Where did the time go?
I had everything planned out, day to day. I followed the plan. I still have hundreds (so it feels like at least) items I want to do/need to do left in the four days before I leave for the Grand Masquerade. It is time for triage.
I have already had to ditch the idea of sewing a brand new costume, and there is no way I’ll have a mask finished (or room for it in my baggage).
I have to hunt down all my SCA garb and wash it, because that is what I am going to end up having to put together an outfit from for the Succubus party.
The Celiac Disease is kicking my ass, taking a large chunk of time and energy to get things done.
My aunt is moving in with us – it has been an ongoing ordeal for awhile. I will probably end up being in New Orleans when they finally do the actual move.
I’d like to get rid of the grey in my hair, do my nails, and do some henna tattoos as well in lieu of getting costuming done (sokay, I have a freezer full of henna powder and readymade paste).
I have some documents that I’d like to create for my games at New Orleans, but I don’t know if I’ll have the money to print them up, so they are regulated to a wish, not a need at this point.
I have to sort through all the gaming supplies and figure out what to bring and what is going to stay home, and then figure out how much space I have left for things like clothing and personal essentials (like a hair-brush and deodorant). Then I get to see if I can cram in some costuming and make-up and an extra pair of shoes.
Friends are leaving for an unexpected trip due to a family emergency, so the husband has been asked to take care of their dog while they are gone – giving him less time to help me out.
Hard to tell if the panic I feel is due to a normal panic attack, or the adrenaline rush of gearing up for a fantastic event.
Pardon me while I take a few minutes to hyperventilate in a corner.
What an interesting weekend and I do mean that in that old Chinese proverb sort of way.
Friday was a lazy, uneventful day, as most days are around here.
Saturday started off much the same way. However, every joint and bone and muscle in my body hurt that I could not even get the top off the Advil bottle. It soon became apparent why I was sweating and hurting, a big storm was brewing. The humidity rose making the day decidedly uncomfortable, and like many of the arthritis sufferers I know a rise in humidity also makes for a painful day.
Then the storm broke. It was awesome: rain, wind roaring, dust-storm blowing, thunder, and lightning, everything that a monsoon is supposed to be. Tree stayed up right too, we don’t dare remove its supports we had to put up when it fell over earlier in the year. We were making sure all the animals were inside and taken care of when I noticed I’m getting wet — inside the house.
“Oh fuck me, not again,” is what went through my head. I look up, sure enough; water was running down the side of the stairwell and landing on top of me as I was standing at the bottom just ready to go up.
Yep, another fucking leak.
Flash back to the leak earlier this year… it totally caved in the roof of our walk in closet.
This is what the side of our house looked liked the morning after that storm in February. This is what the park down the street looked like, and while it’s deceptive from the photo, that water is 3 feet deep (they build run-offs like this into every housing community for just this purpose). And these three pictures: 1, 2 and 3 is what the front of my house looked like when the tree fell over. Across the street, another tree down and down the street a-ways, yet another tree down (you can see it covering the sidewalk down there).
We were so focused on the tree that day, and the next… and we rarely go into our closet which is mainly storage; imagine our horror when we found this:
I quite think in retrospect, that “Oh fuck me, not again” was a rather mild way to put it. We do rent right now, but we very much empathize with our land-lord, he’s a great guy. Thankfully he has housing insurance.
Right before the discovery of the leak, we were all counting our blessings. We are barely making it. We have cut out a lot of extras, even WoW. The only entertainment we can afford right now is Netflix and the cable internet package (minus the TV aspect – which is okay, Netflix and Hulu cover all our needs – on our weird ass schedule). So, when a co-worker offered to give us what he was cleaning out of his pantry, it was a blessing. We have been getting a few food boxes the past couple of months to help make ends meet. I hope that sooner rather than later, we’ll be able to pay that forward to someone else.
So, all said and done, the bills are paid, there is food in the pantry, the last few dollars are going into the gas tank to get the husband to and from work. We can deal with a small leak in the roof.
Then the phone rings.
Now, at this point I should mention my husband’s profession. Friends and family already know what he does, so it will not come as a surprise, but for the one or two of you that might stumble upon this blog that do not know, he’s a Correctional Officer for the State of Arizona. He has been there for eight years, going on nine now.
It was another co-worker. This is what I hear my husband say on our end:
“No dude, I’m okay. Why?”
“Oh, no, I’m fine. Really?”
“Six officers taken by ambulance to the hospital?”
“Oh, no, I’m not on DART. It didn’t happen on days, must have been swing.”
That is when this little switch I installed in my brain got turned to off. That switch is the kill switch to the panic and worry I feel on those days that I am reminded of the conditions my husband works in. It’s not like I don’t forget. It’s not like I automatically know when he’s supposed to be home every single day. It’s not like I have a mental time-table worked out on how long he can be kept at work for things like a transport, the turnaround time to get back to the unit and get a ride home. There is a magic time that happens during the day that I allow myself the panic and worry that I have not heard from him and when I will call his unit. I have never had to do so, and I hope that I never will. I simply choose not to worry about things that are ultimately out of my control.
So today, he comes home from work and I get the full version. It’s not a pretty picture. The officers are alive; one severely injured enough to require surgery. I wish I could relate his stories in more detail, but that’s against the rules. Let’s just leave it at another day at work in a place where even police officers refuse to go most of the time.
I did tweak out a bit the day he told me someone tried to shank him but missed.
I held him while he cried the day he came home early after being the principle officer that saved another officer’s life.
I have waited as patiently as I could for blood-tests to come back after he’s been thrown on, so many times now that I have lost track.
And my husband is one of the good ones. An officer that has made it eight years without compromising his ideals of right and wrong; an officer that does his job as listed without being a dick or an ass or a cunt to the inmates; an officer that is frequently being called in to help put out fires without starting any… and this is still a reality for him, and for our family.
So today, I just played Diablo II; took some time off from the computer until now; spent time with my family; spent time with my husband after dinner. It was subtle, but it is how I express my worry and concern.
Later tonight I will be making sure the house doesn’t embarrass me to have strangers in it- which is pretty much just getting the dishes done, sweeping downstairs, making sure the counters are cleaned off, and the cat-boxes are not stinky. Then Diablo II again for awhile.
Something soothing about defeating evil right now…
PS: We managed to save the tree much to the amusement of our neighbors who came out to see the crazy people attempting it. At the end of the day, the tree stood upright again, minus a good portion of its branches. Today, it needs a good trimming, and it’s only been six months.
The last entry was a bit terse towards the end, and for that I apologize. Towards the end of writing it, my daughter was stung by a scorpion and I had to step away to take care of her. The post became good enough at that point.
She’s doing alright, but if the muscle spasms continue or get worse past this hour, that means a trip to the ER to make sure she’s not having a severe reaction.
While I wait and watch her, I’ve pulled out the components for my Grand Masquerade outfit that I am putting together for the black tie formal event at the Succubus Club.
In all candor, I’m very overweight at this point in my life. The fact that my lovely daughter wears my first corset is at times, emotionally painful to me. However, the subject of my weight ties in with health issues, and will be addressed in future posts.
I have some lovely dresses and costumes despite my weight, but the problem does not actually rest in the waist, but in the chest. I have always been well endowed, and it has always been a problem when choosing clothing. Over the years, I have gotten quite good at obfuscating them unless I am in an environment where people will still be able to tell me the color of my eyes the next day.
So the debate on how to put together my costume basically boils down to: flaunt them or not.
A part of me wants to say, fuck it, and flaunt them, full sails set with a bodice. Their sheer size however, makes that the vulgar option.
Most of me wants to be classy and refined for a number of reasons, including the fact that I am going as a representative of White Wolf and should be professional in all that I do. Not to mention, I would give our team alpha a heart-attack if I did otherwise.
Some of the issues that I am pondering include the mask that I’m making. I was dead set on a gargoyle mask. I have the horns ready to attach and the plans all drawn up. A gargoyle mask however, does not quite fit with any of the outfits that I have on hand – at least not without a lot of modification.
What it is basically boiling down to is embracing my Nosferatu – Cleopatra side, or the Toreador in me.
Today I felt the wonderful storm deep in my bones and joints. My hip aches making it difficult to walk, let alone attempt the stairs more than necessary.
The storm was quite interesting. Looking out into the backyard, I had to twist my neck a bit to see the storm cloud that was over my house because otherwise, it was nothing but blue skies and sunshine. The grey brick walls were only slightly sprinkled with rain which they soaked up almost immediately leaving almost no trace of the moisture. Above, the thunder was strong enough to rattle the windowpanes.
Hum, I thought, and moved to the front of the house and opened up the front door then immediately shut it. It was raining buckets and in the space of a few seconds, the front of the yard and the street were literally flooded. Ah, I thought to myself, I need to go rescue the tortoise from out back because of how bad it is, and his type does not do well with a lot of moisture. When I get back there, I see only sunshine and blue skies and the tortoise looking at me expectantly for his lunch.
It only takes a few seconds from the back door to the front door. I go back to the front door, open it, and shut it again. Yep, still raining buckets. I pause in the kitchen, midway between the two points, grab some vegetables for the tortoise and feed him when I step out back. Yep again, still fairly dry.
I amused myself for the next ten minutes or so standing in the middle of the house looking out the front window then the back patio door.
Rain, wind, thunder, lightning and dark, ominous clouds on one side… blue skies and sunshine the other side.
I can be easily amused at times, I admit.
Although I also admit, it was absolutely perfect weather for me. I had a raging storm and bright sunshine, all at once. It just depended on if I went out the front door or the back. The only downside to this is that I feel the damp in my joints and bones. The only consolation to that is that this is a temporary situation (or should be) and that once a few things happen, most of my health issues will resolve itself.
Meanwhile, I still have a smile on my face as I think: front, back, front, back. I foresee this little weather phenomena working its way into a game session at some point.
Speaking of games, I wrote up and send in my second proposal today for an SAS for White Wolf. I did so while I am still on a high and glowing from GenCon – meaning that I had the courage to do so.
With GenCon behind us, the Grand Masquerade draws neigh and one that the few of us that get to go to are looking forward to. However, that is not the only convention in our future, as we are also doing RinCon which is only a few weeks after the Grand Masquerade.
Another one of the Wrecking Crew mentioned the word podcast today. I had already been thinking about it, and to be honest, doing this blog is just a precursor to other projects I had in mind – like a podcast. It is good to know that I’m not the only member of the Crew thinking along similar lines.
The potential and possibilities ahead of me make me smile. Not the same smile that the front-back weather though, that one is more along the lines of someone in need of serious mental help.