Sunday, June 26, 2016

People suck sometimes........

Today was kind of a fun day. Not totally fun because of some dark spots in what should have been just an all-fun day, but kind of fun nonetheless.

We started out our day leaving early to secure a spot from which to watch the Pride parade. This was the first Pride for most of us - my son had attended before. My oldest was also attending with her friends and fiancee but we never had a chance to meet up with them today. First, we got there plenty early and found parking in a garage for $7 all day! Miracle! We snagged a prime spot at the start of the parade looking back so we were assured amazing pictures. But just before the parade started, rude people crowded in (despite the police officer's repeated warnings to get off the street and keep a path for vehicles). One girl stepped right in front of my daughter and I said "Can you please not stand right in front of her?" to which she replied "Fuck off!" Hmmm. Peace and love, y'all.

When the parade started, and for most of the duration, I could not see a thing. People crowded ten deep on the street in front of the barrier we were kind enough to stand behind (I know, right? Rule followers be damned!) It was a bummer because I was looking forward to taking lots of fun pictures. I handed my camera to my son who was able to take some pics from his taller vantage point. We watched the spectacle until it was time to go to the baseball game, which we were generously gifted tickets to.

We got to the game just as it was about to start and parked in the garage - for $40!!! Highway robbery. But the tickets were free, so we sucked it up. The tickets were nice - club level - and we ordered our food and had it delivered to our seats. Nice (despite the $80 price for what was essentially hot dogs and soda). The game itself was full of amazing home runs - only for the other team. I'm not one for sporting events, mostly because they are WAY too long for my taste, but everyone had fun even though we lost. My husband and I had beer spilled down our backs by a clumsy patron sitting behind us, but that didn't dampen our spirits for the day. It just made him cold and he dropped $50 on a fuzzy blanket to keep him and our always-cold daughter warm for the rest of the game (it was actually nice and warm today but the breeze and shade proved too much for our thinner-skinned family members).

After the game we picked up my son and his friend who had remained at the Pride festivities, dropped off his friend, and then decided to stop for ice cream. It seemed like a good end to a mostly fun day. We exited the car and headed in to the shop. We were gone 20 minutes. When we returned, the slider door on our van was open and my bag was gone. This bag was unique -Jeff made it by hand just for me - and we had used it as our day bag. It contained probably my most precious (non-human) possession - my camera! I had taken dozens of pictures from Pride and I carry that camera everywhere we go. I was shocked and in disbelief that it could actually be gone. But it was, and though we called police (they didn't come - they just said to file a report online) and asked the store to review their camera footage since we were parked directly across from a security camera (they denied it saying they would not look unless they had a police report) we, sadly, left empty-handed. The chances we will recover our items are slim. And it just made me hate everyone. I have such little faith in humanity. It seems there are more and more bad apples among us. Every single day in my community I hear stories of theft. It's almost like it's become so commonplace it's not even shocking anymore. We are so desensitized to crime. The whole idea of not taking things that are not yours is becoming extinct. It's such a violation and it erodes any sense of good faith. The sad truth that you can't even stop for ice cream with your family, or leave your house to go to work without risk of getting robbed just sucks. I'm so tired of it all.

This capped off two weeks of stress for our family, including two ER visits, numerous visits to specialists, multiple tests, a lot of waiting and "still no answers" , car trouble, a broken dishwasher, a canceled vacation - when it rains it really DOES pour, at least in our house lately. We're a tight little unit - we pretty much rely on each other because, while it appears from the outside that we have a lot of friends and an abundant community, we really just have our little family to get us through the tough times. And it's a lot! I keep thinking things must start looking up soon, but around every corner there's another emergency or unpleasant event and I'm just so tired of it all. I'm pretty good at juggling all the balls and keeping at least most of them in the air - I'm the one who stays calm in crisis, fixes things and gets us through the tough times. But, man, am I ever being tested right now. I'm not sure what I did to piss off someone or something, but I did it good, it seems. I'm ready for the rainbow!

It's always a balance of good and bad things. I just wish the scales would tip a little more to the good side these days!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The good and the bad.........

Let's see, it's June 14. Flag day. I just checked and my flag is flying in front of my house so that's something that's gone right today.

It's been a busy past few days. For one thing - GRADUATION! Yes, we successfully graduated the two 18-year-olds. Arlie and Rylie made it through many trials to wear those caps and gowns. Each of them worked hard despite many challenges and I was bursting with pride watching them graduate. It was a unique situation that day, as family and friends from all sides of the family converged in the theatre to witness graduation. Rylie's dad, mom, brother, friends and some family members cheered her on (loudly!) from the stands. Arlie's mom, grandma and brother arrived five minutes before the ceremony was over and missed her receiving her diploma. She blinked back tears and watched the door the entire time. It sucked. The good and the bad.

We had a nice party afterward. Jeff spent the morning picking up food at Costco. We decided to go simple and order sandwiches and cake. While he was waiting in line, he checked the bank balance. Meanwhile, I was on my way to the airport to pick up my sister. I arrived earlier than the plane (miracle!) and was circling the airport when I got a panicked call from him. We had NINE transactions for $230 each from a photo book app I have on my phone. It prints a book every time you have 60 Instagram pictures. The books are, like, six bucks each. Definitely not $230! Turns out, somehow nine entire series of the books I've printed had been ordered. By what means, I'm still not sure. So, while I circled the airport, I attempted to email their customer service and call my bank to report that my card had been compromised. Yes, I know that's not safe. In fact, I accidentally got on the freeway and had to go several miles out of my way to get back on the freeway and back to the airport. But, I picked up my sister on time and we chatted all the way home. Good and bad.

The day after graduation, I took a two-hour nap after everyone left. I crashed. Then, I accompanied Jeff on a two-hour trip to Leavenworth (a cute little Bavarian town) where he had a Trout Unlimited meeting the next day (I know, riveting). The hotel was less than stellar and a rowdy group of drunken guys shouted outside our room all night long, but someone yelled "shut up!" and they finally did. Jeff left early and I slept in, then got ready and went in search of food. There was a car show in town - but not one of those cool vintage car shows. It was one of those weird European car shows and the clientele was.....interesting. Plus, there was absolutely no parking so I headed out of town hoping to find a little restaurant or something. I had no idea where I was going and I turned toward the next town and ended up taking a huge loop through orchards which afforded gorgeous views but, alas, no food. I ended up back in town and stopped at a bakery that I forgot is kind of crappy so my "breakfast" at nearly lunch time was some dry pastries and a bottle of milk. Eh. Good and bad.

We managed to get the whole family together to go kayaking on Sunday. It was a beautiful, breezy, not-too-hot day and for a few hours we were all together. But earlier that morning some psycho shot 50 people in a nightclub in a homophobic rage so we were all traumatized by, yet again, another senseless shooting and I had to face the reality that I'm raising my kids; two straight ones, one gay one, one bisexual one, in a world that breeds hate for being "different." I listened to them try to express their feelings, their fears and their confusion and I realized I can't protect them, really, ever. Not anywhere or at any time. My almighty power as a mom is shit compared to the evil the world holds. And that sucks. But, ah, that glorious day on the lake. Good and bad.

We woke up this morning to our daughter writhing in pain on our bedroom floor. Went through the requisite analysis of symptoms and decided to head to urgent care. The first one we went to wasn't open (?) so we went to the ER. 3.5 hours, IV fluids, an ultrasound and CT scan later, we learned it was not appendicitis. So, that was good. But also bad because what the heck WAS it? While we were there, I kept feeling the most uncomfortable scratchiness in my boot. I finally removed it and found an earring I've been trying to find for two weeks. We picked up meds and headed home and now the sick one is sleeping it off and I'm in sweats on the couch finding out what it is my lazy kids do all day when I'm not around (Netflix and chill?). I missed yet another day of work.

Speaking of work, I resigned my position yesterday. I have had a difficult relationship with a coworker and, given the opportunity to do something different next year,  I knew I needed to make a change to preserve my sanity (and frankly, the sanity of my family who have had to listen to me complain for two years). It was a hard decision because I LOVE my school and my community but after two years I just don't see changes happening and so I took the leap and made a change. And it's kind of a big deal for me because I don't make those kinds of changes lightly. So, I'm pretty torn over it. But today when I had to miss work to take my kid to the ER and I felt guilty about it, I realized that the flexibility I'll have next year will prevent that guilt. And I can really put my family first without feeling like I'm letting someone else down. And yeah, my kids are nearly grown, but this is what's right for me, and us, right now. Good and bad.

I'm supposed to be working on writing every day and outlining my book. I'm supposed to be reading my book club book. I'm supposed to be working out every day. None of that is happening. It's the end of the school year and I'm just getting through the days till it's glorious summertime. Three more days. I have to pack my desk, say goodbye to my co-workers and my students (ugh) and come home to my messy house, my extra time to write and think and create and an open-ended summer with no agenda. It's all good. And some of it is bad. But it's mostly good.