Thursday, October 30, 2008



If I neglect my blog for even one more day, I will be charged with TBA: Total Blog Abandonment (not to be confused with To Be Announced, which might fit the bill as well since I am going through a transitional thing that has me befuddled).

What is this transitional thing?

1) I moved to a new pace.

2) I cut off all contact with my step mother.

3) I found out (yesterday) that my current full time job (the one that includes benefits) might evaporate due to state budget cuts. This might happen in January. Or May. Or if things go better than forecasted, not at all. That news is TBA, too.

Items one and two - the moving and the surgical removal of my step mother from my life - have had a powerful stress lowering effect on me. This is excellent. However, the powerful stress lowering effect has produced a trancelike indifference to the news that I might be losing my job. The scariness of that (it should be scary, correct?) is not registering. I find myself unable to respond with the appropriate levels of panic and terror. An alternative explanation for my inappropriate emotional response to this news is that because the cause is budget cuts, it's not my fault, so I don't care. Wait, that makes no sense. Maybe it is because the last two years have provided me with excellent training with regard to being warned that something terrible is going to happen that I can't control. I might have learned not to work problems that I don't have the means to solve.

I'll write more when I can find a clean sheet of unlined paper. When I find one of those, I will diagram my new place and post the drawings in lieu of pictures. In the meantime, if you don't hear from me for a few days, it's only because I am re-calibrating my brain in response to dramatically lowered stress levels and dramatically unwelcome news that I can't seem to muster the gumption to freak out about.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

How 'bout

I haven't made the drawings yet. I am not yet organized. Rest assured that I am tucked into my new place and when I find myself able, I will write about the move process and talk more about what it is like to live here. Meanwhile, let me say only that I feel immensely better. (In case you missed it, I was feeling unwell, recently). In the interest of maintaining something like interest, I post herewith a picture of... well, it's not my neighborhood. But it's New York City, which is everyone's neighborhood if you know which way to turn your feet.

I am on the road tomorrow, but I will post from there.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Everything is cool. I am okay. Will post tomorrow including drawings of my new place. Maybe also I'll describe the new neighborhood.



Friday, October 24, 2008

More differentness

I spent my second night at a place we'll call Bob and Kate's Home for Wayward (Middle Aged) Women, and it is not half bad, so far. My cat, who you might recall biting me in violent resistance to ever leaving my apartment, seems to be taking the transition well. I put out food and water and he ate and drank and found a place to curl up and doze and I thought... gee. Now there is an enlightened being. I should be more like that.

So for two nights now I have slept amid the rubble - boxes, bags of "stuff" - unfamiliar furniture, curtains I did not hang - and I have been ok. I am not breaking any records for mental health or anything, but I feel pretty much... yeah. Fine. (This is either numbness due to over-stimulation of my entire everything, or it is disorientation so profound that the needle just flails around until it gives up and hits the middle. Or... maybe I am... fine. I have no idea).

I just have to figure out where to put all my stuff. And then I can cross off my list the "move to the other place" item and perhaps I will calm down even more. And then maybe I can read blogs again, work on other projects long overdue, and oh, see my friends some time soon or even... make it to the gym.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me cope for the last six months (or really year and a half, if you started reading last June). The move puts me one step closer to sanity and one step further away from financial ruin; plus, it is a huge, stressful project that is now over - save the putting away of the stuff, which I find I am in no terrific hurry to do.

Am I still talking? Let me stop now.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Done and Done

If I get a chance to write tomorrow, the story will feature my doormen sneering at me, the porters sitting on their asses watching me move everything all by myself, me breaking down crying every time no one was looking, several things I care about getting stolen as I unloaded the car, and finally my cat biting the bejeezus out of my hand because he was afraid to get in the cat-carrier at 10 o'clock tonight when I finally got back up there to pick him up.

I don't even blame him. I'd bite too if I had a ready victim.



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Last night in the Gothic Castle

I graded papers and packed all day. Tonight is my last night living here:

Of course it doesn't look like this right now. It is half empty and stacked with boxes and battered furniture. Tomorrow morning I have to finish packing the kitchen and then I have to track down a few more boxes to shove books into. Gah. The good news is that I have passed beyond stressed and freaking out and settled into a lovely hypnotic "who cares" kind of mood that I hope lasts until morning. (It probably will not).

I would post pictures of the new place if I had authorization from Newsy, but I feel it would be an invasion of her family's privacy.

Rest assured, however, that I will post tomorrow night from the new place and try to say something funny about the moving process. I would feel more nostalgic about leaving here if it were not for the fact that this apartment has been the scene of a lot of __________. The new place, no matter what its challenges, is full of good people and in the long run I will be okay there. And moving puts a tidy demarcation line between then and now.

Until now gets here, feast your eyes on... oh, whatever. Here is a picture of me before I was crazy. I was cuter then, but I was also less emotionally seasoned. On the other hand, I still look pretty much like that except for the aging process, which.... oh, let's just let that idea drift away without further comment.

See you tomorrow from the new (and undisclosed) location.


Monday, October 20, 2008


I got "clearance" to move out on Wednesday, which will mean I have access to the service elevator and my friend's mother said I could borrow her car. The only problem is I have no one to drive it. Is this a problem? I can't decide. I was just thinking I would haul my stuff down the service elevator, go get the car (a 30 minute operation) and hope no one stole my stuff in the interim. Huh.

Anyway I am out of here completely on Wednesday. That means nothing for you except I can't lean out my window and take pictures for you anymore. Pictures like this one:

Once I am moved into my new place, things will be different. Will they be better? Who knows? But different, anyway, and maybe the beginning of some other way of life. I must confess that I often feel like I would rather not have had quite this much "different" in the last two years, but what the hell, might as well. I am still alive, anyway, and that means things are still possible.

(Like what? She does not know. She will tell you when she does).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Pain-Agony Sandwich, now with sides!

My brother and I have had a running joke about how the years leading up to July 23, 2008, we were fed a mandatory foot long Anxiety sandwich three meals and (two snacks) a day, without variety. It (both the joke - and the un-happy meals) has grown old by now, but it (at least the joke) has enjoyed a resurgence since my father died. Now we eat the Pain-Agony sandwich every day without interruption. We thought it could get no worse.

Well, well. As we all know, every bottom has a trap door that goes just one (or ten) levels lower.

I received a letter from my step mother puts a nice capper on this whole season of ___________. There are no words for it (the season, or the letter).

Warning: if you a non-Catholic, the excerpts I post here will prove perhaps the worst advertisement for the Catholic faith than anything you have ever seen or heard before. If you are Catholic, I think you'll agree that my step-mother is Catholicism's best example of how NOT to be a good at practicing our religion. Ready?

"Peace in the family meant more to you dad than money."

(Note that my dad made a pretty tidy showing of taking care of her, financially, while providing not even a kind word for his children in his will).

"What he wanted most of all was for the whole family to be together in heaven." (If you are not disgusted yet, be warned that I am just getting to to good part).

"Through his illness and suffering, your dad offered up every bit of his illness and suffering.... from the violent infections and the horrible pain of amputation... up to the Lord on your behalf so that you would be freed from your own suffering and turn your heart and mind back to God and his plan for you."

"This is the good that your father hoped and trusted that God would make out of his suffering. Think of the selfless focus and faithfulness your father mustered on your behalf. He used his suffering for you."

The entire time this mess has been unfolding, I have had one tiny little shred of comfort: that I was faultless in setting up my father with this woman, and that all the harm that had come to my family as a result was not my fault. But Erika, in her incredible inability to have ANY clue what sort of thing would "comfort" me, has merely invited me to the Pain-Agony buffet and added a double sized helping of... guilt.*

Now I get to contemplate how my dad's suffering was all for ME... in effect, ABOUT me. Let's take this one step further. Maybe my dad got cancer and suffered and died BECAUSE of me and his poor opinion of my performance as a human being and a Catholic. The train of logic isn't so hard to follow, is it?

So there goes, if I choose to believe what Erika says, the one little piece of "okayness" I had about this entire ordeal. Now, in addition to having pain, grief, anger and shock, I get a whallopping mouthful of guilt, because this ordeal is not only the undoing of my whole family, but also... all my fault.

That Erika. What a find. She is really something.

* I couldn't work in the drugs.

** Yes, I thought twice (perhaps nine times) about whether it was appropriate to post this ugliness on top of, what, a solid year of ugly posts? I did it because I meant what I said. This is the capper. I can't engage in the emotional violence for even one more second without quite literally checking myself into a sanitarium, so from now on - as much for myself as for you - this blog will be about the future. No more crap about the money, the terrorism, the meanness, the lying, the misery, or even the sandwiches. It's time to move on and since I sent Erika an email telling her to let me be, I am moderately hopeful that I can amputate (pardon the phrasing) her and this mess from my life and write about other things. If I keep wallowing, call me out on it. Seriously, this has to be the end.

(The end).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Things to say later

Stay tuned for a real post tomorrow featuring:

a) drugs

b) the baby Jesus

c) emotional violence

d) more crap about the baby Jesus

e) me realizing how full of crap all this really is

I just can't write today. Stop by tomorrow.

I love you. For reals.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Whatever, already

After hauling boxes and enduring the sneers of the entire staff of my building, I decided that I am going to take another week to move my remaining possessions over to the new house. I have to work and it's unavoidable, as is the chagrin of my building's entire staff if I don't sneak my remaining possessions out in back packs and duffle bags. I can only do so much in a day, and after the unbelievable stress of the last two weeks, I just can't deal with any more - any more sneers, any more boxes, any more nasty cab drivers and certainly not any more work terrorism.

I don't know what has happened to me - I used to be able to just roll with whatever came my way. The person I have become has a brain like a chicken wing and the nervous system of a rabid monkey. I have to slow down, or I will be left with nothing but the paper slippers at Belleview and a handful of medicine that no longer works unless I take three times the maximum daily dose.

Having said all that, let me apologize to all the people I have let down in the last few weeks. My blog has not been fun to read and I owe other obligations to people I shall not name - you know who you are... and I have no excuse for myself except the above chicken-wing-monkey situation. I'll be my old self again someday. Try November, maybe.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This... is crazy

There is no way a person can move over three days and then also work three jobs at the same time. And yet this is what I am doing. I have to be out of my apartment by, um, tomorrow. I have packed and packed and packed and packed, and yet there is still more crap to be unloaded and dealt with. It's unbelievably stressful, and yet I must do it and damnit, I have deadlines at work that I have to meet and I can't blow them. So with one hand I am grading papers and with the other I am stuffing books into boxes and taping them shut and trying to figure out how to get this stuff down the service elevator, into a cab and down the street without violating the building's rules, which state that no one can move anything after 5pm - which is the only time my friend with the big SUV can help me move my stuff. It's a total clusterfuck. I can't cope. Cutting back on anxiety reducing drugs at the same time? That's not working out at all. I find myself either staring at the bottle of xanax and weeping - or taking them and then merely crying. The stress, oh lord God, is too much.

Lisa at Clusterfook recently posted about self-revoking her Whining Card, but she is a stronger woman than I am. I am whining. I will post again and hopefully I will not be doing even more of it.. the whining.



Monday, October 13, 2008

Google Goggles.... they may have a point

Recently, Gmail introduced a feature called Google Goggles and I think it may be a good feature. If I had use of it last night, I might not have accidentally hit send when I wrote the following email to my step mother. If you are not up to speed with the disaster currently afflicting my family, the short version is that my dad died in July, and a few months later, only though directly requesting the information from my step-mother, did we learn that my father had left her his entire estate. Why does this upset us so much, oh, only because the entirety of the estate was amassed before he ever met or married her - and because his will entirely disregards his first marriage of 35 years that resulted in 3 children who are now utterly disinherited. Adding fuel to our ire is the fact that all three of us incurred enormous charges for plane tickets, rental cars and hotel rooms in the last two years that have left us all completely broke and in debt, where before he had cancer, we were all debt free and had plenty of savings.

The email I sent last night was in response to one she sent me suggesting that I should take over the bill for the storage of some of my mother's furniture - items my dad kept in storage for many years with the promise that I would have them once I was living in a situation suitable for those items. I see that in the future happening round about... never. So after having spent a week filled with disgust and rage, and having all kinds of people tell me to calm down and blah blah, I drafted this email, intending to never send it, and OOPS. I did. Ready for this?

E-Since you have inherited every piece of property, monetary, and real, my perspective is that you have inherited also my furniture and also my mother’s. The bill is in my father’s name. Can you reap the benefits of my father’s estate without taking on its responsibilities? I think not.

I have asked you twice for the information that would give me leave to take on the bill you have sought fit to shirk upon me, while you languish in the benefits of my father's estate. You have not provided that information. That said, if you wish to make a gift of my what was previously mine and my mother’s, you should at least make known to me how I am to take upon the fees associated with the property.

The language in which you have addressed me in our most recent emails has been so insulting that I am certain that no benefit can be gained by any further talk between us, save this disagreeable business of who is to pay the bill for your furniture. If your desire is to make a gift of the furniture in storage, please enable me at once to take on the bill. Otherwise, you can, as I am sure you know, dispose of your property in any manner in which you find gives you pleasure.


HMMMM... rash, no? So is this

a) funny
b) disastrous, and I should apologize
c) right on and who cares?
d) hell with it - just move on

What do you think?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Belately, my dear mother

I must confess to the world (or, the four people who still read this blog) that I went to work on Friday wearing no undergarment (save an ill-fitting bra).  

My sainted mother, who would have killed herself had she known she could have raised a child such that the result would be thus, would have turned 65 yesterday, had she not died of breast cancer at 52.  For all to see, my beautiful mother:

There was nothing else I could do, under the circumstances. I hope my most indulgent mother will forgive me for the insult to both her character and mine, as I found myself without any resources to prevent such an un-ladylike showing. If it were not for my pale, blond, an uninteresting feminine area, such a crime against civility and decency would have been impossible. And for those genetic factors, I must thank my mother, the fairest creature that ever walked the earth. Shall we see her again? Yes, we shall:

Will she ever forgive me? Shall I endure my remaining days in shame? I shall not. I think my sainted mother knows the hearts and minds of her children - and knows under what treachery they now suffer. I may be to kind to myself, yes. I find myself with few others that would be as kind to me as she was, and so I soldier on, knowing that on a better day, I will fulfill both my debt to decency and civility as my mother taught me. That day that was Friday, October, 10th, will be disregarded.

Belately, happy birthday to you, my sainted mother. May you always have those who remember you in their prayers.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Black Magic Marker - or pantless?

To cap off my week of work insanity and general turbulence, I had to be prepared to have one of my classes observed. If you do not work in the teaching industry, let me just say this: being observed is terrible. You can really prepare for it because, duh, it's just the same job you always do and the real wild card is the students - who on any given day are in any given mood and always surprise you, whether you have a colleague sitting in the back of the room watching your every move or not.

So yesterday, since I was just about driven out of my wits by the extent of the work piling up around me, I tried to beg out of the observation by sending a polite email explaining that blah blah can we just do this next week? His answer: no. His schedule was fixed and blah blah see you tomorrow.

Well, well, well. ___________.

So I worked and worked and worked yesterday and did not stop until it was whenever, and I have no idea when I went to bed but I awakened at 5am after several surreal nightmares. I showered and picked through my laundry bag looking for something suitable to wear during my observation.

It was then that I observed, to my horror, that half my laundry was not in the bag - and since this were true, the other half of my laundry had to be downstairs in a dryer. For the past 48 hours.

So I ran downstairs at 5 in the morning, braless, barefoot, and a degree of unhappy just one degree shy of the degree of unhappy I achieved when I discovered that some unkind person had taken my laundry from the dryer and tossed it into a cart with someone else's wet laundry - and that the entire mixture had become sour with mildew in the interim.

The concequences of this laundry error were dire.

I had two choices of things to wear that would be acceptable: one, the suit I wore to my father's funeral, which had been crumpled into the bottom of a plastic bag for weeks, since I advertantly set my handbag down on some recently disgarded chewing gum , and without realizing it, lifted my handbag into my lap, ruining the pants of the suit with a splotch of gum the size of a sand dollar. In order to wear this suit, I would have to shake the wrinkles out of it, pretend it was not covered in cat hair, and use a black magic marker to disguise the gum. (I know most people would not consider this an option. Sadly, I would).

The second item I could potentially wear was a pair of buff colored linen pants with a pale pink shell with similarly colored sandals. Perhaps a bit summery for the time of year, but presentable. But this second choice had it's own issue: the near see-throughness of the pants. Only by wearing absolutely no underwear - MAYBE a flesh colored thong - could one ever wear these pants out of the house. I quickly realized that since I own no flesh colored thong and certainly would not spend the entire day I was to be put through teaching observation hell with a thong up my crack - even if I did happen to possess such a garment, the only way to make it out of the house in this outfit was to go commando.

Those were my options. I had no others. Knowing me so well as you do, what do you think I did? (I'll tell you tomorrow).


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Memo to Jesus

To: Jesus Christ 
From: Nina, swears-a-lot
Re: Jewishness 

Today, Jesus Christ, I write to thank you for being your lovely perfect self, but also for being Jewish and for making Judaism such an integral part of world culture.  While I realize that after your torturous and unmerited execution, others created a new religion (or, like, hundreds) based on your teachings, if it were not for Judaism and its lovely importance, there would be no such thing as Yom Kippur - and I would not have the night off from teaching, and I would be cramming my face to with Xanax to finish the other work I have to do for my other jobs, work that is so very pressing that I am literally shaking in my chair.  

Regarding other matters, events, and unpleasantness related to myself and my ever shrinking circle of loved ones, I think you know I have some opinions and beliefs that need careful reflection and possible modification before we can speak of them.  (Read: I am pissed.   Why did you let this happen to my family?)  Expect further official communication regarding same at a later date, when my spiritual situation is more suitable for discussion of these matters.

Sincerely (we'll get to love issue later.  Probably much.),


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another day passes

I woke up at 9am after being up until after 1am grading papers.  I hastily brushed my teeth and washed my face and answered 15 emails from students.  I'll spare  you the details.  

Then I went to visit Headologist Bootstraps, who had not seen me since early July.  When I saw her last, I explained to her that I was going to be traveling for Africa for three weeks and that afterwards, I would be spending 2 weeks with my father, so she prescribed enough medication for me to last three months.  Dandy.  But we all know what happened in the interim.  My dad died on July 23rd.  I didn't get to go to Africa and I lost the $7000 I had spent (foolishly, I know, I know) on the trip.  Then I spent another $1500 to get to the funeral and back, and if you remember correctly, the entire show was a disgrace and caused profound embarrassment to me, my brother and my sister and my sister in-law.  We were literally driven out of the house by my step-mother's children.  If we had not left as early as we had, there would have been a brawl in the driveway.  Aren't we a classy bunch?  Well.  We used to be.  Back before the calamity that is my father's second wife entered our lives. 

Then there came the news that my father disinherited his children entirely and that he expected us, his natural children, to treat Erika as we would our own mother.  So not happening - for any price.  So she is a very, very wealthy widow and me, my brother, and my sister are all left with nothing but a stack of bills that would drive most people into bankruptcy - all money spent as a direct result of our father's illness.  

When you can relate this information in ten sentences or less and render your psychiatrist absolutely speechless - with her mouth hanging open - and you can see the utter disgust and shock in her face?  Well, it's gratifying.  It let's Nina know that Nina is not over-reacting or making too much of death, grief, and ultimately, the treachery of people we expected to love us and protect us the very most. 

Headologist Bootstraps, for all her dimness about my situation, had to finally admit that any normal person would react to such life circumstances as these with some anxiety and some sadnesss and some anger.  So she refilled all my meds and gave me some weird ass prescription for some weird ass B vitamin supplement that is supposedly helpful with depression.   I told her that if I could just get through 6 months without anything truly horrible coming my way, none of this medical intervention would be necessary.  I have no idea if I am right, but I suspect I am.  I never was this screwed up until my life got utterly screwed up.  I can't tell chicken from egg from chicken as far as that goes.  

After my visit with Headologist Bootstraps, I came home and feverishly graded more papers that were long overdue.   Then I answer 20 more student emails.  Then I hastily boarded the bus down to the house of my friend Newsy's parents, where I will be living starting next week.  With great relief, I discovered that her mom and I are simpatico enough that we can understand each other and work together.  She gave me some instructions on what to do to start clearing out the basement, and I was able to work on it for several hours before returning home and feel as if I accomplished a little something.  I will go back there on Monday and continue working.  

My friend Newsy's dad is such a lovely man that just to be around him gives me enormous comfort.  He is 76, and several years ago he suffered an injury that left him without the use of his legs and only partial use of his arms.  He is mostly in bed and for most people, this would seem a terrible life.  Not to him, it seems.  Every time I enter the house, he smiles at me and offers me his opinions on the news and charms me with his stories.  Sometimes he tells me how beautiful I am.  Sometimes he tells me when I move in, he wants me to sit with him.  It's a betrayal of my own dad to say it, but I sort of wish he were my dad, since he treats me as if I am special and I so very need that right now.  

So now it is 9 and I have more work to do before the day is done.   Tomorrow will be similarly busy, and I have to teach tomorrow night and all day Friday.  This weekend, I hope to finally get out to NJ to see Buzz, Leta, and Liam, all of whom I have not laid eyes on since the funeral.  It has been too busy, and frankly, my emotional state has been too erratic for a visit out there.  Even though they are family, I have to have myself in order if I am to go out there, if for no other reason than for the sake of sparing Liam contact with an emotionally unstable person.   the poor kid is only three and a half and most of his life, his parents and his Nina have been acting all normal and nice and hiding from him the horror show that has been our lives since my dad was married.  Has he suffered?  It is hard to say.  We have protected him as best we can, but if you believe that bees and dogs can smell fear... you might also believe that a toddler can smell heartbreak even when no one says one word about it.  

Goodnight, dear people.  I'll say something more tomorrow.  

The pain of chickens

Here I am, up all night grading papers and willing myself not to give up and fail at my job.  

I am, at midnight, still grading, and I click on a submitted paper and find that a student has written a paper entitled "Chickens have a hard life."

Well, I'll be damned.  I had no idea that chickens were suffering so gravely, but guess what?   

I get to stay up for at least another hour and learn all about... the pain of... chickens. 



PS.  Dear Lord Jesus, in another life, could I be a chicken so that I might be merely uncomfortable rather than in possession of free will and a conscience?  That'd be  great.  Thanks. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not built in a day

No emails, no phone calls, no nothing.  

We are going to do absolutely nothing until we have conferred with all of my dad's brothers, and the paltry check she says she mailed to my brother arrives and clears.  It's rather like standing around with a grenade all day and waiting for permission to pull the pin and run run like hell.

In other news, I did pack up three boxes and three duffle bags and my friend came and helped me move them to the house where I will be living.  I am maybe going over there tomorrow to help her mom start putting things in order.  I say maybe because she is a little bit less eager to get started than blah blah blah... it's just a hard process for anyone to go through.  If she cancels, it won't surprise me.  I will be living there in a week or so and then there will be no avoiding the person who lives in her house who is there expressly for the purpose of helping her organize and sort out her things.   Hopefully this will go well and she will not end up hating me inside of a week.  At any rate, in very short time I will have figured out how best to help and I will have a place to live. 

Can I tell  you all how surreal this is?  I have to rewrite my whole life, change my entire concept of the world, and at the same time, move into someone else's house and work three jobs and... I can't tell you how overwhelmed I am.  If I thought the anxiety was bad before my father died, this disorientation and the total breakdown of my family and the just crushing sadness of it... well it might be worse.  Or maybe it's better because I am so completely against anxiety.  I am not anxious at all... just so busy I don't know what to do when and all the while there is a voice in my head telling me my father died and we never even said goodbye and he just left me with nothing after I set him up with her and encouraged him to move on after my mom's death.  And that I have been the instrument that caused my siblings to be disinherited and hurt so badly.  And then I am grading papers and people are parading into my apartment two and three and four times a day since it is not rented yet and I am supposedly going to move like... next week. 

Is this a post?  I don't have any idea what I just wrote about but you can read it if you want to and if you have anything to say you can say it and if you think I am boring and self-pitying and kind of jack-ass you are most likely correct.  Starting over when you never really got started in the first place and you are 38 and all you have in the credit column of your life is not being dead yet is utterly surreal.  And that is all I can think of to say today.  

Thank you for reading. 

Monday, October 6, 2008

Try this

When you are out of xanax and temazepam, get a bottle of Courvoisier and just like drink it.   Glass optional. 

My latest email to my step mother:

This exchange has been painful for me, and from your tone, I can tell it has been for you, too.  I am moving into someone else's house next week; I am working three jobs, and from what you have told me, all is just fine for you, so I have no reason to worry for your safety or support.  It's time for me to take care of myself, as I have been unwell, both physically an emotionally for a long time.  If you have anything to communicate of urgency, by all means, communicate.   Otherwise, I need to step back for a while.  If you were in my position, I am sure you could readily see how hurtful the news that my dad thought nothing of his children but ______,  and that only by way of your charity, the sum became _________.   Had my need not been so dire, and had I known my dad had only intended us to have so small a sum, I would never have accepted the money.    As the total is already spent, all I can do is regret my penury and save to pay you back for the money that was not due me.   I want to reiterate:    I need a break.   Please do two things.  First, do not respond to this email.   Second, please don't send me any more packages meant to comfort me.  They have the opposite effect.   I desperately need to re-establish my own life, one that does not include these painful boxes in the mail reminding me of how much my dad used to love me.    All that can usefully be said regarding the estate and our family has already been said, and I need to move on with my own life. 

Simple yes or no.  Should I send it?

And no, the Bitch-krieg email is still drafted and not yet sent.   I am waiting for full approval from my father's family before I send it. 

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Thanks, Maggie

Your result for How geeky are you?...

Cool Introvert

50% Geeky, 74% Cranial and 57% Introverted!

You scored 50% Geeky, 74% Cranial and 57% Introverted! Brilliant! This is so very exciting because you have managed to maintain your intelligence yet steer clear of the path to geekiness. You are the rarest of the rare, not many people score in this category. I don't know if you realize the delicate balance between smarts and geekiness, yet you have overcome!!

You most likely have a strong passion for reading or some other hobby you can cultivate on your own, and this can be a wonderful creative outlet. Make sure you take the time to develop strong interpersonal relationships as they may not come as easily to you, though they are vital for a fulfilling life. It takes much effort to mantain them at times, but their benefits far outweight their draw backs.

I truly hope you enjoyed the test as much as I enjoyed making it! I always welcome email comments/suggestions! Thanks for taking it!

Take How geeky are you? at HelloQuizzy

Friday, October 3, 2008


I really ought to delete that terrible post.  Maybe I'll do that in just a minute.  

Meanwhile I am popping in to say only that I have the flu and it's fairly terrible, and since I have been cemented to my bed for the last few days, I am going to return there just as soon as I can get my arms around another  bottle of Nyquil. 

Goodnight, all. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I await my Pulitzer

Just to make sure that I maintain the standard of depressing, ill-tempered, and inappropriate posts you have all come to expect, I offer today a draft of the letter I intend to send to my dear step-mother.  I have not sent it yet, and I don't plan to until I have cooled down sufficiently to edit a bit of the venom out of it.  But you all might enjoy it.  The venom, anyway.  

Here ya go: 


You mentioned the need to be gentle with each other, and I couldn't agree more.  You have been my friend for eight years and I would be heartbroken - after all that has transpired - to lose your friendship.  Now that all has been laid before me, I understand why no attorney or probate judge has contacted me, my brother, or my sister concerning my father's estate.  There was no reason for us to be contracted my any legal authority, since neither my sister, my brother, nor I have inherited anything. 

I have a few more questions that I hope you will be good enough to answer.  Some may be difficult for you to read and for that, I am truly sorry.  However, I must be forthright.  Anything less would be guileful on my part and an insult to our friendship and your intelligence.  Try to understand that i ask these things so that I can grieve knowing, at the very least, the whole truth about my father's regard for me and my brother and my sister. 

1) Why did it take my asking, point blank, what the disposition of my father's estate was for you to reveal that my brother, sister, and I are without any legal rights?

2) When you and my father agreed to arrange your affairs in this way, did you ever consider that a boilerplate will is not typical in situations where there has been more than one marriage on both sides?  And if you were aware of the many alternatives more suitable for couples in your financial condition, why did you and my father agree to dismiss those alternatives? 

3) At the time you and my father made these wills, did you believe that they dealt justly with my brother, my sister and me - not to say my mother, who was joint owner of all that my father owned until the moment she died? 

4) If you thought the wills you and my father signed were just wills at the moment you signed them, do you think so now?

I do not think the wills just.  My father, in effect, asks us, his natural children by way of his will to replace our mother - who raised us from babies and who died at 52 - with another woman.   Erika, no matter how much we all love you, no matter how grateful we are that you gave my dad a few years of happiness before his untimely death,  no child would simply "boilerplate" one mother for another - and would certainly not do so for motives so despicable as money.  Could any decent, sane, morally upright person ever do such a thing?  Would the people you have come to know in the past four years - my brother, my sister, and me - defile my mother's memory in such a way?  I am sure you know we would not.  

Yet this is precisely the scenario we are apparently to endure.  

It is for these reasons that I say that my father, a man I loved more than my own life, was no longer the man I thought I knew once he remarried.  The change began almost from the moment of the ceremony.  I could give you hundreds of examples since his marriage in which he behaved in ways that hurt me terribly - ways that I would never have dreamed possible.  To give you just one, the visit I made in January was of two days duration.  One of those days, he spent an entire 9 hours watching a football game at Dave and Evie's while I sat alone on the couch wondering when my father had developed this unusual interest in football, which he never liked at all the first 62 years of his life - and why the hell I bothered to visit people who clearly didn't spending time with me more important than 9 entire hours of... football.  Four days later, my birthday came and went and my father never even called me.  Birth cake or no, do you have any idea how hard I cried when midnight came and I realized that my father didn't think calling me on my birthday worth doing?

My belief is that your desire to be the love of my father's life regardless of whether my mother existed or not lead you to ask my father to sign the will you described to me.  I believe he signed it because he adored you and would have cut off his own head to please you.  But in signing that will, he did wrong - both by his natural children, my mother, and in the long run, you.  A just will would have saved  you the pain of reading this message from me.  

My father's will has gravely wounded, emotionally, and financially, children who would have been his slaves for one kind word a year - who hung on his every word - who spent every vacation day they had each year by his side.  During his illness, we spent our savings and incurred unfathomable debts to stand by him when he was in peril.  Can you doubt that we loved our father to our own absolute ruin? 

Did he love us?  Well, if one where to judge by the contents of his will, he regarded us as a mere biological inconvenience.  Is this true?  And if not?  Is this will just?

I am undone.   I will never see my father - or our relationship, and sadly, you, the same way again until you make right what is gravely wrong - namely, my father's will. 

I say this with the full knowledge that legally,  you have no obligation to engage in so much as a phone call with me or anyone connected with the name of ______ ever again.  The legal papers you and my father had drawn up gave total power to your to the point that you could disengage from my father's family and his natural children at your pleasure, with no legal consequence.  

All this said, my dearest wish is that your conscience and your reflection on thee facts I have laid before you will lead you to act quickly, within the limits of the law and common decency to rectify this error - that our friendship can survive and that further - something like a family can be salvaged from this legal and moral disaster. 

If you choose another path, peace be with you.  My own conscience - with regard to you, and my father, whom I encouraged in all innocence and good intention to marry  you, is clear. 


simple yes or no

Can I date a 56 year old gypsy cab driver because he gets me?

Is this  maddness?

And YES - I expect a real answer.  Yes or no.