Monday, August 18, 2008


So everything's going okay, now, pretty much. Chris had a fantastic birthday bash incl. a ten course meal he made, because he is amazing. We had a great time, and are still hungover, two days later. We're also probably coming down with something, but let's hope it's just a matter of being exhausted.

Two days before the party, not to be outdone by my Little Eye Incident, Zach (my Baby Brother) wound up in the emergency room. With horrible pain that turned out to be appendicitis. So they had to cut him open. But they did it lacroscopically (I think?) and he was able to go home the next day. He's not feeling so hot, but he's healing, and going to be fine. (We're not going to discuss just How freaked out I was when I heard my brother was about to be cut open, because he is Fine and is going to be Fine. Yes.)

What else... Turned out I hadn't actually messed up at work (yay!), so to make up for it, I missed a meeting I was supposed to join for the first time (first item on the agenda: "Welcome Lauren!") and felt pretty rotten about it, but between stress and lacking a computer, it was pretty tough to remember and no one had any grief for me (I'm so lucky, I work with just the best people). But I have got my new computer, now. Well, new to me. He's refurbished (and christ, he's a He, I'm not sure how that happened--I've never had a machine or vessel that wasn't, as is decreed by tradition and the love of a good engineer, a She, but there it is) but he looks absolutely pristine, so I'm not sure who could've dared send him back or for what.

His name is Marlowe.

Here is Marlowe's self portrait:

...because Marlowe, being one of these fancy dan new MacBooks, has a little camera in his face. He makes his own flash by turning the screen bright glowing white.

He's bottom of the Mac line, but where my Ophelia had a 400 Mhz processer, 320 MB RAM (maxed out!), and 15 GB space, Marlowe has EDIT: a 2.1 GHz processor, (the 800Mhz is his bus speed, I'm just a flake) 1 G of RAM (expandable), and 120 GB space. Also, he can burn CDs. That may not sound like much to y'all, but Ophelia predated that mess, because she was Old School (she also had a non-Intel processor, which a small stubborn part of me insists on favoring). Also, Marlowe's speakers work. And he's Recycled.

He's really beautiful, with a glossy screen and bushy tail and perky ears. He's light and small and lovely. I'm still missing what for many years had been my sole lifeline to the world, and afterwards, the repository of all my little brain could write, and I can't even bring myself to send her away, so I'm just going to have to keep her. But I'm warming to this wonderful little gleaming orphan in my lap.

So send a little love his way, if you would, because he's still feeling shy and out of place.

Well, I'm going to go have dinner, and then probably vegetate, because whoof. But LOVE to y'all.

Post script, couple things, just for posterity: I forgot to mention Carol, Pat, and Jean, more close family friends, all in my grandmother's neighborhood, who died in the earlier part of the year, and Medora (probably the coolest 90 year old you'll ever meet) who went last year from the same street. It's been a tough year for my grandma, too.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Soft you now! The fair Ophelia! — Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remembered.

....And this update is being posted from Chris's computer. Because about two hours ago, with a clanging hurdy-gurdy kind of noise, Ophelia stopped turning over.

The last thing I did with her was read a little excerpt from "Where the Truth Lies," in which the narrator was describing a waitress as having "eyes like a murder victim," and subsequently referring to her as Ophelia.

She slowed down, and sensing danger I went to snag the last few files I hadn't backed up the updates of, but I never was able to get email up, or even the flash drive to register. I've got almost everything, though. Just not her. So here's to the end of an era, ladies and gentlemen--if you'll excuse me, I'll go pour one out for my homegirl and mourn and see what Apple can do me in a refurbished MacBook.

O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword,
Th' expectation and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
Th' observ'd of all observers, quite, quite down!

Monday, August 4, 2008

One of those weeks.

Eleven years ago today, my father died. I was not quite fourteen, my brother was not quite eleven. I was due to start high school, Zach to start middle school. It was a Monday that year, too. I got called, that morning, to come to a Key Club meeting.

Suffice it to say, I didn't go.

I've been thinking a lot about the people I've lost, lately. It's probably not a healthy cycle. Every person I lose, I back myself up through time and catalogue all the others. Seven and eight saw Grandpa John and Grandma Eunie go (that left me Grandma Jane, as my great grandparents and Grandpa Bob had died before I was born). Then our close neighbor Sam, whose wife had Alzheimer's, and who kept having to be told again and again that her husband had died. My father's friend Rodney passed away, and then my father a few years after that. Some slightly more distant relatives next. My high school friend Manny, the same age as me, died of cancer when we were only nineteen. Then Uncle Bob (really my father's uncle), then my father's sister, Aunt Linda (that happened while I was leaving my ex, to move in with Chris). She was the same age as Daddy had been. Friend Nancy from the choir, right as our Lancelot was dying. (And the number of close animal friends we're not going to get into.) And now--

Well, I had my first good day in about two weeks, yesterday. My friend Christina took me out to see "Mamma Mia!" and it's basically happiness encapsulated. But I still cried at "Dancing Queen." I've been doing that, lately.

A Thursday and a half ago, I found out my great Uncle Dick, whom I loved very much, who pierced my ears when I was eleven and was my ear/nose/throat doc when I was a kid (we had such bad ears!), had died. Almost a week before. No one remembered to tell me. So I found out via an emailed obituary from a family member I haven't heard from since September. I'd already missed the funeral. I hadn't seen Uncle Dick in more than a year. They put him to sea, where my Grandpa John is. I didn't get to go to his funeral, either.

The next day, puffy-eyed and sore, I went to put eyedrops in, and put in an earwax removal drop in my left eye instead (I grabbed the wrong bottle, they look remarkably similar). The drops contain carbomide peroxide, which can cause blindness and other serious corneal damage. So I spent Friday in the ER and picking up prescriptions. My insurance didn't think I needed to see an ophthalmologist, though. Now I'm not sure if the increased blurriness in my left eye is just that my astigmatisms in that one have gotten a little worse and I'm paying more attention, now, or whether I've got some lasting damage.

That meant I had to take a couple of days off from straining my eyes at working, considering the work I had lined up, to be due in about a week, was a large stack of small print business cards whose info had to be put into an online database. Plus another PDF file of cards, plus a more urgent list of contacts. I got the list in, and had to stop. Life happened generally, and slowed me down further, although not unpleasantly.

But then I found out there'd been a mix-up (my fault, at least partially and possibly mostly) and I hadn't sent a supply to a coworker that was needed... well, the day before I heard about it, basically. That started another chain of stress. And guilt. And waiting to get the supplies, and running out of ways to send them, and not being able to get ahold of other coworkers who were busy, or deathly ill, and whom I hated having to disturb anyway. I spent six hours unable to leave, or be indisposed for more than a few minutes at a time, waiting to hear back, and never did (because busy, deathly ill). So I finished the stacks of cards, and strained my eyes, and had to stop.

That part is as fixed as I can get it, at least, now.

I'm upset I've knocked the shine off of myself, at work, though. I want to tell them everything about what had been happening, why I've been stressed, why I'm having trouble with these things, why I'm not dealing in my usual incredibly cheerful, energetic way, but how do I do that without being dramatic? Without sounding self-pitying? They've got enough to deal with, themselves. They're not calling me out. I don't think they're mad. Lee finally told me it wasn't really a big deal, and not to worry too much. I just said I'd been having a shitty week. But I want to be better than that, for them. I want them to keep thinking I could never do any wrong by them.

Ah, well. The scales have to fall some time, I guess.

Anyway. I've got the aftershocks of stress. I'm feeling very low. And my eyes still hurt.

And I think I just hallucinated the smell of my dad's aftershave. Or maybe my uncle's.

I think I'm going to go try to get a little sunshine.

EDIT: Oh, just insult to injury, but I forgot to mention: in the midst of all this--of all the computer work I've had to do?--my poor old 7.5 year old laptop was trying to die, and required backing up, wiping, reinstalling, etc. Which took another couple of days out of my time to finish that work. She's okay, now, but I'm not sure for how much longer.