This is the Way I Live (on IJ)

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness." - Dave Barry

September 6th, 2013

I'm still alive, and I miss you all so terribly much @ 08:56 am

Current Mood: busy

Over and over and over again I make pledges to get back to posting and reading LiveJournal and InsaneJournal, and yet I always fail. I don't even know why. This is my home, and I'm trying so hard to get back to it, and I worry about how much has changed since I left.

Part of the problem has been FaceBook. I have been hanging out there because I have a bunch of friends from Misti-Con there, and also because I want to read posts from my girls and their friends. I've cut down my reading list tremendously there though. I used to read a lot of political stuff, and now I just can't be bothered. I campaigned hard for Obama and had so much hope, and I do think he has done some great things. But now it looks like he's going to go to war with Syria; did he learn nothing at all from Iraq and Afghanistan?

Okay, that's all I'm going to say on politics.

And then about six months ago the work on LoneStarCon 3, the Worldcon that was just held in San Antonio, began to take over my life. I ran the Office there, and ended up doing a lot of work that other folks said they would do and then put off until almost too late. Also, Tom Veal was this year's recipient of the Big Heart Award for lifetime contributions to fandom. It's really kinda a big deal. Only one is given out per year, and the recipients are chosen by people who have been active in fandom for several decades. Anyway, it's a big secret until it's announced before the Hugo Ceremony, especially from the winner. I was asked to write the little spiel on what Tom has done to deserve the award, and that was a lot harder than it sounds, particularly because I wasn't allowed to consult with hardly anyone.

But that's finally in the past. I'm not working on next year's Worldcon, which is in London, so I get a break. But I'm running the entire Services Division for Spokane in 2015.

Another big thing that has happened is that, last May 13, a huge tree fell on Elizabeth's house and destroyed about half of it. The insurance company has thankfully been providing them with a place to live, but nowhere that would work for Justice and Alex. So for the past few months I have had two teenagers living with me. I'm thrilled to have them and wish they would never have to leave, but it is a big job being the primary parent of 16 and 17 year old girls. It has been a big adjustment for me.

In spite of all of this, Harry Potter is still my one and only true fandom and a huge part of my life. And I still would rather read a good Snupin or Snarry story rather than any book. Unfortunately, I've almost stopped reading anything at all. That's somethihng I have to remedy.

I've missed a dozen birthdays. I want you all to know that I was thinking of you and that I wish you the very best. And there have been many things that have happened in your lives which I want to know about, I'm sure. I hope there is more good news than bad.

Okay, at last I have made a post. Now to do some reading and commenting!

June 27th, 2013

At LeakyCon @ 10:39 am

Ale is running the LeakyCon 5K. I'm chilling in Starbucks.


January 19th, 2013

LeakyCon!! @ 10:08 am

Current Mood: excited

I made my hotel reservations for LeakyCon this morning. I'm staying at the Crowne Plaza, arriving on Wednesday June 26 and leaving on Mondy July 1. It's not a horrible drive for me, so I won't need to fly. I'm so excited!!

November 25th, 2012

Problems with myself @ 09:48 am

Current Mood: disappointed

One of my biggest problems right now is my deep disappointment in myself. There are many aspects to this, but one of them is not being able to get back into LiveJournal and Insane Journal. I don't get it. This is where the stuff I like to read is. This is where my friends are. This is where I used to express myself. Now no matter what my intentions I seem to be unable to read and post here in anything approaching regularity. I don't know what the problem is.

September 9th, 2012

Back Home At Last @ 08:13 am

Current Mood: awake

The trip was much, much more fun and less stressful than I expected. First Elizabeth, Alex, Justice and I flew to Chicago and drove then to Holland, Michigan, where we spent a week with Elizabeth's family. My family, now, regardless that there is no relationship by blood or marriage. I was so warmly welcomed and loved right from the start.

There is JoLee, Elizabeth's niece, who is about ten years younger than me. She and I had already bonded, since she spent two weeks last year helping me empty my mother's house. JoLee has two wonderful daughters, Daena and Jackie. Daena has a son Damian, who is 9 years old, and Jackie has an 8-month-old daughter named Anabell whom I swear is one of the prettiest and sweetest babies I've ever met. Elizabeth also has an older sister in Holland, Sarah. Our arrival, which coincided with her birthday, was a total surprise.

After a week, Elizabeth, my girls, JoLee and I drove back to Chicago for the World Science Fiction Convention. It was one of the few North American Worldcons where I was not working on the committee, although Justice and Alex put in quite a few hours as volunteers. I didn't see much of the convention at all: the dealers room, exhibits, art show, and Hugo Ceremony was about it. I bought a Harry Potter tapestry at the art show auction. The rest of the time we spent shopping for school clothes for Justice and Alex, and sightseeing around downtown Chicago. We took a boat tour and a bus tour and went to the top of the Sears Tower, none of which I had done before.

The best thing that happened was that Elizabeth and I rekindled our former friendship after the three years I was disowned (mainly for going against the rule that the girls weren't to have cell phones). Elizabeth is in a very bad place right now. Steve is very, very slowly dying of hepatitis and diabetes. He spends all day sleeping and watching TV, has gained tremendous amounts of weight, and is generally grumpy and controlling when he is awake. They are in terrible financial straits, which is why I am paying all of the girls' expenses now except food and board. Steve has finally agreed to apply for Disability, so that may improve slightly.

Okay, that's enough of a trip report. I'll try to catch up on the current situation at home soon.

August 21st, 2012

The dreaded 21st of August @ 08:09 am

Current Mood: rushed

I've been dreading this day for months. Today I have to unpack from Lubricus and pack for Chicon, and packing is an extremely stressful ordeal for me for some reason. Also today I have to check all the last minute details before a 17 day trip. Faeon's roommate Lee, who hasn't been able to find work, is going to house-sit for me and take care of the pets, which is a load off my mind, but I still have a lot of other loads.

My biggest enemy is panic. I have to take one task at a time and stop worrying about the big picture, particularly things I have no control over. I just need to get through these couple of hectic days.

As an aside to some of my new friends, don't even bother reading my profile. It is over two years out of date. Maybe once I'm in Holland, Michigan, I'll have a chance to update it.

Also, no matter how I try, I can't get Semagic on my netbook to post to both LiveJournal and InsaneJournal. But I'm reading both, and I will try to remember to copy and paste LiveJournal entries to InsaneJournal.

Okay, time for breakfast.

August 16th, 2012

Lubricus Lubricus Lubricus!!! @ 08:27 am

Current Mood: excited

Why am I sitting here reading posts about people coming to Lubricus when I should be finishing packing so I can be on my way? Why am I not packed yet? Why has my life been so insane lately?

Not sure when I'll actually get there. There have been unforeseen complications that I am NOT happy about. But I will be there before registration opens at 6:00 come hell or high water or a reappearance of Volidie.

August 15th, 2012

I need to learn to breathe more @ 09:07 am

Current Mood: nervous

I have Molly Maids in my house. Tom offered to pay for them to give the place a one-time cleaning. It hasn't been cleaned well since Kathy got pregnant and couldn't work anymore, and Memphis just had his second birthday!

So I'm paying these strangers very good money. I am their employer, not vice-versa. So why am I so outrageously nervous?

I haven't finished packing for Lubricus and I haven't even got a packing list for Chicon. And today is about as full of appointments as any day could be. I would break down with panic, but I don't have time.

August 14th, 2012

Yes, I've been on Facebook again... @ 10:03 am

Current Mood: groggy

...but it's because the Misti-Con and Ascendio pages have become like chat rooms, and if you fall behind you're completely lost. It is calming down now, though, as Ascendio is over and Misti-Con isn't until next May.

The big thing in my life at the moment is Lubricus, which is an adult Harry Potter slash convention being held in Renton (about an hour's drive for me) this weekend. I could hardly believe it when I heard about it -- it's like it was designed just for me! There are several people who are going to be there whom I have at least met on line, so I don't have to worry about feeling alone in the crowd as I sometimes did at Ascendio. I'm pretty much ready to go except for actually putting stuff into my suitcase, and my biggest worry is how to keep my blue wig in place during the ball. (Yes, it is the Blue Ball.)

The real reason my life is total insanity, though, is that on August 22 (Arrrgh, a week from today) Elizabeth, Justice, Ale, and I are making a trip to the Midwest, first to visit Elizabeth's sister and niece in Holland, Michigan, and then down to Chicago for Chicon, this year's World Science Fiction Convention. More on that trip after Lubricus. We'll be gone over two weeks.

Trying to get everything done in preparation for what is basically a three week vacation has sometimes brought me to my knees. But in general I have been doing better than I would have expected. My biggest problem is keeping my mind on the job at hand instead of worrying about what exactly is going to happen or what I have to do in the future. I've had some days when I'm a mess. But I've had a couple days during which I was surprisingly productive.

One thing that has helped me keep myself together is giving up my 5 days a week at the gym. After I decided I'm not going back to the gym until we get back on September 6, I felt like a large obligation had been lifted from my shoulders and I could function much, much better. I am confident I can get back into a good regime of aerobics and strength training when all this travel is behind me.

Today I am having trouble getting started with the day. I should have had the Tuesday morning chores done an hour ago. That's partly why I'm pouring out my mind here, to try to clear it. I have a Yoga program on my iPad that I need to try.

In the past week I have had to replace Justice's phone, Chenelle's phone, and my Kindle, as well as incurring a $510 septic repair bill. This has all contributed greatly to the madness. At any rate, Justice's phone just arrived, so I'd better text her.

P.S. Alex wants to be called Allie now, which would be fine, but she spells it Ale. Well, it's her name, so I'll respect her wishes.

August 2nd, 2012

I have never claimed to be normal. @ 01:14 pm

Current Mood: giddy

I think I'm having a hypo-manic attack.

Or possibly this is what normal people feel like when they're having a good morning.

I didn't go to the gym today, meaning I missed Yoga class as well. The biggest reason was that I almost had a melt-down yesterday because I have had practically no alone time for a couple weeks. I really needed a day home alone. But also I stayed out a little too late last night (Red Lobster for Faeon's 29th birthday) and had a couple drinks, thus slept in until after 7:00. (My usual routine calls for me to go to bed at 9:00 P.M. and get up at 5:30 A.M.)

I've been spending time on FaceBook -- shame on me -- but it's all been about Harry Potter conventions past and future. Thanks to a link someone provided, I found the absolutely perfect wig to wear to the Lubricus Blue Ball. I had given up when I tried Google.

I don't do costumes or cosplay. Not that I don't appreciate them, but I'm an observer. But that may change. I'm practically committed to doing Narcissa Malfoy at Misty-Con next May. I figure I have the right build, almost, and I can get by at my age. That gives me nine months to find outstanding dress and wig makers. Perseus, who does HP cons as Lucius, has already said we must have our picture taken together. Therefore, I want the best costume possible.

On YouTunes there is a video of Nigel/Snape singing "Don't You Forget About Me" at Ascendio. Go watch it. Seriously, it is made of awesome. I just can not believe that I was either eating or dressing while he was doing this!

Also, I really must see if I can add photos to LiveJournal and InsaneJournal. At least the one of me in my ball gown and the one of Nigel/Snape casting a Patronus.

July 30th, 2012

I despise my incompetency with the internet @ 07:26 pm

Current Mood: cranky

I just spent over 90 minutes completely updating my User Profile, which I hadn't touched in two years. And then promptly lost all of the changes! I am not happy with myself or LiveJournal at the moment.

I'm anxious to make the changes because the me of 2010 is rather different from the me of now. Elizabeth and I have mended a lot of bridges and the girls are very much in my life again. Faeon has moved out; he and his roommate Lee live about 20 minutes north of here. My interest in politics has waned; I'm beginning to feel that, other than vote, nothing I can do will make any difference. I am, at least for the moment, totally immersed in Harry Potter fandom, although I also have an interest in True Blood and Game of Thrones. I have been assimilated by FaceBook, but am working hard for my freedom.

The good and the bad. @ 07:09 am

Current Mood: crappy

Well, the bad first. After what was obviously a terribly upsetting day for me yesterday, I had a night of horrible nightmares. When I woke up this morning, my bed looked like it had been used for, well, something other than sleeping, and believe me, that hasn't happened in a very, very long time. The only thing I do in my bed other than sleep is watch TV.

So this morning I feel really wrung out. The heat isn't helping; I'll be calling the company that services my air conditioner as soon as they open. I don't think I'm going to the gym this morning. Although it would at least be cooler there.

The good is that I lost 3.2 pounds last week. That's a lot for me. My goal is only a loss of 1.25 pounds per week. I'm at 157.6 now. I've lost 16 pounds since I started going to the gym, and 30 pounds in the past ten months.

I've been reading a few Snarry and Snupin drabbles. Those always help my mood.

July 29th, 2012

I am cursed with empathy. @ 07:22 pm

Current Mood: sad

So Justice and her boyfriend of almost exactly a year, Jordan, broke up today. They had been arguing on the phone about what comes down to Jordan being possessive. Then I took Justice to the gym to work out, and Jordan showed up there, and the next thing I knew Justice was telling me they had broken up.

Now the thing is, Justice is only 15 (Jordan is 17), so it would be surprising if a romance at her age lasted a lifetime. Also, this is between them, not something happening to me. Anyway, I got a text from Justice a little while ago that she and Jordan had decided they could still be friends and she tells me she's fine with that for now.

So why am I crying? I've been crying off and on ever since I got back from the gym and am crying harder than ever now.I keep thinking about how Justice had a set of earphones with her she had bought for Jordon. He needed new ones and she had thought this way they would have matching ones.

This is so stupid. I can't see to type because I'm crying so hard.

This is so not how today was supposed to go. I was going to be super-productive, starting with updating my calendar instead of having a file of loose notes.

I hadn't really planned to go to the gym today, but since Justice asked me to take her I did a session of strength training and 20 minutes on the Octane machine. I would have done another 20 minutes cardio, but before I could I found out about Jordon and Justice wanted to go home. Now I'm half-way thinking that I'll skip going tomorrow morning since I went today. I don't know. I'm too sad to make that decision tonight.

Oh, and the air conditioner broke down again today. I just got it fixed on Monday. It's 76 degrees and climbing in here -- I usually have it set for 72 degrees.

July 28th, 2012

Is this what it's like to have a weekend off? @ 06:58 pm

Current Mood: tired

I'm not going to the gym tomorrow. I did tough sessions of both strength training and cardio (well, tough for me) this morning. Nor do I have any appointments, nor do I expect to be seeing the girls, my son, or anyone else until I head back for the gym at 8:00 Monday morning.

Last week, for one reason or another, I was with either Justice, Alex, or Sean for six days in a row. I don't mean that this wasn't enjoyable. As well as driving the girls around, I saw the new Batman movie with Sean and Lee, spent one afternoon getting mani/pedies with the girls, and on Friday spent a full day shopping with Justice and Alex. (This was because I brought home a ton of swag from Ascendio for Alex and needed to make it up some how to Justice.) Bought myself a new wallet, a new purse, a bunch of mis-matched socks, and a bottle of perfume.

So I'm not exactly complaining. It was all much fun. But I so need this next 36 hours to myself. I've had no real time to recover from Florida -- everyone needs a vacation to recover from a vacation -- and I'm tired down to my bones and brain.

Also have an absurdly long Urgent To-Do List that I've hardly had a chance to look at this past week.

Oh - The Batman movie? It wasn't bad. I hid my face every time Commissioner Gordon's life was in danger. I just couldn't stand to see Gary Oldman die again.

Wednesday is Sean's 29th birthday. He says he wants clothes as a gift. That seems awfully dull. I guess everyone is hurting economically these days, with the exception of the 1%.

July 25th, 2012

Couldn't my life be boring for just a few days? @ 07:15 pm

Current Mood: stressed

There are 25 items on my Urgent To Do List, ten of which have to be done before Monday. I have already gotten all the dirty clothes out of all three of my suitcases and sorted them; there was a total of six loads, two of which can't go into the dryer. So far my leggings are all hanging to dry, which is good, as I do not have any left and it is really too hot to be wearing jeans. And I only have one clean pair of jeans, anyway.

So at 4:45 this afternoon I got a call from Chad, saying he didn't know who else to call. He was at the Ford dealership down the street because the transmission in his car had died violently. It's under warrantee, so no huge problem, except he needs a car until his is repaired. The warrantee will cover a rental car, so still no big deal -- except to rent a car you must have a credit card, and he does not.

Being who I am and Chad being who he is, I agreed to rent the car for him. But I had to leave at 5:15 to get Justice to driving school. And Enterprise would be closed before I could get back. (What kind of car rental company closes at 6:00?!) And Alex, who now has a car and drivers license, wasn't home. (Please don't ask why Steve couldn't takeJustice. I don't even know if he was home. But he screams bloody murder if anyone asks him to drive anywhere these days. He spends most of his time in bed.)

So there was a very tense 20 minutes, but then fortunately Alex got home and agreed to take Justice to driving school. And I signed all the papers to rent a car for Chad. So everything turned out okay, except that I doubt very much that Justice has money to buy her dinner at Taco Time during her break. They are very hard pressed to put food on the table over there these days.

I have to pick up Justice and take her home at 8:30. After which I will have to go immediately to bed so I can get up early enough for my Yoga class in the morning.

Are you beginning to get the reason why I'm not posting much anymore?

July 24th, 2012

Okay, so I suck at keeping promises to myself. @ 08:49 pm

Current Mood: busy

I did cut down my activity on Facebook to just my close family and Harry Potter Fandom. However, the Ascendio page is still going strong with photos and comments, and right now the Misti-Con page is going insane with those of us who want something to look forward to to treat the post-con depression.

Misti-Con is a Harry Potter convention being held May 9 - 13, 2013, in Laconia, New Hampshire. They cap their membership at 500 and they take every single room in their hotel. The Margate Resort got 100 calls for room reservations just on Sunday night, when people started to panic that they weren't going to be able to get a room or a membership. There is talk that some types of suites are already sold out on some days. So if you're curious or interested, look them up. Right now Tom and I are planning to arrive on Thursday afternoon and leave late Monday. We'll be flying to Boston and driving from there.

In the much, much less distant future is Lubricus, which is coming up on August 16 in Renton, Washington, which is about an hour's drive for me. It is a wizarding slash convention open only to attendees over age 18. Wild horses couldn't keep me away.

My life is insanely hectic right now. I not only haven't gotten unpacked from Ascendio yet, but I don't see how I'm going to have time to start before Saturday!

Got a couple things I must get done tonight before I go to bed, and I've got to go to bed on time to get up before 6:00 in the morning. Like I said, insanely hectic.

June 6th, 2012

Hey, I'm still here! @ 08:01 am

I know I never post, but my life is a whirlwind right now. I AM going to fix this and be back sometime soon. But I heard something about Insane Journal doing a purge and get scared I'd get booted off for lack of activity.


April 3rd, 2012

Hello? @ 09:26 am

Current Mood: busy

Is anybody still here? I've been away so long. All my plans to return to LiveJournal and InsaneJournal have blown away in the wind. I need to redo my schedule so that I spend time here in the morning, instead of wasting time on FaceBook. The thing is, Alex and Justice are on Facebook, and I love keeping tabs on them. And I've been getting lots of news about Ascendio. That's not until July, but I'm already so excited!

Also, getting serious about losing weight takes a lot of time. I'm wearing a Body Bugg now, which tells me how many calories I've burned, how many steps I've taken, and how much time I've spent being "active" (mainly, exercising). And I log everything I eat on their website. Still eating quite a bit of the Nutrisystem foods though. Hard work, and so far I've only lost 8 pounds in five weeks. But it's a start.

I guess the biggest news lately is that Alex has gotten her driver's license. This is going to free up a lot of time for me that I was spending chauffeuring the girls all over. She just got it last week, and I'm still getting use to the idea. It means less stress on me, but also that I'll see the girls less.

Ah well, must go off and burn a few calories. Then I'm going to take a break and read a little of A Clash of Kings, which is the book the second season of Game of Thrones is based on. If you haven't seen the show, I highly recommend it. It's on HBO, but the first season is out on DVD. Warning: Adult language, adult situations, violence, nudity.

January 15th, 2012

Saying my goodbyes. @ 07:30 am

Current Mood: sad
Tags: ,

Nine days short of one year since my mom had her stroke. My childhood home has been on the market for six months, I've had to pay all the utilities, taxes, insurance, and upkeep - I should be relieved to let it go. But I'm so deeply sad.

Today I pack. Tomorrow morning I leave for Chicago, from which I will drive to Galesburg, Illinois. I'm going to walk through the house my parents owned for 61 years one last time, then on Wednesday is the sale closing. I want to go put flowers on my parents' grave - hope I can find it in the snow. I want to eat at Steak 'n Shake. Wednesday night I have dinner with my nieces. At least they are on Facebook, so I won't totally lose them forever. But aside from them, there is no reason I should ever visit Galesburg again. There's nothing for me there but all the memories.

My childhood wasn't particularly happy, as such things go, but I lived the first 20 years of my life in that house, and it's so hard to let go. The restaurants I ate at a thousand times, the church where I was baptized and where I met and married my first husband, the schools I attended.

My mother believed she would be with my dad again when she died (he passed away in 1989). I hope she's right. We were so different, but she loved me unconditionally. I miss her.

I knew I would have to do this someday. My mother was 94 when she died, so I should be well prepared. But I hate this.

January 14th, 2012

Business more or less as usual. @ 10:27 am

Current Mood: sleepy

I'm having a very hard time keeping my spirits up this morning, but I am really trying.

I don't think I have ever had a night as bad as last night except when I've forgotten my evening meds. (And I didn't. I checked twice.) I slept in short little jerks, with awful dreams. Being sick, a failure, embarrassed - I don't even know what brought them on. Having my home broken into, knowing something was wrong with Greg (my ex husband) but not able to contact him... just nasty stuff. I know I half sleep walked and that I ate during the night, but I'm not sure what or how much.

The best part about this morning was waking up and discovering that nothing in those terrible dreams was true. The weather couldn't be much nastier - rain and 35°, with such heavy overcast it looks like twilight. And the cat (Fae) threw up several places this morning, including on one of the shelves where my Discworld collection resides. Luckily, nothing was damaged, and I don't think she's actually sick - she just ate too fast.

I'm about two hours behind in my daily routine, which should mean skipping my morning nap. But I think I'm going to have to sleep before I can think straight about luggage and packing for Illinois. I have a hair appointment at 1:30. I wish I could cancel it, so I would have more time to sleep, but this is the last time I will have to get it done before I leave for Illinois on Monday.

On the positive side, Van Halen, with David Lee Roth, is going to be performing in town on May 5th. You would have had to have known me in the 80s to understand how happy that makes me. Also, Nickelback will be here on June 23. Kathy and I already have plans to attend. Our hope is that we can both go in for tattoos that day as well.

I definitely want a second tattoo, but I'm at a real loss as to what and where. I want something that symbolizes "It's love that makes a family." A heart with family isn't enough - the point is that you don't need to be physically related to be family. I really like the idea of a tattoo around my ankle, but there certainly isn't room to write that whole phrase.

I need to put a load of laundry in the dryer and clean my teeth, and then I really am going back to bed.

This is the Way I Live (on IJ)

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness." - Dave Barry