Monday, January 23, 2017

Stuck on a Plane

I've been listening to country music more and more lately and one of my current favorites is 'Drunk on a Plane'.  A guy who's wedding didn't happen getting blotto-ed on the flight to his honeymoon destination - alone.  It's amusing.

I was stuck on a plane for hours yesterday and would have appreciated being buzzed - but no drinks were offered.

I finished the day yesterday strong(er) all things considered.  Hail Mary money remain totally untouched AND I ended up with a little more to help replace some of the prior days losses.

The shuttle for the airport left at 4PM - it was snowing.  Our 5:20 departure was delayed - only we were all sitting on the plane.  First, it was too much snow - so we waited.  Then, we pushed back from the gate and waited some more.  Then there was a system issue and they couldn't restart the engines to get back to the gate - so we had to wait for a 'tow'.  But first we had to wait for the snow plow to make a path for the tow to get to us and connect.  Towed back to the gate and they brought up the jet-way.  We waited some more.  They were able to restart the system that wouldn't reset - but by then, a ton of people who were taking connecting flights out of Oakland had missed their connection - so they offered the option of 'if you have a place to stay in Reno tonight, you may want to deplane and try again tomorrow'.  A ton of people got off the plane...that took forever.  Finally, we were pushing back from the gate and then had to wait for deicing - and that took a long time 'cuz guess what?  We were now 3 hours past our departure time and we had A LOT of snow on the plane.  Ground was completely covered with snow and it was starting to fall fast again.

The de-icer was done and the next thing we knew, the captain was RUNNING down the aisle of the plane - all the way to the back and all the way back as fast as he could.  There was some concern among the passengers but he quickly exclaimed when back in the cockpit 'That's what you call a cabin check, folks - fast!'.  And we were off.  The flight was so bumpy, the Captain ordered the flight attendants to remain seated the entire flight.  I was nervous but kept thinking 'it's only 30 minutes in the air.  It's only 30 minutes of bumps'.

Made it home and then waited 40 minutes for our bags - with J. circling the airport.  We were home just after 11PM.

I decided I would keep my planned day off today 'cuz I'm tired.  And sore.  I carried my backpack with both computer and lap top a good part of the way (why are airport gates so far away?) and finally put it on my back - but standing at the baggage carousel forever really hurt my neck and shoulders.  I ended up paying $5 for a cart - and I needed it for less than 1/2 an hour but it was worth every penny to get that pack off my body.

And a sweet elderly lady was outside smoking with bags and bags of stuff and asked 'are you keeping your cart'?  and I said 'no, would you like it?  I'm glad someone else can use it for a bit longer'.  She was grateful 'cuz she would be going back in to stay warm while she waited for her ride.

Today, J. is doing our annual 'raise some cash'.  We are cash flow poor at the moment - loaned B. a deposit for his new car; need to advance H. some funds for school until his stock sale is settled; other stuff outstanding that will eventually resolve.  Cash reserves are at an all time low - so we are doing our annual retirement fund withdrawal a couple months earlier than usual.  We are taking out less than we planned with the hopes we will be able to cover taxes in April out of my retro check and/or our regular monthly savings.

I want a nap so badly but don't want to risk not sleeping tonight - would far prefer a very early bedtime this evening and a sound night's sleep vs. a nap which will likely leave me groggy and dazed.
My boss' baby is due any minute and he will be off for a couple weeks once s/he arrives.  I'm sort of grateful for his time off 'cuz it's far fewer meetings - and every minute I can spend working through the paperwork for the settlement is a blessing and less time I will be at work on the weekends.

My next time off is the cruise in March - can't wait for that.  Am a little nervous about the cruise - the close quarters with my best beloved (wherein I will sleep very little); a ship on the open ocean; will it be fun?  Relaxing?  Hope so.  It will be an experience for sure.

Happy 26th Birthday to B. today - I honestly can't believe I have a son who is officially 'approaching 30'.  He said 'I don't want to think about that'.

I didn't get married until I was close to 30 and had my first child (B!) before I turned 31 - so in my book?  He's right on schedule.

H. started another semester today and we have fingers crossed this will be a better experience than last semester.  We are going to try to do a Wednesday Night family dinner so we have a specific time to be sure we are all sitting down and talking through how it's going.  He failed (or was withdrawn by the instructor before failing) every single class last semester.  Still not quite sure what was going on with him - but he's on a different anxiety/depression medication and it seems to be helping.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Whale-Like

You know you are whale-like (in casino terms) when your casino hostess makes a point of looking up where you are playing and finding you.  Jenny said she tried 3 times yesterday but I was too quick for her.  Not surprising considering I was losing hand over fist and slowed my play considerably in the later part of yesterday.  She was disappointed we will not be up next weekend - work is kicking my ass and it's bad enough I took off this weekend; next weekend is out of the question - but tried dutifully to get us up here. February 'Sweethearts Dance'?  Or another "Fly to Atlantis" event in mid-April.  THAT sounds doable.  (Probably not the sweetheart's dance - weather alone will likely be a huge factor).  She is very sweet and it was nice to meet her in person.  It's not likely I will stay a whale long - my whale status directly correlates to wins that I put back - but this trip, those wins did not happen.

Not that things have picked up but I have played for hours on around $50 and am proud of myself for that.  My sweet hubby gave me the OK to pull some Hail Mary $ out of the bank yesterday - a driver took me, by the way because while I could see the bank from my room, I wasn't sure where it was in relation the the exits of the hotel.  Nicest young man on the planet - Mitch - and when I realized just how close it was and said 'I'm so embarrassed - I certainly could have walked', he replied 'Ma'am, we're happy to take our VIP guests wherever they need to go'.  In a Mercedes SUV none the less. With running boards.

I had no Internet upon awakening this morning and the IT guys at the hotel 'hard wired' me into their system.  I'm bypassing the hotel guest log on and just have 'guaranteed' access.  Nice considering I have a lot of time to kill before the shuttle leaves for the airport.  2PM checkout is also nice.

There are prize drawings at 1PM and 3PM today and I'm praying for some kind of Hail Mary win to offset the loss.  Not that I've lost more than I set out to lose but still.

I am having slightly better luck today (and late last night) given I've stretched $50 into a lot of play time so that's good -

It's a Winter Wonderland here today and I applaud the shopping center just outside my window who dutifully had two snow plows clearing the parking lot first thing this morning - there's now a snow pile three times as high as it was all day yesterday slowly melting (or not.  It's below 32 here at the moment).

I can really love a town that has snow but refuses to be snowed in.

I have to head downstairs again in about 35 minutes for the first drawing.  Wish me luck! In the mean time, I need to finish packing up and get my suitcase and computer bag packed and ready to head down.  My iPad has no Internet now (that wasn't hard wired in) so glad I have a couple paper magazines to enjoy in the lounge areas - before heading to the airport.

I've had two Blue Moons considering it's 5PM somewhere.  On a full stomach, there's little to no buzz but free beer is a win-win.  :-)

Off to pack.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Inaugurated

Like possibly a lot of people, I held my breath up until the minute he finished the oath of office. Praying for a Hail Mary epiphany that would have him saying 'you know what?  I really don't want to do this job.  I have no idea how I ended up here'.

He didn't.  He is officially the 45th President of the United States of America.  God help us all.

There's obviously a lot of chatter and so many varying perspectives on the subject - and I get that this is a part of our process.  There are two primary political parties in our country and the power between them bounces back and forth throughout time.  I get that.  I have no issue with that.  I wasn't a huge fan of either Bush Presidents but I never thought those individuals were horrible people.

That's not true of our current President.  And it's that simple statement - that we elected a horrible human being to the highest office in our land - that throttles me.  I still can't get over it -

From the election until this week, I've been able to tamp it all down. Going with my usual 'trust the process' approach to things and realizing that it's not going to be a great four years but it is what it is.

But the guy is already dismantling healthcare in our country (again) and the striking, gut-wrenching difference this time around?  We have a son who will always have a serious pre-existing condition that may always make him uninsurable.  Or insurable at great expense.

And that really scares me.  A lot.  Way more than the thought of four years of this asshole as our President.

I'm in Reno this weekend and it's so beautiful.  There was light snow falling when the plane landed and we made our way to the hotel shuttle.  (The implied we in this story are the group of people Atlantis flew here for the weekend - and I was surprised to realize on the short drive from the airport to the hotel that it wasn't even necessarily individuals who gambled at Atlantis, which is what I thought.  One lady said she's never played here before but she was on the list.  And...one couple looks really familiar and I feel like I've seen them before - and then the husband (again on the very short drive to hotel) states matter of factly (in the context of a discussion about Atlantis also giving away free cruises last week) 'my wife can't leave the country because she just got off probation for banking charges'.  Geez...the things people say.

Good thing it's gorgeous today - I can't wait to call this home - and I'm losing horribly so...the beauty offsets the travesty of the slot trouncing I am enduring.  Sat next to a lady on the plane who lived in Livermore for years - moved to Reno 18 years ago saying 'I'll just try it for a year and then move back to California' - but she stayed.  She absolutely loves it and said she has never had any issues in snow - she does drive a 4 wheel drive car and doesn't even change snow tires - but she was quick to say 'I don't live on a hill - I live in the valley.  If I lived on a hill, I might have to do the tire swap to get to/from.  On the very rare days when I think I need more traction, I just don't go out - and those days are very rare'.

Still, it's a fun time - and free Blue Moons or Mai Tai's is pretty awesome.  :-)

I'm heading back downstairs for a bit.  May do a Hail Mary of my own on my favorite Buffalo machine - which I had to get help to find 'cuz they are renovating and they moved them.  Took all the luck with them, too, based on the play on them yesterday.  But today is a new day and you never know - one spin can heal a lot of trouncing and that's the thing I like to remember.

I'm not sure what the next four years will be like - and it scares me.  But I refuse to feel hopeless. Absolutely refuse to give in to that feeling regarding the fate of our country.  It's hard not to at times the past couple weeks - really hard.  But I have to keep hoping - there's a lot of really unhappy people out there and I think Trump is going to start feeling our wrath.  Not sure how an egotistical megalomaniac is going to handle rejection. He can't personally bully every single one of us though Lord knows he will sure try.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

3-Day In Progress

The best part of the Sunday on a 3-day weekend?  Knowing you still have Monday off.

TONS of rain last week.  I felt like Obi Wan Kenobi all week as I shunned umbrellas (I think they are pointless and hard to wrestle with) and used my coat with a hood.  My peripheral vision sucked and my hair took a beating but I stayed reasonably dry.  J. had to drain the pool again and the backyard is a wreck from wind.

Our neighbor had their HUGE fruit trees topped off (they were 20 feet high which is totally 'wrong' for fruit trees) - the prior neighbor loved their 'height' but they were incredibly overgrown.  We are loving the additional light in the yard now - those trees are on the west side of our backyard so we missed out on a lot of sun with the trees blocking the light.  Now I want to get the podacarpi (it's probably not the plural of podacarpus but it's close) re-trimmed.  The company who did them last time convinced J. to just 'thin them out' - but they are also very overgrown and way too high.  We'll have to save up a bit to make that happen but it's on the list of household projects needed.

The house is 16 years old and there are a LOT of household projects needed.

Another week zoomed by and good news!  Our teachers did ratify the agreement - everyone is so excited.  Everyone but ME 'cuz I know what is now involved in getting the retro set up; setting up the new ongoing pay rates and then the public disclosures showing the cost of it all over a three year period.  And by bargaining unit - so three sets of report.  Yeah me!  (Not).  Next to building the budget, disclosures are the hardest thing I deal with in my job - they are laborious, complex, challenging in ways the are impossible to describe and just awful.  But they have to be done and they will be.

I went to Thunder Valley today for a little fun - and I hit a couple good jackpots - but put it all back chasing after a major jackpot.  I am very proud of myself for taking a very limited amount of money and was also glad that I stuck to taking a very limited amount of money 'cuz if I'd had all my fun money with me, I might have kept trying.

I stopped on the way home for Dave Wong's Chinese food for dinner.  I was AMAZED on the drive home how much water there was.  Bridges over usually dry beds were at capacity - water everywhere in many areas.  Fields flooded.  Any place water could pool, it did and it was the most I've seen in ages and ages.  It was an awesome drive and interesting to see how different things look.

The Atlantis Casino in Reno finally confirmed my air reservations for a flight there on Friday - returning Sunday.  Suite accommodations!  Free play!  And when I inquired about the shuttle from the airport to the casino, my hostess (Jenny) said 'we will send a driver for you'.  Nice!  The ONLY reason I'm going is 'cuz they offered to fly me there - we can't drive up there at the moment without having snow chains with us and I don't like driving on ice AT ALL...so.  If we don't fly up, we are likely not going.  We do have reservations at the hotel for the weekend after as well - but that trip will entirely depend on a) is there any fun money left to play with AND can we get there given the weather conditions that weekend.  (I don't think we're likely to go up that 2nd weekend - it's a 3-night stay and that seems a bit too long without a ton of fun $ but we'll see.  I might hit it big next weekend thus making it entirely possible).

The upcoming week is only three days for me - but it's a doozy of a three days.  Up to Sacramento on Tuesday morning for a budget workshop then back to Tracy to finish a long day - board meeting night.  Wednesday is another 'night' commitment with a parent meeting - it was originally scheduled for the 19th but I mentioned to my boss that I was leaving town on Friday and didn't think I would make that Thursday night meeting.  He came to my office 20 minutes later and said 'I moved the parent meeting to Wednesday'.  'I don't know whether to be flattered or appalled', I replied.  'Be flattered - I appreciate you being there'.  So two night meetings - and then Thursday is another long day 'cuz we have a 3:30 meeting that usually goes until after 5.

This past Friday, I went to the Gallo Center with a friend to see pianist George Winston.  His Pachelbel Canon in D is one of my lifetime favorite pieces - he didn't play it - but in his defense, he may have played it - my friend and I left at intermission.  Turns out that a pianist (with quite possibly the least dynamic personality of anyone on the planet - no personality at all) playing for 1.25 hours (before intermission) can end up being something not all that entertaining.  He did some songs that were pleasant - but there was one piece where he was using his hand in the actual piano to 'stop' the strings - and he did that note over...and over....and over.  At intermission, I asked my friend 'so what do you think?' and she said 'what do you think'?  And we both sort of simultaneously confessed that if he had played that note again, just one more time, we both felt we might have lost it.  She said she kept thinking 'don't look at M. ....don't look at M. ....' 'cuz we probably would have burst out laughing.
So we left.  And I watched him play the canon on You Tube - it was a few years ago (he had a lot more hair in the You Tube video) - and it was beautiful.

I want to play the piano more.  OK - that's not true.  I want to play the piano - now.  Ever.  Soon. Often.  It sits in the living room - and I should play.

J. has a bad cold and H. went to the doctor this past week - ear infection, throat infection and a bad sounding chest.  Antibiotics for H. - he's feeling better, I think.  We'll see how J. is on Tuesday - he may need pharmaceutical intervention as well.

On that note, we are heading up to bed early (for a non-work day).  Tired and ready for a good night's slumber.


Sunday, January 08, 2017

And On Other Topics

A new meteorologic term is being used for the storm in California - an atmospheric river. Astounding amounts of moisture in the air.  Rain expected for eight straight days.  Flash flood warnings in place all over the place and every river being watched super closely.  They say this is a '10 year storm' and the last one flooded Manteca and many areas very near us.

We aren't in a flood zone, technically - but still.  Fingers crossed. We should be fine.  As long as the city storm drains stay clear so the water has a place to go, our neighborhood shouldn't have any issues.

J. spent part of the day draining water out of the pool to be sure there's more room for rain.  It's hasn't rained much today but the ground is pretty saturated from last night - and more rain is on it's way.  It's going to be a wild week of wet weather.  Made chili and cornbread for dinner 'cuz it sounded warming.

I've spent a lot of time this week cleaning out my personal email In box.  It's been out of control for a really long time and with 14,000 unread emails, it was clearly in need of attention.  I started sorting by sender and then mass deleting - as well as unsubscribing from as many as I could.  I was glad I decided to get into the project earlier this week 'cuz a very dear friend from college had emailed me this week - sent me a picture of the angel ornament I bought her for Christmas in the early 80's - I remember it well because I wanted to get her something really special that year and I went to Nordstrom to look.  She still has it - and it's original box - and she said she was thinking of me as she put it away again this year.  I might have missed that email completely if I hadn't started to get control of my overflowing in box - and that would have been a sad thing.  I'm hoping this massive cleanup and setting some 'rules' for SPAM will help keep it cleaned out more - 'cuz I sure don't want to miss emails from people I love.

I survived the return to work post Winter Break - grateful it was only a 4-day week and even more grateful that each day flew by.  A co-worker was late on Thursday and we were starting to get a little worried when she texted my assistant and said 'I was just relaxing thinking 'so glad it's Saturday and that week went really fast'.  We all laughed over that - her mind had completely convinced her it was the weekend!  She was SUPER grateful when it was actually finally Friday!

My coworker in HR phoned me Thursday morning (her first day back) and said 'so what do you need HR to do to assist with the things that need to happen regarding our proposed settlement with the teachers?  Should we start updating salary schedules, etc.?'  I replied 'I'm not having my team do a single thing about it until we know for sure it's ratified - and since we won't know that until 1/13, there's nothing to be done but wait'.

But once it's known and if it ratifies, heaven help us all 'cuz there is a massive amount of work to be done in both departments.

On Friday morning, B. messaged J. that they had done a 25 mile ruck march with 50 pound packs in 18 degree weather - negative something with windchill.  He said he couldn't feel his face or hands at around mile 8.  My mom reaction was 'ask if he's ok?' and he said 'I am now - post warm shower'. 'Did they at least give you hot chocolate?', the mom asks?  'No, but I'm going to get some'.  The Army is TOUGH, friends.  My son especially.

 Today was a low key indoor day - continuing to work on email (now the Sent file needs attention) and things around the homestead.  This upcoming week won't be quite as low key as last week and I need to psych up for that.

H. was gone all night.  Texted J. around 2AM that he was spending the night.  Around 12 hours later, I realized 'we haven't heard from him in TWELVE HOURS' - and he didn't respond to J.'s texts.  Or calls.  I can't describe the scenarios that rush through my head - he's hanging around with some people who have a lot of drama always surrounding them and I worry a lot about that lately.  Just two days from the conversation wherein (I thought) we made it clear that we expected him to be more communicative.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Meryl Streep, thank you for your speech at The Golden Globes.  We rarely watch award shows but I'm so deeply glad that we tuned in just in time to see the speech.  Such a wonderful talent but more than that, such a wonderful person.  Thank you for putting into words what many of us are thinking 24/7 these days.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Structure Free Mind Boggle

Over the course of the past few weeks, a series of posts has been lurking in my head - usually considered and sketched out in the wee hours of the morning when I'm usually awake for some amount of time.  They are all ordered and structured and 'will be brilliant' in my thoughts...full of humor and perspective and wisdom.

How it ends up all coming out in the end is usually what this post will be - a hodge podge of various stuff that I need to put out into the universe for memory sake as well as sanity.

Here we go....

Somewhere around Thanksgiving, H. received a(nother) DMV notice about needing to schedule a 're-examination'.  Like the one he had a few months ago.  At the time, the person opening the mail (me) thought 'hmmm....must be from the time before? Crossed in the mail between when it was completed and now'?  I mentioned it to J. - and then likely put the letter in the shred bin not thinking too much else about it.  So hold onto that piece of information for a bit.

Things have been very tense in the Majah household the past few weeks.  H. has been creating some issues and Majah has (once again) reached her limit on some things.  He was 'caught' mis-representing (lying.  He was caught lying.) about the use of our credit card which he uses to gas up his car.  He was also caught smoking again - which he's an adult and can do if he must; however, not when he trashes our front porch and uses $ (sometimes our money, I think) to purchase those vile things.  He's a cancer SURVIVOR for God's sake - yet he seems to not think of any of that.  He also basically ditched us on Christmas Eve - spent time with friends and misrepresented the length of his absence.  Hard on me as a mom to feel slighted like that.

All those things have been building over the past few weeks and earlier this week, I told him 'you need to leave.  I don't live with people I don't trust and you?  I don't trust you'.

The sound of his voice breaking a bit as (picture me seeing him as a 4 year old) his voice haltingly said 'I have nowhere to go' pretty much did me in.  He was ready to storm out of the house, pissed off and hurt (while I resisted saying 'how does THAT feel to YOU, mister?').  He ended up going to a friends house for a night - just a cooling off period.

He doesn't disagree that we've been as patient as any parents could be.  He doesn't deny (upon having being caught - and that's the key delineation to make 'cuz he wasn't up front and forthright about any of this - until there was no way he could keep pretending the things I was alleging he had done weren't true).  He just doesn't seem to have down the concept that 'you can't keep lying as a fall back position, H. It never works'.

So.  He left the house for a night.  He was in touch and we knew he was OK.

The next morning, I was at work and feeling pretty much a wreck about it all.  I had a meeting at the school site in our neighborhood and when I left that site to return to my office, I decided 'I'm going to turn right to cruise by home instead of left to go to my office - if I see his car's back, I'll feel better about it knowing he's home'.

He was not only home but he had just pulled up and was in his car.  Smoking.  But oh well.  Trashing another car that will never be 'smoke-free' upon resale - but whatever.

He and I had a good conversation outside - me sitting in my car in the street parked next to his car parked on the curb with my flashers going - and him standing there chatting.  We cleared the air on things and decided we would chunk up the 'Hunter's Path to Independence' plan with the first task for him being 'find a job'.  (Well, actually the FIRST path was to solidify finding a psychiatrist so he can get his medications worked out and start the path to feeling better and get his anxiety and depression under control).  But after that?  A job.  Any job.  Minimum wage is now $10 and I urged him to not limit what he's willing to do - 'cuz having some additional income would be a great help.  And he'd get out and about, meet some new people, have less free time on his hands.  Be better disciplined about wedging in work with school - get on a meaningful schedule that is more normal - where one sleeps during the night vs. sleeping most of the day.

I went back to work feeling pretty good and certainly much better about things.  Was I still frustrated with how he had been treating us lately?  Yes.  Still disappointed about his misrepresentation of things?  Yes.  But at least we felt we had a plan.  Some plan.  (Any plan).

I'm good as long as there's a plan.

Later that evening, J. brought me the mail and said 'take a look at those'.  Two notices from Stockton Superior Court with two different case #'s showing.  We expected the one - for the speeding ticket he got in November.  (Another not so great day around here).  But two?

At 3:45AM on December 10th, H. got a ticket for failure to stop at a stop sign AND driving without a license.  We called him down from his room and (I promised J. I would do my best to hold my shit together) asked 'is there anything else you need to tell us?'.  Same question I asked multiple times when I spoke to him that morning after our cooling off night.  'No'.  So we showed him the letter and sure enough.  He had been ticketed on the 10th.  Sent him to his car to retrieve any and all paperwork.
The kid is often in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Driving with friends (this was the weekend that his best friend was here from Texas and we knew he'd been out with friends most of that weekend), the friend that was driving started to not feel well.  She pulled over and asked H. if he would drive.  H. was totally sober.  So was she, actually.  Just felt unwell.  So H. drove.  He DID stop a full stop at the intersection but he thinks the police officer didn't see the stop because to the right of H. in the intersection was a big truck.  So after the truck pulled through, H. pulled through - and he got pulled over for not stopping.  And for not having his license.  He didn't think he'd be driving and he often doesn't carry his wallet when not necessary.

That was bad enough.  But turns out there was a second pink paper in his car also 'issued' that night - a DMV form that confirms an officer of the law has provided verbal notice to a driver that his license has been suspended.  H.'s license was suspended on 12/2/16 - likely for failure to complete the re-examination required in the letter we received that we thought was for the old issue.  It wasn't.  It was likely triggered by the fender bender accident H. had in early November wherein he bumped into a car with a trailer hitch - the hitch went through the grill on H.'s car but caused only cosmetic damage and the other drivers car was fine.  But still, H. was at fault (again).  And that accident triggered the re-exam again - which he would have done had his stupid parents not messed up and mis-assumed the letter was an old issue.  The code used for the suspension was 'failure to comply with a re-examination notice'.  Great.  That's pretty much on his stupid parents.  Especially his dingy Mom.  

So - he has no license.  We are working with the DMV to get him reinstated but there's a lot to be said for him not driving at this point.  At least we know where he is most of the time.

We should have received written notice of the suspension from DMV but we never received it - and we are positive we never saw that notice.

Upon asking H. 'did the officer speak to you about driving with a suspended license'?  H. said 'I was so upset - I was sobbing hysterically 'cuz I knew I was going to be in really deep shit with you and Dad - I was really upset - he did say something about 'if you are pulled over again, they will take your physical license (he would have but H. didn't have it with him) and can impound your car or any car you are driving at the time.'  H. said "I really didn't 'get' that my license was suspended.

So yesterday, we went to lunch (me, H. and J.) and I had a nice, calm conversation with H. about how when we were standing at the curb having good conversation and formulating 'the plan', and I asked repeatedly 'what is there that you haven't told us 'cuz clearly there's something' over and over - THAT was his opportunity to tell us.  To tell me.  And he still chose not to.  And I said 'those type of actions - where you are essentially lying by saying 'no, there's nothing' and there is - that type of behavior is what I can't live with.  I understand things happen - and you've sure had more than your fair share lately - and we do need to work on figuring out what in the h-e-double toothpicks is up with you? - but you need to be up front about things.  Just spill it.  You'll feel better - after the initial crap you will endure - but you'll feel better.  Your anxiety levels will drop considerably when you're not constantly hoping we never find something out.

He said that the police officer was concerned about H. being so overwrought with the ticket and at the end was very, very 'nice' and told H. 'you know, you can go to court and fight the stop sign ticket'. And the driving without a license is correctable upon proof he has a license - which they will then (as we understand it) take from him at this point.

In the end as a parent, you end up doing what you need to do for your kid - and what H. needs at the moment is to not be required to go live in his car or make a huge life change - so he is staying put. Now the top priority of 'the plan' is to resolve the issue with his license; get the two tickets resolved; set up the court date for fighting the stop sign infraction (his two friends in the car will testify that he DID stop - the officer just didn't see it because of the truck blocking the view).

More later on the 'other stuff' going on.  Like the ten year storm bearing down on California, etc. -


Monday, January 02, 2017

It Ends with a Buzz

For all the talk of Angry Orchard and Fireball Whiskey and/or rum or bourbon in our (occasional) eggnog, I had my first (and last) alcohol of Winter Break 2016 this afternoon.  Two Blue Moons consumed pretty rapidly resulting in a pleasant buzz.  Downed a plate of pasta we are calling 'Pasta ala M.' (our last name) using up sausage we had prepped for biscuits and gravy.  Didn't make them so we are using it up in a variety of other ways.

It was nice for a few brief mindless moments.  I can see the 'attraction' of drinking - but also am glad I drink very rarely.  It really hits me pretty hard.

I wanted a couple beers yesterday 'cuz I love playing slots with a beer - but I wasn't staying the night and hadn't eaten much all day and knew if I enjoyed a beer, I'd be needing to stay longer before driving and that costs a lot of $ in gambling dollars.  So I didn't drink.

Saved it for today when I had nowhere to be and nothing pressing to do - and enjoyed every minute of it.  Except when I hit a wrong button on my Buffalo slot games and bet max bet for one spin, which wiped out every penny I had to wager.  BUT things turned out OK 'cuz it was a winning spin and I quintupled my money just like that!

Last year, B. was here and every store in town was out of eggnog post holidays.  This year there's an abundance.  J. picked up a couple low-fat quarts at Savemart - we already enjoyed two over the break.  (Well, someone enjoyed them.  I had a wee bit in a coffee one morning - but someone drank them and we needed more).  Maybe I'll start off returning to work with a bit in my coffee in the morning - no rum, of course!

H. apparently applied for work at the local Arco station - I went (pre-beers, most assuredly) to fill up my car and noticed the 'Help Wanted' signs all over the place.  Told him about it and he said 'I applied a couple weeks ago'.  I'd be turning cartwheels about it except he applied online and has done nothing since...so I'm reminding him to go there tomorrow and inquire in person.  Make himself presentable and all that.  He said he attached his resume to the application - but I have no idea what's on the resume?  I applaud the initiative but seriously?  How DO people get jobs these days?  Minimum wage is now $10 an hour so even 10-15 hours a week would help -

He did that before Christmas Eve 2016 which became my absolute final tipping point.  But it's something.  Maybe he's realizing that many of his issues might be resolved by simply filling up down time with plenty to do.  Little to no time to be 'in your head' is not a bad idea when it comes to feeling down in the dumps.  I speak from personal experience.

Football is on in the family room.  J.'s brother went on a hiking retreat this weekend near Marin and hiked 22 miles so he's in our hot tub getting his muscles soothed.  A pizza has been ordered so there's dinner soon - for them.  My Pasta ala M. will be it for me - sort of 'linner' since I didn't really eat lunch.  I had Chicken in a Biscuit crackers with spray can cheese (stocking stuff from Santa) so that sort of counts but...not really.

If I had one more beer, I'd be asleep in no time.  I'm considering it....the pasta did it's job of offsetting the beer effect.  But I won't.....I don't want to feel gross tomorrow and two is my limit, even on nights when I'm spending the night in a hotel and can sleep until noon the next day if I want.

I bid Winter Break a fond farewell and begin counting the days until Spring Break.  And the one three day weekend in January and two three-day weekends in February.  PLUS, we have a couple weekend trips planned so I have two 4 day weekends booked in January - fingers crossed there's not a ton of snow between here and Reno so we can make them both.  J. is coming with me for weekend # 2 (just booked!) and we will drive. Decided we'll see how it goes and what it's like in the dead of Winter - a good test to prepare us for living there someday.