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Posted on Friday 15 January 2010 at 12:48 pm

I'm Going Crazy

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I haven't posted in... forever. I've been so busy, some good but mostly stress! Here's a quick rundown of the past month or so.

  • One of my two laptops crashed right before I came home. A bunch of files got corrupted on the other one. I spent most of my first two weeks in Texas working on fixing the corrupted files. The dead laptop became a non issue because my folks gave me a new laptop for Christmas. Of course, since they couldn't tell me they were going to be getting me a computer, I didn't bring all my software discs with me so I've been shuffling between the two laptops more than usual trying to get the new one setup but constantly running into things I can't do yet on the new one because the software is in Virginia. I'll get it all straightened out after I go back to Virginia on Monday and I really like the new laptop so I'm not actually complaining.

  • My folks and I went to San Antonio for a weekend before Christmas. That might have been the highlight of this trip home. I got to hang out with an old friend and meet with my undergrad and Master's advisor and his wife to catch up and get some advice on my dissertation woes. We also checked out the Christmas lights along the Riverwalk which I love and have missed.

  • My dad got a record player with a USB connector so I've been spending my free time the past couple of weeks going through my folks' records and converting some of what I want to MP3s. I won't have time to get anywhere near all of what I want before I leave, but Dad can take over and send me a disc or a jumpdrive or something of all the MP3s once he's done. I was ridiculously excited to discover that my parents had a specific Monkees Best of Album that was released in the 80's with three new songs on it. Two of those three songs have not been released elsewhere and aren't available for digital download anywhere so I was afraid I'd never be able to get them but now I have them and I can definitely say cheesy Monkees 80's pop songs are even more awesome than the cheesiest of the cheesy Monkees 60's pop songs, for certain definitions of awesome.

  • We went to my Grandparents' for a week right after Christmas. This was my first time visiting since Grandma was put in a home. Her physical condition has deteriorated and her Alzheimer's has gotten a lot worse so it was really tough to take. Also, my Grandpa was as short tempered as he'd been for the past few years so that was tough to deal with as well. I was hoping with Grandma in the home he'd be getting better sleep and taking care of himself more and maybe he wouldn't be a snippy, but no such luck.

  • Ginger, our Red Chow-German Shepherd mix, has been slowing down for a while now. She was pushing 16, which is extremely old for either of her breeds, and the vet was shocked she was still alive last time we took her in for her vacs. This past weekend, she had a stroke. She bounced back from it very quickly, only having some trouble coordinating her back legs and keeping her head a permanent tilt. She became very clingy after that, though. She wanted more attention than normal and we all think she knew that the end was coming soon. Yesterday morning we got up to discover that she'd had a massive stroke during the night and couldn't move. She could lift her head and twitch her ears, and that was about it. We took her to the vet, he confirmed what we feared and also said her heart was fading fast. He said there was nothing we could do for her other than help her along, which we all knew from the moment we found her yesterday morning. Ginger had been with out family from the time she was about a year old. She was being starved and abused by her previous owner and we took her in "just until we can find her another home," as my dad said the first day we had her. My mom was terrified that Ginger would be vicious since Chows and Shepherds both can be and abused animals often are, but she was the sweetest thing and quickly won all our hearts. I miss her something awful and cried all yesterday morning and occasionally ever since. To make matters worse, my Grandma that I don't like kept Ginger for us a for a while several years ago and was attached to her. When my mom called to tell Grandma, Grandma laid into Mom for not taking a picture of Ginger the day before like Grandma had asked because Grandma "Just knew something was going to happen." Mom tried explaining yet again that we have lots of pictures of Ginger that Grandma can have copies of and she didn't want one of Ginger after the first stroke because why remember her that way rather than as the happy and healthy dog she was for most of her life. Mom then said something about at least Ginger never suffered and was never in any pain. My grandma went on about Ginger probably was in pain and suffering terribly and we just didn't know. Have I ever mentioned that my grandmother is a mean, hateful, spiteful person who always says that absolute worst thing possibly for seemingly no other reason than to hurt people? If I'd been near her at the moment, I might have seriously contemplated homicide.

  • My sister, Katrina, works at an environmental lab. Every couple of years they get audited by the state to ensure they are performing all their tests correctly. If they pass the audit, they get to keep their accreditation. They can keep or lose the accreditation for specific tests only or for the entire company. If they aren't accredited in something, they can't run tests in it and have to notify all their clients, etc. The auditors were just here. They kept finding problems in some of the other employees' stuff and Katrina thought they would lose some of their accreditations, but only in things the owner of the company was thinking of stopping anyway because they don't do much business in those fields. The auditors kept showing my sister's stuff to the bosses and other employees as examples of what to do and how everyone else's stuff should look. The auditors announced that they have to check with the higher ups but there were too many errors in some of the other stuffs, and too many errors in the overall paperwork done by my sister's boss, so there is a chance the company will lose their accreditation in everything. Which basically means the company will be out of business and my sister will be out a job. They are supposed to find out in 30 to 45 days, but needless to say my sister is scared. If the company is closed, I'm worried how that will affect Katrina's chances at getting another job. I'd think it would look bad if she's coming from a lab that lost its accreditation, even if it wasn't her fault. I want her to see if she can get a letter from the auditors saying what they kept telling everyone at the company: her work was exemplary and not at all problematic and the lose of accreditation is in no way her fault.

So that's my month in a rather large nut shell. I hope everyone else survived the end of 2009 and is surviving 2010 thus far.
Feeling: Drained
Exploring: The folks'
Listening: Whatever Neil Diamond record I'm currently converting to MP3


gilpin25 at 8:15 pm on 15 January 2010 (UTC) (Link)
You've had a lot to deal with there and, again, I'm sorry about Ginger. How lovely, though, that you all gave her such a great life after such a horrible start. There must be a lot of happy memories there, though that's probably not much consolation right now.

I do feel for your grandparents (though not so much the grandmother who seems to be taking her own feelings out on others!). It reminds me of what a friend went through with hers, being almost identical circumstances to those you've described. She thought her grandfather would find he had something of his own life back again when the grandmother went in a home, but there was understandably a lot of grief, guilt and probably loneliness as well in there, and he found it very difficult to adjust to begin with. Things did get better, though it took time.

Hope 2010 gets better for you very soon, and thank you for the Christmas card.:D
bratty_jedi at 2:11 am on 27 January 2010 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the sympathy. I think it is easier for me now that I'm back in Virginia, because I don't constantly expect to turn around and find her curled up in a favorite spot or waiting to be petted. I think it is harder on my mom now.

I try to understand what Grandpa is going through and see things from his perspective, but sometimes I can't or I think I do but I'm also seeing it from the other side and I think he's wrong. That's probably not fair to him because I know this is really hard on him and he's trying his best. I just wish the entire situation was better and there's nothing anyone can do to make that happen.

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