things due this week, from the spelling test and vocab due tomorrow, the write up for a story they are reading due Wed, a Middle East test due Thursday, and a science study guide (the class in which he just obtained an F quarter grade) due Friday. I am working on getting his week set up and splitting up the larger tasks and assignments. He has a major assignment due in a couple of weeks, so I am also getting him to do some research each day. That would have been plenty, but The Oldest determined that he does not know how to structure a complete sentence, and thus I was dictating (from his own notes and science study guide) complete sentences, which I had to remind him to capitalize, and appropriately punctuate. That was after the temper tantrum, and his insistence that he had no idea complete sentences were required (despite it being written on the study guide), Then his attestation that his teacher clarified that complete sentences were in fact not required, That was followed by my insistence that he write them anyway because he was no longer going to have the option or choice of doing the bare minimum. My requirement is complete sentences, even if he could get his teacher to tell me otherwise. Even then, he tried to get away with a few complete sentences, so I had to have him keep going back to actually write them out. In between this was me proof reading The Youngest's essay, adding clarifying questions, and reading those, adding follow up questions and sending him back to do the complete work ,instead of the bare minimum.

It was exhausting, and I was pretty upset with my gf, as I am sure she is certain that I am caving in on giving treats to The Boys, but there are days when my sanity is actually of utmost importance. I need my strength, because I know without a doubt that this is not the end of the battles. This is only the tip of the iceberg. It is absolutely going to get more difficult before it gets easier.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up (and my 700th post)

Another rather busy weekend, though not as bad as the previous two.

Halloween in the US. The Boys chose to spend the night at their father's. Corky and I went to a party at one of my friend's. It was okay, but got considerably better once we had some music to dance to. We were going to leave at 9:30, but ended up dancing past midnight! We had a few Moscow Mule's and a bunch of food. There was another party we were going to head to, but thought it might be too late by the time we got out of the other party. The theme for the party was good guys/bad guys, so we dressed as western heroes - I was Annie Oakley, and Corky was a white hat hero (Wyatt Earp, etc).

Corky and I slept in. It was awesome to sleep like that after the week I'd had. We had pancakes and home fries for brunch, and The Boys came home at 11. Got The Youngest to organize the papers from the deepest recesses of his backpack before a friend came over, and The Oldest warmed up for a band performance in the late afternoon. Corky visited her dad, and I relaxed and did laundry. Went to the band review across the street to watch The Oldest perform the National Anthem, and watched a couple of bands before heading home for dinner. The Boys and I went back to catch the 3 high school bands I wanted to see, and the larger bands were so impressive! Saw friends and relatives and was able to visit and say hi. Came home and we all headed to bed. Corky was irritated because she wanted a family movie night, and I get it, but that is not what we do on weekends. In fact, it is rare that I am hanging about at home due to band events. And yes, there are band events over the next two weeks.

Woke up after 11 hours of sleep ELEVEN hours. Felt Soooooo nice to sleep that long. Corky was making breakfast - egg sandwiches/egg muffins and sausage and potatoes. Very filling, and helped get me enough protein to handle this week's homework battle. Once homework was completed (hours later), I had The Boys clean their rooms and bathroom. During homework, I washed The Dogs, did laundry, changed out linens, and took a shower. Corky went home to get ready for the week. I did some shopping in the afternoon, came home and made a lasagna with shredded zucchini and whole wheat noodles. The Boys liked this one better than when I sliced the zucchini in. While dinner was in the oven I finish sanded the end table, and hopefully I'll be able to seal it tomorrow.