My (former) life as the crab

Musings about life after Crabby Office Lady

Thai food + good friends = calming evening August 30, 2011

Filed under: General musings,Loneliness,Uncategorized — Annik @ 9:55 am

Thai chiliesA lovely Thai food-fueled evening with our good friends Anna, Fran, and Jeremy last night in their sweet little backyard. This may be the hottest August on record in Denver but for me it’s also been a record of realizing who my friends are, who I can count on…and who I can’t.

I don’t know why I was surprised to know who the “can’t” is.

I never felt so alone, so vulnerable, so cast off as I did that night and the weeks followed after my seizure. Calling my parents was the first thing I did after it happened. Flat on my back, with a head injury, I was crying, upset, freaked out and alone with a 9-year-old in the house. Did they offer to come over? They did not. (They had company, you know. People from out of town. Some things take precedence. What was I thinking?)

Maybe I’m just too good at showing how capable I am in any situation. But let me ask you this: If you took your adult kid to the hospital for tests —scary tests, uncomfortable tests, possible life changing tests—would you offer to take her out for coffee or something afterwards to maybe talk about it? To ease her mind a bit? I guess not. I mean you DO have a lunch date with old friends in an hour and you can’t be late for that.

I may act like a 14-year-old when we’re all together but that’s only because I’m still treated like a petulant 14-year-old. Even my young cousins have mentioned—a few times, when they’re visiting from out of town—my obvious second class status. And at the beginning of the summer, my 9-year-old showed her reticence to go over there. I couldn’t figure out why, but without any prompting from me (I’d NEVER say anything negatiove about anyone in the family) she told me she got really tired of hearing how perfect, what a great swimmer, what a fast learner, what a happy-as-a-clam, how perfectly adorable and amazing her youngest cousin is—from the kid’s mother and grandmother. Yeah, the kid is cute. But jesus, is there nothing else to talk about??? It just kills me with sadness and regret that we moved back here because my beautiful daughter is experiencing exactly what I did 40 years ago. Empty hallway

It makes me more than sad because I can’t even talk about it with the parties that I need to talk with. Defensiveness and insulation is everyone’s middle names and you know, I’m the *difficult* one, the one who’s to blame, the one who can’t keep a relationship going. (Gee, wonder where I got the feelings from that I wasn’t worthy of a relationship. Years of therapy told me that…but didn’t offer any solutions. But I’m starting to figure it out. Maybe that major brain fart and head injury shook some sense into me.)

Point of this post? I know who I can count on. These people—and you know who you are Lori, Jan, Jodie, Anna, Fran, Susie, Sean, Catherine—gave me hope and made me realize that Bian and I are NOT alone and that we DO have people who will be there if we need them. For the first time since last spring, I felt my heart lift up a bit. Thank you, my friends. You must be the reason we moved back. So we could meet you.


Camping, rain and vaccinations (oh yeah: related) August 28, 2011

Filed under: Annik,Daily dramas — Annik @ 10:57 pm

Camping in the Colorado Pike National Forest near the nearly perfectly pristine Jefferson Lake. Suba, the Portuguese Water Dog wanted NOTHING to do with the water while Bamboo, the Great Pyrenees/Akita (neither breed particularly water- friendly) couldn’t get enough. Hmmm. And you you shoulda seen that Pyrenean dog with her back & in tact dew claws in tact and working their way through the rocks…

And if you know me, I’m not really a “Yeah! Lets go camping anytime, anywhere!” But our friends, Jan & Jodie actually had 24 hours free over a weekend and so we literally PINNED them down/forced them to spend one night camping with us. (Plus, the promise of a yummy over-the -fire pannini- type fired-cooked dinner under one of Colorado’s famous clear starry nights was too much to turn down.)

Camping with J&J August 2011

Camping with J&J August 2011

After a 90 minuted hike above then lake and then Bamboo IN the lake, we actually found a campsite and began to set up then tent (J&J have their own van, “The Pleasure Dome—something like that and…’nuff said).

And then of course, it started raining @ 5, pouring by 6. Dinner and games were good (inside the van) but GODDAMNIT! Can I just have one perfect night outside???

But here’s the thing: To top it off: Bian had a horribly high fever and was freezing/ boiling freezing/ about to vomit night ALL NIGHT. She had HER sleeping bag and pad, MY bag and pad, and all the blankets.I slept in the corner of the tent where the wine had spilled. And you know, that’s just part of being a parent and it doesn’t really bother you much. (At that point I was PRAYING for bears, serial killers, anything dryer and warmer.)

But this is what got me: Bian had just had THREE vaccinations that Friday: Hep A, Hep B, Polio. I DO believe that the disease is a bazillions times worse than the shot, but I do wish THIS doc had listened, really listened to me about how SENSITIVE Bian had been in the past to vaccinations. I felt rushed into it, unheard… I’m going to tell our doc that. Hives, high fever, & all less then 24 hours after the shots. Something smells fishy (or maybe eggy) here…

It’s just…HARD to know what the right choice is.


Real people use the word “crabby” August 25, 2011

Filed under: General musings — Annik @ 9:46 pm

…including Peter Sagal from “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” a couple of weeks ago.

C’mon, C.K.: surely you have a better reason for ruining my career?


A new classroom experience (by Bian)

Filed under: Bian,Bian's musings — Annik @ 5:58 pm

Flag of JapanI am in Miss Atsuko Shimizu’s class and she is Japanese. She teaches us Japanese, like how to say “good morning” (おはよう — “Ohayō-gazamas”).We have a turtle named Monic (she’s a girl) and lots of fish. I am in the same class as my best friend Ingrid but I miss my other friends from Miss Vikki’s class.

We have made book bags out of fabrics by sewing them and I made one at home, too. I think it’s neat to have an Asian teacher and I’m going to be taller than her in about two years. She has curly hair and goes to China twice a year to have the curls put in.

I love being in fourth grade. I love school and I love my teacher and tomorrow we’re having a reading test on the computers. I am reading Mister Popper’s Penguins and my mom is reading Gregor the Overlander (Book #1) to me at night. It’s a great fantasy book and we look forward to it every night. I am also reading Poppy and Ereth. The author, Avi, lives in Denver! I have read a couple other of the Poppy books and liked one but didn’t like the other.

We are going camping this weekend with Jodie and Jan our friends. We are even bringing Bamboo!


Crabby was loved

Filed under: Uncategorized,Working for a living,Writing — Annik @ 9:36 am

One of 421 letters from readers after final post


Fourth day, fourth grade August 23, 2011

Filed under: General musings — Annik @ 9:08 am

Feeding the giraffes - Cheyenne Mtn ZooFourth day of fourth grade. Bian wakes up saying, “Is it Saturday?” When I tell her no, it’s Tuesday, she jumps up,thrilled, and squeals “Yay!!!”


The other day I was bemoaning the death of an expensive plant and a friend asked if I’d kept up with its fertilization. Cripes—I haven’t even kept up with my own feeding and fertilization. Reminds of that Jim Gaffigan bit where his wife asks him if he’s rinsed the soda can he’s about to put into its appropriate recycling container and he says, “Wash the garbage? I haven’t even showered yet!” Boy do I hear that.

Today will be filled with useless work meetings that I can barely hear anyway, trying to get the old school web site ported over to the new web site, and staying up all night long for tomorrow’s “sleep-deprived EEG” where they wont find anything anything and ill be forced to make a decision as to whether or not I want to go on anti-seizure meds that will make me lethargic and stupid (more so than I am). Nice.


Last summer push August 8, 2011

Filed under: Annik,General musings — Annik @ 5:12 pm

Royal Gorge, ColoradoWe’ve been off track with the blog for a bit but that’s only because no school+no camp+Mom’s work=creative time management (CTT). We’re off to the Royal Gorge tomorrow AND Garden of the GODS AND Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (a 2-day trip, of course).  A last push for that vacation feel til SCHOOL starts 8/18.

And on that note, why does DPS start school in August? it’s 90+ degrees and my kid (along with 350 other kids) is in a 110-year-old school that has no air-conditioning…and she’s on the top floor! Brutal.

Also – took a trip, for the first time, to Johnstown, Colorado, about 45 miles north of here. Jodie’s dad passed away (I swear I’m going to create a new expression that people WILL use) and it was really the only way we could BOTH show support for her to come to the VFW and eat lunch and drink some beers. It wasn’t really as bad as Jan and Jodie made it out to be…but the bottle of Bud didn’t hurt…