Jill "xtingu" Knapp

Traveling musician. Singer. Road warrior in bursts. Dork. Easy to spot. Gauche eyeshadow fan. Unreasonably happy.

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We've been at my folks' place since Sunday. Dad had carpal-tunnel surgery on his wrench-turnin' hand on Monday, and he was very worried about how it was gonna go. If he can't use his right hand, he might as well check himself into the rest home, since fixing cars and building stuff (and caring for my mom) is what keeps him alive. 

The good news is that the surgery went smooove like buttah, and 10 minutes after he got home he made himself an omelet with his bionic hand... so he's fine. Now that he's a few days out his fingers are a little black and blue, but it's really all good.  Today at 2:45 we take him for his post-op follow-up, and then we'll head back home. 

We have this rhythm here at my folks' place where my parents get up early (around 7) and fix themselves some coffee and a small bite. It wakes me up, but I stay in bed snoozing. I They are so sweet and kind to each other in the mornings, and it makes me happy.  Then my mom goes back to bed, and my dad goes out to get coffee and bullshit with the guys at Steve's Transmissions for a few hours, and he gets home around 11. By then Matt gets up and brings me a cup of coffee in bed because he is the best, and then he hangs with my folks a bit while I build up the courage/strength to put on pants and go out to the kitchen with everyone. By this time my folks' morning sweetness has worn off and they're both back to interrupting and my dad answering for my mom and then my mom getting defensive and my dad not understanding why she's suddenly pissy and then I explain Communication 101 and then a lightbulb goes off for a moment until they both find it easier to deem me too preachy than it is to try changing how they talk to each other.  

So I'm still in bed at 11:58am. I need to get out there and I don't wanna. 

Anyhoo.

I have been go-go-go since the end of October, as companies are rushing to spend their training budgets so they don't lose them for next year. I've had classes in TX, Denver, Philly, and then I took a class in DC, then we went to CT for Thanksgiving, then we had a gig in West Chester on Saturday, and then we left for NJ (here) the next day.  I haven't had a day off in a while, and I need one.  The emails are piling up (work emails and friendly emails) and I haven't had much time to even read them let alone reply. If I owe you an email, I promise I'm working on it. 

Next week (Dec 3-6) I teach a class at UPenn again, and the following week (Dec 10-13) is another class that I just don't feel like teaching since it's the week before our big Christmas Show (which is on the 15th), so I'm having my pal Joyce teach it. We're gonna be building sets and rehearsing and panicking that week, so there was no way I could be away for the week. With Joyce teaching the class, I'm not making as much on the class as I normally would since I have to pay for her airfare, hotel, and instructor fee, but I'll still make something, and something is better than if I had just turned the work away and gotten nothing.

I have a ton of other work to do and no desire to do it... I'm not sure if this is some low-level depression, the start of the winter blues, or just general laziness. Probably some combo thereof.

In other news entirely, a few weeks ago I was taking a class in Washington DC and I took the train down. DC's Union Station has a bunch of mall-esque stores in it, and I was worried I was gonna be cold as I walked to/from class, so I popped in a store I'd never heard of and bought a warm undershirt for $19.00. And now, I have a new fucking addiction... these HeatTech bra-top undershirts by Uniqlo. Most bra-top undershirts have a totally useless shelf-bra, but these things have this kinda combo shelf-cup configuration that HOLY BALLS actually handles my mutant titties better than any other actual bra I have ever worn.  Going from a 40DD to a 32-Pfffft is impossible to fit, and these things work (they actually work!!), praise jeeeesus!  I bought a bunch more, so I pretty much haven't taken one off since November 13th... and ta-daaa. I am comfortable and warm (and perky!) for the first time in well over a decade. 

Perhaps that is TMI. Perhaps I don't care.

It's my blog, and I'll TMI if I want to. :)

Ok, time to get motivated. Bleh.

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Winter blahs, I prescribe a full spectrum light in your work space. At the minimum a daylight spectrum light. It makes a huge difference in my mid-winter demeanor.

I was up in central Massachusetts for the holiday and holy balls, a couple hundred miles northeast and you notice how much earlier the sun goes down up there as opposed to in Philadel.

And yes, TMI. But you be you. I now know more about the state of your chest than I ever did before, or am comfortable knowing. #nerdworldproblems

And if you haven't taken off a shirt since November 13th, perhaps it's time to give it a rest and maybe launder it.
I've been meaning to get a full-spectrum light for a looong time, but just... haven't. Perhaps I shall Amazon One-click one into existence. :)

And dooood, I shower with this undershirt/bra on, so IT'S CLEAN, OKAY? (I kid.)
(googles "heat tech bra top undershirt uniqlo")
AAAAA-LEE-LUU-YAH!!!
I have the opposite of your boobs. My bra size is 40 A.72 or something. I buy 40 Bs with push-up padding, so there's extra mass inside the cup, so the bra will fit. I would buy 40 As. They don't exist. I will buy damn near anything that has padded cups. Did you get the one with camisole straps or wider straps?

So this one time I was at a Barenaked Ladies concert at the Spectrum (RIP), and people were throwing their bras onstage. It was New Year's, so Steve and Ed would take the bras and put them on the Christmas tree upstage. It was a very polite crowd, so bras were being passed via the crowd to the stage. Every time a bra made it to the front, Steve or Ed would bow in thanks, and add it to the tree. I happened to be wearing a leopard print bra that I didn't hate, but wouldn't have shed tears if I never saw it again, and I was considering trying to get it passed up to the stage. Then a huge burly bearded guy in the front row passed a bra to the stage, and Steve did a double take and asked, "is this yours, sir?" Then Ed said, "What size is it, a 40 A?"

I decided not to participate.

Digression is the better part of valor.

Glad you're taking good care of your folks. Fist bump of solidarity.
Ahhhhh yes, boob-shame. I know it well.

Remind me to tell you about The Summer I Went Crazy and had a one-night stand with a guy in Philly and the boobs of shame. Let's just say my Victoria's Secret push-up bra did a wholllllllle lotta false advertising, and the let-down was SO AWKWARD and AWFUL. (Oh. Looks like I just told you.)
OMG I now have to email you. I remember ALL boob conversations we have ever had.
I'll have to check out the bra-top undershirts. My man boobs are getting out of control with your run of the mill bra.

(Thrilled beyond words to hear that Dad's bionic wrench turnin' hand is fully function.)
Hahaha! It's a "Bro" or a "Manssiere." (Thanks, Seinfeld!)
Great news about your Dad!
Also I love that you get the chance to hear your parents being lovely to each other.

Xoxo
 

We were all set to leave for NJ yesterday so we could accompany my folks for mom's 4th attempt at knee-meniscus-repair surgery which was scheduled for this morning. 

She called me yesterday before we got on the road to say that they canceled it yet again... this time because her pre-op testing showed her blood-sugar has been too high, so her endocrinologist wouldn't clear her. 

She is really really bummed. 

I asked what the next steps forward towards rescheduling are, and she said, "I've gotta get my blood sugar under better control, I guess."  I asked her how she should do this-- is it as "simple" as an insulin adjustment?  She said in a defeated tone, "I guess I need to eat better." 

Strange that a diabetic shouldn't be subsisting on dollar-store frozen pizzas, Ritz crackers, pasta, and insulin.  *facepalm*

Anyway, I was happy (?) to hear that her endocrinologist said "Come down today from 3-4pm and meet with our nutritionist, and we'll work with you to get your blood-sugar down. We want you to have this surgery." So she's going there today.  I asked her to ask the nutritionist for meal ideas that are easy and quick because she can't stand up long enough to cook a healthy meal, which is why she eats what's easy. Is there a mail-order meal service that they recommend? I know there are meal services like Blue Apron and Sun Basket, but those require you to prepare the meal yourself, which probably requires some amount of standing.  I also don't think she'd spend that kind of money on herself, but that's a different story... and one Matt and I might be able to solve since her birthday is coming up. Maybe a few months of a meal service would be a nice gift. Or maybe that would be awful and would make her feel judged somehow... I don't know. 

I just wanna help. 

Anyway, we're heading up in an hour or so, and we'll be there until Friday. We've got a real busy weekend coming up with 2 gigs on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and family stuff on Sunday.



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There are definitely meal delivery services where you don't have to prep stuff, just heat it! That's a great idea. I forget, where do your folks live?

You could check out:

https://www.cleaneatsmealprep.com/

They seem to cover a wide area. If you wield your favorite search engine and ask for "meal delivery service [state or city or general location]", you should find more stuff. When we lived in California and I was having babies, the local meal delivery services were lifesavers!!

They're NOT generally cheap, but you'll find a range of prices both between providers and within various meals/meal plans.
How did I miss these replies? Annie, thank you so, so much! We're OK with not cheap, as long as she eats it!
In addition to delivery services, I have an idea. I'll text you.
That was super-helpful, beb-- thank you!
Any time!
Healthy Root didn't work for me, because the price per calorie ratio was not what I needed. But, it doesn't require much cooking. You pretty much just dump everything in a pan and heat it up. It's vegan, so I don't know how that works with a diet where you're trying to lower your blood sugar.

Blue Apron was a lot of chopping. Hate to shop, but love to chop? Blue Apron!

My guess is that the nutritionist has met plenty of people who need help controlling their diabetes who have trouble standing up for long periods of time.
We ultimately decided to go with NutriSystem. Her endocrinologist told us it's approved by the American Diabetes Hernka-fernka BlahBlah, and it's basically like Lean Cuisine TV dinners. That's the level of effort she's willing to make, so we helped her pick out the meals that're gonna be delivered to her house. Let's hope she eats them...
Interesting. You hyphenated Hernka-fernka. I think I prefer that.
I hope they taste good. Wonder if I can get my parents on those. Maybe I can print out a good description from americandiabeteshernka-fernka.edu.
 

Just got back from NJ. 

Sadly, they postponed Mom's surgery again... when they were prepping her for the surgery at the hospital on Wednesday morning at 6AM (*gulp!*), she had a mini-heart attack (her AFib went nuts and her heart rate shot to 170) so they stopped what they were doing immediately.  They had only gotten as far as inserting her IV and she has no fear of needles or anything, so they don't know what caused it (plus she was totally chill going into surgery), but we suspect it was because they told her not to take ANYTHING (not even meds) by mouth the morning of surgery, so she didn't take her heart medication. 

This is now the 3rd time her knee surgery was canceled. So we're really disappointed... but better safe than sorry. Per the hospital's orders, we went to her cardiologist immediately from the hospital who gave her a monitor to wear and also did a meds adjustment, hopefully she can try for a 4th time soon.  Man. 

Her cardiologist was really irritated that she wasn't allowed to take her heart medication that morning with a tiny sip of water, but that's what you get when you only see one doctor at a time, I guess.

I don't think she realizes how unhealthy she is... rampant diabetes, emphysema, COPD, congestive heart failure, AFib, blah blah blah... an anesthesiologist would be crazy to try to put her out.  Hell, when she had her hysterectomy they gave her an epidural because they knew it was too dangerous to knock her out, and that was 6 years ago when she was healthier. 

Anyhoo, we wound up staying in NJ for the full duration even though she didn't get chopped up... I could tell my dad just kinda needed us there.  

When we were in the waiting room on the morning of surgery and the nurse came out to tell us there were complications, Dad was pretty much trying to wrap his head around Mom dying. It was awful. 

(I'm too tired now as it's 2:54am, but remind me to tell you about Jerry.)

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What a strange tease. Hoping for progress.
For realz. Thanks, beb.
I'm sorry this is such a roller coaster for you.
That it is. I feel like it's so common for people in their late 40s/early 50s to go through this with their parents... I wish there was a simple solution. Alas.
Damn. I hope this improves and quickly. All of you have more than earned a respite from this.

How is she feeling now?
She's more disappointed than anything else. She's just in so much pain as she tries to move... yet somehow she remains agile enough to pop out for a cigarette every hour or so. So y'know.

But we're hoping she gets another chance soon.
"agile enough to pop out for a cigarette every hour or so"
Okay, you know what? As a person who just accidentally sneezed a Nicorette lozenge across the from (not for the first time), and my process of coping with the Nicotine Demon can be measured in Hunter's height, that makes me mad. True, I've been the person who could lift up a couch to find out if there were a nicotine source under it.

It makes me particularly mad because Vince's dad was/is a lifelong smoker, yet every single time he gets hospitalized, he is offered and refuses nicotine patches, because he says that he wants to deal with it on his own. So he spends hospital stays not only coping with whatever put him there, but also weaning himself off of nicotine.

Her consumption is going to affect whatever meds she's on, especially heart meds. She can ask for nicotine support: gum, patches, whatever. Argh. I'll shut up now. You don't need that shit. Sorry.
Ennnnhhhhhhuuggghhh. What a pain for everyone.
It is indeeeeeeedy.
Unbelievable.
I have had similar things happen, but with blood tests, i.e., "you said this was fasting blood work," "yes, but we meant you should take your thyroid meds."

How incredibly frustrating.

who's jerry?
I wonder what it would take to get all of her doctors in one room to duke out a care plan in person, where they all heard what the others were recommending. That would be really cool.

Jerry was another patient in the waiting room with us that day. I've got a half-written post about him that I need to finish.
I love you and ... this sucks.
xoxoxoxo
 

Hi!

We are back from Burning Man and had a lovely time and are very excited to go again next year.  Lots to report, and a full writeup will likely be coming soonish.

But in the meantime... I have not had a chance to read OPW since right before we left... Say August 24th or so.  I will start reading what y'all wrote and getting caught up... but if I missed anything huge while we were gone, please lemme know!  :)


We are en route to my folks' house today where we'll be until Saturday morning. My mom is having knee surgery tomorrow-- she was supposed to have it done before Burning Man but when she showed up to the surgi-center the morning of her surgery, the anesthesiologist said, "I had no idea you had emphysema and AFib and COPD and all these other risk factors... I don't have the equipment to keep you alive here. We have to reschedule you so we can operate in a real hospital and not an outpatient surgi-center like this."  So tomorrow's the day. I'm praying she gets the relief she's been needing, poor thing.

We then have a wedding to attend Saturday afternoon back here in DE.  We fly to Arizona a few days later on Wednesday the 19th for a week to help my friend Jeff figure his life and house out since his wife (and my good friend) Debbie passed away last month... man. 

I've got a bunch of work travel scheduled between now and early December, so when it rains, it pours travel-wise.

Ok, imma get crackin'.

Hope everyone's rockin' in the free-ish world.


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Holy sh!t. I hadn’t heard about Debbie! What happened?!
It's a long-ish story, but basically she had a mental health breakdown (we do not know the trigger), and despite getting her every possible help money could buy, she drank herself and pilled herself to death. I can give you the full scoop when I see you. It's devastating.
Oh man. I'm so sorry.
1. Welcome home. I saw some photos of BM and it looked friggin' amazing.
2. Best wishes to your mom; I hope the surgery goes well, she recovers quickly, and it improves her quality of life.
3. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your friend. I know Jeff will deeply appreciate your visit.
Thanks so much!

They canceled her surgery yet again (complications during surgery prep-- see my next entry), but here's hoping for the 4th time being a charm...
Hey, congrats on getting another burn in the books. Thanks for the temple delivery service, Talley appreciated it.
Sorry to hear about your friend. Someone much wiser than me once said that living is a process of accumulating scars until you die. Losing friends is one of those scarring processes, but it doesn't make it easier.
I hope your mom's mutant healing factor let's her pull through this knee surgery with aplomb.
Catch you sometime between now and next year!
Welcome back, bebe. *smooch*
Karen 9/12
So much. Very sorry about your friend.
How did I ever miss this song? Heather from 11th Grade, if you're out there, you would have loved this.
Karen 9/19
1. Love it.
2. Pretty sure that's James T. Kirk's theme song.
 

There's a difference between being a proud small business where you're not tied to big dumb corporate rules so you can be flexible and agile, and being so small that you still have a single AOL email address on your website.

I want to support the small guy, but if they still use AOL, how can I be confident that my credit card info is secure in their office?

This one local place sells kitchen appliances. They have cutesy commercials featuring the owner's two small boys. "I'm Cameron!" "And I'm Gavin!" "And if you have trouble, call us and we'll make sure it gets handled RIGHT!"  I wonder how creepy it would be if I called up the store asking to speak to Cameron or Gavin to complain about a bill or a customer service issue. They would call Child Protective Services in 5 minutes. And what the fuck does that say about their family dynamic (or Dad's business acumen) that a 7 year old is their accountable executive in charge of customer satisfaction?!

Anyway.

We need a new washer/dryer. The one I have currently is the set that came with the house. I would love to get a set of stackables, and then put a shelf where the dryer currently is.  The washer/dryer used to be in the basement, but my house's previous owners brought them to the main floor of the house, taking up the hall linen closet with the washer/dryer. So I'd love to reclaim some of that closet space since I currently have none whatsoever, unless you count bedroom closets.

I heard a thing on the radio this morning about how small businesses should consider buying "CyberInsurance" in addition to general liability insurance and worker's comp, because small businesses are more vulnerable to cyberattacks.  Really? I know of a zillion huge corporations that were brought down by the ransomware viruses and no small businesses that I use were hit. But maybe that's because large businesses have a higher percentage of dumb people who surf the web at work, clicking on shit they oughtn't... and granted, I'm a small (vaguely tech-related) company, so maybe the percentage of employees who work for my company who click on dumb shit is 0%. 

But I figure Cameron and Gavin (or their mom) click on dumb shit pretty often, so they probably need CyberInsurance. 

The only people who use the term "cyber" are people who shouldn't.

In other news, we spent this past weekend (Saturday through Tuesday) at my folks' place. We hadn't seen them since Christmas, which is waaaaay too long. My mom tore a muscle in her right shoulder, so in addition to her back and her legs being in constant pain, let's add her right shoulder to the laundry list.  My dad has days where he's very weak for no discernible reason, so we needed to go up there and just help them out a bit. They felt so awful that they decided to cancel Easter dinner because my mom couldn't cook and my dad couldn't clean the house, and they both felt that having a house full of people would be too much.

So we offered to come up and do all of the cooking/cleaning, so now Easter is back on. 

We're in the car now heading back up there. We'll be there for a few days. I'm so excited it's finally starting to get warm... this fucking winter might FINALLY be behind us.

I hope everyone has a fabulous Easter, Passover, or April Fool's. :-)

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"So we offered to come up and do all of the cooking/cleaning, so now Easter is back on."

Yer gud.
I'm torn between "har-har, you still use AOL," and "oooh, you were a savvy early-adopter." I say that because among lawyers, it's often an early-adopter thing. As in, a lot of lawyers were quick to get word processor machines and Palm Pilots and Compuserve numbers -- but then they didn't upgrade, whether because it was a pain to migrate the files or it got too expensive (because they needed to hire IT staff/consultants) or time-consuming. And if you're not at a firm where they give you a LawyerName@ThousandDollarSuitBigLawLLP.com address, then why not keep using the same AOL address ("number") that your clients and their world-of-mouth referrals have been using for 20 (!) years now.

Also you can take my WordPerfect when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

Hope yer Easter trip goes well!
Michele Grant 3/31edited
I think I saw WP on the shelves in a store recently, and it made me happy. I don't have much preference in word processor programs (I tend to use Wordpad in windows or Google Docs) but I did use WP in college and remember it fondly.

I also happen to know a big tech company that still uses Lotus instead of Office, so there's that.
WordPerfect (actually an entire suite by Corel) is regularly upgraded. I had a learning curve from Quattro, which is what Lotus 1-2-3 became, to Excel; I still think Quattro is better in a lot of ways but I'm more likely to start something new in Excel now. The Corel version of PowerPoint leaves a LOT to be desired, though.

I avoid Google Docs for functionality, privacy, security, and subpoena reasons, and also because of the risk that anything Google could just disappear at any time for no reason, and there's no recourse. The risk is small, but I'm unwilling to take it.
Entirely reasonable. I suspect if I was doing anything that, you know - mattered - I would have the same mindset.
🤘 Scripsit forever 🤘

Love it.
 

Christmas

Had an especially lovely Christmas up at Chez ElderKnapp. I don't know if it's because my brother's kids are older now or what, but it was just really fun, funny, dorky, kind, playful, and full of love. I feel very lucky. Matt and I got up there late on Christmas Eve, and we came home later on the 27th. 

I'm sad for my poor mom... everything just hurts her so much, and because she's on so many medications for other things, she's not allowed to take NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, aspirin) -- so she's limited to Tylenol, which notoriously does nothing for my mom and those of us who take after her side of the family. So she just HURTS. She really tries to be a trooper (trouper?) and smile through it all, but it really takes its toll and it's heartbreaking. I can't imagine living in that much pain... and it SUCKS that one friggin' Aleve fixes it perfectly for 12 hours, but she can't even take that. Man. I keep asking her to beg her doctor for something, but naturally as soon as you say "pain" to a doctor they think you're shooting heroin or something idiotic. Like, can't they reduce the amount of blood thinner she's on so she can take one miserable Aleve? I don't get it. 


Phish in NYC

Friday the 29th Matt and I, along with BT and KT went to NYC to see Phish. It was BT's 93-millionth Phish show, KT's 4th, Matt's 2nd, and my first Phish show. The crowd was absolutely awesome-- so friendly with a kind, inviting, Burner vibe. Everyone was baked or tripping and the guards were lenient and friendly, which was refreshing, since nobody was hurting anyone/anything. We sat in section 115 which had a great view. The floor is general admission and people aparently line up very very early to get a good spot on the floor. From our view above the floor, we were all super-impressed with how everyone on the floor respected each others' space. Nobody pushed, nobody crowded or shoved. It just seemed great. 

Some guy who calls himself Malacoid greeted us when we got to our seats, and he greeted everyone else as they filled in. He introduced us all to each other, and after about 30 minutes we were all buddies. This guy Ryan (who was a long-haired, bearded Dave Grohl) looked like he needed one of my blinkie burner lights, so I gave it to him and he acted like I gave him a million dollars. It was great. 

Phish played from 8:15-10pm, and then played a second set from maybe 10:30-11:45. What amazing musicians! It was a pleasure and I'd love to go back. We slept in NYC (I booked two hotel rooms) and it felt great to have a comfy place to crash that night instead of driving home. FTN.


New Years Eve

New Years Eve was either going to be spent in NYC or spent quietly at home doing nothing... and then at the last minute it turned into a very small gathering (just 7 of us). Matt made dinner, we played Cards Against Humanity, and everyone went home around 1:15ish. We were absolutely maxxed out at 7 people (my house simply cannot hold more than 7) and it worked out fine. I was also happy to see all of the neat events happening around Wilmington this year. 


Phone Blather (BlackBerry stuff)

Anyway, I just got a notice that my beloved Blackberry Priv (it runs Android, so please stop making 2006 jokes about my Blackberry) will no longer receive updates from Verizon or Google as of 12/31/17, so it is officially end of life... which is some serious bullshit considering I bought it on the day it came out on March 4th 2016. Really? A $750 phone (yes, I really paid $750) gets barely two years of support?! Insane, man. Seriously.

Anyway anyway, over the last two weeks or so, I noticed that the micro-USB charging port has been getting a little wonky... like needing some wiggling, or needing to be positioned juuuuuust riiiiiight to get a good charge. This never ends well... and as of yesterday, the port is now completely dead. I'm sure it just became unsoldered as these things do, and if I had a T3 screwdriver I feel confident in my ability to take it apart, re-solder the connection, and move on with my life. Alas, I lack the right tools right now. (Gonna order them from Amazon shortly.) Anyway, as you can imagine, yesterday my battery drained completely, and now I officially have no way to charge my phone... which means I was phoneless all day yesterday. I don't get paid for a few more weeks, so I can't really afford a new phone right now (and even if I could afford it, what would I buy? I haven't even been thinking about new phones so I don't really even know what's out there. And something tells me that my physical-keyboard options are pretty damn slim).

So, late last night I fired up one of my three ancient Droid4s that I had laying around, but they all use an old-style SIM card, so I couldn't pull my BlackBerry SIM card and plonk it into my Droid4 and have it just work. (Besides, my Droid 4 is SO damn laggy, and it was horribly laggy in 2015, so in 2018 it is basically unusable.) And then I remembered... wait a second... My Blackberry Priv has wireless charging! I've never used it because I don't own a wireless charging station, but WHEEE! Here's a $30 fix for a $750 problem. And because I have the best boyfriend ever, while I was sleeping this morning, Matt woke up and went to Best Buy and bought me a wireless charging pad, so when I woke up, he was handing me a Qi charger that I got set up in 3 seconds and YAAAAAY, my phone is slowly coming back to life. I actually cried when I saw it charging up. It was like hearing your friend was in a horrible accident and then finding out he's OK.

So, what have we learned?
1) I can toss my Droid 4s now, because they're unusuable now, even as a backup. (But man, I missed that big-ass keyboard.)
2) My BlackBerry Priv has wireless charging and it works great... and I can use this charging pad for pretty much whatever device I wind up buying next.
3) I need to start shopping for a new phone, because my Priv is officially not going to get any security updates anymore, so if I wanna be a secure little technology consumer, I need to have a device that is still being supported. 
4) Verizon can eat a bag of dicks for selling a device and only offering support for not even two years. (I acknowledge it may not be Verizon's decision to stop pushing updates... it's probably Google's... but still. F Y'ALL.)


As of right now, my phone options seem to be:
1) A Blackberry KeyOne. The only crappy thing about that is the keyboard is visible/exposed all the time, so ass-dialing could be a problem with that device. (My Priv's keyboard hid away nicely.)
2) A Moto Z, which is supposed to be an open platform for people to design various cool mods for it. Some neat guys developed a super-sexy landscape keyboard mod for it that has its own battery, but that keyboard mod doesn't ship until the spring. 
3) A Samsung Galaxy S8, which has a nifty keyboard attachment for use in portrait-mode.

I dunno. I'm gonna see which phone of those three has the most horsepower and which one will likely be around the longest and go for that one.

[update]
I'm gonna get a Blackberry KeyOne. I just watched 47,000 reviews and comparison videos by unbiased reviewers online, and even people who initially scoffed at a BlackBerry were ALLLLL about it by the end. So sign me the hell up. Two days of battery life is pretty awesome, too.


Lastly: 

I caught the plague that everyone else had. I thought I had caught it a few weeks ago, but I managed to fight it off with megadoses of vitamins... but now it has officially got me in its grips. I have yellow and green stuff coming out of my sinuses that I could really do without. We have a gig on Friday and I hope I'm OK, since we're headlining. I have NO voice, and it is excruciating to speak. Ugh ugh ugh.

It's supposedly gonna snow so I'm gonna go set up my snowcam. okbye.

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Snowcam! Or BLOWCAM?
Feel better, sweetheart.

Could you go with your Mom to a doctor's appt and discuss her pain, or is that not something the two of you would be comfortable with?
Who is your mom's palliative care doc? That is usually the member of the team who can figure out stuff like what your mom is going through. They're great at balancing medicine with quality of life and like to err on the side of quality. If your mom doesn't have a palliative care doctor, and you're able to advocate for her, you should request (okay, demand) one via her primary.
Anne Mollo 1/4edited
 

Hi all!

We've been up at my folks' place since Sunday. We were eating dinner and I got a text from my dad that he had to call an ambulance to bring him to the hospital because he blew out his knee and couldn't put even a toe's worth of weight on his right leg.  I called him and he was TERRIFIED, and absolutely convinced this was "the fall," meaning the injury an old person has in their late 70s that begins the rapid decline to death.  I kept trying to tell him not to order the headstone quite yet, but he was really, really upset. By the time he got out of the ER and back home it was 11:30PM, so we all agreed Matt and I would get up to NJ on Monday (the 13th).

So, apart from snowcamming (which is now over), I have been almost entirely offline since we've been up here. I haven't read OPW or LJ; I've done maybe 10 mins max on Instagram and Twitter.  I'm sorry I haven't been more responsive.

So yep, we're still up at my folks' place taking care of them since my dad blew his knee out on Sunday.  Strangely, Mom seems to be doing MUCH better. I'm thinking with my Dad down for the count, Mom realizes she needs to step it up a bit, and she has! She isn't nearly as forgetful.  Maybe the extra responsibility is good for her.

Since we've been here, we let my folks handle their own breakfast as a test to see how their mobility is for the day... but then we wind up handling lunch and dinner plus all chores (laundry, cleaning Mom's bedroom commode, cleaning/prepping her CPAP, meal prep and serving/cleanup, shopping, snow removal, med checks, laundry, washing the kitchen floor, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, etc.)

Yesterday (Thursday) I took my dad to the orthopedist to figure out what's broken on him and what the prognosis/path forward is.  Diagnosis: Torn meniscus, but luckily it's not an entirely fucked meniscus. It should heal with some PT and TLC in a few weeks... he's already markedly better yesterday than he was on Monday when we arrived, but he absolutely still needs a walker, which means he can't carry anything.  My mom can't carry anything either... so the small "care-related tasks" like dumping and cleaning my mom's bedside commode is impossible for either of them to do... let alone carrying food to the table. So as much as we want to get home and get our lives back, we need some kind of plan to have these small tasks handled. I cannot rely on my brother or sister-in-law, which is sometimes frustrating but understandable. My parents' neighbors have offered to help out, but cleaning a chunky pee-filled commode isn't something you ask a neighbor to do... that's a family job. (Sorry for that visual.)

Matt has been so good anxiety-wise lately... the CBD + Xanax combo has been working miracles. However, yesterday was a Very Bad Day and a reminder that he is not "cured," and a reminder he mustn't get cocky and not take his meds.  Caring for my mom, caring for my dad, and caring for plus worrying about Matt yesterday made me wonder how people with kids care for several people every day of their lives with no break whatsoever. I was wiped out. 

My parents have been very kind and appreciative this visit, and they keep telling me how truly grateful they are that we're up here and able/willing to help.  I'm very happy to have been up here, too.  In the evenings once we're done with dinner and all of our tasks are done, my dad and I (and sometimes Matt)  wind down by binge-watching Nurse Jackie.  I've been enjoying it. When I asked him why he chose that show as opposed to the other million things on Netflix, cable, Amazon, etc., he said, "I like Edie Falco, and I wanted to watch something without explosions for a change."  My dad? Watching something without fast cars or explosions? WEIRD. :-D

Selfishly, I'm also happy to have ridden out the storm up here with my folks because Delaware got a ton of ice and apparently Arden and north Wilmington lost power for a good long while... parts of which didn't get power back until yesterday (Thursday) with crews from North Carolina helping out the local power company workers. I know our house lost power at some point (even if just for a moment) because I tried remoting into my home computer yesterday and couldn't, which tells me it turned off unceremoniously. (My computer stays off if the power gets cut.)  So I have no way to know if we'll come home to a freezer full of warm, stinky food or what. (Though Joe Trainor just stopped by our house a few minutes ago to return a soprano sax we rented for the sold-out Billy Joel show we did on Saturday night down at the beach, and he was able to use the garage door OK, so the power's onbviously on now.)

Today is Friday, and I'm not sure when we're going back to DE. We really wanted to go to a concert on Saturday (tomorrow) night, and Matt has a final rehearsal on Sunday afternoon for an Able Arts skit they've asked him to be a part of for their show next week.  We may just go home for the weekend and come right back up here.

It's actually been pretty OK being up here. I feel very appreciated and useful. 

Anyway, I promise to be more present online when I can. I'm sorry that I can't be a better or more responsive friend now... right now I need to keep focusing on being a good daughter and a good partner. 

Love you all.

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3/17 '17 3 Comments
Don't worry about being a responsive friend right now. Charge your emotional batteries.
Holy smokes gurrrl. If you want to feel bad about something... No, I can't even kid about it. Just don't.
Thomas Boutell 3/17 '17
Like they said - don't worry about being online / responsive / whatever. If anyone asks you to be otherwise, feel free to have them discuss it with me. I'll explain it (more or less) nicely. *smirk*

On to the folks:
1. It's not 'the fall'. I'm with you on that one. You're Dad is WAY too much of a badass for that. Uncomfortable? Sure. Annoying? I bet.
2. Feeling useful - I'm happy to hear this. Family emergencies can be... draining. Feeling appreciated for what your doing can go a long way towards countering that.
3. Mom: It doesn't shock me that 'needing to step up' is helping her in some way. If it's not her that needs looking after, she's always been first up to bat.
4. Staying for a while in NJ? I'm coming back during the first week of April. I would like to humbly ask that you consider having me come lend a hand if you're still in NJ at that point. Like I said before - this stuff takes a toll. I would like to help cover that if I can. Before you dismiss this (I can just imagine you reading this) - please - seriously think about it. I'm HAPPY to help, and your folks have always been nothing shy of awesome to me. They've MORE than earned it. :)

Sending lerv. Lots of it.