Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Covid Caught Me

 Hell dear reader.  Yes, it's been a while, but for a change, I have an excuse.  As the title suggests, Covid finally caught up to me.


A few weeks back, I went to an "ascension" ceremony, where my daughter 'graduated' from middle school to high school.  I don't know about you, but for me, going from 8th to 9th grade wasn't a big deal.  Alas that was 1980.  But I digress.  Anyway, so I drove down to SEPa on a Wednesday and watched the ceremony with Wife and MIL. 

 

Now, Daughter had just gotten over covid- in fact she learned she had it a few weeks before, right after the last time I saw her.  So I did the whole isolation thing and tested negative.  But sitting there in the stands, I began feeling sick.  As there was a dance after the ceremony, they weren't going to a dinner or anything that I wouldn't be invited to, so I headed straight back to State College.  As I drove, I felt sicker and sicker.


I went to bed early that night, and felt worse the next day- so bad that I called off work (which I hate doing.)  Long story short, Friday I took an at-home test, and it showed positive.  (Why do covid tests look like pregnancy tests?)  I kinda knew before I saw the result.  I was coughing, my breathing felt restricted- like I was wearing a corset laced tight.  My head throbbed, my stomach felt blah- basically I felt like I'd been run over by a steamroller.  Coincidentally, this is how I felt after getting my second covid vaccination.  (I had a total of three, so I wasn't worried about a severe case.)


Linda (roomie/bestie) tested as well, and was negative for a few days.  eventually, she got it as well- after all, it's a small apartment.


So it was for better than a week.  I slept a LOT.  Heeding advice I was given, I stayed hydrated.  Oh, and during this time, I was banned from facialbook as well for posting a political meme.  Didn't matter, I slept most of the time, except during class (which I took on Zoom.)


Eventually, I felt a bit better, and my doctor said I could begin re-integrating myself into polite society (masked.)  That said, I still feel like I'm wearing a corset- like my lungs don't have room to fill.  


Sidebar: the Sunday before the ceremony, my car (which was my mum's before I bought it- long story) was in the shop.  I had to work, so I rode a bike the three miles up and down hills to get there.  I love biking.  However, I couldn't surmount the meekest of hills.  My limbs were afire and I couldn't breathe.  I attributed it to old age and being an out of shape blob, but it seems that covid already had me.  I'm going to get back on the bike soon, for shorter distances, to build up my strength again.


So there you have it dear reader.  That's where I've been.  In other news, I finished my final class, and am now starting my comprehensive exams.  4 questions, 60 pages, 30 days.  Pass/fail.  IF I get past these, I can start my dissertation process.  I'll be an ABD: All But Dissertation.  But first, I must pass these exams.  


Be well. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Nights Then and Now

I remember when I was a late teen and in college.  My parents' idea of a night was sitting at their respective places- mum in her chair, and dad at his side of the couch, watching tv.  Dad would be drinking cheap beer- either Reading Premium or Schmidt's.  That's if dad were home, as he worked swing shift at the power plant.  I remember them sitting there quietly staring blankly at the TV as I went out to a friend's place or whatever (if I wasn't working a night shift that is.)  At that point, my parents were in their late forties or early fifties.  


I remember feeling a little sorry for them- that their lives were work, work, work, and just staring at the TV and turning off their brains.  I remember thinking to myself 'if I ever end up that way, I hope someone shoots me.'   Then I'd go and kill brain cells or whatever I was doing that night.  I was young, and as tired as I thought I was, I still had that energy of youth.  I could still stay out drinking until dawn with little problem, or get by on four hours of sleep (which was normal for me back in my days working in the restaurant biz.)  When I started working approximately 9-5 (more or less), I started sleeping more.  By then, I'd met Wife, so I didn't have to go out looking for love or such.  Yes, I still went out, but not as much.  


55.  No makeup

Fast forward to today.  I'm  55.  I don't work nights anymore (even at the grocery store, the latest I'd work was 8 pm.)  I don't live with Wife anymore- not since 2013.  So what do I do at night?  Well, if I'm not doing homework (this PhD thing is really hard! Go figure), I'm slumped on the couch watching a movie.  Or a baseball game.  I'm draped on the couch drinking water and trying not to allow my mind to go to dark places.  I try to forget everything I've lost.  My body aches everywhere.  And I'm absolutely exhausted, as the energy of youth is long gone, as is the enthusiasm.  Going out means dealing with people, possible getting misgendered or worse, and spending money I don't have.  


So what am I doing?  Exactly what my parents did.  Staring blankly at the TV.  Desperately hoping that someway, somehow, my brain will turn off and let me enjoy something again.  Or relax.  Because no matter how tired I am, the nightmares await impatiently for my insomnia to finally allow me to sleep.  



Monday, April 18, 2022

Poem: 1971

In a class today, we had a lecture by a professor who studies Latin American art, activism, and poetry.  At the end of the class, we had a writing activity.  The prompt was to write for four minutes of whatever came to mind on the topic of gender.   As I'd been taking notes, I wrote my bit on the margin of the paper.  As usual, my thoughts and writing went to a dark place.  Some of these topics I've covered before, but... that's where my mind went on a snowy April afternoon.

What follows is exactly what I wrote, word for word.  The only editing I did was to punctuate it.  

I decided to call it 1971.


Me in 1971.  Four years old.  Kindergarten photo


**************************************************************************


I learned from an early 

age that my gender was

wrong – not because it didn’t match 

my body but because I

had to be a MAN at four

years old.  My father and 

brother were my first 

bullies: bashing, smashing

boys will be boys

stop crying-

men don’t cry.

I learned that

who I am and how I

felt was wrong-

punishable by

more beatings and bullying

and more hatred growing

uncontrollably until that

self- hatred was all that

was left inside the shell of

a freak who was born 

different.  My life

ended at four and now

I’m just waiting to 

die.  And they ask me

Why don’t you love yourself?


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Pride March Speech, April 2022

On April 11, I participated in a pride march at Penn State.  I helped carry the banner, screwed up a march cadence, and was the first to speak after the Director of the Center for Sexual and gender Diversity.  I marched despite feeling a bit sick. In fact, I left a later class early because I felt like hell.  Anyway, I wrote my speech in advance, and really didn't deviate from it.



Photo by Alina Lebedeva of the Daily Collegian


The speech:

We are Penn State!

We are… started as the football team’s stand against ugly racism in 1947.  Since then it has grown into our identity.  Penn State is who we are, and it’s our pride, the pride of Lions.  We is an inclusive word encompassing all of us: students, staff, faulty, alumni- we are ALL Penn state.

We, the LGBTQ+ community, are also Penn state.  We are part of the beautiful tapestry of identities that make up our community.  We always have been, despite having to hide ourselves for so many decades.  Today we march to celebrate our visibility, to celebrate our inclusion, and to celebrate those who were, those who are, and those who will be.  We do not march to flaunt our identities, nor do we march to “recruit”, as that can’t happen.  Being LGBT is part of how we were made, like eye color or height.  

Today we celebrate, and renew our commitment to each other, and to Penn State as a whole, that we ALL are Penn State.  We ALL belong and are worthwhile.  We ALL matter.

We are Penn State!



My hair was in a ponytail.  The woman on the left is Sophia.

I received polite applause.  One person said I was eloquent.  Later speakers received much more applause, which is fine.  No one was there to hear me talk anyway.





Monday, March 28, 2022

Return of the Keystone Conference: 2022

This past week was the first Keystone Conference in three years. The last two were canceled due to covid. But this year we returned to the Sheraton Harrisburg/Hershey now for the 12th time. However, things were different. They were so low on staff that the restaurant wasn't even open on a Saturday night, nor was the bar open during the day.  For me, a lot of the conference was casually speaking with friends in the bar, drinking or not.  It was quiet enough for me to hear, and comfortable enough.  This would be my 12th Keystone, as I've never missed one.  This conference has been a major part of my life since it began.

I signed up to do a presentation (as usual) and received the 9 AM Saturday slot.  That was fine, except I'd have to wake up ugly early to make the drive from State College to Harrisburg (which takes around 90 minutes.)  I signed up for Saturday only, which was the cheapest option.  After all, I've had money issues for years.

A day before the conference, Kristyn King called me.  She's a dear friend and president of Greater Philadelphia Renaissance, which I've attended since 2008.  She asked if I was going to Keystone (yes, Saturday only); did I have a room (no, can't afford one); would I like one (no thanks, can't afford it); no, you don't understand- I have an extra room, would you like it- free? (you're kidding, right); no, you do so much for others that it's time you get something back; (sure!  Thank you!) So now I had a room for Friday and Saturday nights!  

So I drove down Friday night, planning to arrive after the busses left for the various restaurants.  I wanted to surprise people.  However the Vanity Club bus was delayed and hadn't left.  As I walked to the hotel with my bag, a woman walked up to me and told me how inspiring I am, and how she loves reading my stuff.  I was so flattered yet embarrassed.  I thanked her.  I had mixed feelings about this.  I really appreciate this validation, but I don't feel I deserve it.  I've done nothing.  


Friday Night

In any case, I was wearing my blue dress that showed off the girls.  I checked in, found room 310, then headed for the bar.   Sat at the bar, saw someone sitting alone, and invited her to join me.  I believe that "no one sits alone at Keystone" because I know what it's like to be alone at events.  She joined me, and we talked. I had chicken tenders, as I'd done my makeup and didn't want to mess it up. Eventually busses returned from the restaurants and people trickled into the bar.  People I know began walking in.  So wonderful to reunite with friends I hadn't seen in at least three years.  I'd previously lost a bet with Stephanie Wardlow, an Arkansas alumnae, as they beat my Penn State Nittany Lions in a bowl game.  So, I bought her the drink I owed: a Cosmopolitan.



I didn't stay out late- back to the room at 10:30.  After all, I had little money and a presentation in the morning.  Woke up, showered, dressed, and took aspirin.  Yes, unearned hangover.  Had breakfast with the incredible JoAnne Carroll, president of TransCentral Pa.  We had a nice conversation, and I ate a lot of bacon because I rarely get to do so.  Then off to the session.  That's when, well, I had use the restroom... NOW!  So, off I went.  Glad it didn't happen during the session.



I had eight people in my session, including three old friends.  The session went well, and many good questions were asked (and yes, I followed up by sending the slides to those who asked.)  Went to the dealer's room with Jenny North and hung out a bit.  Eventually, lunch.  The speaker was Amanda Knox, whose story was amazing.  I bought her book, Love Lives Here, which she signed.  

Back to the room for a nap.  Then, doll up for dinner.  I'm definitely out of practice.  In any case, off to the gala, where it was VERY hot.  I popped sweat almost immediately.  I sat at the Vanity Club table, had chicken, listened to Lady J speak (another wonderful talk), then said my goodbyes.  After all, I had homework to do.  And as I had little money, it wasn't like I could go to the bar and drink my face off.  And I'd feel isolated, as in loud places, I can't hear anything but background noise.  So I said my goodbyes, packed, and got on the road.  Through the snow... in freaking late March.


Grape Ape

Made it home around 11 pm.  Unpacked my sweaty clothes and collapsed into bed.  90 minutes away, people like me are enjoying their last night at the conference- Partying against the dread of the next morning.  Sunday morning at Keystone is so very sad.  It's over, and it's back to drab life for most of them: the dreaded Pink Hangover.  I hated that so much.  

So, I left the conference early.  I wish I could've given my extra "girl time" to them.  Now home, taking a study break from reading, writing this blog entry.  I'm so glad Keystone is back, and hope to go next year as well.  We'll see where life takes me.


Be well.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

"So what is it now?"

The title is a quote from someone on facialbook a few weeks back.  I mentioned I was in a bad place, but didn't say why.  I haven't said why because I don't know what I can or can't say at this point.


My Wife, who I have been with for nearly 31 years has filed for divorce.  


She announced this rather casually to me at the end of a visit to her and daughter back on January 22.  We've lived apart since I was thrown out over eight years ago by her mother, sometimes close like when I lived a mile away, now far, as I am in State College.  She has an attorney.  I know this because I received the paperwork via certified mail yesterday.  


I can't afford an lawyer.  PSU has legal services, but they don't cover contested divorce (whatever that is.)  I don't have money for child support.  I don't have money for alimony.  Sh*t, I've been selling things on eBay and relying on the kindness of others to make the rent.  My pride is destroyed.  She knows all this.


All this within a couple of weeks of my mum's death- what timing.  Like, you've waited eight years- you couldn't wait a little longer?  As of now, Daughter doesn't know.  I don't know when she'll be told or how.  She doesn't read (or even know of) this blog to my knowledge.  That, and the whole legal thing, is why I haven't said what's going on using social media.  


I'm a wreck.  I hoped that we could ride this out, and that after her mother passed we could be a family again.  I even offered to de-transition to save the marriage.  Nope.  Thing is, we've been together for over half our lives.  She defines me in so many ways.  I DON'T WANT THIS.  I still love her.  The idea that she doesn't love me anymore crushes me.

Oh, and thanks to the depression and Darkness, I've fallen behind in my classwork.  My advisor is sympathetic, but for how long?  I've made several calls to the Trans suicide hotline and never gotten through.  (Shows you where my mind is.)  I won't call others, as they geo-locate, and I don't need the police kicking in my door and throwing me in some useless psych ward, which I can't afford, to rot. Been there- done that.  Never again. I've been staring at the ceiling a lot.  Or walls.  Or the tv.  And not seeing any of them.  


So, for those few of you who wondered, that's what's happening.  It's all my fault for transitioning.  My transition destroyed her life and mine.  And I can't stop crying.


So today I drove down to see her.  I wanted Wife to tell me to my face why she's divorcing me.  She did.  She wanted to divorce me back in 2013.  It wasn't her mother who wanted me out- it was her.  All these years, she's wanted me out of her life.  8 1/2 years have all been a lie.

Despite everything I've learned in my life, I'd held onto the one shred of hope that someday, after her mother died we could be a family again in some way.  That we could grow old together.  Once again, Hope is a lie.

Hope is a fucking lie.

Love is a lie.

My life is one big lie.


That's all.  



Sunday, February 20, 2022

Men of the Skull Chapter 141 (out of order): Laying Out

I saw a facialbook post that reminded me of this chapter, which I hadn't yet posted.  Deb lived across the hall from me in Armenara Plaza during summer 1988.  In an earlier chapter (136) I described her:

"She wore a white one piece bathing suit and mirrored sunglasses as she relaxed on the lounge chair on the balcony reading a book.  She had a gorgeous body: huge breasts, perfect legs, and fiery red hair.  She was an absolute knockout- I’d never seen anyone like her in my life.  A woman among girls.  And she didn’t notice me- but why would she?  She was reading a book. [cut] Debbie was maybe five seven.  She had a round Irish face with prominent apple cheeks speckled with freckles.  She had almond shaped hazel eyes and a wide full mouth.  Her red hair touched the bottom of her shoulder blades and framed everything beautifully. [cut] I felt comfortable around Debbie.  As she was so far out of my league, I didn’t feel any pressure to impress her, and she didn’t have that snobby “hot girl attitude” that all the sorority girls had." 

The strange bit is that we felt comfortable around each other- maybe because I wasn't (consciously) hitting on her, and respected her intelligence.  Or maybe she, like so many other women, sensed that I was different (due to my "dark secret": transgender.)  In any case, this, like every other chapter was written before my "reawakening" in 2008, so it has a distinctly male point of view.  I present it here, as written.  I'll comment here and there, and those comments will be in italics.  

*************************************************************************


Chapter 2.141: Laying Out

Thursday, May 26, 1988 U.S. breaks off talks with Noriega

            I was reading my homework when I heard a knock at the door.  I opened it to see Deb.  She was wearing her white swimsuit with a pale green towel wrapped around her hips and white Vuarnet sunglasses pushed atop her red hair.  She was so fucking hot!

            Me?  I still hadn’t showered and I was a wreck.  I was hungover.  Thanks George!

            “Hi Lance!  I’m going over to the HUB lawn!  Wanna come?”

            That was a loaded question!  (And she knew it.)

            “Sure!  Just let me get a quick shower…”

            “Just throw on a hat and grab a towel,” she said.

            So off we went to the HUB lawn.  I was going to hang out (and be seen) with a goddess!

          

HUB Lawn, May 1987.  it looked like this on the day off this chapter as well.

            The HUB lawn wasn’t too crowded so we found a decent spot away from the hacky-sack players and the Frisbee tossers.  Every guy on the lawn stopped to watch Deb settle down onto her towel.  She was graceful as she lay down on her back.  I clunked down like a puppet with cut strings.

            Someone nearby had a radio just to add to the atmosphere.

She's out of my league
Just a fool to believe
I have anything she needs
She's like the wind

            Thanks Patrick.  Like I didn’t already know.  (I was so fucking sick of Dirty Dancing.)

Anyway, we lay there talking about classes and stuff.  I was frying because I didn’t put on any suntan lotion.  I was ghostly pale so it was OK by me.

Even then, I burned instead of tanned.  This has become worse with time, as I now burn seriously hardcore in the sun.  I blame my northern European ancestry. 

            Deb rolled over to her stomach. 

            “Can you put some lotion on my back please?” she asked.

            “I guess” I said.

            Every guy on the HUB lawn wanted to be me at that moment.

            I rubbed it on slowly and firmly (why not?)  I had a perfect view of her incredible ass, and I was in no hurry.

            “Mmmm your girlfriend must love you!”  Deb said.

            “Don’t have one.  The last one cheated and everything went to hell.”

            “I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to bring up a touchy subject,” she said.

            “No apology necessary.  Speaking of which, when do I get to meet your football player?”

            She smirked.  “Between classes and the weight room, I hardly see him.  Someday, I’m sure.”

            “You don’t sound too thrilled.”

            “It is what it is” she said, sounding very tired.  “So aside from suntan lotion backrubs, what other skills do you have to offer a girl?”

            “Well, I’m a trained bartender, I know how to ballroom dance, I can make a mean steak, and other things I’m not telling a football player’s girlfriend.”

            She laughed and smirked.  “Are you afraid you won’t measure up?” she said.

            I laughed.  “I’m not saying a word!”

            How could skinny little me compete with a varsity football player?  Wasn't happening and I knew it.  Yes, I know who he was (is) but am not saying.  

            Deb looked back at my towel, where I had the book I was reading for homework.

            “What are you reading?”  She asked as I continued massaging lotion onto her back.          

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin.  I’m reading it for my Victorian Lit class,” I said.

“Oh!  I read that!  What do you think of it?”  She said, almost purring.

I’ll spare you the rather long discussion about literature.  I don’t want to put you to sleep.  Speaking of sleep, my massage extended to her arms, legs, shoulders, neck, anywhere that wasn’t covered by bathing suit.  Part of me figured that this was going to be one of the highlights of my life, so I took it slow and enjoyed it.  The net result was that I was putting her to sleep.  She rolled over and asked me to do the front of her legs as well.  I noticed that by this time there were many other blankets with lots of guys nearby. 

Deb’s white bathing suit was a one-piece, and while it had no back, it covered the whole front.  I guess she needed that for support.  In any case, no tummy rubs.

After a minute or so, she said “So you make a mean steak?”

“Absolutely.  And I know which wines to select for it.”

Deb propped herself up on her elbows.  “I have a couple of good steaks.  Do you want to work your ‘magic’ on them?”

“When were you thinking?”

“Well, tonight.  I’d say you’ve had enough sun, Lobster-boy.  I supply the steaks and you show me what you can do.”

“Are you sure your boyfriend won’t mind?”

“He won’t know or care.  He already has plans for tonight.  So what do you say?”

I looked at her, but couldn’t see her eyes through the dark lenses of the Vuarnets. 

“Tonight!  Sure!  I can do that!”  I said, maybe a bit too enthusiastically.

“Great!” she said, laughing a little.  “Now lay on your stomach.”

“Why?”  I said.

“I’m going to rub some of this on you before you catch sun poisoning, you pale boy!”  Deb said.

Wow!  EVERY guy on the HUB lawn wanted to be me at that point.  I couldn’t believe my luck!

 

I spent the rest of my day cleaning the place, preparing the steaks, then showering in cold water as I had burned myself nicely in the few hours we were on the lawn. 

Deb knocked on my door at seven as agreed.  She wore a loose white top over a tight pale orange tank top and white shorts, none of which did anything to hide her body one bit.  Her hair was down and shone in the late afternoon light.  She was barefoot. 

I seated her at my table, decorated pitifully with the one candle I could buy and dishes that didn’t match.  I’d opened the merlot earlier (I’d bought it to share with Judy someday), so I poured that immediately.  At least the wine glasses matched.  I then served the steak (which I cooked Medium with Cajun spices) with canned green beans and canned potatoes.  If she was repulsed by the set-up, she didn’t let on.

Looking back, the table set really was pathetic.  Also, setting for two used every plate in the place.  I was embarrassed then and now.  Like I have much better these days.  Sigh.

After serving it all (and getting glasses of water in glasses that also didn’t match), I sat and offered a toast. 

“To new friends” I said raising my glass.

“To good friends” Debbie said raising hers.

Heaven.

 

And the steaks fucking ruled.


            Deb and I remained friends until graduation, then lost touch.  I even brought her to my homecoming formal that fall, but that's another chapter.  She went on to a great career, but for privacy sake I won't say doing what or where.





Saturday, January 22, 2022

Today

In my 55 years, I have been through heartbreak and loss after loss after loss loss nothing but loss... but I can say without reservation that today was the worst day of my life.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Mum

Helen Kandler died on January 13, 2022 at 8:35 am. (Today as I type this bit.) She was 82, and had suffered with Alzheimer's/ dementia. She was my mother.

Mum was born in Ayr, Scotland in October 1939. She once told me that one her earliest memories was her mother hiding with her under a desk as the Germans bombed the munitions plant nearby. She never liked sirens or loud noises her whole life. Mum was the middle child of three, and she also had a half-brother. Her father was Irish, and her mum was Scottish- Clan Macintosh, of which she was very proud, and passed that pride to me. Of her family, only her older brother survives her.


Mum in Scotland, 1972


She met my father some time in the early 60s while dad was stationed in Germany. They married in January 1964, and were married for almost 58 years. As a gift to dad for their 25th wedding anniversary, mum became a citizen of the US. I helped her study the voluminous amount that she needed to master to pass a citizenship test. (A test I think few in the GQP could pass.) She last saw her native soil in 1972, when she brought my brother and I over to meet our grandparents.  

Mum is survived by my dad, my brother and his wife, me and my Wife, and 2 grandchildren.  


All of those are the facts.  And the fact is I said my goodbye to her a couple of months ago while she was still cognizant.  

Right now, I feel numb.  I should feel more- after all, she was my mother.  She accepted me as Sophie.

When I dressed as a teen, there was only one thing of mums that I would wear- a gold necklace with a heart charm, inside of which is a picture of grandmum and a tiny seed: thistle from Scotland.  I wore it often.  When I stopped dressing in 1983, was the last time I wore it.


The Locket

My father told me to help myself to her jewelry.  Mum wore a lot of costume jewelry, but she had some real stuff as well.  She favored opals, rubies, and diamonds.  I immediately decided that I must only take half of the good stuff, as it wouldn’t be fair to my brother’s wife (or their daughter) for me to take it all.  It’s strange, I felt almost guided to check little containers away from the jewel boxes- tiny boxes and decorative jars (mum had a LOT of them), and that’s where I found her diamond rings- all gifts from my dad.  

While I was looking, dad entered the room, and I asked him if her could identify her engagement ring.  He quickly pointed one out- and I kept it.  Someday, I will give it to my daughter for her wedding (assuming I’m around.)  Then again, all of what I took will someday be hers.  


Mum meeting her daughter for the first time: Feb 2014.


I thought I’d finished, when I felt the urge to check under one of the mahogany jewel boxes (gifts from her father).  There I found two bags, one a pink silk bag and the other blue and velvet like.  In the pink one, I found a string of tiny pearls.  In the blue one was the gold heart locket.  I kept both.  I left half of the valuable items for my brother's wife, as it wouldn't be fair if I took them all.  After all, they have a daughter as well, and she deserves some of her grandmother's legacy.

Believe what you will, but I think mum wanted me to find these items and keep them.  That's not all.  Earlier in the day, my dad and older brother were both outside, leaving me alone in the house.  I decided to speak to her, and told her that I'd try to make her proud.  I then went into a room that used to be where her massage business was conducted, now empty.  The room smelled like her.  She hadn't been in it since at least July, but it smelled like her.  I felt she was there.  A few other times during the day, I felt her presence as well.  Dad's dog also saw her.  He'd look at parts of a room where no one was standing and wag his tail.  She was there- I know it.  

The day ended with a grueling five hour drive back to State College.  During that time, mum was cremated.  I was tired, and my back hurt.

Now her pain is over.  My dad is alone in the house he shared with her.  I'm back in State College while the snow falls outside.  I have homework I should be doing.  The world continues going as it will after I'm gone as well.  I've received many kind messages over the past days from friends and well wishers, and I appreciate them all.  

I'm relieved in a way.  I'd waited for months for the phone call I received Thursday, and now it's done.  Mum was stubborn to the end, and, in the end, she died alone, as no one was in the room.  That was her way when I think about it- she didn't want a big fuss.  

Dad will get her ashes tomorrow.  They will be divided in two boxes: 2/3 and 1/3.  I will take the 1/3 and send it over to my cousin in Scotland.  There, my Uncle will scatter them on the same ground with her parents and sister.  At least part of her will be home.  



Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Bonk Bonk On the Head

Well, up until an hour ago (4 PM), I was good. After going to buy groceries with eBay money, I opened the trunk to carry bags into the apartment. I heard a metallic POP! The load bearing strut holding up my trunk hatch snapped while was under it. Hard hit to the back of my head, knocking me forward.

As I was standing on ice, I lost my footing and collapsed into the trunk on top of the groceries, and the trunk then hit the back of my legs. Gravity at work.


What it's supposed to look like


I saw stars and tweeting birds (ready when you are, Raoul!). Now I have a nasty headache and a trunk that's hard to open and won't stay open.  

I took Aleve. If I start feeling dizzy or sick, I'll go to the emergency room.

I'll bet it looked funny as hell. At least I didn't crush the bread.

Ouch!


Broken

I stayed awake and sitting up, keeping busy.  Now it's later in the evening.  I'm going to take another Aleve along with my evening meds.

When I sell more on eBay, I'll buy a new strut and have a garage put it on for me, as I'm hopeless with car repairs (I was absent from guy school the day they covered that topic.)

I hope it's not a concussion, but I'll find out by morning I guess.