Wednesday, April 30, 2008

there is symbolism here, I just can't see it

I dreamed about my grandmother last night.

I was walking through a wasteland of dead trees and destroyed buildings. The ground was cracked and parched and craggy, there were steep cliffs on all sides, some rock pillars standing in the middle with ruined houses on top of them... I was with my sisters, and we were trudging through this mess, and staring at the trees, and discussing what could have happened to the landscape to make it look so ruined.

We weren't scared, though perhaps we should have been, considering the desolate area we were stranded in. We were simply awed at the way nature had reclaimed everything around us.

In the middle of all this wreckage was our grandmother. She was sitting in the wheelchair she'd been using in her last years, her hair just as white and long as I remember it, pulled back in a bun the way she always wore it, and she was smiling at us holding her arms out to us and telling us to come to her.

So we did. She hugged us and said, "I think of you girls often," which was exactly what she did and said the last time we saw her alive.

I woke up bawling. I'm crying now, as I type this, and I don't understand why, because it wasn't a sad dream at all. She was waiting for us in that awful place, and was so glad to see us...what is sad about that?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

so tight my ass squeaks

My mother said that once about my father: "he's so tight his ass squeaks". As you can guess, they argued about money a lot. Or maybe you can't guess. It does sound a little...risque.

Food prices here are not so terribly bad, but I'm still alarmed. So I've been looking online for ways to save money on groceries, and one way I've found is to use powdered milk for cooking. This sounds like a really good idea, as that's usually the only thing I use milk for. It's fairly cheap, cheaper than regular milk, so what the hey? I'm going to try to find some next time I go to the store, and see how I like it. Maybe, if it's not so bad, I can put a few drops of vanilla in it and it will be good for regular drinking and breakfast cereal, too. We'll see.

And I'd like to start stocking up on non-perishables now, while we have the money, because Sid's talking seriously about trying for spawnage when he comes home in a few months, and I'd like to have some stuff put back so that if/when I get pregnant, we've got more money to spend on baby stuff.

Now that the weather is getting nice, I wish we could plant a garden. I'm sure our landlady wouldn't mind, but at the same time...this isn't our house. I'd hate to put all that effort into a garden and then have to leave it. So in the meantime, I'm looking at little window planters. At the least, we can grow our own spices and stuff. Maybe some little window tomatoes!

When I go to the store next, I plan on buying the ingredients for bread. I can easily make my own for lots cheaper than storebought bread, and it will be lots yummier, too. When my father-in-law asked us what we wanted for a wedding gift, and I told him we wanted a was the smartest thing I think I've ever done. That poor breadmaker gets so much use, just like our crockpot.

Sid has expressed an interest in "eating healthy". I'm not sure what else he'd like me to try to do, besides stop cooking pizza. We already eat lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. I make my own soups, we don't buy the canned kind (less sodium and fat that way). When we need ground meat for something, we always try to get turkey instead of beef because it's not so fatty. Really, the only thing that needs to change is Sid's insistence on buying snack foods.

Friday, April 18, 2008


So it's been a week and a day exactly since I started taking Synthroid, the super-cool synthetic thyroid hormone, and I must say, for such a teensy little pill, it has already effected some big changes in my life. I can ride my recumbent bike without nodding off. That horrid mental fog is lifting, so that I can form coherent thoughts with no effort (for the last few months, playing sudoku was totally beyond me). And the numbers on the scale, for the first time in over a year, are not moving up, but down.

I felt so good the other day I mowed the yard. Now, this is misleading, because it needed to be done, but the great part was that I enjoyed it. I didn't feel like pushing the mower and taking that next step was going to kill me; it felt pretty good, until the pollen had me snotting like a crying toddler.

The bad part is that in my overzealous need to GET THINGS DONE, I tried to replace the old gnawed up blades with some spiffy new ones. I don't know what went wrong, or where, but the mower runs like someone's dragging it over rocks. Oh, and did I mention the billowing smoke? Yeah, it's blowing like a fucking smokestack. And I'm no scientician...but that can't be good.

Circumstances around Manson Homestead are rapidly improving; Sid has reached the halfway point for his deployement, and I feel like a whole new person. Now if only I could do something about the box elders...

Monday, April 14, 2008

the hypocrisy, it burns

Sid sent me an email today, and it contained a paragraph most interesting:

I've also met some good friends here on the boat.. most of them females as they seem to be more mature than the guys. So yes, when i go to ports, i'm usually around a girl. Just wanted to tell you that so you know. I'm obviously not doing anything but when you see pictures and its me and a girl.. don't freak out ok?

Like I'd not noticed that the pictures he was sending me of the last four ports he's hit had the same smiling women in them. Like I'd asked about them. I had not. I knew exactly what was going on, but I didn't say anything. But he felt the need to bring this up now, after a month and some odd change, for what reasons under god, I cannot fathom.

But this is what I sent as a reply:

Let's reverse the situation for a minute. Would you be okay with me hanging out with a bunch of guys? Going places overseas with guys you didn't know and had never met, while you sat at home with the phone and waited for me to call? Can you honestly say you would be fine with that? Because somehow, I'm not seeing it. I don't care what you do out there - well, I do care, but there's nothing I can do about it - but if you admit to yourself that you would not be all right with me doing the things you're doing, maybe you need to change your behavior.

I have not forgotten the last time he was gone for months on end, how he flipped out when Cory asked me to come to Zakk's Coffeehouse to see his favorite band. Nor have I forgotten the screaming fights, as Sid went to the movies with his (girl) friends, and yet wanted me to stay home alone. It was epic, one of those things that we were either going to hash out and work through, or it would destroy our marriage completely. We'd been screaming at each other for so long it seemed like that was the only way we could speak to one another, and finally, in sheer desperation, I asked him "how would you feel if our situations were reversed?" and that was turning point. He had not stopped for one moment to see the situation from my point of view, until I asked him to. And when he did, he realized he'd been something of a douchebag.

Not that I'm accusing him of being a douchebag this time, but the idea is the same. Until I make him walk a mile in my shoes, he will not stop to think of my perspective. As he was the youngest child in his family, it was always about him, and as I was the oldest child in my own, it was always about everyone else, and unlearning those behaviors and ways of thinking is hard.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

a bullet dodged

It's hypothyroidism.

I feel as though I have dodged a bullet. Here I was, for a week, thinking, "okay, if it's fibro, at least I'll be able to manage it somewhat..." and trying to acclimate myself to possibly never really feeling 100% ever again, and it turns out I have a wonky thyroid.

Even though in the back of my head, I find it incredibly fucked up that I am celebrating having a disorder that will require a pill a day for the rest of my life, I am ecstatic at the fact that I have something that is treatable.

I am looking forward to the big bear hug Sid is going to give me at the pier: for the first time in my life, he's going to hug me and it won't hurt.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

the things we take for granted

Sid, when something humorously unexpected happens, will shout, "surprise, cockface!" and it never fails to crack me up. He has a certain tone of voice he uses, and a certain inflection, and I can never reproduce it when I try.

And yesterday, of all the godawful things to miss about him, I missed his "surprise, cockface!"

I'm almost ashamed to admit it. But then I got to thinking about all the other things I miss about him, all the stupid things that annoy me to no end, and the stuff that makes me grit my teeth...and I miss all of it. Yes, I am even humble enough to admit that right now, I harbor fond recollections of the way he belches and blows his gutrot in my face.

Although, if I'm being really honest with myself, one thing I don't miss is how he likes to put off taking a poo until right before I take a shower. Mmmm mmmm, nothing quite like bathing while the gentle smell of rancid pig manure blends with your scented soap...

Something tells me that when he finally comes home, there will be a span of about a month were Sid can do no wrong. And then the novelty will wear off, and it'll be back to shenanigans as usual at the Manson Homestead.

I can hardly wait.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

on tenterhooks

Since my appointment on Thursday, Sid has called every day to ask about the lab results. And while I'm glad he's doing his best to be there for me, I can't help but be irked at the fact that it took a doctor saying "Yes, there is something wrong with you," for him to sit up and take interest. Because I feel the same as I did yesterday, or even a month ago, which is to say I feel like shit, and he never asked how I was feeling then. Maybe he thought I was pretending?

Right now, there's a few things that the doctor suspects, namely hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia. I'd be lying if I said I was relieved, though. I don't want there to be anything wrong with me at all! But I keep telling myself that a diagnosis, one way or the other, isn't going to be a huge deal. It's going to change my life, yes, but not in a bad way. Whatever's wrong with me is the same thing that's been wrong with me for a while now, and that's not going to change. What is going to change is the way I feel right now. I'll have a name for this, and a way to deal with it, and that will make all the difference. A year ago, I didn't feel this bad, and hopefully, a year from now, I'll be able to look back on this moment and say I'll never feel that bad ever again.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

a vagina isn't like a tire and other revelations

My friend Cory came over last night, and somehow we got to talking about "girls". He made the remark that "I thought the girls in Roanoke Rapids would be nice, you know, but all my friends tell me they've been around."

From me, a stunned silence. I literally stood there, speechless, for at least two minutes while he waxed poetic about "girls who've done it, and girls with VD" and the first words out of my mouth? "Cory, a vagina isn't like a doesn't lose it's tread." The second thing? "Where do you think these women are getting these diseases? From each other?"

He admitted that I had a point, which was gratifying, considering my brain feels like half-set Jello.

Somehow we got to talking about being groped, and he said that someone touched his balls during a pat-down once. All I could say was, "Maybe this gives you an idea of what it's like for women every day." Don't think I haven't had my ass grabbed in line for Space Mountain, okay? Groping is ubiquitous for women.

I'm consistently shocked and appalled by the things Cory says concerning women, but at the same time, I'm grateful that he's saying them to me, because it's pretty much impossible for me to just sit down and shut up when something's got me riled. And rile me he does. I don't think he realizes that his narrow view of females is what's keeping him from forming relationships with them, and it's not something I can just out and say.