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More sad news

My cousin in Japan passed away from ovarian cancer last November. She was in her mid-30s. Since none of the family here speaks Japanese, we aren't in touch with our relatives in Japan very often and Mami-san was our main contact because she had studied English here for a few years. She was just the sweetest girl. She looked after me when I came to Japan as a child and she stayed with us when she came to visit CA. I remember one visit when I was really young (late 80s?) and she loved my mom's ripped jeans and wanted to listen to Madonna records. I thought she was pretty much the coolest person ever. I saw her last a couple of years ago when she and my Great Aunt Keiko came to visit my grandma. I hate that we didn't know about her passing until today, that makes me so dang sad.

Enough, thanks.

My grandma went back to the hospital after another episode at the beginning of the week, and the doctors told my Aunt it's pretty much going to get worse from here. Days, weeks, or months, but she's on borrowed time. I've been getting daily calls from my Aunt, trying to keep me up to date, and they usually take an hour or two. Normally, I'd be more than happy about being kept in the loop, but this week is also Hell Week for the show. I was able to make it to a dress rehearsal on Tuesday and had to build two things and do a bunch of alterations all day Weds (didn't finish the two things I was building and stayed up til 1 am and got up early the next day to finish in time to drop them off in town). Meanwhile, I am having intense, tearful conversations with family while trying to shove fabric through the machine and ignoring bitchy calls from actors. The show opened tonight and everything was ready for the preview last night, although I love that no one bothered to call or email to say how it went yesterday; at least it's over. Last night, about an hour after I fell asleep, Everett woke up and was projectile vomiting. I changed his pj's and his sheets twice in the middle of the night, and he still barfed all over the twin bed covers, the rocking chair, the bedroom floor, the laundry room floor, and the kitchen floor. Not to mention in my hair and so much on my legs that it ran down the inside of my pj pants and made a puddle on the floor. It was terrifying and I had no idea what to do, but thankfully I think it was just something he ate because after his poor tummy was empty he was fine and fell asleep. J came home early because I was freaking out and woke me up to tell me my grandma's hometown, Sendai, had been destroyed by a huge quake and that my mother, in Hawaii, was bracing for a tsunami. I woke up this morning and did (not kidding) six loads of laundry, went to class, vacuumed and mopped the whole house, cleaned the fridge, washed the kitchen cupboards, and all the windows because Jason's buddy is coming to spend the night tomorrow.

Reading over this, it sounds totally ridiculous. I'm not even feeling sorry for myself -- it's just too absurd for all of this crap to happen in 5 days. If I wasn't so damned tired I'd probably laugh (crazy, unhinged-style laughter). Actually, I am pretty impressed that I am still standing...as I get older I am starting to discover that I really can stand a lot more than I would have thought possible and just keep shoving forward regardless. I mean, what else can you do?

Feb. 6th, 2011

My grandma was hospitalized on Thursday, and she was looking pretty bad. Yesterday my aunt said she thought my grandma was doing better, and they moved her to a nursing facility (too much flu and whooping cough in the hospital). Today my aunt called to tell me she didn't think my grandma was going to be around much longer because she seemed so much more out of it than usual. She has no idea who anyone is, and just wants to sleep. My aunt said she's in her own world. Anyway, I'm going down on the 21st to see her; hopefully she'll be doing better and if not, I just hope she can hang in there until I can see her and say goodbye (though she won't know who I am). In a way it's easier to have some kind of buildup if someone is going to pass -- my grandpa died so suddenly when he was in good health, and that was *horrible*. If she doesn't recover and passes away, at least I have the comfort of knowing she's going to be with Jesus and my grandpa, and that she won't be in pain or suffering from her terrible dementia anymore.


It must be that time of the month -- I have pretty much not eaten anything but enormous bowls of white rice with nori goma (aka SALT sprinkles) and umeboshi (aka SALT death-pickle)  for the last 3 meals. I have a problem. If I don't knock it off and get my freaking period soon I will swell up like a water balloon from too much sodium and MSG. I'm also worried the lack of actual nutrition is increasing my crabbiness. I should eat a steak or something.

BUT! People, can I just tell you how cool it is to take a cutting of a plant? We went over plant propagation yesterday and took cuttings. It's just amazing. Someone gives you a dead-looking stick, you cut it here and here at specific angles, dip the bottom in magical fairy dust (rooting hormone powder), and push it into a pot of potting soil. And it turns into a freaking plant. I'm serious, it was more exciting that giving birth. Almost. (Maybe because I wasn't sedated while taking clippings?) Anyway, it was just so cool -- it's like a miracle. Nature is amazing. I have this sad looking plastic pot on my front porch with 5 sticks poking out of it, but eventually they will become 2 hydrangeas, 1 forsythia, 1 mock orange, and 1 cecile brunner climbing rose. 

Also, I am now one of those crazy people who have worms living in their house in a plastic box. I am paranoid that I'll kill them, but so far they seem to be doing okay. J. is even more paranoid...he always asks me, "Are your worms okay??' but mostly because I think he's terrified they're going to escape. I opened up their box today and they seemed pretty happy. I mean, as far as I could tell, since they don't have faces. Their bedding is still moist, they seem to have been munching on the food scraps I gave them last week, and they were moving around. I was worried they are too cold, so I brought them into the basement from the garage (they work more slowly if it's cold, so I am hoping they will start eating more if they're inside!). Nobody's made a run for it yet.


I am freaking out because Sherlock Holmes and the Jersey Lily goes into rehearsal next week, and it looks like they are going to want me to actually *make* most of the costumes. I don't know. I'm desperately hoping I can find all of the men's things to borrow or rent from various theatres or college departments (except maybe for some of Oscar Wilde's more outlandish stuff which will have to be made or altered, I think), and maybe things like shoes, wigs, parasols, gloves, hats, etc. Luckily they triple cast one of the two females in the show, so I only have to make 1 maid's uniform and maybe two very different caps and aprons to make the two characters look different, and I might be able to add some kind of jacket or shawl over the bodice and change the skirt for the third part...I have some serious thinking to do. For the main actress, I am toying with the idea of a tea gown/wrapper for the "at home" scene, and one real dress, which she wears for all of Act 2.

Yep, pretty much freaking out.

The good news is that I was able to get into the Gibson Girl Hat Workshop through GBACG (bought my membership, finally), which is so exciting because it's being taught by Lynn McMasters. I love her hats and have been wanting to learn basic millinery skills anyway, and this was especially fortuitous because the workshop happens to focus on the exact period of the show, which is set in 1895. I was worried that the date of the class was going to conflict with the opening weekend, but it turns out it is well in advance, so the actress can enjoy her hat even in dress rehearsal! I *may* even be able to write off the cost of the class (or part of it), depending on where the budget is; if not, I will "loan" the hat for the production and keep it for myself :) Either way, I am sooo excited to learn hatmaking from a pro, which will be a great thing to have under my belt for later. If only I could get down south to visit the Super Seeeekrit Supply Shoppe for goodies to trim it. Alas!


Jan. 10th, 2011

Dear Son,

I love you so  much, but you need to GO TO SLEEP! I can hear you in there playing with your plastic dinosaur and banging your brace on the crib. It's naptime and Mama really, really needs to take a shower and read two impossibly boring chapters on basic botany and horticulture. She also needs to deal with the leaking window and possible mildew situation. And maybe eat a cheese sandwich.

New Shirt!

Well, I had a glass of wine with dinner which lowered my inhibitions *just* enough to give myself permission to buy a shirt from modcloth. Yay!

It's a spring/summer top, but it is so cute -- I think I will wear it with a cardigan, and either a denim pencil skirt or white shorts and tall wedge sandals. Hope it fits.

Being 100 lbs means one good sized glass of red is enough for me to feel it! Sheesh!

Ugh. Stupid neighbors are having a domestic disturbance AGAIN. Seriously we call the cops on them like every 2 days. A few nights ago, I called at 10pm, then J got home at 11:30 and called. He came to bed and said, "I called the cops on those two just now" and I said, "I called too!" -- ha. Jerks. I think they think it was our other neighbors and they busted in their car's driver side window last night. White trash hillbillies.

Yuck, Anthro!

So the new Anthropologie catalog just went up online. It's "road trip" themed, as several other catalogs (in my collection) from previous years have been. This year's take is gross. The pieces lack charm, originality, or shape. The looks are boxy, sloppy, oversized, baggy, and deliberately but unattractively mis-matched. It's really a shame that they are moving away from the lovely, unique, structured and vintage-inspired looks that attracted me to their store to begin with years ago. It seems like it gets worse every season! Now the look is grungy and cheap, which just about matches the recent quality of the goods for sale. Don't even get me started on my year-long customer service ordeal with this company.

I'm thinking I might try to make a few shirts and skirts this year. At least I'll know they weren't made in a sweatshop and that they won't disintegrate when I wash them.

A New Year!

I'm pretty happy today! I woke up before dawn to a world covered with beautiful snow. I went from room to room looking out all of the windows. Unfortunately, the snow turned to rain about 9 am and most of last night's accumulation is melting away. Still, it was a great little surprise, and lovely while it lasted.

My only real resolutions this year are to get myself organized/decluttered/purged, to figure out more engaging play activities to do with E., and to start a vegetable garden. I have all sorts of Big Plans but I am backing off of them a bit so that I can focus on getting these three things really taken care of.

I'm feeling a lot of dread about the upcoming play (it opens next month and they have not finished casting -- wth?) but in a month and a half or so it will be over and I can dump the stress. I think as long as I can limit my expectations to what is concretely possible with the resources and time I've been given, this shouldn't be too horrible.

I'm starting my Master Gardener training on Friday! I'm really excited.

I would like to take some of the workshops offered through the GBACG this year, and of course do some costuming, but that stuff is really low-priority right now. I need to focus on getting my real life in shape first!

And the medical stuff. I'm not sure what's going to happen, but I am trying not to worry (too much) until we get the biopsy results back. Everett might be our one and only, or we might look into adopting eventually. I don't know. It's been pretty horrible, frankly. I'll be trying to stay positive and busy this year. It's all I can do.

Warm Wishes!

I hope everyone is having a really wonderful Christmas!

I made my first Big Dinner (only 4 of us to eat, but still!) and it turned out great :) Sanity has been restored and I am very happy -- just wishing I could be home for Christmas with my own folks. Maybe next year!