Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Who calls me Doni?

I realized this morning I'm not hearing that lately. Jim always called me Doni. I almost never heard him say Donita. So there's another little piece that's missing.

Dad was the one who started that. I've been Doni to him since forever, except he spells it Donnie. Mom never, ever called me Doni. She had a very specific way of saying my name. She pronounced each syllable distinctly. My siblings never picked up the Doni thing. Drew called me Dita when he was little. I had one little cousin call me Dotinee. When I first worked with Steve Caspar he called me Donahtee. On the first day of school my teachers always called me Denise. My teachers couldn't read.

All my Northern California friends call me Doni. Lorraine calls me Don. Jeff shortened it to Do. I'm disappearing! Bro-in-law David calls me Doni. I like hearing him say it. It's comfortable.

Anyway, it just kind of hit me. During all my years with Jim I heard Doni many times a day. Now it's down to almost zero.

When I get some grandkids I'll have them call me Doni. Grandma ain't a good fit for me. My grandmothers were Nana and Granny. I'll be Doni.

Clear liquids

And nothing butt. I'm prepping for a colonoscopy tomorrow. I'm staying home today. Gotta catch up on the paper work anyway.

Had a nice walk with Jeff yesterday. We had a deep but lively conversation about.... colonoscopys. We walked down Victoria. On the way there I stopped by Walgreen's and bought a knee brace. It didn't seem to me like it could actually help but it did. My knee didn't pop until we were almost back at Hope, and then it was only a little pop. The knee brace felt weird but I forgot about it after a while.

Looking forward to the weekend. Sunday is the first meeting of the Riverside Ukulele Circle. We're meeting in a coffee place downtown. We know that at least four of us will show up, probably more like eight.

I'm hungry. Gonna go get me some delicious chicken broth.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Catching up

Sunday morning I rode my bike to the grocery store. I loves my bikey. Sunday evening I went to open mike with the Odien boys. I had fun with them but the open mike was stinky...literally! The guy sitting next to me reeked of cigarettes and alcohol. I couldn't stand it. I had to get up and go stand in the back. Most of the performers that night kind of sucked. What didn't suck were three kids who were students of a guy who teaches classical guitar. The kids were awesome.

Yesterday Stacey gave me a fun project. Their softball league is having an opening ceremonies event where each team brings some kind of gift basket and they raffle them off as a fundraiser. The baskets are judged on coolness and the best one will win jackets for their team. The team mom for Brendan's team had been on Survivor so she thought a Survivor Barbeque basket would be fun. She bought a small kettle barbeque, some tools, a beach chair, charcoal, tiki torches, Survivor t-shirts, snacks, a fishing pole, a lantern and some other islandy trinkets. Stacey and Audra poked around in the barnyard and came up with this really great old wooden box. It's pretty well trashed but perfect for the Survivor gift basket. We cleaned it up, added wheels on the bottom to make transporting it easier and stenciled SURVIVOR on the sides. It was a great start. This box looked like a crate that washed up on a beach somewhere.

Stacey had brought islandy trinkets to decorate it with. There was some fish net, plastic crabs and a big tiki mask. The barbeque box and beach chair fit perfectly into the wooden box. I stuck the tiki torches in the corners and draped the fishnet between them. I affixed the tiki mask to some stakes and screwed it to the box so it was high between the torches. I scanned one of the t-shirts and the barbeque box. I cut out the photo of the barbeque and burned the edges and stuck it on the crate. Then I cut out the t-shirt scans and glued them on like they were shipping labels. Then I arranged the rest of the stuff on the box.

Man, if this thing doesn't win we'll know the contest is rigged. It looked AWESOME, dude! I took some photos with my phone. I need a kid to help me download them and post one here. Stacey had to leave so I did most of it myself. I had so much fun with it! I haven't really done anything creative since Jim died so this was great therapy.

Yesterday was HazMat day. Yahoo! They took all the oil and dangerous chemicals and car batteries. Yay! The chutney barrel that was full of spent oil is no longer blocking my back gate. Dede had taken Dad up to San Luis Obispo so he wouldn't be here when the HazMat guys were working. Drew was here to help for much of the day. It's a huge relief getting that taken care of.

Happy Birthday, BABoR!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A conversation with Jim

I was sitting here in the studio doing some computering when I paused and took a look around. This room is full of Jim. Understatement, yeah, I know. But I looked around at all his music and sound equipment and his computers and books and trinkets and realized it's all so static. Usually this stuff moves around. When Jim had a gig or when we would spend an afternoon playing everything would get shifted a bit. So I started talking to him about it. We covered several subjects.

Then I started remembering those first moments when he had his stroke. He was sitting right here. I went through the whole thing up to when they sedated him in the ER. I was remembering what I was feeling and thinking during that whole time. I wasn't thinking about the possibility that he wouldn't make it. Well, I was just a little but it was such a foreign thought that I kind of pushed it aside. It was all about going through a series of moments and wondering what the next one would bring. I remember thinking this is my now, this is my now. Like I had to remind myself that the whole thing was real.

It is real. Jim's stuff hasn't moved. He's gone.

And another little bit of peaceful sadness has lifted. I just keep saying, "Ok."

Friday, February 23, 2007

Eyes not covered.

Crapola. This morning I went to Kaiser for an eye exam and they told me I'm not covered for vision care. Why didn't they tell me that when I made the friggin appointment? I wasn't feeling all that zippy this morning so when I was told I wasn't covered I almost started to cry. I wasn't expecting that. I've gotten pretty sensitive about hearing the words "not covered by insurance". So, now I have to find an eye doctor. Anne, how much does an eye exam cost?

This afternoon I took the bike out for its maiden voyage. I rode to Ramona to help serve lunch to the band kids. Then I rode to Home Depot to get some keys made and to buy some cable that I can attach to the bike frame to keep anyone from stealing the seat. It comes off easily and since people will steal just about anything for no good reason I figured I'd better lock that puppy down. When I came out of Home Depot someone had smudged some crap on my mirror. Jeez...

Man, I haven't ridden a bike in about 10 years. Ah, traffic. It was a good ride. I feel like I've had a decent workout. Yep, getting the bike was the right thing to do.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I'm getting a bike

I've been thinking about it for a while. Nancy just sent me a note suggesting I get one. Really, it just makes sense. So, I'm goin' bike shoppin'!

Ooh, now I'm shivering with an-ti-cip................PATION!

I always enjoyed having a bike. I used to ride to work when I was pregnant with Paige, with Lindsay in a bike seat on the back! What pleasant days those were. And I'm sure that's why I recovered so quickly after giving birth.

I used to ride all over Riverside. I rode to RCC every day and once a week I'd ride to Rubidoux to clean house for John Ross, the choral director at RCC. (There are at least 6 of you readers who are now going, "Whaaaaa???") I rode with my banjo to take lessons at that music shop near the corner of Magnolia and Van Buren. Can't remember the name. I rode to the Odien's to go swimming. I rode to Jim's, to Dean's, to Ramona, to UCR, to The Wherehouse, to Licorice Pizza.

Heh! I'm riding down Memory Lane.

I'm getting a bike.

Jonathan Coulton

Last night Lindsay and I went to San Diego to see Jonathan Coulton at the House of Blues. Good show. Just a guy and his guitar. It was great!

We've been listening to him for a few months now. His songs are musically wonderful and very funny. His singing style is sweet and romantic, which is cool because he hits you with lyrics that you just wouldn't expect from your typical balladeer.

When we got into downtown San Diego it was right at rush hour. The narrow streets were absolutely crammed with cars and many, MANY buses. Plus they had things blocked off for their lame-o Mardi Gras celebration. It looked to us like it was just a bunch of drunks on top of trucks and buses all wearing silly hats and beads. There was no way I was going to even try to find a place to park on the street. We used the mondo expensive-o ($20) parking garage.

The show was supposed to start at 7. We decided to have dinner at the House of Blues. When they sat us at our table the manager explained that the show had been bumped back 2 hours. He gave us some lame excuse about Coulton having transportation troubles but we later found out it was because they were serving dinner in the room where he was performing and they wanted to make sure they could get everyone out before the show. Anyway, because of the wait he comped us an appetizer and 2 desserts. So, ok. Lordy we were STUFFED.

After dinner we still had an hour to kill so we went for a walk and checked out the Mardi Gras scene. It was all fenced off. You had to pay twenty bucks to get in so we just peeked through the fence for a few minutes and then left. We went to a nearby mall. Dean, you took me there when I visited you in SD about 20 years ago. This thing looks like Disneyland. We poked around for a little bit and then went back to the HOB. We were almost the first in line. We got front row seats. Heh! I think maybe 30 people actually showed up. Coulton's not that well-known yet. So, it was a very intimate and friendly concert. He had an audience of fans. Sometimes it was almost a sing-along.

Lindsay and Kyle are going to see his show in L.A. tonight. That one doesn't start until 11:00. Too late for me. Going to the show last night was good for me. Must do more of that.

I suggest listening to-

Millionaire Girlfriend
I feel Fantastic
Mandelbrot Set -Jim's favorite
Skull Crusher Mountain
Shop Vac
Code Monkey
and my favorite, First Of May (adults only)

That's a good start.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Heartache, day 2

Bleah. This sucks. I started out ok this morning. Took the car in for an oil change, had lunch at Marie Callender's, went to the grocery store. While I was in the store it kind of enveloped me. That dull emptiness settled in my chest and I had to breathe deep just to get through the shopping trip. If someone had smiled nicely at me I might have lost it. I'm glad I don't have anything else to do today. I can just get comfy and zone out.

This morning I watched The Lion In Winter. Man, I love that movie. I wish we could all go around talking like that. Except without the hostility, of course. Peter O'Toole was one of the guests on that Craig Ferguson taping I went to. I wanted to stand up and say, "You're still a marvel of a man!" Except now he's not. I was worried he was going to fall off the platform and collapse like a pile of twigs.

Ok. It's early but I'm going to get out of these clothes and into the jams.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dull heartache

And a jumpy stomach. They kind of settled in this afternoon. Actually, it started last night. The coldness of those rotten teenagers triggered it, I think. After I had words with that girl I sat by myself at the front of the bus and cried. I was glad it was so dark. It hit me that I'm really on my own. If Jim were here I would have called him from the bus to share what had happened. People keep telling me that I'm not alone but really, in this I am. No one can do it for me. Can't even do it with me, really. I just have to go through it and wait for what's on the other side. But for now I have to feel what I have to feel.

I'm going to take a drive.

Don't worry. I just need to get out of here for a while.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Drumline Mom

That's me today. I'm going to ride the bus with the kids to Placentia. It's gonna be a long damn day. I'm taking all the creature comforts I can jam into my rolling granny cart. These Drumline things are fun but today will be a marathon. I won't get home untill 11:00 tonight. And this time we'll have to feed the kids. Usually they'll just eat whatever they're serving at the snack bar.

See you later.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Things are so calm these days.

Not much going on. I spent the day gathering stuff together. All my notes and documents had gotten kind of spread out into different piles around the house and the studio. I got some file folders and got them organized. Wrote a few more thank you notes. Aren't you just quivering with excitement?

My knee is still a bit poppy so this evening Jeff and I walked down Victoria avenue. There's a paved trail that runs alongside the street. It's a nice walk, mostly pretty level but it's really noisy at 5:00. It's harder to keep up a conversation. But I enjoyed it. It's a nice alternative to Mt. Rube.

We parked at Hope Lutheran Church. Before we started walking we poked around the grounds a little bit. The main sanctuary has changed a lot but the rest of the place is pretty much the same as it was when we were teenagers. We talked about old times at Hope. I think he remembers more about those days than I do.

And that's about it. I'm gonna jammy up and fix a pot of tea.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Today I went to the Chevy dealer to get some extra keys made for the van. Um, no, never mind. Keys for that car cost $50 apiece! I'm not going to spend fifty bucks on a key for a car that I'm not going to have for too much longer. I decied to go back to the hospital and try to get Jim's keys back. When we got his clothes from the hospital we got everything except his pants and his keys. I had asked there once before but no one could help me. This time a security guard took Jim's info and went down to the ER lost and found. She came back empty handed. She said everything from the ER goes into these big barrels that don't get brought up to Security until they're full. Sometimes they wait until they have three or four of them filled. I'll try again in about a week.

She was very nice to me. When I was leaving she apologized for not being able to help me more and touched my arm. I immediately got very choked up and hurried out of the hospital. I do appreciate it when people are kind but it's almost easier to get through the day when people are just effecient and business-like.

Jeez, fifty bucks for a damn key.

Then I went to Costco. I saw the freakin' trainload of flowers they had brought in for all those hoplessly romantic guys who wait until they've run out of motor oil, batteries and peanut butter to do their Valentine's Day shopping at Costco. I thought it might be nice to get some since the colors were so pretty. Well, the flowers were better viewed from a distance. It was a load of dead flowers! Most of the roses were either fully opened or they were tight as bullets and flopped over. They had carts of flowers all through the store and they all looked like crap. People were walking around with lost looks on their faces all hoping to score that one bouquet that was still reasonably alive.

Way in the back was one cart that hadn't yet been deployed. The flowers on this cart looked pretty good. I found some yellow roses. They're a nice, orangey yellow. I knew they would look good on the mantle in front of the blue wall in the living room.

Right again.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A better day

Got some stuff handled. I made my eye exam appointment and a colonoscopy appointment. Yippideedoodahday. Everyone was gone today so I just hung out and enjoyed being alone for a while. Tonight Paige and Rory went to Joe's for an early Valentine's dinner. They brought me some mussels. OOOooohhhh! I loves me them mussels.

Michael called and got me signed up with Second Life. Hoo boy. Now I'll be up during the wee hours making my avatar run around bumping into things. It's pretty cool.

Got my jammies on, gonna play some uke and watch tv.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Maddening phone calls

Isn't it great getting jerked around by people who are supposed to be helping you but they can't because they haven't got a clue? I've been talking to the hospital financial office, the hospital billing office and two different departments at the health insurance company. Nothing anyone said jives with anything anyone else said. Like, I'm supposed to be the one to sort it all out?

The hospital may have overcharged me by maybe $1,200, maybe $13,000, maybe more, maybe not at all. They're going to bill it all over again and see what the insurance company will pay. This is nuts. People are making me do math.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ah, those bi-weekly markers

It's Sunday. Four weeks since Jim's stroke. Time marches on. It all seemed to slow down those first two weeks. Now it's sped back up again and it seems like it's flying by, in some ways too fast and in others not fast enough. How can he have been gone this long so fast? Am I mourning on schedule? It still doesn't seem real.

I talked to Jeanne yesterday. She said it's been three years since her mom died. Woosh! Man, it seems like it was just a few months ago.

It's raining. I hope it rains a good long time. We really need it. But when Spring rolls around I want to really clean and purge. I only have a year before we have to move. I was looking at the workshop yesterday. So much stuff. Too many tools I don't know how to use (plus lots I do know how to use. I'm no sissy). Lots of electronics and trinkets. In the trailer are Jim's papers and books that he was saving for some future career use. And Hammond parts! Lots of Hammond parts.

Hoo boy, moving is going to be a monumental chore. Yes, by then I'll have things pared down and getting out of here will be easier. But when it's time to set it all back up again...EEK! The computer stuff and the stereo and tv stuff. These computers are majorly wired up. I know the boys and girls will be able to help me with everything but Jim added a few levels of complexity that these kids won't be able to deal with. So, ok, that's stuff we wouldn't be able to use anyway.

And then there are the two PCs in the closet. Jim said there's important stuff stored on them. Great. I feel like my life is a Katamari ball.

Ok. It will get better. Then worse. Then better.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A productive day

Thank you, Ken! Thank you, Drew! Thanks to Mindy and the kids!

Ken showed up at around 10:30 and helped us get the Hammonds out of the storage trailer. No easy feat. Now they're in a place where I can show them to prospective buyers. Then he and I started boarding up the apartment windows. Drew came a little later and the job really sped up. It took us about 3 hours to get it all done. Good stuff! Apartment secure!

I've got nothing to do for the rest of the day. Hot bath and jammies sounds good. I'll practice some uke.

Tomorrow we're having lunch at Ken and Sherri's. That'll be nice.

Friday, February 09, 2007

A boring day.

Ain't that somethin'? I got a lot of business stuff handled. Forms were filled out, envelopes were stuffed and mailed. It felt good.

Tonight I went to a winter drum line parents meeting at the school. The kids performed their piece. It was a good, short meeting. Then Paige and I went to dinner at Applebee's. She and I had a nice talk. I do appreciate my mature 16-year-old daughter.

And now I'm home chillin'. Gonna get my jammies on. I can tell I've dropped a few pounds. My clothes are fitting looser. Maybe if I can continue this trend my knee will stop popping and I can get back up Mt. Rubidoux.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A good doctor's visit.

Got the works today. Well, almost. I still have to go back for blood work, an eye appointment and that special something for those age 50 and above... colonoscopy! Today I got my neck x-rayed (probably arthritis), my knee x-rayed, el mammo and the complete physical.

My blood pressure is 114/61. I weigh less than I did last year. It feels good to have gotten this stuff handled. Tomorrow I'll make those appointments.

I found the missing list of Jim's passwords. Now, with a little help, I can shut down the Rancho Curioso store. I'll be glad when that's done.

That huge, overwhelming list is less overwhelming. I don't have to much running around tomorrow so I can stay home and make phone calls.

Good stuff.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Soc Sec office and Trucker on Ferguson

This morning I had an appointment at the Social Security office to get things handled so Paige and I can get Jim's SocSec benefits. I'll get a one time payment of $250 and then I'll be eligible to collect when I turn 60. Paige will get a monthly payment until she graduates highschool. I'm planning to just sock it away in a savings account so she'll have a tidy sum when she's ready to start college. I felt good about that meeting.

This afternoon I drove to LA to see the Craig Ferguson taping. I got there pretty early so I had lunch at Farmer's Market, which is just a couple blocks away from CBS. I had a nice time walking around Farmer's Market. I hadn't been there since I was a kid.

About a half hour before call time I went to the CBS gate. They told me the lot was full and I'd have to go park back at Farmer's Market. I went back there and got the exact same parking space I had just left. I thought that was pretty funny especially since traffic was crazy. I walked back to CBS.

They let us in and sorted us according to how well we were dressed. Spiffy people like me were seated down in front. Chunky B was the warm up comedian. He was pretty funny. Then the show started. It's odd seeing someone doing their thing on tv and then seeing them do it in person. It was like he was more real to me seeing him on the monitors than he was when I was looking straight at him. Like he was auto-animatronic. Like it was Disney's Great Moments With Mr. Ferguson. But he didn't whir and jerk. Damn, he's cute.

The first guest was Peter O'Toole. Man, he has really turned into a cute little old guy. The second guest was.... some girl in the new Andy Warhol movie. The third guest was an author....seen him before...he's really interesting....dang...can't remember his name. After the guest interviews were finished they reset the stage for the Dick Around Gang (Trucker and T-Bone's band). Then they all just came walking out. Andy waved to me and Gruber blew a kiss. I felt myself tearing up. Damn! I had been doing so well. They did the I Like song. It was so fun seeing them.

Afterward when they released the audience Andy came out to talk to a couple girls who had said they were from his home town. I waited until he was finished with them and then he took me backstage. The Trucker guys had their own little break room. As soon as I walked in there I started to get weepy. Man, I so did NOT want to do that! They'd had such a good time doing that taping and then in walks Doni Downer. I didn't totally lose it and they were all really nice about it. They all really liked Jim so it was kinda ok. I got a big round of hugs. Then I managed to pull it together and we had a nice visit. They were all packing up, everyone had someplace to go. Gruber insisted on walking me to my car but he had some stuff to handle first. Then they couldn't find the big American flag they use as a prop in the show. Then some mysterious gray shirt had been left behind and they all got on their phones to find out who it belonged to (Andy). It was pretty funny. David Koechner was talking to some women in the hall and started goofing around with me. That was fun. He's made me his new straight man.

When they got packed up we all went down to the parking lot. There was a limo waiting for Gruber. He offered me a ride to my car (a whole 2 blocks). We had fun talking to the driver, Tony. When we got to the Farmer's Market parking lot Gruber got out and walked me to my car. We had a very nice talk. He said they all really wanted to come to Jim's party, that they would have loved playing for us. They couldn't come because they'd had a show that night. Jim and I had actually planned to go to that show. Anyway, it was great seeing Gruber. One of these days I really want to talk to him about how all this has changed his life. He said the other day he and Koechner were walking down the street in Santa Monica and they were stopped several times by people who had seen the show. He's been working as an actor fairly steadily for several years now but he never was someone people would recognize. Not any more. His face is all over Comedy Central several times a day in those commercials. We talked about it a little tonight, about how he's so busy now because his life has changed. I could tell he's not all that comfortable with it. He reminded me that my life has changed too. So yeah, someday we'll talk.

Ok everybody. Stay up late tonight and watch The Late, Late Show.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Back to the birthplace

This morning I looked up directions to the county clerk's office for the City of Orange. I also looked up the address of the house we lived in when I was born. I've been wanting to go see it ever since we first moved back here. I was a little worried. I haven't seen that place since I was four years old. Would the neighborhood have turned into a slum by now?

I drove to Orange and got my birth certificate. It all went very easily. Then I drove to my old neighborhood. Drove past the hospital where I was born. It's just a few blocks from the house. Heh! Mom could have walked there! I recognized the house immediately. Jeez, it's TINY! But it looks just great and the neighborhood is really nice. I took several pictures with my new camera phone.

This all put me in a strange emotional space. Lots of memories flooded in. Playing in the back yard, Dad building our play house, our rabbits, Debbie and me at Christmas, bringing Drew home from the hospital when he was a baby. We had two cats named Amos and Andy! Can you imagine????? Seeing that little house brought back all sorts of sweet, comforting feelings.

So, I'm just hanging with it. Got some warm fuzzies here. Gotta make some phone calls, pick up Paige and go walking later. Tomorrow I'm going to the Craig Ferguson taping. Squeeee! Fun stuff!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A nice day off

Did a little housecleaning. Rory got his desk and tv moved into the studio. Jeff came over this afternoon and we dinked around with the ukuleles. Dang, my uke can't hold a tune right now. It's kind of maddening. Even so, it was a nice afternoon.

Now I'm in my jammies and kicking back. Tomorrow I'll dive right back in. I need to regroup and get organized. My paper work has gotten a bit scattered. I also need to go to Orange and get my birth certificate. Tuesday I'm meeting with the Social Security people and I need to take it with me. All through my adult life I have never needed my birth certificate. I don't know why, it just never came up. I also want to try to find the house we lived in when I was born.

Feeling a little jumpy. Gonna take a chill pill.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Some overwhelm

Today was house cleaning day. It was also the day to get the studio organized. We moved a lot of things out. Jim's keyboards are still in here. The apartment still isn't secure. But at least things are better organized for now. We moved the bed out to make space for Rory's desk and tv. The kids moved the giftwrap and mailing tubes out to the apartment.

When that was done I wanted to get started boarding up the windows on the apartment. All of a sudden it all was just too much. I can run the power tools and cut plywood and screw it all to the window frames. The kids would help, no problem. But they'd need too much directing and I just didn't have the energy or the brain power. I called Drew and Stacey (in tears) to ask if we can have a work day here next weekend. I need some adults here who just plain know what to do. We're Lang kids. We'll knock it out in an afternoon. I'll have the younguns help, of course. It would be a good learning experience for them anyway.

All I need to do is get the apartment secure and move the Hammonds out there. Oh, and the truck. We tried jumping it today. We were not successful.

So, today was kind of crappy. Oh yeah, Jim's dad called. We had a nice conversation. He says he's doing ok.

Stuckness. I don't like stuckness.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Blogging this stuff

If I skip a day don't worry about me. Right now I don't always have much to write.

Ken came by this morning and dropped off some of Jim's music stuff. I chatted with him a while and got some advice on what to do with our cars. I want to sell the van and the truck and get two small, reliable cars for Paige and me. After he left I went to the dmv to get Jim's name taken off the titles. As I was waiting for my number to be called Ken walked in! He said he had just gotten a piece of mail and wanted to give it to me. Hoo boy, if it was so important that he hunted me down at the dmv I knew I'd be crying about it. It was a card and a very generous gift from the sister of Ken's best friend, who died last summer. I've never met this woman. I knew Ken's friend but not that well. Ken had told her about what happened to Jim and she just wanted to help out. I was floored. So, now I'm in the dmv, hugging Ken and weeping. Interesting moment.

Man, I'm crying pretty hard just typing this. What a kind thing for her to do.

When I finished at the dmv (can't change the titles for 40 days) I went to pick up the cell phones. Our new little phones are snazzy. Trying to learn how they work makes me feel ancient. At least I got the contact numbers entered.

Jeez, I need to get my eyes checked. Last Sunday when I was having breakfast with the NorCal crowd we were talking about vision and all the problems associated with it. I know I don't see all that well and they suggested my drug store cheaters might not be doing the job. I'm pretty sure they're right. It was hard to read the manual for the phone. A little while ago I installed a new shower head and it was hard to read the directions. I haven't had my eyes checked in years. Ok, add that one to the list.

Tomorrow we're going to rearrange the studio a bit. I want to make the apartment out back more secure and move Jim's Hammonds out there. Then I can move around easier in the storage trailer. And once the apartment is secure I can store the extra keyboards in there. We're going to move the bed out and move Rory's desk in. The giftwrap and mailing tubes are moving to the apartment. As we're doing all that I can be making some keep-or-toss decisions. Don't worry, I'm not going to be making any snap decisions about anything important. Just the obvious stuff.

In a year we'll be moving to a new place and right now we have way too many possessions. I know how fast a year can fly by. I need to be thinking about this now. I do NOT want to have to rent a storage space. Anyway, I'll get it figured out.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Not much happened today. I got new cell phones for the girls and me. Actually, I signed us up for a family plan. I'll pick the phones up tomorrow. They didn't have the kind of phone I wanted. The phone that comes free with the plan looks like a melted blob of gray plastic. The phones we're getting are sleek, black and silver camera phones. They cost $50 each but there's a $50 rebate. I'm no math genius but that's free, right?

That's pretty much it. I had lunch and picked up my sewing machine from the shop. I puttered around the house, did some laundry, talked to Lorraine and watched The African Queen. I dunno, this just doesn't feel right.

Two weeks today. I'm finding that Sundays and Thursdays are weird. Jim had his stroke on a Sunday and died on a Thursday. So now I'm moving through time with these jarring and stifling bi-weekly markers. I'll be glad when a Sunday is just a Sunday again.

So, anyway, I feel like Grief is setting me up for a whammy. Yep, capital G. That's how I look at it sometimes. Like it's some kind of entity. The Grief Monster. It's a presence in my life. Not always active but it shows me little glimpses just to remind me I don't have it goin' on as much as I think I do. That bitch is going to hit me for sure.

I skipped walking again. My knee is still wonky. Better, though.