sarahbyrdd: (bluebird)
I've become that person.

There's a discussion over on www.bfdblog.com about a proposed ban on Happy Meal toys in one California county:

"A child’s “Happy Meal” may soon be a little less happy in Santa Clara County, where a local official wants to prevent fast-food restaurants from giving away inexpensive toys with kids’ orders. County supervisor Ken Yeager plans to ask his colleagues today to order up a law regulating when fast-food outlets can serve toy cars, action figures and other freebies as part of their children’s’ menus. Yeager says the toys entice young customers to load up on high-calorie fare and may contribute to childhood obesity." 

They're chopping down trees and not seeing the forest.  The real issue here is advertising to children. Come here my pretty, and I'll give you a toy if you eat this processed food that's been designed to be highly craveable, and by the time you're an adult you'll have a habit (near addiction) formed in childhood that will be a bitch to kick. CACKLECACKLECACKLE.   How many times were you swayed as a child to choose a particular cereal because of the toy surprise?  

Advertising to children works: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/15/business/media/15kids.html?adxnnl=1&pagewanted=1&adxnnlx=1269529202-aBP7ThplZ/v9P0KmsP9+GA

"They are “powerful and incredibly insidious,” said Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “The goal is to incorporate a brand into a child’s identity.”

Collect 3 proofs of purchase from Ovaltine and send them in for a decoder ring and you too can be in Orphan Annie's Detective Squad!  And it's not just about getting a kid to drink your specific product.  It's about teaching a kid to be a consumer, to want a thing because it's part of a set of things "COLLECT THEM ALL". 

I'm rambling and ranting.  But I guess my point is, hell yes, get rid of the plastic toys, but also let's stop letting advertisers tell kids (so that's it's ingrained by adulthood) that you have to have X, Y or Z to be cool and fit in, to equate stuff with self-worth.  Is it apples and oranges?  I don't think so.  So there you have it.  Happy meals caused the financial crisis. 
sarahbyrdd: (rents)
And I only know because I dialed back when he didn't leave a message this evening ... and he's been in since Friday.  The system is broken, and I'm not sure how to fix it.
sarahbyrdd: (Default)
NY Times article adds up the typical yearly expendatures of the former masters of the universe to suggest that $500,000 isn't a realistic sum:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/fashion/08halfmill.html?em

Now, excuse me. First, (and I could be wrong) but, wouldn't the salary cap only apply if the firm takes bail-out funds? Second, if you've run your company into the ground I would think you should be thankful that you have a job at all much less gripe about having to take a cut so that your company might have some hope of survival. Third, @#$%^&*@#$@# *steam comes out of ears* I'm tired of the FMotU whining about having an ounce of their privilege removed. Fellahs, you got greedy, got stupid, and took the country with you. Time to pay the piper.
sarahbyrdd: (rents)

1) I really wish my mother would figure out how to silence her cell ringer without hanging up on the caller -- so I could leave a message when she's with a client.

2)  Someone stomped on my toe (by accident) in the subway this morning.  It kinda set the tone for the day.

3) Spoke with TH. They're continuing to sort through the MA'rents's tax stuff for 2007 and prep 2008 with an eye to turning it all over to a book keeper. There's also talk of the MA'rents going somewhere for rehab (physical (and through the back door alcohol)). Some where warm like Florida or Arizona. Whatever. Ship them off to the Betty Ford, get em dried out. Stepmonster may or may not be eating, and she claims she's not drinking, but the gin bottle is on the table.   So says TH.  I'm going to call in the morning and see if I can catch SH for her take on things.   I'm also putting off my weekly(ish) call to the MA'rents until tomorrow so I can catch them before they're too boozed up ... and so that it's the same day as my next appointment with Dr. E, my shrink. 

4)  Amazingly crappy and stressful day at the office with several deadlines all piled up on each other.   My tum is still in knots, and the half sandwich that I have left from lunch may wait for tomorrow before I can face it.  On the other hand, all deadlines were met, by the skin of their teeth, and I didn't yell or burst into tears, so, I win.

5)  Thank goodness and little fluffy kittens, I see Dr. E tomorrow and can do a major vent, naming names and taking no prisoners.

6)  I have a great city weekend with My Feller planned.  Better clean up the not-so-secret-hideaway.  


P.S., GOBAMA!  I'm so happy to have someone from my generation heading to the White House.  

sarahbyrdd: (Default)

Woke up this morning with a headache, is it any wonder?

Lost my wallet this weekend.  It was found intact, and is theoretically being fedexed to arrive this morning.  Fingers crossed.

Both the MA'rents are in the hospital again.  It sounds like they went in on Wednesday or Thursday and NO ONE TOLD ME UNTIL LAST NIGHT. 

Today is my friend R's birthday, I have a lovely dinner out planned and he's griping about feeling abandoned (again), and is picking a fight with me.  I will not poop on his birthday, but it's taking my last bits of good humor to not yell, "DUDE, I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING SURE YOU HAVE A LIFE!" 

I also talked with TH, the stepmonster's nephew, last night.  We're at our wits end.  I mentioned the possiblity of calling Senior Services to go do an evaluation of the house and the MA'rents (in)ability to care for themselves in that environment.  It'll be messy if the state gets involved, but we're getting to the point of drastic measures.  Also, their fiances are probably as much of a shambles as I'd been suspecting, as TH said that the 2007 taxes hadn't been filed and that his wife (SH) was organizing them.  Thank  goodness SH has enough detachment from the situation to actually get things done.
sarahbyrdd: (rents)
The stepmonster is back home.  She was released from the hospital on Friday to  nursing home, and checked herself out of the nursing home this morning against doctors orders.  They're now sorting out the confusion that comes with a long absence from home and leaving a care facility without the proper release.  I will say that I'm glad that she came home before Dad drank himself sick.  There's mutterings of getting down to the city before the holidays to collect her "reward" for abstaning from smoking for 6 months. 

There was also immediate pressure to come for a visit.  "I think you need to come see us", she says.  "Are you coming for Thanksgiving?"  I said I already had plans for Thanksgiving and I'd see what I could do about the rest.  The day she's home from an illness isn't the time to spring the idea that I'm not coming up for a visit longer than an afternoon any time soon.   Reminder to self:  there's an Al-Anon meeting around the corner tomorrow evening. 
sarahbyrdd: (rents)

No change with the MA'rents.  Dad's still at home, stepmonster is still in the hospital, no sign of a biopsy on the horizon.  TH's wife, SDH has been down for a visit and will be returning on Monday.  I encouraged Dad to unleash her on the hospital personnel to get some information about the diagnosis, prognosis, possible treatment, etc..  Having just done a few rounds with the Big C herself, I think SDH knows the right questions to ask and can work the system for the 'rents.  Good.

I had a good long talk with my friend R last night, and he was able to ask the right questions to bring out what was buzzing around in my head.  It boils down to 1) feeling overwhelmed by potentially being put in the position of taking care of the drunks and cleaning up their mess (which is going to be enormous as they have, to my knowledge, other than write wills, done no end of life/long term disability planning); 2) which I greatly resent having done everything I could from age 8 on to cause them the least amount of bother; and 3) it's bad maners to leave a mess behind you for other people to clean up.  Another example of the stunning selfishness of addicts.  

I'm angry.  i'm feeling vindictive.  None of this is very attractive, and I guess it's because I am fundamentally a caring person that I can't quite convince myself to just wash my hands of the whole situation, but it's tempting.  And I don't LIKE feeling angry and vindictive, but I can't find much charity in my heart for a woman who's been actively nasty to me for 36 years or so, and a father who's let this go on and wounded me with neglect in other ways over the years.  Oh yeah, and by the way, I'm angry.

sarahbyrdd: (rents)

I think I can safely say that the MArents lifestyle is no longer catching up with them.  They've been caught and are gasping in the bucket.  I got a call from Dad last night to say that the Stepmonster is in the hospital with pneumonia (again) and this time they think they've seen cancer on the films.   He didn't know if/when they were going to biopsy.  Considering her repetative pneumonia, malnutrition and underweight (not to mention alcohol addiction), I can't imagine she's a good canditate for chemo, but there may be other therapies available.  I don't know.

Dad's alone in the house and reluctant to hire a home health aid because of the expense.  He said he was "shocked", I imagine this is the thing he hoped the most wouldn't happen.  He's in no state to advocate and keep after the hospital staff for information, even if he could conceive of what questions to be asking.  I'm hoping that TH, the Stepmonster's nephew who is her secondary health proxy, will be agressive about getting information and sharing it with the rest of the family.  I'm going to give it a few days and see what information floats to the surface and then give him a call. 

For me, I'm thinking in addition to all my spectacular friends, the Al-Anon is going to be a major life-line, and I'm kicking around the idea of a counselor or therapist that specializes in end-of-life/bereavement issues.  I'm sure someone out there is working this niche.  The worst part is right now there's nothing to do but wait, and coil for the inevitable.
sarahbyrdd: (rents)
 
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly )
-Got to see Bytchearse at the bookends of the weekend.
-Saw KVirtue and my godbebe for dinner on Saturday.
-Excellent pizza Sunday night, Bytchearse was right to brag about it.
-Had a nice chat with Dad over breakfast on Sunday
-The Stepmonster is still not smoking
-They're signed up for Meals On Wheels so food is actually coming to the house
-Made it home and unloaded the car early early enough this morning to have time to grab a shower and put on unrumpled clothes before heading to the office.
 
The Bad:
-They're both having mobility issues now, to the point where they're virtually housebound.
-I had to lift the Stepmonster up the last step into the house because she wasn't strong enough to make it on her own, drive them everywhere, and make sure neither of them took a nose dive. Nervewracking.
-Despite food delivery she's not eating at all (reguarly gags on a tylenol or a bite of food), and he's not eating much.
-They're both drinking.
-Dad especially is starting to have memory lapses regarding recent conversations, and have discussions about past events where I'm not clear he's fully aware how much time is past... this of course gets worse the later in the day it is and the more he drinks.
 
The Ugly:
-Listening to the Stepmonster rant about KVirtue's single mother status (I finally, politely, told her to shut up about it)
-Listening to them both fling various nasty racial epithets towards Obama, and how'd there's be an all black cabinet if he were elected.  Say what you will about his politics or experience, that is uncalled for.  I was furious, and tried to change the topic, but when that failed I just left the room.
-Getting stuck taking them on one last errand at 3:30 on Sunday when I was all set to leave. 
-Watching Dad drink 3 G&Ts between noon and 3pm.  I'm left wondering if he's drinking the same as usual, or maybe a bit more because he knew I was there to catch him if he fell. I was definately feeling like I was taking care of the drunks.  Not fun.

Theoretically, they're coming to NYC next month, and I'm already anticipating an argument when our schedules inevitably won't mesh (I'm sorry, I happen to have a life, and commitments that get set at least a month in advance).  I'm thinking this might be the last time I go up there for a good long while.  I'm tired of watching them slowly kill themselves.  It's their choice, but I don't have to watch it.  
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

Interesting.  The stepmonster apparently plead with one of their neighbors to stay over in the house last night because she was feeling unsafe.  That neighbor just called me, esentially, to say she's excusing herself from the situation, to which I gave a hearty HUZZAH.  The less friends, neighbors, and family enable them to stay in an unsafe environment, the quicker things will come to a head and they'll have to get out of there.  Another friend of theirs will be calling my father with the name of a home health care organization who can send someone over to take care of the stepmonster while she's alone and hopefully continue to come and help out when dad's back in the house.  We can all hope that'll be a first step towards getting them in to assisted living.   

Evidently, the stepmonster was hoping to be admitted to the hospital  yesterday, because she was feeling scared, etc. being alone in the house.  Makes me wonder if her fall and any resulting injury might have been self-inflicted.  Or she was falling down drunk.  Either way, she's not my problem, and this can't go on for much longer.

BTW, I'm being very frank with the neighbors about the situation, the 'rents addiction issues, and how angry I am about the whole situation. 

sarahbyrdd: (Default)

This morning I got a call from the 'rents' housekeeper, who'd gotten a frantic call from my father in the hospital because no one was answering the phone at the house and he was worried about the stepmonster.   The short version is that she'd fallen at some point in the night, had the EMTs come out at 4am and left, then again at 10:30 when they took her to the emergency room.   Shortly thereafter she was discharged from the emergency room.  I spent 3 hours tracking down snippets of information from neighbors and the hospital, and after confirming that she had indeed been discharged, called her cell to see what was up.  She was waiting for a cab to take her home and had talked to my father, and wasn't forthcoming with any other details.  HA.  BUSTED!

Sidenote: Dad was under the impression that the housekeeper was coming to get her.  Guess she's having trouble keeping her stories straight.

I called her nephew to let him know the sequence of events as I knew them and that Something Was Up with his auntie.  As far as I'm concerned, she's his problem.  I'm quite sure stepmonster will be furious that I tattled on her, but tough.  Also, she had talked to her nephew late this week, but had neglected to mention that dad was in the hospital and she was on her own in the house.

Now I can get back to taking care of me and this headcold I've developed since yesterday. 

sarahbyrdd: (Default)
But, my stepmother called last night to say that Dad is in the hospital.  Good.  At least there he can't drink and is getting the care he needs.  She mentioned something about his sodium levels being low (not surprising), but I'm unclear about what was the tipping point for bringing him in.  

I wonder if I can get the nurses to tell me what his blood alcohol was when they brought him in.  
sarahbyrdd: (Default)


I’ll be going up for another weekend in late August. They would like me to stay longer. Between now and then I’m going to have to tell them that while I’ll continue to visit, and do so every other month or so, I’m not going to stay any longer than a weekend because that’s about all I can take of watching them self-destruct. 

Under the best of circumstance feeling like you’re checking on your aging parents adequately but still maintaining a life has got to be difficult. When the situation is complicated by long term alcohol abuse where’s the line between doing what you can to help them and getting sucked into "cleaning up after the drunks"? I feel like if I’m going to lay down the law and do what I need to protect my sanity in this situation I have to be prepared for them severing the relationship. I doubt that’s what will happen, but that’s what the stakes feel like. 
sarahbyrdd: (Default)
It's 11:44. I watched my my alcoholic father pour himself a gin & ginger ale at 11am this morning ... which would be why I'm now on the computer venting to the world.

This is not my problem. This is not my responsibility.

I'm here for two days to let him know that I love him anyway. Even though he's drinking himself to an early grave.
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

I just got a call from the 'Rents ... who despite that fact that she's still got an arm in a sling and he can barely walk, not to mention talk intelligibly (lay off the gin, Dad!), are suffering from NYC withdrawal and making the pilgrimage down next month.  And they want to see a play.  Vey... I mean, good for them .... I ... um ... at least I won't have to drive up to see them in June? ... um ... um ...

'Rent Rant

Apr. 28th, 2008 02:56 pm
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

Well ...

Apr. 17th, 2008 02:14 pm
sarahbyrdd: (Default)
 ... My stepmother is home from rehab.  She can't move her left arm much at all, but the report was that things were mostly ok.  Dad sounded ... um ... "medicated" ... so I'm inclined to take it all with a bit of salt.  I'll see what's up next weekend when I go for a visit.  Not looking forward to it.  

Time to start talking to myself again:

Sarahbyrdd, it is not your job to clean up after the drunks. There's not a blessed thing you can do to 'make it all better'.   Rinse. Repeat. 
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

Dad said that my Stepmother is still quite drugged up and hallucinating, and not consistently recognizing people (relatives).  I suggested that he might mention this to the hospital staff and maybe they can adjust her meds to make her a tad more lucid.  He had a visit yesterday from my ... step cousins, I guess they are (stepmonster's nephew and his wife) ... who brought him a microwave, as dad had been a long time hold out on that front, insisting that he could reheat food just fine in the oven.  But I also know that when he gets too tired he'll just skip eating rather than go to the trouble, so a mircowave is a Good Thing.  

Next I need to get on him about getting the computer geek out to fix his system so he can send/receive email again.  He also mentioned that there's a huge pile of mail that needs sorting that he's been ignoring.  Um, Dad ... this is how you got in a bad cashflow situation a few months ago, and found your self with expired health insurance last year.  You cannot let this stuff pile up.  Not good for you.  Not good for your remaining scraps of business.  

If they're called 'rents, does that mean I can upgrade when I buy?

sarahbyrdd: (Default)
The latest from MA is that the stepmonster had successful surgery yesterday to reconstruct her collar bone and shoulder, with out the addition of bionic parts.  She's out of the ICU, but heavily drugged for pain (and to keep her compliant?).  Her nephew and his wife will be down for a visit tomorrow and I may get better information from them.   

'Rent Rant

Mar. 31st, 2008 09:15 am
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

Got a voicemail from my father the other night saying that my stepmother had fallen, broken her collar bone, torn her rotator cuff, and was in the hospital.  Geeze o Pete, is it impossible for these people to stay in one piece for more than 3 months at a time?!?  When I finally got hold my father the only other information that I could get was that the fall occurred in the dining room while she was reaching to turn out a light.  A LIGHT?  One wonders as to the blood alcohol level required to make one so unsteady as to fall reaching for a light.  Evidently she's not making too much sense right now (pain meds?  whatever they're giving her to smooth out the alcohol withdrawal?) , so calling her at the hospital is pointless. 

I gently admonished my father to be more aggressive about getting information out of the hospital staff, and suggested that given my stepmother's BMI and (not) eating habits, even a small amount of booze might throw her system for a loop.  I confirmed that he had support systems for himself in place, and I'll be calling regularly to make sure he's eating etc., doing what I need to do to feel like I'm being a "good" daughter.

Of course I'm fuming that they're still living in a 2 story house when neither of them are all that stable on their feet, and cancelled the Life Alert system that I ordered for them last summer.  They're living 5 hours away, which makes it difficult for me to check up on them.  And of course, they're both still drinking (dad on the sly and now in combination with vicodin at last report), when they clearly have addiction problems.  

And now I start my daily mantras that nothing I do can change their behavior and that it's not my job to clean up after the addicts. 

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sarahbyrdd

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