Mom's parking karma


When I went to the airport on Monday to pick Mom up, I drove into the parking structure to park. She had let me know that she was cleaning out her garage, she had found stuff for me, and she was bringing it: pull up the car and come in to help carry it out.

When I went to park, I drove next to the entrance to the baggage claim, and to my left was a one hour parking spot. I stopped and stared at it for a few moments, trying to figure out if this space was really okay to take. It wasn't a handicapped spot. It wasn't an electric car only. Oooh-kaaaay.... I thought, as I eased into the spot.

Baggage claim was twenty feet from my car. I could not have parked any closer.

Monday evening, Mom and I went to Whole Foods to pick up items for dinner. We were winging it, not really any dinner plan. As we pulled into the lot, a car pulled out of a spot right next to the front door.

We pulled in behind and parked all of twelve feet from the store entrance.

This, in a lot I'm used to hoofing it clear across the expanse of cars, having fought for that one space that I parked in where even I couldn't get out of my tiny car because the cars next to me were parked so close.

Today, Mom came for lunch. She asked to have my car instead of the truck for her afternoon errands. When I went to move the truck to a closer spot after handing Mom the car keys, I lucked into a spot closest to the crosswalk from work.

Sure, the spot was fifty feet from my desk, but it was the closest one to my desk.

That woman is a parking spot good luck charm. I need to figure out how to bottle this parking karma. I'd make millions.

No, billions.

QotD: You've got to blog!


If you could get someone in your life to start a blog, who would it be and why?

I've seen pictures of my mom as a child, playing under the big tree in the backyard of the house my grandfather built. Decades later, I would run through that backyard as a child myself on my way from our house to my best friends house, cutting through back yards to cut the walking time from 10 minutes to two. My mother's childhood home was long since sold, but she loved the house we moved into, the house on the hill from her childhood dreams.

What other dreams did my mother have? What hopes, and problems, and joys, and failures and victories did my mom experience? How close does my life parallel her life, and how far away from hers is mine?

I don't know.

I know her better than she knew her mother, but ultimately I don't know much of my mother's life before me. I know the highlights. I can imagine the minutae. But, I really don't know.

The saving grace to this vacuum of knowledge is that she writes. She has journals; she writes short stories, many of them based on her life experiences fictionalized. If she started a blog, a personal one of highlights of each day, her life would open up, and I'd know how much we are alike. And how much we are different, though, I know I am my mother's daughter in so many ways.

Come to think of it, I know even less about my dad. Oh, the stories he tells when he's in the mood. If he started a blog, it would have to be an audio blog to get the full side splitting life of his words. Now that would be a blog worth listening to.

Never a dull moment


I needed water.

It wasn't that big of a deal, but the first cooler was empty. Then the second one. And the next one and the next one. These tech people sure could drink their water.

One of the coolers had a full bottle of water next to it. It was only five gallons. I've lifted these things before. No big deal.

I warned the guy next to me that if I missed, I'd spill water on his electrical cord, he was forewarned.

He looked at me like I was crazy.

I flipped the bottle over, hefted it up, and let it drop into the waiting neck cup.

I didn't move my fingers out fast enough.

I dropped the bottle on my finger caught in the cup edge and crushed it. The lip of the cup is about a sixteenth of an inch wide, and set right at the end of the bed of my middle finger.

It hurt an unbelievably large amount. It bled for about forty-five minutes after the crushing.

About an hour after the incident, my mom IM'd me to chat. I was typing oddly, so she asked about it. I explained I was missing my left middle finger, and why.

"Never a dull moment with you, kiddo."

Kris told me I should just give people the finger and tell them, I crushed my finger, and "IT'S THIS ONE!"

I like his suggestion.

Never as bad as you think


Been talking a lot to Mom lately. It's been entertaining, enlightening and insightful. Recurring topics include worries, fears and disappointments.

Today, Mom reminded me, once again, that "it's never as bad as you think it is. Face your fears. You'll find that they're a lot smaller than had you imagined."



6:39 Bella stirs, and wakes me up. She does this every morning, without fail. She'll realize that, oh no! Annie is in the bed! Shock! Horror! She'll jump out of the bed, so that she can bark and huff and puff at Annie from the floor, then whine to get back into bed. What she has Here and now isn't good enough, not quite realizing that what she strives for isn't any better than what she has now.

I head into the bathroom. As I leave I hear mom stir. I try to go back to sleep.

7:30 I must have succeeded in sleeping, because I awake to Kris poking me. poke-poke-poke. I open my eyes. Kris is standing there smiling, dog leashes in hand, making sure I'm up before he leaves.


Poke poke.

7:47 I've avoided waking up as long as I can, yet still need to be ready by 8, I need to get up now. I need to get up now. I walk into the bathroom and realize I stink. If I can smell myself, it must be bad. I'm worried. I jump in the shower thinking, well, at least I won't have to shave for a couple of days.

8:00 Mom and Kris come back. I am standing in the living room naked, looking for new clothes to wear today. I need clothes I can bleed on and not worry about. I hear them walking up, and run from the living room to the bedroom.

8:15 We leave the house for the Starbucks, Kris in another car.

8:20 We arrive at Starbucks, to discover a line out the door. Kris comments he never sees the line this long. I reply, sure, but you never arrive before 9:40 am.

8:30 We leave to drive to Palo Alto. We catch each. and. every. single. red. light on Central until we arrive in Palo Alto. The world is trying to tell me to turn around and go home.


8:58 We arrive in Palo Alto, but I consider the original lot to be the wrong parking lot. We drive to the other lot, I pay my $1.50, and we head over to the medical office.

9:14 We check in at the reception. I have time to sit down, arrange all my crap around me, and open my orange juice before my name is called by the nurse. I drop my orange juice bottle lid.

9:20 We go back to the procedure room. I have to pee.

9:27 The doctor begins the procedure by numbing my face next to my right eye. My face goes numb. It feels like a migraine starting. I start quietly crying as I lie there.

9:30 Crying doesn't help, and is making things worse.

I stop crying.

9:49 I'm done. Mom and I head into the recovery room to sit for a couple hours. We're told to expect to head in for either another round, or repair surgery around 11:45.

I'm given an ice packe to put on my face: 15 minutes on, fifteen minutes off for the next few hours, to keep the swelling down. By this time, I have to pee, and pee really badly. I head into the bathroom, and go. As I'm finishing up, I note, once again, that my poop smells like my maternal grandparents'.

Gah. My period just started.

9:52 I put the pice pack on my face after my mom takes a few picures of my face. She says I look like a a beatup drunk. I laugh, and ask for more pictures. She compilies.

10:07 I take the ice pack off my face, and mom and I talk about sewing machines, quilting and needle point. I make it fifteen minutes before I need to pee again.

We talk about the new sewing machine, how it's $600 more expensive than Mom realized, but how she's really interested in getting it.

I am saddened by the fact that I can't afford to just buy it for her. I feel I should have been successful at this point in my life. I feel as if I have let her down.

I have let myself down.

There are two other patients in here with me: both of them in their sixties, near my mother's age.

I feel so young.

I feel so out of place.

I shouldn't be here.

I wonder what I could have done differently. The other patients are male. One has a spot on his ear, the other on his nose. Both agree he is glad he doesn't have his where mine is. I smile, and wish I didn't, too.

10:22 I hold the ice pack back up to my eye, and try dictating my experiences to Mom. Hearing the words come out my mouth, instead of in my head is hard. I edit myself.

I lose my voice.

I stop.

10:27 I balance the ice pack on my face while typing blind, hoping the editor stays open and the focus stays on the editor. I hope my words aren't lost by a computer glitch that my fingers don't notice.

Mom continues to embroider. We talk about nothing.

We start talking about Mom's mom.

Third of eight children. An athlete, she played baseball. A tomboy. She had a birthmark on her face that was the source of endless teasing. When something wore out, she threw it away. She threw away anything that reminded her of her failures.

My aunt immediately called her dermatologist when she heard my news.

11:15 The nurse comes in to tell me I'm one of the lucky ones. One in four people are clear after the first check. I am one of them. I'll be going in for repair surgery instead of another procedure.

I am glad. I start packing up myself.

6:00 The clock in the repair surgery room is set incorrectly. I no longer know what time it is.

The doctor gives me my options, and her preferences. I can leave the wound alone, allowing it to heal naturally. The healing process will take about three weeks to close, I may have an indent on my face.

I care little about the potential indentation. I care more about the healing time. Stitches means the the wound will heal in a week.

I should not exercise for a week.

A week.

I am allowed to walk.

I am not allowed to use stairs.

I look as if I have been beaten up. My eye is puffy.

I choose the stitches.

I can begin playing ultimate in a week, provided I wear safety goggles. I am not to do any exercise for the next two days. I can take Tylenol for the pain. She offers me a prescription for Vicodin. I say yes, thinking I can use it for the laser hair removal treatment.

After the stitches, I look exotic.

I look like Cleopatra.

I am still beautiful.

I am healthy again.