April 28th, 2004

Chalkboard

Our CA Heatwave Power Outage, Dinner at Atra's and Beau's Hurting Back


Another cute picture of Cheryl's, lablover49 on eBay.

We had a power outage that lasted from about six this evening until just after midnight. I'm our block captain so I always feel like I should do whatever I can to make things easier and safe for everyone. I always want check on my neighbors and make sure everyone is okay. Although it's not like we have anyone plugged into life support or anything, I just want to find out what's going on and then let everyone else know what's happening. It's just one of the few jobs I do to be a good being, like taking in baby possums and feeding them baby food with a little syringe every four hours.

It never fails to amaze me how dependent we are on electrical power. I feel so helpless when it happens, helpless and bored. You mean I'm not going to get to watch The Osbournes tonight, what the hell is going on here? Beau can't live without his computer, so he grabbed the laptop and took it over to Atra's and IM'd his pals from there. A parent can learn a lot about their child just from reading their IM's, yup.

I went over to Atra's house tonight to say good-bye to Ghodsi/Mommy, who has to go back to Iran for at least a year tomorrow. : ( I took the photos I had just finished Photoshopping for them when the power went out. There were a lot of people who had come to say good-bye. I felt underdressed and under made up. Atra and her family had really dressed up to have some professional family pictures shot before we arrived and there I was, no makeup, no bra, no underwear even, but how would they know that? Still, I felt uncomfortable, but grateful to have somewhere to go where there was good company, air conditioning, light and something warm to eat and drink.

Scott came around nine or so and brought a card and some flowers because I had given him a "this would be a nice thing to do" heads up on his answering machine earlier. He gets bored, anxious, and uncomfortable pretty easily, while I can pretty much hang with anyone anywhere as long as they aren't being cruel to animals, kids, or elderly people, or smoking. I wish he could be a bit more flexible and easygoing but maybe hanging out with people who are speaking mostly Farsi and raving about a popular Persian singer named Googoosh isn't everyone's cup of tea. Tea being a key word when it comes to spending time with Atra and Arta, I love their tea, I'm addicted to it now.

Speaking of addiction, I've begun to struggle with food and weight gain again. I was so hoping I would have a longer grace period before this started to happen. I went to weigh myself the other day and was so disappointed and shocked to learn that I had gained ten pounds. I'm thinking this was because I injured my back and spent a lot of time laying around and that, plus the pain meds and muscle relaxants I've been taking late at night, may have kind of put a halt to the, "I can eat whatever I want, pretty much, and keep on losing weight, or at least not gain anything," miracle of this past year. Now I feel like I'm back where I started a dozen years ago, struggling with food, thinking about it all the time, wanting to eat everything in site, never feeling full, wanting to exercise but rarely getting around to it, gaining weight, growing out of all of my clothes and feeling depressed and crappy about myself.

I really hope I can reverse this trend because I so don't want everything I've accomplished, all of the risks I've taken to get here, to have been in vain. But I couldn't even get through one day on protein drinks. I told myself that I'd just have my protein smoothies and nothing else for three days and that would help me take off a few pounds. I was determined to do this and not ten minutes after deciding this, and writing it down, I was ravenous and looking for a fix. I finally gave in and had some bites of a protein bar, then I had a salad and decided I'd just be more moderate and sane in my food choices, and go for a walk with the dogs and on the treadmill, neither of which I got around to. By nightfall I was sitting at Atra's and looking at the pastries with lust in my heart like Jimmy Carter, only in my case I acted on it. However I am definitely not going to take a muscle relaxant even though my lower back is screaming for it, "Give it to me Jacqui, puhleeeeeease?!?" because if I take it, the next thing I know I'll be downstairs rooting around in my fridge looking for anything sweet, fattening, and carby to eat. It's like drinking and driving, I can't take these medications and be trusted around food. Cutting off my body's pain signals and relaxing muscles is exactly the opposite of what I had this surgery for. If I don't get that tight, full, sick feeling in my stomach, I'll keep eating. Where before I could have a bite of something sweet and feel full and happy, now I'm back to my old habit of wanting to keep snacking. Although it's not completely the same and I'm sure that with just a little effort on my part I can get back on the losing track. At least I pray I can.

We had dinner and desert at Atra and Arta's tonight. All Beau wanted was his computer and a glass of milk. (By the way, he's just started taking Straterra, tonight was his second night, I so hope it helps him.) When it was more than obvious that Scott was going to implode with discomfort, or pass out from boredom, physical discomfort, and exhaustion, we made our excuses, left Atra's, and made our way home. It surprised me how little Scott had empathized with our lack of electricity plight until he was thrown into the thick of it himself by having to come into our super dark house himself. He made some comment about why I didn't have a light by the door that comes on automatically when the power goes off and feeling criticized I said, "Yeah? How many of those do you have around your place?"

Our house gets so dark and it's hard to negotiate the stairs with so many little furry people walking around under your feet. I kind of enjoy the challenge though. I like feeling a little afraid of something and then finding I'm perfectly capable of dealing with whatever challenges come my way. I felt so relieved when I was able to grope my way into the house, up the stairs, down the hallway, into my room, find the candles and matches and create light. Light, fire, relief, like something out of an episode of Survivor and we'd only been dealing with this power outage for a few hours.

I was happy sitting on my bed with the candles, the cats, and my Scott. I so wished, I so wish, he could be happy here too. It made me sad when he left, but Beau came in and we got the flashlights going, I got dressed, (I had to change my clothes because one of the baby possums pooped all over me when I was feeding her), and we made our way downstairs and kind of tried to figure out how we were going to get through the estimated ten hours or so that it would take for the power to come back on.

I think the power must have gone out because we've had a heat wave here in LA and there were just too many people on our block using too much power. When I spoke to the DWP they said they had over fifty-six hundred homes in West LA alone that were without power. We have a few elderly people on our block and one very pregnant woman, who I was concerned about, plus it's scary for the kids.

We were just walking back over to Atra's house, with two heavily loaded bags of groceries that wouldn't have made it through the night without refrigeration, when we saw a DWP truck and Beau said, "Wouldn't it be funny if the power finally came back on right now after we've taken all of these things out of the fridge?" And wouldn't you know, just then, one by one all of the houses began to light up?

Beau sustained another back injury this week. He was playing with his friend Brandon and Brandon threw Beau's favorite toy, Mr. Potato Chicken Man across the room. Beau went to get it but when he came back, Brandon pulled Beau's chair out from under him so he'd fall. Har dee har har, man how dumb can you be? It's even in the student handbook that we are forced to read each year and sign. Do not pull chairs out from under people or you will be suspended. It's in there along with other obvious things like, oh I don't know, don't bring firearms or weapons of mass destruction to school.

Anyway Beau wound up landing on his tail bone, spraining his back for the second time in a month, and Brandon got suspended, poor kid. I know he didn't do it on purpose, I also know it was a poor choice, but I still feel sorry for him. Oh, and two other friends of Beau's got suspended for four days while Brandon only got one. When I asked Beau what they'd been suspended for he said, "For tackling a teacher." Wha??? You should have seen the look of shock on my old fashioned, (Can you believe it? Me, old fashioned? The girl who goes to Burning Man, strips naked, and offers condom bracelets to total strangers. When did this happen to me? When did I turn into this easily shocked old person, the parent?), face when I heard this. Turns out he was just kidding, there wasn't any teacher tackling involved, phew. Deja vue, I'm thinking I already told you about all of this, hunh, I wonder if I did, oh well.

Anyway Beau's doing better and the upshot of all of this is that we wound up going to the top pediatric orthopedic surgeon in all of Los Angeles and he told me that Beau did not have Osteopenia like the radiologist and the chiropractors told us, nor did he have any kind of compression fractures. He doesn't need more calcium and vegetables, more exercise and physical therapy, but it couldn't hurt. It sure pays to get a well informed second opinion, and to think I was beating myself up thinking I had failed my son because his nutrition was so poor as to cause his bones to become brittle and porous.

Man, this was a long one and I am so tired. It's four in the morning and I haven't been to bed yet, makes sense.

Love you,
Jacqui
Chalkboard

I Haven't Been Getting Your Messages



I was just writing to a friend and it occurred to me that I should explain something and offer and apology to you. I think most of you know that I have been diagnosed with ADD. I am a textbook perfect prototypical example of the ADD patient. I am empathic, caring, kind, bright, creative, at times brilliant even, but I am also easily distracted, super forgetful, disorganized and unable to retain really basic pieces of information like people's names and phone numbers. It's hard enough being like this in real life, but here on Live Journal it gets really, really confusing and hard for me. I have a very hard time remembering people's names versus their journal names. I get thrown when people change their icons. I forget who I've spoken with, what we've discussed and when. Please forgive me for this, I truly don't do this on purpose, I want to get to know each and every one of you personally, be your pal and love you to the stars and back. Its just very, very hard for me to track with you, very hard. If you don't have this attention deficit, this whatever it is that makes me different from other people, you can't imagine what it's like. I'm sure it's easy to mistake my carelessness for a lack of caring when the opposite is really the case. I do care, a lot, I just have a hard time doing very basic things that other people might not find a challenging as I do. Things like opening the mail, checking my answering machine, answering my e-mail, or remembering appointments are very hard for me to do.

Anyway it's recently come to my attention that I never bothered to learn how to operate my cell phone, or at least the voice mail and text messaging part of it. I meant to ask Beau to teach me how to do this but kept getting by without knowing how to. When I finally got around to semi/sort of learning how to check my messages I discovered there were close to a hundred messages on there and I don't know how many more I've missed that have been deleted. These messages date back to November. I had forgotten that I had enabled the feature where people can text message me from Live Journal and AOL, and here I've been receiving your messages and not knowing how to retrieve them. So for anyone who was hurt in any way by this, please accept my sincerest apologies.

It gets so bad that all of my friends know to always leave their phone numbers on my answering machine when they call, no matter how long we've been friends, or how often we speak on the phone, because I may have lost them. People will call me several times before we have pans to get together to help me by reminding me. I even write notes to myself in pen on my legs and arms so I won't forget things. Like right now I need to call Annina back but I don't know where I put her number. If I don't write this down now by tomorrow it will be gone like a puff of smoke in the alien landscape that is my mind. It's super exotic and exciting in there, lots of color and fun, but some of the really basic functions, like the on off buttons on the remote control, are just missing for me, and frankly, it sucks. I'm getting better but it's always a challenge.

Sleep, I need sleeeeeeep.....