cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (face!pie)
Going to sign for the keys to the new flat and pick up a rental van tomorrow evening and [personal profile] waxjism's brother is going to help us move the heavy stuff (bed, sofas, and cat gyms) Saturday! Very exciting, very impatient. The last time I remember time moving this subjectively slowly was in the lead-up to my 5th birthday.

My dad got a-ok at two different doctors' checkups a few days ago, though he is still mostly confined to bed (other than a few hours per day). He got a work laptop and is now recovered enough to use Twitter like someone who lives on the Internet: the other day he tweeted "I should eat something." Some day he's going to tweet the shrug emoji or something.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (domestic)
1. Alarums at Arrivals and the Sleep-Deprived Queasy Roadtrips That Nightmares are Made of )

2. Arrival at Cloudland Canyon and a Severe Lack of Flashlights )

3. The Lookout That Didn't Look Out, plus Finnish Delicacies )

4. Worrying symptoms )

5. Bae's First American Speeding Ticket )

Wax's mom pulled up with our box'o'kitties exactly as we walked into the parking lot with our suitcases, so we carried them up in the same trip. Snookums started shouting in the box and didn't stop for a couple of hours after we got him inside.

PS: We brought Wax's mom a bottle of Southern Comfort, which neither of us has ever tasted, and a box of her favorite duty-free chocolates, to thank her for caring for the kitties and houseplants.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (cuddle time)
Dad has left the hospital three (?) times and gone back three times now. More tests, but no more blood transfusions that we've been told of. What exactly is going on remains a tremendous medical mystery apparently.

This time was the second arrhythmia. The first time he was in the cardiac unit, medical science first thought it was a very small heart attack, then that it was not a heart attack but only an almost-heart attack. He ultimately moved out of cardiac (from whence he got a regular room, then an intensive care room for unrelated reasons, then released, then back to the hospital Thursday (?)). I think there's no phones in the cardiac unit according to mom.

I'm getting "Just Exactly How Worried About This Do I Need To Be?" emotional fatigue.

I never realized that THAT would be such an issue in cases of medical mystery, especially as it seems comparatively petty beside the health of a loved one, but there you are.

My mom assures me and my sister, though, that if it gets serious enough that they think we need to rush to his bedside she will tell us. And I think I can trust that, because it's only a 5-hour drive for my sister, which at this point is practically just commuting by the standards of our family.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (huh?)
My dad's been low-level sick and riding the calling Drs merry-go-round for more than a month now, until two weeks ago a new assistant discovered a previously hidden pressure sore. So yay, solved, and he only had to go through a few more trips to various medical places, this time focused on treatment...

... except apparently he was ordered bed rest to decrease a risk of sepsis (?!), but a nurse said it to him when handing him his orders and the doctor didn't repeat it, so my dad decided that it didn't count. (??!!)

This, according to my mom, may or may not have to do with the fact that he actualfax loathes being in bed, even at nighttime (he finds it both uncomfortable and boring) and has been delaying going to bed as long as possible for weeks now, resulting in nodding off during the day.

RESULT: An exciting trip to the ER and he's now been admitted to the hospital. He hates the hospital. My mom was angry/worried enough to type like five screens' worth of explanation on her iphone, and my mom's patience for texting is usually very very low. My dad has apologized profusely to everybody for the worrying.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (nancy bloody drew)
Last night for the first time ever I had what started along the lines of a nightmare and then turned around into victory! Victory that I caused! By fighting back! (It's not that I've never dreamt anything like a conflict where I fought back and/or was victorious before, but not in a nightmare.)

One of the Recurring Dream Places I dream about a lot is this privately-owned nature park place that has some farms and cottages, some nice stone ruins, and a little museum and gift shop, and on whose grounds my dad's step-cousin Carolyn owns a summer house. (I don't know why. My dreams about this recurring place usually involve her summer house, even when she isn't home, and it always looks more or less the same, even though I haven't seen Carolyn IRL since 2002 and she doesn't have a summer house.) Last night I dreamed I took my parents to visit it for the first time, and Daddy was in his wheelchair just like in reality. (NB I have dreamt about being there with my parents before, but in the dream I knew it was their first visit. Also, it's always a toss-up in my dreams whether his quadriplegia exists or not.) How Cim & the Secret Underwater Kindergarten Triumphed over the Ninja Assassins and the Forces of the Asshole Ableist Nature Park )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (tell me more)
Sometimes my sense of humor just gets broken when it comes to my parents, because if you assume they can't possibly be serious it will turn out that they are, and the next thing you know, my dad has heat exhaustion or something and my mom has yet another nervous breakdown. And they obviously can't be trusted because 7 years after Dad's accident, they both still think Mom should be allowed to drive long roadtrips solo in spite of her narcolepsy.

Exhibit A, Real Conversations With My ParentsTM:

DAD: Mom's family doesn't trust her to drive anymore. Joe is going to drive us home [from Kansas to AL, that's 9-11 hrs] and then fly back.
ME: Good. I don't trust her to drive anymore either.


He might not remember the Roadtrip from Hell where we were caravaning in 2 cars and she kept slowing down and swerving into the other lane/off the road, but I do.

But sometimes they really aren't serious, actually. Which, THANK ENYA for that. Because I couldn't handle it if they were actually planning to go to Oslo also. My mom's fixation on Carl Larsson's house is bad enough.

Exhibit B, Dad Totally Got Me:

ME: Is it ok if I ask mom to buy me some shoes1 that I can't afford? I'm an adult, so it feels a little embarrassing. Is that shameful?
DAD: You can ask her if you want, even though we're broke from going to the capital of Norway.
ME: What? The capital of Norway? WHEN? I DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS!
DAD: You know... Finland? To visit you? Next summer? Remember, from Earth Girls Are Easy2?
ME: ...Oh yeah.




Footnote (1): The shoes in question are Poetic Licence "Right at Home". I ran into them in a shady little dive known as Amazon.com when I reached the end of my rope after exhausting all possibilities in reputable/non-evil UK-based mail-order shoe stores in my aforementioned shoe quest. It was love at first sight. These are the shoes of my soul. No, I'm not making that pun. Nooooo. The black ones, though it was a tough call.




(2): It's a quote. There's a tourism ad for Finland on her TV and Geena Davis, when asked, says that it's the capital of Norway. Anyone who remembers the exact words, feel free to elucidate.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (father figure)
You may remember how 2 years ago I found out that Social Security had fucked up and given my parents ≈$20K USD of extra benefits in spite of my dad's repeated attempts to get them to take it back, and they discovered their error 2 years too late and suddenly demanded it back when it was too late. So my parents consulted various people and went through the whole "What Can I Do About Bureaucratic Fuck-Up Ruining My Life?" process and finally came to the answer, "Nothing."1

My parents had just gotten out of debt from my dad's extremely expensive spinal injury2 on top of my 1½ years of extremely expensive college right when they finished paying off the debt from my mom's graduate school. Now my little sister is 17, so, you know, more of that to look forward to. The upshot of all this is that I've now been living in Finland almost 5 years and they haven't visited me here yet. The closest was 3 years ago when we met them in Paris for the Vacation from Hell and Daddy fell into a coma (literally).

My mom was having a pain in her soul from only having seen me 3 times in 5 years (2 times, if you don't count COMA-INCLUDING TRIPS), so they were going to come this summer for 2 weeks. But NOW they can't afford it again, so we'll be making do with 5 days in Oct when my cousin [livejournal.com profile] kitten_head gets married - and my parents and I will be staying in different houses, because there's only one sufficiently wheelchair-accessible house in the family.

I have one major thing to say about all this: D:





  1. I hear the same thing happened in smaller scale here in Finland to my mother outlaw; that's why the knowledgeable apparently hire accountants to double-and-triple-check everything the government tells them and, IDK, never trust an authority figure trying to give them money and like, save it in a special account against the day when they have to give it back?


  2. In spite of having almost the best possible insurance, government-employee Worker's Comp - because they had to renovate their 100-year-old wooden farmhouse all at once instead of gradually as planned, replacing the roof, adding comprehensive wheelchair accessibility and a new giant bathroom, etc.

cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
So my parents took the ill-advised roadtrip. They made it safely to New Mexico and are staying in a hotel, since my grandfather's house isn't sufficiently handicapped accessible for them (or there weren't enough guest rooms since Crunchy Aunt et al are there at the same time?). Now I get this in email from my mother:

The weather here is very difficult for David.  He is almost sick daily form the heat, and there is nothing we can do that does not involve going out in it. It is scary.


Call me crazy, but is there not, in fact, something you can do when you're an invalid vulnerable to high temperatures in a hot, dry environment that makes you sick if you spend time in the sun? Yes? You can, in fact, stay inside in the damn air conditioning. I know it's sucky, but when you're severely crippled in all sorts of ways, and old and fragile, there is just less shit that you can do! Their refusal to accept reality in this respect is just childish, to my mind. "We're not going to let my injury prevent us from roadtripping (even though we don't have an entire adult who is competent to drive in the family)", "we're not going to let my injury prevent us from spending all day outside in the desert in summer (even though my brain is physically incapable of regulating my body temperature properly)", "we're not going to let my injury prevent us from air travel (even though my immune system is weak and I'm particularly vulnerable to lung infections)". What next? "We're not going to allow my injury to prevent me from going through this doorway (even though it's not as wide as my wheelchair)"? That's the kind of thinking that leads to wheelchair-shaped outlines where the doorway used to be!

I can feel a faint throbbing in the physical centre of my rage (the one in my chest. The one in my head is more for badfic). I think I'm going to lie down and fume.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (she wants revenge)
You probably remember that my mom is a giant flake one of whose habits is to send me completely incomprehensible emails from time to time. So when she sent me this the other day, I wasn't immediately hugely worried, because she's usually got something (or everything) confused:

Soc Security now wants all the money they gave us back.  It was ^0k.  10k of it we paid in taxes, I think-- actually, daddy thinks.  I think it was 20K.  So when we refile we can get it back immediatement, and immediately pay that part.


But then my Dad emailed me to ask was it true that my residence permit now being based upon family status as the common-law spouse of my better half, I can stay in the country without €6000 from them next fall, because

Social Security says we have to repay a lot of money that they paid us in the last two years.  We are going to probably have to do this in very large monthly installments...


But he didn't find it necessary, apparently, to explain anything about what had actually happened, or what was actually wrong or GOING to happen. I'm pretty sure that, far from trying to spare my virgin ears, it somehow didn't seem pertinent or necessary or interesting to him, or something. That was when I started to freak out and asked what the hell was going on.

What was going on was, in chronological order, this:


  1. My dad is quadriplegic due to a spinal cord injury incurred while on the job, and was getting some disability money from SS. 

  2. SS sent him something two years ago to indicate he no longer qualified for benefits (why? I don't know) and a form for Dad to fill out to stop them. He filled it out correctly and sent it back. 

  3. The payments didn't stop.

  4. Dad called them and pointed out that the payments were supposed to stop. They brushed aside his clear and incontrovertible point that he no longer qualified and that he had clearly indicated as much and that this was all at their instigation. They told him that if the benefits are supposed to stop, they will stop, and don't worry about it (or bother us). 

  5. Two years later (like, now), they finally decide to stop them... retroactively. And demand back two years' worth of them. 

  6. Apparently this is legal so long as the benefitee won't have to starve to death or whatever.



...

What the fuck.

Reaction paragraph deleted due to me still being wordless with rage, worry, etc.

(Note: this also means I can't go home this fall, almost certainly.)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
first snowfall. it's not going to stick, of course. i love the way fallen leaves on wet pavement look like gold coins.

there's a middle-aged man in a wheelchair in our building. he's not as seriously injured as my dad and a lot stronger - he goes around in a manual wheelchair and he opens all the doors himself, and navigates into the elevator on his own. i still save him some time sometimes by holding the door for him. when we've ridden in the elevator together a few times we've tried to talk but he only speaks finnish (and i think maybe there was another, but nothing that i speak). i can say "i don't speak finnish" and "i speak english and swedish" and "i am american"1 in finnish (score! a use for those six weeks last spring!), at least. of course, since we can't communicate my attempts always carry the possibility of getting in his way instead of helping when he is quite capable himself, but i still keep wanting to hold the door and stuff. ever since my dad's accident i feel a lot of kinship for other people in wheelchairs (and burning hate for people who use wheelchair van handicapped parking spaces when they don't have a wheelchair van, but that's another rant). i held the front door for him today when i was coming back with the dog and he insisted on my taking the elevator alone which i suspect was because my holding it was getting in his way (since he's ridden with both me and the dog before). i really need to learn some more finnish.




1. for the curious: minä en puhu suomeaa; minä puhun englantia ja ruotsia; minä olen amerikkalainen
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
i dreamt i was camping with my family in kentucky. ) that made me remember that i've been imploring my parents to visit me in finland and claiming that our apartment is accessible, but in fact, there's a huge step up into the building at all the doors. he could only make it if they brought the portable ramp.

actually, the idea of them flying internationally again kind of makes me shudder with fear. what if he got another lung infection? i wonder if it's even possible to dissuade my parents from travelling, though. but maybe they could be talked into staying in america, at least.

i've recently finished going through all 33 pages of hikaru no go at fanfiction.net (that was my last stop - i'd already been through livejournal), and now i'm poking through old community entries every now and then, just in case there's anything i missed. one effect of canon's incredible awesomeness and its rather abrupt ending at what is obviously, in fact, the beginning of many of the characters' careers is that i keep wanting more. i've already read several volumes of the manga twice or three times, and last night i rewatched the last three episodes (which is to say, the romantic climax) of the anime, though i greatly prefer the manga - at least i do like the voice actors, even if the animation itself makes me crinkle my nose.

there are 55 bookmarks in my hikaru/akira tag at del.icio.us, but that's because i kept the threshold for bookmarking very low in this fandom and saved practically everything i thought i might want to find again, including some things that are quite bad overall but had some good point somewhere. (warning: even my page of bookmarks may contain spoilers. if you haven't got to the end, don't look.) the very good stuff is mostly established relationship, smarm gen smarm or preslash, or else very very short. it's a small fandom. (i need to add some tags to do with how good things actually are and how much i like them, i think. i'm considering adding a set of tags for my caveats too, like "pretentious", "non-native speaker", "ooc"... .)

i was going to upload some caps from the last few episodes of anime but i got sidetracked. have some manga pages, instead.



that last one where they are clearly on a date is one of my favourite manga covers, and not just because they're clearly on a date, but because hikaru's clearly rubbing off on akira because not only is he dressed more casually but he's lounging. slouching, even.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (can he type?)
my mother just called me to say she's afraid they might have to pay the hospital bill from paris themselves even though they have three insurances that all should cover it... and she says this when they haven't yet filed any of the paperwork. why? cut for the crazy )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
Completely revised and up to date as of October 2016

Abstract. I am a (1) 33-year-old (2) USan (3) expatriate living in Finland because (4) my wife is [personal profile] waxjism who is a Finnish citizen. I am also a second-generation science fiction fan, a (5) voracious multifannish reader, writer and reccer with (6) 2 cats (Arwen & Russel Crowe) & 2 bunnies (Rowan & Japp), (7) socialist/green liberal politics, (8) social anxieties and other neuroses, and (9) a secular Jewish heritage which is important to me even though I'm an atheist. Also (10) my dad is quadriplegic and in a wheelchair due to a car accident when I was in college. EXTRA BONUS INFO: I like [journalfen.net profile] fandom_wank, so if you hate that shit you can DEFRIEND ME NOW (TM [livejournal.com profile] snacky).


Those 10 things in order, with a paragraph of elaboration apiece. )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
daddy is out of the hospital as of this afternoon and my family is (attempting to) fly back to the states tomorrow morning. the wheelchair is still broken, but it can be pushed (although it's quite heavy), so... yeah. whew.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (bang)
i talked to my mom and found out that dad's off oxygen and out of the intensive care unit, but that meanwhile (a) one of his toes has been broken, and no one knows when, and (b) his electric wheelchair is broken, there's no way to have it repaired by the people who are supposed to repair it in europe, and she could only find one wheelchair repair shop in paris and their phone menu is in french that she can't understand. talking to her for twenty minutes has made me feel like climbing the walls, even though the news vis-a-vis daddy's health is actually good. and here i thought all i needed was an update from her to feel better.

now [livejournal.com profile] wax_jism says, "maybe you should have stayed in paris, but we didn't think of that." well, hindsight is 20/20. and also, just the thought of being still there has a faint aroma of 'anxiety attack' about it, i think. and also also, i'm not confident i would be that helpful. (why did i take spanish in high school instead of french, why?)

meanwhile the american embassy have been super-unhelpful, three times, partly because they are asshats apparently, but partly because my mother doesn't know how to communicate with people effectively. "the second time they were really unhelpful," she told me, "i started to just get really mad, so i just said, [putting on a pleasant, tranquil department-store announcer/stewardess voice] 'thank you anyway! i'm sure i'll manage just fine! after all, i've been handling everything without too much trouble this far.'"

yeah... that told them.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (workout)
great.  so, my dad's been hospitalised for some kind of infection (mom, being in a hurry, didn't specify--and didn't try to call me because she couldn't find my number).  spinal cord injury patients are unusually susceptible to that kind of thing, and it hasn't happened to him yet but he's only had the injury about two years.  they expect him to be back out by saturday.

so evidently it isn't that bad.  but still--you expect to get a call in a family emergency.  daddy's, ah, very important to me.  i don't know whether to be more perturbed that a) my phone was out of juice and forgotten so she couldn't have gotten through if she tried or b) she couldn't try.  i've given them this number probably five times by now. 

my stomach feels like anxiety!, but that could be from my icon-making marathon (letting the compulsive tendencies out to play=often a bad idea), or poor eating.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (dangerous)
it's really sad to see your mother lose her temper and turn instructions to a servant--employee--etc--into a fight and then actually lose the fight and go hide. really, really, really sad.

did i say sad? >.>
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
this is the van insurance is paying for. it's a giant ford e250. they told us it would be midnight blue but in fact it's sparkly beige. it looks like our little minivan's momma. thus i do dub it 'mama bear.'

also my second favorite jeans really do tend to emphasize the ass.

it's raining like mad and the room now smells of wet dog. but i am happy.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
my mother has signed a lease. we have a three-bedroom two-bath apartment as of october 22. and we'll have to have a moving party. they're going to look the other way over orpheus and empress. it's really like they're one cat since no one but us can tell them apart anyway.

k'sal has e-mailed me four times in twenty-four hours. all is better. she's doing a beta for me, she sent me a VERY rpsy shater/nimoy photo, and she's FINISHED what has got to be the cutest [finished] kirk/spock in the genre--just wait until you read it. it is rivaled only by her own [unfinished, and untitled] dating-game serial.

i've finally caught [livejournal.com profile] wax_jism online! and that equals instant good mood too. i still have some laundry and a wee errand to do this afternoon. but right now i'm all pleasantly glowy.

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cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
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