Friday, December 30, 2011

time won't give me time.

i know it's been slow around here, but i've been pretty busy.  with the piercing-apprenticing, my 'regular' job, and getting ready for the holidays, i feel like i've been stretched pretty thin.  awesome husband's been cleaning the house for me.  seriously.  and then i got sick at christmas.  i was feeling eh christmas night and then was sick at work the next day.  today's my first day feeling normal again :(

and that was all while on break from school.  i'm more than a bit nervous about how i'll juggle everything when school is added back into the mix.

of course, i'm going to be piercing part time.  i'm just spending as much time at the shop as i can now so i can see and learn as much as possible.  so once i'm not spending what seems like every waking moment at the shop to learn, it should be easier.  i'm also probably going to bring my computer to the shop so i can do schoolwork while i'm there.  that should make a big difference.

today's the first time i've cleaned the bathroom in weeks.  i've been making awesome husband do it.  here's a snapshot of what my time has been like.

monday: wake up.  shower.  work at 'normal' job from 9-3pm.  do house stuff or school stuff until 6pm.  cook dinner.  spend time with awesome husband.  bed at 11pm.

tuesday: wake up.  shower.  work at 'normal' job from 9-3pm.  do house or school stuff until 6pm.  food shopping.  make dinner.  spend time with awesome husband.  bed at 11pm.

wednesday: wake up.  shower.  work at 'normal' job from 9-12pm.  take care of randomly scheduled 'thing' (doctor's appointment, holiday shopping, other errand).  go to shop from 2ish until 8pm.  go home.  eat something.  hang out with awesome husband until bed at 11pm.

thursday: wake up.  shower.  work at 'normal' job from 9-12pm.  do some household-y stuff.  go to shop from 2ish until 8pm.  go home.  eat something.  hang with awesome husband until bed at 11pm.

friday:  wake up.  shower.  work at 'normal' job from 9-12pm.  fuck around online for an hour.  poke at the cats for a bit.  go to shop form 2 or 3ish until 10pm.  go home.  eat something.  go to bed at 11pm.

saturday:  wake up.  shower.  work at 'normal' job from 9-12pm.  squeeze in an hour of family time (either with awesome husband and the cats, awesome husband's family, whatever).  head to the shop from 2ish to 10pm.  go home.  eat something.  poke at the cats.  go to bed by 12am.

sunday:  SLEEP LATE (late being maybe 9am).  grab breakfast or early lunch with awesome husband.  head to shop around noonish until 6pm.  go home.  order sunday night pizza.  stare at the television blubbering until bedtime at 10pm.

lather, rinse, repeat.   as you can see, there is little to no room for cleaning the house, cooking appropriate meals, playing video games, reading, blogging, or seeing friends.  this gets my my 7-7.5 hours a night (i can't fall asleep right away) which i need or my medications make me like a zombie.  and when you look at it, i feel like a little bitch for complaining.  i'm doing 23, 24 hours for my 'normal' job and 35ish in the shop.  and it's not like i'm WORKING in the shop.  i watch a lot, i do a few piercings, i study, i play sudoku, i fuck around with the tattoo artists, i look up ideas for my next tattoos.  occasionally i vacuum and take out garbage.  but it's still a 'job'.  so i'm 'working' almost 60 hours a week in my mind. 

the last time i held a full time job (40 a week plus a bit of OT) i landed in the psych ward with a nervous breakdown.  so you can see my trepidation here.  it's terrifying, thinking that it might happen again.  yes, i have better medication this time.  yes, they're both less stressful jobs (you'd think that sticking needles through people is stressful - and you'd be right.  but the full time job that landed me in the nuthouse was in stocks and funds and shit.  and i don't like numbers) but there's SO MUCH OF THEM.  the time i do have free, i don't want to DO things aside from stare and blubber a bit.  maybe cuddle with awesome husband or go out to dinner. 

and then of course this week i was sick.  today's my first day out of the house really since monday.  and since i'm trying to catch up on my 'normal' job a bit, it means i'll be at the shop even less than i should be.  which just prolongs the process a bit; i need 1000 hours of time before i'm not like an apprentice any longer. 

and i'm learning a lot.  i feel pretty damn confident with most of the common piercings.  i'd like to see some of the less common ear piercings before doing them.  but i've already seen a lip, monroe, tongue, nostril, navel, and hood piercing (i was surprised that the woman let me watch, but thrilled that she did because seeing it done really made the written process make sense).  i've already done two nostrils (including awesome husband's), three navels, a helix (cartilage on the ear), a tongue, and a lip.  i almost botched one navel because there was so much scar tissue.  but luckily my mentor was there and rescued me.  he's been piercing for almost thirty years and has seen most of it - and if he hasn't seen it in person, he knows about it.  i'm lucky to be learning from someone like him.

i can always back off a bit too.  i mean, at this rate, i'd have my 1000 hours in about seven months.  which would be GREAT, but it's not a race.  i figure i'll keep plugging away like this until i've seen and performed most of the piercings, including ones i'm less confident about.  then maybe i can cut back a bit.  who knows, maybe i can take a day off every week!


so tomorrow's new year's eve.  we don't have big plans - a quiet night at home, i'm sure.  we got a nifty fondue set for the holiday so we might cheese fondue it up.  because, yum.  i'll let you know how that turns out.

and as for our 'new car'?  still in the shop, waiting for an engine.  at this point, it's been in the shop longer than it's been in our possession since we bought it.  damn it all.  at least they finally got awesome husband a loaner car.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

well, hello there.

it's been a while.  well, what... a week?  last we chatted i told you about my sisters and their soap-opera-y parental situation.

things have been hectic since then.  i haven't really 'announced' it or anything (even though i personally think it deserves announcing) but i've been asked to apprentice as a body piercer.  so yours truly will be jabbing needles through various pieces of flesh shortly.  i'm superexcited about it and think it's an awesome opportunity - and one that not everyone gets.  the piercer that's teaching me has been piercing for like 25 years, and is one of the best. 

but it's a hectic time of year to be adding to my schedule.  while i'm apprenticing, i basically want to be in the shop as much as i possibly can.  that way, i can see as many piercings as possible and learn as much as i can.  the shop is closed monday and tuesday.  so i have 20-23 hours a week for my at home facilitator job, 15ish hours a week for school, and then A LOT of time at the shop.  i try to get there wed-fri by 3pm and they're open until 8 on wed/thurs and 10 on friday.  and then like 2pm to 10pm on saturday.  and 12ish to 6 on sunday.

which adds up to... hmm...

a lot of hours.

thankfully i had much of my holiday shopping done and was able to finish up the rest online.  now i just have to wrap.

today we had first christmas at my inlaw's house.  part of the family cannot come to christmas on christmas so we had first christmas.  and we thought 4 kids were going to be there.  turns out our four nieces and nephews would be there too, and we were giving them their gifts too.  and OF COURSE i hadn't wrapped anything yet.

and we had to go pick up a loaner car first.  so it was hectic.  and i feel like i have no time to wrap presents.

the loaner car was because we bought a brand new car three weeks ago.  and it already needs a new engine.  i'm livid, but awesome husband (diesel mechanic extraordinaire) says this kind of stuff happens sometimes.  the dealership has had our brand new, less than 600 miles car for five days and still hadn't given us a loaner.  and awesome husband has to go away for school soon and i need a car here so i can, you know.  do things.  and the dealership kept fucking us around and pissing me off and whatever.  i love the new car, but i'm really a bit pissed at the dealership. 

i mean, they called us and were like 'we have a loaner now, come get it' so we go to get it (after wrapping the gifts).  and they make awesome husband wait like 20 minutes and then they say 'oh, we need to FIND THE CAR'.  like it was fucking lost?  YOU JUST TOLD US YOU HAD IT.


on top of that, i seem to have pinched a nerve or something in my shoulder?  it hurts.  a lot.  it hurts to do almost anything.  and pills don't seem to help :/  hopefully that goes away soon.  i'm thinking i may now have a valid reason to schedule a massage for monday.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

a funny old thing

one day, i'll get back to writing funny posts. 

it's not that funny stuff doesn't happen in my life any longer.  it's not that my sense of humor is drastically different.  it's just that i think about things differently, i guess. 

i had an excellent day today.  i woke up way too early and started working, only for a couple of hours.  then i showered and got ready to spend the day with reverend bobdad because my half sisters were competing (cheerleaders).  rev bobdad picked me up and we went to my first ex-stepmother's house (rev bobdad's second ex-wife.  yup.  we're counting).  we then went to the high school where the competition was being held and who is sitting in the bleachers but my ex-stepmother's sort-of husband who also happens to be the biological father of my half sisters.

yea, i know.  it's near impossible to follow.

let's try this again.

i have sisters.  twin sisters that are 15.  they were born when my dad was married to my first ex-stepmother, so they were my half sisters.  when they were 4 my first stepmother became my first EX-stepmother when she divorced my dad and quickly married her masseuse.  then when my half sisters were 8 we found out they WERE NOT my dad's children, but they were biologically the masseuse's children.  for all intents and purposes, though, they are my sisters.  we have the same dad ('dad' and 'sperm donor' are two different things), we have the same last name (i hyphenated), and they are - and will always be - my sisters.  there has been a lot of bad blood between their biological father and our rev bobdad (among other people).  the biological father-slash-masseuse is still legally married to my first ex-stepmother, but they no longer live in the same household.  my rev bobdad sees my sisters twice a week for dinner, and the biological father sees them a couple of times a month. 

if you're following, good for you.  i should write a book.

so we walk into the gym and there sits biological father-slash-asshole.  but he did save seats for ALL of us (my rev bobdad included) so that was something.  awkward, but something.

he did look me in the eye for a nanosecond when he said hello to me.  he did not look my rev bobdad in the eye.

then my rev bobdad went to get a drink, and brought back a bottle of water for each of us - including biological father-slash-asshole.  which was nice.  but they didn't, like, interact.

so we all watched my sisters perform.  and high school cheerleading competitions are a little bit like 'bring it on'.  but with no espn reporters.  and less people.  and blaque isn't there.

but, you know.  other than that, pretty much the same.

my sister's school didn't place, sadly.  but my rev bobdad, sisters, and i were all going to our favorite steakhouse afterward, so it would be okay.  right?

wrong. as soon as biological father-slash-asshole got wind of my rev bobdad doing something with the girls, he got all biological-parenty and was like, i'm taking the girls out.

so we let him have his fun and went back to first ex-stepmother's house to watch television and have a snack.  and my rev bobdad fixed her motion sensor light.  and bought stuff to recaulk one of the bathroom tubs.  and bought a new clothes hanging rod thingy for one of my sister's closets.


then they came home and we hung out for a bit and then we went to our steakhouse.  and had some steak and some fun conversation.  i remember when they were younger and were almost afraid of me.  now we talk like adults.  i love them.

we also talked a bit about the whole situation.  about how they used to think it was normal to have two dads.  they call rev bobdad 'dad' or 'daddy' and biological father-slash-asshole 'papa'.  one of my sisters told me that when first ex-stepmother (their mother, follow along please) told her that papa was their biological father, and daddy was their dad, she didn't get it.  but that was years ago.  we get it now.

i really wanted to ask what they got.  my rev bobdad was no saint, let me tell you.  he drank himself out of his first marriage (to my mom) and couldn't keep his pants on.  but faith can do strange things to a man and after he was saved (he's a born again christian.  charismatic christian.  whatever you want to call it) rev bobdad was a bit of a new man.  he has 27 years sober and is a great dad to those girls.  he was a drunken fool to me, and mostly just a fool to my brother.  but a man lives and learns (so does a woman for that matter).  i really wanted to ask my sisters if they got that, while my rev bobdad was married to first ex-stepmother, she fucked her masseuse and got pregnant with them.

like, really wanted to know if they understood that.

which is wrong.  i mean, number 1: they're 15.  number 2: you can't know your own mother's a liar.  children need to be able to love and trust their parents.  if you are told your parent is wrong or bad, it can destroy you.

blood is not always thicker than water.  my aunt proved that to me in a negative way, and my sisters prove it to me time and time again in a positive way.  i am in no way related to them - we share no blood.  they are nothing to me.

but they are my sisters.  we talked a bit about that - how blood relatives aren't always the best.  i told them how their mother - who is nothing to me, relation-wise - was more supportive to me during my mother's passing than my aunt - who is a blood relation, my mother's sister - was.  they mentioned about wanting to take their biological father-slash-asshole's name because it matches their nationalities, and i told them my last name is italian even though i'm irish, english, german, and scottish because i took my husband's last name.  names don't mean anything either.  it's not the people who share your name or your blood who are your family - it's the people who love and support you.

i think they understand it.  i think they know what their mother did, and how my rev bobdad, awesome husband, my brother, and i are NOTHING to them - nothing.  we only share a name because my father's last name is still on the birth certificates.  i think they understand more than anyone gives them credit for.  and i think they are the strongest girls i know for it. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

sunday night

my mom passed away a year ago yesterday.  i spent the night at one of my family's favorite restaurants with family members who have supported my brother, awesome husband, my father, and i since my mother's passing.  it was nice to have something fun and positive to look forward to instead of focusing on her death all day.

anyone who reads my blog may have seen a comment from my cousin on my last blog, posted on the anniversary of my mother's death.  i'm glad i didn't read it yesterday because it probably would have ruined my day.

the saying goes there are three sides to every story: yours, mine, and the truth.  this story has, like, seven fucking sides, for real.  obviously one side is the truth.  but then there's my aunt's side, her daughter's side as perceived through what her mother told her and what she witnessed.  then there's my mother's side, and my side based on what mom told me and what i witnessed.  then my brother's side based on what mom told him and what he witnessed.  and my husband's side, and my father's side, and my uncle's side.... you get the drift.

i know what i know based on long discussions with my mother, the emails my mom showed me, the emails my brother and i sent back and forth with my aunt, and facts my mother, father, and other family members have corroborated.  that is my truth.

that is all i can live in: my truth.  i can't live in someone else's truth, i can't force myself to have feelings i don't have any more than i can force my eyes to change color. 

my mother was my best friend.

i used to just think about losing her and i'd get hysterical.  i never thought i'd be able to live without her - literally, i figured i'd have to kill myself once she died because i'd have no way to go on.  she was my best friend and there was nothing we didn't talk about.

my mother was my best friend and i still don't know if i can get over her death.  and over the last year, all i've wanted is to surround myself with people who love and support me.  once people show hate, disrespect, or do whatever the opposite of supporting me is - i cannot allow them to have that kind of affect on my life.

my mother was my best friend, and today is the 366th day i've lived without her.  and to me, that's a fucking accomplishment.

i miss you mom.

mom and i on our cruise, november 2008

Friday, December 2, 2011

part six

after delivering the news to mom's brother and sister in new york, we went to my dad's brother's house for thanksgiving dinner.  much drinking was done.  we talked about mom and life and stuff.

i had been playing a strange version of phone-and-internet tag with my mom's older sister in california.  they had been close years ago but had not spoken in some months.  when mom was first in the hospital, i posted it on facebook and tried to call my aunt with no answer because i had the wrong number.  i tried to get her to email me and all she did was email me her number.  so i tried to call her and left her a message.  mom had been in the hospital for five days already and her sister finally called me back around 10pm on thanksgiving night.

a bit of background here.  no one else in the family really spoke to this aunt.  my mother's other sister and brother had their own issues with this aunt that i don't have anything to do with.  my mom, my brother, and i had always maintained a relationship with this aunt and my cousin in california.  i used to spend summers out there to hang out with my cousin (she's only six months younger than me).  my mom and this sister were close and not close over periods of their lives.  this sister was not always nice to my mom, and we'll just leave it at that for now.  but seriously - NOT NICE.  my mom had spent a year living in california with my aunt and uncle.  there are many reasons why she came back to florida, which again i won't get in to here.

still in background phase, my aunt and mother had a bit of a falling out in the spring of 2010.  we all worked from home with the same company.  i ended up starting my own company to save money (it's long and confusing, don't make me explain it.  the company we worked under took a percentage of our pay, i didn't do that in my company).  i was able to add my mother to my company as vice president and save her money too.  i told the president of our old company i was leaving, then mom told them she was leaving.  and the president of the old company contacted my aunt like 'are you leaving too?' this set my aunt off for some reason.  she emailed my mother saying she was hurt that my mom didn't tell her about this, my mom wanted to call her because she doesn't like email, my aunt refused to take her calls.  the emails went back and forth and back for weeks.  the end of it was that my mother apologized, my aunt wouldn't accept it, and my mother decided she was not going to engage my aunt any longer.  my mother decided my aunt was toxic (the same conclusion her other sister and brother had come to) and stopped talking to her.  the only contact they had after that was when my mom didn't show up online to work for a few days, my aunt emailed her to make sure she was okay.  my mom responded that she was, and that was that.  when we decided we were moving back to new york, my mom sent her a quick email to let her know and my aunt did not reply.

fast forward back to mom in ICU.  mom did not want us to tell this aunt that she was in the hospital.  mom did not want us contacting this aunt.  mom did not want this aunt to come or call or anything.  my mom's friend and i convinced her that we should let this aunt know - i mean, they were sisters.  so i had tried to contact her.

and on thanksgiving night, she finally called me back.  it was after 10pm EST and we were done with dessert. i had had a couple of drinks and we were all sitting around the table, just bullshitting, when my phone rang.  i took it into one of the bedrooms to have some privacy.

i told my aunt that my mother had stage IV metastatic lung cancer that had invaded her spleen, liver, and brain.  i told my aunt that my mother had been sleeping for a day and that they told me not to bother flying back to florida.  i told my aunt that my mother was dying.

my aunt told me that she 'doesn't do funerals'.

there was more to the conversation: my aunt telling me that my mother would only want comfort care, my aunt telling me that she knew what my mother wanted, my aunt telling me that she talked to my mother about this, my aunt telling me that she knew my mother best.

i didn't really register most of it past 'i'm not coming out because i don't do funerals'.

she never asked how WE were doing, my brother and i.  she never asked if WE NEEDED HER.  she only told me that she knew what my mother wanted, she only tried to make me feel like i wasn't doing what was right.  she told me to tell my mother 'if she wants me, i'm here but if not, then go with god'.

my mother was lying in ICU, dying at 56.  i was 30 years old, on thanksgiving night, having just told my mother's entire living family that my mother was dying.  and my fucking aunt told me 'i don't do funerals' and 'if your mother wants me, i'm here, but if not, then go with god'.

i never told my mother that we called this aunt.  i didn't want to upset her.

i have always tried to live by a motto of sorts: no remorse, no regret.  what's done is done and we cannot change it.  but if there is anything in this life that i might regret, it's answering the fucking phone that thanksgiving night and engaging my aunt.  because this started months - MONTHS - of bullshit back and forth between this aunt, myself, and my brother.  this begun MONTHS of fighting over money and possessions, MONTHS of this aunt holding money over my brother's and my heads to try and get things that she wanted that were my mothers.

i took a long time thinking about this post and trying to figure out what to write.  i know some family members read my blog.  and my blog is semi-anonymous, so anyone can read it and if they know me, they know who i'm talking about.  including this aunt or her daughter, my cousin, whom i've tried to maintain a relationship with.

thankfully, after i got off the phone with this aunt my other aunt (dad's sis-in-law) had a large bottle of bailey's for us to enjoy.  and enjoy it we did.

i was glad awesome husband had flown up thanksgiving morning.  we stayed at his parents house, and i cannot express in words what it meant to have him holding me that night.

black friday was the next day.  usually i'd go to the mall to make fun of people shopping, or do a teeny bit of my own shopping.  instead i spent the day at the hospital - the last full day we'd be at the hospital.  because mom was going to be moved to the palliative care unit and then, hopefully, they'd have a bed for her at a local hospice.