Text 17 Feb February 17th, 2012

I have not been very productive since November. I think, though, that I have perhaps almost made up for it today.

This week I rented a dumpster, and one of my uncles came down from Massachusetts to help me clear out the house. The 30 yd dumpster that holds up to 4 tons of shit is now dangerously close to being full.

We destroyed the basement. There is so much space! It could be renovated into a private apartment! The attic next to my room is now basically empty, except for all the dust and bits of wood. I could not breathe in that room anymore, so I’ll let someone else finish actually cleaning it. Hopefully professionals with face masks.

The most exciting part of today was that we ripped the carpets out of the living room. There are such gorgeous, beautiful, non-stained destroyed hardwood floors underneath. They aren’t that pretty, but to I have hated those pissed on carpets with every fiber of my being for years. I have dreamed of a day when I could have people over and not worry about the revolting black spots on that atrocious pink carpet, and I have been so embarrassed by them that I haven’t asked people to come over. And now, one whole room is free of them. 

It looks like success. I cried.

I also paid my student loans down, we’re getting the taxes done tomorrow, and I’m going to call two realtors. We’re going to tackle the computer room and my mom’s closet tomorrow. And then, and then, the house is clean. There’s a lot of stuff to pack up, and it’s not really down, but it’s moving packing, not getting the house ready to show packing. Or it will be. 

Oh god, this is going to end someday.

Text 25 Nov November 25th, 2011

I realized that I have completed something that was perhaps not on my original to do list: be happy. For some reason, I have felt resilient and unfazed by the more negative aspects of life in general lately. Of course, I still occasionally get sullen when I feel left out, and I feel overwhelmed at times, and sometimes I feel so wound up that I can’t relax. By and large though, I am happy with where my life is, and I feel I am at least sort of appreciating it. So success?

Since the last time I wrote, I have been only barely acceptably productive. I paid some bills today. I cleaned the front hall and living room. I finally got most of the paperwork done to get money out of the retirement accounts. I’ve sent off the Power of Attorney forms to most of the people who need them. I’ve met with the person handling the life insurance policies and the lawyer. There is a potential plan in place for getting some of the money in my name. In fact, I think I will be a homeowner at 23! It’s a bit depressing that it’s probably the last time for a decade that I’ll own a house, but hey, I’ll take what I can get. I have started reading about Medicare so I can pick a plan for my parents before the enrollment period ends. My trip to Germany is FINALLY basically here, so I also made some plans for Europe. I’ve re-enrolled for benefits, continued to save money every paycheck in both my retirement account and my savings account, figured out that I do have enough vacation days for this Europe trip….

There is still so much to do. I have to call all these places about Matt’s medical bills to try and haggle them down a bit. I have to pick out an insurance plan for Matthew for January. I need to write checks for the mortgage and for the health insurance (LAST CHECK YOU’LL EVER GET FROM ME COBRA, YOU MOST LOVED AND HATED OF PLANS). Once I finally get the check from the retirement accounts, I have to write the check for the assisted living facility. 

However, I do have one less responsibility… but I was devastated to lose it. On November 19th, Sabrina died. She suddenly got sick and by the time I got her to the vet, it was far too late. There was probably nothing I could have done (well, there were things I could have done, but they were not quite so obvious at the time) but I am still….such a mess. My other animals are great, but Sabrina was my favorite. I wish I could have done better for her

Text 7 Nov November 7th, 2011

It appears that writing once a month is all I have time for. As busy as I am, I have one REALLY big thing to check off my list. I need the second biggest sharpie in the world for this shit.

GET PARENTS INTO ASSISTED LIVING - CHECK. Suck it, life.

In the past month, I have : booked my trip to Germany. Signed all the legal forms and given them to the bank, so I now can sign checks. (The new checks even say my name and POA! So cool. Power is delicious). Picked an assisted living facility after visiting both at least one more time. Figured out where all the money was. Set up appointments to deal with said money. Went to work all the time. ALL THE TIME. My whole life is work. I ran a 12 month visit all by myself and it was not a failure. Matt and I got into approximately a billion fights. I planned Christmas. I got my parents phone service (hopefully). I paid the taxes (today!). I paid off my credit card. (And got two more, nice). What else did I do. Oh, I got my first DONATE TO TUFTS letter. Dear Tufts, my loan payments are my donation. And yeah, I moved my parents in, which was a week or two of debacles leading up to a perfect move in.

I also bought snow boots. It’s been really stressful lately, but actually, I’ve felt pretty great in the past month. I don’t know whether it’s my brain going into the zone or what, but I am not gonna ask too many questions.

Tomorrow is my second paid day off ever. Thanks Election Day. I will do productive things tomorrow (see my parents, meet with the life insurance person and change the beneficiaries, apply for life insurance disability for my mom, visit my school, pay the water/sewer bill) but for now, I am going to drink wine, watch tv and dream of Deutschland

Text 1 Oct October 1, 2011

New day, new month….

I can’t believe it’s October already. My life has basically been consumed by work. I’m either rushing to get out of the house, commuting in, actually working, commuting home, or trying to get stuff done when I’m home. Or sleeping. That’s all I do. Or it feels like that’s all I do. Matt was hospitalized again in the beginning of September, so I had stuff to do with that for a week. We also switched car insurances. I paid a few lingering bills for Matt (though there’s always more where that came from). I also saw two assisted living facilities, and I’ve narrowed it down to two. 

One is pretty small and mainly focused on assisted living. One is larger, and is a continuing care center. I really like the small one, and I want my parents to end up there. I want them to see both, though, so that they can compare. My dad became very upset by the idea that he might have to be in a different room than my mom. My mom became very upset that she would only be able to bring on of the dogs. I don’t know what to do about either of those problems. Perhaps I should be more tolerant and understanding of their very deep distress. Probably definitely. It’s just hard.

Today the organizer and I cleaned the baby room. It’s completely done- ready to be shown, basically. It didn’t take that long, but it’s nice to have something done. I’ve packed a lot of boxes of books. I applied for two credit cards today. My parents will sign their legal forms next week. I think I’ve finally figured out what to do with the money. In some ways, I’ve gotten things done, but it still seems as though no matter how much I do, there is always so much left. No matter how productive I am, I am still terribly far behind. 

Oh well. All you can do is keep going. 

I also found a wicked cool elephant lamp in a closet that my parents must have used when we were kids. Score. Gonna keep it. 

Text 25 Aug August 25th, 2011

I’ve been incredibly remiss with this. It’s been a pretty busy few weeks. The week after Matt’s (first) accident, I started work. How is it that despite thinking about the real world for the past god knows how many years, I never fully comprehended what commuting entails? I get up everyday around 7:15-7:30 so I can shower, dress, make some food for myself, the cats, and my parents, run to the bus/train and go. Once I get to the city, I take the subway (luckily an express train) uptown to the Columbia Medical Center campus. I usually get in around 9:45, 10, depending on how stupid traffic / trains / subways are. Then I work till approximately 6. Some days I stay late to do work, some days I end up talking to coworkers, some days the subway takes foreverrr. Anyway, I typically get home between 7 and 8. Bedtime is around 10, 10:30, so I have approximately 2-3 hours to eat dinner and get shit done. It’s not a bad life at all, but damn, where did all my free time go?

Also, it’s very difficult to figure out how to handle administrative affairs while working a 10-6 job. I can’t call before 10 because I’m commuting the whole time. How can I call the lawyer, the doctors, the health insurance company, the car insurance agent, etc. when I have to work? I have an increased love for anything with late or weekend hours. I know all of this is common sense and that practically everyone has to deal with this. It isn’t bad, but it is definitely a lifestyle adjustment. 

Since work started, I haven’t gotten anything big done. Bills have been paid, trips to Boston / MA have been made, money has been stressed over, an assisted living facility has been rejected. I don’t see how I can catch up on what I’ve missed, so I guess I’ll just start from today. It’s funny how much more productive you can be when you are more busy. Work was a lot of office-y and organizational stuff, which was a nice break from the normal. I was pretty productive. When I got home, I did some banking, fed the cats, started the dishwasher, cleaned my room a bit and attacked two of my bookcases. I packed two boxes full and separated others out for donation and stuff. I also emailed another prospective assisted living facility. 

When people say college are the best years of your life, they are sort of telling the truth. It’s not that they’re necessarily the happiest or greatest or most formative- they could really suck. However, college is absolutely the best lifestyle. No wonder so many people go to grad school….

Text 25 Jul so tired

I am so exhausted from the day. I was awakened at 8:15 because Matt was in a car accident and was in the hospital, so I got ready and went over. 5 hours later and practically crying from hunger (why is my body such a crybaby?) I left the hospital. Matt was t-boned turning into a gas station which caused his car to spin around at least 180 degrees and hit the curb. He ended up with wicked bad whiplash, a sprained ankle and a broken nose. 

Then I had to locate the car. And call the insurance company. And process a claim. And write out the health insurance check. And FINALLY sign the retainer agreement for the elder law lawyer and write that check and walk it over. And drop off Matt’s prescriptions. And feed the cats. And try to find an auto body shop. And try to find a towing company or some other solution to how to get Matt’s car out of the tow yard. And go to the wake of one of my high school teachers. And then deal with Matt screaming about how he didn’t have collision. He REFUSES to believe that people don’t have collision insurance on their old cars, and insists he asked for it. Yeah, okay. He’s such a retard. 

Also, I went into my parents room at 7:15, because they were already in bed but my mom hadn’t taken her pill. I mentioned that she needs to remember to walk the dogs, and she says she’ll do it now. Okay. She comes down like 15 minutes later and says ‘Good morning!’. I tell her it’s night. She looks surprised and says ‘It is?’. Ugh. 

Anyway, writing this here makes it sound like I didn’t do much, but it took me all day. A lot of calling back and forth and juggling multiple issues at once. It was an acceptably productive day

Text 22 Jul July 22nd, 2011

Today. Was. So. Hot. The real feel temp hit 112. The actual temperature hit 104. That is serious antibiotic time, okay? My day was mostly spent in pursuit of cold. Gregory took my parents to breakfast and then to Costco. I talked to a family friend on the phone for a while about my parents and all. Then I took them to a friend’s house. They were out of town, and they agreed to let my parents and I take advantage of their central air for a little. It was turned down so not cold, but damn better than my kitchen. Then we went to dinner, then to Kohls, and then to Barnes and Noble. I needed the most recent book in the Song of Fire and Ice trilogy. And my dad needed a new pair of shorts and a shirt.

Then we went to Starbucks. My dad and I actually had a fairly productive chat. Actually, it was probably the highlight of my day. My dad told me about another friend of the family, and I think it was the most words I’ve heard him put together at once in weeks. He actually almost smiled, I think. And when we were talking about the assisted living facilities, he seemed to accept that they had to go to one. He just wanted veto power of which one. It was really good.

My mom has gotten a lot worse. Again. I’m really not cut out for taking care of her. Every morning she has new things packed, even though I keep telling her she’s not going anywhere. She has socks and underwear rolled up in her purse, along with my toothbrush. She has to put EVERYTHING in some kind of order, even stuff that’s not hers. And sometimes putting it in order means ‘put it somewhere completely bizarre and unfindable’. I have such little patience! I also have to repeat stuff a lot to her. It took me years to be able to not scream at my dad, and the patience does not transfer to her. 

I just want her to STOP. I just want her to make sense. I just want her not to be sick. I don’t remember her normal! It’s only been a few years. All the memories I have get perverted by now. I just want her to stop getting worse! I thought it was bad a year ago but….argh.

Besides that, I did nothing productive today. However, neither of my parents had heat exhaustion or heat stroke, so there’s that. And maybe I’ll get more done over the weekend? Like writing checks. I really, really need to get that lawyer stuff taken care of…goddamnit. I should have done it earlier. Argh.

Text 21 Jul July 21st, 2011

Yesterday and today were semi-productive. Yesterday I went with Matthew to Seaside Heights for his court date. He ended up keeping his license and just had to pay some fines. Court was really entertaining, but I felt really bad for some of the people up there. Hopefully these people do not repeat their scrapes with the law. When we got home I did some banking. After that, I paid some parking tickets and the Verizon bill. You see, writing these things down makes it sound so easy. But it wasn’t. I had to call the Parking Authority, who referred me to the Violations Bureau. However, they needed to look it up by license plate, and Gump still must have had temp plates. So I had to wait for Greg’s license plate, then call back and get the information. Then I could pay the tickets. Comcast was much, much worse though. I had to go through 2 different chats and it took forever just to get the goddamn password for the account so I could pay it.

I also filled out some paperwork for Columbia and sent that in to them. Today I sent some emails and called some places. I wanted to find a new doctor for my mom, and find some new names of assisted living facilities, and see if there were activities I could get my mom enrolled in. Lots of information, not a lot of actual progress. 

It’s so exhausting. I feel so accomplished for getting something done, and then I look at everything I have left to do, and I feel stupid for feeling accomplished. I paid a Comcast bill. Great, is that really progress?

Today I also saw a movie alone and saw some old friends of the family. I also realized I need to get my parents out of this house, and fast. I literally cannot handle my mom. She deserves so much patience, and I have so little. I’m such an awful, awful daughter to her. 

Anyway. It’s so incredibly hot and humid. I’m going to try and sleep. Tomorrow will be worse. I shudder at the thought

Text 20 Jul Job Achievement: Unlocked

I have been such a lazy poster. I’ve also been a very lazy person.

I did get a job though. I actually ended up with two offers, which was nice. I knew which one I wanted though, so I accepted that one. It’s at a research lab at Columbia. I’m really excited about it. Today an organizer came and helped me clean out the closet in the room next to mine. It took 3 hours, but it felt like a lifetime. I found some really odd stuff. For instance, there was this HIDEOUS set of china-esque plates that fit together for snacks- like, you’d put dip in one and carrots in another and chips in another- but it was painted an atrocious color. I also found a gigantic cupcake that will function as a cookie jar in my new apartment. It was on the border of hideous and awesome, and I chose the latter. Also, there is a giant box of tax stuff from the 70s. But I have to go through it all, as I also found the original life insurance policy forms my parents filled out. Who knows what I might find in the tax box. 

Also, I distinctly remember my mom getting on my case about keeping birthday cards. She kept every card from her wedding! And all these papers from her kids for teacher appreciation day. Just sayin’. 

The search also yielded my mom’s yearbooks, some correspondences and school notebooks of my dad’s, and what I’m pretty sure was a stuffed animal-like cock and balls from (what I’m assuming was) my mom’s bachelorette party. I was honestly too scarred to look, but now I wish I had. Among other things. 

I was always really angry at my 3rd grade teacher for making us learn cursive. ‘Everyone uses it!’ they said. But no one ever did. However, every single written item I found was in cursive. It’s really difficult to read. I wonder, is it always like that? Or just because I’m so used to print? In any case, I guess this sort of absolves my teachers. They were just 20 or 30 years behind the curve. It’s okay. 

Tomorrow I have to go to court with Matt. I also managed to pay the Comcast bill, and discovered my mom hasn’t been wearing her patches. I have to pay the Verizon bill, pay the parking tickets, pay the PSE&G bill, pay that medical bill of Matt’s on the table, call Mountainside and see what this past due account is, call the assisted living facility / just drive over there because they’re not answering my calls, probably call the Senior Center…someone asked me today if my parents had a case manager. I wanted to laugh.  I would love a social worker, but I’ve talked to several, and yet still no case manager. Like, if it was something they did, wouldn’t they offer? 

I also need to stop being such a cranky, heinous bitch. That would help. All in all though, some forward progress in THE LIST 

Text 7 Jul i won’t ask you to just desert me

I have been incredibly lazy as of late, both with updating and with life. In the past week I’ve done next to nothing worth commenting on. I wrote to the Columbia lab about why I wanted to work for them. They called me on Monday and told me they were seriously considering me, and asked if I had other offers, which sounds promising. Yesterday I got an email from another lab asking me to go in and interview, so I’m going in next Wednesday. I’m unsure of whether to tell the first lab about the interview, or whether I should just tell them if I get an offer. The first lab is who I want to work for and I’d ideally like to hold out for them. But if they end up not offering me a job, I can’t just be left with nothing…

I packed one box. Mostly. I realized I have to go through a lot of my stuff for Goodwill, which I did not expect. It was something I thought I had already done. Some minor banking got done in the past week. Also, I got Gump inspected. And Gump passed. And the check engine light went back on a few hours later, but whatever. I’ll eventually bring Gump to a mechanic, but I’m glad I at least don’t have to worry about a deadline.

Today I’ve mostly just been angry all day long. I’m pretty overwhelmed with everything going on, both family-wise and personal life-wise, and I frustrated and cranky. And fed up. I feel pretty explosive, and I’m just trying to figure out how to handle it in an socially appropriate way. 

Jamie also left, so I officially have no one in New Jersey. 

I did finish the book after Game of Thrones at least. Now I have two left. 


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