Catching Up For nearly one year, David and I have lived in Colorado. Upon our arrival in December, 2007, we moved in with my mother and my youngest sister. That was our living situation until February, when we moved in with a good friend of ours near the Colorado Springs airport. David searched frantically to be employed for nearly seven months. I remained at home of course, facing three illnesses in six months. We've finally settled in an unincorporated area south of Denver. We chose this home when David became employed. He was commuting sixty-two miles (one way) to work each day.
In January I experienced my first migraine, no doubt brought on by the stress of our sudden relocation. The doctor in the Emergency room believed I was having a stroke, and so I was admitted to the hospital for three days. In may, I awoke in the middle of the night with back pain. I could not move, and David drove me to the Hospital. In the Emergency room, I was told that my kidneys were failing. So, I stayed there for seven days. I recovered fully. Apparently it was a result of medications I was taking that interacted improperly. In July, just after we relocated to South Metro, I was diagnosed with Diabetes (II). I was not surprised, as I had been feeling like crap for months. On November 20, I fell down a flight of icy steps at my apartment complex. My feet went out in front of me and I landed on a stair on my back. Initially it was believed that I fractured the L5 vertebra, however MRI's later disproved that theory. I am undergoing physical therapy, and it is definitely helping.
We adopted a dog and a cat when we moved to our new home in South Metro. Our dog, a five year old Chihuahua, who had been stray, is "Honor". He enjoys lots of attention and is never far from my side. He loves to sit and watch TV with me and sleeps in-between us each night. The kitten, who we adopted at eight weeks, is "Chuck E. Love". He has had a lot of fun jumping through mini blinds to get to window sills. Recently he was neutered and de-clawed. Still wearing the Elizabethan collar to protect him from himself, he continues to lick the inside of the cone, as if he is grooming himself. He gets a post-surgery check up in a few days, and then the vet will remove the collar.
After three and one-half years into my "marriage", I feel that I am finally learning what it takes to feel content. I simply must accept situations as they are...learning what I can and cannot change...praying for wisdom to know the difference. This is my key to happiness. And I really am happy.
Last night, I awoke in the early morning to find David running a temp of 101.2 degrees. He has complained of his stomach hurting - but "not like the flu". I am wondering if I should take him to the get checked out. Well, i'll know when the morning breaks over the prairies in the East.
Things are still up in the air Last week, David had a final interview with a division of the state of Colorado. We should know by Wednesday whether he got the job. In any case, the job would be a contract position, renewable this summer. I hope for something more permanent, but anything at this point will work.
I have considered the option of seeking employment if David's job with the state doesn't come through. A month ago, I spoke with a flight attendant recruiter at a major airline. They said the only thing holding me back was the lack of a passport, which I have all the papers for, but not the $100 to get one.
This is something that I really want to do. But we would have to relocate to my assigned domicile if I get the job. The position with this particular airline would place me in Newark, NJ. It's expensive to live on the East Coast! But David might be able to find a job more easily in New York City, and I would be gone often on trips. I've discussed this with him, and he seems supportive.
It's a scary prospect to go back to work after seven years. But I feel ready to do it.
Rethinking Mrs. Nixon I had surgery on Monday, September 17th, and am recovering at an okay pace, not as fast as I'd like.
Luckily, to aid me in my recovery, the two documentaries on Pat Nixon that David ordered for me arrived the week before surgery. I borrowed a VCR from my neighbor to the east, as both of ours were broken, and I had discarded them. I found the A&E biography from 1999 to be very interesting, as it included a few clips of Mrs. Nixon speaking, and there is a charming moment of footage showing Mrs. Nixon during a White House Christmas tour, where she desribes an exchange she and the President had had earlier in the day: "You know, my husband was going to break a little piece off [of a gingerbread house decoration] this morning to eat, and I said, 'Don't you dare!' *laugh*"
Of all the facts and dates the videos shared, they both brought across the idea that this First Lady was a very ordinary, yet uncommon, woman.
Yoinked from some poor bag lady, a multi-part meme Current mood: tired Category: Quiz/Survey
First 8 months of 2007
1. Have you had your birthday yet? Yes.
2. Are you with the same person as you were at the beginning of 2007? I suppose you mean in the Biblical sense. Or something. And no, I was without anyone at the beginning of the year. Now, God help us all, I am with David.
3. Are you still in the same job? Yes, and it is making David miserable.
4. Is your favorite color the same color? I should hope so, how often do colors change what their color is.
5. Have you got the same style/colour hair? Of course. True style never has to change.
6. Have you bought a new car this year? No.
7. Anything exciting happen this year? I had some exciting correspondene with a former US President's daughter.
8. Have you been involved with the police this year? By involved I guess you mean in the Biblical sense. Or something. And No, I haven't been that fortunate this year. That was 2001.
9. Favorite all time drinking place for 2007? Chucky Cheese's
10. Is your best friend still your best friend? Yes.
11. Got any tattoos or piercings this year? No.
12. Had a haircut? Of course. Who do you think I am? David H?
13. Been in a hospital this year? Many, Many, Many times.
14. Lost someone you cared about this year? Not that I can say.
15. Been on a vacation this year? Nothing more than a day or two.
16. Been in love this year? Yes.
17. Fallen out of love this year? No.
18. Been kicked out of a pub this year? The question ought to be, "Are you in the UK?"
19. Completed any studies this year? NO, working on research tho.
20. Read any books? Yes.
21. Worst thing to happen this year? Surgery, so far.
22. Best thing to happen this year? Seeing Unbathedra leave.
23. How many times have you gotten drunk? About five times with David H.
24. Has this year been a good one so far? Every day I wake up breathing is a good one.
1. Beer: Can't you drink something more potent? 2. Anorexic: She's only just begun. 3. Relationships: The glue that keeps us stuck together- too much sometimes. 4. Purple: Hats 5. Power Rangers: Sad Phase. 6. Weed: Cheech & Chong. 7. Steroids: It's what's for dinner. 8. Cartoons: Wrestling is "Adult Cartoons". 9. The President: Hail to the Chief. 10. Tupperware: Supperware products, blah blah blah. 11. Best vacation: Los Angeles, 2004. 12. Santa Claus: Satan, Santa, same guy! 13. Halloween: :-) 14. Bon Jovi: [sings] Livin' on a Pra-a-ayer! 15. Grammar: Ain't got no. 16. Facebook: Forward. 17. Worst fear: Anxiety. 18. Marriage: Mawwiage. 19. Paris Hilton: I've never stayed there before. 20. Redhead: Firebush. 21. Blonde: Ambition. 22. Pass the time: Bored. 23. One night stands: And haven't I had some? 24. Donald Trump: Even Rosie couldn't do his hair justice. 25. Neverland: Teacups. 26. Pixie Sticks: Snort. ("Ooh, ow, that hurts.") 27. Vanilla ice cream: Polio. 28. High School: Crush. 29. Work: What's that? 30. Pajamas: Doris Day. 31. Woods: Jason. 32. Wet Sock: What did you wipe on that? 33. Alcohol: See above. 34. Love: Wuv, twue wuv.
 Lose a lover, or love a loser? Love a loser.
 Smoke pot, or drink beer? Drink beer.
 Run two miles straight, or walk eight miles? Walk eight miles.
 Go to the beach, or have a milkshake? Go to the beach.
 Laugh when nobody else is, or not laugh when everyone else is? Laugh when nobody else does.
 Drink ten cans of soda at once, or never drink soda again? Never drink soda again.
 Have your pants ripped, or get thrown in a trash can? Have my pants ripped.
 Kiss someone you don't like, or kiss someone who doesn't like you? Kiss someone who doesn't like me.
 Not take a bath for a week, or take a bath in a lake? Take a bath in a lake.
 Be an only child, or have five brothers? Be an only child.
 Cry in front of 5,000 strangers, or cry in front of your whole school? In front of 5000 strangers.
 Be able to rewind time, or see the future? Be able to rewind time (but not affect it).
 Die the day after the best day of your life, or live to be ninety? Live to be ninety.
 Go skydiving, or go scuba diving? Scuba diving.
 Be loved by one person, or have ten people who like you? Loved by one person.
 Be fat and pretty, or skinny and ugly? Skinny and ugly.
 Love and lose, or never love at all? Love and lose.
There is a large collection of vintage print ads and articles in one dealer's booth. I thought I might run across a frameable United Airlines advertisement from the early 1960's or late 1950's. I didn't find a thing aviation-related.
At home, where I've been cleaning up a lot, and finding ways to display Dave's collections, I placed two 1970's Pepsi bottles on a kitchen shelf. They look nice. One dealer at the antique center has quite the Pepsi memorabilia collection. I considered for a moment buying an empty 1960's Pepsi bottle, but considering what I found a few minutes later on a bookshelf, I'm glad I passed the bottle up.
Another dealer sells used books. I looked in the biography section for books on first ladies. Again, I found nothing but a trashy Kitty Kelley exposé on Jacqueline Onassis. Definitely worth passing up. I went around to the other side of the shelf, where I had remembered seeing some books on American history. Two names caught my eye: Betty Ford and Richard Nixon. I first looked at the Ford book. It was marked in pencil on the first page stating that the book was signed, and the seller was asking $20. Then I looked at the Nixon book, which was also signed, yet a previous owner had marked it up on the title page with his own thoughts on Nixon and Vietnam. The asking price was $75.
After asking the store manager to hold both books for me, I ran home, because I had forgotten my cell phone, to make a call to the owner of Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts in Galena, Illinois. I called to ask his advice on the books. His thought: Buy the Betty Ford book, and steer clear of the Nixon book, because it was 98% likely to be an autopen signature—meaning it was signed by a machine replicating Nixon's signature.
So I bought the Ford book for $21.60 (tax included), and found out it's worth about $160. I feel good about this.
I still wish I could find some good Pat Nixon letters, and I found one for $300. I'm thinking about it. Because at that price, I can't really resell it. And because it's about popcorn, no one will want to buy it. So I'd have to be happy with owning a letter about food from Nebraska. That's what they're about... corn, right?
Home again, and busy with a project After spending two months in Colorado Springs and realizing that my life just didn't fit there anymore, I called David and asked him if I should come home. After many tears from both sides, we decided it was the best thing to do. And I swear, this is the last g-d time I'm boarding a plane to go back to Colorado or anywhere in an attempt to run away from who I am, and the man I love.
Problems are present in any relationship in life, whether it's parent-to-child, sibling-to-sibling, or lover-to-lover. I feel I have to stay with my problems, or they will overcome me. At least, that's what I've allowed them to do thus far. I'm coming to accept my place in life. Right now, that place is as David's househusband. As his partner, not his "image creator" or his "life reshaper". It's been painful to learn this. As an adult child of alcoholism, I've had the need to control and try to change everything in my path. Now I know that I just have to let it be as it is and accept it. If something can be changed, and those things are usually about me, then I take the time to look at them, give them my energy, and begin the re-evaluation process.
This is my life. No one else has to live it. No one else can live it. I have to be gentle on myself and loving, and if change--as suggested by others--is masochistic, at least in my mind at the time, then it's abusive and damaging. I am who I am, and I will not live to please another person simply to make them comfortable with their beliefs. How can I live a lie and feel at peace?
As a means of bringing peace into my life, and into the lives of many others affected by the loss of United Airlines flight 93, I am working closely with an actor in the United Kingdom who starred in the movie United 93. He and I are requesting autographs of every cast member we can contact, and the director, Paul Greengrass, to be inscribed on a shooting script for the film. Once this process is complete, the book will be donated to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania. Surprisingly, several other cast members are taking an active role in this effort. It is very important to me, but more important to the memory of those we lost, that this signature collection and script donation be completed.
David's Cat Is Sick Patches I has been sick for a long time. Nearly two years. At first it was simply vomiting. We took her to the U of I in Champaign/Urbana on the advice of our Vet. There she stayed several days for Ultrasounds, X-rays, blood work, a physical and other tests. We learn that she has pancreatitis and failing kidneys. We have never had an endoscopy or exploratory surgery done, which was recommended. It would cost nearly $1000 for an endoscopy, and even with this procedure they wouldn't be able to get the full thickness biopsy they needed to truly tell what was going on. Our Vet put her on Hills Prescription k/d food to help the kidneys perform.
Fast forward to last week. I took patches to the Pet ER, because I found stool in the bedroom that looked like it was really too dark- almost black. Everything checked out OK. The stool, I was told was on the far side of normal. She was hospitalized for four days after I took her to our vet the next morning requesting kidney blood work, as suggested by the ER Vet. At the vet, she was re-hydrated because she wouldn't touch her water dish at home. Several X-rays were taken, a urinalysis was performed and blood work was sent out. We learned that her kidneys are doing better than they were before we started the food. We also learned that she probably still has pancreatitis- although to a lesser extent. Then the Vet dropped the big one, she told me that Patches could have Lymphoma- a type of Cancer. Only surgery to take a biopsy will tell for sure. I told Dave that if it is Cancer, that we should not go the Chemotherapy route. We ought to keep her as comfortable as possible with pain killers etc...
He does not want to put her to sleep, and I respect that decision.
Last night while cleaning out the litter boxes, I was alarmed to find black stool in her box. And we are talking black. I took a sample to the vet this AM and the receptionist was the only one there at the time. She said it was most definitely not normal. It just feels like it's getting worse and worse.
Christmas Card Arrives I received the Richard Nixon family Christmas card in the mail today. One good thing about it was that it was separated from the sticky photo album page it was mounted to. However, the signatures appear to be pre-printed.
I am a little upset that the ad for them was misleading, but those who are not experienced can make this mistake. Although I don't really know how, because it appears very clear that it is a pre-print.
It looks pretty bad I found this clip of Karen and Richard Carpenter and singing on the Merv Griffin show in 1981. She looks terrible and has barely any energy for the interview. Some people thought she had Cancer, because she was so thin. She died about a year and two months after this performance and interview. This was after she gained substantial weight back during treatment for Anorexia Nervosa.
Friday!Friday!Friday! Valley of the Dolls as signed by Jackie Susann did not come in the mail today. I found out that it's actually being mailed today and will be here by Monday or Tuesday. Bill had to take some extra time with the restoration of the dust jacket, which was shot to hell. It should improve the value of the book a bit.
I am very excited about a Christmas Card that I found on ebay. It was a card from the Nixons- signed by all four of them. The blurb said it was hand signed. Time will tell if it was hand signed, and if it was, if they were secretarial or not. I got a pretty good deal on it. I ended up paying half of my maximum bid. It's actually quite an attractive card featuring a color photo of the Nixons with their signatures in a space below the picture. The inside reads: "Best Wishes For The Christmas Season From The Richard Nixons". It's probably from some time in the mid-1960's. Sometime after his run for Governor in California in 1962 and his election to the Presidency in 1968.
I'll let whomever reads this know what the outcome of having that one authenticated and appraised is.
Long Day It's been a long one. I ran around to several places on errands this morning and happened to stop home in between two places to catch the Cilco guy who needed to change the gas meter and relight a few pilots in the house. He gave me instructions on how to clean the stove so that the burners would light themselves again. It's actually kind of cool....each burner has it's own pilot light. Very outdated, but it still works after vigorous cleaning!
Marisa helped me clean the furnace filters- there are four of them....two stainless steel mesh and two electronic elements. The mesh filters were caked with crud which had to be first vacuumed off and then agitated through water. I had tried peeling the crud off...it was like pulling lint off of the lint filter of a dryer....ewwwwwww.
I have the front room clear of clutter and a television set up in there now. Tonight I need to set up the cable box for the TV as well. Also I need to deep clean the room.
I am anxiously awaiting the return of my signed copy of Valley of The Dolls in the mail from Galena. I had it appraised. Let's say that for buying it for $5, we did really well. I love collecting signed stuff, I just hope I can continue to do so.
Tomorrow- well tomorrow there are no definite plans, except for a meeting that I may or may not go to in the AM. I may stay home and clean. Oh and wait on the mail.
Where I Am After a terrible week, I think I am bouncing back. I was very despondent and thinking of some sad stuff for days last week. It finally seemed to be lifting yesterday. I can always tell when the depressions are upon me, because I have a difficult time getting out of bed and carrying on conversations, and I get very anxious and worried. That's pretty much how I was starting about last Thursday.
I believe that the first and foremost issue has been the job issue. Four doctors have encouraged me to not take on a job and to focus on remaining balanced, relatively stress-free, and out of the hospital. Every time I have worked- and that's been nearly fifty different times- it has always set me off balance. The doctors have all said the same thing: "It has to do with the illness you have." So, I suppose I could start listening to them. My sanity is worth more to me than insanity and lots of money.
I have several friends who feel they know what is best for me, and I don't believe they would want to do me any harm. They believe a job is going to solve all of my problems, but they realy don't know where I am coming from. They haven't walked even one step in my shoes. But they are going to tell me how to fix my life. This is what really had me upset this last week. I feel like they think that I am not good enough unless I am working.
I talked to another friend who I usually see on Fridays. She told me, "Josh, you'd be surprised how many people think a person isn't an alcoholic, for instance, because they hold down a job. Some people measure the goodness of a person by the fact that they hold a job or not." And I really respect her for telling me this. It helped me get back onto the right track.
I have to take care of myself. If I don't, no one will.
Letters Tonight I was contacted by a Presidential Library in regards to some letters I have in my possession. Basically the archivist who e-mailed me said he was very interested in having the letters donated to the Library. It's a hard call, because if they are held onto by me, they will be worth more money in the future. If I donate them I won't see any financial contribution from the Library. But so far, even though I contacted several autograph dealers, I've been unsuccessful in selling these pieces.
Basically what I have are handwritten letters written by a few First Ladies. They've all been authenticated and appraised. I am excited to own them....but maybe they should be donated.
I'm Walking On Sunshine Whoa Oh! Today, I had my interview in Pekin. Everything seemed to go well. I'm up for two different jobs, so that can only increase my chances of getting hired. Tomorrow morning, I have the Thursday meeting at 10:30. After that, I will stop by the post office on University to send two items. The first item is my Colorado cell phone, which I'm returning to my mom. The second item, a signed copy of Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls, will go to Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts for authentication of the signature and appraisal of the piece itself.
The dust jacket on the book is shot, and the book is somewhat dusty. Also, it's a fifth printing, so it will not be as valuable as a signed first edition. I hope to get a good appraisal on it, though.
I need to get into a good book.-something like historical biography. I have a ton of those.
A New Day For Those Good Old Dreams Things seem to be looking up today. I have a get together at the Wednesday place at 11:00AM. And then I have lunch with friends from about 12:00PM - 1:00PM. After that it's off to Pekin for a job interview at 2:00PM. I am holding a good thought for myself. I hope everyone else is too.
Last night, Joe came by and fixed the wheel that was falling off of the car. He only had to take the whole brake assembly off of the wheel assembly! Hehe. It was not an easy job. Some of the bolts were on so tight that he had to heat them first with a blow torch and even then some weren't budging. PLus he did this at night, getting done at 10:00PM He was a God send. After he was done, I had to get him back to Washington. Now, I'll have a way to get back and forth to Pekin if I need to- i.e. if I get the job.
I did a ton of dishes and cleaned up the kitchen. It looks good. Soon I am going to have to paint the rest of the cabinets. I believe the color is named buttercup or something like that...anyway it's yellow and it contrasts nicely with the cobalt blue light fixtures in both the kitchen and dining room.
I went to the Post Office on Monday and forwarded me mail back to Peoria. I had to call mom to pick up my mail from my last landlord. I am hoping some autographs are in the pile!
Sleepless Night Everything is going fairly well. I have planned to move to David's mom's house in Normal on February 3. I think it's a nice idea to start over fairly fresh. I, for some reason keep comparing myself to Mary Richards from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Like Season 1's theme song states: "You're gonna make it after all!" And that's an empowering feeling.
I've been staying in contact with several of the actors from "United 93." The first, who played a passenger on the flight, wrote me a two page, single-spaced typed letter in response to my request for an autograph and a few thoughts on his character. He included the first day's call sheet from the set, and even called me from England to talk. I was blown away. The next guy, also in England, played one of the terrorists- he wrote me a nice handwritten note back on my original letter and sent a signed head shot. On my birthday he wished me Happy Birthday on Myspace- which I thought was kind. The third actor from the film I have had contact with played one of the flight attendants.
Tonight I wrote to the first guy in England asking him if he ever plans to visit the temporary memorial site in Pennsylvania. I also wrote to the the actress asking her about wardrobe related information. This is something I tried to do with the guy in England, but he wasn't sure what the wardrobe department did with all of the costumes. Hopefully I'll get an answer soon about it.
The Director, Paul Greengrass, is up for an Academy Award for "United 93." I think he is rather deserving, but then I am biased. I feel it's going to be one of the most important American films or the decade. I think it will be remembered by generations to come.
Death Anne, a family member of mine, passed away at 7 AM on Monday morning in Illinois from complications due to Cancer. I found this passage in a book of Jackie Kennedy's favorite poems:
"God, whose law it is that he who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despite, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God."
To me it explains how I feel about us having to learn life lessons- Surviving another person's death being one of them.
Ok, I'm Tired! So, I am not even sure when the last time I posted on this damned things was. It's nearly 3:00 in the morning on a Sunday and I am throroughly frustrated. I guess I am actually just tired as hell. Naturally, it's 3:00 AM.
I feel like I am being run through the ringer- over and over. I am being played so carefully and so brilliantly. No one deserves this. Here I've guess I'd been hoping unconciously that he'd be different than he has been since the very beginning. How stupid of me....how very, very stupid.
All Is Well Well, things around here are ok. I am working now. It makes me feel great! I am also keeping up with stuff around the house. The only thing I can't seem to get dome is getting a tree service out here. Ugh...this is frustrating me. I finally did our overflowing dishes......they hadn't been touched in a long time. Got the cat liter boxes done....which were scary. I am still working on the rest of the house.
I bought six movies yesterday....among them is "Pretty In Pink". I really enjoyed that one. Go Molly! Go Molly! JOn Cryer is so cute as "Ducky". That's all I have for now I think.