not forgetting..

I haven’t forgotten again. just doing lots of things. it was the school holidays so that kind of took a lot of my time. I have been using the time when I am waiting in the afternoons for Abigail and Kristian to come out of school to write these entries. (one might think that would be just a few minutes, but one would be wrong. it’s usually at least 15 or 20 minutes once you take into account how early you have to get to school to be able to get a decent park.)

the school holidays went quite smoothly overall. the first week we had a few things to do and the second week my mum was away (at the grands again) which I was kind of dreading since I would have no one to talk to. no one adult, that is. but we managed. we had wanted to try putting together my mum’s new pool during the holidays but for whatever reason we didn’t really get a chance to start until Thursday of the first week. then it turned out that the new one is quite a bit bigger than the old one so we couldn’t just put it on top of where the old one was. then it started looking like rain and we rushed to get all the sand moved and covered up before it got washed away. I didn’t feel brave enough to attempt doing anything on it with only myself and three small persons so we just left it alone. today is the first chance we have had to get back to it. my mum and I dismantled about half of the brick ‘retaining wall’ that surrounds the bed of sand that the pool sits on so that we can make it bigger. some of the bricks we could just pull out but some of them we had to whack at with a hammer and chisel to loosen the mortar holding them together. dora thought it was very interesting and sat a lot closer to the swinging hammer than she really should have but no one hit her. the chickens also decided to watch once they realised that sometimes when we move a brick, there are bugs under it which we will throw at them to swallow whole. (seriously, they do. I don’t know what the point of eating something is if you aren’t even gonna let it touch the inside of your mouth. beak. whatever.)

daniel started a new job last week. it is a lot (a LOT) closer to home and he finishes half an hour earlier than he did at the previous job so he is getting home a lot earlier now which is awesome. on Friday evening we went out to dinner with several other of his new colleagues and their other halves. (the email about the dinner said ‘partners‘ but you know I keep thinking the wrong thing when I hear that. turns out none of them are gay.)

This entry has been a casualty of blogus interruptus, which is an ancient Latin term meaning 'life got in the way.'

But. Now that I am uploading this later it seems like a good link into this article I read recently. Why I Refer to My Husband, My Romantic Partner, and My Life Companion as My Mate. The reason the author did that was because basically a lesbian friend of hers asked her to not say “my husband” until she (and everyone else) was legally able to say “my wife.” (There is a lot more amusing stuff in the article about the confusion all these different labels caused, you should read it.) So that’s a fair enough request I suppose but the reason that I found it interesting is because I have always been much more inclined to go the other way. I recall talking to one specific friend during school about it, about my mother’s wife.
“But they’re not really married…”
“Yes, they are,” I would say. “They had a wedding.”
“Yeah, but it wasn’t REAL…”

No, of course, it was all in my imagination.

My friend eventually agreed but I think that was more to humour me and shut me up than me actually having changed her mind. But even her choosing to stop arguing against my point is a step in the right direction.

they don’t care

The other afternoon, Abigail and I were going to the park and at the end of the road near our house, there were a group of children playing on the road. They were completely oblivious and didn’t get out of the way until the car was almost right up to them. (I was going plenty slow so I didn’t hit them.) As they took their time getting out of the way I made some rude comments about it being a road, for cars, and how they shouldn’t be there.
Abigail said, “They don’t care.”
And I said, “Well, their parents should!”
“That’s what I mean,” she said. “Their parents don’t care if they play on the road.”

I’ve had this anecdote related to me a couple of times. My dad was a police officer. Apparently if he ever pulled over families in cars and the children weren’t wearing seat belts, instead of just telling the adults off and fining them, he took a somewhat different approach, which was probably quite effective but also probably not very officially approved of.
It would begin with an enquiry to the family about whether or not these parents loved their children. Invariably they confirmed that of course they loved their children, only for him to then challenge the logic of parents who claim to love their children but in fact do not care enough to take the simple measure of making sure they wear their seatbelts so as to reduce the risk to them in case of an accident.
It’s not really an argument that you can come up with a good response to; and much more effective than simply issuing a fine is knowing that every time in the future that you allow your kids to go without a seatbelt, they are going to be thinking about the day that a police man – a trustworthy authority figure – told them that you didn’t love them enough to do something for them that could be the difference between life and death.

Perhaps those kids playing on the road just need a police person to come and ask their parents why they want their children to be hit by a car. Because surely if they didn’t want that to happen, they wouldn’t allow their children to use the road as a recreational facility.

so many thoughts..

so little .. understanding. I thought I was doing fairly well this morning, and then I wasn’t.

I don’t understand why people, organisations, do things knowing that it is going to make things difficult for someone. It is something I have always struggled to understand, really. Why people do or say things that will have a negative effect on others, whether it is making something inconvenient or inefficient or something that hurts a person physically or emotionally. Especially when causing that reaction is the primary reason for doing it. Why? What do they gain by it? If I do something that I know is going to cause difficulty for someone, I feel bad and apologetic. If I upset someone, I feel fricking horrible. When you have a choice, why would you possibly choose to do that?

Once someone told me something about my Dad because she thought it would upset me to know this thing. I don’t even know if it was true or not, even if it was it was so far from being something that I would be bothered by that I have to wonder how this person who should have known me could possibly think it would. But there was no point in telling me this except to upset me. He had been dead for like 10 years by then, it was inconsequential, it’s not like I could do anything about it if it had bothered me. The only reason to say this thing to me was to hurt me. And that is why it did. And apparently this gave some degree of pleasure or satisfaction to her.

This entry fell victim to cognis interruptus.

crime

It seems kind of like it has become almost a crime to be sick, or weak.. anything less than the perfect example of a human being functioning at 110% capacity. It is ok for children to get sick, I think, but once you reach a certain point it is not ok anymore. I think that point is once you go to high school. Whenever Stephanie is sick, her school sends me rude, accusatory text messages which say “Your child isn’t at school, therefore you are a bad parent because you either a) don’t know what they are up to when you shod or b) know that aren’t at school and are ok with that which is clearly ruining any and all future prospects for success they may have. Please call 1234 5678 to explain yourself immediately. Or else.” I didn’t copy it from my phone verbatim, but that’s pretty close.

And adults are not supposed to get sick either. Though we may have the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ in our legal system, it certainly doesn’t work that way anywhere else. You read articles about people overusing doctors and going there when they have run-of-the-mill things like a cold or flu or random throwing up virus that will go away after a few days but maybe part of the reason for that is because if you are sick, it is not enough to say you are sick and expect that your word has any value. If you are sick, your absence jeopardised the livelihood of your work place and the jobs of everyone else there, and by extension, their family’s and their children’s safety and security. And if you’re going to be inconsiderate enough to do that then you need

Video

morning wood explained

Certain phenomena and experiences restricted to the male of the species are quite fascinating to me, primarily because there’s really no comparable equivalent. Like morning wood. Or urinal etiquette and behaviour. How absolutely painful it is when they are kneed in the nuts. (It has been my lifelong dream to knee someone there so I can see how much it hurts but I have yet to find someone willing to let me try it.)

I found this video that explains it in a scientifical way. Very interesting. I like that whiteboard stop motion too.

letters

When I was a child, we took several long (interstate) car trips and one of the ways that we alleviated the boredom was by playing an alphabet game that my grandmother taught us. Basically you have to find signs or license plates starting with each letter sequentially through the alphabet. It has to be the first letter of the first word on the sign. Just finding them all off a list would be pretty easy but since you have to do it in alphabetical order it makes it more difficult and especially more frustrating when you see a sign for x-rays or XXXX when you’re only up to F.

When we moved back to Queensland and my mum and Neil both got their cars registered, they had consecutive number plates and there also happened to be a lot of that three letter combination driving around out local area. So they started a game where we had a list of all thousand number combos from 000 to 999 and we would cross them off if we saw one. Each of us had a list in our cars and every now and then we would bring them in to update against the master list on my mum’s computer and get a new copy. We never quite got all thousand marked off but there were lots. Neither of them still have those number plates anymore.

Probably as a result of these things I am always taking notice of the license plates of cars around me on the road. When my mum was having chemotherapy and then radiation and we were driving to the hospital and back lots, I had a mini-game I would play where I tried to see a plate from each state and territory. It’s fairly common to see them from NSW and Victoria around here and I think chances would be good I could see those both if I was only going to the local shops. WA and SA are much less common and it is really rare to see them from Tasmania, ACT or NT. I’ve only ever got the complete 7 once but I think there have been a couple of times when I got 6.

I find personalised and vanity plates interesting and sometimes I wonder the story behind them. Some I have seen recently are NTPRISE which was quite cool, as there were also some scifi type stickers on it and a decal declaring that it was “Mum’s Spaceship”. Though that one left me wondering why it said ‘spaceship’ and not ‘starship’. We have seen one that says R2D2 and several times we have seen MR KIM (I think my mum had a picture of him on Flickr) and that usually prompts someone to tell him to be at ease before he sprains something. The person who has TOLD U is really not a nice person because it leaves you forever wondering who they told and what they told them. I decided that HEXTIC have six children and their lives are very crazy.

When I see the normal not personalised type of number plates, my mind always translates them into TLAs (which is not a plate I have ever seen). So some of these I see and think they are fairly cool, such as FTW or FML. There are lots more that are fairly innocuous meanings such as HUD and LBW. I am concerned when I see FTL that someone will injure themselves by actually trying to go faster than light. There are quite a lot of LGB driving around this area as well but I don’t imagine that all of them actually are lesbian, gay or bisexual. My mum’s car is DPN which I have read people talk about when they are not hopeless at knitting. I feel sympathetic for the people driving around with cars labelled as POS but even that is not as embarrassing, I think, as it must be for the people driving around advertising that they are TTC (though hopefully not while they are driving) or telling people that they’ve had an IUI or a SVD. It’s a little bit TMI.

herschel

Yesterday we had to take a computer to Daniel’s work. To get there we have to go across the city and skirt the edge of the CBD. There is a street there called Herschel St and there is a sign pointing the way to go for it. Whenever I go past there and see that sign I get a funny little picture in my head of a person, whoever it is that is responsible for naming streets, sitting there thinking about what to call this street and then imagining the conversations between passersby with some amusement. In the street namer’s imagination, there are two people driving past and one of them says to the other, “Herschel Street? That’s a weird name.” And then the other person says, completely deadpan of course, “Yeah. That’s who discovered Uranus.”
And the street namer sighs in contended satisfaction of having provided everyone with such an opportunity for lame humour, thus brightening the world.

Today my grandmother is having an operation, basically an appendectomy but I think maybe more too, can’t remember. There is a thing with her ovary too and I am not sure if they are going to do something to that while they are there. My mum went to stay with them on Saturday so she can help after my grandmother comes out of the hospital. And then she is going to stay for a bit more since it is almost my grandfather’s birthday. 85. Last night we had Dory sleep over because she gets very sad when Mum goes away. She is a funny dog. She is fascinated by Zaphod. He was sitting under our barbeque which he likes to do because it is outside and the barbeque has a cover on it, so no one can see him. If we want to find him we have to lift the side of the cover and look, but obviously he didn’t take into account that some creatures have a better sense of smell than pathetic humans. So Dora was thrilled that she found him, although terrified, because he is after all a cat. And he was terrified because he is terrified of all other living creatures, so he was hissing and she was yelping and it was all rather annoyingly noisy.

She is a nice snuggler though. She gets right in under the covers and cuddles up to your side. I think if she is really cold she curls right up fully under the doona but sometimes she is very person-like and has her head out on the pillow next to ours. There is a lot of cute. When she first stayed with us ages ago she was obviously confused about why she was there and Mum was not and she would barely eat anything at all. She must know now that she will go home and Mum will come back soon too because she no longer does the hunger strike thing.

waiting

If I cut off mid sentence or mid paragraph, it will be because I am writing this while I am sitting in the car waiting for Abigail and Kristian to come out of school.

I have been having these appointments with a place that is supposed to help people get to being able to look for and hopefully find work. Though I do not “officially” have a disability, it is not the standard “let’s rewrite your resume and now you should magically have a job” type of place, it is one that is specifically geared towards helping people who for whatever reason have additional challenges making it harder to reach that goal. Gotta love the double standards in the “system”, in that they are happy to refer me to a disability job search helper while their social worker guy is content to sit there and listen to me struggle through explaining my brain and then tell me there is nothing wrong with me.

The lady I see at this place is nice; though she is a talker and it is small talk, meaningless utter rubbish with lots of positivity and bullshit and bleh. I suppose she has to find something to talk to me about when I have to go there every two weeks. One time I saw a psychologist who works there instead, so that she could assess my needs – she does that for the crazy people and there are different people that figure out what kind of help people need if they have like a physical disability or something. Though it was exhausting once again trying to articulate the contents of my mind, the good thing is that she agreed that I do indeed have some crazy and arranged a referral to a psychiatrist to try to help that a bit, hopefully so that I can figure out how to more easily handle things that usually make me want to hide under the bed. (I usually just hide in the bed because tall overweight grown ups are difficult to get under the bed easily.)

I have the first appointment with the shrink on the 18th of August and I am trying to stay hopeful that this guy will actually be able to help me instead of going all Scientology on me.

Some days I feel like I will manage and I will learn how to manage the world. And some days I … don’t. Sometimes I feel so hopeless and scared and inadequate and that makes me feel worried that I will never be able to be and do everything I wish I could, the wife I think Daniel deserves and the mother I want my children to have. That makes my eyes burn and my chest feel tight and I have to start making serious effort to distract myself from myself. Sometimes that works.

One day soon I am hoping that I can see a chiropractor who can do some magical clicky shite on my back and make it hurt less. I need to figure out when I can a) afford to go and b) fit it in with my Mum’s plans. She keeps going away to stay with my grandparents, who are not just people anymore, they are Old People. They get sick and have operations and it is all quite depressing.