Archive for May, 2010

I’ll Call Tomorrow

My mother has been telling my brother and me that she will call the doctor tomorrow to schedule her biopsy. She’s been telling us this for a week. I’ve been talking to my brother daily since we’ve been taking turns calling mom to see if she scheduled her appointment. Every day she tells us she just couldn’t make the call. Yesterday my brother told my mother he would make the appointment for her but she promised to call on Tuesday. My brother and I both doubt she will call. My SIL, who is a nurse, talked my mom off the ledge earlier in the week. My mother told me she was relieved after talking to my SIL. Yesterday my SIL had another talk with my mother and told her she can choose to do nothing and wait to see what happens. My mother told me she is so thankful for the SIL’s calls. My SIL has the balls to tell my mother what my brother and I can’t muster the courage to do. Not knowing has turned my mother into an emotional wreck yet she can’t bring herself to call the doctor. She probably knows that she will have to face her deepest fear, dying of cancer.

This is really tough. It’s hard to know when to step in. My brother and SIL have been great. My sister on the other hand has been less than helpful and offers no emotional support to my mother. I want to call my sister and rip her a new one but I’ve accepted the fact she needs professional psychiatric help and it will do no good to go off on her.

Last night K and I were in Tiffany buying a graduation gift. I sent my SIL a charm bracelet to thank her for giving my mother emotional support. My SIL collects charm bracelets so she can add another one to her collection. Plus it makes buying birthday and holiday presents easy. I’ve continued my tradition of spending money when I don’t know what else to do. I have such a hard time with emotions. It’s so much easier to send a gift with a card rather than speak directly even when I’m thankful. Perhaps I’m the one that needs a therapist.

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He’s Home

K came home last night. He’ll be home until Tuesday. He took a vacation day today. He’s out working in the yard. I’m working from home today.

Cindi stayed at our house last night. She flew in from Des Moines last night and arrived at our house around 10:30. She left this morning at six to fly to Durango, CO. Her company is doing a wedding on a ranch. The couple will be wed in their hay field on the banks of the Animas River.

We plan on going to the Downtown Arts Festival this weekend. Kate McGuinness, Jean Smith and Kit Karbler and many others will be selling their wares. It should be a lot of fun.

I also want to drag K by the Spark Gallery to see the Madeleine Dodge show.

It’s time to get back to work. I have a ton of testing to do.

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Another Work SNAFU

It’s a tough week at work. I’m having a hard time staying focused. I keep thinking about my mother. To make matters worse the end of the development and testing cycle is nearing and everyone is on edge. Everyone is bitchy, men included.

On top of all of this there are major problems with a product that is due to go out the door in two weeks. It has caused havoc at work. I was testing the new product software and asked a peer a question about SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) functionality in relation to the new product. Another peer overheard the conversation and asked to look at the software load I was testing. The code matched the engineering specifications but major problems were discovered. The product manager gave the sales and technical community product information that did not match what the software engineer was given. The product will not perform like the sales and technical community are expecting. There’s a huge potential for a product to be shipped that will be under engineered. To make matters even worse the product launch has already been announced globally. There has been a flurry of emails with each party involved trying to blame another party. I’m trying to lay low and stay out of the fray. I hope they remember to not shoot the messenger.

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A Bumpy Road Ahead

I’ve been delaying writing this post for almost a week. It’s much easier to write about the unimportant things in my life like dinner parties, shopping and gardening.

The day after I returned home from visiting my parents in St. Louis my mother received some unfortunate news from her doctor. The doctor found a nodule on her lungs and she needed to have a CT scan. The nodule was discovered on an x-ray that was taken while she was in the hospital. My mother didn’t ask why this wasn’t discovered while she was in the hospital. That will remain a mystery. The CT scan revealed two spots on her lungs, one the size of a walnut, the other a little larger. The next step is a biopsy. My mother is scared and is a nervous wreck. She’s been crying for days. My mother has always been afraid the she would die from cancer and now it looks like she may have lung cancer. Her fear of cancer never stopped her from smoking. In fact, after being in the hospital for twelve days she started smoking as soon as she was released.

The biopsy has not been scheduled because the preferred doctor has a three month waiting list. Other alternative doctors are being researched. This is all very difficult for my mother. The waiting to know is making her sick. She’s not eating and can’t sleep.

It’s tough to be so far away. Thankfully we had a good visit even though my sister caused some unwanted drama. I will probably be going back more often. My mother is eighty three years old, has a horrible diet and does no physical activity other than light house cleaning. She’s not emotionally or physically prepared for cancer treatments. I hope that the spots are not cancer but the reality is that they probably are. It looks like there are some difficult times ahead.

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More Stuff

A woman from Neiman Marcus called yesterday to remind me of their upcoming sale and offered me the opportunity to attend the pre-sale event so I could select items before the sale . Perhaps I’m spending too much money on clothes.

Cindi came over for dinner last night. I fixed roasted shrimp salad, cod with artichokes and chickpeas and banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting for desert. Cindi brought a bottle of wine and made the salad dressing for the salad. It turned out to be a yummy meal. We had a good time catching up on recent events. Cindi, unlike Patty, calls and checks in every week.

After dinner we were sitting on the patio and a heron flew overhead. Not a good sign for the fish in the pond. After Cindi left I went to Home Depot and bought a net to put over the pond. K would be sad if the heron ate his fish while he was away.

It’s time to end this post. I have some garden chores that I want to get done today.

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Art Night

I had a great time gallery hopping last night on Santa Fe. My first stop was Kara’s gallery, Vertigo, where I found William, a friend from the gym, gallery sitting. Kara had a very interesting show but the pieces were expensive.

My next stop was Spark to check out the Madeleine Dodge show. Madeleine was sharing the main gallery space with Susan Rubin while Sue Simon and Patricia Aaron had a show in the north gallery. All of the art was great but Madeleine’s work blew me away. Madeleine’s pieces were hand painted abstracts color studies on steel boxes. The muted jewel tone colors were calming and rich but with a hint of excitement. I talked with Madeleine about her technique. She told me all of the pieces were created while she was listening to a CD with the Dalai Lama chanting. I told her I was interested in buying a piece but needed to bring K in to see the show next weekend. Madeleine said she would bring the pieces by our house after the show closed so we could see which ones worked best. She also said she wanted to see the piece K commissioned hanging on the wall. We made tentative plans for Madeleine to come over for lunch or dinner. Sue Simon’s work was stellar as usual. Sue and I chatted for a while about her work. There were a few pieces I would like to have but I would rather have one of Madeleine’s. Perhaps K will buy one on Sue’s join the others he has hanging in his office.

I stopped by many of the other galleries and saw some great art and some not so great art. I ran into Dana Cain, a local art event promoter, who told me to check out the show at Kanon Gallery and to stop by the VSA benefit show at Access Gallery. I loved the Jeff Erwine sculptures at Kanyon. I found two pieces that would be great to have in the garden. I also stopped by the benefit and bought a small Mark Friday piece. VSA arts of Colorado is creating a world where people with disabilities have the opportunity to learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts. I couldn’t take the Mark Friday piece home until 8:45 so I went back to Spark to look at Madeleine’s work again. I ran into Jean Smith, another favorite artist, who told me Mark Friday was having a show down the street. I picked up my piece at the benefit and then checked out the Mark Friday show. Mark was a sharing the space with Deborah Jang, a sculptor whose work I first saw at the Ice Cube gallery last year. I told Mark I bought his piece at the benefit down the street but didn’t know about his show at the time. They both had some great pieces.

It was time to call it a night. I went home and hung the Mark Friday piece and a Sue Simon piece I bought at the same benefit two years ago in the family room. They are the same size and look great together. I watched the final episode of the Pacific on demand the then went to bed. It was a fun night. I only wish K was home to share it with me.

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I had dinner at Tom and Sheila’s last night. Our mutual friend, Don G, was there too. We looked pictures of their recent trip to Lima, Bogota, and the Galápagos Islands. The pictures of Machu Pichu were so beautiful. Sheila was sporting new turquoise and silver jewelry she picked up on the trip. Sheila served the most wonderful crab enchiladas with blue corn tortillas.

I hadn’t seen Ferdinand since last Friday when I was leaving for St. Louis. Crazy Barb told me he had come over for breakfast a few times. She agreed to put him in the garage and lock the pet door if she saw him. Last night when I came home from work he was sitting in his bed in the garage. Crazy Barb had given Ferdinand a piece of sausage from McDonalds to enjoy. He was probably staying at a neighbor’s house. I went to PetSmart to buy him his sixth collar and ID tag.

K comes home next Thursday. He’s been away for five weeks. He’ll be home for four days and then goes back to Missouri for a few more weeks.

It’s been a rough week at work. It seems like all I do is reject the software loads. It’s as if the developers are not even trying to write the code correctly. I was exhausted when I got home last night. I took a half hour nap before going to Tom and Sheila’s for dinner.

There seems to be an explosion of houses for sale in our neighborhood. 5280 magazine listed our neighborhood as one of the best places to live in Denver. House prices appreciated 8% last year.

Madeleine Dodge has a show opening at Spark tonight. K and I have several of her pieces. I’m looking forward to stopping by the gallery to see her new work

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More Family Drama

My mother is having a CT scan of her lungs today. The doctor’s office called her yesterday to inform her of a suspicious spot on her lungs. She’s been out of the hospital for two weeks. It’s unclear why it took so long to call her. I talked to my mother last night and described my experiences with CT scans. She seemed to be a little relieved. My mother has always been afraid she would lose her life to cancer yet she has smoked for sixty plus years and continues to smoke despite being forced to quite for the twelve days she was in the hospital. I just can’t seem to get away from the family drama.

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I’m emotionally drained from the weekend. I left the house on Friday afternoon at three and got back to the house on Sunday night at ten. It was a good trip overall. I think my mother’s recent health problems scared her. She was nice all weekend. My dad behaved too. He didn’t use the “N” word once. It was my sister that caused all the drama.

Being around my sister was enough to make me realize I never want to see her again. She has turned into a strange woman. It reinforced my opinion that she needs professional psychiatric help.

On Saturday my sister met us for lunch at the Boathouse in Forest Park. It was a cool and rainy day. She arrived around noon after a three and a half hour drive. She was to drop her cat off at the kennel at seven. I was wondering why it took five and half hours to get to St. Louis. Later she told a lame story about not being able to catch the cat. I let it go.

When she arrived I was shocked at her appearance. She has gained a lot of weight and was dressed like a butch lesbian in a pull over sports jersey that zipped up the side, acid washed jean shorts, white socks and running shoes. I didn’t expect her to show up looking like she stepped out of Vogue but she could have worn something a little nicer.

She walked up to us and just started talking. I don’t even remember what she was saying. She looked right at me and made eye contact but she didn’t say hello. I was shocked. I hadn’t seen her in ten years and she didn’t even say hello. I walker over said hello and gave her a hug. I introduced her to K. She said hi to K and went back to telling her story. I wanted to slap the bitch. I’ve been with K for seventeen years and all she could muster was one word. I let it go.

We had a good lunch. My parents seemed to enjoy themselves. During lunch my sister would make statements that were unrelated to the conversation at the table. It was so strange. It was as if she wanted attention. K picked up the tab for lunch. Everyone thanked K but my sister.

Later that evening we hung out at my brother’s house. Again, my sister would make statements that were unrelated to the conversations. She didn’t ask K or me any questions and didn’t seem to be interested in anything going on in our lives. When K tried to engage my sister in conversation she ignored him or changed the subject. She was so rude. My sister would make statements about people we didn’t know. For example, she said,” Bob says the best fried chicken is at KFC.” Who the hell is Bob? Nobody ever heard of him. I asked, “Who is Bob?” She looked at me with anger in her eyes, paused, and then explained he was a former co-worker. She did this all day. At one point she started talking about conversations in chat rooms. She said she was in a chat room on Friday with a ten year old Belgium girl. It was one in the morning in Belgium time. I was horrified. Why was my sister in chat room with a ten year old? I asked what website she was on and she replied, “Just a website”. I then asked what type of chat room and she changed the subject. My sister did this all evening. She would make statement and when I asked for details or clarifications she would change the subject. I found this so strange. Why would she talk about something and then change the subject when I wanted to clarify what she was talking about? Every time this happened she would shoot me a dirty look. She acted like a child in a room full of adults who is starved for attention.

At the end of the evening my sister was really upset when she found out she had to drive my parents home. My brother and sil had picked them up in the morning since my sister was not expected in town until late morning. My sister was staying at my parent’s house but didn’t want to drive them home. She expected one of us to make the two hour roundtrip schlep to get my parents home. After some convincing she drove my parents home.

Sunday was worse. We met at the Delmar Loop shopping area to browse the shops. My mother was telling us how my sister missed a highway exit two times while driving my parents home but finally got it on the third try. I thought it was funny but sister cussed and stormed off. A few minutes later she rejoined the group and acted like nothing happened. Our next stop was the St. Charles historic area. We decided to leave my parents car in a parking lot and my brother and K would drive. My sister refused to ride with my brother because she said he is poor driver despite the fact he has never had a car accident. She was finally convinced to ride with my brother so my parents could spend time with me in the car.

We had a nice lunch at a winery with a menu with plenty of healthy options. I paid for lunch and everyone thanked me except for my sister.

After lunch my sister stated complaining about an upset stomach. I told her I was sorry she was not feeling well. Her upset stomach was caused by the bacon on her chicken sandwich and the greasy homemade potato chips she had for lunch. She informed me that greasy foods upset her stomach. I refrained from asking her why she ordered these items if they were going to upset her stomach when there were many non greasy healthy choices. I bit my tongue because I knew it would cause drama that I wanted to avoid.

In mid afternoon my sister suddenly announced it was going to take her eight hours to drive home. Her comment perplexed me because the conversation at time was not about driving home and I couldn’t understand how a three and a half hour trip was going to take eight hours. I inquired why. Once again she gave me a dirty look before responding. She said she just threw up and would be throwing up all the way home. She then went on the explain that she has mild pancreatitis that was caused by a gall stone the doctor didn’t remove when she had her gall bladder removed six years ago. After a few more questions it was revealed that she passed the gall stone but was still suffering from pancreatitis. Later my sil, who is a nurse, informed me my sister has not seen a doctor since her gall bladder was removed and the gall stone and pancreatitis are self diagnosed. It was just another desperate cry for attention.

I could go on and on but you get the point. My sister is a hypochondriac who has a desperate need for attention. She communicates information about her life that is not pertinent to the ongoing conversation and then gets defense when questions are asked about her statements. She must be a desperate lonely unhappy person. She needs to get professional help. Until she does I never want to be around her again.

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I’m sad, perplexed, confused and angry about the trip to see my parents this weekend. I dressed up today for work to try and put myself in a better mood. I wore my new brown Italian wingtip shoes with leather soles that I got for next to nothing at DSW. When I walk across the granite floors in the building the shoes make a distinct tapping sound that only come from leather soles. I’m trying to concentrate on the beautiful things in life. I think my shoes are beautiful. I find myself looking down at them now and then hoping they will inspire me to find the motivation to get through this day.

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