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On Monday I wrote a diary Two wasted hours with the phone company and the joke's on me. (Quick recap--I wanted a cheaper plan and they decided to switch my landline to Uverse VoiP without explaining it.) Do you think that was the end of my AT&T story? No, of course not! Follow me below the twisted phone cord while I rant about the last two days to get it out of my system.

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I'm not really a luddite, but I am hanging on to my old phone--you know, the one with the wire that plugs into the wall and works when the power is out. Yes, I also have a cell phone, but I'm not quite ready to go the just cell phone route. At least mine is no longer a black rotary dial! (Press one for English... oh, there is no "one" to press.)

Anyway, I have AT&T service for the landline, and also their Uverse for my Internet. I suppose I'm just too lazy to switch to another company for something I've had for so long, especially when I am attached to my email address. However, their pricing always irks me because they have various "retention deals" they will offer you, but only if you ask. You have to keep track of when your "deal" is going to run out so you can call them and check to see if there is another "deal" available. I get a bill for the landline and a separate bill for the Internet, even though technically it's the same company. It's been a steady amount so I hadn't checked the bill recently, but last week I thought I'd take a close look at it.

Check below the tangled phone cord to see what happened when I did.

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Which do you have?

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Last year around this time I wrote a diary for the Grieving Room on my husband's birthday. Since he died just a couple weeks after that, his birthday and death day go together in my mind.

So it's been two years now, and it seems like yesterday and yet like a long time ago. I've been thinking about what to write for this diary for some days now. The funny thing is, that having just reread my previous diary I noted most of the same ideas. It's a little more routine, two years distant, but I still try not to dwell on the loss. I know we all deal with grief differently, but I find I remember him every day, and it's often the little things.

Couples who are together for long periods of time get used to each other's quirks and preferences, decide when it's important to make your preferences known and when it doesn't really matter. Even though my husband is no longer here, I find myself still doing some things "his" way. And other things I now do "my" way. And each time I do them, no matter whose way I now use, I think of him. So it is, indeed, the little things. I will explain further below the kos squiggle.

Welcome, fellow travelers on the grief journey
and a special welcome to anyone new to The Grieving Room.
We meet every Monday evening.
Whether your loss is recent, or many years ago;
whether you've lost a person, or a pet;
or even if the person you're "mourning" is still alive,
("pre-grief" can be a very lonely and confusing time),
you can come to this diary and say whatever you need to say.
We can't solve each other's problems,
but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.

Unlike a private journal
here, you know: your words are read by people who
have been through their own hell.

There's no need to pretty it up or tone it down..

It just is.

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I was first introduced to the film in progress, "The Brainwashing of My Dad" by Zwoof's October 2, 2013 diary Watch this documentary trailer: The Brainwashing of my Dad and later Leslie Salzillo's October 6, 2013 diary The Brainwashing Of My Dad By Limbaugh, Fox & GOP Media. They reported on the Kickstarter campaign of filmmaker Jen Senko to complete a documentary about her dad. "When the filmmaker's parents moved to a place where her father had a long solo commute to work and started listening to Talk Radio to alleviate the boredom, her family saw him change from a non-political Democrat to a radicalized, angry Right-Wing Republican. What happened to Dad?" See how a click on the Internet (no funds required) can help make this film! Check below the orange curlicue for details.

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Some of you are familiar with my story from last July 6, when my husband died suddenly. He was very happy that he had made it to 75. Little did we know that he would die a couple weeks later. It's been almost a year and I'm doing okay. Having my kids at home has helped a lot. I've been busy emptying the house of things, all the while feeling guilty about it.

My husband was a hoarder, but not of the most extreme variety. He mostly bought things on sale, saved things he thought might be useful, and collected movies, books, CDs and records he thought he would get to some day. I can't bring myself to get rid of the records and CDs yet, but we did manage to go through all the books, saving a couple bookcases full and taking the other 70 grocery bags of books to the Library Book Sale.

I guess in a way it's been good that I've had a lot of stuff to go through, as it's kept me busy. Anyone who has come over to visit winds up taking home a pair of gloves, a canvas bag, a bar of soap, or dental floss. Although we've pretty much finally finished eating "cereal mountain," we still haven't had to buy any paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, facial tissues) and probably won't for some time.

Welcome, fellow travelers on the grief journey
and a special welcome to anyone new to The Grieving Room.
We meet every Monday evening.
Whether your loss is recent, or many years ago;
whether you've lost a person, or a pet;
or even if the person you're "mourning" is still alive,
("pre-grief" can be a very lonely and confusing time),
you can come to this diary and say whatever you need to say.
We can't solve each other's problems,
but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.

Unlike a private journal
here, you know: your words are read by people who
have been through their own hell.

There's no need to pretty it up or tone it down..

It just is.

Continue Reading

Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:45 PM PDT

A newbie take on NN13

by Lorikeet

I went to NN13 in San Jose because I live relatively close by, and because somehow I got caught up in some NN13 fever in a "New Day" diary some time a few months back. It was my first, and I'm glad I went. I thought I'd say a few things from the perspective of someone who has never gone before, so perhaps some of you may think about attending next year.  

On the sociability scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest, I'm probably about a three. I'm pretty good at responding when people start conversations, but I'm terrible at starting them myself. How, I wondered, was I going to manage with all these activists?

The first smart thing I did was tell my son that his Luddite mother was ready to advance to the world of text messaging. Oh sure, I had an antiquated cell phone that I would turn on when I had to call someone when I wasn't home (when's the last time you saw a phone booth?). But that was it.

So a week before I left for the convention, I started to use an iPhone 4. What a change, from using a dumb phone to a smart phone. One of the first things I did was get the app for NN13. Don't laugh, but I was proud I even figured out how to download it. It listed all the sessions, and was a real help.

Go below the magical orange embroidery to see what happened next.

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Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:39 AM PST

Painfully Cleaning out Stuff

by Lorikeet

When my husband died suddenly in July, it felt like a gut punch. It was so unexpected. Of course, as you get older, such an outcome isn't quite as far back in the mind as it used to be, but still, you figure there would be some warning. Along with things unsaid and plans not followed, my husband left me a lot of stuff. We had been married for almost forty years, and living in the same house for almost all of that time. Closets, built-in drawers, little nooks and crannies, desk drawers, piles on the floor, all full of stuff.

Over the years I was mostly successful in ignoring the accumulation of things because I was busy working, while my husband spent more time at home as a stay-at-home dad even before it became fashionable. It wasn't until I retired that we finally realized how different our views were. For me, "cleaning" meant getting rid of stuff, clearing up piles, and straightening things up. Whenever I said I wanted to clean up, he figured I meant I wanted to vacuum. It turns out that when I looked with a clear eye at any room in the house, all the accumulated stuff made me feel sick. However, when he tried to hurry and clear up things, it made him feel sick. So we were in the process of trying not to make each other sick while still trying to make each other happy.

Come with me below the orange shoelaces (oh, they are in good shape, I'll put them with the good shoelaces) to read more.

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I have been a mystery fan for a very long time. Back in the '80s and '90s, I kept a list of all the books I wanted to read and would go to used bookstores and buy a bagful at a time. I always had my list with me because otherwise I had trouble remembering what I'd read and what I hadn't. Then I got caught up in an on-line computer game (which is another story) and stopped reading so much for about ten years. When I decided to start again a few years ago, I had the delicious task of checking out every author I loved and seeing what books they had written in the intervening ten years. Yes, I updated my list again too.

The list is currently running about eight pages and counting, as I add authors I find out about here and elsewhere. Instead of spending time looking through books at the used bookstore, I've been using the public library. I found out I could order a book online and have it delivered to the branch nearest my house. Not only that, but I further discovered that if my library (the San Francisco Public Library) didn't have it, I could request it from another library through their interlibrary loan arrangements.

That is exactly what I did to get a copy of Desolate Angel by Chaz McGee (Katy Munger). I don't remember who suggested Katy Munger as an author. I found the Chaz McGee listings when I checked to see what books she had written, since I prefer to read a series in order. I ordered the first of the series by Chaz McGee and received a paperback copy of this book from the Alameda County Public Library. The only thing that set me back was the little note on the cover that said the lost book charge was $115. Now that's scary.

Follow me below the Koscurlicue to find out what I thought of Desolate Angel.

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Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 05:40 PM PDT

My New Reality (The Grieving Room)

by Lorikeet

Grief is an odd thing. It can creep up when you aren't expecting it or make itself known by a sudden explosion. It can be triggered by almost any everyday thing. I try to let it in a little at a time. I know my new reality. I just don't have to dwell on it every waking moment, because that seems neither healthy nor wise. My husband and I were never what people might have considered a "normal" couple, especially starting way back in 1973. In our almost thirty-nine years of marriage, we found ways to adapt to each other, ways to live together, to divide up the work, and to take care of the family. We never had what other people would consider a fight. Although we certainly might have snapped in anger, it was generally followed by an apology within ten minutes, and neither of us stayed angry. We were opposites in a lot of ways, but the same in things of importance. I diaried the sudden loss of my husband here.

A special welcome to anyone who is new to The Grieving Room.  We meet every Monday evening.  Whether your loss is recent or many years ago, whether you have lost a person or a pet, or even if the person you are "mourning" is still alive ("pre-grief" can be a very lonely and confusing time) you can come to this diary and process your grieving in whatever way works for you.  Share whatever you need to share.  We can't solve each other's problems, but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.
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Sat Jul 07, 2012 at 04:44 PM PDT

Today I am a Widow

by Lorikeet

Yesterday started out like any other day. My husband of almost thirty-nine years was the poster child of a night person. He would go to bed in the morning around seven, and get up at one in the afternoon. Yesterday, one o'clock came and went, and he wasn't up. I thought he might want to sleep later because he might have gone to bed late, so I didn't come up to wake him until two.

When I woke him up, he was groggy and I couldn't understand him well. I thought it was because he didn't have his partial dentures in, although I could normally understand him. He said he had woken up before but he was dizzy. I went downstairs while he was going to get dressed. My son, who was upstairs, said he was having trouble getting out of bed because he was dizzy. We told him to raise both arms, and one was lower than the other. He said he had to get up to go to work. He hadn't worked outside the home in over forty years, so my son and I said "uh oh stroke?" and called 911.

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Thu May 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM PDT

A robocall that wasn't

by Lorikeet

This isn't much of a diary, but I just had to tell someone about the wannabe robocall I just got. Someone somewhere must have played a joke on me, or made a grievous error, as this is the first election I've been getting Republican information. Not much, mind you, but as the letters come asking for money, I dutifully send them back with all the literature included, in their no charge return envelope. I generally include some comment about how they are all wrong and to please remove me from the list.

Today was a little different. This time, the phone rang, and since it is near election time for us (California's primary is coming up soon), I figured 50% it was an election call, 25% it was my brother, and 25% it was someone selling vinyl windows or aluminum siding or offering me a new credit card or mortgage refinance. Well, it certainly was an election call. When I answered the phone, the gentleman gave his name and said he was calling for Reince Priebus. Um. Then he launched into the usual, "Whoever we decide is our nominee, we all agree that we don't want Obama" routine. I tried interrupting, but he kept on with his spiel. Finally I decided it was a recording, and I'd wait to the end to see when I could ask them to stop calling me.  After the obligatory, "We could use $50 or $75 dollars" there was a pause.  

I said, "Is this a recording?"  
He said, "Was I that bad?"
I said, "Well, in the beginning I thought you were a person, but after I tried to interrupt you several times, you just weren't listening."
He said, "How much do you want to give?"
I said, "You still aren't listening. I have been a Democrat my entire life and I'm 66 years old and live in San Francisco. Would you please take me off your list?!"
He agreed to do that.

I know some people think  it's fun to keep those guys on the line as long as possible so they can't call other people, but I doubt that job, volunteer or not (probably not heh) is much fun anyway. I sure don't need more interruptions via telephone. (Yes, I am a luddite with no answering machine and no caller ID on my phone.)

Discuss

Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:07 PM PDT

Jury Duty and Mushrooms--A Look Back

by Lorikeet

I was cutting mushrooms the other day, and my mind started to wander and the next thing you know, I was musing about jury duty. So how did this happen? Stick with me over the entwined orange mushrooms to see what happened.

Poll

Have you ever served on a jury?

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| 160 votes | Vote | Results

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