jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I called my mom this evening to get the latest from Charlottesville, and also to share the exciting news that Toby's brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first kid this September. I've only met Toby's family over video calls, but I'm still very excited about adding another nibling to the mix. I'll meet them all this summer, and then will hopefully have a chance to go back with Toby after Christmas, too. We'll see if the finances work out for two Europe trips this year.

Anyway, Mom had a really interesting and unexpected reaction.

"You know, I've been thinking, with how much you love that cat...maybe you and Toby should have one."

!!!!!!

Okay, I don't want kids and my mom knows this. She's not going to pressure me or anything -- she's got enough grandkids to be content -- but she's NEVER encouraged me to have kids before. I was really touched that she said that, even if it isn't something I want at all. It's a real vote of confidence in Toby, too. Which of course he deserves, but I don't expect my parents to give him full marks since they still love McKenzie a lot and also since I really suck at marriage. But her saying that made me feel really good about how *she* feels about Toby. Yay :)

One of my favorite things about Toby from the very start of our relationship was and is how much he adores his nieces and nephews. He is a doting uncle and they love him back. Then couple that with the fact that he doesn't want his own kids, and he's already 90% of the way to being the perfect man for me. I think it's rare you find people who are so enthusiastic and being aunts and uncles who don't want their own kids. So to find someone whose enthusiasm matches mine on both sides of the equation was really a jackpot situation. AND he loves cats. I mean, he's fucking perfect, you know?

In other news, my friend Cristal won her first national bridge championship yesterday. I'm SO happy for her, and also SO jealous. I played with her in the Portland regional and had a great time. It's what got me revved up to want to play more tournaments. She's a stronger player than I am, so I don't harbor illusions that if only I'd been at the NABC, it would've been me...but a lot of my peers have been doing very well at this NABC, and I do feel like if I were competing there, I'd be celebrating my own successes as well. I don't know when I'll get back to nationals, but it won't be this year. Sigh.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
One of the absolute highlights of my time in Virginia was spending last Friday evening in Lexington at my uncle Kent's house while he told stories and answered questions about my grandmother and her mother and grandmother. Allan, Laura, Toby, and Allan's kids all sat with us while Kent held court. I learned a lot about the strong women in my family, and it was great to get Kent's perspective on Marma. He didn't want us to record him, which is a shame, because already a lot of the details are a little fuzzy, but the main points stuck with me. Marma was amazing. The women before her were amazing. I'm proud to have their DNA.

One thing I had asked Kent about was the courtship between Marma and my grandfather. I knew only that they'd met when she was 13 (and he was 21!), but not when they got married or any other details. Apparently they were mutually smitten, but both families were opposed to the match. My grandfather, Cap, was an alcoholic, and Marma said she wouldn't marry him until he'd been sober for a year. That day came in 1936, when she was 28 and he was 35. How much of the previous 15 years they spent actively courting is not certain, and I'm not sure when she gave him his quit drinking ultimatum, but I think the whole story is fascinating.

The topic of alcoholism in our family came up a few times, and after storytime with Kent, my cousins and I were having dinner and reflecting. Laura said "I'll need to figure out a way to talk to Eleanor about her high risk for alcoholism when the time comes. I'll need to decide when that time is..." Eleanor is her 4-year-old daughter. Allan's 13-year-old, Priya, was there for this conversation. So Laura asked "Allan, how did you talk about it with your kids?"
Priya: He hasn't.
Meg: As you heard, we have a lot of alcoholics in our bloodlines. That means you are at a high risk for alcoholism, so you'll need to be mindful of your relationship with alcohol as you get older, if you choose to drink.
Allan: Done!

I wish I could get my dad talking about his experiences, and every once in a while he'll go on a storytelling bender. Occassionally, those stories are even good ones! More often than not, though, he wants to tell the one about the time he changed the license plate holders, or the time he had to return a pair of pants but didn't have the receipt. He did volunteer a few things about his childhood and his parents and grandparents, but mostly I don't really think he has much of an emotional connection to the past. He doesn't reminisce, and he doesn't do deep emotional connections with anyone, so any reminiscing would not include much about what the other people were like at the time, beyond the facts of their actions.

I would like to visit with my two aunts on that side of the family to get their versions of our ancestral history as well. Hopefully I can arrange that soon. I'm not as close with them as I am with Kent, but I think such a visit would be welcome on all sides. 
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I've been having a somewhat prolonged cry this morning. It started when I opened the dresser drawer in my old bedroom to stash some things for when I'm here over Xmas, and I found my doll, Dear Baby. Mom had put her in there to keep the kids from playing with her at Thanksgiving, because they can be rough and she's a very special doll to me. I slept with her every night until I was into high school. Something about seeing her in that drawer just made me ache, and I picked her up and held her and just cried, for I don't know what. My parents had already left for various obligations, so Toby and I were here packing up on our own. Crying led to more crying and I just haven't stopped for about an hour.

I'm thinking about my parents, and how much I love them and all that they mean to me, and it reminds me of a story my mom told me once. She was 28 years old, driving home from work or some errand, and she got to thinking about her dad and how much he meant to her. She was so overcome with emotion that she had to pull over to collect herself. When she arrived home, my dad gave her the news that her dad had passed away. And that story has really affected me. Every time I think about my parents, I wonder if I'm having the same kind of psychic experience my mom had when her dad died, and I just worry so hard. I kind of wish my mom hadn't ever told me that story.

I know they'll be gone one day whether I worry about it or not, and worrying only makes the present worse, but it's hard to logic one's way out of emotions. Thinking about how hard it will be is itself very hard.

Toby and I are off shortly, arriving in Portland late this evening. He'll go to C's house since he hasn't seen her in a while, so I'll have the next two nights on my own. I have some real estate work to do, and I have a kitten to pick up tomorrow morning. I won't be achingly lonely, but it does feel like having these fears is exacerbated by knowing I'll be alone tonight. I don't have feelings of jealousy toward C, or wish he wouldn't spend time with her when he does; I just always prefer to be with him than not. It's really nice to like someone that powerfully and positively. 
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
My grandmother would have been 100 years old next Wednesday. Before we sat down to our feast, we held up a picture of her as a young woman and sang "Happy Birthday" to her. It was really sweet.

Toby and I ran the Earlysville Turkey Trot this morning. I usually see at least a handful of people I know from high school, but I didn't recognize anyone there today, except for one old friend who actually lives along the course and was standing outside cheering on the runners with his daughters. I shouted a hello as I ran past, but that was it for reminiscing. The run felt pretty good in the cold weather, but the hills were a bitch, as always. Toby finished in 26 minutes. I was slower :)

Toby is fitting in beautifully with my family here. He's socializing on his own, without hanging by my side the whole time. Everyone likes him and he especially hit it off with Bruce and Greg. Casey brought his mandolin and we had a little jam session before eating. That was loads of fun, too.

All the baby cousins are 3 this year, and very cute.

Emily is 38 weeks pregnant now, and I'm very excited for the arrival of her little guy. I just hope he doesn't come until I'm back in the northwest so I can go be there when he makes his debut.

Tomorrow I'm going to Lexington to have a Marma Round Table with Kent, Allan, and Laura. I had sent Kent a bunch of questions about my grandmother, his mother, and he said he was looking forward to answering them, and wanted his kids to be a part of the discussion as well. I'm going to try to record it on my cell phone. I know it will be great to get these stories.

Things are good. Except for politics. But for a few days, I've thought much less about it.

Friendsgiving in PA was awesome, too -- and I was totally right about what I thought would happen...
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I'm at that point in the trip where almost everything is irritating me and I just want to be home. It's too hot to get comfortable, and every time I attempt to relax, someone is knocking on the door or barging into the room. My brother wanted to go to a restaurant in the next town over tonight. He's been here before and wanted to visit that place before we left. He invited me, but I declined, saying I wanted to go relax on my own for a while. He and Rachel both scoffed and laughed at me, saying "You need to relax after the long, taxing day you've had?" (I've been in my room resting almost all day.) YES, I DO.

This is how I am. Depression manifests in constant fatigue. I may have other health issues contributing to my fatigue. My shingles is flaring up again. I'm sleep deprived. My ankle still hurts. I miss my routine. I miss my cat. I miss my boyfriend. I miss my friends and the things we do together. I miss my city. I love my family but I need alone time.

I came back to my room and got online, started to read some articles, and chill. Frankie and my mom walked in about 10 minutes later. "Mom, I came back here to have some alone time."

"You've had it!"

"Mom, really. This is my room and I'd like to be alone in it. There's nowhere else I can go to be alone here."

She gave me this look like I was breaking her heart. Like I was committing some huge betrayal by suggesting I'd prefer to be alone when I only have a few hours left to be with my family.

"I'm serious, Mom. Please."

She took Frankie and went to her own room, finally. I have every intention of playing cards with them later when WT gets back from his little excursion. I just want this time to myself. (I'm sharing my room with Lucy, who is super respectful of my need for down time -- she seems to have similar needs -- so I haven't had true alone time all week.)

I'm so ready to be home. My flight isn't until 5pm tomorrow, so I have what I call a lame duck day. It's one of those days where you're going to travel/have to check out/are all packed so you can't really do anything, but it's still a full day so you've got to entertain yourself somehow. I don't get into PDX until almost 1am. So I'll get home to Beaverton around 2. I can't wait...then hopefully after a good sleep and a shower, I can go pick up Cleopatrick and he will still love me.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Upon arriving at our resort, we were immediately handed strawberry daiquiris, which started a conversation about how "free" alcohol is very often watered down.

Mom: When we were in Hawaii, they gave us lots of free drinks, but it was so watered down there was barely any alcohol in any of it.

Me: When was this? When you were there last year on your cruise?

Dad: No, when we went in the 80's.

Me: You mean when Mom was 8 months pregnant with me?

Dad: Oh yeah, you were there!

Me: So you're complaining that there wasn't enough alcohol in the drinks you had while you were pregnant with me?

Mom: There wasn't!

Me: You didn't get enough alcohol to satisfy you WHILE YOU WERE PREGNANT WITH ME?

Mom: Oh stop it, you're fine.

Me: I wonder how much more successful I'd be in life if you hadn't had all those watered down cocktails in Hawaii...

I am going to milk the SHIT out of this. Lose at cards? Maybe I'd have won if it weren't for that pina colada Mom drank in March of 83. Forget a trivia answer? Maybe I'd know if it weren't for my mom living it up on her babymoon. Drop a terrible fart? Oh, sorry, my body's a little messed up because Mom drank when she was pregnant with me.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I've got a million things I really need to be working on today, but for the most part, that's just not going to happen. Maybe I'll be productive tomorrow.

Last night was Ross's birthday party. He always throws a huge shindig at his place, with live music, stand-up comedy, dancing, food, and lots of booze. I always meet awesome people there and have a great time -- I've known him a year and change, and he does the parties for his birthdays and also a winter version, so it was my third one. Last night, Toby and I decided after lots of fun times that it was probably time to go, and we gathered our things, thinking it must be about 1am. It was 3:30. Holy shit. So today's plans were already in jeopardy at that point. Then when we got in our Uber, I started feeling not so great. About halfway home, I asked the driver to pull over, so that I could gather myself in the fresh air and not puke in his car. Luckily, I didn't puke at all, but as soon as I was out of the car gathering myself, Toby came to my side, and the driver pulled away. Toby had told him to go on, but really I didn't think I needed that much time. Oops. So we ended up waiting in the cold for about 15 minutes while we waited for the next available driver. The rest of the ride home was no piece of cake, but we made it, and once I got to bed, I felt a lot better. Toby actually ended up barfing a bit before bed, but he said he felt much better for it and not to worry. Okay then.

Having been working hard all week to get up earlier and be active in the mornings, my body was well into that pattern, and was not interested in letting me get the sleep I so very much needed to fight off the massive hangover I had dealt myself. So I was awake and feeling fucking terrible at 7am. I drank a lot of water and shuffled around the bedroom rather aimlessly for a while, and after maybe an hour of just feeling like total ass, I remembered that aspirin is a thing! So I took some, and as soon as it started to take effect, I was able to drift off to a much more comfortable sleep. Toby and I both had different places to be at 3, so at 1:30, I decided it was time to work on getting up. Toby was out COLD. I had been awake for a bit and rubbing his back and while reading, and usually this sort of thing elicits a few satisfied mumbles from him, but he was almost entirely unresponsive. I finally had to just wake him up so we'd get to where we were going on time, but when he got up, he was sick again. Poor guy. We did finally get out the door, and he assured me he was doing better, but the car ride sorta got to him, too, so we pulled over for a bit for him to collect himself. I dropped him off soon after, and he says he's doing much better now. I'm glad. I haven't been feeling hungover since taking the aspirin, but I've been void of energy all day. I was only out for a couple of hours, and when I made it back home, the plan was to go for a run, but the reality was to go to sleep. Cleopatrick and I got some good cuddle time, and I really enjoyed those additional hours of rest. I came downstairs to have a sandwich for dinner, and have been toying with the idea of some sort of exercise still, but...no. Today is a write-off. So I've been doing some puzzles and online games and just listening to music and drinking water, letting myself recover. I have an open house tomorrow, and plans every day next week, so I'll be back in the swing of things shortly. A nothing day is fine.

I did talk to some family on Facebook, though. My cousin Laura and her husband are splitting up. I don't know any of the details and I'm not sure if I ever will, but I messaged both of them to let them know I'm thinking of them and love them. Of all the marriages in my family, I really had considered theirs one of the very strongest. I'm not around them much, but I've always been close with Laura, and just everything about their relationship that I'd witnessed was the kind of stuff that makes even happy people really jealous. So it's a real shock that they're splitting. Above all, I feel terrible for them, because I know the heartbreak first hand and I care about them both very much and it's so sad. But in the abstract, their split makes me feel kind of comforted? Like, relationship perfection isn't what it seems, and I can retroactively kind of ease the pull of the jealousy I used to feel. It's hard to explain. It's not schadenfraude, because again I am SAD for them. I guess it's just kind of enlightening? And now I'm no longer the only one in my entire goddamn family who's been divorced. The closest divorce in my family is my aunt on the other side, who has been separated, but not divorced, from her husband for twentysome years. No one else in my extended family on either side, going out as far as I actually know my relatives, has been divorced. Being a divorcee in this family has felt a lot like I imagine it would have felt like in the 50's. People just DON'T do it, and they don't know how to relate to those very few of us who have. So...in a way I feel like their split brings me closer to my family, or my family closer to me. These reflections make me feel like I'm kind of horrible, finding a selfish benefit in their sad circumstances. I mean...ugh. I'm not happy. But yeah, the situation has led me to find a silver lining that is only my own. Anyway.

And then, Toby. I am so happy with him. And I think we do have this crazy strong relationship. Others probably would be jealous of it except for the fact that we are non-monogamous, and most folks I know can't really wrap their heads around that. Like they assume we're happy about our relationship except for the poly part. And...no? There are times he's with his other partner when I wish he was here, but there are also times when he's at work and I wish he was here instead. And all of those times, if I say to him that I need him to put me first and be here, he will. So it's not something that bothers me. I like dating others, too, but I do find that I'm not really as interested in pursuing whole romantic relationships with others. I have formed a lot of new relationships over the last year, and most of them are just friends. Even some of the romantic-ish relationships I've had are really only a notch beyond completely platonic. Toby is the only serious partner I have right now, and I'm happy in this situation. But I don't want monogamy. I still like going on dates, I still like that it's okay to explore any feelings that develop, I still like first kisses, etc. Those things just aren't at all attached to the notion that the person I'm seeing could be "the one" or fill some major role in my life that's currently vacant. It's so liberating to date like that. The pressure is entirely off, and everything feels really authentic. And so far, that part of me just wants to cuddle a little and play board games and sometimes kiss :)
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
It's been nice having my folks in town. Yesterday was my dad's 75th birthday, and we picked Adrian up at the airport and then all went out to dinner to celebrate. (A Chinese buffet, of course.) On Thursday, I took them to Spirit Mountain so they could get their penny slot fix. Toby tagged along both nights. I'm really pleased with how my parents have received him. I know my mom wishes I were still with McKenzie, and I worried that would translate to some hostility toward Toby, but she seems to get that he's a good guy. He wasn't with us today, and twice she commented that it was too bad he was busy and couldn't spend the day with us.

Today was a loooong day. We started by going to the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville. I've been a few times -- I love that place. But you know how when you've been somewhere a bunch of times and everyone you're with is seeing it for the first time, they want to stay way longer than you do? We were there for four hours. I had a good time, though, and I was glad they enjoyed it so thoroughly. Our next stop was Lincoln City, to see the Pacific Ocean and to get some Tillamook ice cream. On the way to Lincoln City, we passed Spirit Mountain, and I joked about going back there tonight. My brother said he'd be up for it, and of course my parents were happy to return, so that's where we spent the rest of the day. I played pai gow the whole time. That wasn't really my plan, but all the other tables were full and I was winning, so I stayed. Everyone else at my table was losing a lot, but I just kept getting lucky hands. I think in the 2+ hours that I played, I only lost 2 or 3 hands. Most hands in pai gow are pushes, though, so it's not like I was winning crazy money, either. When my family came to get me, I had a little more than doubled the $100 I'd started with. So, yay, a nice profit.

We got back to Beaverton around 9, and I've been unwinding at home since then. My brain keeps going to sad/frustrated/angry places, though. It's a combination of going to a lot of places that McKenzie took me when I first visited Oregon and bridge things. Nationals are going on and whenever I talk to another bridge player, they say "it's not the same without you here," but I know they're having a good time, and no one has reached out to me to say they wish I was there. The first few nationals I missed, I got dozens of inquiries from friends and acquaintances saying they'd hoped to see me...now I kind of feel forgotten. That sounds so melodramatic. But...ungh. I feel like an angsty teenager with this shit.

I have this huge conflict in my reality where I miss McKenzie and want desperately to have him in my life again, and the fact that I've missed out on so much of his experience now (and I know he's been traveling the world and doing amazing things) that I don't know if I could reunite with him in any way without feeling intense jealousy/sadness/I-should've-been-there-too feelings. I mean I have those anyway, but I guess I don't have to confront them quite on the level that I would if McKenzie and I had some kind of relationship again, you know?

I have so much regret about our marriage. I know that regret isn't a productive emotion, but people who say "no regrets" are people who have never experienced grief the way I do. They are people who probably don't have crushing mental illnesses that inhibit their ability to make good choices. They are people I want to punch in the face when they tell me I "can't" regret things. Yes I can and I do and the supportive thing would be to respect that it's hard for me, and be a friend. The tough get-over-it-and-move-on approach does not work here. It makes me feel worse. I wish people wouldn't tell me (or anyone) not to feel what I feel. Whether the feelings are good or bad, they're real, and I feel really invalidated when the people close to me don't recognize that. (This is more of a preemptive rant than a commentary on the way anyone is currently treating me. My support system is amazing.)

I'm in a place right now where I can appreciate and enjoy the many good things I've got going for me, but my sadness around my divorce is stronger than ever. I do believe it gets better, but I can't picture what that looks like right now. It feels a long way off, and right now I just need to honor my own sadness. 
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
My oldest first cousin had double bypass surgery this week. It went well and he's recovering nicely. I'm the youngest on that side of the family, so even though we're the same generation, we're pretty spread out -- I think he's 24 years older than me. Still, though. When did we stop being a bunch of kids who played in the river together?

Over Thanksgiving, my mom's side of the family was almost entirely in attendance, and there are lots of toddlers in the next generation now. So there was lots of discussion about all the things the toddlers are learning to do and that sort of thing. My brother's kids are older, but he had a contribution to the discussion, too...

"Frankie has recently started doing something that most kids don't do until they're much older, so we think she's pretty ahead of the curve. She's been denying her farts."

My mom is horribly embarrassed whenever I use the f-word ("fart") on social media, because she thinks it reflects on the way she raised me. Well, duh. We are the fartingest family there is. But maybe Frankie will turn out to be the lady that my mother always wished I would become, since somehow she's picked up a sense of shame to accompany her farts. She didn't learn that from any Massie.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Thanksgiving came and went in a hurry this year. It seems every year, the extended family packs up and heads out earlier -- this year everyone was gone by yesterday afternoon for the most part. I'm still feeling under the weather, so I spent a lot of the past week curled up in bed trying to get the sleep I could never manage at night. So I don't feel like I had a big family experience this year, which is a bummer. My brother was able to come down from NYC for the first time in five or six years, so it was great to have some of my nieces here. A lot of cousins were meeting Bess for the first time, and she's almost 4!

My favorite part of the whole holiday was when my brother's family arrived on Thursday, both girls stormed through the crowd of relatives to give me their first hugs. That made me feel great. Frankie is a cuddlebug as always, and Bess is becoming more and more chill, too. When we went to Jump! (the trampoline gym), Bess insisted that I stay with her the whole time. I love being the favorite.

I went to the UVA-VT game today with my parents. The game was actually pretty unexciting until the 4th quarter, and then it was a real nailbiter to the end. I think the Hoos played better football, but the Hokies managed to wrangle a win anyway, and I was so happy for Frank Beamer at the end of the game that I cried a bit. He's retiring this year, so this was his last regular season game -- and would've been his last game EVER if they hadn't won, because they needed the win to be bowl eligible. I haven't cared about football very much the last few years, but it was nice to be there for this sort of capstone victory. 12 in a row against UVA!

It's quiet in the Massie household now. I'm here until Tuesday, and I'm anxious to get home to Portland. Charlottesville is kind of a triggery place for me, it turns out. I love it here, but. So many memories make being here alone very sad. I cry a lot more when I'm here. Yesterday, Rachel was handing out school pictures of Bess -- which are ADORABLE, btw -- and my mom mentioned that McKenzie had asked for one. I was really touched -- I'm glad he still cares about the girls and considers them family. But I just couldn't stop the waterworks after that. I've been dreaming about McKenzie every night -- for months, actually, but especially more difficult dreams this week. I miss him. I miss what we had and what we could have had. It's still really hard.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I realize that I'm a super-lefty liberal, and a lot of my ideas are unpopular and unappealing to folks more on the right of the political spectrum. But I feel like my beliefs and values are all backed by pretty hard facts, and any intellectual would at the very least respect these things, if not agree with them.

So I have to wonder if the things I say ever make republicans forehead-slap as hard as the things I hear some of my relatives say. Overheard today:

"He may not think of himself as a Muslim, but he sure acts like one." (Okay, sure, in that 99% of Muslims live their daily lives pretty much just like you do, except with darker skin. In that regard, Obama is like a Muslim.)

"Pretty soon people will be able to marry their cats!" (After two failed "traditional" marriages, I can see how a cat would be a good life partner.)

And one of my most outspoken, kookiest-idea-having relatives isn't even here yet.

After hearing those two gems, I removed myself to a room where I could no longer overhear the conversation between my dad and uncle. I found my mom and my aunt in another room, and told them what I'd overheard, while rolling my eyes. My mom shrugged it off because we're all used to it so what is there to say? But I told her "Please tell me you're not voting for Donald Trump. Just promise me that much."

"No I'm not voting for him!" (Phew!) "The one I agree with the most is Ben Carson." (How is this my family?)

At least my aunt feels the Bern.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
My 12-year-old cousin confided in me today that she's been struggling with depression. She's been having major problems with anxiety and has recently been pulled out of school for medical leave so that she can get therapy and start on a medication. (I already knew this stuff via her mom.) When she told me these things, I thought, great! Here's a chance for me to relate to this kid and give her a real life example of how it's nothing to be ashamed of and how good it is that she's getting help. I tell her that I've suffered from depression my whole life, but that once I got on medication and started seeing a therapist regularly, everything was much better for me. I told her "I know how you feel; I've been there." To which she replied, "No, Meg, I've had like three friendships dissolve because of this..."

Would you like to count my divorces, kiddo?

I didn't go there...I just told her I'm sorry she's going through these tough times but I'm proud of her for getting treatment and that treatment has really helped me. I hope that means something to her. But it's also amusing to me how she thinks there's no way an adult can understand what it's like to be a depressed 12-year-old. Girl, PLEASE. Some days, I'm still a depressed 12-year-old. I think it will be fun to remind her of this conversation in 10 or 20 years. "Meg, you don't even KNOW."
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Yesterday was basically awful.

McKenzie was coming to get some things, so I needed to prepare those things for him and then make myself scarce. In trying to gather these things, I realized that three musical instruments (including two from late relatives, very sentimental) are missing. I hadn't seen them in a long time but just chalked that up to the piles of still-unpacked boxes in the third bedroom. I figured they were back there, just inaccessible. But then I remembered the roommate I had a few years ago who stole a bunch of cash from me. I contacted his ex-wife and she said he'd been known to steal things and pawn them, and she was so sorry. I believe her that she had no idea he was stealing from me. So I'm pretty sure those instruments are now long gone, and I feel terrible about that. The ex wants me to press charges. I don't have any proof and it's been years...and even if I do, I'm not getting those items back...sigh. I doubt I will do anything there.

Then I met Dan for therapy and began our session by ending our relationship. It's just not working for either of us, hasn't been for a long time, and...yeah. It's really hard. I care about him a lot and I know he's hurting bigtime. I am, too. But we were hurting in the relationship, too. I had hoped we could talk and be there for each other, but he wanted nothing to do with me. He recoiled when I tried to reach out to him, and he immediately unfriended me on Facebook and removed me from his calendar. Breaking up sucks. I just hope that his friends are a good support network right now. Mine are -- thank you for that.

Since the day was already totally shitty, why not pile on? My mom called to tell me that my aunt has uterine cancer and my uncle has prostate cancer. My aunt hadn't wanted anyone to know, and she's already had surgery and said she feels good. They don't know the full extent of it yet, but it sounds like they probably caught it early. She had breast cancer a bunch of years ago (20?) for which she had a fast surgery and recovery and it hasn't come back. Here's hoping that's the way of cancer in our family. But she's 74 now, not 54. My uncle just turned 80 and this is not his first bout with prostate cancer. They don't know yet what his prognosis looks like.

So...anyone have some spare hugs?
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I'm going to play bridge in the Charlottesville game later today. After I showered and got dressed, I went downstairs and my mom was horrified by my choice of outfit. It was a maxi dress that I got at Falcon Ridge. Very hippie, but whatever. Mom said it was too revealing and she wouldn't give me the car keys until I changed. Rather than take up the fight on this one, I changed, just like she asked.


Lucy has had some really great misquotes this week. Here are some:

She couldn't get the word "aneurysm" right in her head. The background is that we rode roller coasters all week last week and some of them shake your head pretty roughly -- she complained of potential algorithms, amoebas, and algebra.

She was singing songs from The Sound of Music, including "The Lonely Gopher," which has been stuck in my head continuously. I would welcome an algorithm to get it out.

In the Taylor Swift song "Shake It Off," Lucy thought one of the lines was "bakers gonna bake" rather than "haters gonna hate."

Tonight we have dinner reservations at The Bavarian Chef. Lucy wonders why a fancy restaurant would be called The Barbarian Chef.

Yesterday, Bess noticed my tongue stud.

"Meg, I saw something in your mouth!"
"Oh, this?"
"What is it?"
"It's my tongue stud. My tongue is pierced."
"Oh yeah, I was gonna get one of those."

That kid. Then this:

"Meg, I'm growing!"
"Are you going to grow to be as tall as your mom?"
"No, Mom's not tall enough."

Rachel, WT and I took the kids to Grand Caverns on Tuesday. After the tour, the guide asked if anyone had any questions. Frankie was right in front of the tour group, and shot her hand up. "I don't have a question. I have a comment." I could see WT and Rachel both freeze in terror. What might come out of this 7yo mouth? After stumbling over her thoughts for a moment that felt like an eternity, Frankie says to the tour guide, "You have a really nice speaking voice!" And we all breathed a great sigh of relief.

I almost hope these girls never figure the world out, because their innocence and misunderstandings are just too fucking precious. I'm sure they will find new ways to be adorable as they grow out of these things. But I still want to bottle it up like it is right now.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Today's activities included a trip to the community pool/water park place, more Bodo's, picking up Emily's quilt (it's so awesome!), a two-hour nap with Lucy and Bess also napping in my bed with me, one more hour of trying to get a little more sleep while Frankie came up to me every two minutes and asked me if I was ready to wake up yet, playing cards with the whole family, and a firefly hunt. The firefly hunt was pretty hilarious. Five adults and two kids wandering around the front yard on the prowl, failing rather ungracefully as we chased these creatures. My brothers and I each caught one, and Frankie held onto them in a jar for a little while before she decided to free them. Now everyone has gone to bed, and tomorrow morning, I'll leave in the car with WT's family and they'll drive me to Dulles on their way back to Brooklyn. I'll get to the airport well before noon, but my flight back is at 6:15. Since I'm not checking a bag, I should be able to get on an earlier flight if there's space. If not, I guess I'll spend some time in the airport.

It's been a great visit. I love my family.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
The family reunion was fantastic today. I loved seeing everyone and had a wonderful time. My favorite part was the jam session with Allan, Laura, and Priya, at which time Frankie crawled into my lap and decided she wanted me to hold her for the rest of the day. And I did. She just sat in my lap and hugged on me while I talked to various cousins. I love this kid so much.
Very large picture of very large love )
When we got back to Charlottesville, Adrian and I went downtown to ZoCaLo to drop in on Jeremy, as is my tradition when I'm in town. It's always awkward for the first couple of minutes, then we settle into normal conversation and it's really nice to catch up with him. I don't need to be in constant contact or even really be friends, but it's important to me to check in with him from time to time. And it's nice.

It's been a lovely day.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I really do love Charlottesville.

I woke up this morning to the sound of children stomping around in the room below me, so I got up and came down the stairs. As I was walking down, I heard my brother announce to the girls "It sounds like Aunt Meg is up!" They both said "YAY!" which filled my heart with joy, and then as I round the corner to the room where everyone is hanging out, Bess is running to my brother's computer to look for me. D'oh.

There are two explanations for this. One is that I frequently Skype them, so that's how she's used to seeing me. The other is that in their house, being glued to your electronics is known as "Megging out," so she expected to find me where the computer was. Heh. But when she saw the actual me, she ran up and gave me a great big hug, and omg I love that kid.

I spent a little while playing with them this morning, then I went to Bodo's to meet Gail for brunch. She caught me up on all the bridge gossip, we planned her next visit to Portland, and I filled her in on most of my drama. I got back to the house around noon to find it empty again. I think my brother took his kids to the pool, and I'm guessing Adrian joined them there, or is still hanging out with his friend Trevor. I'm trying to talk my brothers into joining me for Body Pump later today, but so far I'm not having much luck. I really think they'd like it, and it would be super fun to do the class with them.

I have no idea when Mom, Dad, and Lucy will arrive, but I hope it's soon. I'm annoyed that I'm here but no one is here hanging out with me! I wanna play with my family!
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
"You be the sinner, I'll be the sin."

Hot.

I've recently discovered (via McKenzie) a new-to-me artist that I absolutely love. Hayes Carll. This lyric is from "Drunken Poet's Dream." I think my favorite song of his is "Hey Baby, Where You Been?" It's fun.

I've also been listening to various versions of "Long Black Veil" lots and lots this week. I think I'll sing it for my nieces tomorrow if they ask me to sing a bedtime song. They're into old-timey folk. And that song's TOTALLY appropriate for little kids. Little kids who won't get it, anyway.

I'm at my parents' house, in the bed that has been in my childhood bedroom since I was small, but that I never slept in until I was an adult. I preferred sleeping in the closet, under the bed, in boxes, and homemade forts -- anything enclosed. I've always wanted a bed with curtains. Maybe I should see if I can get something like this on Etsy.

No one else is here tonight. William is driving down and will arrive with Rachel, Frankie, Bess, and Slim sometime in the middle of the night. Adrian flies in tomorrow. Mom, Dad, and Lucy will return from Williamsburg in the afternoon. I can't wait to see everyone. I should just go to sleep so this time for which I can't wait comes sooner...but I'm failing at that, too. And I'll have Bodo's in the morning, too. !h Charlottesville.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I'm at PDX, and will pull into Charlottesville sometime this evening after a full day of travel...PDX-DEN; DEN-IAD; driving from Dulles to Charlottesville with my cousin after I land. Probably arriving about 9 or 10pm. Time zones eat three hours in there, so it's not *that* long a day, but it feels long because I'm so excited about getting there. My parents have Lucy at their place in Williamsburg until tomorrow, so no one else will actually be there when I arrive, but William and family will arrive sometime in the early morning, and I'm picking up Adrian after breakfast tomorrow, and my parents' whole family tree branch will be in the same place by the afternoon. I'm so excited! I love my family :)

And on that note, I may have been a wee bit overprotective of my mother this morning, when one of her bridge club members hounded me to hound her to keep the club open on the 4th of July. That's entirely my mom's choice and she hasn't discussed it with me at all, but if she did ask my opinion, I'd enthusiastically endorse the idea to CLOSE THE FUCKING CLUB FOR ONE FUCKING DAY. I know these people all love their bridge routines, and for close to 100 members of her club, that means showing up and playing bridge for four hours every Friday. But, here's the thing. There is no such thing as a perfectly smooth club game. Even if the director handles it all perfectly, there's always someone (lots of someones, usually), who thinks there's an error in the score, or has some trivial complaint or stupid question (yes, Virginia, there IS such a thing as a stupid question), or thinks they should have gotten .02 more masterpoints than they were awarded, and all of these people call my mom.

My mom LOVES her job and she's fucking amazing at it. The ACBL just recognized her as one of the top new member recruiters in the whole league. She's a great teacher and organizer and her members love her. But they don't respect her and she doesn't ever tell them to STFU. She fields phone calls from members around the clock, every single day. She deserves a fucking break, even if she's not asking for it, and the fact that one of her members would have the nerve to push on me to push on her to NOT take a break on a huge fucking holiday really irks me.

I wish these people had even an iota of a clue how hard my mother works for them.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
It's been a really good few days. McKenzie and I are working hard on changing our perspectives so that we stop expecting negativity from the other. I'm honestly blown away by what an amazingly positive impact this attitude shift has had. I'm trying to be more conscious of when he's bidding for my attention, and vice versa, and we're just trying extra hard to engage each other. Not forcing it, but seizing opportunities. It's working beautifully so far. We had a really nice trip to Klamath Falls for the weekend. We listened to Jon Stewart's "America: The Book: The Audiobook" on the way down, and finished it just as we were pulling into our hotel.

We played two days of bridge and then drove home after the Swiss on Sunday. As is our grand tradition, we finished 2nd in the pair event. That's not just my tradition with Z -- I think I have more 2nd place finishes than any other results combined. Not a bad way to be, but I'd love to actually WIN more often. Oh well :)

I'm working the first half of this week so I can fly back to Virginia on Thursday for the big huge Massie reunion on the farm. I'm so unbelievably excited. Lucy is already in Charlottesville staying with my parents this week, so I've been checking in with them each day and talking to her a lot. You guys. My niece is so cool. I love that kid. I can't believe she's 10 years old. She's amazing. I can't wait to see her, and the other two nieces, and the hundreds of other relatives that will be at Pharsalia this weekend.

I was just going to pack a carryon, but I've just been informed that I will be returning to the PNW with the at-long-last-completed bridal shower/slightly-belated-first-anniversary quilt for Emily and Chris. I'm really psyched to see that finished product, too. Emily, when are we getting together for the quilt exchange? And by exchange, I mean I just give it to you; you don't have to give me a quilt in exchange. I know they don't have the fourth of July in Canadia, but maybe you can come down that weekend anyway and run a 10K with me.

Oh yeah. I signed up for a 10K. It's called the Red, White, and Blues Run, and it's at the Portland waterfront on 7/6. It's my first time doing a course that loops on itself -- it's a 5K course, and those that run the 10K just do it twice. I'm somewhat concerned that I'm going to hate this particular format -- I'll be mentally prepared to go around again, but there's still something really bummery about seeing a finish line and then having to run the opposite direction. Oh well. I've got nothing to prove. I'm just gonna run. Or walk. Whatever. I'm going 6.2 miles that morning, somehow :)

I'm doing a 5-mile practice run tomorrow with Rigo, since I haven't done more than 5K since my half marathon. I should probably make sure my legs are still up to it. I think probably they are...then I'm meeting Marissa after work for noms and walks in our beautiful city. Antidepressants are great and all, but nothing's better for my psyche than walking around Portland.

Two more days of work (and really challenging workouts!), then I'm off to the east coast. Life is still far from perfect, but I'm in a great fucking mood nonetheless. I hope it lasts awhile.

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Meg

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