Daily Reads

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Angst, angst, existential dread!

Well, not quite that bad, and not mine.

My younger daughter is having back and neck issues since she hurt her ribs coughing last month.  She is very upset that I am expecting her to go to school since her sister is a piece of glass which we let get away with doing nothing.  That her sister has had six vertebrae fused in her lower back, as well as developing an anxiety disorder which leaver her in full blown panic attack mode after a few hours at school has nothing to do with it.

This morning in the car on the way to school we went from tears of pain to "I should just move in with hobos, they'd treat me better", to "I should just kill myself because then I wouldn't be in pain for the rest of my life."  I'm not taking the latter to seriously since it was shouted at me in the heat of battle, so to speak.  I dropped her off at school, and after very emphatically slamming the car door (hard to do you'd think if her back were really that non-functional), and watched her stump her way angrily to the door, again not showing any signs of back or neck issues.  If they were really as bad as she's trying to make out, she wouldn't have been able to do that impressive stumping.  I know, having been there.  I will admit that she probably has back and neck pain, but it's not the mountain she's trying to make of it.

The title has to do with a housemate back in college.  I don't know where the others dredged him up, but he was a philosophy major, and had a tendency when things weren't going his way to start getting all angst-y.  The thing is that I'd never seen the word before, and tended to pronounce it American, not German.  Another housemate and I were discussing his issues over lunch one day and I used the "hang" version and she corrected me.  I thought about it for a moment and then suggested that for this guy, hang was more appropriate than "tong".  She thought about that and agreed.  From then on, whenever he started getting all serious, in the way only a 19 or 20 year old can, we'd start laughing and saying "Angst, angst, existential dread!".  He hated it, and would at least leave and be all angst-y someplace else.  It also probably made it easier to kick him out when we found out he was keeping pot in the house which was a) illegal and b) something another housemate was seriously allergic to.

But it gave me a great phrase for dealing with teenage emotional woes.  I do have a call in to her doctor about whether we should be making an appointment with ortho.  I also need to get her back to the naturopath, and get a refill on her herbal script, because whatever is in that Vitex stuff really seems to help her emotional stability.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Seriously people...

Is it really that hard to drive in 1 inch of wet snow, especially after the plows have been out and thrown sandy salt all over everything?

This morning we woke up to a "snow storm".  In our area it meant that we had less than an inch of slush on the porch, cars, and drive, and the stuff that was falling lightly from the sky was already rain. Maybe it's just having spent much of my childhood in Michigan, both Marquette and Ann Arbor, as well as a year in upstate New York, outside Geneva, but I would not qualify that as a storm, never mind a snow storm.

However, here in wimp land, most of the school districts had at best a delayed opening, and several of the more inland ones actually cancelled school.  Since elder child's school is in Norwich, even though it is not a Norwich public school, it was cancelled, not that it makes any difference to us, since she won't be attending again until probably at least next week. (The PPT meeting is tomorrow, thank God.)

Younger child attends the magnet high school in New London, which happens to be the only school system in the entire state that is functioning normally today.  Since I drive her, she actually got there more or less on time, which means 90 minutes earlier than the other Groton students.  The roads were fine.

However.... There are a lot of idiots out there who probably should never have gotten behind the wheel of a car this morning (or maybe any other morning).  Just after turning on to the main road from the house I saw a fair few emergency lights, and as I passed them I could see where someone had gone off the road and into a parked mini-van.  The van had presumably been parked in someone's driveway, but it was skewed at least 30 degrees off true, and had a dent at least a foot deep in the back passenger side quarter panel.  I hate to think how fast the sedan driver had been going to do that much damage.  There were reports of accidents all along I-395S; I was going north and we were fine, but the traffic backups on the other side were fairly impressive.

The thing is, that I'm driving a 10 year old front-wheel-drive Santa Fe with generic all-weather tires.  This is not the greatest vehicle for bad roads.  And I had no problems at all.  But then again, I was also driving at a sensible speed and taking turns and lane changes cautiously, something many other drivers in this neck of the wood seem pathologically incapable of doing.

Folks, this may be southern New England, but it's still New England.  We DO get snow, and learning how to deal with it without either creeping at 5 miles an hour or blasting along like a sunny summer day would be A Good Thing.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Another New Year

May it be better than the last.

My lack of postage the last month has had several reasons.

First, a certain existential weariness in the aftermath of the November elections.  I'm mentally bone tired, if that makes any sense.  I know we've got to keep fighting, but right now I need some serious R&R, and failing that, at the least some lengthy down time before I get back into the fray.

Second, I've had the bug that's been going around New England this last month.  I think it's the flu, but since I got my shot, I'm just not feeling well, even if I'm not feeling sick.  And my children have both had the same thing.  Add in younger's foot issue, and then costochondritis from coughing so hard, she's been out of school since early December.  At least we're trying her on some naprosyn and starting PT and she's (supposedly) going back tomorrow.

And then there is elder's anxiety/depression/panic issues, which are exacerbating her migraines, as well as a new school with lovely newer light fixtures, which hum at a pitch that irritates her as well as the florescents, which also are a migraine trigger....  We tried two of the older anti-depressants which usually help with migraines, but they didn't help much if at all, and the side effects were too much to deal with.  So then her doc tried her on Prozac, and we found that she is one of those folks whom Prozac turns into a ball of weepy despair.  She saw her Neuro yesterday, and we're trying gabapentin now, which works for her aunt for depression, and which is also supposed to be good for migraines for at least some.  I also need to get her some wrap around sunglasses which aren't too dark to wear indoors to try to block the worst of the florescent light.  She has an initial evaluation appointment with an MSW Monday week, and then we have a PPT the Thursday after.  Oh joy.  At least the kid is bright and if she puts her mind to it, once we get the headaches, anxiety, panic, and depression under control, she shouldn't have any real trouble catching up, since she too hasn't been to school since early December.

Work is work, quite slow right now, but at least they've gone away from having everyone choose two "goals" for the year.  Totally pointless, and sometimes counterproductive to actually doing the job you were hired for.  I got a whopping 1% raise, but had to drop the health insurance, since they dropped the lower cost plan, and our premiums for the higher plan would have been equivalent to the maximum out of pocket for the year with Tricare.  Since we'd still have had co-pays and stuff, it just didn't seem worth it, especially since we didn't know what was happening on the tax front.

And speaking of taxes....  From the point of view of the family fisc, the continuation of all the Evil Bush Tax Cuts which Only Help the Wealthy(tm) has been a good thing; their expiration would have cost us another $30 to $40 a week.  I understand the SS tax going back to it's original 6.2%, which I wouldn't mind half as much if I thought I might actually ever see a penny of it coming back to me.  However, from the point of view of a concerned citizen, I'm appalled that we've passed $40 of new taxes for every $1 of cuts, with unspecified (and therefore never will happen) cuts to be discussed sometime in the future.

And then last weekend the MacBook died.  I opened it up from sleep mode, the screen flashed on for a split second, and then nothing.  I turned it off and turned it on again, and the same thing.  I don't know if it would work hooked up to another screen, though the drive itself seems OK. Thankfully there were only two or three files on it which I hadn't recently backed up to another device, and while ones I want, they aren't crucial, and I can recreate them.  So I went out and spent way too much money on a new ASUS Core i5 laptop with a 15 point something inch screen.  I am happy.  Now I just have to arrange with ATT to get the landline back at the basic, pay extra for any calls, level, and have the cable company drop the TV and phone, and up our cable internet speed, which should save enough per month and then some to pay for the computer within the 18 months/no interest period.

And now back to do some more before I head out to pick up elder child for her voice lesson.....