I'm finally at home after running around and doing the usual errands and then visiting my friends' house for tea. I'm watching an older documentary about Annie Lebowitz. It's fascinating. I love documentaries and pray that I will be able to make them some day. There are so many good stories out there to tell.
I went to my Mom's house today to pick up checks. No one was home because Mom is in the desert. I walked around taking inventory of things because I'm so suspicious of Rosa now and noticed how much has gone missing and been replaced with cheap, crappy, stuff to make it look like the cupboards that were once full of fine china and silver, aren't bare. I can't stand that there is absolutely nothing I can do about this. But nothing, no possessions, or money, nothing means anything to me compared with the love I feel for my Mother, my Father and my Grandparents.
The things I care about in my Mother's home, the things I feel protective of, are the things that she wouldn't bother stealing -- the photo albums, Daddy's little silver plate that his Mother gave him on his first birthday, a newspaper article with a picture of my Mom looking so beautiful when she was young, a little money clip that Puff and Bob gave to my Father when one of the oil wells he had invested in actually struck oil. It made me angry and sad thinking about all of the things we'd lost, all of the very fine china and silver that I had always assumed would be kept safe for me and for Beau when we would inherit it some day, but in wandering around the house and looking at my Mother's things, I was hit harder, much harder, by the loss of my Father and my Grandparents, and the impending loss of my Mother who is almost ninety years old and whose memory is slipping. I miss them so much. I felt so sad and full of grief. I wondered if there was any amount of seratonin reuptake inhibiting drugs that could make up for the loss of my entire family.
I don't know if I can write about this as directly as I would like, so I have to kind of talk around it, but a kind person has come forward to help me with something that is very important to me and I am so grateful. It's taking me some time to respond to their letter, maybe because it's hard to do, everything to do with this subject is painful for me. I think that I'll be able to talk about it some time soon, but only in a way that keeps their involvement secret. I hate that this hugely important part of my life is so secret. I hate that I am a secret. It hurts so...
I'm feeling super angry and frustrated with the parts of my life that involve the use of computers and technology. I mentioned a while ago that all of our computers had crashed and we had had to kind of patch them back together again. One of the things that is soooo frustrating when this happens, beyond the fear of losing precious data, is having to find all of the installation discs and programs so you can get things up and running again. Since so many of my obsessions pass through the hands and paws of so many beings on a daily basis, it's super easy for things to get lost.
I can't find the USB cable for my camera. I can't find the USB cable that connects the little card reader I have to my computer. I can't find the driver software that I need to reinstall in order to use the damned card reader. I don't want to buy another one because I have bought so many and I just had the cables and the disc and I am so frustrated that they just disappeared like everything else around here, argh and grrrr. Without these things I can't transfer the images from my camera to the computer so that I can edit and upload them to share with you. I have pictures of my new car and pictures of this waterfall that I saw off of the freeway during all of our recent storms and I wanted to show them to you.
In the new car I had a Sirius satellite radio installed that is so complicated I can barely figure out how to turn it on. Seriously, it took me ages just to figure out how to get AM radio. It's ready to run Satellite radio, but I haven't contacted Sirius yet to get it synced up. I don't even know how to do this, but obviously I will have to figure this out.
I bought two, brand new, top of the line, all in one, HP Printer/Scanner/Photocopier/Fax machines in January. I had just recently bought a used printer from my neighbor Caryn that was supposed to replace my relatively new printer that had broken when my pet rat crawled into it and gnawed off some crucial part. Best Buys wouldn't honor the warranty/insurance that I had on it because they said the trouble was caused by owner misuse, or something like that. I never told them that it was because of my rat. The printer I bought from my neighbor didn't come with software and the drivers I downloaded wouldn't work either so this printer has gone to the great big pile of computer hardware that is filling up my office.
I thought that buying really expensive, new ones would put an end to all of our troubles, but this hasn't been the case. Beau's last printer had stopped working when his friend Steven spilled a bottle of root beer into it. I was really counting on these new printers putting an end to Beau waking me up late at night to tell me that he has an assignment due in the morning and I need to find some way for him to print something out, right now! Turns out the frigging drivers for these things take up so much space that they slow everything down and pretty much conflict with everything, making them totally useless, so now I don't have a working printer, and Beau talked me into buying him a simpler one. Now I can't scan all of these very cool pictures of my Mother and Grandmother, their press clippings, and the pictures of old time movie stars wearing their dresses.
Beau's big expensive TV broke a month ago after he and his friend thought it would be fun to have a war with cans of athletes foot spray. They finished off their fun by tagging the side of the TV with the word Hi. Beau still won't accept that spraying clouds of powder into the vents on the side of the television might just be the reason why it broke, sigh.
We have wireless DSL here so that we can access the Internet quickly and remotely. I like to write in bed while watching TV. Beau and his friend Phil like to cruise some of the wildest and weirdest sites they can find, picking up bugs and viruses all along the way. I can't stand, to say nothing of not being able to afford, paying our pal Ron to come over here any more to fix our computers when Beau's gets infected.
When Beau's computer gets a virus it spreads through the network and infects both my office computer and my laptop. In order to put a stop to this I decided I would just go ahead and order a second DSL line from Verizon. Ron was going to come over and hook it up for me but because nothing computer related is ever easy for me, it turns out that I have to hire our phone gal Fonda to come over to run a separate line from the complicated telephone computer system that we have, to my bedroom, because we can't just plug the router in to the phone network.
I bought a new TV that's an HDTV but in order for it to work we needed the cable company to come and run a special cable for it, this required a new box, the new box is complicated. I like the new box because I can record things with it, but none of the HDTV channels will record -- everything I have recorded on them comes back scrambled and weirdly split up into little pieces of image data.
I could go on...
Argh, I just want to scream because I want things to be simpler, easier, and less complicated. Is it like this for everyone or is it just me? Hey, at least my breasts are fine and my bladder is finally getting better, that's something to celebrate.
Heh, Anna just called to tell me that she saw something on television about Martha Stewart going to jail. She knows I like Martha because I always have her magazines and books laying around and am always trying out little things that I see in the magazines. I had to explain to her, in Spanish no less, what had happened to Martha and that she wasn't going in jail but coming out. Man, that was hard. It's hard enough talking about the whole IM Clone stock stupidity and how I think Martha got nailed because she's a woman and a celebrity, and of course a little bit because of her attitude and hubris, in English, but imagine trying to explain all of this in Spanish. I was trying to make the ding ding ding sound of the New York Stock Exchange bell to help her understand what I was talking about before I realized that it wouldn't matter if I knew the words in Spanish because she doesn't know what stocks are.
I'm really angry that Martha went to jail. I think laws should apply evenly to everyone, but they don't, and I really think she was unfairly targeted. I do feel certain that she will come out of this better than when she went in, and since I think everything happens for a reason, I just know that something good will come of all of this. Maybe she will take on the cause of prison reform and minimum sentencing for first time offenders.
Thanks everyone for just being here, for being so supportive and kind, for sending positive thoughts my way, for being my friend and constant companion, and for not getting mad at me for being a bit of a needy baby today. I'm fine, my boobs are fine : )
Thank you God!
The radiologist was concerned because the tissue in my breast was thickened and swollen in this area around this tender cyst that we know I have, making it hard to see the cyst in all of the many x-rays he had taken. When he got the original films and compared them, it just didn't sit right with him that they looked so dissimilar. He was alarmed by what looked like a thickened mass of tissue surrounding and blocking the cysts from view, so he wanted to rule out the possibility of there being something more than the original cyst going on in there.
So there I was multitasking like mad; managing the five cats and all of their various health problems that had to be communicated properly to the vet, arranging for Esther to come help Anna with the kitties because the only time the vet could see them was when I already had a doctor's appointment, and Anna just isn't up to the task of shepherding all of them in to the vet's office. Well, who would be, except for maybe Irma, oh Irma, I miss her so. So, I had the cats to worry about, Esther and Anna to mediate between, (because they don't get along that well), then the news about my boobs, a fight with Scott, and the resulting hurt, anger, and disappointment, then just as I was about to leave for a different doctor's appointment, my elderly Mother had an anxiety attack and was feeling confused and helpless and called me panicking because her housekeeper had given her a pill to take and she didn't know what it was.
I had to stop what I was doing and try to find it online just to be sure her helper wasn't trying to poison her, and then I had to call my psychiatrist and ask her what to do. I had to call my Mother's doctor, then call Mom back, and tell her in super slow baby language how to get to the pharmacy. Then I had to call our secretary to go over some financial things, chief among them being this scary lawsuit against us, or me really, because this man, a tenant of mine, who has lost his leg because he has diabetes and ignored an infection in one of his toes, thought he could blame it all on us, so he made up this great big pack of legal lies to support this bogus claim. I had to do all of this and make it to Beau's school in time to take him somewhere by four, because wannabe-Jewish-yenta that I am, I wanted him to be able to accidentally bump into the daughter of someone from a very well known family, all the while knowing that I could be facing a needle to the boob and some possible bad news, all by myself.
I was on my cell phone listening to Tina, our secretary, tell me that we're running out of money, and that my Mother is driving her crazy and putting us all at risk, by threatening to go down to my building in Indio to confront this guy who is suing us, when I arrived at the medical building. I didn't want to lose the reception so I slowed down just the tiniest bit, only long enough to say, "I have to go," when this super angry woman in a car behind me just laid on her horn, and that was the proverbial straw that broke what remained of my frazzled, nervous, camel's back.
I parked the car and started taking everything out on this stranger in my mind, I was obsessing over what I would say to this mean, super-impatient woman, while I was waiting for the elevator to arrive, and who should walk up behind me but the monster honker herself, and of course she was radiating anger and huffiness, and she was overweight which brought up all of my self loathing. I had to hold myself back from saying anything to her, and good thing too, because we both wound up going to same medical suite where she pushed ahead of me and I overheard her say to the nurses that she was sorry she was late. Great, I get startled and rudely honked at because this angry looking person didn't allow for enough time to get to her more-important-than-anyone-else's mammogram.
I sat there in the office, looking around, trying to take my wildly overactive creative focus off of my breasts, and Mary's breasts, or anyone else's breasts, when they finally called me in. I swear I thought I saw all of the women in the office look up at me like, "Oh yeah, that's the one we've been trying to reach all week, poor thing, she's been called back in again," but I'm so self centered I would think that when what they were probably doing was thinking things like, "Oh man did that salad give me gas," and "I wonder if Dr. Schwimmer will let me leave early today."
They took me to straight to the ultrasound room, gave me a gown and left me there, for a realllly long time. I lay there on this table, counting the holes in the ceiling and worrying, thinking about how alone and let down I felt by Scott, how tired I was of having to be his this-is-how-you-should-treat-a-woman, coach. I waited and waited and thought about needles and biopsies, eventually I remembered to pray, and then I thought about how everything happens for a reason, so if they were going to find something and have to remove it, and since my boobs are seriously, swinging-low-sweet-chariot, well, then maybe I could get that breast reconstruction that I have been needing paid for by my insurance after all.
I have been through enough in my life, in terms of medical drama -- exploratory surgeries, childbirth, miscarriages, weight loss surgery, etc., and have always survived and come out thinking that the fear was so much worse than whatever it was I had had to go through, so I should know better than to get so jittery over being called back for a second look. But I was scared, and I did feel lonely and vulnerable and I needed a friend, even though no one but my closest friends would have known this. Just knowing that there was the slightest chance that within a short time I could be hearing something or nothing was enough to make me feel the need to reach out, and when the support that I needed wasn't there -- making everything that much worse because now the whole thing was compounded by this sense of disappointment and loneliness, it became that much harder for me.
In any medical setting I am always the one who takes care of everyone else. I'm always the one who plays down whatever I'm going through in order to cheer everyone else up around me, and today was no different; I helped an elderly lady, I made everyone laugh, I made breast jokes, I kept the radiologist and the technicians entertained, I chatted with worried strangers, and I comforted the woman sitting next to me who was frightened when she learned that she had two hernias. I gave her hugs, told her about all of the people I've known who have had hernia operations, that it was no big deal, and did what I could to fluff her up and make her feel good and safer than she felt when she came in. So that was how I got through it, how I usually get through anything, by pretending that it isn't happening to me, by acting as if I am tougher than I am, and by putting my focus on everyone else. So it was a HUGE relief when after finally getting the ultrasound, then being moved to another room where I waited forever while the doctor saw two other patients, and then having to squish and twist my breast into all kinds of awkward unnatural positions for another set of X-rays, the doctor finally came back and said, "I am sorry I had to call you back in here. It was just the cyst that I was seeing after all. You're fine, everything's okay. You can go."
I just hacked out an enormous chunk of text here having to do with some upset I had around this and other things with Scott. We seem to be fighting a lot lately and it hurts. But just as much as I ache and feel awful when we fight, I also feel strangely closer to him. I don't know what to make of us lately.
Okay I'm done, or well, I'm done writing about it, I'm not done feeling it : (
Can I please just take a moment here to tell you all how much I love Oprah? She brings so much joy into my life by bringing so much joy into other people's lives. I am having such a blast with the new DVR because now I can tape Oprah every single day and then watch it when I get home, when before I was too lame to do this because I couldn't figure out how to work the timer record feature. I'm watching her surprise her friend Gayle by having Josh Groban sing to her. Talk about a life well lived. Now she's making this adorable, chubby, little, twelve-year-old, Hawaiian boy's dream come true by hooking him up with Mariah Carrey and Randy Jackson. Tears.
I think this is what I was trying to say last night when I was saying how much I would love to have an endless supply of money to hand out to other people. Nothing would be cooler than to be able to do the kinds of things that she does, granting people's wishes, funding people's good works, building schools and fostering children orphaned by AIDS. God I can't even explain to you how inspired I am by this dear woman. What I wouldn't give to meet her.
Oh wow, it just occurred to me that I never posted the entry I wrote last night. I often do this -- write up a big entry and then save it without posting it. Sometimes I just don't want to bore you with the minutiae of my life, however most of the time I do. Like right now, this has been too stressful and hurting of a day and of course my bladder would have to be freaking out...run away...run away. If only I could.
Sadness and hopefulness,
Your friend always -- Jacqui