26 August 2009

We are Winners!

No, not Powerball, dang it! I will however be buying a ticket this afternoon for that faint hope.

A friend of ours is on a winning softball team and her team is headed to Madison for the ASANA Softball World Series! Woo Hoo!

Of course, they have to hold a fundraiser in order to get there. So she texts all of us to ask if we’ll join her team at Hot Flash (a big lesbo dance in Portland). Well, we don’t mind going out and dancing, and for a good cause? Oh yeah.

We got there and bought raffle tickets and didn’t win. Looked all over for our friend and didn’t see her. She finally showed up (after a game and in her dusty uniform). She said that her team wasn’t involved in this raffle but were running a separate one and did we want to buy a ticket? T and I gave her $30 and said, sure put us down for however many that buys.

After that we just danced and drank and socialized and had a good time. I forgot all about the raffle. It was held yesterday and we got an excited phone call from the team captain letting us know that we had won. Wow! Not only had we won, but we won the grand prize! Holy smokes! We get two tickets to see Bonnie Raitt in a couple of weeks and a variety of other great stuff! How cool is that?!

In the meantime, Go Swingers!

20 August 2009

The Daughter's boyfriend

So, last night my daughter called. We chatted about inconsequentials for a few minutes and then she broke the news that they were not going to move back to the Pacific Northwest after all. Instead they were going to move to Dallas. As in Texas. As in Dallas fucking Texas and not Portland or Seattle.

I am so disappointed.

A few months ago she called to say that they had decided to move back to the northwest, probably Seattle. I was ecstatic! So was she! She and the boyfriend are living in Des Moines. Yeah, the one in Iowa. Why, you may ask? Well, the boyfriend got a job there so of course she went with him. They had been living in a Seattle suburb and he couldn’t find a job that he liked that also paid him what he thought was an adequate salary. He does some kind of IT work. Thinks he’s a big shot. So, since he got turned down for the few jobs he deemed worthy of receiving his application, he contacted a recruiter to find him a job. In Des Moines, Iowa, because he has family there. His favorite brother and his least favorite brother live in Des Moines and now his mom does too. So, he wanted to be near his family and wanted Zoe away from hers.

Of course the recruiter was delighted to find him a job in Des Moines. I get the idea that few people are clamoring to move to the center of the country.

So off they go. Yes, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth round here. My parents and I drove up to Bellevue to help them pack the apartment and load the truck. He was of no use whatsoever. Sat around complaining about how hard it is to move yourself. As if he would know since he wasn’t lifting a finger. No, he left it to me and my seventy something year old father to do the heavy lifting. Oh, he has a bad back… or a bad knee… or both, probably, since he is morbidly obese. Anyway! Off they went.

They stayed in Des Moines for about a year. Then he was dissatisfied with his job and found one in Lansing, Michigan. They upped sticks and moved to Lansing. For a total of six months. Then, guess what, he didn’t like his job so they moved back to Des Moines. They’ve been there about a year, again, this time.

Now he has found a job in Dallas. He spent a lot of years in Dallas. That’s where his ex-wife lives (if she is truly an ex, my suspicion is that they aren’t really divorced). He has friends in Dallas. My daughter? No. She doesn’t have friends in Dallas, she doesn’t have family in Dallas, she doesn’t have a job in Dallas. She doesn’t have shit in Dallas. All she’s got is this lame-ass loser boyfriend in Dallas.

It’s just breaking my heart to see her following this guy around the country. What happened to her dreams? Her goals? She is 25 and he is about 10 years older. They have been together for about 4 years. I can’t tell you one single good thing about him. He is ugly inside and out. He is one of the most selfish people I have ever met. Add to that lazy, cheap with everyone but himself, arrogant, patronizing. Oh, ok, here’s a good thing: he is too selfish to want children. Thankfully. So when she wakes up and gets away from him she won’t be tied to him by that connection.

I could write reams about how thoroughly I loathe this person, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that if he dropped dead tomorrow, I would not shed a tear. Instead, I am shedding many tears about my daughter wasting her young adulthood on someone unworthy. I’m shedding tears over her dropping out of college to trail around after him. I hate the fact that she is squandering her precious self on someone who doesn’t appreciate what a treasure she is. It’s breaking my heart. And it kills me that there is nothing I can do about it.

19 August 2009

It Never Ends

Just when I think the family onslaught is over, something (someone) totally unexpected pops up.

My brother and his gang left on Saturday. Yay! Then, out of the clear blue sky, T’s long lost half brother blows into town. Turns out his grandmother had died and he wanted to come and pay his respects. He took a bus from Florida to Washington ~ yeah, Washington State. That’s a long damn way.

So, long story medium, he’s out of work and T has a side job that she wants to finish quickly (a bonus for early completion). She has hired him to work with her for the week. That’s all fine, he’s a hard worker and it’s a nice change for her to work with someone instead of on her own. But, he is making noises like he wouldn’t mind sticking around for a month or two to “help her out”. Well, there is not enough work to go around. T has been scraping by, just barely making her bills every month. Honestly, if she wasn’t shacked up with me she’d be in trouble financially. There’s no way that she can keep herself and the old boy busy.

Thankfully, she told him from the get go that he couldn’t stay with us. Yes, we have the space, and yes, we just had my brother and family here, but we are tired. She told him that everyone gets on her nerves and she rather work with him than have him stay. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Because, o.m.g, the man is a talker.

One a side note, he has been telling her some interesting family stories about the old days. Wowser! Talk about ammunition! She’s got some good stuff on her sister now.

I think what we need is a weekend away. It’ll take some organizing, and some money, but it would be worth it. We are both tired and frazzled and need a break. A little sea air would feel good right about now. Excuse me, the beach is calling!

14 August 2009


My brother, his wife and their 3 kids are visiting this week. Good times! Well, reasonable times, anyway. They are good houseguests, all things considered, partly because they are spending most of their time with my parents. In fact, my brother and his wife and the youngest kid, a 6 year old boy, are staying at my house and the two girls (ages 12 and 10) are staying with my parents. It’s more of an adventure for the girls that way, and one of them is allergic to cats. We’ve got three.

The days have been going something like this: I get up at 4:45 and take a shower. My brother gets up at 4:55 and goes downstairs to work remotely from his laptop. I get dressed and go downstairs to make the coffee. T gets up and takes her shower. I drink coffee and eat toast and read the parts of the paper that I like for about a half hour. Make my lunch, go upstairs to brush my teeth. T gives me a ride to work. In the afternoon, we get home, have a beer and a cigarette, pet the pets, do a little of this and that. We make and eat dinner. About 8:30 or 9:00 the family shows up, chats for a few minutes and then they go to bed. Very low impact house guests!

Still, having extra people in the house is an exercise in patience and tolerance. First thing in the morning my brother is sitting at the dining room table where I am accustomed to sitting ~ by. my. self. Thankfully, he doesn’t talk much ~ I really prefer not to carry on a conversation until I’ve had a cup or two of coffee. After that, fine. Also, he and his son leave the toilet seat up which drives T crazy. I say better up than peed on. Still, it’s bugging her.

They are also using my car for the week. That’s ok with me because we have two vehicles and I can also take public transportation to and from work. It’s just occasionally inconvenient. But not really a big deal. A funny difference between the girlfriend and me: I would never, ever, park in someone’s driveway unless specifically told that I should. She (and all of her family) would rather park in the driveway even if it blocks the car that’s already there. Even if, like my driveway, the only spot to park in was at a ridiculous slant that makes getting in and out of the car a contortionist’s trick. The first night my brother had the car there was no parking in front of the house so he parked around the corner. T actually went out and moved the car ~ parked it in the driveway. Where she thinks it belongs. We all have our little idiosyncrasies, I guess. My brother and I were raised by a parking fiend. Our dad is a nut about courteous parking. We were never allowed to park in front of someone else’s house. We had to orchestrate our comings and goings so that all of the cars were in the driveway or in front of the house. It makes me crazy when T’s brother comes over and has their mom in the car and parks on the slope of my driveway. First of all, don’t park in the damned driveway, second of all, it’s extremely difficult for your seventy-something year old mother to get in and out at that angle! Argh!

I’ve enjoyed hanging out with my sister-in-law. We spent some quality time, without the kids or my brother, going to fabric stores. Of course they have fabric stores in northern Virginia, but she wanted a variety, something a little different. Their daughters compete in gymnastics and she actually makes their leotards. She is quite a seamstress! I, well, I am a quilter and not a fancy one. But, I found lots of good stuff in the remnants section. Don’t tell T how much I spent; she would be shocked! I need to incorporate it into the fabric collection which will make it pretty much undetectable… not that I need to justify or rationalize my fabric expenditures, I’d just rather not discuss them at all!

I’ve enjoyed seeing the family ~ and yes, I’ll enjoy waving good bye. One thing that leaves me a little wistful is that my daughter wasn’t able to come out this summer. We had the Virginians last summer as well, and Zoe came out for a quick weekend visit. That was a year ago and I haven’t seen her since. Too long! I’ve already started campaigning for one of the upcoming winter holidays. I don’t care if it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, I want her at home for one of them. Or both! Or moving back in to her old room! I may be getting a little ahead of myself there, but I really would like that :-) At least, I would like it if she moved back without the boyfriend. But, that’s another story and one I don’t want to get started on now.

So, I think we’ll all have dinner together tonight and they are leaving on Saturday and then we will have our house back. Back to naked hot tubbing! Back to showering together! Back to the toilet seat being down all the time! Ah, family ~ gotta love ‘em!

05 August 2009

This is why I like my job

Sometimes, I see the better side of people instead of the worse. Today, I was walking down a corridor and passed a mom, grandma and young toddler. The toddler was fussy and wanted to be carried. The mom reached down and picked her up. Then the youngster wanted down. Up, down, up, down. Finally, to distract the kiddo, the mom and the grandma started singing “She’ll be coming round the mountain” at full volume with the little girl chiming in. Mind you, we’re in a public hallway connecting a couple of big hospital wards. Most people walking by just ignored them and carried on with their business.

It made me smile. And sing.