Category Archives: family

The Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia – narrated by Bronson Pinchot

I simply adored this trilogy! I don’t think I have ever finished a trilogy and then immediately began reading book one again like I did with this one. When it was over I just wanted to peak back at how it began. I honestly didn’t think I would listen to all three books again but that is exactly what I did. There were little details I had missed the first time as well as some things that became clear the second time through since I was in pain, on drugs and grieving the first time through. I think that’s another reason I didn’t want to let the trilogy go. It had been a huge comfort to me through what was probably the most difficult few weeks of this year.

My friend Ricardo told me about “Hard Magic” when he was reading it and he was very enthusiastic about it. I can’t remember if I checked it out then, but later when it was an Audible daily deal and Ricardo noticed and told me, I read the publisher’s summary. Honestly, whoever wrote the summaries for these books did them a vast disservice in my opinion. A private detective who uses magic? Um, isn’t there already a hugely popular series of books like that? The book just didn’t sound appealing to me at all. However Ricardo has never recommended a book I didn’t like and it was a daily deal so I took a chance. Oh thank goodness I did!

“Hard Magic” begins when a farmer is annoyed by yet another car full of “Okies” comes by looking for work. I read “Grapes of Wrath” earlier this year so that immediately placed the time setting of the book for me during the Dust Bowl era. The farmer notices a scrawny teenaged girl in the car with grey eyes and against his better judgement,decides to intervene on the girl’s behalf since he recognizes her as having a special magical power that kills most before they reach adulthood. It’s a good thing he decided to take her under his wing. She quickly became my favorite character. Faye Vierra! I adore you!

Next we meet Jake Sullivan, the aforementioned private detective. Pretty much after this the publisher’s summary does the book no justice. It took me a bit to get into it, simply because it was so bizarre I couldn’t yet wrap my head around the things that were happening. I soon realized I had been transported to an alternate history, this one full of all sorts of magical powers and interesting characters mixed with real people from that time. If a name sounded familiar, chances are looking it up would lead me to a Wikipedia page about that person and their life. Examples are John Moses Browning, Jay Edgar Hoover himself and Raymond Chandler, to name just a few.

Faye and Jake meet others like them and what follows is an almost X-Men like gathering of people with special talents coming together to fight evil and protect magical and non-magical folks alike.

Oh and there are airships, did I mention airships? Yeah, remember how I feel about the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld? The Grimnoir Chronicles is the Leviathan series on steroids! By the time the first book was over I was giggling and applauding and I couldn’t wait for the next one.

The narration? Bravo! Bronson Pinchot does so many different voices and accents, from the deep slow voice of Jake to the soft accented voice of Faye to the odd and creepy Pale Horse and on and on, he was brilliant! It wasn’t until I was grabbing links for this post a couple days ago that I read he played Balki on Perfect Strangers! You could have knocked me over with a feather! Luckily he narrates the whole series.

I failed to mention that our heroes are called the Knights of the Grimnoir. They have really awesome rings. I want a Grimnoir ring haha! I am getting obsessed. In “Hard Magic” they are tasked with saving the east coast of America from a peace (death?) ray invented by Nikola Tesla in the hands of The Chairman, a seemingly immortal wizard and ruler of the Imperial Council. Will they succeed?

She scrabbled behind a marble statue of a fat man holding a blimp…

This series is full of heart pounding battles with weapons from guns and swords to all sorts of magic you’ve never even dreamed of!
“Hard Magic” at Audible ~ “Hard Magic” at Amazon

In “Spellbound” we learn of a magical curse that has attached itself to one of the Grimnoir. Soon the Elders of the Grimnoir Society must decide what to do about this spellbound in order to prevent what could possibly happen in the future if this person is allowed to live. But first the Knights have a foe to battle once again in the mysterious Crow and his government agency which is hellbent on controlling those with magic.

Oh there’s also that little issue of a dead man calling Sullivan on a spirit phone in order to warn him of the coming enemy who has hunted the power nonstop. The power will flee to keep from getting caught and it’s up to the Knights to stop the enemy before it can succeed. Can the Grimnoir manage to do their jobs while their hands are tied with politics? Not much different from our heroes today, if you think about it.

There were slight changes to the narration which was quite noticeable listening back-to-back so it was a bit of a bummer getting used to two of the returning characters having different accents but aside from that the narration was just as fabulous as in the first book. This one really ties the first and third books together nicely and is just as action packed. I couldn’t help but think about my dad when we went to see Independence Day all those years ago. He pointed out how frustrating it was that everything they seemed to try failed. Not everything goes perfectly four our heroes in these books either.

I think it might have been this one, or the end of the first one, with a funny Batman reference haha. I just remembered that.

“Spellbound” at Audible ~ “Spellbound” at Amazon

“Warbound” is the conclusion to the series unfortunately. When I finished it the second time I was sad because I knew I was really done with them now. Even though I knew how it ended I kept expecting things to change. In this book, Sullivan has to team up with Toru, a fearsome foe from book two. The relationship between them is incredibly entertaining and Toru has some fabulous dry lines that made me giggle. I love Toru!

Sullivan has to put together a rag tag group of crazy volunteers to try and stop the enemy from destroying everything and finding the power. One of the best characters introduced in “Warbound” is the thirties version of Hannibal Lecter. Creepy! There was what I think of as an X-Files reference with this black oil stuff that made my stomach turn. There was an extremely powerful conversation with a zombie. What didn’t this book have? There were armored suits, fierce battles, even fiercer than the first two books, death and destruction, magic flinging heroes and foes uniting, terrifying creatures with no skin, harrowing escapes and even a budding love story.

Some of these scenes could be straight out of a screen play they are so well written. You can literally see the action happening. One of my favorite mental images was of a fragile origami duck in the palm of an armored suit.

Ah, I’m so sad it’s over. Correia leaves it open for more books in the Grimnoir universe but this particular arc is closed. I think it was all done brilliantly!

When you didn’t know what kind of trouble to expect it was best to bring guns and friends with guns.

Series Rating: Marriage Material

“Warbound” at Audible ~ “Warbound” at Amazon

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

You know, normally I am Mrs. Bah Humbug on Christmas day. I seemed to live in the past or something and not just accept what Christmas is for me today and that is a very simple day of relaxing with b. Why did I have so much envy for the people posting their family stories on social networks? Why couldn’t I be happy for the people with children to spoil with gifts? Why couldn’t I be thrilled for adults with big Christmas trees and plenty of wrapped presents to open from loved ones?

Something changed in me this year and I’m just so incredibly happy! There were no presents to open, no new toys and gadgets to play with, just me and B and Jayden and the cats and the dinner I’ve been planning since Thanksgiving when we once again ate from a food establishment.

There is peace in the thought that Gamma isn’t suffering through another lonely Christmas missing her husband. I miss her. I miss talking to her on the phone today. But I’m cooking Mom’s roast in Gamma’s pot and while I was preparing it I couldn’t help but smile thinking about how both of them are represented for me today.

So what if my Christmas isn’t “typical”? So what if there aren’t decorations and bows and wrapping paper? Ice T put it perfectly in a tweet of his this morning. He wrote something like, if you have a warm place to sleep, you are having a Merry Christmas.

I will embrace my inner peace today and not question why I am happy. I just am! And that is a lovely place to be.

PS – I’m starting to smell the roast cooking!

PPS – B was in charge of picking out a pie since I was too ill to bake one like I wanted. Why did I even bother to ask what he got? peanut butter, of course!

PPPS – I’m going to post this completely as is to capture how I feel in this moment. 🙂

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Filed under cats, family, Gamma, gratitude, holiday, Jayden, misty eyes, mom, num num food

Irrigating Sockets. Huh?

Yesterday was a week since my tooth extraction surgery and the pain had gotten so bad that I literally listened to my phone count down until 8am when I could call the oral surgeon. I was still having my phone wake me up every three hours to take over-the-counter medication and when I couldn’t get back to sleep after the 3:30am Advil due to the pain not going away I lay in bed and decided that come hell or high water I was seeing a dental professional no matter what or who I had to do and if I had to find a dragon to fly me to the appointment. Geesh what is with my run-ons lately?

Unfortunately the surgeon wasn’t at the office near me yesterday since he splits his time between that and another office. Too bad for my dragon, the other office was on the complete other side of town. I got an appointment for 2:30 and began trying to find a ride. B couldn’t take off like he normally can since he was giving a training. He had suggested my Aunt B (haha hey, Aunt B) but I thought she was in Phoenix working a show. I thought my uncle was off though so I called him. Turns out he was at work but he said to call Aunt B. Wow, my fog had been so thick after Gamma died that I really had things messed up about who was here and who wasn’t. Aunt B was more than happy to be my dragon.

It took us forever to get clear across town and we were slightly late but that didn’t matter since I wasn’t called back until 3:30 anyway. Sitting in the lobby was just starting to get my anxiety up when I heard my name. It was Leah! I wondered if she went with the surgeon when he did time at this location and sure enough, there she was. Jayden immediately recognized her and all his uncertainty about this new location melted away as he followed her.

The surgeon looked at my mouth and said there was no infection which was great. I was concerned about infection since this awful taste was coming out of the right socket. Gross, I know, so sorry. He irrigated the hole and said a lot of debris came out of it. I asked why I had gotten dry socket even though I had done everything I was supposed to and he said sometimes that just happens. Just my luck, eh?

He put some clove oil in the socket (heaven!) and repacked it. I asked if he was going to do the left side. He said no since I said it was the right side that hurt worse. Um yes, but the left side is still sore so while I’m here, let’s take care of that one too, shall we? Lots of debris came out of that side as well. He packed that one and sent me on my way.

I was impressed with the place last week. This week? Not so much. I think it might have been the difference in locations. This place seemed totally unorganized. They’d had six hours since I called to get my chart from the other office but they hadn’t gotten it. I just really hope this whole thing is done and I can move on to just getting normal work done at the normal dentist.

Something I had completely forgotten about came back to me after yesterday. When I was a phlebotomist working in the lab at the air force base years ago, an airman dared me to draw my own blood so I did. That skill came in handy years later when I ran a draw station and needed fasting labs done haha! Anyway, I had picked a light blue tube to use that day so the techs went ahead and ran a prothrombin time test on me. That checks your clotting factors. The tech told me that according to results, I clot just fine on the outside, but if I ever have any bleeding internally, there might be problems. I wonder if this dry socket has anything to do with that, since dry socket happens because the clot in the wound is lost too quickly. Perhaps I didn’t make a strong enough clot. The mouth isn’t technically internal, but the blood isn’t fully exposed to air so who knows? Me and my medical mind haha!

The surgeon sent me home with a syringe to irrigate my sockets after every meal. Aunt B and I laughed on the way home because Leah explained everything to Aunt B, saying I’d need help aiming the needle-like tip on the syringe into the socket. There was no point in explaining that Aunt B doesn’t live with me and that I can do it just fine on my own, thank you very much. In fact it’s really not hard at all. I just wash my hands and feel where the syringe tip is and put it right near the socket. It seems like it would be harder for someone else to do for me, especially since I stand over the sink so the water runs out.

It’s not very pleasant so I didn’t eat very often today haha! It might just turn out to be a decent diet plan. 😉

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“14” by Peter Clines – narrated by Ray Porter

When I finished the Joe Ledger novels earlier in the year, I went browsing on Audible for other books narrated by Ray Porter. He had quickly become one of my new favorite narraters after the Ledger series and he was the first narrator I’d ever shopped for. “14” grabbed my attention so I picked it up but hadn’t gotten around to reading it.

What an insanely different book! I do believe I’ll browse through Peter Clines’ other books. I wonder if any of them are read by Ray Porter. I just love him!

“14” is about this apartment building in LA. A book about an apartment building? Yeah. This apartment building is just weird. When Nate Tucker moves in after his roommate situation ends, he notices some weird stuff but he brushes it aside because the rent is dirt cheap and all utilities are included. Plus the view is amazing and his neighbor is cute. But eventually the weirdness becomes impossible to ignore and he teams up with some of his other neighbors to start investigating, Scooby Doo style. Clines did a great job of making me not trust a single one of these people. Or perhaps it’s just my constantly suspicious mind.

I could not tell where this book was going for most of it. There was an excellent LOST reference and I was a little concerned that the book would just sort of follow the same lines as the show but I needn’t have worried. I quickly became engrossed in the mystery of the building and my curiosity about the characters was peaked. Especially Tim. Was he really a retired book publisher? What is up with that guy? There is a female character who ‘s computer parts hoarding reminds me of Carol but I can’t spell the character’s name and Google isn’t helping.

The book began somewhat slowly and as the gang started their investigating I kept thinking of Carol’s biggest complaint with the last Harry Potter book. “They just walk around the forest!”

Eventually however, the pace picked up and things started clicking into place and there was a race to the finish line at the end. The very ending was what I was hoping for. It was one of those things you could see coming but you didn’t roll your eyes when it came.

I pulled a notable quote. There’s a scene with a theatre type ladder, two ladders joined together to make a triangle with a third ladder rising from the point straight up in the air. It’s used to adjust set lighting and I can still picture my uncle straddling one. No thanks, I preferred the Genie. Anyway, the character who’s name I can’t spell obviously felt the same about the ladder:

A ladder is a flag poll with delusions of grandeur.

I think fans of science fiction will enjoy this book and if you appreciate great narration, this one is for you. I kept expecting to hear characters from the Joe Ledger books but nope! Ray Porter is just that good! Although Tim did sound kinda like one of those guys, not Joe or Bunny or Mr. Church ok I’m side tracked.

Rating: So good!

“14” at Audible ~ “14” at Amazon

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“Metro Girl” by Janet Evanovich – narrated by C.J. Critt

When B and I went to West Virginia for Christmas in 2008, his sister-in-law gave me a huge box full of audio books on CD that she had from when she used to do a lot of commuting. I would reach into the “mystery box of books”, pop a CD in, hope it was the beginning of a book, and sit back on my couch. That’s pretty much how I spent my early blind days, the mystery box and audio books a friend would bring from the campus library at the school she taught for.

“Metro Girl” was one of the mystery books and I enjoyed it so much back then I listened to it again immediately after I finished it. I had read quite a few Janet Evanovich books before this one and while I liked it, I wished it had been narrated by Lorelei King like the Stephanie Plum series was.

“Metro Girl” is one of the few books I kept from that box and I had recently copied all my audio books on CD to my computer for easier listening. When I finished “The Cider House rules” last month and tried to read “David Copperfield”, I decided I needed something light and ‘Metro’ was on my iPod.

I enjoyed it again but oh man do I not like the narration haha. I’m surprised a few reviews at Audible spoke highly of it. The lead male is supposed to be this sexy Nascar driver but he sounds like a bumbling fool. I kept trying to picture Matthew McConaughey but it didn’t work.

This is just a cute book though, about a thirty year old woman who’s brother goes missing in Florida. She runs off from baltimore to try and find him and runs into the Nascar guy, who’s boat her brother seems to have disappeared in.

Janet Evanovich creates funny characters and puts them in some crazy situations. I didn’t know until I got the link to this book on Amazon that this book has turned into a series. Unfortunately the next book is narrated by the same woman so I don’t think I’ll be getting it. Maybe I’ll read it on the now accessible Kindle app on my iPhone.

Rating: Entertaining

“Metro Girl” at Audible ~ “Metro Girl” at Amazon

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My Week in Five er, Six Songs

A fun sounding writing prompt came up yesterday but I wasn’t sure I’d do it. this morning a song popped in my head and I started thinking of other songs to fit into a five song playlist to describe my week. I picked last Monday to today. Can you guess the song before clicking the link? All the links are you tubes and they open in a new window.

Last Monday I had to go to the doctor and she wants me to have a procedure. It’s just a procedure and not surgery, but I hope the gastroenterologist isn’t like this surgeon.

Tuesday I tried to gather enough energy to get ready for an out of town guest. I tried to find a good song about out of town guests but all I found were songs about weddings. Huh? B’s dad was here for a visit Wednesday and we hung out until Friday afternoon when he and B drove up to Phoenix for Spring Training. He flew out this morning (B just got home and said his dad missed his flight. It was crazy in Phoenix this weekend with the World Baseball Classic and Spring Training and apparently it’s spring break this week too.) and B will be back today. (Yeah, he’s already back. Can YOu tell I started this post awhile ago?) I got to prepare some food for myself that I don’t normally eat much of when I eat with B, so I thought I’d find a song about cooking. It’s fun to sing while you cook. My shrimp was dead.

I was sad the night B and his dad left so after I cooked dinner I treated myself to another season of my favorite comedy. Happy making! The show kept me company for the weekend.

The rest of the time, I listened to my favorite sport. If you don’t know what that is without clicking the link, you don’t know me at all!

Last night I went to bed early so I could get up early this morning to get ready for Jayden’s wellness check vet appointment. (He earned a clean bill of health again!) I told B on the phone last night I felt really old going to bed so early and this morning my hips hurt and my knees were popping as I was getting ready and the song that came to mind let me know I had to follow the writing prompt and write this post. I could not find the original recording of that song on youtube, so I picked that cover out of the several I listened to. It reminded me of my dad sitting around singing country songs and playing his guitar while I was growing up.

Ok, bonus round. Back in my karaoke days my friend L did this song and I’ve tried to find it for years but never knew the artist or enough lyrics. The other day I found myself singing it to Jayden, replacing the word “ladies” with his name. I finally remembered I have the Sound Hound app and after humming the song to it, I finally found it! Don’t worry, the subject matter does not pertain at all to my life. 😉

How many songs did you guess? Leave me a comment and tell me. I won’t know if you lie, but your dog will. Huh?


Filed under apple Inc, baseball, cool product, doc, family, Jayden, music, num num food, plugs, vet visit, youtube

Doggy Diaries – Home Three Years

I’m probably the only one who celebrates the anniversary of arriving home with my guide dog haha. I just finished reading the post I wrote the night we got home. We’re about to have the same sort of weather. I probably only find that funny because I’m exhausted at the moment. Been having more health problems, nothing too severe, but it’s left me drained. I’m incredibly food stoned right now, too. B’s dad is visiting and we went to Carrabba’s for dinner. I love that place!

Just had to write on our arrival home anniversary hehe! Oh yeah, Jayden is totally passed out right now. He loves B’s dad and he went on a run around the house this morning. He doesn’t react to anyone the way he does to B’s dad. It’s so fun! Ok, I think I’ll go pass out now too.

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Filed under Doggy Diaries, family, Jayden, jayden quirks, num num food, on this date, spoons

“Armageddon’s Children” (The Genesis of Shannara Book 1) by Terry Brooks – narrated by Dick Hill

When B and I went to West Virginia for Christmas back in 2008, his sister-in-law gave me a box full of audio books on CD. It was such an awesome gift as a newly blind girl who was discovering just how expensive audio books were from the book stores. B’s parents also got me a couple Harry Potter books and I felt like I made out like a bandit. For a long time after that, I would reach into what I called the “mystery box of books, pop in a CD and see what I had.

“Armageddon’s Children” was one of those books and it ended on a total cliffhanger. With every new book I grabbed out of the box, I hoped I’d find a sequel but I never did. For years now I’ve thought about that book, not remembering many details, but thinking about the ending and wondering whatever happened to the characters.

Recently I was talking to Carol about books and I was telling her about the mystery book with the cliffhanger I always wondered about but didn’t know title or author. I told her I thought maybe it had creatures called oncemen but Google searches never pulled anything up that sounded familiar. I told her I remembered it was set in a post apocalyptic world and she asked if I had tried googling that along with oncemen. I hadn’t, because I hadn’t ever remembered oncemen before so I tried it while on the phone with her and found the book! My hands began shaking as I searched Audible and they had it along with the next two in the trilogy. Yes! And narrated by Dick Hill! Oh and guess what else? It was on sale for five bucks.

I finished it last night and started the next one, which isn’t narrated by Dick Hill, nor is the third one. I’m actually somewhat grateful, because I associate his voice with characters like Harry Bosch and ‘Children’ is a dystopian novel about magic Knights of the Word and elves and demons. The book is about what happened after war pretty much destroyed civilization making way for the demons to begin to thrive. It’s up to a Knight of the Word to find the Gypsy Morph, the magical creature who is the only hope left for humanity.

I don’t typically read books like this, which is partly why I enjoyed that mystery box of books. There were so many different types and I couldn’t be picky since I had no idea what I was grabbing. I couldn’t judge a book by its cover. I remembered loving this book and this time through was no different. It’s just plain good, in my opinion and I’m so grateful I found it! I think the cliffhanger deal is what made me write a cliffhanger in my last San Diego post, so blame Terry Brooks. 😉

I can’t wait to go to bed tonight and read more of the second book! I’m glad it has a different narrator because in ‘Children’ one of the street kids sounded just like Jerry Edgar from the Harry Bosch books that Dick Hill narrated haha! Oh, and Hill also sings! He does an old person singing Amazing Grace. I couldn’t believe it when he started to sing and he did a darned good job! Dick Hill, multi talented narrator.

Rating: So good!

“Armageddon’s Children” at Audible ~ “Armageddon’s Children” at Amazon

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A Letter to Fourteen Year-Old Me

I follow a Twitter account that is posting daily writing prompts to assist people with NaBloPoMo ideas. Part of me really wants to come up with my own ideas but I think that’s the stubborn part. I found one of the ideas really intriguing so I saved the tweet. For today’s post, I’ll write a letter to my fourteen year-old self. Whoa. I’m imagining it being November 4, 1993. Tomorrow I’ll write a letter to myself in twenty years. I’ve been trying to recall who I was when I was fourteen. This should be interesting!

Dear fourteen year-old Ro,

Did your eyes light up when I referred to you as Ro? I bet they did. I know how much you always wished you could have a cool nickname and how you fantasized that you could be like Ro Laren from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Well guess what? You don’t turn out like Ro, but you’ll be known as Ro in your thirties. How cool is that?

It’s funny that I’m writing this letter to you because just yesterday I played four X-Files episodes so I could convert them to mp3. You have no idea what that means I realize. Oh, the technology that is coming, I won’t even begin to try and explain because I think it might freak you out a little bit. Just…pay attention to a lot of what they use in Star Trek, ok? Because I can tell you from first hand knowledge of the future that some of that is real in my time. Don’t get too excited; they haven’t figured out how to transport things yet. You and your friend Carol will wish for that a lot when you grow up. Transporters and replicators would make life so easy but I guess maybe we won’t see that in our lifetime. Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t want you getting your hopes up. Technology is going to be a huge part of your life in the future. I know right now you’re resistant to it but just trust me, ok? Oh, and try to remember what that little Mac is called when Mom gives it to you.

Congratulations on making it through middle school. I know that was awful and I know you’re still recovering from it and wishing it had never happened. Try and believe me when I say it made you incredibly strong and you have no idea what that hardship prepared you for as you grow up. I won’t go into details but I will tell you that everything you’re going through now is all going to be invaluable as you face challenges in life. There will be challenges. But you overcome them because of your experience. Just keep doing everything you’re doing because I have no regrets. You’re doing it all the right way.

Except, quit being so hard on yourself about Mom and Dad’s marriage, ok? It’s not your fault. No really. It’s not your fault.

On a happier note, you know how much you love cats? Well that doesn’t stop and Combat and Little Kitty are with you for a really long time. You know how you think you’ll never have a dog? Well you’re gonna have the coolest dog ever, take my word for it on that. I’m sitting with him on the couch as I write this and he is the light of my life. You’re probably rolling your eyes at that but it’s the truth!

I want to say I’m very proud of you for waiting with G. Your future self is grateful you didn’t give in to your hormones with him. You really are too young for that and that is totally ok, so just keep waiting. You know that boy C who sits with you in Biology? Can you try to keep closer tabs on him? You’re probably laughing at me right now. I know you don’t think much of him now but you just wait. I lost touch with him and only just recently found him on Facebook but neither of us uses it much so I still don’t know what’s up with him. I’m sure the word Facebook is confusing you. There is so much in the realm of technology you’ll experience! I wish I could watch. Oh and Wesley Crusher? Yeah, I follow him on Twitter. Wil Wheaton that is. Don’t ask what Twitter is, it’s too hard to explain. I’ve talked to him though. Well not really I mean he hasn’t replied to me but his wife has! Oh sorry, yeah he has a wife and it’s not you. Oh that was harsh? Just helping to toughen that skin!

Oh, I know I said I had no regrets from this time in our life but I do want to make one suggestion. Stay in the girls chorus one year longer ok? If you graduate when I did you’ll be really upset the next year when you find out where the tour is. I know you left chorus to focus on getting ready for college but trust me on this and stay in an extra year. The experience of the trip will be so much better than the time wasted preparing for college. Wait, I’m not saying that college isn’t important, but please, for the love of everything Nirvana, stay in an extra year. I wish I had gotten to go on that trip…

Speaking of trips, wasn’t New York amazing? You’ll be telling stories from that trip for the rest of your life. That was such an incredible experience. Please add to it and stay in choir another year. Ok ok, I’ll drop it.

You’re probably getting bored of this letter and I bet there’s an episode of The X-Files getting ready to start or something. Oh hey thanks for recording all those episodes on the VCR. Those tapes really came in handy when I was about twenty-one or so. Just wait until you see how people record TV shows and movies today!

Keep on being the cool kid you are right now. Yes I said cool. You don’t think you’re cool but you are and you helped me be who I am today. Remember about choir and keep hanging on to those morals of yours; they get you through a lot. Mom is going to talk to you about drinking. Pay attention ok? Don’t change what you do with that information, but it becomes very valuable when you’re twenty-six. Thanks. I think that’s about all I have. I wish I could go back in time and give you a hug. Get ready for the crazy ride the next twenty years will take you on. You’ll be amazed when you sit here and write this letter to yourself, amazed at what you’ve been through and survived. Enjoy it, none of your books could have written it any better!


Thirty-three year-old Ro

PS – I still refuse to step foot inside The Gap. Oh, and I love baseball. No seriously. Ok, you’ll believe it in about seventeen years or so.


Filed under apple Inc, baseball, cats, Combat, family, gratitude, Jayden, letters, mom, My story, NaBloPoMo 2012, on this date, proud geek, sobriety, twitter me this

Just when you think you’re getting better, you murder the coffee maker

After I murdered a cell phone a number of years ago, I am really good about not throwing electronics. Does a coffee maker count as an electronic? It’s an appliance, so perhaps not. So I think I’m still good in the not throwing electronics department.

Today was not a good day. Mr. Coffee thoroughly tipped me over after an unexpected change of plans let the veil of depression try to lower once more. It was creepy really, feeling it try and come back. I am hyper aware of my mental health lately after clawing my way out of the last horrible and paralyzing depression.

Today we were supposed to meet my uncle and aunt for lunch after they picked Gamma up. Gamma’s birthday is Monday so we were going to celebrate today. I was really looking forward to it. My uncle called at about ten this morning to let me know that Gamma had a bad night last night and didn’t want to go out today. He said he’d call me back since his house phone was ringing and it was most likely her. I hung up with him and continued listening to comedy on ootunes as I had been doing before he called.

B got up not long after that and I told him and said I was just waiting for my uncle to call back and give me more details. As time wore on I could literally feel my mood darken. I don’t remember ever feeling that before. I could feel the depression trying to seep back into me and I tried to fight it. B and I decided to do our normal Saturday thing and he stepped out for a minute to get lunch and I prepared my afternoon pot of coffee to have with lunch.

That’s when it got bad. Thank you, Mr. Coffee, for nothing. I had just bought that coffee maker a month ago after the last one barely made it a year. A year is at least better than a month. Today when I pushed the brew button nothing happened. It had been making a strange sound here and there but I thought it was just that noise that sometimes happens when there’s pressure between the hot plate and the decanter. I pressed the off button and the on button again. I tried moving plugs. Nothing happened. I lost it. I snapped. Completely snapped.

I had the presence of mind to take the glass part out of the thing before I slammed it down into the sink. I just kept slamming it in the sink and water and coffee grounds went flying. I was sobbing and raving and banging on the counter and I picked the thing up and cursed at it and went to throw it in the bathtub but then I told myself I’d just have coffee grounds in the tub so I set the thing back on the counter and began tearing at it, pulling it apart, ripping apart the plastic pieces. If I didn’t have animals to worry about I would have shattered the glass part. I collapsed on the kitchen floor after shoving the thing in the trash. I leaned against the cabinet, wet and messy with coffee grounds and sobbed.

I thought, I need to clean this up before B gets home. Then I thought, no he needs to see what I’ve done. I won’t hide. Hiding won’t help. So I went and sat on the carpet. Jayden tentatively came to me and just sat by my side. My breathing began to slow but tears still ran down my face. My uncle called.

I hid that I was crying. I wouldn’t hide from B but I would hide from my uncle. He said they had been to see Gamma. He apologized for not calling me back sooner. I could hear my tone was clipped and I think I sounded angry. I eventually sent him an email explaining that I had just murdered a coffee maker before he called and I was hiding my crying. He hasn’t written back. I hate to add to the stress that him and my dad are under. The last thing they need is to worry about me.

I got out my backup coffee maker that doesn’t make great coffee but it’s better than nothing. I set it up on the dry part of the counter and made a pot and was sitting on the couch after having gathered the courage to turn on the Rays game when B came home.

He acted like it was completely normal to come home to a beat up kitchen and destroyed coffee maker. He didn’t bat an eye at the fact that he couldn’t set his stuff down on the counter since it was covered in water and coffee grounds. I asked if he would call the men in white coats and he said he is the men in white coats and I agreed because he is. He said this is normal. It’s normal to beat up the kitchen? Yes, when you’re under the stress you’ve been under. He laughed. I relaxed.

It is normal. But I don’t like it. And I don’t want things to escalate. I thought of my friend who knew she needed help when she beat up the refrigerator. Is it coincidence that I already have an appointment with my doc on Monday? I think not.

I asked B if he thought I should get on some meds. He quietly said it couldn’t hurt. After a bit I asked if he had been afraid to say that, afraid I’d get mad. No, he wasn’t afraid of that. I asked if he had been wanting to suggest I go on meds. He said no, he would never tell me what to do. I said I value his opinion. He said nothing works unless you come to it on your own. Ah…how right he is.

He suggested a few different medications to talk with my doctor about. I don’t expect it to be a quick fix and I don’t expect to not still have to work on my mental health. When I first went blind I was put on meds to help me get through the adjustment period and I think I might need that now, though maybe more long term. I’ve been having some scary cardiovascular symptoms which I am finding out can be anxiety. I’m sure my doc will check for other things too but it is sure sounding like anxiety. Or too much coffee. Or both. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

So perhaps Mr. Coffee does deserve my thanks. Perhaps this shoddy coffee maker that only lasted a month was just the catalyst I needed to admit to myself that I need some chemical help to get through this latest upheaval.

I’m still switching brands though. B just called from the store. I’m going with a Hamilton Beach decanterless model. Let’s hope it lives a nice long life.

Oh, funny aside. Remember the first time I explained how not to spill coffee on electronics? I no longer use that wireless keyboard but of course I’m hanging onto it. Last night I moved it from behind my laptop and put it on the breakfast bar with the intention of taking it to the bedroom with me when I went to bed so I could put it in a drawer for safe keeping. I forgot it.

The breakfast bar is near where the coffee maker is kept. The coffee maker I murdered today. Guess where a lot of the flying water and coffee grounds ended up? You guessed it. The breakfast bar. So that poor little keyboard has survived brewed coffee and now unbrewed coffee and it still works. It’s an Apple product so that explains it.

Oh, and have you ever tried to clean up a kitchen after throwing around dry coffee grounds that mix with water? Yeah. Have you ever lay on the beach? You know how it’s impossible to wash off all the sand? It’s like that. I must admit though, scrubbing the kitchen after I ate and talked to B and decided to go on meds and calmed down was rather cathartic.


Filed under apple Inc, birthday, coffeeholic, doc, family, Gamma, humor as coping skill, Jayden, mental health, misty eyes