Friday, February 27, 2009

TGIF who is knocking?

Wow. What a way to start the day.

I am almost all ready for work, just to the point of putting on clothes and running out the door. Oh, I do this last because of the dog hair that adheres to work clothing if I am in it as I have breakfast and such. Suddenly there is a loud knock on the door. The dogs are not barking. I run down in tee shirt and sweats and there is a volunteer from the church asking for my key to the parish house which I tell him I can't give or lend him. He left his cell phone there. He needs it. He will wait for me to get ready. I go GrrrrGrrrr a couple times, I run back upstairs, change and run back down. He drives me the three blocks to the church, I run in, get his phone and he drives me back home. I jump in the car and go to work. I am only five minutes late, so I am happy.

What a great way to start a Friday. Blood is pumping, stress and blood pressure up. The volunteer is an older man that does great work but has been known to lend his copy of the key out to others of less secure nature. The locks have been changed and he was not given a new key for this reason.

I called the Pastor Alice to let her know of this morning fun and she said thank you for sticking to your guns. The ironic twist was that I thought it was her knocking on the door because we had gone out for supplies for the church just last night and she said she would drop them off at my house today. She has also watched my dogs so I thought that may be why they weren't barking.
Well the volunteer event I thought of and organized is happening tomorrow. Say prayers that all goes well and without too many hitches. The church I volunteer at is not of my faith acclimation but is connected to my job (and the pastor is a neighbor and my dog sitter). I have been in the parish house many months doing Energy assistance applications for residents and assisting in affordable housing and utility turn off notices. It is paperwork, but it is dealing with people in need.

I have looked around and seen things that are in desperate need of repair for the church. A handicap ramp that is wood but the wood is rotting away, windows needing some winterization, a couple rooms in the parish house needing cleaning, the food pantry organized and new shelves constructed. I went to our neighborhood improvement group and suggested a 'give it back to the church' day. The church is a strong part of the neighborhood and gives much to both permanent residents and the homeless in need, but still also residents of our community. So it came together and we are going to be busy tomorrow. Hoorah!!

I will look at this morning as a glass half full and say the encounter got my blood fulling and mind working and that is a good thing on any day.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Movie watching cleaning

I am stalling here. Stalling because today I am going to try (again) to complete the one hour cleaning in a room. The theory is fifteen minutes, but I know my rooms won't handle that.

That said I am going to clean Jim style. With headphones on and music cranked so I can focus on the cleaning. It was a quirk of his. After a couple hours of that, I take the headphones off and pop in a movie. A long epic that I know well and can move through the house listening to if I am not in the same room as it is playing. He would do that also.

The movie watching- cleaning was amusing because he had some particular movies he would watch - Gone with the wind, Giant, Ben hur, Patton, Cleopatra, and The Ten Commandments, just to name a few. He would go thru a room cleaning and dusting and vacuuming while I was in another room cleaning. He would be reciting lines sometimes and sometimes it would get quiet and I would hear just the movie, stick my head in the room and see him watching a critical scene. Of course, these were movies he knew almost by heart, but he still would stop to watch. It always made me smile. Coming in to sit next to him and having him cuddle for a moment till the scene was over made it all worthwhile.

So I am going to start this cleaning thing now. And listen to some music and watch a movie.

Friday, February 20, 2009

No milestones

I was reading a friends blog and was struck by something she wrote "No milestones today. I just have a missing/longing this evening; not a down, so much as a low-key sadness."

That is about how I have felt the last couple days. No major traumas or crying episodes, but just a missing/longing. The realization comes again that my life is moving on without Jim. That there are friends I have now, that have never met him and only know him from my accounts.

I realized while driving to the store that the pain has really become subdued. That feeling of my chest being ripped open. The That it is held back by alot of other daily and forward moving needs in my life. The needs of surviving. Of going
Last night, walking back from my car, with my hands full of groceries, I felt the cold wind that smacking me across the face and ripping across my chest. The sky was dark, the night quiet and all I wanted was to go home and find Jim on the couch with the dogs. It would have made the chill go away in an instant. I bowed my head and push onward, counting the steps till I got to my stairs. I went up them knowing there would be no Jim. Going up them a step at a time and getting the door open and being greeted by the three warm loving friends helped a lot.
Did I say three? Yep, that's right gang, the cat that wouldn't have a thing to do with me for 10 years and took months to complete his grieving is now a good friend. Figaro wants to be in on all the attention when it is handed out. It is an amusing and pleasant surprise.

So, gone are the dreams of two, replaced by the needs of one to survive. It seems the pain is subdued by the daily grind that the living must continue. Carry on. If I reach for it, I can feel the wound, the pain, the anguish that is my loss of Jim. Sometimes it bubbles to the surface with a phrase or photo to trigger it. More often the low key sadness and longing is there. Yes. And I am moving thru the days and doing that thing I never thought I would do. Living.

Granddad and Dad and sons

I found some pics of my Grandfather and Dad and Dad and his sons (my older brother in the 3rd pic and my younger brother in the 4th pic).

I smile as I look at them because you can see the genes coming through. I now know why I have this big forehead - thanks Granddad! I have my Dad's eyebrows - the shape anyway, not the thickness thank god! Family's are fun to delve into.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A leaf on the wind

Me and the cute guy above, oh yeah. That is Alan Tudyk and he was a guest at the science fiction convention I was at this past weekend. I have a small 'brag'. On friday night there was a dinner banquet and afterwards he came around to some of the tables and was chatting with us.

As he reached our table I was trying to think of what to say. Well, he practically fed me the line. In a very natural voice, like he was talking to a long time friend, he said to me "oh man, Joss's new show is starting right now!" I chuckled, leaned towards him and asked why he didn't pull his iphone out and use that to program his direct tv from it. It was a great moment. His face lit up and he laughed and he is a lot cuter in real life than on screen.

The reason I said that particular line is because of this new commercial he is in for Direct tv, when during a bank robbery his friend is using the phone to make sure they don't miss a show. I saw the commercial a few times before I realized it was Alan (and the sidekick from Pysch too).

The next day when Alan was signing autographs, I got this picture taken with him. He was a wonderful guest star and very personable.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Doppler effect

My friend Thomas came over tonight to help make a vision into a reality. I am going this weekend to a Star Trek convention. While there I will be guest hosting a panel that will discuss a new tv show. The Big Bang Theory. It is a fun show about guys that are smart and geeky. That collect comics and action figures and go to cons.
In one episode they all attend a Halloween party. Sheldon is a super smart, yet bad in public social situations geek. His costume was The Doppler Effect. A series of white stripes on a black shirt and the impression of them getting wider and thus louder. No one at the party seems to get it and thinks he is a zebra. His persistance in the validity of his costume made it special because as a movie/convention going geek, I have worn many a costume that maybe only I got. But it didn't matter, the costumes were still appreciated by the fans around me.

Here is Sheldon and his Doppler Effect costume from the show.

My version is just a shirt (I couldn't copy the pants) and not quite so many stripes, but I am very proud of it. I didn't do much more then think of it and get Thomas to help me. I baked him cookies while he put stripes on the shirt. It came out great. I will be interested to see if any recognizes me tomorrow....of if they all think I am a zebra.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Matchstick legs and 9 red trucks

What a memory rush. I was going thru old emails and found some I wrote to a friend. This first one I sent to her on May 14, 2007. Just 15 days before Jim's death. There are three total and they go back in time newest to oldest. I read these and laughed and cried at the memory of that 'other life' I had.

I wanted to tell you the fun we had yesterday. You will get a kick out of this. Jim and I went up to Walmarts. Boy did they love us there. Spent about 300.00 and most of it was on clothes.

Jim has a new job and is stressed out to the max. He has been working at this US Postal station as a supervisor and as the newest of three, he is getting the butt end of the supervisors job. Soooo, we went to the Walmart to get kitty litter, fly traps and some dvd sleeves for the notebooks.

Ha ha. I tell you, he went wild and got a couple dress shirts for the summer, 2 dvd movies, some new sandals, some new around the house slippery type shoes, a new watch w/light so he can see it at night and most amazing....a pair of shorts. Shorts you say? well, Jim hasn't worn shorts in the summer I don't remember when. He wore them when he got home and looked very cute. Matchstick legs and white as a ghost. But he said he was comfortable so that is good.

I was very good at Walmart and only got a couple things - and they were on the clearance racks! I will say that for spending the money, Jim has worked for it. His job (as I was saying earlier before I got distracted with men in shorts) has been working him from 9am till 9 or 10 pm. 6 days a week for the last two weeks. That means almost 30 hours overtime. After his normal 40hrs. He is exhausted and wants to just lay down. But he keeps on going. He is a fighter. So, we went shopping for him.


And another email to my friend this one dated october 30th 2006

I saw that you called and I tried to call back but just got your voicemail.

Jim and I had our usual Sunday ride. We like to go for a ride out of the city about once a month, sometimes more - just to get away from it all.

We piled into the truck, hook up the iPod and drove up 83 north towards PA. You know as much as I loved being in NH with you, I really want to live in PA someday. Anyway we got to see some muted Fall leaves and enjoy the fall air. After a bit we turned off of 83 north and went onto the adventure of the smaller country roads. This is always the part I love. It's why visiting you is so much fun.

To look at the country houses, some very old, some from the 60 and 70's and some very new McMansions. To see the horses grazing in the fields and the lines of white fences. Maryland is a horse country state. We also had the fun of getting a little lost. I say a little because we knew from the where the sun was in the sky that we were heading in the right direction - just taking the long way to get there. It made it much more fun.

Jim was singing both BeeGees and Toby Keith and I was belting out Donna Summer and Footloose and some Meatloaf. Mostly off key, but still with enthusiasm.We did get to stop and pick up some pumpkins at a roadside stand. We saw within two miles of a group of houses no less than nine red trucks. Different brands and ages, but all red. Oh Sandy we laughed because we were in a red truck too. I guess red is a good truck color.

We went over two bridges, over the same river, only at different spots and going two different directions. Saw 17 scarecrows hanging in various parts of the yards and in various degrees of realism and decoration. Guess scarecrows are a natural Halloween decoration out in the countryland. Oh and ask Jim about the getting lost and not caring. We had fun with that today.

Came home, made some popcorn and watched Wrath of Khan. Hadn't seen that without commercials in awhile.All in all, it was a good day. I think the dogs were mad because they didn't go with us, but we took them for a long walk and they are collapsed at our feet.

Things are looking good for a drive up there maybe sometime in the summer. If you come down this way let us know.


And just one more, this one was dated January 18th, 2006 - a lifetime ago.

I am glad to hear you had a good week and that Michael and Jake are feeling better. I hate when everyone in the house is sick at once.

Last night here it was great. We sat cuddled up on the couch, with the dogs on either side of us. Jim and I were watching tv - Smallville then the 24 episode we had been saving to watch. Thank you for telling us about Tivo!

You know, all we needed was some hot chocolate and popcorn to make it really perfect - of course, neither hot chocolate or popcorn would last with mercury or tigger there. It would be spilled or have to be held way up high and then eaten a little at a time and they would be wagging tails and drooling and whining for some. And Jim would have given it to them.

So we enjoyed a couple hours of cuddling and warm bodies and our favorite tv characters in high tension situations and that was good enough. I know Michael watches Smallville, what does he think of it this season?

Well, it was a nice night. And as usual, the dishes didn't get done last night. Nope, the trash was not taken out. We just allieviated ourselves from the daily drudgerys. Wheeee! that was fun, but it wasn't fun this morning when I did them. Oh well. You have to pay the price.

At your place we could have been watching the fire and the tv. Here we were just staring at the tv - and it was right where the fireplace is. Only the fireplace doesnt work - all closed off. If we had the money and were going to redecorate, I would take the mantle out and build an entertainment center there instead - shelves for dvds and tape and components and tivos and recorders. I keep sitting there and imagining it. I just can't get Jim to take the plunge and take the mantle down.

Oh Mercury and Tigger were pretty happy. They got to lay up on the couch with mommy and daddy. They love that and each pick one of us to cuddle to and then they have to decide the other is having it better and switch. Like normal kids, just as the show got exciting they decided it was time to play tug of war right in front of the tv. I thought of Jake and his 'must have a juicy cup' routine and told it to Jim. What a hoot that kid is. He keeps you on your toes I know.

All the rest of our life is pretty about normal. Jim has a long commute, I have a short one. We both enjoy our jobs and I still want to move. Oh well. What will be will be.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


That though the radiance which was once so bright,
be now forever taken from my sight.
Though nothing can bring back the hour,
of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower.
We will grieve not, rather find,
strength in what remains behind.

by William Wordsworth

I had another post that I have been working on, but I heard this quote and just had to share it. The poem is called "Ode - Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

billy joel and william shatner

While talking with some friends next door we discussed singers and concerts we have seen. I was reminded of the concert to see Billy Joel in Boston back in '98 or '99 (?).

Jim got tickets as surprise, he knew how much both of us enjoyed Billy Joel and it was a great present. Neither of us are concert goers and as some different and something very we could appreciate it was a great choice.

Billy Joel was fantastic.

We went to the Fleet Center in Boston and had dinner before we got there. Some of the fun was found in going to the Center, getting settled in our seats and watching the preshow fun. Then to see Billy Joel come out on stage and to hear him perform all of our favorites, well, that was just amazing. We had no problem standing and cheering at the end.

Suprises like this were something that Jim was very good at. He loved to plan them out. When we were dating he took to see William Shatner speak. He didn't tell me where we were going. It was another one of those moments when things clicked in my head and I knew I didn't want to let him go.

There was the time I was training a new manager up in Boston (before we moved there) and was staying at a hotel for 3 weeks. Jim showed up for a surprise weekend visit. He arranged everything and it was very sweet. He said it was because he was tired of his own cooking. Ha. He told me that he made a huge bowl of tunafish and ate that for a week and then a huge bowl of spaghetti and ate that for a week. And I can see that. He would often have food binges. Not binges like over eating, but rather where he would eat the same thing for two or three days in a row.

There were the little surprises like the flowers he would come home with on friday afternoons. For no reason other then it was friday. On the flip side, I know there were things I did for him as pleasant surprises, but none come to mind right now. I guess he could remember some if he was asked.


I have found myself kind of weepy the last couple days. I think it is the because I am experiencing some of the moving forward without Jim feeling.

Driving to my cinema club meeting the other night I got teary and couldn't put a finger on why. Other than, Jim should have been driving and me in the passenger seat.

Then there is the story of the sliver under my nail. I did dishes and was washing a wooden spoon and a small sliver went right up under my thumbnail. OW! that hurt and I can understand the use of it in torture now. I thought I got it out but wasn't sure. It got a bit swollen last night and throbbing so I went to the Patient First clinic near me. The guy had to numb my thumb, slice the nail down the center and clean it out. He said I had really hard nails and that there wasn't much of a sliver left, but there was a lot of pus and that was what made it swell.

Before he did the minor cut, I was in the room by myself. And I was feeling very lonely and kept looking over to the chair where Jim would be if he was with me. I closed my eyes and imagined his laugh and wanted to feel his grip in mine. I got weepy about him not being there. Damn it.

So I am home now and with antibiotics and vicodin for pain it has not been too bad. Typing is kind of weird, but I am learning to type with the side of my thumb, so it works.