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Thursday, May 26, 2005

What happens when you eat too much sushi. Posted by Hello

At home you're just my sister....remember that! Posted by Hello

"You better fish me out of the steno pool J.B.!" Posted by Hello

Smitty: I GOTTA have my cawfee! Posted by Hello

Paris "Original" Posted by Hello

"Well Hellooooooooo Mr. Bratt!" Posted by Hello

"I'm your new secretary, Mr. Finch!" Posted by Hello

"Oh, I type like a jackrabbit....TWELVE words a minute!" Posted by Hello

The World Wide Wicket Treasure Girl Posted by Hello

Hedy: Do you like my outfit Mr. Bigley? Posted by Hello

The World Wide Wicket Wickettes Posted by Hello

The Secretaries: Hedy LaRue (Caris), Smitty (Taryn), and Rosemary (Marilyn) Posted by Hello

Take a letter, Miss LaRue...

So, we've survived the madness of the last few weeks. Um, months. Uh, oh hell, let's face it; this year sucks. That's not to say that it couldn't get better, but for now, I'm about to picket on the sidewalk outside my house with a sign that says "2005 Bites." Yeah, I'd be by myself I'm sure, but a good friend of mine has called me "An Army of One". There may be strength in numbers, but I can be loud sometimes. Just ask my kids.

I couldn't do the realities justice should I find a smidgin of time to sit and write them. Nor would anyone believe it. Suffice it to say that I wouldn't wish what we've been through on my worst enemy. Even Mean Bookkeeper Lady at my work. If it were in my power, there would be no such thing as cancer. How many times have the words "If I were God..." been uttered around the Earth? Add mine to the cacophony.

So, I will concentrate on the good stuff that keeps me functioning:

* My sister Loke calls me, checks on me, lets me cry on her shoulder, and sent milk money at the smallest mention of financial fright (which I am holding because I promised her we'd go casino hopping when things calm down around here. Milk is over-rated anyway) She also lets me rant about how much I HATE Rob and Amber and could give a flying fig whether I EVER see them again and WHY in the world people give them ANY airtime whatsoever. Their 15 minutes was up a long damn time ago. She laughs at my passionate disdain. I love her.

* Averie is not only aceing her finals, she's finishing her sophomore year on the Dean's List for the second straight semester (she calls that first year "The College Adjustment" period). I'm always amazed at her because she keeps a grueling schedule, carries a heavy credit load, works, and still manages to write, produce, stage manage, and act in just about every production put out by the Theater and Reperatory department. Her dream of attending NYU was dashed in her senior year of high school when she discovered that they don't accept transfers. But two days ago she came home glowing because she found out from her counselor that they DO indeed accept transfers. Now, she has even more to work toward and her fire is reignited.

* Bryson helped his swim team make it to the Pacific League CIF Division Championships and ended the year with good words and an award from his coach (who isn't one to offer much praise). Despite a difficult Freshman year, he (we) made it through. The 4th grade hockey team that he coaches didn't win a single game, but those little guys love him and Bry loves hearing them call him "Coach". Unlike his own swim coach, Bryson gives those 4th graders tons of praise because he knows how much it means to them. He learned what a difficult job coaching is and said to us that next season, he wants to ref junior games instead of coach. "It's a lot of responsibility coaching." Charlie, the veteran hockey/soccer/baseball coach smiles at him and says.."Ya think?"

* As Ellie grows, she's worked her way speedily into everyone's heart. She has claimed her rightful place as Princess. On these recent difficult days that come one right after another, she is the sweet, gentle calm that meets us at the door with warm puppy kisses and makes the world go away.

* Caris completely embraced her character (Hedy LaRue) in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." With sellout crowds every night, the kids did the best job they've ever done and saw out the year with a bang. Now, on to prom night...

* Auburn Pisces arrives in "The OC" today to visit Disneyland with her daughter and The Fairy Godmother. We're planning to get together on Saturday. I think a visit to The OC Vortex and a few drunk dials are in order.

Thank goodness for kids. And alcohol.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Hanging In There

We're doing okay. Hanging in there, I suppose is the best way to describe it. Over the week that we've stood vigil with Charlie's mom, she's improved in some ways, and declined in others. Though the "danger" seems to be over and her vital signs have stabled, she doesn't seem to have that fighting will anymore. The blood clot in her leg has resolved and the staph infection in her lungs has diminished, but she's weak and doesn't seem to want to go on.

Yesterday, we transferred her out of the hospital (a good thing), and into a hospice/rehabilitation facility. The most effort she's mustered is to tell us that she wants to go home, understandably. Unfortunately, she is bedridden and the care that is required, none of us is experienced enough, nor strong enough to provide. Despite everyone's best efforts to help her recover, the doctor tells us that the cancer in her spine will take her so all that we can do is to keep her comfortable. We take turns, Charlie, myself, his sister, Averie and Caris, sitting with her so that she is never alone. Even though she is incoherent much of the time, we want someone she loves to be with her should she wake up at any time. She doesn't differentiate between night and day and cannot feed herself, so we think it's important that one of us is there. This makes things difficult and scheduling "life as usual" is a mighty task. Charlie usually takes the nightshifts, then comes home, sleeps a couple of hours, then goes to work. His sister takes over at 6 am until noon when Averie gets out of school and can go until I get there after work at 2. Then Charlie takes over again when he gets out of work. It's daunting and sometimes a bit depressing. I find myself emotional a lot of the time. Tears come that I can't control. Usually, I just sit in my car and "water" my steering wheel.

All this while we try to keep up with school and extra curricular activities for the kids. I find myself jealous of the smallest freedoms that others are able to enjoy. The only time I have for myself is the few moments I take in the morning to write, but wish for a little more time so that I can "check in" on my blog family. A visit or two to a blog or two is a cherished stolen moment, and then I feel guilty because I know that I "should" be doing this or that to keep functioning with this life I'm dealt for the moment. I want to sit and make calls, chat with someone, call my sister whom I've neglected for lack of time or energy. I want to reach out and let people know I'm still here, wish them love. I want to get back to tending bar and serving warm cookies. I'm so afraid that I'm getting lost.

On the other side of this is Mum who struggles and I shouldn't be thinking of ME at all. On the other side of this is Charlie who is selfless and courageous and kind, and yet I sit in my car and cry for myself. On the other side of this is so much more than just me. On the other side of this....I promise, a "warm cookie" post.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A Hitch in The Get-Along

The preceding whiney post was brought to you by lack of sleep, lack of sex, lack of fun, and PMS. I wrote it, and then worried all day about what people would think of me. And then, I remembered how lucky I am because I just knew in my heart I'd be completely understood. Thank you for that.

Now, I step out of myself to link to Tuna Girl for a very happy reason. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAREN!!! I know you got the best present ever having your man home, but some small wishes from the west coast can't hurt, huh? Hope it's awesome.

You know, I love, love, love my boys, but I gotta say, my girls have lifted my spirits in an incredible way over the last couple of weeks. Sweet Susan will probably kill me for this, but I gotta say it. This wonderful woman, whom many of us have gotten to know over time through her very uplifting and kind comments has reminded me about the gift of selflessness. Through emails and phone calls, I have chided her about not having her own blog. She simply visits all of ours and gives us love, expecting nothing in return. Two weeks ago, she invited me to come with her and attend her daughter's play. I was SO excited to not only finally meet her, but to get a "Girl's Night Out" and see her beautiful girl perform in "Cabaret". You all know what a theater nut I am. Especially since Drama and Musical Theater runs through our veins in this household. My own daughters were thrilled that I was getting an opportunity to finally go out and have some fun. Though Susan lives a good hour drive from me, I counted the days toward our meeting in great anticipation. And then Mom took ill the Wednesday before our Friday night date and I had to call Susan and cancel. She was, as I expected, gracious, kind, and full of warm thoughts for me and my family, promising that there will be other opportunities. I know that to be true, but at the time, I wasn't comforted. I wanted to go, but I knew I was needed here. Over these difficult weeks, Susan has sent me comforting emails so full of warmth, I've been moved to tears. So Susan, I thank you. You are a sweet spirit and I know that you and I are becoming good friends. I'm grateful. Now, get a blog darn ya...so that everyone will know what I know about the precious soul you are!

Let's talk a moment about MY beautiful Auburn Pisces. I know, I know, Toddy will say she's HIS. But I claim her for the moment. I claim her positive light in my world. I claim her laughter and humor that lifts my tired spirit. I claim her warmth, her vitality, and her womanly strength. From the first moments I knew of her existence on this floating orb, I thanked my lucky stars and of course Hot Toddy for sharing her with me. She has given me fits of giggles when I was blue, a lighted candle for waning energy, and most of all, she has given me all the love I send to her multiplied ten-fold. When my Shanny was ill, her daily calls, sometimes multiplied, were what kept me from losing my mind. She listened to me cry and even when she couldn't understand a damn thing I was saying through the painful blubbering, I could feel her comforting arms around me through the phone line. I think it's a Mommy thing. Sometimes no words are necessary. She has the gift of making me "feel" her presence though so many miles separate us. I am blessed.

And Karen. Well Blog-Sis, you know how I feel. Though our communications are usually brief, we seem to giggle through them. You make me laugh and often I'm so jealous of your gift for bringing laughter. You're definitely magnetic when it comes to gathering adoring fans and friends. I cherish your words of friendship and comfort, and I covet the time of your life you're living. Those tender kid years. They fly you know. Before the next blink of your eye, those small frye will swim upriver. Probably going on a cruise with a friend one summer. Until then my friend, thank you for your place in my universe.

It's hard to be too self-absored when I look into my commenter. I feel the love and energy from every part of this breathing space that we share. There is a sense of guilt when I'm drowing in the negatives. But you all allow me that and take away that pinching vice. You just let me "BE". Thank the heavens that my rants don't always last too long and I can get back to being Pua. The Pua that doesn't mind sitting bedside vigil, or being without her man while he does the unpleasant work that needs to be done in his family. It is just a time in life. This too, shall pass.

Until that time, a shot of Maker's couldn't hurt. :) Love you. Thanks for loving me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


I'm gonna be selfish for a minute. Maybe two. I'm drained. I can understand how Tuna Girl must feel. I feel like a military wife whose husband has been deployed. Only mine never physically left. He's still here...just not "here". If that makes any sense. But for months now, in fact a couple of years (since Charlie's dad committed suicide), Charlie's been the responsible family guy. Taking care of not only his own household, but putting out family fires between siblings, taking care of his mom's household, and now, even taking care of his aunt's household all the way in North Carolina. I honestly sometimes feel like with all the important things that must be done, and now the added stress of his mother's failing health, I have no husband. It's getting lonely.

No harsh words against Charlie. In fact, I feel guilty even feeling sorry for myself. But I do. And that's just the honesty of it. I try to be a good mom, a great wife, a loving and patient daughter-in-law. I try to help him as much as I can with EVERYTHING that his family and fate throws at us. But the truth is, I'm just not as positive a person as he is. Where he musters energy because "it has to get done", I'm just sapped. I still keep going, but I don't have a smile on my face like he does. I miss US. I miss us desperately. We haven't had more than 24 hours alone together in over 2 years. And I don't see any coming anytime soon.

It scares me. I wonder if when we finally do get the time alone together, if we're going to still like each other or if there is going to be that awkward lingering silence that happens when people become strangers. I told him last night after coming home from the hospital how scared I was that there was no "US" anymore. We've spent so many years taking care of everyone else. We have no freedom, no privacy, no fucking money. Where is the line drawn? He promises things will get better and that we will get through this. But things never do get better. I never see the light at the end of the tunnel and life is just wearing me down.

I just want to have something to look forward to. I want to be planning romantic trips like other couples our age. I want to do more than just go down to the pub for a couple hours in an effort to keep my sanity. I want to have an anniversary that's more than just a card and a kiss. Twenty plus years seems like a long enough time to wish for more than this. I want to look in my wallet and see something other than a moth fly out. I don't want to visit anymore hospitals or talk to anymore insurance people. I don't want to worry which bedpan is better. I don't want to change anymore adult diapers and wipe up staph infected drool. I don't want to be "the good kids" anymore. I don't want to be "the responsible ones". I want my life back. Or at least I want a life. And I want to be the only woman in my husband's life instead of part of a "harem" of in-laws.

The other day, my daughter came to us and said that she and her boyfriend were thinking about taking a short cruise this summer and it was all I could do not to run out of the room crying, SO intense was my jealousy. What kind of a way is that for a mother to feel? What kind of a patient daughter-in-law am I? What kind of a loving wife?

Now, I gotta go to my suck-ass job where I'm considered less than dirt, after which I'll relieve Charlie's sister at the hospital. Because I missed so much work last week sitting at Mum's bedside, I now get to worry about having enough money for groceries this week. If it's not one fucking thing it's another. Mom hovers over life and I whine. Poor me. Basically, I suck and I just don't care. As far as I'm concerned, I have every reason to be pissy. Enough already. Please. Enough.

Friday, May 13, 2005


No warm cookies today. Just a tired family hoping for the best. Charlie's mom has taken a turn and was admitted to the hospital this week. While Charlie, his sister Jenice, and I take turns standing vigil at her bedside, Averie and Caris have taken up the reins of making sure things run smoothly on the homefront for the sake of "normalcy". The doctors don't hold out much hope since her weak system is already compromised by the chemo and radiation, but at least can keep her comfortable and cared for while she's struggling.

Charlie asks me to thank everyone for their prayers and their kind emails of support. As you all know, my gratitude for your love is unending.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

They Call Her "Tutu"

It's Hawaiian for Grandma. She loves her ohana. Demons of the past still haunt her and sometimes she doesn't quite know what she's supposed to do about that. She had 14 children. She tried her best to raise some of them. The rest, she hanai'd ("gifted out") because she thought it was the best thing to do for them.

I grew up believing that she didn't want me. It's what I was led to know. I now know that that was my adopted mom's way of keeping me close, so afraid was she to lose me. I wish she knew that could never happen. But now she's gone and I can't tell her.

I have two mothers. The one who raised me and hid me from the one who gave me life and gave me up. They both mean the world to me in different ways. I know how blessed I am to have found a way to heal some wounds; mine, hers, and a few others along the way. In my effort to find some answers, I found a family. And they're okay with me. Mother's Day has a whole new meaning. I know I'm loved.

Mom with about 1/3 of her grandchildren. But this filled my heart double! Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Beautiful Soul, Funny Averie Posted by Hello

She Rocks

I'd just like to say that my Averie is an awesome young woman. I had the great pleasure to spend the afternoon with her, which doesn't happen often because she has a busy schedule and is living her life. But every now and then, I get to slip some time in there and I realize more and more every day just what a beautiful soul she is. She helped me do something completely wonderful for a couple of amazing friends. Not only that..she's funny as hell and she makes me snort when I giggle.

THAT is the compliments of compliments as far as I'm concerned.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Oh...I got yer mail RIGHT HERE, Missy!

I'm happy. Take note everyone. I'm saying it right here, right out in the open. I'm happy. Now, when I tell you why I'm happy, your "nice Pua" image of me might evaporate like the margaritas I downed last night. But I don't care. Cuz I'm happy.

Yesterday, I heard The Boss giving Mean Bookkeeper Lady the what-for. In fact, it got a little heated because he caught her in a bit of a fib which cost a client a shitload of money. As I sat in my little cubicle listening to the happenings down the hall and pretending that I was busily minding my own business, I smiled. I know, I know, that's not very nice of me. But this is the woman that has made my life miserable since the first day I started.

Day One: MBL didnt like it that I didn't open her mail and went to the office manager complaining; "Isn't SHE going to open MY mail?" I would have been happy to if I'd been told to. But I was specifically told I was just to put mail addressed to her in her IN box. That's it. So that's what I did.

Day Two: I opened her mail and neatly paperclipped the return envelopes to the backs of the bills to be paid. Then I put them in her IN box. She came to me and complained that she didn't want me to use big paperclips on her mail. She preferred small paperclips. Um. Okay, whatever you say.

Day Three: She went to the office manager (instead of me) and said she wanted the date stamped on all of her mail and that she'd appreciate it if a date stamp was purchased for me. WOW! Whatever did she do with the mail BEFORE I arrived? I mean, she worked there for a good year before I got there. It's a good thing I got hired isn't it? Or her mail might not be opened, clipped, or date stamped.

Week Two: She began to come to my cube to ask me if I'd gotten the mail yet. I usually don't go down and get the mail until 12:30 because THAT'S when the mail person comes..I say "usually" because lately it has been later and later. We're on the 9th floor, so taking the elevator down 3, 4, and 5 times just to check the mail takes a bit of time out of my own work. Apparantly, MBL doesn't care about that. She just wants her mail.

Month Two: After a whole two months of her badgering me about whether or not I've gotten the mail, and rolling her eyes and expelling air when I answer "not yet", turning and walking away disgustedly, I find out that she can SEE the mail arrive from her office window overlooking the parking lot. That f*%$ing beeyotch could have simply told me that the mail had arrived everyday. But no, she let me go up and down in the elevator multiple times a day when she knew exactly when the mail arrived.

Month Three: She doesn't like the way I file the client account statements. She wants me to move out of my cubicle because her favorite intern's computer isn't working and SHE has IMPORTANT work for her to do. My work, after all, is menial and means nothing in the grand scheme of things. She berates me in front of the senior partner because she doesn't like a certain binder I've purchased for filing bank statements. It goes on and on this way with MBL. She hasn't liked me from the get-go and I don't know why.

It's bad enough that I'm a trained payroll accountant and could probably do HER job with one hand tied behind my back. I get paid $12.00 an hour to do the grunt work no one else wants to do. She's the only one that treats me that way; as if I'm not worth the ink in that date stamp. And yet, I CHOOSE to work part time so that I can get off at 2:00, still be a mom, and get to all of the kids activities. That's what keeps me smiling when she bitches at me, yet again, for some stupid, trivial thing. I leave there at 2:00. She stays.

But yesterday, when I walked out the office door and into the bright sunshine, I was smiling bigger than I ever had after leaving there. The voice of The Boss telling MBL that he KNOWS that she was responsible even though she said she had nothing to do with the situation. She's getting hers for all the crap she's giving me.

I called Charlie and told him some Margaritas at the pub would be really, really great today.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

What do you mean I get shots for my birthday?

4 Months Old! Posted by Hello