Archive for July, 2005

Getting Ready For Vacation (#2)

July 20, 2005

I haven’t had a lot to say lately. I am keeping busy at work and I’ve been pretty busy at home and socially. Luke has been spending a tremendous amount of time at the pool; in fact I will be taking him to his swim lesson this afternoon and another on Friday. His instructor was out of town last week but we’ve been to the pool frequently; I bet she’ll be surprised to see his progress (he will actually put his head under at the deep end while holding on to the wall, and at the shallow end he’ll let go). We still have a long way to go before he is actually “swimming”, but it’s a start.

We leave for San Francisco/Bodega Bay this weekend. We’ll be in San Francisco at Jay’s best friend’s place Saturday night and when they go to play golf on Sunday I’ll be heading over to Rani’s for the afternoon. I am really looking forward to the trip (and have even found a Starbucks within a couple miles from her house…).

We’ll be driving up to Bodega Bay late Sunday afternoon where we’ll be spending the week with my dad’s side of the family (my 89 year old grandmother and various aunts/uncles/cousins). Despite my issues with my father, I do enjoy spending time with him (he’ll be there also) and the extended family on his side is just awesome. My uncle Mike will be coming down from Washington and he’ll be bringing the sailboat that he designed and built about 4-5 years ago. It is a classic turn of the century boat and is incredibly gorgeous. We went to Huntington Lake when Luke was ~7 months old and I took him out on the boat. Every year they generally do a camping trip, but after the week in the tent last year my grandmother has decided to take it a little easier. As much as I love camping (and I do!) I am relieved that we’ll be in a house this year. Jay does NOT camp, so this will be the first year that he’ll be going on the summer trip. I’m so happy that I won’t have to drive (except Sunday to Rani’s).

Since I will have a large amount of time in the car, I will be bringing my leprosy bandage crochet project (I may be up to 9 inches now…), Mystery 8, and Mini Mystery I. I really want to get back to Alpine Garden also, but I want to catch up on Mystery 8 first (or at least finish parts 4 and 5).

I have gotten sucked into Big Brother this year again (I blame it on DH since he is the one that started watching it during the second season). It is such a train wreck (to quote Rani, who nailed it with that comment). I am really looking forward to the next Amazing Race as I far prefer that show. I don’t know that I would watch BB if it wasn’t on during the summer when there is little else to watch. I know I wouldn’t be watching it if I didn’t stitch.

Well, I have to leave early to take Luke to the pool so I should finish what I was doing. I’ll try to post another entry before I head out of town (or maybe I’ll write one while I’m in Bodega Bay; I’ve already found a place with internet access there).

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Thanks :)

July 12, 2005

Thanks everyone for your kind words after my post yesterday. I know it was depressing but I really needed to get it out I guess. I’m feeling much better today and I know it is at least in part due to the kindness and support of you all.

Jenn I think every day about if/how I should talk to him about it. His sister has tried (in a somewhat abrasive manner, but she means well I know) and he just gets angry with her and I am not ready to try myself. Yet. I do believe in God and I pray about it and continue to hope that things can change or that I can find a way to talk to him about his self-destructive behavior. I know that I can’t change either of my parents, but sometimes I do wish things were different. I believe that things happen for a reason, even if I don’t like them or understand. Maybe I’ll be better able to relate to someone someday because of what I’ve been through; I don’t know. I just hope that something good comes from it all.

Well, other than feeling down about my dad, things are going pretty well. I watched Star Wars Episode 1 with Luke last night since Jay was playing in a “glow ball” tournament at work. I love how Luke acts things out with his Legos; he is so creative and it amazes me to watch him grow into a little boy. There is a lot in my life for which I am thankful, and I will try to focus on those things instead of the things that upset me that I cannot ever change.

About My Father

July 11, 2005

My father came down to visit over the weekend as today is his birthday. I enjoy spending time with my dad but it gets harder every time I see him. For those who do not know, my father is a smoker (anyone who knows me at all well knows how much I abhor this particular habit) and he is an alcoholic. I feel anyone who drinks 12-18 beers on a nightly basis must be classified as an alcoholic. He claims that he “only” drinks 6-8 on weeknights, but since I only see him during weekends and/or vacations, I cannot speak as to the veracity of that statement.

His drinking caused a number of problems throughout my childhood. I don’t know how many jobs he actually lost due to drinking, but I do know that I went to three different kindergardens, my family of five lived in a small motor home for awhile, and that I spent 8 months during junior high homeless; we lived in 8 different places during that time, including some campgrounds since it was summertime. I spend much of that time living away from my parents as we were split up staying with friends or people from church at the time. My father lived out of his car for awhile; it was not a pleasant time. It took me years to finally talk about it openly. I imagine most of my friends growing up never even knew. It is hard enough to be 13 without dealing with that kind of crap.

My mother attempted to overcompensate, and I know she meant well, but she was horrendously overprotective and verbally abusive. Anyway, it was not a happy childhood but we always had food and were never hit and I know plenty of people who had it much worse. I managed to excel in school–knowing it was my only way out–and I have mostly put those days behind me. Mostly. Until last night when Luke said something to Jay about wishing that his grampa didn’t drink so much. I haven’t said anything directly to my son about my father’s drinking, but Jay and I have talked about it before so maybe he overheard. I know that he pays attention to things and I suppose this is a wake up call that I need to be mindful of what I say in his presence. Anyway it took me back to my childhood and how much I wished he would stop drinking and be a “normal” dad. I don’t know what normal really is, but it can’t be living in ~20 homes by age 17 or having nearly every promise broken when you’re a child. I remember the smoking, too; he used to smoke a couple packs a day (he has supposedly cut back and is trying to quit, but I can still count and if he’s cut back it hasn’t been by much) and I came home from elementary school and begged him to stop smoking because we had learned what it does to your body. I flushed his cigarettes down the toilet, but all it did was make him angry.

It bothers me so much that Luke is already becoming aware of his smoking and drinking (he said something about the smoking while we were out at lunch on Saturday when my dad had finished early and gone outside to smoke). But what really bothers me is the fact that I cannot do a damn thing about my father’s self-destructive behavior. He is so pleasant and optimistic and he talks about all the places he wants to go and the things he wants to do, and he talks about how much he loves us, but how can he say that when he is doing his damnedest to ensure an early demise? He talks about where he wants to retire and I want to scream at him about how can he possibly think he’s going to live to retirement age at the rate he continues to poison his body. The effects of his self-inflicted destruction are becoming apparent; he shakes often and he actually seems drunk now, while he didn’t for all those years. He looks older than he really is. It breaks my heart because today is his birthday and I can’t help but wonder how many of them can he possibly have left.

Crocheting Reality Check

July 8, 2005

I am surprised to see that it’s been a week since I last wrote an entry. It doesn’t seem like I’ve been that busy, but I guess I have. My best friend from high school, Maya, was down with her husband last weekend. We took Luke to the pool every day; he is turning into such a fish! He doesn’t actually swim yet, but he has his first swimming lesson this afternoon. He loves the water, though…as long as he is still within an arms’ length of the wall.

On one of the stitching boards that I frequent there was a recent discussion about helping Africa (extrapolate to any depressed/impoverished region of course) without sending money. Someone mentioned a cause where people crochet or knit leprosy bandages; apparently they are preferred over storebought for comfort, reusability, etc. Several people agreed to make some and I got excited and decided to join in also. I went to the local Michael’s after work yesterday and purchased the correct size crochet hook (D and E) and some #10 white yarn. 1600 yards of it, in fact; I snatched up the last 4 of the 400 yard balls. This is the part where the reality check comes in: I sat down last night to start one. I have never used #10 yarn before; I’ve only used the standard (worsted weight I guess?) that you’d use with like a G or H hook. I am also very much a novice crochet-er. Well, nearly three hours later, I have it started: it’s about 3.5 inches wide and (drumroll please) 2.5 inches long. Um, it’s supposed to be 4 *feet* long. So, I figure, in another 23 days or so I may have one finished if I don’t work on anything else. Yikes! I’m hoping that my skills improve so it isn’t so torturously slow. In the interest of full disclosure I did spend more than an hour trying to do the first two damn rows. Once I got into row 3 or 4 it was easy, but I must have ripped out the first row probably 20 times or more. The website with the instructions said not to worry about it being “perfect”, but I wasn’t even aiming for perfect. Well, I hope it will get easier with practice. I have a long car ride coming up at the end of the month and I expect this will help pass the time.

In different news I have been really slacking in the exercise arena lately. I’ve felt really under the weather the last couple days; I don’t know if I’m sick or if it’s allergies, but I feel like crap. I was really disappointed to not make it to kickboxing yesterday but I just wasn’t up to it.

Well, I need to get back to work. I have working hardware now (yay!) and it’s time to verify that everything works. Have a great weekend, everyone. 🙂

Busy Week

July 1, 2005

I kept meaning to blog throughout the week but time got away from me somehow. It’s now Friday afternoon and I’m waiting to hear back from my best friend from high school (Maya) who is on her way down to visit this weekend. She and her husband are coming to visit; it should be a lot of fun. They are planning to buy a home so I’ll bet a weekend away from the stress will be good for them!

I finally have my own office at work again, complete with a nice work/lab area in the back. It’s so nice to not have to completely dismantle my test setup if I need to solder something. Now I’ll have to find something new to complain about. It’s been a good week at work; I found and fixed a problem in the firmware that I “inherited” and I am really starting to get the hang of this whole designing thing.

I have made it to the gym three times this week so far. I ran on Wednesday night and I was so sore Thursday but I went to kickboxing anyway. It’s so easy to be lazy and skip the gym, but I always feel remarkably better when I go.

Last night I got sucked in to “Empire Falls” on HBO. It was good (but sad) but it kept us up until 12:30am. We set the DVR to tape the second half and then stayed up and watched it anyway. I really don’t feel much more tired than normal though; maybe I will always be tired regardless of how much sleep I get. I don’t know.

Stitching news-I pulled Noah’s Sub back out a couple nights ago. I’m maybe 40% done and would like to finish it this year. Of course I want to finish a lot of things this year and I know it won’t all happen. We’re going to Bodega Bay for a week at the end of the month so I need to settle on a travel project.

We’ll be staying in a vacation house on the bay this year instead of the annual camping trip. My dad’s side of the family goes on a camping trip every year. Last year we spent a week at Wright’s Lake (well, I went with Luke and my dad for 3 or 4 days only, but most of the rest of them were there for a week) near Tahoe. It was a tiny alpine lake at 7000′ and was beautiful and serene. My grandmother is 88 now though and, though she slept for the week in her tent last year (she rocks!!) it is getting harder on her to go camping. So, since this year’s trip will be in a house, Jay is going to go too. We’re going to spend the night in San Francisco with his best friend on the way up. I like San Francisco; it’s one of my favorite cities (as long as I don’t have to drive, especially in my little stick shift car). I’m hoping to get together with some friends from the stitching bb’s while I’m there (Jay will probably be playing golf). Rani, I’ll e-mail you soon to work out details!

Well, that’s about it. Have a happy 4th (or Canada day or weekend) everyone!