03/17/08 11:43 - 31ºF - ID#43712
We went to Hamilton this weekend for the funeral.
I found out my grandfather's first name wasn't what i thought it was. He used to introduce himself as Larry. I thought his name was Laddie. Turns out, it was Vladco. No wonder he preferred Larry.
I think it is very cool that my aunt's side of the family was there. They are barely related to him. The family of a daughter in law. Made me respect them. And it made me ashamed of my dad's side of the family, the family of the son in law. No one came to the visitation, or even called my dad or mom.
My nephew, Luke, got back from France and was a pallbearer in his great grandfather's funeral in the span of 48 hours. He's a good, kind, sweet, fun, funny and damn cool kid. His younger sister is equally as cool, just far more understated. Next time i think my sister in law is being a shit, i need to remember that she is one hella good mom.
When we arrived, my mom looked like shit that was feeling a bit under the weather.
I was brave enough to tell a story about my grandfather during the funeral services, even though i am very afraid of speaking in public. But my mom wanted me to.. she asked me to tell a story when the priest asked if anyone had any. She looked at me, and even though she would have understood if i didn't, i just had to. For her.
I bawled when she was reading. She doesn't cry easily, so when her voice was so wee and it cracked, i lost it.
I think her tears and the closure of the funeral helped her. She looked better this afternoon.
Death changes us. Sometimes, even for the better.
The death of Pierre Trudeau changed my life for the better.
I would like to take this experience forward and somehow make it positive.
I need to enjoy what i have. Someday, i will not have any of it...
I hope wherever you are, Grandpa, you are in the right lane. Thank you.
03/12/08 11:54 - 25ºF - ID#43647
My Grandfather Died
I got an email from my mom today telling me that he had pneumonia. The docs were saying that although it is always hard to say when, he probably would not have much longer.
Then, when i got off work today, i checked my voicemail and there it was, a message from my mom telling me he had passed away.
03/12/08 02:36 - 33ºF - ID#43636
Bitch, Moan and Kvetch
I know, old theme for me. Least, it is getting to be. I post about pugs and how much i hate work these days...
There are so many ways i can go with this. I will not go with the theme of how abusive working with the public can be. Nor will i go with the amount of times my boss has been insulting, abusive or even borderline abusive.
This weeks theme is scheduling.
I can't make plans. If i do, my schedule will change. I cannot make a dental appointment. Guaranteed i will be called into work.
It's starting to get to me.
I used to have a different attitude. I used to think the chaos was amusing. I would laugh and tell "let me tell you how fucked up my place of employment is" stories that my father thought would make a decent sitcom. Six months later and there is still one crisis after another. I do not think it will ever end.
How difficult is it to schedule 5 people? I once was a retail manager with far more staff and i never had so many changes, rearranges and last minute emergencies. I used to even write the schedule in... *gasp*.... ink!
Nope, not at Sally Beauty Supply. There, we can never be sure, day to day, when we are working. I have yet to have a single week in the 6 months i have been there that does not have at least one schedule change.
Our work week starts on Sunday. There have been times i do not know when i am working for the upcoming week until Saturday.
I am not sure it would be that much better if i did have it ahead of time. I look at it and know who the manager is pissed off at that week. That will be the person who works a closing then an opening the next morning once, maybe even twice in one week. Twice for me this week. I guess i am the kicking bag of the week.
I was thrilled and hopeful last week when i saw that we had a schedule for this week AND the following week posted, no matter how crappy it was. But, my thrill was not to last the entire week. Next week's schedule was down yesterday, which means changes are afoot.
I wouldn't be so pissy about it if i wasn't schedule for about double the amount of hours i was hired for. I really do not want a full time job there. Part time is chaotic enough, thanks. But someone was fired, so i guess i have to pick up the slack.
The manager, the self proclaimed "hardest working person here" *choke!!* fires someone, then, in less than a week, takes 5 days off in a row. I'm sorry you're sick, so was i, and i came in. I don't care if you need to use them or loose them; not my responsibility or fault you "had" to fire someone. Just give it to Lee, she will work it. Uhm, have you tried ASKING first? Did it matter if i may have had plans?
Should i join the (e:peep) Roswell Cult? Are they accepting new members?
03/06/08 12:38 - 35ºF - ID#43566
While there, i really did feel like i was on the other side of a sickening black/white dividing line. We got a few curious looks. Mostly, like everywhere i have gone in Buffalo, everyone was friendly, though. I just felt sad that i even got the curious looks. And it made me wonder what it could be like to have the scenario reversed.
I can't remember how many times i have been called a bitch by customers. Mostly when i will not pick a colour for someone (excuse me, if it were up to me, everyone would have bright red hair, so why are you asking me what blonde you should be???), or when i give someone the honest truth (nope, you cannot put pink over black and have it come out true to the colour of the swatch).
I was going about my business when a young teenager (!?!) said, "you're nice!" when i was helping her mom or auntie or something. No, i do not think she was developemenally disabled.
The very next day, a guy who had just run a marathon, still had the number on and everything, hit on me. I asked him if he was feeling overly lightheaded from the run and laughed. He told me that i was a beautiful woman and shouldn't joke like that. I laughed again and told him he needs to have his eyes checked. I asked him if he would let me have a house full of dogs... because that is the only way i would trade in the husband i have. (not true, dear, i would never trade you in... but yes, i still want a dog!)
After work on Monday, we went straight to Canada to visit my grandfather. It was a tough visit for me, since i haven't seen him since he lost his mind.
Last we heard he has numerous brain tumours, swelling of his brain ((e:jenks) might be able to help with the medical lingo on that, and the spelling), as well as a shift of his brain. Apparently, the steriods are helping a bit, but my mom, the Power of Attorney with medical decisions, more or less agrees with the docs that there is no reason to try to treat the tumors, aggressively or not. It would just be torture for him, since he is not fully aware of what is going on anyway.
He did not recognize me at first, but after a while, i think he did. I helped him eat some pudding -- his aim was off a bit and he wouldn't be able to get the spoon into the little tub so i moved it to where he had the spoon.
We confabbed. If i replaced the words i thought he meant, things made sense. Like i know he did not have a sofa on his hand, just a bandage. A clear one, not a pink one. I also know he did not mean that he hoped we all had "good diseases". I think he meant "good lives, healthy lives".
I think, too, he understood more of what is going on with him than we all think. I saw something behind his cloudy eyes. I heard something between the lines of what he was saying. I really think he was saying we need to let him go, that we need to get together to celebrate once he is gone, not mourn. That he knows it is coming and it is ok with him.
But, i could be reading more into things because i need my own form of closure.
03/01/08 08:43 - 27ºF - ID#43523
Maybe (!!!) Baby
Here they all are, lined up in a row...
Ava feeding them, in a weird, half sitting up, half laying down position that looks uncomfortable.
I think Mama Ava is tired.
And here is Taj, a pup from Ava's first litter. He's a bit of a goof ball, this Monkey Faced Donkey...
02/26/08 07:54 - 30ºF - ID#43476
Not sure why, but i am kinda obsessed about Tudor's Biscuit World. We have only seen them in West Virginia and when i first saw them, the name made me laugh like a school girl (you KNOW the laugh i mean if you were at JP Bullfeathers -- Right (e:Ladycroft)?) I even have their tv ad campaign down -- "Tudor's Biscuit World, for all your biscuit needs!"
Day 2 of the 3 day drive to Miami, we stopped in Hardeeville, SC and a short but interesting jaunt to Hilton Head Island. My first beach of the trip... yay.... bare feet on wet (but still a bit cold) sand!
I guess Hilton Head beach goers want to be on the beach but not the sand? These plastic runway thingies were odd... nice with shoes, but hurt on bare feet!
Then, on to Cocoa Beach, Florida to visit with an old friend. Someone i have known online for many years. Was nice to finally meet her in person. She has a cute cat, too...
Cocoa Beach itself
The reason for the whole cruise to begin with...
Rob and his new bride, Karin, look happy.
This shot was sort of an accident, but i like how it turned out...
First stop after a "Fun Day at Sea" (ahem), was Nassau Bahamas.
Something about this blue house that spoke to me...
This half torn down house was interesting... even the views from it's windows, including the blue house i took a picture of earlier.
Next stop was St Thomas. We were actually awake when the boat was sailing into port, so i took a bunch of snaps.
First views of the island...
A bit closer...
Buildings and beaches...
Looking back where we came into port.
View of lifeboat from Deck 3, Lobby, while waiting....
.. for the crowds to thin a bit. This is it less crowded. You can see on the gangway there were dudes there to snap pictures of people. They were on sale on Deck 5m Promenade, the next day. We never bought any of ours.
We went to the Butterfly Farm
And as you can see, it was indeed very close to the docks...
Next stop, and our favorite, St. Maarten.
View from the 2nd stop on the water taxi.
Our wanderings took us to a salt pond...
And down some interesting streets
and alleys, some with views of the beach.
This was the view from a bench we found, under a beautifully shady palm tree...
And this is what was behind us...
McBeer! Most expensive we saw, at $1.69! A $0.99 Red Stripe can't be wrong!
View from the Canadian Place... we were not brave enough to try the Poutine there.
With a few exceptions, the photos were mostly taken by me. This one, taken by (e:Uncutsaniflush), i will close with. I think as the years pass, i may appreciate this one more and more. To remember what the table looked like, Lido deck 9, buffet dinning room, Rosie's Place. And, i do think it's a great still life.
02/23/08 04:36 - 27ºF - ID#43438
Shoot Me Now
Been working every day since we got back. Still have half unpacked luggage on our sitting room floor. Maybe tonight i will have enough energy to unpack something.
So, yes, i have been ill since we returned from our... hmm... vacation? Yeah, i guess it was that. We didn't have to work. Like he mentioned, i just don't think that (e:Uncutsaniflush,43312) and i are cruise types. We made our own fun.
Since there were a lot of them around, i think my poor husband has some insight on what it was like for me to grow up. I have an odd family. And most of the ones on this cruise weren't even blood relatives for me -- my mom's brother's wife's family. Man, can they pack it away. I wouldn't doubt of some of them had $1000 bar bills by the end of the cruise.
On the way down, we spent the night at a friend's place in Cocoa Beach, Florida. I have known this person online for a bit longer than i have known my husband. Since we were going to be driving right near her place, we thought we should finally meet. She was exactly as i expected. An older hippie version of me... if i had kept smoking and stayed single. No wonder we call each other Twin.
The wedding itself was nice. They both look happy and i am happy for them. My cousin Rob is a good guy. His bride seems sweet. They seem a good match. Boring day job people (he's an accountant!!) who like do do crazyweird sporty things when not working.. like mountain biking in the mud. The night before we got on the ship, at a dinner in Miami my uncle footed the bill for, my cousin and his then bride to be announced that they are pregnant. 9 weeks at that time, 11 by now.
Nasau Bahamas was nice. We got a lot of "don't take a ride from these people" warnings before getting off the boat. The ladies waiting for tourists so they could make some cash braiding hair were aggressive. We found a nice beach and sat in some shade after wandering down alleys, avoiding other tourists, finding a nice church on a hill and finding where the real people live. I also found out i cannot NOT chew gum and walk. I was trying to take gum out of my mouth and i didn't see a step in front of a shop and i went down. Not too hard. Not like that day i scraped my knee to shreds in the summer. Of course, i would have been happy to have scrapped it enough to get OUT the wee rock that has been in it since then, but that, as they say, is another story.
St Thomas was pleasant. Immigration was a hassle. It would have been easier had we not gone to a US Virgin Island. Everyone had to go through immigration, even if they did not get off the ship. And, if someone didn't go through immigration, they were going to search the ship to find them and make them go through immigration. Once on solid ground, we once again, wandered off the beaten track to some less than touristy residential areas. I love seeing how people actually live. Yes, a beach is nice... but, as my mom said, there's all that sand!
We loved St Maarten. Found a great little french cafe on the Dutch side, just on the outskirts of the tourist pap down Old Street, or Old Ave.... looked like an alley. Called Le Petite Cafe. Only one of the 3 staff spoke English. Had the BEST crepes ever... and some damn fine caramel coffee.
Beer was insane cheap, too. Price wars were everywhere... but who can complain about 99 cent bottles of Red Stripe??
Just because we could and we just so wanted to say that we did, we got a beer at McDonalds. We had just gone in for a McPee, when one of us saw the Heineken fridge. NooooooOOooo way! Beer? At McDonalds!? Yep. Most expensive we saw, but how can you not?
We even found a place to hang right off the beach strip that is owned by some Canadian dude... i mean, he had Poutine and everything!
I am happy to be back on solid ground (a couple of days were pretty rocky!). To not have to solve yet another problem related to Carnival cruise lines. To not have to have one, yes a total of one choice at every dinner. To have to decide 24 hours in advance if that one thing is the one thing i might want and if not i could have something that i had before or will be offered at another time. To not have to deal with hordes of conventioners in lines and lines waiting for... food, drink, a table. This boat was way too crowded. To not have to deal with the racism of people not happy with the conventioners is a nice thing, too. I don't care where they are all from, i just don't like the crowds!
But, i don't like the being sick now that i am back....
I promise i will post photos... soon...
I only meant to mention a fewcoupla things here...
02/08/08 07:30 - 27ºF - ID#43240
Today, we are going to do a little bit of sight seeing. Head to the beach, maybe, and to downtown Savannah. Perhaps we will try to find The Lady and Sons, so i can stalk Paula Deen? No... i bet she isn't actually there much these days.
Then, we will head to Cocoa Beach, Florida and stay with a friend for the night, tomorrow, move on to Miami and the hotel (we are so much more motel people) where all my fam-damily is staying. Sunday, the wedding the the beginning of the cruise.
It's been interesting so far.... road trips can be filled with periods of fascination, boredom and bumps. We have been fortunate -- no major issues. Yay!
Well, i should get off my lazy butt and stop boring you all with my journal... those that are actually reading it... ha ha ha. No worries, i might not be near a computer (or for long enough) for another journal until we are off the cruise ship.
Have a very Happy Birthday, (e:Mrmike)! Give 4* the finger and stay at 39! Wish i could transport you here for the day to a nice warm climate!
02/06/08 11:14 - 31ºF - ID#43223
We left Buffalo before any bad weather hit. Heavy Rain between Erie and Pittsburgh. Had a few moments of dense fog near Pittsburgh (are people from Pittsburgh called Pittsburghers, or Pittsburghites, or Pittsburghians?).
After 300 miles, (e:Uncutsaniflush) was tired of driving. So here we are in Morgantown, Wv in an Econo Lodge (or, an Eco Lod, as the neon out from said... i think it's a much better name).
Tomorrow, we hope to make it to Southern Georgia or Northern Florida....
02/05/08 10:16 - 43ºF - ID#43188
Pants on Fire!
First, i told my boss that i needed from the 4th to the 20th off for our trip. Then, we made our plans on how we were going to get from Buffalo to Miami, but i didn't share them with my boss, thinking more time off would be better.
Then, i found out that there is an open competitive civil service exam for developmental disability aide trainees on the 5th. So, i signed up for the test.
My boss thinks we are leaving today. Instead, i will be at an American Legion in West Seneca writing a 3 hour civil service exam.
So, i agree with you, (e:Mike,43181) today is a big day.
Super Tuesday. I wish i could vote. Perhaps, someday, like Craig Ferguson, i will go from being a green card holder (Legal Permanent Resident) to a citizen.
Fat Tuesday. Not often it falls on the 5th... it really would be a good day to go out and get shitfaced. If, that is, i drank. Since it is the last day i will be 38.
Hey, (e:Mrmike), does it suck to have your birthday fall during lent?
A friend of ours in Knoxville is opening her own business today, too. I hope all is going well for her on her first day.... I am proud of her and sure she will be a success.
Tomorrow, my 39th birthday. We will probably leave for Miami in the afternoon. If not, we will leave first thing on the 7th.... We need to be in Cocoa Beach the evening of the 8th and in Miami on the 9th. The 10th we board the cruise ship as guests for my cousin's wedding. Then, the ship sails.
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