Wednesday, July 27, 2016


There has been a whole lot of nasty going on in United States politics (and in the country as a whole), but something historical happened last night, and I want to take a minute to acknowledge it.

Last night at the Democratic National Convention, the Democratic Party nominated Hillary Clinton as their candidate for president.  She was the first woman ever nominated on a major party ticket.  Women gained the right to vote in this country in 1920, and it took a freaking constitutional amendment to get that right.  Perhaps one of the most powerful moments of the roll call (the part where each individual delegate states who they wish to nominate) was when an elderly woman who was born into a world where women couldn't vote proudly cast her her vote for Mrs. Clinton.

Like Hillary Clinton or not, one cannot help but recognize the significance of this nomination.  This is a big step forward for women in the United States.  Whether she wins the election or not (and frankly let's hope she does, because the alternative is, at best, frightening), it's a huge nomination.

When I was a kid, being president was a man's job.  Specifically a white man's job.  The 2008 election removed white from the unofficial job criteria.  Now in 2016 we have removed man from the unofficial job criteria for president.  Kids today can look at our country's leaders and visualize themselves in that role someday.  How cool is that?  I couldn't visualize myself as president when I  was a kid. 

Last night made me proud to be an American. 

In November I will report to my polling place and proudly cast my ballot for Hillary Clinton.  I'm not voting for her because she's a woman (I don't particularly care what gender our leaders identify with, as long as they are good leaders), or because she's a Democrat (I'm proud to be a registered democrat and mostly vote that way, but I vote with my conscience on the issues, so sometimes it means I vote for another party's candidate), or because I agree with all of her platform (I don't!).  I think that she is a competent leader with a proven track record and feel that she's the best candidate to lead the United States for the next four (or more) years.

Related, if you are an American citizen who is over the age of 18 and you aren't registered to vote, you still have plenty of time to get registered in time to vote in the November election.  If you don't know how/where to register, I'm happy to help you figure it out.  This will easily be the most important election of our lifetime.  You owe it to yourself to do your research and have a say in it!

Thursday, July 21, 2016


There are times in life when you just have to smile, shake your head, and ask "what the fuck?".  Tuesday was one of those days for me.

Tuesday was the day of my dad's heart surgery.  It started out well enough.  I left my house at 6am drove the three hours from my house to my parent's house and made really great time, even getting there early enough to spend a little time with my nieces (Sister, BIL, and their three daughters live in my parent's basement).  We (my mom, dad, and me) left for the hospital around 11 and got there with time to spare for his 11:45am check in time.

His surgery went well, they found a 95+% blockage which was cleared and a stent was put in.  Unrelated, his cardiologist was freaking gorgeous.  He's already home and is doing great, despite being pissed that he has to take some time off of work.  But that's not what I want to write about.

We got my dad all checked in and were directed to a waiting area for the cath lab.  This is where we waited for him to go back to pre-op and while the procedure was going on.  As it turns out, in this particular hospital, the cardiac cath lab shares a waiting room with Labor and Delivery.  I'm not sure if I've wrote about it yet or not, but I seem to be swinging back into an anger phase of the grieving process, so an L&D waiting room was near the top of the list of places where I did not want to spend time.  I tried to have a sense of humor and sent a friend a curse word laden text.  She suggested that it would be nice if the waiting room space was also shared by a liquor store.

At this point I gave myself a pep talk along the lines of "you've got this" and "you only have to be here for a short time." 

Then my grandparents (mom's parents) arrived at the hospital despite being explicitly told that their presence wasn't required and that we would call with an update when there was something to report. At minimum, they shouldn't be driving on the busy road where the hospital is located (or at all for that matter).  I've never had a close relationship with my grandparents and because of some things that exceed the scope of this blog, but suffice to say that I don't care to have anything more than a cordial relationship with them.  Not to mention that they are very conservative, very religious, and plan to vote for Donald Trump.  Anyway, my grandma wanted to pray.  Ok, fine.  Prayer isn't my thing, but whatever, she thinks it'll do some good.  So I bite my tongue and bow my head thinking it would be a short, silent (or at least quiet) prayer.  She started praying.  Out loud, and not in a quiet voice.  For like five minutes.  In a busy waiting room.  I opened my eyes and we were getting funny looks.  Eventually it was over, my blood pressure was through the roof, and I was wishing to be anyplace else.  Then they tried to engage me in a discussion about politics.  I not so politely declined and reminded them that anything they read on Facebook should be fact checked.  This suggestion obviously wasn't taken to heart since my grandma shared this article last night with the comment "not surprising!"  Thankfully they got tired and left before I had a heart attack, but not before praying a couple more times.

My dad got out of surgery and was taken to his room.  I thought the most stressful part of the day was over.  Then my sisters started to stop by.  The first one brought her (very active, very loud) toddler to the cardiac ward.  Now, I'm no cardiologist, but I can't imagine that a shrieking child (even shrieks of happiness) is a good thing on a cardiac ward.  Then another sister stopped by.  With her baby.  This wasn't so bad (since he can more easily be contained), but then she started breastfeeding.  At this point I walked out of the room without explanation and found a waiting room with free drinks (unfortunately none were of the alcoholic variety) and hid there for the better part of an hour.

Around 7:30, we decided to go and get dinner.  My sister (with the baby) and brother-in-law decided to join my mom and I.  At dinner I was treated to a discussion about why there should be baby changing stations in men's restrooms.  When asked my opinion on the matter, I offered that public places aren't required by law to provide baby changing stations, and that most do so out of courtesy.  I then suggested that since this particular hardship had absolutely nothing to do with my life that I didn't care one way or the other.

My mom and I didn't get back to my parent's house until a little bit after nine.  At this point, I found out that during the getting ready for bed routine, my youngest niece (turned 1 last month) and my dog discovered the toilet.  My sister walked in on my dog drinking out of it and my niece with her hands in it splashing away.  This was actually a pretty good way to end the day, because I thought it was hilarious.  Also, thankfully, this particular sister is very laid back and didn't freak out. 

It was just one of those days where the things kept coming, and each seemed more ridiculous.  But the important thing is that my dad is fine and hopefully won't have any issues in the future, so any stress I endured was worth it.  A couple of days removed from it, I can laugh.  I mean seriously, who has to deal with that many triggering situations in one 12 hour period?

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Blondes have more fun?

I felt the urge to do something different and impulsive today.  So I dyed my hair.


Not Platinum blonde or bleach blonde or anything crazy like that.  But definitely quite a bit lighter than my hair has been in probably 15 years.

It's fun.  I like it.  I feel good about myself.

Maybe a new hair color is just what I need to lift any remaining fog from my funk.  I hope so.

Monday, July 11, 2016

In a funk

I'm in a funk.

I think I jinxed myself when I wrote about feeling really good and making a lot of progress.

I hesitated to even write about it.  I've been doing so well that it feels like failure to go through a hard phase.  I know it isn't failure at all and that it's completely normal.  I hate it.

I don't know why I'm in a funk.  We've had so much good happen recently.

Little things are bothering me.  Nothing big.

Watching the little neighbor boy learn how to ride his bike.

A friend from high school who is in no financial position for another child is unexpectedly pregnant again (though really how much of a "surprise" can pregnancy be when you aren't taking any preventative measures?).

A (formerly) close friend is solidly in her third trimester.  We're not on speaking terms anymore, but we both always thought we'd be pregnant together.  Yet there she is and here I am. I'm not really jealous, but I am angry at the universe that it didn't work out for me too.

My sister posted a picture on Facebook of our dad sitting on the couch with all of the grandkids.  He is smitten with the grandkids, especially with youngest nephew who shares his name, as he should be.  It's times like this that the differences between me and my sisters are painfully evident.  I feel like an outsider to my own family.

Then there is life stuff.

There is a lot of transition at work.  Two close colleagues left for different positions and another retired.  The colleague that retired was responsible for hiring me and has served as a professional mentor for the last four years.  Not having her steady guidance a few doors down the hallway is going to be quite the adjustment.  I'm going to miss her a lot, but she says she's just a phone call away if I need anything.

My dad is having heart surgery next week.  The way I understand it there is another blockage that requires another stent.  It's not nearly as urgent as last summer when he had a heart attack, but it's still a major surgery, he's a terrible patient, and my mom is worried sick (as I'm sure any of us would be if our partner was having heart surgery).  Also, just like last summer, I'm the only one of their children who managed to rearrange my schedule so that I can be at the hospital with our mom, despite the fact that I live in a different state.  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I have the sort of job where I can rearrange my schedule on short notice to be there with my mom, it just bothers me that my sisters all have their heads so far up their asses that they can't manage to figure it out too.

Hubs and I also went through a bit of a rough patch.  Nothing major, just a little misunderstanding that caused some argument.  We worked our way through it and we're coming out on the other side stronger than we were before,  but the fact remains that relationships are hard sometimes and they require work to stay healthy.  While I won't say that I particularly enjoy soul searching or having long, serious conversations of this nature, I'm thankful that hubs and I work through these rough patches together rather than letting a bunch of little things pile up.  Our relationship isn't all rainbows and unicorns (is anybody's?), but the fact remains that we love each other and we are committed to doing the work required to keep our relationship healthy.

When I started this blog, one of my goals was to keep things real and to share both the good and the bad.  Now that I've written most of what's on my mind out, I feel a little bit better.  Hopefully soon I'll have kicked this funk to the curb and am back to a happier BnB.