cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
My mother-in-law finally got a tenant for the home she moved out of a year ago & we went on a flat-emptying roadtrip yesterday (because it's an hour and a half away from us in Ekenäs, halfway to Helsinki). It was really almost empty already, with just a washing machine, a bookcase and tv/media shelves, the light fixtures and the odd plastic bin remaining. In <2 hrs, mop & rubber gloves were being wedged into the van and I was done sweeping up the dust bunnies. We didn't have to pry anything out of the walls because they're being professionally redone.

Coming back to Pargas (20 minutes away from us in Turku, [personal profile] waxjism's childhood home and MIL's new digs), we drove right through an intense blizzard of big, fat, fake-looking snowflakes that hung swirling in the air over a surprisingly large area encompassing most of the town, both the bridges and a big chunk of rural mainland. It was two degrees below freezing when we got dressed in the morning, but with glaring sunshine all day, most of our work was done above the freezing point, with the furniture-carrying members of the party (including [personal profile] waxjism) leaving their jackets indoors. So while the temperature may have dipped a degree or two in the storm area, the flakes were vanishing as they hit the ground like soap bubbles, but sticking to the noses of the cars driving out of the gale in little white patches like they'd been pranked with a towelful of shaving cream.

While driving in the middle of the blizzard, there was a clear sense of moving through the inside of a cloud, which is of course literally true, but not usually so visibly so. At the treeline it looked like fog; up close the flakes were streaking past like the stars past the windows of the Enterprise; and in the middle distance you could clearly catch individual big flakes in isolated moments, making out the size and shape and he weird little giddy swirling trajectories they made coming down.

We watched the storm die down out the window of MIL's new flat while drinking tea, with the last snowflakes literally steaming off the roof of the house next door.

There's isolated snowflakes falling outside our livingroom window today too (currently -1° C), though nothing like a blizzard. They look like dandruff falling from a bright blue-gray sky. Or ash, as [personal profile] waxjism observed.

So, Happy Easter, as the Finns are all saying ironically.

It snowed after Easter last year too. I maintain that Easter is too premature for spring in this climate. May Day is more legitimate, or the traditional pagan spring carnival of Walpurgis, but they're still on the chilly side and not really showing enough new growth from nature to inspire the proper springy feeling yet.

The vibe is less the joyous verdant carpets of new grass and daffodils in bloom and heaps of blooming flowers and buds on all the trees which one pictures, and more a sort of cautiously hopeful donning of sneakers instead of insulated boots, sweeping mud and gravel off the streets and waiting for the grass to come back to life. (To be fair, there are buds - the little furry ones - on the trees. But not baby leafs yet. The bunnies weren't very keen on the twigs we brought home last weekend.) Spring clothes and sunglasses and sunhats and thin cotton scarves are selling briskly at the Red Cross, but the customers are still all coming in bundled up.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (HALP)
Last Monday I thought that I had lost my wallet AGAIN, which would've made the 2nd time in 6 months. I had a meltdown of (a) guilt for failing to keep track of my important stuff and (b) agony over how much of a pain it is to replace all the things in your wallet, and then I did a whole bunch of reading about adult inattentive adhd. I've seen articles here and there about it before, and although my mother has long said that she probably had it, and even though I do share many absent-minded traits with her, I never thought it very likely that I had it until then.

Well, actually it turned out that I didn't lose it on the bus at all! I dropped it on the floor of [personal profile] pierydys's car when we went for a drive with the bunnies last weekend, which isn't nearly as bad. To lose it on the bus I'd have to have dropped or set it down on the seat/floor, but my bag was on the floor of the car and it probably just fell out of the exterior pocket (where it shouldn't have been and never should be in the future, but still, it's not as bad). I'm really relieved, but the scare has made an impression. I'm still thinking I'm going to adopt something like a wallet chain (only not an actual chain: maybe a lanyard, ribbon, or knitted cord...).

In the meantime, I did a bunch of reading about adhd, because I have felt increasingly overwhelmed by trying to organize/prioritize/manage tasks with a bunch of bits that have to be kept together/not lose things/etc (although I don't remember having any problem whatsoever with that as a child... aside from having a horribly messy room, but again, that's a common problem). I'm pretty much convinced that my mother has adhd now, but I didn't really find convincing indications that I might. There are a few things that ring true for me too - most strikingly, the lifestyle of accumulating clutter/things specifically in piles -, but I didn't find any reason to identify with it over simply being absent-minded (and battling depression off and on). The reading was interesting enough, so I didn't waste my time.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (cuddle time)
When I was a child, when my immediate family wasn't visiting relatives on the Catholic side, we'd usually go for singing and hot chocolate on xmas eve - our church was agnostic usually but the songs were more hymns than carols in deference to many of the adults' Christian childhoods, and I always found religious lyrics alienating. Then we'd drive by and look at the ostentatious lights on the houses in the gated suburban communities on the way home. That was pretty much it for xmas traditions, and family visits were about the visiting, without even any special formula for the food (there was usually a lot of it, but that's it).

Here in Finland the traditions are family-oriented. The first few years I came to Finland, when Eldest Deitychild was an infant and the only representative of the next generation, there were Waxfamily gatherings where my mother-in-law had like, enough food to feed the seven adults present for two weeks and her flat festooned in greenery, red satin curtains, straw and red felt and brass traditional Nordic Christmas decor, three kinds of homemade candy with the Swedish gingerbread on the sideboard, and the Christmas Eve dinner was followed by Swedish drinking songs and snaps, wine, cheese, boardgames and puzzles. At that time, there was always plenty of snow at the end of the year too (hasn't happened the last five years or so), so the whole experience was a lovely advertisement for the Finnish holiday, and I was happy to go over to this model and felt no nostalgia for the childhood ones (except missing my family).

Now that my brothers-in-law have four and two children respectively, they have their own family celebrations in addition to the Waxfamily arrangements, which aren't hosted by my mother-in-law anyway. We've had some big holiday dinners hosted by Wax's brother and his wife, which were festive, but all the relaxed and pleasant atmosphere of the evening is removed by the noise of a lot of children and the fussiness that sugar and presents bring.

This is my mother-in-law's last year before retirement and she's mostly moved to a new flat nearby which is too small to host the whole family anyway, so that probably won't be part of whatever Waxfamily does in the future.

This is also the first year she's eaten xmas eve dinner with (just) us. We have a table with leaves this year, so that is doable for the first time on our end. We put out candles and a tablecloth and supplied mashed potatoes and bread and cheese. For three people - and Wax and I each typically eat about half an adult restaurant serving per meal - MIL brought:

  • A leg of cold mutton

  • Enough chicken and vegetable patés to fill our second-largest platter

  • A pan of sauteed mushrooms, which is a traditional xmas dish for their family

  • A big salad

  • An entire basket of fruit

  • A box of homemade chocolate truffles that we didn't even get around to eating

And Wax was deputized to prepare a disturbingly pink beetroot "herring" salad and a bowl of bright pink vinegared whipped cream on the side.

It took longer to put the food in the fridge and pack it up than to eat it, almost.

I made two kinds of Christmas cookies and some peanut butter cups and took them to brother-in-law's place today, where we went to eat pizza and give the niblings their presents. The cookies always get a warm reception there, and I enjoy making them (obviously eating them too, but making them for other people even more so). It doesn't seem quite as cosy and festive to me, somehow, though. Maybe I'll put cut greenery up or find a way to hang more ornaments without a pet-vulnerable tree next year.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (huh?)
I think this Xmas marks our most successful round of presents for the triplets (Age... 8?) yet.

#2 was like "Huh... it's a puzzle... [thinks] [very solemnly] Cim, I think this looks like fun to make!" [small smile]
#3 was so busy staring at Funko Pop Batman that he forgot to say how he felt about it for several minutes, but he just kept staring and eventually said something like (quietly) "Batman!"
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 (crack)
We came back with:

  • Four bottles of ibuprofen caplets (200 mg x500) and some Sudafed

  • Three bags of Butterfinger minis and one bag of mini Reese's Cups

  • One pair each of flip-flops from Old Navy (they were $5 USD together whereas the cheapest I could find the identical plastic Made in Chinas for in Finland was over 20€)

  • Three pairs of yoga leggings and a sports bra, two tank tops and a 100% cotton plain white Oxford shirt (me)

  • Sweatpant shorts, a long-sleeved popover shirt and foldover-waistband white linen pants (Wax)

  • A souvenir t-shirt each & a baseball cap from Cloudland Canyon State Park, a pair of sunglasses and a big sunglasses case each, and a bag of cotton terry-cloth crew socks (I looked EVERYWHERE I COULD THINK OF for cotton terry socks here)

  • An eye-searing blue paisley suitcase that looks like a Lily Pulitzer knockoff

Also a giant pop-up book of dragon illustrations from my mom for our niece who loves dragons, the silk phoenix kite my dad brought me back from Singapore in 1988, and a pink glitter USB cable.

We consumed a bunch of Pop-Tarts while there but forgot to bring the extras back with us. I also wish I'd brought back some extra goldfish crackers, but the suitcases were pretty full.

Many things went wrong, but nothing catastrophic; everything managed to recover and occur at the right time in spite of these snags. That will take longer to write up.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (cuddle time)
"X and Y are the guests of honor, but I don't know who they are," said my sister.

"I don't either, but I know I'm not interested in their work because they're both men," I said.

My dad said, "Yeah. And weren't all the other names on the list of guests men, too?"

(They were... except for one.)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
On the Ashkenazi side of my extended family, 9 members in 3 generations have lived past 50, and of those 2 have died of breast cancer and another's been in treatment for a few years (male breast cancer in his case). Now we've found out my aunt is entering treatment for it too, and she's only 55.

Statistically, this is troubling. (Personally, my aunt's prognosis isn't bad and the rest of the oldies seem sanguine, so I'm not TOO upset.)

Thanks to my atheist great-grandparents, though, neither of my aunts were even aware that we're Ashkenazi, hadn't even heard the term -- and naturally, her doctor asked her specifically since it's a risk factor. (I didn't learn it from my family, either, even though my dad knows; I think it came up in the genetics chapter of high school biology... .) I said "I can't believe they didn't know that!" and my sister replied that she didn't either. =_=
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
I was gone from home for a week, for 5 days with my little sister in Stockholm! [personal profile] waxjism has been feeling under the weather, which meant switching anti-depressants, and has been in the midst of tapering off one and onto another simultaneously for a month or so, and therefore feeling even MORE under the weather. So she didn't come along.

Table of Contents:
1. Wed: The Shoe Affair, The Mall that Cthulhu Built, and a Digression: Don't Try to Eat Vegan in Downtown Stockholm's Central Tourist Destinations
2. Thurs: Medieval Museum and Museum Tre Kronor
3. Fri: Drottninggatan and the Historical Museum
4. Sat: Kungsholmen
5. Sun: Gamla Stan and Gustav III's Antiquities Museum
6. Mon: National Gallery at the Academy of Fine Arts and St Clara's Church

Read more... )

My photo posts from my photoblog at Tumblr: Walking in Gamla Stan - On the Street & in the Church - The Medieval Museum - The Historical Museum - Plaster statues at the Academy of Fine Arts

cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (sleek & stylish)
I just found out that my dad is my sister's long-distance cheerleader when she has to catch a bug inside her flat to release outside, and he has been doing this for years.

When it comes to Crunch Time (ie time to put a bowl or something over the bug) she'll say "Okay, I have to put the phone down now!" and hang up, but then she'll call back after to notify him that she successfully ejected the bug from the premises.

"One time I walked by him talking on the phone and he was saying solemnly, 'That was really brave,'" said my mom.

So this could be useful. Like I could call my dad on the phone when I'm afraid of my inbox and let him coach me through the process.

Although the only thing that upsets me as much as I've seen my sister get upset about grasshoppers are like, having to initiate conversations with people. And I'd need two phones for that one probably. ("Turku Health Center Tallbacken 2." "Can you hold a second please? - Daddy, a nurse answered the phone! She said the name of the health center!")

Honestly, I'd moved in with Wax when I was her age, but a few years before that I was living alone, and I did have to call my dad a lot. He's definitely coached me through filling out scary forms that had to be mailed places. And also with leaving my room and braving the horrors of a communal kitchen to make myself food.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (flirty)
"I thought that now the kids are pretty grown up, we could have a movie night together and pick a nice animated film... but when we got there they all wanted to watch the same thing: Monster High. Not one of them wanted anything else." - sister-in-law

Dear Mom & Dad,

I'm sorry that for all of 1988 the only video I ever wanted to rent was Barbie & the Rockers.

cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (i'm an ancient! i love chiffon!)
Here's the slightly more detailed babble about the design & execution of the Mage Carmela portrait I made for her birthday.

Carmela the Mage, 25 May 2013, mixed media on paper, A3

On Tumblr

Read more... )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (thattaway)
This is a post about the planning of the fantasy portraits I painted of the triplets for Christmas for my mom and anyone else who might be interested (she's the only sure bet, as it were.)

These are the pictures (embiggenable via clickthrough):

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

The fashion highlight slash teachable moment of the last few weeks was when my Thai classmate asked the Bangladeshi one why she doesn't wear jewels dangling from her nose/ear/face daily. There were other related questions but this one stuck with me the most, possibly mainly because the lady in question tried to answer by miming the amount of stuff that would be dangling in her face if she had worn it. ("Wedding! Wedding! Only wedding." "Why?")

I pointed out that although our Thai classmate also owns some large and elaborate jewelry, as do many of the rest of us, she doesn't wear it out every day with jeans and a t-shirt either, and she ceded the point reluctantly with a wistful protest, "But it's so pretty." Well, this is true.


It's Father's Day in Finland today. American Father's day was in July and when I talked to my dad on the phone I told him that I thought of writing him a haiku in Finnish for the occasion (he's a poet so there's a lot of poems-for-occasions going around in our family), but my Finnish hadn't got very far and also I wanted to say "poet", which in Finnish is 5 syllables by itself (runoilija). I had to ask Wax how to say it; at the time I'd only been learning Finnish a couple of months. But now I was able to write one completely on my own (although Finnish word length was still a bit of a stumbling block)! And I was even able to make it a science fiction haiku (he's been into those lately)!

Isäni kulta
Tuoli nopeampi
Kuin aikakone

("Darling Daddy, chair faster than time machine.") (Finnish doesn't have definitive pronouns, so it could be a specific time machine or a general time machine; context doesn't specify.) (My dad's power wheelchair has the ability to jump curbs and zoom around really fast, possibly not actually faster than a time machine, if one exists, but assuming that one doesn't I guess it is still faster. My sister and I both enjoy standing on the back of it and riding around. In San Francisco this summer she banged her knee on the frame twice and I did it once. It's not a completely hazard-free hobby.)


I know that Red Dwarf is crack and has about as much concern for continuity as Gene Roddenberry or Arthur Conan Doyle, which is to say, less than none unless continuity looks like it would be useful for a good joke. But still, even on second watch-through, it is quite hard to deal with 7x02 "Stoke Me a Clipper" when Rimmer leaves, because it lends a (perhaps ludicrously out of place?) bittersweet note to latter seasons to know that Original Rimmer is still gone, even though Resurrected Rimmer is right there (ludicrous because everything else is already rather sad/bleak/bitter-along-with-the-fun-bits by definition, written right into the basic premise and everything). There's badfic where Original Rimmer comes back and he and Lister have a variety of action-packed, tear-streaked, porny love stories in consequence, but aside from any other potential drawbacks to them, they also leave me feeling badly for Resurrected Rimmer. (Except for that one where it actually was Original Rimmer who had traveled back in time after 600 years of immortal badassery to go undercover as himself and he wasn't really resurrected at all.)


I've mentioned my Ideal Dress before, the dress I have exalted above all others and always wanted since childhood. (It's the green flapper dress that Cyd Charisse wears in the Broadway Melody dance number of Singin in the Rain.)

Well, [personal profile] waxjism and I still haven't got around to making a formal replacement-for-the-nonexistent-wedding portrait of the two of us that we didn't have taken when we eloped three years ago. (Wax has a suit that would work alright, but I don't have anything I could wear for it, not even a white blouse that fits to stick under a waistcoat in a pinch.)

(NB to [personal profile] waxjism and people who hate descriptions of clothes: skip this paragraph) I mean, I have my old bridesmaid dresses: a black satin evening gown from Amanda's wedding, a black twill dress such as a sexetary might wear to a 1940s funeral from Aubry's, and a Grecianesque number in eggplant-colored chiffon from [personal profile] pierydys's; I also have the raspberry chiffon cocktail dress I wore to Marre's wedding, and my favorite dress has served at both [profile] hollsh and [ profile] guinevere33's weddings, but the straps literally broke OFF both times and it's waiting to have a third set sewn on. And basically, black glitter lace over nude and black twill and black satin and red-wine-ish chiffon are all way less apropos for one's OWN pseudo-wedding portrait than they are for somebody else's. I don't want it to look like a PROM portrait.

So sometimes I toy with the idea of using this as an excuse to get (let's be real: make) myself something like this dress. (I've never really had anything close, except for the sequin-trimmed green satin leotard I performed a tap recital in at age six... I've only ever even owned two pieces of green formal wear, an ill-advised forest velour overall at age 10 and the metallic dark green party dress I wore to [ profile] bexless's wedding.) So even a piece of only semi-dressy stuff in a shade from the emerald/malachite-green family would be a hugely exciting event in my wardrobe. On the other hand, as much as I love that particular shade of light-malachite-emerald-with-a-dash-of-kelly green, sequins aren't really me. For that matter, formal wear isn't really me.

That's why after we became obsessed with knitting and uh, spent our first 50 euros on cashmerino silk-blend yarn, it occurred to me to maybe interpret my Ideal Dress in the form of a dressy pullover sweater, like maybe a tunic-length one with a cable design echoing the shapes of the sequin embellishments. Obviously we can make a silk-blend pullover for Wax too, but the design is complicated by her refusal to have favorites of anything. She doesn't even have a favorite TYPE of shade of green, let alone an Ideal Dress. She'd be quite happy to go out dressed as a bag lady whose entire wardrobe had fallen into a random selection of different green dyes.

The last few days I've been pondering the linked diamond designs on the Cyd dress and the 30's-inspired design of Keira Knightley's Atonement dress, which would look better on me, and is just as beautiful, although it doesn't have the same nostalgia attached. (The neckline of the latter is certainly easier to interpret onto a long-sleeved sweater.)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (weapons)
My parents have taken in a feral kitten - a tiny, slightly ragged calico shorthaired mutt who had been living on their deck under the grill and shadowing their Bad to the Bone chipmunk-killer tom around like the tiniest fangirl. (My mom, for unfathomable reasons, has named the kitten Sappho.)

She was pooping on the couch, so my mom put a litter box on the couch. Hooray for thinking inside the box!

It stopped the pooping but started another problem because Kitten considers kitty litter to be an awesome toy, and likes to play with it and in the process kick it all over the couch.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (daddy & me)
My parents like to telephone for a long catch-up approximately once per week, and they usually want to talk to me at the same time. As a result, they usually put the phone on speaker.

When I call them using my Finnish provider's long distance, I get a pretty good sound quality. But when they call me using their much more affordable calling card, the sound quality is ... I'd say tolerable. Like, not nearly as clear, but it's fine unless one of us uses speakerphone and then it's a bit of a pain. (This is probably because the calling card is bouncing between VOIPs or something to make itself so cheap, idk. I can't imagine how it could be that bad otherwise.)

They tend to call me with one of their cell phones because they can program in the number sequences instead of having to punch them all in each time like on the house phone, even though the quality of speakerphone on their landline is a lot better.

So they've got a cellphone on mediocre speakerphone, over a calling card of dubious quality, and then eventually when my ears start to hurt I usually give up and put mine on speakerphone too and at that point one sentence in three has to be repeated due to sound quality.

This is still not QUITE as bad a calling experience as the up-to-3-minute lagtimes we used to sometimes get over Skype. But on the other hand, Skype was free, and it's adding insult to injury to have to be paying for a conversation that leaves you with a sore throat and a sore ear and also slightly irritated from having to say 'WHAT?' and 'I didn't hear that entire last sentence' so many times.

Maybe Skype again. Maybe it won't lag that much anymore. Or maybe I can make them get on two different extensions of the landline so they can both talk without using speakerphone.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (tiny small swimwear)
We went to my oldest friend's wedding on a mountain outside San Francisco last weekend.

According to the news, they've been having the same weather as us lately: around 20°, kind of. On the day of the wedding it was actually way hotter than expected, but when we went back into the city on Sunday it went back to the forecast. The problem is that Turku is nowhere near as windy as San Francisco in this time of year, apparently. (In the autumn and winter Turku is VERY windy, though.) There was a constant hard, cold wind that made it feel like it was firmly below 15° the whole time, and I didn't have adequate garments for layering with me at all.

Sunday we went to the Aquarium of the Bay. Then I went with my family to Ghirardelli Square - we wanted the old factory to still be open but apparently all it is now is a collection of giftshops so crowded you can barely walk into it. It used to be home to a tea salon I have been dying to visit for over a year called Crown & Crumpet, and I was super excited to go there, mainly because you can't order the teacups with the pink crown teapot over the internet; but when we got there we looked up their website and found out they're closed for moving and I didn't get any awesome tea swag at all. :(((

I want this teacup and also I want it on like a shirt or possibly on everything

Monday we were supposed to just meet Dad's internet fandom friend (his fandom is original sf poetry and it's mostly old people and doesn't overlap with our circles much) at an sf bookstore in the Mission called Borderlands, and then spend the majority of the day exploring the Castro. But some things came up: Read more... )

The Return Journey from Purgatory

We had to wake up at 4 am for our trip to the airport and I was out of cash to tip the bellhop, and then there were no Starbucks in our concourse. My earbuds had started to hurt my ears so badly that we only watched 1 episode of Game of Thrones, and we were unable to locate a deli with bagels OR a Starbucks or indeed ANYWHERE to sell us tea during our layover in NYC; and the world's rudest, most obnoxious American jerkface lady had the seat in front of Wax on the Helsinki leg. She kept her seat all the way back, which is so far that to get out of our seats we had to climb OVER THE ARM, the entire time, and had to be told by the flight attendants to straighten it up when they served food both times. To which she responded respectively "Why?" and "Who, me?" So her seat was literally pressing against Wax's knees the entire time and Wax is only 5'5". There LITERALLY wasn't room between the seatback and Wax's abdomen for her laptop!

So after this 7-hr interval of BOILING RAGE we got to Helsinki completely exhausted and promptly got lost on the way to baggage claim. While we were trying to find it and on the verge of collapse, Wax's backed-up SMSes arrived and one was from her mom saying that the dog hadn't drunk or eaten anything since Thursday! Making 5 days! And we were still trapped in the airport. When we found someone to lead us out, Wax was freaking out because they delayed us TWICE at the stupid passport control even though we'd ALREADY BEEN THROUGH IT FIVE MINUTES BEFORE, and the said someone gave her attitude about it (srsly fuck you dude; she wasn't even flailing at YOU). Still not having eaten, we piled onto a (VERY HOT) bus for a 2½ hour commute...

...and then went immediately to meet Wax's mom to take Perry straight to the vet. I stayed there with him for two hours or so, almost completely zombified and having come out the opposite side of hunger so that I didn't even know I was hungry, while they gave him an IV to prevent him from shriveling up and floating away, took a blood test and urine sample, and ultimately prescribed some antibiotics for a UTI.

I gave him his medicine and he ate and drank Wednesday night before I fell asleep, but I think I got a broken 7 hours of sleep altogether, and Thursday morning I kept staring at the computer, unable to remember when I needed to leave to catch the bus.

Purgatory Still Not Over

So I was late to class, and then I found out that we hadn't learned anything all week and the substitute didn't intend to start now. It was so boring (and overcast outside, and nearly deserted inside the school) that I sort of felt like I was dreaming, just floating along blankly through everything with a severely delayed reaction time. That is, until I got home and found out that THE DOG HAD STARTED PEEING BLOOD! I didn't really have a panic attack, but I think I just couldn't anything anymore. I just sort of sat there moaning and nearly crying in response to every single thing that happened, including when Wax started (FINALLY) playing the latest episode of Teen Wolf.

Eventually (after talking very incoherently on the phone to the vet, and giving the dog some pain meds) I took a Xanax and slept. And, yes, we did spend 3 hours today covering 'to get from [person][case]' and 'to give to [person][case]', which, yes, we had actually already seen before, and, in fact, the substitute DID demonstrate using the clever device of pretending to hand her pencil to at least six different people, and she did explain 'take' and 'bring' a LOT of times and tell Loud Girl to be quiet when, for the first time ever, I didn't even want her to shut up because nobody was actually saying anything that conveyed any information at all; but at least I finally got to come home and sleep another four hours. Oh, and we didn't even do so much as a worksheet in that time, just looked at the overhead while she yapped. I'm bitter.

But whatever, at least it's the weekend and the dog seems to be getting better. And my mother-in-law did the dishes for us while we were gone. She's a champ.


12 May 2012 06:36 pm
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (distance)
WAX answered the phone and it was her mom. Then

WAX: I uh... have to go?
ME: You have to go?
WAX: To drive Mom home and then bring the car back here while she's out of town. Uh, see you in three hours.
ME: But...! ... Okay. :(
WAX: But I don't have Trespassing on my phone.
ME: Your headphone jack doesn't work on it anyway. - Oh, you mean for in the car. Well, I'll put it on your phone for you while you get dressed.
WAX: Yeah. ... Oh well, I guess it's fine... the FM transmitter doesn't work that well in Mom's car anyway.
ME: Okay, then... I'll burn you a CD while you get dressed.

So I put the CD in and it started burning, after a brief technical problem because I had to open Brasero from the applications menu because apparently it no longer appears in the blank CD right-click menu in Nautilus in Ubuntu Oneiric.

By the time Wax was completely dressed it was only 28% finished burning, though, and she hovered over my shoulder, widening and narrowing her eyes comically at the progress dialogue on the screen.

ME: That doesn't help, you know.
WAX: But it makes me feel better.

Finally it said DONE! and popped the CD tray and I dashed over with a paper CD envelope and a Sharpie, scrawled Trespassing - NL (Wax had for some reason failed to download "Naked Love" when it first leaked and obtained it the next day, but after I'd already put the other ones on my hd, so I've been listening without it. I don't like it anyway!) on the disc, popped it in the envelope and passed the envelope to Wax, who stuffed it in her bag and basically ran out the door (because her mom's waiting in the parking lot and "you know how butthurt Mom gets").

But honestly, can you imagine a 3-hour roadtrip within a week of album release without it? D: D:
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
I'm one of those people who doesn't cry easily.1 Aside from when it's entirely due to hormones (which doesn't really count), usually I cry only at certain trigger topics, like book/movie/tv treatment of people's parents or pets dying (because I came close and because FURRY BABIES respectively) or people's close friend-mentors dying (because that's practically the only typical trauma I've actually experienced2).

Well, this has its downsides. I grew up quite close to my extended families on both sides, in the sense that my parents went to a lot of trouble to keep up the relationships with frequent visits, but not so close in the sense that I always lived on the other side of the country from them.3 Of a necessity this constrained how much emotional closeness I could feel to them, perhaps ultimately even more than things like common interests and opinions. In a sense, then, with both the grandparents that I've lost recently, I've found myself with a certain (though variable) numbness in among the loss, perhaps thinking I should feel more, and wondering if the loss didn't come a long time before their deaths - because my relationships with them were never as close as they could have been, and perhaps my loss is as much a missed opportunity as a vanished loved one...

Read more... )


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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