Late Lunch

I had a late start to my lunch break today. Hopefully that will make the second half of the day feel a little quicker. I often play mind games with the clock like that. Does it make a difference? Probably not.

I am feeling really stressed out today. I am trying so hard to keep a level head, but I feel like a temper tantrum is coming at any moment. I’m suddenly feeling really tired. Probably because I just ate a nice PB&J lunch and I’m full and my brain thinks some shut eye is a good idea. Instead I am taking diet pepsi through an IV directly into my heart. The caffeine is helping, but I fear it won’t be enough.

I have actually been able to get some good work done today, but my mother is having a rough day today and everything is getting under my skin. She’s not complaining about pain at all. She did for a while, but mostly today it’s just been memory. She asked me where her husband was. I said he’s in the bed in the next room. She said no he wasn’t. She said she wanted to go home. I told her she was home and that this has been her home for more than 50 years. She said it used to be her home but not anymore and she wanted to go home to her parents house. I had to tell her that her parents weren’t in their old house anymore. Because they are both dead, she said. Yes. She said her mother died recently. I told her it’s been 23 years.

It’s so stressful, and feeling like I’m leaning against the tipping point isn’t making it any easier to deal with. I really need to go home and see my family. I haven’t seen my wife in almost 48 hours. I haven’t seen my step son in 24 hours. I haven’t talked to my step daughter in over a week. I’m just feeling crushed right now and they are the only thing that can straighten me out. I love my parents and clearly I’ll do anything for them, but for fucks sake I have a family of my own and I miss them so much.

Ugh… I don’t even remember what I was going to talk about. Give me a second, I have something in my eyes. No, I’m not crying, you’re crying. Wimp.

Okay, I have to get back to work. Talk to ya’ll later.

Feels Like Home

Last night was pretty quiet. My mother fell asleep sitting up on the side of her bed. She was like that for over an hour. I woke her up and told her she should lie down or she was going to hurt her back. She told me she hadn’t been sleeping and that I was crazy. Now she’s complaining about how much her back hurts.

My father didn’t sleep terribly well either. He has some aches and pains but I am not sure that is what was bothering him. I heard him sleeping and waking off and on. He’s supposed to take some Metamucil with his morning pills. He’s complaining that I made it too thick. Sorry, dad.

I went to bed a little earlier than I usually do when I am here. I turned in at 11:15 or so. I woke up a little before 4:00am again. That keeps happening. This time I woke up on my own. Both of my parents were sleeping. I didn’t fall back to sleep until sometime around 4:30 and then I stayed under until about 6:00. I got five hours and 45 minutes of sleep. That’s like hitting the jackpot around here.

I got up and started getting ready for the day. I showered, packed up my dirty laundry, packed up my CPAP machine, and took it all out to the car. That’s when a little piece of home followed me here.

I often bitch about the friggin’ wildlife in our yard getting into our trash barrels. It’s pretty common for them to knock them over and scatter shit all over the place. As I was walking back from the car to the house I saw that something knocked over one of my parents’ trash barrels. I got to have the homey experience of cleaning all of their shit off the yard too. Hooray.

The home health worker is going to be a little late today. She should be here around 9:15. I only have two short meetings on my schedule today. I am seriously hoping for a quiet day at work. Yesterday wasn’t bad, but overall I really need things to go simply and smoothly today. I can already feel my fuse getting shorter and shorter. I just need to keep my head down and not lose my shit over something irrelevant.

Duck and cover, everyone. Here comes Friday the 13th. In the immortal words of that guy Samuel L Jackson played in Jurassic Park, hold on to your butts.

Long Day

I’m a little more than half way through my 48 hour parent sitting shift. I have been here for approximately 28 hours but I swear it has felt like 9,000.

Nothing bad happened today, it just seemed to drag on forever. My father has been fine. The home health worker sat around bored for most of her shift, but she was able to pitch in with dad on the couple of instances where he needed a little help. My mother hasn’t had a bad day pain-wise, but memory wise has been difficult. They were supposed to go and get their haircut at 1:00pm. My sister was going to come over and pick them up and drive them to the appointment. On the way over the woman who cuts their hair called her and said she was on her way to the house. What?

So instead of my sister and my nephew coming over and then everyone leaving the house but me, every one stayed and we added the hair stylist too. It was really hard to work while all 600 people were here. My step son coming over for lunch made it all better, but I ended up putting noise canceling headphones on and cranking the volume so that I could almost shut them all out. It didn’t work that well, but it was better.

The whole time the hair dresser was here my mother kept asking her how she found them. She was constantly insisting that this is not her house even though all of us assured her that this is the house she’s been living in since 1969 or so. She wouldn’t have it. She was positive she wasn’t in her house and she didn’t know where she was and therefore the hair dresser should not have been able to find them. My father whispered to me that she is getting much worse. She is. It’s heartbreaking and it’s awful.

Tomorrow is another day. They have another appointment in the afternoon, but it’s a tele-health appointment with their primary care physician. My brother is going to come over and take the call with them. I have a meeting at about that time so I don’t know if I will be able to join them. My father has been plowing through bottled water this week and we ran out of his favorite kind. Also, strangely, he is craving Rice Krispies. My sister stocked up on both today and will bring them by tomorrow. My goal is to focus on work as much as the situation will let me, and then when 6:30-7:00pm finally arrives I will get the fuck out of here, go home and watch The Suicide Squad with my wife and my step son, and not come back here until Tuesday night.

I need this to be over. I need to spend time with my wife. I need to spend time with my step son before he leaves for school in a couple of weeks. After that, I need my fucking band to get back together and that can’t happen while I’m parent sitting. I need this to be over.


Things stayed quiet last night, other than the 3:30-4:00am bathroom experience I mentioned in the last post. Outside of that it was okay. I failed to hit the five hours of sleep mark, but only because I was awake for that half hour. I only came up short by a few minutes. My SleepWatch numbers weren’t great, my heartrate dip was only 11%, but I am feeling okay right now. We’ll see how I feel around 3:00pm today. I’m guessing I will be a bit of a mess.

My parents are okay, dad is still asleep. I have 20 minutes to go until I have to give them their meds, and the home health help should be here around the same time. None of that is the story today.

No, the story today is the weather. Specifically the heat and humidity. It was still 80 degrees out at midnight last night. It’s 77 right now, but the humidity… There is so much moisture in the air that just sitting here has me drenched in sweat. There are two air conditioners in the house, one in my mother’s bedroom and a huge one in the living room. Neither of my parents like to have them on. I don’t even know why I put them into the windows this year. The big one displays the air temperature in the room and my father doesn’t like to turn it on unless the room temperature is above 80. Yes, you read that right… 80 degrees.

I have my little desk fan, which is pretty much the hero of 2021, and someone also brought a bigger, yet still small enough to keep on the desk, fan that I have on the floor blowing straight up at me. Those two things together will hopefully keep me from overheating or literally drowning in my own sweat. The forecast is calling for mid nineties with humidity in the high nineties (it’s 96% right now) and a heat index (whatever that is) that should make it feel about 10 degrees hotter than it is.


Should be an exciting day. Duck and cover and stay cool, folks.

I Love My Family

I love my family. They are the best. You will never meet finer people.

Knowing that I am going to be at my parents’ for two whole days and that I won’t see them at all during that time, they asked me if I wanted to play a game of Ticket to Ride Online with them. We all have it on our iPads and figured it would be a nice thing to do together even when we aren’t together. Look me in the eye and tell me that isn’t the nicest thing anyone has ever done. I mean, seriously. How wonderful are Jen and Harry? I know Bellana’s not a big fan of that game, but maybe we can find something we can all play, assuming we can sneak it in around her work schedule as she is working up a storm in the final weeks before school starts.

I’m not sure who setup the network at my parents house, but I am pretty sure they have a firewall of some kind that is blocking online games. I’ve mentioned my troubles with World of Warcraft in the past, and tonight I had to switch from the wifi to my iPhone’s hotspot in order to connect to the game. I know my sister’s kids were doing some of their remote school here last year. I wonder if they put something in to keep them honest.

Speaking of online games, Jen and I have been playing World of Warcraft for the last month or so. WoW is owned and operated by a company called Blizzard. Blizzard has been getting demolished with charges of various kinds of sexual misconduct in the work place. I believe their CEO resigned over it recently. Karmically speaking (I do not believe in Karma, but the principal still applies) we are both starting to feel uncomfortable supporting the company so we’re looking for something else to play. Jen was looking into Star Wars: The Old Republic today. She won’t have to twist my arm to play that one. A game where I can be a Jedi? Sure! A game where I can get in touch with my dark side and be a Sith? Sure! I’ll have to download that one when I finally get home from this nana/papa sitting shift, sometimes in 2043 or so.

Last time I was here I mentioned that the only place I feel comfortable doing my “exercise” is in the cellar, and I don’t like going down there and leaving my parents alone without having a legitimate reason to go down stairs. There is laundry to do tonight, so I have my reason. I didn’t have a chance to start it until a little after 9:00, and only had five out of 30 minutes done, but I think I can close the ring. I have been down stairs once and I got my time up to 15 minutes. I think I will have two legitimate reasons to go into the cellar before midnight and I think I can get in the 15 remaining minutes. We’ll see. It’s really hot here and the humidity is unreal. We’ll see.

I left work for the day at 3:30 today so that I could spend some time with Harry before I came to my parents house. We watched the first episode of What If…? It was really good. I can’t wait for more! While we were busy with the Marvel fun, an email was sent to the whole company saying that our return to the office policy was changing again. Our requirement to come in approximate once a week has been temporarily put on hold due to the increasing Covid-19 numbers (which reminds me, I haven’t updated my spreadsheets yet). My boss called me a little while ago to make sure we were all on the same page. It’s looking like going into the office is off the table until (probably) mid-October. Obviously that could change at any time, but I feel much safer. It was pretty uncomfortable being there the last couple of times. I didn’t feel unsafe per se, I just didn’t feel comfortable. Tonight’s announcement was like a sigh of relief.

Okay, I need to update my MA and US Covid-19 numbers spreadsheets, and then I need to mix a song. All of that sandwiched around laundry and “exercising” and actually going to sleep and stuff. Here’s hoping the quiet night stays quiet. Fingers crossed.

Lunch Time

I have nothing to write about at this particular lunch break.

With two whole days at my parents, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I started watching The Orville again last week and last night I finished the first season. If things go bad I could make a dent in season two. I started watching The White Lotus on HBO when it premiered but I haven’t watched the latest episode. Why? Because the show kinda sucks. Is it a comedy? Because it’s not funny. Is it a drama? Because most of the characters are beyond annoying. It’s just not good. I know it’s only something like six episodes, so I am half way through, I think, but it’s just not good. Oh well.

Music! I can do music! I have two songs to mix. There are six songs that need lyrics, I can handle all of that. Maybe I can start some new songs as well. I wanted to be further along than this before my 48 hour sentence started, but what can you do?

Mostly what I will do while I am stuck over there is miss Jen and Harry. I should be home with them, but I won’t be. That sucks more than I am capable to put into words.

I have 99 minutes left in my shortened work day. I just wanted to mention that because I could.

Looking forward to watching What If? with Harry and Jen tonight.

Rough Times are Imminent

This is totally selfish. We’re just focusing on me here, not on anyone else, m’kay?

I am about to have a really rough time. I am leaving work early today, at 3:30. The plan is to spend the extra two hours off hanging with Harry. After that I head to my parents house for nana/papa sitting shift… for 48 hours. Two whole days there without a break. Without going home and seeing my family. It’s going to be a nightmare.

It is the price I had to pay in order to get most of the last week of August off so that I don’t have to miss a Bellana visit and so that I can help Harry move into his dorm. A double shift is going to suck, but it is absolutely going to be worth it.

We are hopefully going to watch the first episode of Marvel’s What If? tonight. Then when I get back Friday night we’re watching The Suicide Squad. It’s our last weekend with Harry before he leaves for school so we’re going to super hero the shit out of it.

Starting around 6:30 tonight I am going to have a miserable 48 hours, but after that it’s going to be great. Run that gauntlet, red head. Run it.

Blissfully Quiet Night

My father turned off the television a little after 10:00. He went to sleep pretty much right away. My mother turned off her television a little before 11:00 and seemed to be asleep a short time later. I had my CPAP machine setup and the lights were out around 11:30 but I didn’t get to sleep until just after midnight.

I woke up at 4:30 because my mother was up and walking around the kitchen. She was making breakfast. I got up to check on her and she was fine. She told me to go back to bed. I tried, but I couldn’t sleep. So four hours of sleep is it for me today.

It’s worth it if things keep up the way they did last night. Fingers crossed.

I’m not working today but I have set myself up at the dining room table as if I were. The home health worker is coming at 8:00, and I assume my mother is going to want to chaperone (I’m only kidding a little) so they will all be spending most of the day in the living room. There isn’t really enough room for four people in there these days, so I will bow out. I’ve got lots of music to work on, and lots of The Orville to watch. The Red Sox are on at 1:00. I’ll probably try to find a way to sneak myself into the room so I can watch the game with my father. Other than that, I hope I can be a fly on the wall today and just be here to help my mother with whatever.

After I closed my exercise ring last night I sort of made the conscious decision to go to bed without finishing the laundry so that I would have an excuse to go downstairs and sneak in some walking in place today. It’s 7:23am and 71 degrees outside. Inside I think it’s already around 80 and the humidity is at about 99.9%. I haven’t even started walking yet and I am already drenched in sweat. Hooray.

My mother is watching local cable right now. I think she might be asleep, but the TV is on. It is the Tewksbury Memorial High School Senior Awards presentation. I graduated from that school in 1989 and I don’t recognize any of the voices of the staff, but every time someone comes on to sing the praises of some TMHS athletics program I just want to vomit all over the house. They are still the arrogant pricks they were 30 years ago, and the team name is still the insulting racist bullshit too. Some things never change.

Okay, laundry and exercise, then pills and letting the health care pro inside. Talk to ya’ll later.

The Ravioli Incident

My mother made a bowl of ravioli for my father for dinner. He ate about half of it and then dropped the bowl. Ravioli everywhere. Some of it splashed onto his foot so we had to get him a change of socks. Mom grabbed him a pair while I cleaned up the mess. There was a moment there when I thought he was going to have a melt down. It was like all of the shit he’s been going through was about to overflow, but we talked him back from the edge.

Selfishly, the upside to the ravioli incident is that there is laundry that needs to be done tonight. He only has two pairs of grippy socks and one of them is covered with tomato sauce. That means I have to go back and forth to the laundry room in the cellar. The laundry room is really the only place in the house that I can do my walking in place “exercise” without feeling like I am going to collapse the entire house. That means there’s a good chance I am going to close all three AppleWatch Activity rings today. I’ve already got two of them closed. Nine more minutes of exercise and I finish them all.

I really want to go home. I really need this to end. I don’t want to have a nervous breakdown, even though for all I know it might be fun. I just don’t wanna.

The Weekend… Finally

It is Friday. I have logged out of work for the day. It’s finally the weekend. You’d think that would be good. It’s not. The stress is still through the roof. I have to come back here tomorrow evening. I don’t want to, but I have to.

My mother hung out in the living room with my father and the healthcare worker. No animosity like there was this morning. She was fine. Actually, she slept in the recliner quite a bit. My father slept in the hospital bed. Sometimes that leads to a difficult night, but not always. In fact, I think more often than not it’s not a big deal.

I really need all of this to be over. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but is it close or is it far away? It’s so hard to tell when you’re buried in the pitch dark.