Friday, June 30, 2006


No wonder I'm nuts and have no patience. I blame it on my family. Maybe it's genetic.
My 77 year old uncle had open heart surgery yesterday. The surgery was to replace a porcine valve that was put in 19 years ago. It has been replaced by a bovine valve. (So he's kosher again!) The old valve was supposed to last 8 or 9 years, so the fact that it kept going for 19 years is pretty good. Even still, it's unsettling to think about a guy his age going in for such a major surgery. I have to admit I had a hard time getting to sleep last night wondering if everything went okay.
The news this afternoon was that my uncle's doing even better than his doctor anticipated he'd be doing at this point. They may have even already moved him out of the ICU. My dad's going down to Boston for a visit tomorrow.
Today at lunch my dad told me a story about the last time my uncle had heart surgery and my dad went to visit him a couple of days later. He said my uncle got out of bed, put on his robe and started walking out of his room. A nurse saw him and asked him what in the world he thought he was doing. "I'm going to lunch with my brother!" was his reply. Being as that he was just a couple of days post-op, she yelled at him and made him get back into bed. He and my dad got a big kick out of the whole thing.
I can almost picture me doing the same thing 30 or 40 years from now, but the line will be "I"m going to breakfast with my sister!."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Another Addition to my Bag of Tricks

This week I finished up courses numbers seven and eight (family law and business law) of the 10-course paralegal certificate I'm pursuing. I'm not certain, but I'll probably get grades in the B to A- range for them. That's good enough for me. In grad school, where I majored in the oh-so-marketable field of Japanese classical literature, I had a 4.0 average. Now as a teacher, I think that's friggin ridiculous and pretty well shows I was an obsessive perfectionist with no life outside of school.
I've got a full ten days off before the last term of paralegal classes start. I'm down to working just two part-time jobs these days. I think I may actually be learning how to relax and enjoy myself.Oh, the horror! ;)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Vent Minor

Now that the trial is done I guess I have some leeway to bitch about my ex in this oh-so-public forum. He testified in court that he makes $8,000 a year net. I just spoke to my girl, who is with her father this evening, and she told me he just recetnly got a $600 massage chair. And the foot massage attachment will be coming next week. That's quite a luxury to blow 10% of your annual income on.
I hope it was as obvious to the judge as it was to me that he was lying his ass off about more than money up there on the stand.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sting Me

Yesterday morning, as I was about to take my girl and a couple of her cohorts to the library on the first full day of summer vacation, I ran up onto the back porch to grab a bottle of water from the cooler that is out there due to the barbecue we had here on Father's Day. On my way back down the stairs I felt a searing pain at the base omy my achilles tendon on my right leg. It felt like it was literally burning, but when I looked there was nothing there. I ouched myself back over to the car and looked down to see a big red dot on the back of my leg. One of the wasps or hornets or whatever those damn stupd flying stingbots are had stung me.
My leg swelled up around the sting and it hurt for a while, but not enough to stop us from going on with our plans. Now it's over 24 hours later and now the inside of my right ankle is red, swollen, warm and itchy. WebMD says it should go away in a week at the latest.

Friday, June 16, 2006

And The Day After? How Do You Feel?

I feel about 175 pounds lighter.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Congratulations! Your divorce trial is done. What do you do next?

I go home, throw in a load of laundry and pour myself a drink. It's in the home stretch now.
So how's the body count? Two years. Many thousands of dollars. Two and a half days in court. Many tears and restless nights. And now left up to the judge who will most likely come up with a decree that will be no more palatable to either of us than if we had done what I suggested two years ago, which was to mediate a settlement and be done with it. Ah, but he wanted to suffer and play the martyr. Which he did. I think all his testimony did was prove why after working my ass off to support him and take his orders for 14 years I decided I'd had enough.
Oh, but it's going to be sweet once I have that decree that legally declares I am no longer his wife. Maybe then he'll finally realize I was never his property to begin with.

A Bad Dad

I was doing some grocery shopping at Shaw's yesterday. As I was waiting in line at the register I noticed the dad in line ahead of me shoplifted a big jar of Planter's peanuts. There was a toddler in the toddler sized plastic car thing attached to the front of his shopping cart. There was also an infant in a car seat perched in the wire seat where little kids used to sit before they came up with the shopping carts that look like big playground toys. The dad had a basket full of family food and the jar of peanuts wedged into the right side of the wire seat, on the side of the car seat furthest from the cashier. The man chit chatted with the young cashier as she rang up his merchandise. He had his arm draped over the top of the car seat and his body positioned sideways, facing the cashier and blocking any view she might have had of the peanuts. From my perspective standing behind him, the jar with its bright yellow cap was very easy to see. I thought about chiming in with an "Oh sir! You forgot an item in your cart." But I didn't. When I got out into the parking lot I saw their car parked across the row. The kids were in the car and the dad was putting the groceries into the trunk. I noticed the jar of peanuts was nowhere in sight.
Why would someone go to the supermarket, spend over $100 on groceries and then shoplift a $3 jar of peanuts? Especially with two small children in tow. I don't get it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Chipmunk Attack

The dog and I were out for a walk this morning. It was already about 9:30 and past being the cool part of the day, but it's so nice to see the sun after all the rain we've had lately. We made it safely past the house where the big German Shepard lives without incident. Well, we always make it by the house, but she hadn't come running out barking her big deep bark, scaring my not-so-brave pup into running fast, wide circles around me. His ability to run away quickly is really about his only superior skill.
Anyway, we were past that house and around a corner when a chipmunk ran close by the dog and then stopped. The dog decided to go after it, since it was small and close. The chipmunk started to run off toward a tree in a yard and then apparently thought I was a closer tall object on which to climb to safety, so it changed direction and came running past the dog and straight at my foot. I let out a loud and pathetic "EEK!" and hopped away, trying not to step on the stupid little rodent. Then it ran past me, looped back and ran by me again before scampering off across someone's lawn. I think at that point the dog had stopped trying to catch the chipmunk and just watched the whole incident. I took a minute to get over my adrenalin spike in fear of the little critter. (What if it was rabid!?) We turned another corner and my dog fled to the end of his leash in terror to avoid the wrath of a fluffy yellow pomeranian that came charging at full yap, offended that my buddy had dared walk past its driveway.


I'm not sure which downstairs neighbor, the woman who rented the place or her boyfriend who moved in a couple of weeks later, has the drinking problem, but one of them left the plastic wrap seal from what must be a pretty hefty sized bottle of Absolut on top of my washing machine this morning. Maybe whoever did it felt there wasn't enough room for it on top of her machine since it has had a garbage bag filled with mildewed clothes sitting on it for the past three weeks.

Friday, June 09, 2006

To Be Continued

Day two of the trial is done and we still need to go back for a few more hours toward the end of next week. After a two hour delay, I spent the rest of the day on the witness stand yesterday and maybe another twenty or thirty minutes today. It wasn't fun but in a way it was easier than sitting and listening to some of the other testimony I heard that did not get the facts straight. Some things really drove home why I filed for this divorce in the first place, but it's a little surreal to hear the facts uttered out loud rather than just in my head where they usually reside. It gave me a more objective look at the whole situation and how misguided I was from the very start to have jumped into a marriage to someone from a culture I didn't really understand and after such a brief courtship (5 months from meeting to marriage). I look back at my 25 year old self and wonder "Why didn't anyone stop me? Why didn't anyone question me?" Actually, some good friends did but I was too foolish to listen. I had no idea what marriage really meant and neither did my oh-so-soon-to-be ex. The whole 16 years it's like there was never a consciousness of "ours". There was "mine" and "yours". That's not what marriage means. That kind of thinking is just a recipe for constant power struggles and competition. It's certainly not a recipe for happiness and contentment. It's nice to see that the end to the struggle that was this marriage is in sight. There will undoubtedly be more scrapping along the way with issues concerning our girl, but at least the ex will have to stop acting like he has the right to treat me like I am somehow his property. He just hates the idea that I can and have exercised my own free will.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Tomorrow is the big day, my divorce trial. It's been a long time coming. I'm not looking forward to having to get up and testify, but I've done my homework and I've been honest about my finances, which is more than I can say for the other party.
Any and all good thoughts sent my way will be most appreciated.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Scenes of a Lost Civilization

Yesterday an old friend came up to visit and brought my old super 8 projector and all the rolls of film we shot in college in our filmmaking classes. I spent last night watching some of them. Some of them have sound tracks, but most don't. Most of them are really pretty bad if not downright embarrassing. Especially the ones a girl friend and I made together composed of a lot of slow closeups of us drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and wearing hats.
When J called me to tell me he had unearthed the films and projector in the flow of our conversation he remarked that he can't even connect anymore to who he was then. I wasn't really sure what he meant because I thought I still could. Now that I've seen some of my "work" I agree to some extent. Did I really think that was anything approaching art or even plain old entertainment? It's only entertaining in retrospect to see how young we all were and how what we thought was so cool was really so silly.