Thursday, January 01, 2009

I Am Not Dead (and Neither Is Slag)

No really, it’s true. We are still here. Barely. The blogging suffered and there wasn’t a week that went by that I didn’t feel a little pang of guilt about it, but I just didn’t have the mental energy to do it. I hope the blogging gods will forgive me.

It’s been a stressful year for us. Last night Slag and I kissed at midnight, exchanged I-love-you’s, and pronounced a hearty “Good Riddance and Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Ass on the Way Out” to 2008. 2009, you had better watch yourself, because I have had enough crap. Really.

Some things that happened this year:

1. Slag’s back has become nearly non-functional. I mean, it’s still there, connecting his shoulders to his legs, but the number of positions it allows Slag to take without causing extreme pain has decreased to around two. Those would be (a) Lying horizontally on the left side of the body and (b) Lying horizontally on the right side of the body. This makes it difficult for him to work (see number 2) and make pottery, the two things that keep him sane and agreeable, though I will say he has done a much better job of staying sane and agreeable than I would have.
He’s been through some horrendous tests, one culminating in an ambulance ride back to the hospital after the test. The test was called a discogram, and it wasn’t nearly as fun as the name might imply.

There’s a 95% chance that someone will be cutting him open in 2009. We haven’t yet decided who will be doing the cutting or what they will do once they have gained access to his spine. Stay tuned.

2. I know the mortgage industry meltdown affected lots of people out there. It particularly affected Slag because, well, he works in the mortgage industry. So his business has seen somewhat of a slow down. Plus, new, knee-jerk-reaction regulations created by those who don't really understand his job are making it almost impossible for him to do his job effectively. Which is nearly a moot point anyway (see number 1).

3. Wicked Step-Mother™ was diagnosed with breast cancer last spring. It was caught in the very earliest of stages. She went through surgery and radiation treatment and is now clear of cancer, and we’re hoping she stays that way. (2009, do not mess with me on this. I will kick your ass. I mean it.)

4. My Dad’s Parkinsons continues to progress. I don’t see him that often, so when I do see him, the changes are marked. Nothing else to say here, except a hearty, sarcastic Thanks! to The Decider for blocking stem cell research at every opportunity. Someday, I hope he or someone he loves comes down with Parkinsons or Alzheimers or diabetes or something else that would be eight years closer to a cure if he hadn’t been installed in office. Yes, I know that’s mean-spirited, and I don’t care.

5. My net worth has decreased by about 33% in the last 3 months. Not that we’re talking about an extreme amount of money anyway, but it’s very disheartening to see it all evaporate overnight.

6. Last spring the Mega-Corporation that I work for announced it was selling the building where my co-workers and I reside. MC was planning on cramming us all into a data center building out by the airport. A building that doesn’t even have enough restrooms to support the number people who were going to occupy it, let alone any amenities like a cafeteria. The closest restaurant is a titty bar called “The Landing Strip.” (<--I am not making that up.) There were rumors of a Subway in a nearby gas station, but I never saw it. And my commute would have tripled. MC offered move packages to anyone willing to move to another city about 3 hours from here. My boss and four of the people I work most closely with took the package. And then, after houses had been sold and moving trucks had departed, and those of us remaining had resigned ourselves to a work space more appropriate for veal calves, MC cancelled the whole thing. Yes, I’m still in my same office, as if it never even happened. Except all the people I work with now live in another city and that can make work a bit more difficult. It’s not so easy to find a wandering boss when you can’t just roam around the building until you hear his distinctive laugh. And just so you don’t think I’m a completely negative person, here are some good things that happened this year:

1. Slag still loves me and I still love him and we still make each other laugh every day in spite of the year we’ve had. We still have jobs and a house and some savings and don’t owe for anything and I know that’s a lot more than many people have right now.

2. MC did, in fact, cancel plans to move me to a part of town where a titty bar called The Landing Strip is the primary public dining facility.

3. MC still provides pretty decent health insurance and we are going to need it this year.

4. All my parents are relatively healthy and still enjoying life and I’m grateful for that.

5. My brother and sister and their families are healthy and growing like weeds.

6. We have wonderful friends who care and are there when we need them.

7. Obama was elected. I know some people voted for Obama because he is African-American, and I know others didn’t vote for him because he is African-American, but I believe that most people don’t give a rat’s ass what color he is. They just think he’s the best guy for the job, and that makes me so much more optimistic about the mentality and future of this country. The past eight years have been so destructive in so many ways and now it’s time to start rebuilding. I’m worried about the enormous mess he is inheriting from the previous administration and hope he won’t be blamed for things beyond his control, but someone has to try to fix it. Godspeed, Barak. Now, to end on a positive note, here are the quilts I made this year:

The only baby quilt I made this year. This one is for Blaine, the new son of friends Becky and Dave.

This is one I made for my Dad.

This is a quilt I made for my sister. It was my first attempt at a king-sized quilt.

A quilt I made for Slag. His color selection, my design.

This is the first baby quilt I made, for my nephew Levi, who will be 7 in April. I found it while going through my pictures. The quilt itself is simpler than those I make now, but it is hand-quilted. I haven’t hand-quilted one since, because it takes FOREVER.


Blogger Cheesy said...

Welcome back! Happiest of new year wishes for you and the family sweetie!

2:56 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

yaaaaaaaaay! my year just got even better!

you were missed. both of you.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Jazz said...

Whoa! It's been a helluva ride! Glad to see you back, sorry for the year you've had.

But you're back, yippi.

And let me know if you ever need help kicking 2009 in the ass.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Woohoo! There are still people out there who are interested. I'm relieved. :)

9:41 AM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

I'm SO glad you're back.

So glad.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Stucco said...

Welcome back Jilly! With my blogging best resembling "feast or famine" I can't say anything about your posting frequency. You can tell Slag that I've been thinking about you two and specifically his back throughout the year, and apparently it didn't help. Shit, come to think of it, it may have been the root problem. I vow to NOT think of his back until otherwise directed- we'll see if that helps.

As an aside- I got an 8-track tape in the mail today (no shit!). Do you think that qualifies as a "discogram"? (Well.. I mean generally- it's a Robin Trower album...)

11:10 AM  

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