Friday, August 31, 2007

Just a mean old dude.

Dad just called. It's 11:40 but it's never too late for Stan to call and bitch about something. Again he's accusing me or the girls of leaving a light on in the barn. Again he's got to be nasty about it. I'm lying, I'm playing dumb, I'm stupid. Yeah, ok, whatever. This time I hung up on him. I locked the front door and then went out back to see what he was talking about. Maybe he already turned it out before I got out there, but there was no light other than the security light outside the apartment.

Counting down the days.

Tonight I went to Ken's to play music with him and John. It was a great practice! Very productive. John is going in for his surgery on Tuesday. They'll take out the skin cancer on Tuesday and do what they can to restore his face on Wednesday. After that they'll decide what needs to be done. Good luck to you, John. We love you!

I'm going back in the house just in case Dad decides to come over. I don't want Lindsay and Kyle to have to deal with him.

It's now 12:20. He probably won't come over. Both Dr. Griffin and Dr. Giertz told me that if he ever really wigs out I have to call 911 and let them deal with him. They were adamant about that. Or maybe Adam Ant. Anyway, they meant it most sincerely.


Click on the photos to enlarge.

I love this fabric! Michele gave it to me a looong time ago but I never figured out what I wanted to do with it. I think it's perfect for the case.

View from the side. I bought a bag from Goodwill and used the handle, the strap and the strap attachments. I love the big buttons for the closure.

I lined the inside with foam covered with gold velvet fabric. I got the fabric from eBay.

I made two little boxes that fit inside for picks and stuff. They also serve to hold the neck of the uke in place.

After I took these photos I decided to add a little velcro seatbelt so the uke won't fall out of the case if it gets picked up with the lid open. This was a fun project and I love how it turned out.

The carcass is made from foam core and illustration board. The hinge is a piece of leather. It's completely hidden under the fabric. The whole thing is glued to the max. I used water-proof glue for all the outside surfaces. The handles are attached with glue and wire so they should hold pretty well. I tried to predict where the stress points would be and reinforced them. I didn't glue down the little boxes and the foam lining in case I need to go in later for repairs.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Uke case finished!

I'll post photos later. I need to have the children help me.

I finished it just this afternoon. I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I gave it to Jeff just before our walk. But before our walk...

I was getting ready to leave. I thought it would be nice to have some clean towels for dabbing the sweaty dewiness after the walk. It's been over a hundred degrees for a few days and the humidity is pretty high. I noticed that after a Rube walk I'm sweating like... like a really sweaty thing. I thought a towel would be nice. I grabbed one for Jeff, too. I got two brand new, never-been-used towels from the linen closet. Then I noticed something on the floor that really should be picked up. I bent down, picked it up and stood back up (quickly) and banged my head on the cupboard door. Hard. Really hard.

I did a little dance and cussed a stream and grabbed my head with the new, clean towels. Both Lindsay and Paige heard me and got very concerned. I held the towels on my head for a little bit and then lifted them to have a look. Hoo boy, lots of blood. Paige and I went into the bathroom and she looked at my head. It wasn't bad enough to go for stitches but I knew I was going to be late for my walk. I had blood in my hair and on my shirt. While I was still pressing a towel to my head I called Jeff and told him I was going to be a bit late. Fortunately it stopped pretty quick. I rinsed my hair, changed my shirt and headed for Mt. Rubidoux.

Jeff got there just after I did. I gave him his new uke case. He be happy. I started this thing a long time ago. I was supposed to make a case for his unusually-shaped uke in exchange for the tenor uke that I've had for a couple of years now. The project got a bit bogged down and sat on a shelf for a while. Recently I got back into it and finally finished it this afternoon.

We had a very nice walk (we always do). He told me he had gone to Killarney's last night with some friends. I asked him if he had a Smithwick's (pronounced Smittick's). He said he had. Now, I'm not really a beer gal but ooh, I like this stuff. Just talking about it made me want one. After the walk I was hungry and well, why not go to Killarney's for dinner and a delicious beer? Or two or three?

Oh my. Ok, so what? It was good and I was enjoying myself. I had the Killarney's fish balls with three dipping sauces, all very good. I was reading my book, eating a nice dinner and drinking some tasty beer. And water. Lots of water. It's funny because Jeff and I were just talking about alcohol and over-indulging and how it's not really a good idea. So, what was the first thing I did after leaving him?

I'm reading this book called Pihkal, A Chemical Love Story, written by this guy who's a psychopharmachologist who develops these psychedelic compounds and tests them on himself. Part of the book was also written by his wife (I like her writing better). I'm just up to the part where they meet. Just before that she talks about her experience with peyote. She mentioned Aldous Huxley. I remembered hearing about Brave New World a long time ago but I never read it. So here I am at Killarney's, too drunk to drive home, with a Border's book store within walking distance. I strolled over and bought the book. After that I poked around the Plaza for a bit.

Well, I really wasn't all that drunk and by the time I got back to my car I was fine. And now I'm here writing in my blog.

It's funny. All the debris from working on the uke case is spread all over my art table. But the project is finished and now all that stuff is mostly trash. The table looks kind of sad and forlorn with no current project being worked on. Time to clean it up and start on something new, which will probably be another uke case. Bill just bought a cute uke that has a round body. Another unusually-shaped uke with no case. I'll make one for him but that's it. I enjoyed the challenge of making the case for Jeff. I liked figuring out how to build it and how all the pieces would fit together. But I don't tend to make a lot of the same kind of thing and uke cases aren't my life's calling. But I think it'll be fun to make just one more.

Today was a good day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Who's more nuts...

...Dad or the psychiatrist?

Today we were at the VA for four and a half hours. First the nurse told me the wrong time. I KNOW she did because when she wanted to give me a later appointment I told her I couldn't do it. She said, ok, come in at 12:45. When we got there the receptionist guy said, "We never have appointments at 12:45. Everyone's at lunch until 1:30. Your appointment is at 1:45". Now, if I had known that I would have made the appointment for another day. So, we had to wait for an hour after the appointment time.

Sitting in the waiting area, trying to sit away from Dad because his breath is DEATH, surrounded by grumpy old men and their caregivers. For an extra hour. Then they called us in and took us to the little room where they ask Dad a bunch of questions he can't answer and take his blood pressure. While he was in there I snuck out and snagged Dr. Griffin and had a quick one on one with her. Dad came out just as she left. He didn't see me talking to her. Whew! Then we went back out to the waiting area.

It was getting late and I was supposed to pick Paige up and take her to a hair appointment. My cell phone wouldn't work inside the building so I went outside to make the call. It wouldn't work out there either. One of the grumpy guys in the waiting area told me that the service around the hospital is really bad, that he can't get a signal unless he goes all the way out to the parking lot. I went back out and tried that but no dice. I had to give up because I was worried that they'd call Dad back in and I really needed to be there.

I went back and sure enough, he had been called in. We sat in Dr. Griffin's office for a bit and then the psychiatrist came in. I'm sure she's a great psychiatrist but she is one goofy woman. She's tall and very thin but she wears dresses that are two sizes to big for her and go all the way to the floor. She's a little cock-eyed. You don't know where to look when you're talking to her. And she has a thick German accent so she's hard to understand. She said, "I'd like to take your daughter into my office and talk to her". Dad started to get a little mad about that but he was overwhelmed by Dr. Griffin and the three interns that were in her office. I dashed out.

The atmosphere in that whole place was rushed and scattered. When I was talking to Dr. Giertz I felt like I had to speak very quickly. It was weird! I told her about Dad's violent outbursts and forgetting he had Christmas trees and all that other stuff. She said she could prescribe either an anti-paranoia drug or something that would address his aggression. I said, "Well, if we take care of the paranoia wouldn't that help with his outbursts?" Jeez, why is it MY choice? In the end we (?) decided to increase the Divalproex, which is what he was already taking, and add in Risperidone (increased risk of stroke or heart failure, can mess with blood glucose levels). The Risperidone can wait until we need it to handle a stressful situation, like the next big work day. I also talked to her about needing a letter stating that Dad can't handle his own finances and stuff.

It was CRAZY! It was like one of those movie scenes where you see a hallway and people are running in and out of doors in different combinations. There was me, the two doctors, the three interns, the nurse and Dad all moving around to different rooms. All women except for Dad. Every conversation was hushed and hurried. When it was time to leave Dr. Griffin said, "Ok, now go upstairs to the lab on the 4th floor and then come back here and I'll give you that letter."

She said that with Dad in the room.


Hoo boy. One the way out Dr, Griffin pulled me aside and said she was sorry about that little slip up. I told her just make up a fake letter and I'll give it to him. Then we went to the 4th floor. I was thinking they were just going to take some blood. On the way there we had both stopped at the restrooms. After they took his blood they handed him a cup and told him they needed a urine sample. Oops. Daddy was bone dry. He was in the bathroom for 20 minutes trying to make wee. After a while we decided to give up on that one. We went back downstairs (he took the cup with him) to get his meds and go back to Dr. Griffin "to make his next appointment". He had forgotten about the letter by then. When we got there I told him to go to the restroom again and try to get a sample while I saw Dr. Griffin. He totally bought it. I got the letter while he was in the restroom trying to produce. Then we got his meds and came home.

This was one of those days where I feel totally crazed when it's all over. Like I can't slow down. Well, I just had a beer. I'm slowing down a little.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tears on Mt. Rubidoux

It was really beautiful up there tonight. I started up at around 7. Just as I got up above the tree line the full moon peeked over the top of Box Springs Mountain. I stopped walking and stood there and watched it rise. The colors of the whole scene were so vivid. Just damn gorgeous.

When I reached the top I passed a girl who I used to see up there a lot, one of the regulars. She and I actually exchanged phone numbers one day. I hadn't seen her in months. We chatted for a little bit and she asked me how I've been. I told her that my husband had died. She threw her arms around me and hugged me hard. It was so surprising! I was totally thrown and I started to cry. Damn it! So, of course we had to stand there and go through the whole thing while I struggled to pull it together. I was so glad it was getting dark. Oh yeah, tonight was the most crowded I've ever seen up there. It was like walking through Disneyland. When I got there I had to park really far away because there were so many cars. So here I am, walking alone, crying my eyes out on Mt. Rubidoux. Jeez-o-friggin'-pete.

I came home and took a shower. Then I came out here to read my e-mail. My cousin, Molly, called to tell me that my Aunt Ruth had another stroke this morning. She's responsive but she can't talk. Tomorrow they're going to do a swallow test and try to see how much damage was done. After I got off the phone with Molly I started answering an e-mail I got from David. About halfway through I just lost it. I sat here and had a huge, hard sob-fest.

Boy, this stuff just smacks me sideways sometimes. I was really doing well today. Last night I went to open mike with the Odien bros. and had a really good time. Today I worked on the uke case and then went on a box hunt. It was a nice day. And then WHAM! I'm wiped out.

Wednesday I'm taking Dad to the VA to see his doc and the psychiatrist. We're going to talk about maybe changing his meds. There are some tough times ahead and he might need a bigger dose of the chill pills.

I'm going to bed. I hope I can sleep. Oh! A long time ago David gave me some Lunesta. I'll take one of those. You know that stupid commercial with the butterfly that floats over the woman's face while she's sleeping? I keep thinking if I ever woke up and saw a glowing butterfly floating over my face I'd grab that little fucker and rip it to shreds. I HATE that commercial!

Ok, tv first. Then bed.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Being single

I haven't really thought of myself as a single person but it's starting to sink in. Especially since I'm doing so many things, like, alone. I'm finding I don't mind it so much (for now). Eventually I'm sure I'll feel differently. Tonight I had a hankering for a steak so I went to the Spunky Steer. Paige is spending the night with a friend and Lindsay and Kyle were out with their friends so I went by myself. On the way in I noticed that no one was sitting on the patio so I asked for a table out there. I read my book, gazed at the moon and listened to the trains and enjoyed my dinner.

It's just different. I don't know how to be single. I don't want to sit at home night after night but it feels a little weird going out alone. I don't have that many friends here in Riverside that I can just call up and say hey, let's go do something. I think eventually I will so I'm not too worried about it. Once my life is more settled I want to take some classes at RCC. I want to do things that will get me out there meeting people.

But for now it's a little weird. I feel like I've been thrown into this category about 20 years too early. Like, maybe if this had happened when I was older it would feel more natural. I still feel like I'm supposed to have a partner. So, I go out, I do projects, I live my single life and wonder if I'm doing it right. I catch myself thinking, is this what single people do?

I'll get it figured out eventually. It will become part of my identity and it'll fit better. But for now it's awkward.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Let's all get foggy

This morning when I went over to Dad's he was standing outside watching the earth movers. He kept saying, "That's a LOT of dirt! Why is there so much dirt?" We watched them for a little while and then he said, "Evidently another company owns those Christmas trees because they're not taking them. Look, they're going right up to the fence line but they're not taking the trees". It took me a while to get him to understand that a different guy bought the land behind us and those Christmas trees were his.

Doing meds was another juggling act. When he gets his hands going it's hard to stay ahead of him and keep him from blotting before he puts the blood on the strip. This morning he put the tissue over the end of the lancet shooter and tried to fire it.

I'm foggy too. This morning my eyes popped open at 3:00 and I couldn't get back to sleep. I came out here and worked on the ukulele case for a while. Then I went back in the house at 6:30 and watched a little tv. I went back to bed at 7. I slept HARD and dreamed crazy dreams. I woke up at 8:30 in a major fog, like I had to struggle back to reality. I dreamed that our whole family took a ride in a space shuttle ($40 apiece) to the edge of space to look at the stars and galaxies and the earth. Paige was about 4 years old. She fell asleep and I kept trying to wake her up. When we got back down we were in this place that was a big room with a hole in the floor. Through it we could see down to the next floor. A crazy woman was down there with her nurse, like the crazy wife in Jane Eyre. She had a knife in her hand and was holding the nurse by the arm. We were yelling at her, telling her to not stab the nurse. While she was distracted the nurse started climbing up a rope ladder towards us. As she climbed she started to bleed. The higher she climbed the more she bled, like the crazy woman had already stabbed her and the effort of climbing was opening her wound. By the time she got to us she was bleeding showers of blood. When she finally got to the top she fell over dead. Then I woke up.

UGH! I still feel wiped out from that.

So, hey! Good morning!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

He said it would take three weeks.

The grader guy said it would take three weeks total. Ok, we're on week two. The jack hammer is still going. I guess those boulders were tougher than I thought. And now the big earth movers make the living room windows rattle. I wonder if I can get compensation for psychological distress?

My filing project is almost done. Now I'm down to the fiddly bits. But that will have to wait for another day. Today I'm making quiche and a big pot of beans for the band potluck. But first I have to clean the kitchen. Guess what? The sound of the jack hammer comes through the ceiling vent. In the kitchen. Right over the stove.

Right now I'm ready to jump out of my skin.

I keep looking at the next big life change that's coming up. Not much to look at really, because I don't know how it's going to play out. So, I'm looking at a void. Ok... I have to somehow make this ok.

I still have Xanax. I'll start taking that again. I'm getting regular exercise. Good. School is starting soon. Back to a routine. That's good because I've been wanting some order in my life. I have at the most five more months of dealing with Dad on a daily basis. Hey! The 18th of the month passed without my noticing! That's progress, right?

Something horrible and funny happened last night. I went up the Rube with Ken and Sherri. After that I went to the grocery store. I didn't have my Ralph's club card with me and for some reason the machine won't accept my phone number. The checker guy had me fill out a form for a new card so I can get my phone number registered. When I handed it back to him he said, "Did you check the box for the kind of card you want? Do you need a senior card? You know, for over age 60?"


I tried to make a joke of it. I said, "No, you're way off, you flatterer you". He said, "Hey, I just want to make sure you get the right card", like he was offended. HE was OFFENDED!

Dad called yesterday to tell me to go buy some lottery tickets because the jackpot is "the BIGGEST it's EVER BEEN!". It's at 74 million. So, I went to 7-11 and got ten bucks worth. We'd better win. I need a facelift NOW.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm dirty

It was a little cooler this morning so I did some much-needed yard work. I didn't get it all done but I made a good start. Maybe when it cools off later I'll do some more.

Hoo boy, I need a shower.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Need to vent

I don't need anyone to fix anything for me. I'm not looking for a pep talk. I just gotta get some shit out.

Today has been a bit sucky. Nothing happened to make it sucky, things just kind of piled up in my head. It took me a while to figure it out but I think I've got it now.

I need for something good to happen. There's not a lot I can point to right now and say yeah, that's something that's going well. I've got too many things, unfinished things hanging over my head. I have too much uncertainty, fear and self-doubt. I feel like my life will never be as good as it was. I also feel like I have very little control over how things are going to go.

I need order. Just a little while ago I went out and bought myself a desk. I haven't had a central place for mail, bills and paperwork since we moved here. Things get misplaced. So, now I can at least get all that under control.

Really, I just want something good to happen. I want the universe to bestow some kind of gift upon me. Just a little something (or a big something) that lets me know that yes, sometimes things can go my way.

I just dropped Paige off at the Plaza. She asked me to get doughnuts to take to band practice tomorrow morning. On the way to the doughnut shop it all came crashing in on me. I started crying and by the time I got there I was geared up for a good bawl. I sat in the parking lot and cried and cried. After a while I was able to pull it together. I'm thinking, oh great, now I have to go into Yum-yum Doughnuts with puffy eyes and a red nose and buy 27 doughnuts. I wondered what they would think. Like, man, this woman really needs comfort food!

I'm going over to Ken's tonight to play with him and John. I'm going to go early and do some swimming. But before I go I have to print out some music. And eat something.

Chaka Khan is singing in my head. "Tell me something good..."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Swingin' at the Fairmount

Tonight I met Ken, Sherri, Robin and Brandon at Fairmount Park for the Wednesday concert. It was a swing band and they were really good. Lots of people were there to dance. They were all dressed up, the women in twirly dresses and the men in fedoras and ties. They were quite fun to watch.

Jeez, I got almost nothing done today. Well, nothing that I wanted to get done. I rescued a bird. I paid bills. I filled out job applications online. Man, I need to put together a decent resume. It's a little hard since I haven't worked in 17 years. I have no job references. All the people I worked for back then have moved and a couple of them are dead. This could take a while.

I'll be glad when it's not so hot. So much of what I want to do involves being outside. I need to go on a box hunt. I need to get another estimate on the truck. Gotta go through the records.

School starts soon. It's always kind of wrenching getting back into that routine. Paige's last year of high school. I hope it goes well for her. Things were pretty rough last year.

I am soooo looking forward to the day when my life is more settled. More and more I am letting go of this hill. I'll miss it but I don't think I'll be sad about it. I know there will be nothing to come back to. It will be as if it never existed. I'll be glad when I can look back at everything that's happened and just say, "Ok."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.....

Day two.

They've started grading the property behind us. There are (were?) two huge boulders that need to be removed. Yesterday they used an enormous pneumatic jack hammer to break them up. One boulder was pulverized yesterday, today it's the second boulder's turn. I think it's kind of a shame since they were a couple of awesome rocks, but progress marches on.

And so yesterday and today, all damn day, we get to hear the hammer go bang, bang, bang, etc. It's boring a hole into my brain. Oh well, today should do it.

Last night we had Anne and Carl here for dinner. It's just great being with them. I wish we lived closer. Man, you can't get much farther away than we are without crossing an ocean. Anyway, we had a good time. I don't know if I'll get to see them again before they leave.

Stuff to do, stuff to do. Gotta go through the records. Andy told me about a guy back east who buys and sells records. I need to call him today. Andy told him about the records and he's interested. So, I need to get the ones I want to keep out of there.

I'll try to get another truck estimate today. Clean house. Walk at 6.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Computer happiness

Yay! Got the G5 back! Yay! Got iTunes! Got contacts! Got all that other crap I think I need!

Thank you to Lindsay and Kyle for hooking it all back up!!!! Good golly, there were tangles and tangles of cords under this desk. So many of them were for stuff that I have absolutely no use for. I don't need a recording interface and I don't need a mixer. When we move I'll need to the kids to set it all up again. But for now I'll just enjoy it.

Last night I met Lindsay and all the Carrozza's at the M Bar in LA for an Acker and Blacker show. It was a good one this time. Well, they're always good but I really liked this one. Afterward we went to the House Of Pies. Andy and Gruber showed up and joined us. We all had a wonderful time.

Mary and Jon were supposed to be here this weekend but poor Mary is sick. Some rotten virus got ahold of her. They were visiting Jon's brother in Arizona and were going to swing by here for a couple days on their way home. Now they're just going to go straight back to Napa. I was really looking forward to seeing them. I just want Mary to feel better.

Ooh, iTunes. Now I can groove while I'm working on the uke case.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Changes coming faster, I think

If anyone has any questions about Dad's mental abilities all they have to do is accompany him to the grocery store. It took us 2 1/2 hours to go through Ralph's. Almost every time we turned down a different aisle he'd say, "I need tea. Is this where the tea is?" When we were in the cleaning supplies aisle I had to explain to him several times the difference between bath soap, dish soap and laundry soap. He actually picked up a jumbo box of Tide and asked, "Is this for the shower?"

I didn't have to explain about chocolate bars, though. He loaded up on those. When we were in the potato chip aisle he picked up a bag of pretzels and asked if they had chocolate in them. When we were looking at cereal he asked for the kind with chocolate in it. And jeez, wouldn't you know it, when we finally got to the tea the Nestle's Quik was right next to it!

After we finished shopping he wanted to take me to lunch. By that point I was feeling like I was teetering on the edge of sanity so I told him he needed to go home and put his groceries away.

This morning I had to show him how to use the lancet shooter again. Whenever I set up his test I always put out a square of toilet tissue for him to blot his finger on. This morning he pricked his finger and blotted it before I could stop him. We had to prick it again and he almost grabbed the tissue again. I had to hold onto his hands to get the test done.

He's pretty cheery today but you never know when he's going to be on edge. When he's not doing well he looks really strange. His eyes go kind of vacant. The other day I saw him walking around outside my house. I went out to see what was up. He was barefoot and wearing a t-shirt and jeans. He almost never goes out of the house in a t-shirt. He had that look in his eyes. I asked him what was going on and he said, "I have to meet the insurance guy out here." I asked him what insurance guy and he kind of yelled, "The INSURANCE guy!" I said, "Yeah, but is it your insurance guy or just some insurance guy?" He said, "Just some guy!" Just then the Terminix truck drove up and Dad went to talk to them. Then he kind of stumbled down the slope and got in the truck and went back to his house. I was feeling pretty sorry for that Terminix guy.

I really think he's barely hanging on.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lady needs a doggie door

Now that big Maggie is gone Dad just has Lady. She's a sweet girl, smaller than my dogs and very peppy. I think she's about 12 years old. Dad has been letting her sleep in the house, which is good for her. But now we're starting to smell urine in the house. Damn. I was hoping that letting the dog sleep inside would work out. She's pretty skittish. At this point she might be afraid to use a doggie door.

I think it's nice that Dad has a dog for company but man, she has a shitty life. I always felt bad for those dogs but at least they had each other. Now Lady is all alone in that back yard. Dad visits with her a few times a day but most of the time she's on her own. We sibs haven't talked about where she'll go when Dad goes into assisted living. I'd be happy to take her but I'm already up to my eyeballs in animals. Maybe Drew will take her. We'll figure it out. In the meantime she's got about 5 months to be by herself in that crappy back yard.

Dad was foggy this morning. Cheery, tho.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Working with these hands

I'm working on a project. I haven't done much since Jim died and that's not like me. I almost always have something to work on. So, now I'm cutting and gluing and singing a happy song (all to myself since I still don't have iTunes. The 17th is sooooo faaaarrrr awaaaaayyyy). I'm glad I'm back into it. I can get lost in my thoughts and work some things out.

But for now I have to stop doing this and take the truck in for body work estimates. Last week Bill borrowed the truck and some woman ran into him. Boy, this is a Roseanne Rosannadanna life. "Well, Jane, its always somethin'."

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Behind locked doors

Ok, this is weird. For the first time since this whole Alzheimer's thing started I am afraid that at some point Dad will try to harm me or the girls.

He called just now. He was furious. He started yelling about a light being left on in one of the barns. He was going on and on about the girls and their boyfriends snooping around in those barns. I thought he was talking about a security light and told him that maybe Boz set it off. He said, "NO,STUPID! The light INSIDE the barn! Use your head!" I told him the girls haven't been going through the barns. He yelled, "ASK THEM!" I told him no, I wasn't going to ask them. He told me to go back there and look. Again, no. He said, "You tell them that the barns are OFF LIMITS!" I told him I'd be sure to mention it. Then he told me to go out there again. I said, "No. If you want the light turned out then go deal with it."


Then he hung up. I thought he might come rampaging over so he could scream at me some more. I went in the house and locked the front door. Then I told Lindsay and Kyle if there was a knock at the door they shouldn't answer it. I'm here in the studio with the door locked.

He just called again. Calmer now but still going on about the girls being in the barns. Still shouting orders. The mean man who raised me.

I was dragged out of bed by my hair a few times.

I'm seeing more rage these days. I could see him picking up something and going after one of us with it. And I don't think he'd be able to stop himself. He really has turned a corner.

Friday, August 03, 2007


The most recent wave of grief has passed. Now I'm just dealing with little pockets of grief that show up from time to time. Tonight was one. Ken and John and I got together to play. It was a good, productive practice but slightly subdued. John recently found out he has skin cancer. He's in the middle of getting tests done. Today he had an MRI but of course they can't tell him anything yet. We're all worried for him and we're hoping for the best. So, tonight he wasn't his usual peppy self.

We went through a lot of songs and some of them sounded really good. They'll be great once we get all the vocals figured out. Then Ken and John started messing around with A Whiter Shade Of Pale. Ken told me to sing but there's just no way I could have. It's going to be a very long time before I'll be able to sing that song. That was totally a Jim thing. He had that organ part down and he played it brilliantly. I started to cry. I felt like I did at the Sonoma County party but it didn't last as long. I just feel a little blasted right now. It's when that kind of thing comes up that I really feel the loss.

Lots of emotional stuff going on right now. Lots of self doubt. I wonder if I can actually make it on my own. I've been applying for some jobs online, just putting a toe in for now. My health insurance program comes up for review next month. I don't know how that will turn out. I'm paying way to much as it is. I'm hoping for a job that includes health benefits. We'll see.

So far this has been a shitty year.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I called Dad just now to tell him to take his meds. I told him I'd wait on the phone while he went to take them. Of course we had to have a little light-hearted battle about it but he did put the phone down and go to take them. While he was gone I was hearing this music that must have been coming from his tv. It was real hard-driving glory rock. It sounded like something you'd hear through the wall of a fourteen-year-old boy's bedroom. It made me laugh. Like, wow, what the hell is he doing over there?

He was gone a long time. When he got back to the phone I asked him what he was watching on tv. He said, "I don't know but you just made me miss the end of it." He was a little peeved but I think he thought it was kind of funny. It was a positive phone call.

But, oh my gosh, it was like talking to a five-year-old. Like, trying to get a filthy kid to take a bath.

The Carrozza's will be here soon! Mary and Jon are coming to visit! Whee!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Riverside Zydeco

I met Ken and Sherri at Fairmount Park this evening for the Wednesday concert. The band was Porterhouse Bob and Down To The Bone. They were billed as a blues band but they were mostly Zydeco. And they were good. I love that stuff. Cousin Steve showed up a little later with his Aussie dog, Buddy. Buddy's a cute pup but he's a little hyper.

They film these concerts and show them on Riverside's local station (channel 33?). No one was dancing and the way they have the stage set up there's a vast expanse of concrete between the performers and the audience sitting on the grass. I really wanted to get a closer look but I wasn't interested in having my backside show up on the tee-vee. Oh what the hell, I'm going up there.

I guess all people needed was for me to break the ice because after I went up so did a bunch of other people, including Steve and Buddy. I chatted with Steve for a little bit and then felt something poke me in the butt. It was Buddy's nose. AAARRGH!!! That freakin' dog nosed me right in front of the tv cameras!!!!

I should have turned around and done some kind of ta-da move but I didn't think of it. It's unnerving getting nosed in public. Sheesh. Oh well, the band was great and we had a good time.

It's a lovely night. I heading to the porch.