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Oct. 18th, 2014

das haus anubis

Quiet brain challenge.

I'm going to try this thing where I don't text except for immediate making-plans purposes, and I'm not on Facebook or Twitter for a week. Starting now. And I'm not telling anyone but you about it.

I actually am not sure I can do it. We'll see.

Jul. 28th, 2014

das haus anubis

Ezra.

A boy I barely knew in high school died two months ago, right as I was deciding my life wasn't good enough and was forcing myself to start over again.

Ezra was beautiful and perfect when I was 14 years old and easily besotted. My best friend and I, immediately stuck on all idiot boys who had the nascent metal cred to grow out their hair, saw him across the Greek Theater at our high school. Perfect long, straight hair, all cut one length so you knew he hadn't just started growing it. And we couldn't see it yet but he had a glinty-in-the-sun nose ring, too. He was new, and perfect, and we were swoony and ridiculous.

I don't remember the process, surely drawn out and tedious, by which we encouraged each other to go talk to the beautiful new boy. I remember seeing him sitting alone, and then we were just there, suddenly across the theater where the students all loitered at lunchtime, sitting with him.

He seemed troubled (so perfect) and distant, and he told us his name. Something about a single mom (even better, and highly exotic to two daughters of middle class two-parent families). His nose ring clearly pained him, and his seeming perfection faded in my eyes as he pulled at it and his face reddened from the discomfort. It was a new piercing he didn't know how to take care of; maybe he wasn't so impressive. Maybe something of his personality didn't match what we thought we saw. Maybe he didn't look at us when he talked because he was searching the early-nineties crowd for people more like him. Less protected, with problems more closely matching his.

After that, I didn't try to be his friend; I knew we didn't match. I was busy going through my own nightmares, working on surviving each day without anyone noticing. At the time, the bad things in my life came to me by force, and I thought that probably the bad things in Ezra's life came to him because he looked for them. I didn't really understand why anyone would do that.

But he was so nice, and two years later, for one semester, we had a class together. He would ask me questions my life and tell me jokes, so for a few minutes I'd smile and engage instead of looking blank-faced and staying silent. I couldn't really say, I guess, "you know, actually at the moment I'm being abused by my half brother who just moved home, I'm hoarding razor blades in case it gets worse, and did you know installing a chain lock on your bedroom door is totally not that difficult if you can find a way to buy one with your allowance?" because at the time you just can't say those things, even if you're able to focus enough to articulate them to yourself.

Ezra graduated ahead of me, but after that semester of his kind, unknowing distraction I never thought of him again. Not one single time.

Then a new friend asked me today if I remembered Ezra, and I did, but I'm shy with new friends so "is he still even alive?" never got said out loud until later. Even though it was the first thing I thought. Ezra's story just, in my mind, necessarily involved dying young.

And then it turned out he really had died, and so recently. I even laughed; why? I wasn't surprised.

I wasn't Ezra's friend, and I didn't know him except in passing, and I know absolutely that if the situation was reversed, he wouldn't be writing this about me. Only my really close friends remember be from back then, I think partly because when you go through any kind of abuse, you get so good at hiding. It doesn't matter, though; I'm happy I'm forgotten and ok instead of widely-mourned and gone.

No regrets or wishes, though; nothing I think I could have done to help. As I said, I'm not surprised Ezra is dead, but I am always a little surprised that I'm not. I know better than most people how thin the line can be between making it and coming up short. Sometimes it's not even a choice, and it's never to do with personal merit, no matter how hard we try to comfort ourselves with that belief. Death just happens, and I know there's no reason except luck that any number of my dark nights didn't kill me but one of his did.

No matter why it turned out this way, it makes me even more determined to put everything I have into living a best-ever life. You know, since I've still got one.

May. 27th, 2013

Alden = Domestic Princess

Fire Season!

In the (approximate) words of a coworker, what would a SoCal Memorial Day Weekend be without a big damn brushfire breaking out at some point during the festivities?

For this particular fire, I don't think I'm in any danger, and my Dad is already in the hospital, so it's not like we'd have to evacuate him. For these things I am grateful. I also have some water in portable containers, and kitty carriers for the cats, so I'm feeling ok about my immediate safety needs. Just, I hate fires. They bring back a lot of sad/stressful parental-related memories.

Anyway, I came here to post this because I couldn't really post it on Facebook without looking like an asshole: if my parents' house burns down this time, I won't really care. I mean, it will be sad, but it will also be a giant relief. I hope it doesn't, but if it does... ok. Whatever. Everyone's safe, and there's nothing but sadness in that house, so... it wouldn't be terrible.

Ok. I'm going to go to a friend's house for a bit. Bundle just had surgery for a possibly-cancerous tumor (but hopefully a harmless tumor) and I would like to stay home and cuddle her and worry, but being around a worried human is probably not the best thing for her. As it is she won't even come out in the open for very long at a time.

In other news, everything lately has sucked, but before that everything was fine for a really long time, so that is excellent. Hope you are all doing GREAT. :D

May. 10th, 2013

das haus anubis

Cramps.

Menopause, fly to me quickly.

D:

Apr. 21st, 2013

Alden = Domestic Princess

Hmmmmmm. 10 Years?

I have had my LJ for 10 years, I think! *thinks more* Yup. That would make sense. Just after my birthday at the end of May, it'll be 10 years.

Life is really different now than it was then, in mostly good ways, and I miss LJ kind of a lot, now that I think of it. Maybe it's time to re-start email notifications and get back into it.

Anyway, I only realized this 10-years thing because malorytowers hasn't had a post in almost 10 years so LJ wants to delete it... and I kind of don't want them to. I think I will make a post so I don't have to make a decision for another 10 years. :)

How's everyone doing?

(Speaking of LJ, the posting-online interface is way better all of a sudden. Although: LJ designers, plz refrain from using gradients at all ever, ok?)
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Nov. 6th, 2012

Happygirl. (Virginia Braithwaite!)

HAPPIEST THING.

YAY OBAMA.

Srsly I was worried all day, and I even had a slight friend-fight with my work friend because she refused to vote (my feeling on not voting is that it is very passive and sad to intentionally NOT have a say in what happens to you, and then also I like the idea of not wasting the suffragists' efforts, even if perhaps it was the political climate of the times and not just their actions that got women the vote). So that was awkward, but whatever.

Oh, so pleased. Plus I thought his marketing was excellent (if a bit prolific on the email blasts, may I add) and campaign branding and graphic design was a joy to behold, so... I am a happy Alden. I shall even use my Victoria Braithwaite icon to prove it. :D

Nov. 4th, 2012

das haus anubis

Happything!

I got SO MUCH DONE around the house this weekend.

:D

And yet it is still somehow not quite enough.

However, I am going to bed because I just do. not. care.

Good night!

Nov. 3rd, 2012

das haus anubis

Happythings.

1. I did it! The Alzheimer's Walk was really good, and not hard, and I am very glad I did it. I didn't get emotional or anything, though, which was unexpected. The mom-related aspect was all very "meh," but in a levelheaded, grownup way, not a worrisome anhedonia way. I have a purple t-shirt to show for it, too!

2. I did lots of cleaning, and spent time with 4 different friends today without feeling drained. And did half of my weekend's errands, which is perfect.

3. I *think* I have decided I need to tell my boss that his "baby" project (the company's new website) and the way he's approaching it = a concern for me, and that I hope he will step back and consider its long-term sustainability and true short-term usefulness. And I THINK I can just say it like that, instead of being hugely negative and tearing it (and him) down. The thought of delivering this news gives me a nervous tummy, but my Meyers-Briggs book says that my weakness as a team player comes from NOT delivering tough news when necessary, and a friend helped me realize that this is necessary.

4. Going for beach walk with new-ish friend tomorrow, yay!

5. Bun still cute. Self still happy. I win!

Nov. 1st, 2012

das haus anubis

Happythings!

1. Lovely walk with my friends, and one friend has a really nice new place! Which, oddly, made me appreciate my own place a lot more, just because it got me thinking about living spaces in general and how much happier I am in my run-down little shared house than I was in my gorgeous downtown studio.

2. Decent day at work; the to-do listbook system is really helping me, and I got through 4 staff photo shoots (which make me nervous a little bit) without much bother.

3. I think I have really decided that the attention-span problems I've been having a) are not Alzheimer's, and b) will probably get better if I work on them and on not having any gluten at all.

4. I am doing the Alzheimer's Walk, and I was afraid to set myself a $100 fundraising goal (at $100 you get a free t-shirt, which appeals to me because it will be something I can wear to the gym and I will be reminded that I did a big, scary-to-me thing), but now thanks to my awesome friends and my work, I'm at over 3 times that amount. :D I can't wait! Even though I wish I had cuter walking shoes.

5. Bundle remains cutest cat ever.

5.

Oct. 25th, 2012

das haus anubis

Happythings.

1. I was able to talk myself out of a crying fit this morning, which was good, because it would have been a DUMB crying fit and was totally not necessary.

2. Fun lunch with new coworker-friend.

3. My new to-do list system is totes working! I remembered to take the trash out today. :D

Oct. 24th, 2012

das haus anubis

Oops!

Oh noes, I fell asleep SUPER EARLY last night and forgot to make my gratefulness post!

Anyway.

Today's happythings:

1. I got up early (6:25am, which is the earliest I have yet hauled my ass out of bed since I started my week of trying to get up early) and took all my Most Horrible Fat Clothes to the thrift store on my way to work. And still got to work at 7:47am, which pleased me A LOT. (I am still way fatter than is healthy, but I have dropped down a size, and that is SO NICE even though it is like 2 sizes away from my goal size.)

2. I had a good day at work, and made progress with a few projects as well as with generally moving towards better working habits with my boss.

3. I went to happyhour dinner with two friends from Leadership who are awesome and lovely, and we decided to start a personal development book club and read a self-enriching book each month. We are starting with Blink, which I am going to go buy now. Yay!

:D I hope you all had awesome days too!

Oct. 22nd, 2012

das haus anubis

Yay, Day 2.

Hi! My day was good today. :D

Here are the happythings:

1. I got to work early, which was my goal for the day. Hurrah!

2. Bundle is great.

3. I went to the gym! And then ate a whole bunch of frosting so it's a wash, but yay anyway.

(4. I got the new Miranda Hart book and IMMA READ IT RN.)

Oct. 21st, 2012

das haus anubis

Grateful for...

It struck me that LJ isn't really a habit for me anymore. Only when I am sad, or when something momentous happens. This displeases me.

So, I'm going to try to make it a habit again, yay! Each night this week, I will post 3 things I am happy about. :D

Happythings, Sunday/Weekend Edition:

1. I went to a class (on time management) that really helped me start focusing on what is important to me in my life.

2. I realized that most of my recent Feeling of Being a Bit Lost comes from something really positive: I'm in my mid-30s, and I'm ok now. This is somewhere I never thought I'd be, and the fact that I can now live a decently-normal life and take care of myself is HUGE, so I need to readjust my expectations. Sure I have no retirement savings or British comedian husband and I do not own that mansion on the moors from The Secret Garden, BUT. I am alive and happy and I work full-time and support myself doing something I enjoy. These are awesome things, and I am working on appreciating them and not minding about the other things. The other things will happen, or they won't, but the most important thing is that I am content. Way back when, that was my whole life goal. Either die or be content, and I got the better option. So why am I kinda mopey?

3. I cleaned my closet! Mostly. And I got rid of a whole bunch of things from The Most Recent Depressive Era, which was really hard because it made me remember things I did not want to remember. But I did it! Mostly.

Ok. I am now working myself up to writing my mom's obituary. Which I do not want to do, but I said I would, so I really should. It is a bit late now.

Aug. 22nd, 2012

das haus anubis

WW.

Have been doing OKAY with the eating. I'm under the calories I'm supposed to eat for the past 2 days, but I'm certainly not always making the very best choices. I would say I'm making really good choices about half of the time.

Oh well. Half of the time is better than none of the time, I guess!
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Aug. 5th, 2012

das haus anubis

Olympics!

Difficult weekend--working on not being stressed, but unfortunately my usual response is to just stay in bed forever, and that does not help very much. I get extra-tired and find it way harder to do even small things like laundry, and then when Monday comes my week is much harder.

ANYWAY. I have at least changed my sheets now, and made the bed, and had a shower, and am sitting atop the bed instead of lying down IN it.

Loving the Olympics. I am so pleased that trampolining is now a real sport. And as always, gymnastics is my favorite. Mom and I used to watch it all the time, and get reasonably obsessed. Olympics-watching for us usually meant gymnastics in summer and figure skating in winter.

Also as usual, various teams' leotard design baffles me. I am always confused as to why designers don't understand that certain leotards are ridiculous and ruin my the viewing experience.

Here are my thoughts on past leotards... with photos!Collapse )I hope you will agree that my system would provide a far more aesthetically-pleasing experience for all.

Aug. 3rd, 2012

All-Purpose Happy Icon (Simon Pegg)

LOL.

I was just reading up on ways to "prevent" Alzheimer's (which I know is not really possible, but I do think there are things I could do to make myself healthier, so I'mma do them), and I came across an article that lists certain factors which increase risk.

One of the two that significantly increases risk is "menopause therapy with estrogens and progestins."

Oh hey Mom, maybe you shouldn't have gone to multiple doctors to get your Premarin fixes. >:(

Seriously she was like HRT's biggest fan ever. I remember hearing her on the phone, talking to someone about how dumb her doctor was for trying to limit her dosage.

Gross.

Anyway, I decided that this means I will embrace menopause when it happens. DRY VAG, I WILL NOT MIND YOU AT ALL. Chin hairs, sprout in all your icky glory!

Sigh. I might as well just buy a pointy black hat and resign myself to Granny Weatherwax status right goddamn now. *thinks* That would actually not be so bad. Hmm.
das haus anubis

I <3 LJ. (+ Past Self.)

Kind of fascinated with re-reading my LJ posts from the Wilderness Alzheimer's Years. Feeling very affectionate towards Past Alden. Poor kid. She was funny, too, and juuuuuuust slightly affected in her writing style. I blame England.

Every so often there are private-locked posts. These are usually the ones that describe family life the best.

2003-07-13: My father is in an awful mood (again), and he just came home with a watermelon, which he would like to cut open and eat. However, my mother removed all the knives from their holder two days ago, and she can't remember what she did with them. Truthfully, I don't think she remembers that she moved them at all.

Ah. They are found. I have been presented with a slice of watermelon, which is nice. It's just that I felt, when I was in the kitchen, as if I'd fallen down on the job by not keeping detailed notes on every strange thing my mother does.

Then, I'm not allowed to *tell* her they're strange things. For instance, my dad brought hamburgers home last week, and we were eating them for dinner. My mother came to the table with her hamburger, and she'd put it inside a teacup. A *teacup.* Instead of using a plate.

I suppose I should be glad that the Alzheimer's hasn't completely erased the urge to place hamburgers onto or inside of some sort of crockery, but... no. So I pointed out that a teacup was a bad idea. And I promise, I was nice about it. She proceeded to try to make me feel stupid for objecting to the teacup, and then moved on to telling me I'm too uptight because I won't let her break society's needless rules for not putting hamburgers into teacups. Then, she told me I was mean. She got up to go fetch something out of the kitchen, and my father hissed at me about leaving her alone and not upsetting her.


I kind of miss that version of me. Exasperated by everything, but observant and a much less "omg lol" sort of writer than I am now.

I also miss the security of being part of a family. Even a family in the middle of being ripped apart by a horrible disease. A family for which nothing at all was going to turn out right. We were still so close to being normal, back then. We could almost turn around and see our past selves, very nearly within reach. If we just tried harder, we thought we might be able to get our family back.

When Mom got sick, and we took her to all the doctors ever, I fought her illness hard. Made her take the medicine that burned her stomach, dressed her, bathed her, made her practice reading and writing, bought music she'd liked as a younger woman to see if it helped stimulate her brain, tried aromatherapy. Everything I could do for her, I did, and that amazes me now. Why didn't I give up? Did I think I was going to save her from Alzheimer's? Did I think I could win?

In 2003, before I left grad school in England and became Mom's accidental caregiver, my friend Tony and I got incredibly drunk one night. We laughed about every possible thing, and then he insisted on a) wearing a fez whilst swanning about his fancy Durham student digs, and b) doing a Tarot reading for me.

It was an awful reading, and I found it sort of chilling (this may be because of the alcohol). "You usually win all your battles," Tony said. "But there's something big coming. You're not going to win this time."

I thought of Tony and his stupid damn prediction yesterday as I was driving to work. Ok, I didn't save Mom. I didn't beat her Alzheimer's. I definitely came out the other end of the ordeal a different person, damaged, less sharp, probably less smart, even. But... I still kind of won. Not the battle, but the war, you know?

I'm proud of what I did for her, and proud of who I was then. Definitely proud of who I've turned into, even if I miss the spark of my angsty, articulate, 26-year-old self.

I think Mom would be proud too.

Jul. 23rd, 2012

das haus anubis

Well...

...it's been a week.

I think I'm doing ok. A bit depressive-ish and raw and not feeling social, but I think that's normal. Went back to work for a full day today, and it was much less hard than the half-days last week were, so that's good.

Still have not finished (or really even worked on) Mom's obituary. Am more interested in doing Photoshop art projects with old photos of her.

Anyway.

That's where I am.
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Jul. 22nd, 2012

das haus anubis

Get In My Belly.

What's that, Mom? You adore this creepy-as-fuck Red Riding Hood cookie jar from the 1940s?

CookieJar

Oh hey then, how about you live in it for a few years while I save up for your burial plot and headstone. No way is it staying in my room, though, in case it comes to life and tries to possess my soul.

U mad?

:D Problem solved!
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Jul. 21st, 2012

das haus anubis

Unfortunate-looking friend.

Today, I scanned more photos (surprising!), and found this pleasantly bucolic scene featuring my grandmother as a tiny child:

UnfortunateFriend1

See? Isn't she cute? And my great-grandpa is behind her, looking happy.

UnfortunateFriend2

I like it when there are old family photos of ancestors with their friends. It makes me feel validated for constructing my own family mostly out of friends.

Don't they look like a decent, hearty farm-stock sort of family?

UnfortunateFriend3

But wait! The dad-friend looks kinda familiar! Where could I have seem him before?

UnfortunateFriend4

I--oh. Oh. Oh dear.

How unfortunate.

In happier news, I have a new Tumblr idea: My Ancestors' Friends Who Look Like Hitler. It will be a hit, right?
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