Dec 072006

I was woken up this morning just after 7:00 AM with a phone call. This is never good. In my life I have discovered that calls before 8:00 AM and after 10:00 PM generally mean something fucked up is going on. This morning was no exception. My sister Kim is back at the hospital with both of her children. My niece Madison woke up in the middle of the night screaming that her stomach hurt, and it’s incredibly hard to the touch. Her son, Patrick (who was in the hospital not too long ago and has a condition that makes him very susceptible to illness) was throwing up. My hope is that Maddy just has some really bad gas and Patrick has caught the flu that is running around, but as of this point we don’t know.

Good times.

I suppose I haven’t really updated much recently because, frankly, I’m feeling much with the blah. Christmas is almost here, and at this point I’m utterly and completely unexcited about it. I’m looking forward to our annual Christmas Eve party, but only from the angle of hanging out with our friends and family. The actual holiday itself? A big plate of meh. Putting up the decorations this year feels like more of an obligation than anything else, and it isn’t helping when all I get from the kids as far as help is “when are we putting the tree up?” Mind you, when I was actually doing something towards that end the “we” was “me.” I had to ask A. to help me get the boxes down out of the attic, and every box was accompanied by an “are we done yet?” question – The allure of his Counterstrike match was just too great, I suppose. To his credit, Alex did ask me this morning if we could possibly start hanging some of the ornaments on the tree tonight, but at this point I’m holding off until the weekend because I’m getting an extra strand of lights from my Mother to hang my animated ornaments on. Ideally, getting the house ready for Christmas should be a fun family event. In reality, it just feels like one more chore that I have to do that nobody seems to really give a crap about.

The fact that money is tight right now isn’t helping my mood either. The money that I have budgeted for Christmas is coming from the fact that we’re getting three paychecks this month, but I can’t get to it until the 29th. I’m getting a short loan from my Mom so I have that money to actually buy gifts and pay for the Christmas Eve party, you know, before Christmas Eve. The bills, as many of them as there are, are all still getting paid and (mostly) on time, but things are so tight right now I have little to no wiggle room or margin of error (case in point, accidentally sent two payments to one of my credit card companies instead of the two different locations it was supposed to go…hello late fees and a double payment I have to suddenly come up with next Friday – the money to pay for that is cutting into our grocery budget). Property taxes are due, and I got my bill for the homeowners insurance a few weeks ago. Like many Floridians, it looks like there is a very real chance I’m going to be playing Russian Roulette with my home and not renewing the Homeowners insurance policy. It’s simply too fucking expensive – The quote I have in front of me is slightly more than my monthly take home pay.

I actually spoke to my Mother about this, and much to my surprise she didn’t give me a big lecture on how it was a foolish mistake. In fact, she bitched about how she’s had a Homeowner’s policy for over 30 years and never used it. Apparently a lot of her friends are ditching their policies as well – especially those who live on the beach.

So yeah, not the least bit comforting, that…It’s definitely going to make Hurricane season more nerve wracking if that’s the route I end up taking.

Speaking of Mom, she needs me to start paying her for the car that she gave me a few months ago, so the bulk of the cash I’ll be getting from K. at the beginning of her next semester will be heading in that direction. Things have been tight for Mom as well, now that Fred has moved out and she’s back to living on just her income. I’m sure that in the grand scheme of things my definition of being in a financial tight spot and my Mother’s is radically different, but that doesn’t matter a hill of beans. If Mom needs the cash I rightfully owe her, I need to get it to her. Period.

K. is still working to get everything taken care of with her gallstone issue, but this whole transition period where we don’t know what’s going on and she isn’t being treated properly is making things even more bleak around here. I hate feeling powerless, and this is one of those situations where the fact that we have no legal ties makes me so. I can’t call her doctors. I can’t call her insurance companies. I can’t do anything to help speed the process up, and I can’t make her better, and it frustrates the hell out of me. It scares me, too. I know that illness is a part of growing up and getting old, but I’m not ready for my life to be focused around what major ailment is going to happen next. I want this to be fixed, and I want us to go back to leading our lives and not living in fear of the next time the pain gets so bad that she has to go back to the emergency room. I want to be able to make dinner for her or take her out for dinner and not worry that in doing so I’m going to cause her discomfort.

Of course, all of this isn’t helping in my largely stagnant weight loss efforts. I managed to lose a pound last week, and I haven’t fallen completely off the wagon, but I haven’t been following program to the letter by any means or stretch of the imagination. My next weigh-in is tonight, and the pants I’m currently wearing are feeling a bit snug so I’m pretty sure the scale is going to be unkind. I should be thankful that I have at least managed to keep my weight at the same level for about two years now, but I still can’t get past the fact that I’m somewhere in the area of 80 pounds heavier than the doctors and weight gurus think I should be. I can’t get past the fact that the combination of my height and weight makes pants look silly on me regardless of how I wear them, and I can’t get past the fact that my body still feels the physical effects of all those years I was 200+ pounds overweight.

Yes, I continue to find my escape from all of this by playing World of Warcraft. Hooray, escapist past times! Things have actually been going really well there, but the downside to all of that is the fact that it’s made my job as guild leader a lot more time consuming. We’ve recently had a fairly large influx of new players, and the officers have been putting forth a great deal of effort to make sure that things are running smoothly. We finally beat the final boss in the one of the dungeons we’ve been raiding for a long time now, and there is even talking of trying out some of the bigger stuff before the expansion hits in January and everyone steps back from raiding to focus on seeing the new content.

Things haven’t all been crap recently, of course. Alex had his 11th birthday party on Sunday, and that was a good time for him. I can highly recommend the Strike and Spare Fun Center bowling birthday packages for kids. It’s pretty inexpensive, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. It’s certainly a much better deal than some place like Celebration Station. I’m also prepped to take my final in the Astronomy Lab tonight and get my AA on December 16th – I’m still going to march, but because of the annual company holiday party that night I’m not having a celebration here on top of it. Perhaps I’ll get myself a graduation cake and celebrate with my friends during the Christmas Eve party as well. Jareth had a major turn around in school and managed to pull up all of his grades but one in this last marking period, which earned him the right to get back on his computer and into WoW. He’s been really enjoying himself in the game recently, and it’s been nice to not be such tyrants and restrict his privileges around the house.

Well, at the moment that’s about al
l I have. Need to get back to work because MySQL is being a pain in the ass. Take care out there, folks.

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