-Mobile continuation from Xanga blog PinkyGuerrero
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-Personal blog for Janika Banks.
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

birthday week instrospection- am I grown up yet?

Was reading 30 Ways to Monetize Your Blog and Make Money Blogging and figured out this blog is worth about $1 a month right now, lol. Don't worry, I'm not here to try to make third person money on your clicks. wink

Friday was burrito day, Saturday was all about Scott playing car mechanic in the driveway, and somewhere in there we lost Nadia to illness and now we are down to two hens. There are 12 days to Halloween and I haven't made a single popcorn ball. I'm usually all over that.

It's birthday week! What was I doing on my birthday in the days of yore?


I remember the days of yore when I had to get up in the wee hours for work.  I remember being chipper and lively by 6 a.m., either checking guests out and having the continental breakfast ready, or being clocked on and prepared for the big holiday rush at the store.  I remember having to be at clinicals in a nursing home by 6 a.m. one semester.  I remember being on the road by 6 a.m. for years commuting to college, or being up by 6 a.m. to have my kids on a school bus by 7.

This year I am sleeping.  This year I am finally catching up from 25 years of chronic insomnia.  Today I was deep in a dream and as limp as old spaghetti when my sister rang my phone at 6:45 to sing happy birthday to me.  I told her she sucks.    But it was funny, I had a good laugh.  So I crawled to the computer to help wake me up, because I see the psychologist at 9 this morning.  My entire 3″ of hair is sticking straight up.  I think it would be funny to go into town like this, but I’ll bathe in a little bit and save everyone the shock.


The birthday week is weird and wonderful so far.  Here was last night’s early birthday dinner.  Scott said it was the best stuffing I ever made.  And we had mashed tatos and gravy.

Then there was that stolen base during the World Series, so I’m getting a free taco next Tuesday.  I live in an area where I could just go from one Taco Bell to another eating free tacos.  That’s a nice thought to harbor as a late birthday/pre-Halloween goody.

On the way in to the chiro this morning, an emu somehow fell out of a trailer onto the road in front of the car in front of me.  That car managed not to hit it, but I barely missed it, then pulled over to put on my hazard lights and call 9-1-1 because neither of the other two stopped at all.  Poor thing hit square on its hip falling out, couldn’t get up at all.  Tried a few times, total disaster, so it just laid there in a pile of feathers on the road watching cars going around it.  One guy stopped to get pictures on his phone and gripe about cruelty (?), then took off.  Cop got there just about the time the guy with the trailer came back, cussing and spitting about it all.  I don’t think the trailer guy gave a crap about that bird being hurt.  I left before I had to watch him try to drag it back up into the trailer, which would have been agonizing for the bird.  I’d have just had the cop put it down, but he was just sitting in his car enjoying the circus.  The cop told me he got a call about an accident and asked me about it, I said I didn’t see any accident, just an emu fall out of a trailer, but I found out a few minutes later when I left that he totally got two calls mixed up- just 1/4 mile down the highway, sure enough, a car had run off a 4 lane highway and hit a fence post.  I thought how ironic it would be if it might have been because another emu was about to come out of that trailer onto another car and the emu guy pulled over and caught it and drove back looking for the last one, which means he’d had to have left the scene of an accident.  And I couldn’t help but wonder if there were more emus strung out along the way before the one I saw fall out…  Oh, well.  No one killed, worst injury was the emu.  I assume.  If there were supposed to be more than two, he lost a *lot* of money.  May have been why he was so upset.  That and I think he was extremely upset to see a cop there, even though the cop didn’t seem the least bit inclined to step out and write a ticket or anything.  That’s kinda why I’m guessing the accident up the road may have been linked, and it’s possible this guy could’ve been hiding even more.  He didn’t even look at me, I’m sure I’d have gotten the go to hell look to melt me right through the highway.

After the chiro I got a new key made for Scott’s mom’s house, then picked up my cake, then decided I was starving and picked up a pizza from Papa John’s from a stash of quarters I’ve been hoarding.  I was going to get a 20-oz root beer for Scott (we don’t buy pop at the store), but they were out and just gave me a *free* 2-liter root beer!  Happy birthday!  Yay!

2009- note: I was extremely ill and had been so for many months. This is why private blogs are private, but sometimes it's good to be able to look back so we can see our way forward. In retrospect, I actually find this story amusing and comforting and have warm fuzzies reading it, because I know it was so awkward for everyone after having just lost my mom on top of being so ill all year. And super aspie's so aspie here...

Just have to mention that, unlike last Sunday during my mother’s memorial service, the game texting and phone calling during the Vikes game today is mysteriously absent…  Coulda sworn it felt like jealousy last week, maybe I was right.  Couldn’t be more pathetic and off the wall in this family.

Also, yesterday’s birthday party sucked.  Twink brought her dog dressed up for Halloween in the most incongruent outfit I ever saw, I was feeling gross and had to go next door and put on a show of enjoying cake that I never wanted in the first place, and Grampa thought the whole time it was Twink’s birthday until I was literally walking out the door with the cake.  Which neither I nor Scott wanted to take, but no one else wants, either.  It’ll be going into the trash in a couple of days.

Oh, well…  C’est la vie.  Gram gave me a $20 check, in a mushy card, so I guess there’s that, although I feel awkward taking it because I’m 48 and not her offspring.  Just weird…

2010- "Haunt of the Ghostly Possum"

Gram insisted on coming over this morning to give me a birthday card, so I made jasmine tea and got my red velvet petit fours out.  Teeniest tiniest birthday party I’ve ever had, ha!    I’m so funny.  So she was telling me about how she had Scott set a catch ‘em live trap by her chicken pen, and everyone forgot all about it.  Until…  She went up to feed her chickens this weekend and got a nasty whiff of dead.  And not just dead, ~gooey~ dead.  Yeah, nasty.    I recall Scott taking the trap over there in September…  Can you imagine, getting caught like that and very slowly starving to death in the sight of food the whole time?  And can you imagine, the chickens having to see that every single day and live in fear and stench?  (Gram said her chickens stopped laying and couldn’t figure out why.)  And can you imagine, here comes a little rain, and suddenly the old carcass melts and oozes…  I need a smiley violently urping.

So I told gram they have a possum ghost haunting the pens now.    Coooool, just in time for Halloween.

And I’m apparently celebrating the season with festive Halloween poop.  A couple of red velvet petit fours every day seems to be enough to turn everything a shocking orange.  Huzzah!

2011- "I approach emotional health with a meat mallet >=l" Note- My aspie Mennonite father dealing with being lonely and missing mom and aspie me dealing with him. Yes, we are ok now. I love that I can go back and read through my 'stuff' and see that it's not going to the grave with me, because I'm dealing. Also, I'm developing a socio-psychological idea that the generation before mine is the very last of a millennia-long mindset because the world is changing so drastically through world trade and social media. I can see now that my dad is struggling with new ideas about emotional health that 'weren't important' when he was a kid.

Tomorrow I’ll be half a century.    Every time the phrase “I don’t feel that old” wants to pop into my head, David Lee Roth butts in with “I don’t ~feel~ tardy.”  Wonder if I’ll say that when I get old and don’t know what I’m saying.

Pickings are starting to get a little scarce out, but 45 minutes walking with Spencer yesterday still got her a crop full of little grasshoppers and tiny clover/groundcover.  The big grasshoppers must all be gotten by wild birds by now, too lethargic in the cooler weather to get away.  We did find one yesterday that was huger than any I ever saw, and it didn’t even try to hop.

Scott checked out the new HyVee store yesterday after we dropped off his books, ate some Chinese food from one of the food bars while I drank a milk, picked up some steaks for supper.  I made green beans with bacon and potatoes, sauteed a heap of mushrooms and onions in butter, made him a salad, filled him up real good.

I’m having to force myself not to think about going to Dad’s.  Wound up having an anxiety attack yesterday when I started talking about it, wow.  I can’t pinpoint what exactly is triggering this kind of dread, but maybe I just so loathe going that way any more after all these years, and the last couple of years I was so sick and Mom died and everything was so hard.  Hope I can make it through another winter of phone calls about weird food ‘recipes’ and rapture and oddball suggestions about how to do my laundry or whatever.  I think what really bothers me most about all this is that if he weren’t my dad, I would have nothing to do with him, and the thought that I might wind up as ridiculous as him when I’m old really turns my stomach.  I already see that I argue too easily over stupid things, and have been working on toning that way down since Mom died.  I know I’m way too aggressive with my political opinions, to the point of repulsing people because I can’t seem to realize when they’ve had enough.  The funny thing is, I really don’t go out of my way to be like my dad, but it comes so naturally, sneaks up on me, and before you know it, I can’t stand myself again.  I used to do that with my mom, too.  Anything about myself that would remind me of her would make me feel sick to my stomach.  Pretty sad when the thought of your parents literally makes you sick.  His own dad died when I was a tiny little girl, and his mother died in another state and he never once as far as I know went to see her after he found out she had cancer, and she was only 6 hours away.  So he never had to deal with feelings I’m having to deal with.  Can only wonder with what grace he’d have tolerated an old man like himself….

Between that and Scott’s mom being so demanding and his dad and step-dad both being so weird, I have a growing aversion to old people.  They’re cute at a distance, and I really feel for them having to put up with old bodies, but I’ve had my fill, I think.  It’s funny that most of my behavioral goals in life from the time I hit my 20′s was not to be like other people around me.  I had no role models I could look up to without great disappointment.

Have I got this worked out now?  >=l   I don’t want to spend my whole morning in a funk.  Surely that has cleaned out the ol’ emotional closet enough to move on.

My dad expects me to do at 50 what he never did for his own parents at any age.  There, that says it all right there.  Old people wind up becoming selfish.  I don’t want to become that, a burden, a duty, a big blob of guilt over anyone’s head.  I don’t want to become blind to the big misunderstanding that life sux and pouting about my children not calling or coming to see me when that isn’t the problem.  My dad actually pushed me to come back today, I *have* to do this, and on the unspoken edge of the pressure was the hint that I’m not a good kid coming around to see my own family, and how dare he even go there after all the years he avoided his own parents.  This is the guy who’ll argue the most ridiculous unchangeable trivia that has nothing whatsoever to do with our real lives, as if it’s so terribly important, but after 82 years he still doesn’t seem to get that we never got what we needed from him.  How can he dare to demand what he doesn’t give?

Ok, THAT said it.  Sometimes I just have to wring it out until it fits the jagged edge in my brain so I can get past it.  I think I’m done with that now.

And yes, I get what my psychologist has been trying to get me to see since last winter, that I can be bigger than this and go see my dad and care about him *anyway*.  =P  Bleah.  Yes, I can excuse him for not loving me very well at all, but it really does suck to have the pressure put on by the one person who is the most backward and selfish, and I resent that.  My dad wouldn’t have even bothered with feelings like this, he’d have simply ignored them and not caved, finding something else to keep himself occupied and use the phrase “it isn’t necessary” as a shield.  The very idea that my dad’s feelings might be hurt by me not coming to see him (and this really is what this is all about, as far as the psychologist is concerned) is so ridiculous to me in the light of him ~never~ worrying about other people’s feelings all his life, never approaching me or anyone else with any kind of real emotional connection, yes, he’s a very lonely old man now in spite of all his determination not to become close to people, but that’s *not* *my* *job*.  Is this any different from Scott having to care more for his parents in their old age after all the neglect he when through as a kid?  And he’s the good son, he does it.  He talks to his mom nearly every day, sometimes several times a day, and he so rarely gets anything back for that.  I don’t have that in me at all.

And this is probably where I am most like AND unlike my dad.  The thought of going out of my way to see him just so his feelings won’t be hurt feels wrong.  My dad simply would never acknowledge any of this and say psychology was an invention to control and brainwash people.  He has never acknowledged that he has hurt other people’s feelings.  I, on the other hand, dive head first into sorting all this stuff out, untangling the emotions and learning to understand where they come from.  I can pretty easily sort out enabling and guilt from genuine caring, etc.  But my end results are the same.  I don’t want to go see him, just like he didn’t want to go see his own parents.  The difference between me and him is that I’m honest enough to realize this and admit it to myself.  I don’t dance around excuses and little lies.

I keep telling myself I’ll go and be polite.  I love my dad, I can get through this.  It’s not entirely his fault his brain is the way it is.  It’s not going to kill me to go sit at his house for a few hours and be nice.  Except that it’s all I can do not to become *him* and start arguing like he does.  I don’t like not being nice, but that is what I become when I’m being like my dad.  He’s not intentionally mean.  But I see from watching myself through my life that is no excuse.  The fact is that it *is* mean to disregard other people’s feelings and plow over them in arguments over things that don’t really matter in our lives.  When politics and rapture and the way to cook what he gets out of his garden becomes more important than his loved ones’ feelings, it’s mean and selfish.  And it’s so weird sorting this out, because he’s not a mean and selfish man.  It has taken me years to understand the dynamics of how we become the things we think we’re not, and even stand against on principle.  This is how Satan works through our ignorance.

Ok, that’s enough.  I’ve beaten the dead horse, I probably don’t need to do this again.  I walk into my own paradox with my eyes wide open when I walk into my dad’s house, that’s all.  Not really that big of a deal, I suppose.  I just hope the people I talk to as I age have the decency to make me shut up before it gets to the point where they can’t stand to be around me because they think it’s too delicate to tell someone else to shut up.  I sure do appreciate the people who have tolerated me this long.

And yes, I do tell my dad to shut up.    I’m the only one who does.  If you really love someone, you will tell them to shut up before they provoke you to emotional reactions.


Got a bug bite for my birthday.  Slept super hard for 4-5 hours straight, and I guess somebody had a fit about it, because they bit me right through the lounge pants I had on. Big itchy welt behind my lower left thigh, that’ll be fun while I’m driving. Solarcaine doesn’t seem to be cutting the itch much yet. Guess I’ll have to take some benedryl, hope I don’t conk back out and sleep in too late.

My birthday cake!  *kissy face*

2013 - just click if you want to see it -
Why Myke at Syfydesigns is the bomb and this is the best internet birthday ever, plus Henry Winkler

2014- Where does it go from here? Honestly, I'm still hoping it gets FUN.