May 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 2011
theodosia: (fishy)
I thought, therefore I twittered:

Despite the hopelessness of the cattlecar Career Fair yesterday, I DID feel that I was highly employable and skilled and able to show it.

@janice_e The best takeaway from the experience was good confirmation that the market is failing me, not vice-versa.

At one point, I was diagramming out the double-ended queue we wrote for our recent lab in the programming class -- the one I rocked, and the hiring manager (not an HR, a guy who writes Java) was really intrigued that you could pass a datatype just like any other variable. So I think I passed the casual "does she know enough about programming?" barrier with flying colors. If they only had an opening for me!

@batwrangler Y'know, the whole Day of the Triffids story would have been so different with just a little Roundup on hand.

My backyard smells like lilacs, which are blooming well this year because the neighbor cut back the maple on that side. Yay neighbor!

@victoriajanssen - and my childhood home had them outside my bedroom! I never expected that a favorite part of homeowning w/b the backyard!

I end up feeling much more calm and centered when I sit out there for a while. And though I'm right in the middle of a busy city/town, there's enough birdsong and whatnot to feel like I've reconnected with nature and all that.

Read half of THE GHOST BRIGADES for the past two hours, good enough that I wasn't aware of the time passing!

Having previously gulped down Old Man's War in like a day and a half, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that I could get so engrossed that I lose time with this one, too.


Going to see the Trek movie with [livejournal.com profile] rakshathedemon this afternoon, which should be geeky fun for all. I'm not seeing a whole lot of complaints, you know?

In other news, when I talked to Mom on Thursday night, she was SO happy -- she's not only "graduated" PT and OT with some very pleased therapists to say goodbye to, when she went to her doctor for her followup, he was shocked at how well she looked/was. Especially the not- being bent over with pain, I expect.

She's still on oxygen, since the pulmonary hypertension isn't going away, because of the heart murmur backing up some of the blood in her lungs, so she has to stay on some medications, and use her powerchair to go longer distances on the campus. But, overall, her quality of life is up, and she's even doing better than she was when her back acted up, with some hope that she might be weaned off the oxygen for longer periods, enough to be able to get out and about.
theodosia: (illyria)
I thought, therefore I twittered:

Despite the hopelessness of the cattlecar Career Fair yesterday, I DID feel that I was highly employable and skilled and able to show it.

@janice_e The best takeaway from the experience was good confirmation that the market is failing me, not vice-versa.

At one point, I was diagramming out the double-ended queue we wrote for our recent lab in the programming class -- the one I rocked, and the hiring manager (not an HR, a guy who writes Java) was really intrigued that you could pass a datatype just like any other variable. So I think I passed the casual "does she know enough about programming?" barrier with flying colors. If they only had an opening for me!

@batwrangler Y'know, the whole Day of the Triffids story would have been so different with just a little Roundup on hand.

My backyard smells like lilacs, which are blooming well this year because the neighbor cut back the maple on that side. Yay neighbor!

@victoriajanssen - and my childhood home had them outside my bedroom! I never expected that a favorite part of homeowning w/b the backyard!

I end up feeling much more calm and centered when I sit out there for a while. And though I'm right in the middle of a busy city/town, there's enough birdsong and whatnot to feel like I've reconnected with nature and all that.

Read half of THE GHOST BRIGADES for the past two hours, good enough that I wasn't aware of the time passing!

Having previously gulped down Old Man's War in like a day and a half, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that I could get so engrossed that I lose time with this one, too.


Going to see the Trek movie with [profile] rakshathedemon this afternoon, which should be geeky fun for all. I'm not seeing a whole lot of complaints, you know?

In other news, when I talked to Mom on Thursday night, she was SO happy -- she's not only "graduated" PT and OT with some very pleased therapists to say goodbye to, when she went to her doctor for her followup, he was shocked at how well she looked/was. Especially the not- being bent over with pain, I expect.

She's still on oxygen, since the pulmonary hypertension isn't going away, because of the heart murmur backing up some of the blood in her lungs, so she has to stay on some medications, and use her powerchair to go longer distances on the campus. But, overall, her quality of life is up, and she's even doing better than she was when her back acted up, with some hope that she might be weaned off the oxygen for longer periods, enough to be able to get out and about.
theodosia: (dsinmotion - thanks to slo_mo_panda)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 06:53 Brother called at 10:10 PM, after I was sound asleep, didn't give any details (and didn't sound too happy) so now I'll wait until 8 to call. #

  • 07:25 Waiting for 8 AM, which seems the earliest decent hour I can call brother for details and whether I should head down to PA or whatever. #

  • 08:32 Finally! I called brother, Mom is doing well - held overnight for observation, but both painfree and hungry, etc. A big Whoohoo here. #
    Oh brother! In more ways than one -- you might have thought to mention something in your short phonemail that she made it through the operation OK? Instead it was all gruff "Call me" so I figured it probably wasn't that she'd died, but there might have been complications you didn't want to list out verbally, like partial paralysis or something. Instead you used the same cop voice you probably use to tell people their family member has been in a serious car accident....

  • 08:44 off to the networking, then I can get to go to muskrat jamboree! #
  • 11:52 Networking term of the day: AFGO, another frakking growth opportunity. #
    Ran into two ex-Loti at the meeting, and then there was a new guy from Houghton Mifflin, whom worked in the College IT department, so I'd heard of him (and worked with some of his coworkers) so we commiserated about the fall of a great place to work and I think I may have cheered him up a bit, because, as I said, it was more like getting a divorce than losing a job.

  • 14:40 Talked to brother - Mom was sleeping, flat in her own bed! - and she's home, happy, safe, et cetera. Hasn't laid down for weeks, literally. #
    She's been sleeping in her Lazy-boy, loudly insisting she prefers it and WHY does everybody think it's a bad sign? The woman's powers of Stubborn are legendary and not necessarily survival-prone, you know?

  • 14:54 At long long last, I can leave for Muskrat Jamboree downtown. Tonight I'll park in the hotel garage so that I can leave whenever safely. #
  • 22:58 Muskratted with the fangirls, found friends, had dinner, watched Dollhouse, got headache, came home. Missed a ton of people! TOMORROW!!!! #
  • 06:37 Discovered roommate in the study last night giving extensive cuddling to Spare Cat, who had her firmly under paw. #

Having faffed around (ate lunch, house chores that couldn't be put off) I arrived halfway through the last panels of the day (finishing one on Torchwood, you could hear the squees down the hall...), but I thought that was OK, since then I could go hang out in the con suite -- except it turned out that that was being shut down, because the rooms had to be reconfigured for the vidshow and dance starting at 6:30. Which left me with approximately 2.5 hours to kill, and after having talked to a couple people (waves to [livejournal.com profile] calathea, [livejournal.com profile] wneleh, [livejournal.com profile] katallison) suddenly there was no one left that I knew on hand.

And then I realized that even if friends who wanted to see me were up in their hotel rooms... I don't know their "real" names! So I went to the sparse hotel lobby, which has all of four seats in it, while I pondered what to do, and who should I see coming over the horizon but [livejournal.com profile] theamusedone and [livejournal.com profile] aukestrel! I couldn't have planned it better! They asked if I wouldn't like to come and watch some Middleman (which I'd already watched a lot of courtesy of John) and hang, and it turned out that I finally got to meet [livejournal.com profile] imkalena plus some wonderful other people and say hi to [livejournal.com profile] doll_revolution, too. (And as I thought, Middleman is fun to watch in company.) And [livejournal.com profile] farwing joined us for dinner!

Back to the hotel room in time to watch Dollhouse, which was also fun to watch with others AND had a very decent episode for the people who hadn't seen it before.

But by then I was getting a headache, it was past ten, and I was yawning bad. I had parked in the hotel garage, so it was dead easy to get home, so I collapsed into bed shortly thereafter.

Today I'm going to do better, see panels, get to talk to more people, renew acquaintances, et cetera.
theodosia: (freaking)
Mom came through the operation just fine, and reports that her pain is gone -- according to my brother she was VERY pleased -- but was still held overnight in the hospital, being 86 and not robust. I'll have more details, soon, but that's the very important gist that I'll bother you-all with. :-)
theodosia: (carrots)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 07:31 I found my plastic Magneto statuette on the floor, proof that Spare Cat is a) exploring and b) resents evil mutants. #
  • 08:31 Looking at: Warming to the cult of Snuggie -- Not quite enough to make me want one, though! tinyurl.com/yo7q8m/c/a/2009/03/29/LVT ... #
    Seriously, the pictures look like it was quite the fun party, and the decorations of the Snuggies are remarkably creative....
  • 11:35 Realizes she is delaying final revision of resume. Before it goes beneath the eagle eyes of the career counselor, that is. #
  • 12:51 Finished revision, sent off! My entire life, hopes & dreams in 8.5x11 one-sided paper, spell-checked and neatly marginated. SIGH #
    Yet there was some ego boo that I could put together something that has that much truthiness in it, and that it may well be a competitive resume that can get me some interviews. Interviews would be nice. I interview well, but I'm not getting to that point in this hiring market.
  • 15:49 Put up a bunch of offers on the Time Trade org -- web design, photo retouching, IKEA assembly and more. I can DO stuff!#
    Another ego-boost! No seriously, listing out some of the services that I can provide/do well, even the off-the-wall one of putting furniture together? I can't do carpentry, but by damn can I wield the mighty Hex Allen Wrench like I pulled it out of a small stone....
    http://timetradecircle.org/ will give you more detail on how timebanking works, for those who are intrigued.
  • 17:11 Past time I went out to the learning mine. Lift that algorithm, tote that design pattern. You compile 40 lines and what do you get? #
  • 19:13 Elderly patients with multiple ills tinyurl.com/ck86gx
    Particularly because Mom certainly qualifies as one of them, and it's a difficult area for doctors to deal with. Luckily, the doctors at Mom's community are used to dealing with these cases, which is something of a comfort!
    #
  • 20:27 Sorry to hear the news about Andy Hallett, Lorne from Angel, a nice and gracious actor. #
theodosia: (dead like me)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 08:27 Off to the races. Well, the programming races. You know what I mean.... #
  • 10:11 Derailed the teacher by mentioning that we no longer have a Return key on the keyboard -- he started explaining what a CR really is. heh #
  • 10:40 @twistedchick -- in fact, he DID go on to explain what a typewriter carriage was and how it worked! Good god we're old. #
  • 14:13 Reminder to self: put Vividcon payment in the mail! #
  • 17:31 Talked to Mom -- consulation w/ spinal surgeon on Weds, surgery Thursday if approved. I sure hope so, she's still in a lot of pain! #


The Mom news is good news indeed -- provided that she gets approved for surgery, that is. It's something called a kyphoplasty, where they basically use glue injected into the compression fracture to un-compress and stabilize it. It's pretty safe, from all that I've read -- in fact, the patient may not be sedated heavily, and many are able to walk without pain out of the operating room.

However, if she doesn't get approved, for various reasons taking into account that she's 86 and a lot of other things are going on, including heart valve problems, the "good news" is that the compression fracture will eventually heal on its own, though she'll be in pain until it does. (And I'll be wincing right along with her. She's going to be even more devastated if she doesn't get approved. Even though it's medically for the best if there's doubt, I suppose, she's getting so emotionally worn down....)

8 hours of class covered a bunch of stuff I already know, though its good to have it recapped. Fran, the teacher, was mentioning how he slips sometimes and refers to "declaring" a variable rather than "defining" it, which he said the people in the class who are old enough to have learned programming in the 80s tend to do -- which is directed to me and Bill, the other greyhair. Which made me smile and admit that I keep referring to the Enter key on as the Return, and then we were off on a digression about manual typewriters -- which isn't entirely off topic, as we still encounter LF (Line Feed) and CR (Carriage Return) characters in some languages.

There was some sort of synchronicity going on these past few days, because I was talking with the career counselor in my resume rehab session about the early days of personal computing (she was at Cognos when I was at Lotus) And then I found out one of my B.Org friends lived on the same floor at Shelton Hall (BU) just a few years after I was there. And then I'm talking about college days with Fran, where I used to have to rent a typewriter at the student center in order to type my papers....
theodosia: (thousand elephants (by heuradys))
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 08:02 Spare cat has left the carrier sometime during the night and found another hiding place... somewhere within this locked room. Mystery! #
  • 09:25 spare cat still missing. I am reassuring myself that there's a litter box, and food and water and many reassuring hidey-holes in the room. #
  • 10:07 Spare cat turns out to be glaring at me from a strategic position in a bookshelf. Hisses when I get too close, but this is progress. #
  • 17:57 Looking at: TechBat takes care of your bugs by telophase -- everyone vote for this, PLEASE? tinyurl.com/ctt9gn #


Latest word from Mom is that she survived the MRI with many compliments about the technicians and how they treated her gently to make it as comfortable as possible. So that's one BIG hurdle taken care of.

My brother came down yesterday, and my Aunt is due today. If I understand correctly, Aunt will be on hand for a while, and being a nurse is probably the best of us all for Mom Duty. She'd have been on hand sooner, but she was having house guests who had flown in from Ireland and St. Louis for a foster family reunion week/weekend -- lousy timing, truly.

I was pretty damn SPLAH all day, my biggest accomplishment getting my suitcase mostly unpacked, computers set up and Like That. Oh, and looking for the Spare Cat, who evidently prefers the closet to glare impotently from.

Today should be more productive, what with school starting up for reals and whatnot. All the stuff that I couldn't get to, last week. Such is the exciting whirl of life for the jobseeker.
theodosia: (have fun (by heuradys))
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 07:13 Still in PA with the MA blues again. Will wake up Mom presently. #
  • 07:44 In a nearby AU, I'm waking up in MA wondering whether I can let the new cat explore the house and meet resident cats. #
  • 09:50 Looking at: Am undr Ur chickn stealin Ur warms by Theodosia tinyurl.com/d6dwas #
    Vote for my quippy Loldog, pretty please?
  • 09:55 Home Support Services still hasn't gotten back to us. I am NEVER leaving PA, evidently. I might as well start looking for a job HERE. #
  • 11:14 Hope I'm not jinxing anything by aiming to leave by 1 PM.... #
  • 12:51 OK, putting away the laptop, crossing my fingers. Next tweet from MA or somewhere quite like it. #
  • 22:29 I got in about 8:30, after stopping at grocery store on the way in. Spare cat is in the study, refusing to come out of the cat carrier.... #
  • 22:53 I may have left the connector for my iTouch at my Mom's, but I'm not going to search for it now. Sleep first? #


If all is well, Mom is finished with her MRI by now -- I hope! She was very apprehensive about it, because it hurts something awful to lie flat. I hope my supposition that the MRI technicians know many ways how to prop up back pain patients is right given that they have to work with them so very often!

Poor Mom. If this doesn't work, they'll have to arrange to have her dosed up for another try, which will further extend the time before they can do a kyphoplasty and stop the back hurting -- if she's approved for it, given that they have to get an MRI et cetera before they can even decide about it.

I gave her a pep talk before I left, pointing out that her best weapon that will get her through the next little while is optimism. What's wrong right now is physical, mechanical that can actually be FIXED. Oy.

My raptor count on the way up was 19 turkey buzzards and one hawk. After halfway through Jersey, though, I didn't see a one. Which is a little freaky -- I wonder if I was seeing part of a migration, because that's seriously more vultures than ever I've seen, except in Mexico where they'd hang out on top of the tallest cactuses and scan the beaches for tasty dead seals and whatnot.

For once, I decided to try the TomTom's direction and take the Geo. Washington Bridge, which somehow managed to spit me out into Manhattan and then proceeded to direct me across into the Bronx on surface roads when I missed a turn. This pretty much seals the deal that I will never EVER listen to it again when the GPS tries to lure me over that bridge. Unless, for some bizarre reason that I really really want to drive on East 181st Street EVER AGAIN.

CeCe, the spare cat, was quiet for most of the drive, and preferred to stay in the carrier when I opened it last night in my study. I finally found her this morning after looking for quite some time, in a very clever, very strategically inobvious shelf, glaring at me with the force of 1.5 burning nuns.

(Oh, and I found the iPod connector just a few moments after I twittered last night, so yay on that....)
theodosia: (Theoden (from kathlaw))
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 07:54 feels some better after listing out all the things that ARENT wrong with my Mom. And reflecting that her current woes are FIXABLE. #
  • 07:59 BSG: A Minor Scheduling Conflict tinyurl.com/da65wo
    ***** 'Oh god, if Roslin starts sobbing, will you hold me?' 'Choking is a kind of holding, right?'#
  • 08:14 Looking at: Laputa Robot! Now I know what I want to put in my garden to tie it all together! www.tautoz.com/ghiblimuseum//photo ... #
    ***** I am actually 90% serious. I'd love to have some SFF statuary in my garden. This would be SO cool, especially if I could get some moss to grow on it, or at least vines. At last a use for weeds!
  • 09:46 is going to be taking a spare cat home to board for a couple months for her Mom's best friend. #
  • 11:13 Thank goodness the Roommate is cool with a surprise spare cat. Now to take care of tasks for Mom and then I can pack up the car.... #
  • 12:28 Considering advisability of setting up hamster-like water bottle for Mom when I'm gone to ensure she doesn't dehydrate. Probably not. #
  • 12:43 Looking at: Battlestar Galactica: Spike And Angel Debate The BSG Finale HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA tinyurl.com/d3pgfu #
    ***** Hats off to IO9 for finding this clip, which is SO appropriate given my head-desk reaction to the character decisions at the end of the series.
  • 12:44 Looking at: Malkin Grey's LiveJournal - Random Thoughts on This Week's Supernatural tinyurl.com/db5ovz #
    ***** Wherein she masterfully sums up reactions that I'm too inarticulate to voice about this last episode.
  • 13:31 am caving and staying on through Tuesday, even if I've got the car half-packed. Mom way too apprehensive about the MRI Tues. #


Oyoyoy. Mom had DECIDED NOT TO HAVE THE MRI. Which she NEEDS to have if she's going to get evaluated for surgery to fix her and STOP HER PAIN.

OK, so it's "reschedule" which means that it will be even longer that SHES IN PAIN. I have to remember that Captain Logic is not in charge of her tugboat at this point, at times. She's easily daunted, to say the least and the thought of handling asking Home Health Services to give her someone to shepherd her through the process must seem like Too Much.

I'd hoped to be back in MA at this point, with spare cat, trying to get life itself back into order and get ready to go to class tonight. Instead I'm currently waiting for Home Support Services to call us back.
theodosia: old default icon from livejournal (hugh)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 07:55 waking late, full of gronk, et cetera. I need Gronker, not Twitter to fully express my emotional state, I think. #
  • 13:55 has veins throbbing in her forehead over stupid people saying insane-but-guilty people should be executed anyway. #
  • 17:23 Looking at: Perfectly Sculpted Melons tinyurl.com/dd534w #
  • 21:26 watched Supernatural finally -- might have been the best episode of the series. #
  • 06:19 is up too early, feeling too achy, and trying to decide whether to drive home today or tomorrow. #
  • 06:22 @tzikeh SIGH. I thought about that after my BSG tweet was twatted. I plead i/n/s/a/n/i/t/y/ thinko derived from other distress in my life. #


FWIW, here's the cut Tweet: )

Today might be Return Home Day Where I Drive All Day or it might be tomorrow, which will have the added attraction of being Day I Spend FOUR Hours In Night Class Probably Covering Stuff I Already Know.

Mom did take another dose of magnesium citrate, which is like unto Drano for the intestines, so this morning she's not actually constipated.

On Friday, we went to a hematologist to see about treatment for her anemia. Technically, her iron levels are fine, she's just not producing enough red blood cells, so after the doctor took a very thorough medical history, she was approved for a drug called Aranesp, which is usually given to people with chemotherapy-induced anemia, which evidently can super-charge your RBC production. Among the listed common side effects was diarrhea, so I reflected that it's a sad day when you're HOPING for side FX.

Mom was depressed and acting out yesterday, and upset that she was acting out, and more depressed about that. Of the stays I've had with her this year, this was definitely the most challenging. Seriously, when you're suspecting that your Mom is lying to you about taking pills, because she's sick of having to take orders and wants just that little bit of control, that's tough.

I had a very sad epiphany when I was helping her to dress for the doctor visit and looked at her skinny back with all the bumpy bones and realized that if she were one of my cats I'd be considering having her put down.

Still, talking to the hematology doctor about her medical history, it was somewhat reassuring to think of all the things that are NOT wrong with her, starting with blood clots/strokes/dementia/diabetes/arthritis. She comes from a long line of very stubborn, very OLD people and could surprise us all yet. If we can get her through this crisis -- it's a compression fracture of her T-8, which is FIXABLE, either thru surgery or time's own healing (about a month) -- she should be back on her feet, literally, and can work on getting off the oxygen, et cetera.

I've told her that she has to take things one day at a time. I may have to prescribe the same advice for myself.
theodosia: (stargate by thefakeheadline)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 07:07 ...has decided that today is the day she DEALS WITH things #
  • 07:08 Listening to: The Stooges - 1970 tinyurl.com/cvc6k9 #
  • 11:59 On my fifth or so medical-related call of the day, on Mom's behalf. #
  • 12:34 I really suck as a caretaker, I've concluded. #
  • 19:12 brother arrived, ally in the Fight of Mom's Health. Us vs. Her & Her Depression. #
  • 19:14 Looking at: A Tribute to Space Bat - Neatorama tinyurl.com/d69vyu #
  • 06:10 OK... who ordered SNOW for the first day of spring? #
Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter

Starting the day out with ambition, ending feeling like the day kicked my ass, then jumped up and down on it for a special bonus.

Actually, I did get a lot done -- set up appointments, arranged for transportation to those appointments, tried to figure out the difference between CAT scans, MRIs and X-rays, updated calendars and so on. The community social worker dropped by because she'd heard that Mom was doing badly again so she got an earful. Talking to her, I realized that caring for Mom this trip has been much harder than my other stints here in the Springfield Retirement Castle-- she's in constant, acute pain, and much more distressed about it than other times, especially because until her back went out, she was steadily improving to the point she could be on her own, get about on her own, manage a trip out to shop at Wegman's, et cetera. And then, boom, (or rather, CRACK!) and she's on the DL again.

At times, I've had trouble getting her to take Tylenol "What good will it do me?" she says. Which, you know, like chucking a snowball at a T. Rex, but at least it does something. The doctor doesn't want to give her something narcotics-based because of the falling danger, which given that she's frail to start with is probably smart.

However, my steady urging of him got her a prescription for generic Ambien, which she is to take a half-pill before bedtime, so this morning she reports that she slept deep and well, which has to be the first time in days. I hope that means with the relaxing of muscles and subsequent reduction in pain.

Last night I didn't get to watch Supernatural because it turns out that the local WB played a movie instead! What are they thinking? I also didn't get to watch the Daily Show or Obama appearing on Leno, as we all collapsed around 10 last night -- my brother was staying over so that he could go to a forensic evidence storage course. He got a small prize yesterday for being the quickest with the correct answer. The teacher asked "Why do we keep all this stuff?" and he raised his hand first. "Fear," he said, and then explicated "We're afraid that sometime, somehow, all of it will be needed."

Given how many legal cases have depended on evidence gathered from years back, he's not wrong. Since he's had to stop doing on the street policing due to his neck and back problems, he's found a police speciality that he's good at, is deeply interested in, and knows is useful.

Finally, this morning when I woke up, and looked out the window -- SNOW?! Just a bare dusting, but, given this is The First Day Of S P R I N G, how ironic. It is, however, melting rapidly, so I hold out hope, even if yesterday I was walking outside with just a thin sweater over my t-shirt.
theodosia: (Lost)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 07:26 Looking at: Basics - In One Ear and Out the Other - NYTimes.com www.nytimes.com/2009/03/17/science/17angi.html #
  • 07:45 Caffeine still out in car. Never did remember to go get it yesterday, probably because of headache and other woes. #
  • 09:28 sweet sweet caffeine pill, cast your magic spell over my brain.... #
  • 09:36 Watching: YouTube - Shepherds, sheep, sheepdogs, LEDS and a Welsh hillside, via @alterjess! tinyurl.com/9w4o9c #
  • 09:36 @alterjess -- baaaaaa humbug! Also their Pong game plays better than the one I wrote in Flash. #
  • 11:49 tinyurl.com/dnxwk Baaaaaaaaby hummingbirds! #
  • 13:15 I realized that I do not know how to soft-boil eggs. I only eat them scrambled, so I never learned. Had to ask Mom for instructions. #
  • 14:59 Is Twitter the telegraph of the 21st century? Stop. Because concise messaging is coming back into style. Stop. #
  • 15:52 I think I'm going to get computer speakers so I can have sound on this computer here. At home I just use the stereo to output sound #
  • 18:41 wonders if she shouldn't create TELEGRAPHER where all the tweets are in CAPS and there's a sound option that will make dits & dats.... #
  • 20:49 Watching: Gallery - Photography: Life and death beneath the waves - Image 12 - New Scientist tinyurl.com/c8qgvt #


Yesterday was a whole lot of Mom-herding, which probably led me to post more Twitters than usual, none of them about her. She's in considerable pain, and depressed about that, and getting her to take even OTC remedies like Tylenol, or Pepto for her heartburn means a whole lot of cajoling, because I don't want to yell or fight or whine. So I flee to the comfort of the Internet and my Invisible Friends.

I also got away for a while, went out to Target where I found a pair of $11.89 computer speakers. My fancy-schmancy HDMI HP LCD widescreen monitor refuses to output any sound, even after a support call to HP a while back, and at home I send the sound out via a jack and my old stereo system, which works very nicely. So these mini-speakers are letting me get sound and play my iTunes while I'm seated here at the little desk.

I just love the EXTREME SHEEPHERDING vid like gangbusters, even if I'm pretty sure some of the hillside shots were sweetened via AfterEffects or whatever. It's a commercial, but a really nice one that makes me love humanity, the Welsh, sheepdogs and even sheep all the much more.

Not that I don't like the other links, but they're just the bog-standard neat science and/or animal type of links that I adore. I think the most amazing shot is at the end of the hummer babies, where there's a toothpick and a penny posed next to the now-vacant nest and you can appreciate just how TINY those babies were. ::looks at random penny sitting on the desk next to her::

I wonder if I COULD do a Telegrapher site for the giggles of it, or at least a Flash application, which would give me some practice with sound FX, and show off some Actionscript chops, too. Along with, you know, going to school, learning enough Java to pass the SCJD test, and OH YES find a job. (Who said that being unemployed, excuse me JOBFREE means nothing to do?)
theodosia: (wonderfalls)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 07:00 I left the caffeine pills out in the car. Morning is going to be h a r d. #
  • 11:01 resolves to prononce SYFY as Siffee henceforth #
  • 15:55 Huh. It's 60 here. Mom is taking a nap, I could go out for a walk.... #
  • 17:02 taking an online java certification practice test. I think I need a whole lot of practice.... #


Not that unexciting is bad, when it comes to your mom's health, but I could have stood a little more interesting stuff. Then again, I had my own headache to contend with, which is no fun.

I'm thinking of getting a Sun-Certified Java Developer certificate, so I started taking one of their practice tests, which crapped out 3/7's of the way through, but even with that little taste, I can tell that I need a whole lot more work. I don't think we've covered "protected" and there were other issues as well. Even if I don't take the test, being able to know some of this stuff is helpful, so it's not energy wasted.

Today there's no headache, so perhaps I'll be more ambitious. I've got my computer here, after all, so perhaps I can work on some fun stuff...
theodosia: (have fun (by heuradys))
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 07:34 Agenda today: Fix Mom. Or at least get the doctors to start addressing her various woes. She's been constipated since last Tuesday! #
  • 10:21 Home health aide is here, Mom has an appointment at 11:30, so will be working hard to get her over to the health center. #
  • 12:19 The word for the day here is OBSTIPATION. Which is like constipation, only more so. Off to the outpatient hospital for xrays next. #
  • 16:48 X-rays revealed no tumors or polyps or obstructions. So she's going to be taking Powerful Laxatives. Not fun, but still good news! #
  • 20:07 Syfy channel, huh? I guess that's because esseff.com is already taken. #


I tried hard not to panic about Mom's condition yesterday, because the doctor thought it was serious enough to warrant an "obstruction series" of X-rays. At her age (86) I guess it's natural to prepare for the worst, like a tumor or whatnot, but I really didn't want that to happen.

Getting Mom over to the hospital outpatient clinic turned out to be much more easy than I expected -- Ann's Choice (her "independent living community") has its own transport with lifts for wheelchairs and drivers who know how to operate them without a fuss. I was really just along for handholding.

So it was a great relief to hear back from the doctors that we could graduate to All Out Warfare, with a bottle of magnesium citrate -- the same sort of stuff that they use to clean you out in preparation for colonoscopies. Which is so very Not Pleasant, but is pretty much sure to work.

And it did, and I'll draw a respectful veil over the graphic details, which includes Mom complaining at great length :-) But getting this problem taken care of is the first step to getting Mom up to speed again. Now we're going to have to deal with the compression fracture, which means doctor visits to get her approved for surgery to fix that up.

I have books and DVDs and my desktop computer down here, but did I have a chance to do much with them yesterday? Ah well.
theodosia: (freaking)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 07:02 Mom called last night, not doing well. Am headed down to PA today, it looks. #
  • 10:09 backing up files before I unplug computers #
  • 10:38 time to turn off the computers. Gah. #
  • 11:05 OK, packing up the laptop. Next steps: pack the car, get in car, drive 7 hours... #
  • 20:48 Actually got in by 5 PM, but didn't get a chance to get online until now. Mom discouraged and hurting but OK. #
  • 21:43 Raptor count on (long) drive: 29, including 15 buzzards (8 in one thermal). Also about ten turkeys on the side of the road. #


Yeah, my day was pretty much breathless announcements like that. I listened to NPR podcasts on the way down, went through a good deal of my backlog.

Best was a new-ish This American Life about the banks -- money quote was "That's a nice global economy you've got there. Be a shame if... something... was to happen to it."

Also kept a running count of the raptors along the way -- caught lots in the air, on top of lightpoles and whatnot, and several groups of vultures riding thermals. Also a spectacular group of turkeys spread out along the roadside on the Saw Mill River Parkway in NY.

I'm trying to point out to Mom that her current woes are =mechanical= problems that can be solved. The compression fracture on her T8 will resolve in a month's time, sooner if they can do a procedure that injects glue into the fracture (that's the kind of procedure that you walk out of with a smile on your face if it goes right), and so on, but she's not listening Or, to be fair "can" listen, in the emotional state she's in.

Send me some coping-ma, and things will work out all right, I'm sure.
theodosia: old default icon from livejournal (hugh)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 07:23 Looking at: Facebook | My Photos - Recent Work -- redesigned website page. tinyurl.com/bds9c9 #
  • 08:42 off to the Programming Mines! Yeah, a little late.... #
  • 13:44 Lunch was Amy's Macaroni & Soy Cheeze. We've switched from Java to recapping SQL #
  • 14:47 The programming instructor knows the correct plural of index! #
  • 16:02 Done for the day! #


I didn't Twitter (or for that matter, get online) last night, because I got a distressed phone call from Mom last night, who is Not Doing All That Well. She's in bad pain, because it seems a vertebra in her back has cracked or collapsed or crumbled -- I'm not sure from her description, but according to my brother, spinal surgery may be necessary. This was just as she was bouncing back from the pulmonary hypertension, getting less dependent on the oxygen and stronger, down to one visit a day from an aide, and on her own.

So she called last night, pretty upset. I don't know if I can do much good, but I'll head back down for general hand-holding and escorting her to doctors, et cetera.

To top it all off, I woke up from an upsetting dream this morning where I and my brother couldn't get home from PA and Mom was refusing to let us borrow her car (which she can't use, even in real life) and was calling me selfish and a bitch, and was generally nasty... which you know, isn't true and definitely not what she does in reality. Definitely a Paging Dr. Freud type of dream there.

I think I'll try taking my desktop computer with me -- I can at least do some schoolwork or independent study while I spend my days down there, instead of faffing away on teh Interwebs. Luckily last night I parked my car in front of the house instead of up the street in my parking space, so that's something.
theodosia: (pushing daisies)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 07:36 I met Laverne and Shirley at dinner last night. Well, at least real people with those real names who are friends. Still wacky, though. #
  • 07:55 I've now got banana bread baking. It's a box mix from Trader joe's but it's still going to be fresh warm cake for brekkies! #
  • 10:09 Off to the front desk to see if the keys they found are indeed the ones that I lost.... #
  • 14:43 watched BSG -- they nearly undid all the good things they'd done with Ellen, but pulled it together at the end. #
  • 17:49 Installed trial version of Flash on iBook to practice some cool stuff... why didn't I think of this earlier? #
  • 19:46 ... impatiently waiting for Amazing Race to come on. Mom is actually interested, for once. Oscars can wait. #
  • 06:17 woke up early -- definitely have cold, waiting impatiently for my next dose of Sudafed. #


Laverne and Shirley have definitely been the high points of my dining experience here. I get the feeling they're used to the double-take at their names by now.

Getting the keys back was the high point of MY day yesterday, since when I got back from the grocery store the day before, I was overloaded with several bags, so I put them down on the ground, used the keys to open Mom's building's side door, placed them one by one inside the foyer -- and hurried off to get a cart to carry them all upstairs in.

Forgetting, presumably, that I left the keys in the lock... or maybe I dropped them? Anyway, after we tore the apartment apart Saturday night, somebody had turned them in on Sunday morning, so all is well. Mom wasn't blaming me, at least, considering that I was running errands for her and her friends.

We got out to the dining room two nights this visit, and she didn't flag during either run, in fact had her oxygen off for some of it, because it's easier to eat without worrying about the nasal cannula. She's making really good progress, and it looks like she'll be 'soloing' without a family member present later this week.

My brother will be up later today, but in the meantime I'm goign to hit the road so I can get back to MA in time for my 6 PM class. I really need to make it because I can only work on the final project on the classroom computer -- I haven't tried to set up a local web service (which is necessary) on my machine because it's Vista and given how much trouble the students with Vista laptops have been having getting it to run, I'm not at all optimistic about the system settings that I'll need to figure out.

(The Web service CODE is not at all hard, it's getting the damn service to PUBLISH on the computer that's tricky. That's why System Administrators were invented, damn it.)

Anyway, I'm set to take off by 9 AM -- in the meantime it will be breakfast and goodbyes with Mom, and then I should have a good shot at a clean run up the East Coast, presumably having to tell the GPS that NO, I'm NOT going over the George Washington Bridge, thank you very much.

Maybe someday I'll let it take me that way, just to relieve its itch, but I don't think it will do much good.
theodosia: (bodyswap (by daughtershade))
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 09:20 Crisis of the day: roommate says that the furnace is off at home. She's now calling plumbers to get somebody to relight it for her. #
  • 10:00 roommate also can't figure out how to get the furnace door open, says it's "stuck". #
  • 11:11 Back from shopping expedition, I now have bagels and Tastee Kakes and Taylor Ham, which makes everything feel better. nomnomnom #
  • 13:49 Roommate is laying out 100ft phone cable to basement so I can talk her through relighting the furnace pilot light. #
  • 16:48 Relighting didn't work. Expensive weekend plumbers have been called. It's $$$, but still cheaper than frozen, burst pipes. #
  • 22:29 Expensive weekend plumber says the boiler is cracked but still operative, and got it running again. Furnace replacement in my future?! #


So the day was punctuated with urgent calls back and forth from MA where the roommate beset with a cold furnace. Unfortunately she's not very handy, despite my showing her three times that I can remember for sure how to relight the pilot light (which blows out about once per year, when the wind is in the exact right direction and strength to mess with the draw on the flue), so she was having kittens about it. And I couldn't turn up any friends who felt able to do any better.

(Note: this was the pilot light, which has a fail-safe thermocouple that prevents the big burners from coming on unless its been warmed up sufficiently. So the house wasn't going to blow up from escaping gas, or a person lighting the pilot light wouldn't get their hand fried. I STILL use a lighter with a long stalk, and a stout oven mitt to reach in with.)

Anyway, R-the-roommate got a friend to come and try it as well, and when neither of them could get it to light, an expen$ive weekend plumber (Robert L. Pann co) was called in, who will come out in less than 2 hours, and for that kind of money they'd better. It sounds as though there are cracks in the boiler, which is Not Good, and his comment over the phone was that he suspects that all that is holding the furnace together at this point is the asbestos.

(Oh yes, it's one of those HYYYUUUUGE "snowmen" furnaces, at least 80 years old, retrofit from coal-burning to gas-fired. I've known it's been on borrowed time since I bought the house, so not complaining that its goign before its time or whatever.)

The end result is that the house is warm again, and I'd better investigate replacement starting as soon as I get back home.

To put the cherry on top of the Bad Day pie, I managed to lose or misplace Mom's housekeys. So I'll be running around seeing about replacements and all that.
theodosia: (dead like me)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 07:28 Morning at the old ladies' penitentiary. Trying to talk Mom into letting me make her some coffee.... #
  • 07:53 OH CRAP -- Cinematic Titanic will be in Somerville THIS WEEKEND. Wish I'd heard about it in advance.... #
  • 10:08 pondering that why I often forget to DO something, I rarely forget that I DID something. #
  • 13:23 second run of the day to take Mom's friend out to a medical appointment #


Mom is definitely doing better, I was a bit headachey myself. The big stuff of the day was taking her friend Ann out for two medical visits, first to get an injection of isotopes and three hours later, to get the scan of where they travelled to in her legs to see what's happening with the circulation there. So I was at least of some use.

Yesterday evening I watched The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the following episode of Dollhouse, which was not as awful as I'd worried it would be. (I'm definitely withholding judgment for a couple episodes.) I was fading bad by then, though, so I watched the first act of BSG and went to sleep. Now I'm waiting for the episode to be put up on the SF Channel site so I can watch it in full!
theodosia: (monsters)
From my current Twitter stream:

  • 06:51 Talechaser Flash Resume -- finally moved it to Dreamhost! What I did instead of packing... www.talechaser.net/FlashResumeFolder/ #
  • 07:47 packing packing packing #
  • 08:02 OK... all packed, at least the stuff that I can think of. After all, they have stores in PA, too, right? Leaving...now? #
  • 14:29 Very clean run down from MA, except the part where, once again, Tom Tom tried to divert me via the GW Bridge. #
  • 15:28 Would you get work done by the Plumberama company? I guess awful names aren't restricted to beauty salons. #
  • 21:30 Mom doing pretty well, considering. Me, I'm tired from short sleep and long drive. Watching ancient animal CGI on Animal Planet. #


My strategy with the Tom Tom's directions is now to set the first part of the journey to Oakland NJ, which sets the route over the Tappan Zee instead of looping lower through the GWB. That works pretty good, but I learned the hard way that if you reset the goal while you're actually GOING OVER THE TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE, yes, as in more than halfway over the damn HUDSON RIVER... the Tom Tom will STILL try to TURN YOU AROUND and take you back over so it can send you DOWN to NYC and over the GWB.

ASSCAPS cannot convey my emotions here. You really do need the visuals, with me gesturing and making faces, as well as raising my voice at the right places.

Other than a slight detour where it tried to turn me around and I valiantly resisted, it was one of the cleaner rides I've had, but boy was I tired.

Mom reports that the social worker is so impressed with the family support we've been giving her, which makes me proud, but not surprised. I may have my problems, but family dysfunction is not one of them.

Today, Mom has volunteered me to taxi a friend of hers out for medical tests -- not really complaining, this is a lady who's done her lots of favors, and it gets me out of the house, too.

Oh, in the links above -- it's the same Flash Resume that I had before, it's just that it's now at Talechaser.net which is my own domain! That's kind of cool -- it only took me, what, two months to get around to moving it. Now I'll have to move the other parts of my site, but for now, that's something.

Profile

theodosia: (Default)
theodosia

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags