It feels like there's some kind of a three or six or someodd-week window (they always give the parents some amount of time that you're not supposed to visit your kids for that reason) where things are supposed to click and you're supposed to adjust to being away from home and I somehow missed it. It's not even like I was particularly close to my family in the first place; yeah, I love them and all, but I spent most of my time when I was at home in my room by myself. It kinda scares me, you know, in the ferocity of this. . . it's not homesickness, really, so much as it is hate-thereness, I think. I've got no idea. I can't articulate why I dislike it there so much (sure, I can bitch about whatever issue is currently pissing me off, but it's more a general loathing of the entire situation), but to sort of put things into perspective, I checked my Outlook calendar that I've got all my class times and everything typed into this afternoon and had a panic attack over the prospect of going back there. Not even just worked myself into one, which I'll do if I'm upset and let it compound, but it was sudden--there wasn't even a semi-conscious thought process of "Oh, man, schedule. I've got class on Monday. That means I've got to leave home. And go back to school. I hate school! *freaks*", it just hit--and it lasted a long time. And even after the actual attack was over, I was mentally shaky and feeling all self-destructive and bad.
So that's no fun. Break in general, though good at the beginning, got pretty not-enjoyable. As Dad got a call from bum Aunt Chris (re: bum--see the last time I made a post where things happened almost exactly like this) saying that Grandma had her second stroke this week (our reaction: OMGWTF THANKS FOR TELLING US AFTER #1) and somebody misrepresented/misunderstood/whatever the gravity of the situation (we sort of think that Chris needed a break from helping Grandma extra over the last few days when one of these last strokes mussed up her mobility, and she let Dad believe that things were really bad so he'd come down and help out. My opinion? You're living in your mother's house, driving her car, supplementing your measly sales income with her social security and your father's pension; bitchplease, shut up and help out your mother) and it essentially boiled down to Mom spending all of Friday writing out lesson plans for next week in case she had to get a sub for a funeral and Dad and Tyler leaving within about an hour of the initial phone call to go down there.
She's doing a lot better, Dad says--if I've said it once, I've said it a million times: if I inherit anything from this woman (besides, erm, breasticles), please let it be her stroke resiliency. I have no idea how many she's had, but she shuffles around for a bit (worse than usual--I think one of the early ones screwed her gait up, because she's shuffled more or less since I can remember noticing), has some short term memory loss (she loses a couple of days around the stroke that I'm not sure she ever gets back, and loses larger chunks of time/people transiently for a short period but does get that back), but that's it. You know, I think. It's hard to tell when I see her as rarely as I do what's stroke and what's just oldperson.
It was weird that afternoon. I was all lol!emotional vulnerability. I'm usually the stoic one in things like this (not even because I'm trying to or anything, just because I'm fairly cool with death), but was all . . . not. I think (self-psychoanalysis time!) I was picking up on the emotionally charged atmosphere with my dad freaking out (he really thought he needed to get down there quick until he called right before leaving to tell Chris that he was coming down and his mom answered the phone, LOL) plus my subconsciously being
a selfish bitch pissed that my first visit home was getting screwed up by this by itself, and more so by Dad and Tyler leaving, plus the whole situation being reflective of how I've been more fearful lately because my dad's diabetes got bad (and by bad, I mean good--his doctor was happy with his control, but her happy meant he was having lows a lot more often. With diabetes, high kills your organs and you over time, lows kill you overnight, especially once you become less sensitive to them as everyone does; then it takes a glucose of say 40 to give you the shaky warning--or you lose the sick feeling altogether and skip straight to the disorientation, like Dad now does--that 70 once did, even though the setpoint of unconsciousness at 30 hasn't changed, you've just got less warning to do something about it) right before I left, and how I feel out of the loop of the whole family everything, and the fact that (as evidenced by the later-occurring/aforementioned panic attack) I seem to be an emotional wuss.
But yeah, he called and Grandma picked up, which surprised me because, you know, I sort of figure post stroke -> hospital. But then again, bumaunt earned the bum title from last stroke Grandma had last year when she didn't make her go to the hospital (Grandma didn't realize that there are things you can do for strokes now because I think her last one was a while back, so she just made an appointment with her GP for Monday morning), so perhaps not that surprising--I've yet to hear the medical story. From my side of the conversation (just listening to Dad talk to her), it sounded like she was doing pretty well. So then it became more of an "I have the weekend, if she's had two strokes in a week things can't be good no matter how well she bounces back, so I'd better go and be with her while she's still there mentally and before she doesn't bounce back as well one of these times", which I totally understand is still filled with that urgency for him--he's mentioned before that one of his biggest regrets about when his dad died is that he didn't get down there until after he was only in-and-out (and mostly out) mentally.
Dad's hoping to leave really early Sunday to get back around noon (yeah right, but hopefully) so we have a few hours to hang out before I've got to leave. Still not like I'd hoped--we were going to go fishing on Friday, and then he and mom had signed up for a canoe trip together all day Saturday, and I was supposed to be able to do about a bazillion things I'd planned and didn't get to because I've been feeling off.
Weekend update: Alexandria Edition
All this hooplah on Friday. Didn't do much else. Bummed around playing Sims: Castaway Stories (beat that in two days, somewhat disappointingly, and I'm not crazy about the gameplay for the open ended bit as it feels much more limited than the Life Stories one did), went to Sam's with Mom, exercised, had a nice feta, corn, roasted chicken, and Italian dressing salad for dinner (it's crazy--salad's all I eat at school, and yet throw in the chicken and the feta and the dressing, none of which are available there, and it's a totally different and significantly more delicious animal), did some more computer bumming, went to bed.
Saturday: was planning on getting up early to workout at 8, do the yoga class at the gym at 9 (as I've been paying them for several years for free group classes included, and when do they finally get classes at my location? About three weeks after I leave), and then leave at 10 to go see Obama at noon, followed by further shopping (the rest having been done with Mom Friday night) for the church family night chili dinner, which I'd then go down to around 4 to start stuff cooking (some eight pounds of pasta, mostly, as well as prepping plain spaghetti sauce and salad) for dinner at 6. The first two didn't happen because I was up until 5 or 6 playing around on the computer. The third didn't happen because I was getting ready to go and turned on the TV and heard that there were some thousands and thousands of people that had been down there waiting for hours already and the gates didn't even open for another 30 minutes, and that if I went, the time spent looking for somewhere to park (even in the closest Metro carpark; almost especially so, as it's the only one that even approaches the county, so it's always packed) would singlehandedly offset any benefit from Obama's energy plan. Went to the Jewish Community Center's costume sale instead, and picked up a bunch of stuff for Dad's classes for cheap. They had pretty much a whole set for doing Beauty and the Beast that I really wanted, but it wasn't exactly what he was looking for with his kids doing Shakespeare and all. Got a really nice dress, though, that I think is perfect for mideval stuff, as well as a flouncy underskirt that I'm saving for my colonial costume for taking Kaci to the Feast of the Hunter's Moon next year with the middle school Fiddlers.
Then I ran about shopping for church dinner food some more because the costuming took longer than I expected (I was looking for "the auditorium" instead of it being inside the auditorium inside the community center), and finally got back and did the food. Served the Catholics in my Obama t-shirt and got more pleasant comments than I expected, especially considering that it's almost always just old people that come to these things (which sucks, as it's family night and there's never really any family mingling because the old people all just stick together in the same groups and tend to exclude anybody that's not been in the church since before the last ice age--I mean, my parents have been going there since before I was born, and yet 90% of their conversations have to do with church stuff way before that). There were really no comments at all besides a handful of people asking if I went and a few that I knew--Rick, my volleyball boss and my friend Celeste's mom-- and one other random guy actually articulating support. Not even Father Jim had anything really to say save some remarks about how it seemed the entire city was there (but then again, I've been told he doesn't talk nearly as much anymore after he had a stroke a bit after I left, which sucks, both because I really like him and because he's always been v. v. softspoken and shy to begin with), which was a tad disappointing because I'd have loved to go three rounds on how the Catholic policy on birth control is an abject violation of their claim to honor and preserve the sanctity of life with somebody there.
Thing that made me angry: 8 people signed up to bring chili, 4 did because fail--even when my mom and the mother of a schoolmate of Kaci's brought some without having been included in the 8 count, we still ran out of all the "normal kinds" very quickly with only about a spoonful of ground turkey chili (that I think had been left for gone, but I managed to scrape it out because that was the one I wanted), and a little of each a v. hot white chili and a v. mild gluten-free chili left when the noodles line had finished and I got over there to see what was left, less than 20 minutes after mass ended. We had plenty of spaghetti and sauce left, though, so nobody totally missed out.
Then exercised, then hit up a couple of stores on the way home (the Farmer's Market because I wanted to check on pumpkin prices and because fruits/veggies yum, Big Lots because mom told me to grab some extension bar thing that I got the wrong one of--prolly because the best I can describe it as is "extension bar thing"--followed by Walgreens because I had thought that they had free after rebate stuff that I wanted, but it turns out that it was last month), then got mom to glob my hair up with henna while watching Andromeda dvds followed by the opening sketch of SNL (assuming Palin wasn't in any of the rest), then spent the last several hours (literally) writing this.
Whew. Caught up, more or less. Far more detail than anyone cares about, but ehh.
There's a list of things I want to do tomorrow, including going bowling, to this Natural Living Expo, carving a pumpkin, and tie-dying a shirt (all of which sound sort of random but are in fact quite easily possible), but I've got to leave before 7 and Kaci's got two soccer games tomorrow. After having (missing, actually, as nobody realized) one yesterday, because they're making up for the fact that they were rained out some 3 weeks already this season--I tell you, she got signed up for this city team rather than play with the school like she used to or the church like I used to, and they're a bunch of wusses. Both the city (not even our city, LOL, but one a bit farther West that we tend to mock a bit; I have no idea why that one, but somehow a bunch of her old teammates from the school team that didn't get going this year for whatever reason all went out there) and the school teams are, though the latter will at least play in the rain. I have pictures from when I played for the church of us playing in a freaking ice storm. (I assume--the playing happened, and pictures tended to happen, though I couldn't tell you where they'd be.) Us Catholic sports girls took our shit seriously.
Concluding thoughts (at least until I come up with more):
I'm almost painfully thirsty and have been for the last 500 words or so, but don't feel like getting out of bed until I'm done and am about to go to sleep.
The plastic wrap extension to my shower cap holding my henna'd hair in (too much hair, LOL, especially when thickened by goop) keeps sliding down and covering half of my eyes. I can't get it to stay up.
My laptop has another screen glitchy bit (this one's just a dark spot that looks like it's just a drop of scum on the screen until you get close and realize that it's underneath). I found out, though, that there's a place only about 20 minutes away from here that does warranty repair, so I won't even have to ship it in.
Best Buy was trying to tell me over the summer when I first asked that I had no warranty at all on this thing since I didn't buy theirs and had to give it to their Geek Squad to fix (which they couldn't do, as this is a manufacturer only replacement) for mucho dinero, the thieving arses.
I iz headached. Off and on the entire time I've been here. But my Springfieldhumidity-induced acne is almost totally gone after only two or so days. It's weird, considering that St. Louis is the place that people joke "It's not the heat, it's the humidity" about, because of all the rivers, not Springfield.
Speaking of weather, *temperaturegasm*. God, it's beautiful. You turn the air conditioning on in the car if the sun's shining on you, but I ran to get something out of the car around 10:15ish before SNL and was hustling because it was chilly and the grass was quite cold. It's camping weather--it might be a tad too cold to be really comfortable at night outside (at least for me, as I've got a very range of comfort I can fall asleep in--even if it's totally fine during the day, the same temperature at night and I'll be far too frozen to sleep), but it's the exact kind of crisp cool that would make sitting in front of a fire just amazing.
I'm falling asleep while I write this. Holy crap, I started typing this easily 2 hours ago. Nonstop typing, pretty much (at least for the last hour of it since I first really looked at the clock), not even the normal "type some, fool around playing a game/checking email/whatever, type some more, etc." thing.