Thursday, February 27, 2020

Where did I come from?

I am hardly keeping awake as I type this.  I wanted to come here with a funny story but frankly I have to curtail that as I struggle to string two coherent thoughts together.

At that point I crashed.  It is now Thursday and I am still zonked; back to bed again.

Actually, my families were Scotch-Irish.  I did a lot of genealogy before N died, mostly at the West Virginia Collection in the WV University library.  I would often get distracted by stories or history of days gone by, but found some relevant facts I needed along the way.  Also a lot of insight into other times.  As an example I was looking for the parents of my grandfather in Ohio and family history said his mother was Riggleman, found on his death certificate.  But looking harder, Riggleman was not her birth name; my grandfather was named for his mother's maiden name, because he was (a bastard) illegitimate  and his stepfather, after his mother  married 4 or 5 years later than his birth, was Riggleman.  When my grandmother (Nana) had my father, her husband (my grandfather) stayed only long enough to get Dad's legitimate name on the birth certificate, and then divorced.  Nana was incensed and destroyed every photo and everything carrying his name. Nana even changed Dad's first name to the first name of her father, rather than the one picked by his father.  My dad only met his father once, after WW II, and he had no interest in carrying on any contact with Dad.  Eventually Nana remarried, but that ended divorce also.  I never heard her say anything about either husband, just "Oh, that was a long time ago..."  She had a daughter by her second husband, but she died at age 5.  My dad said he didn't remember his half-sister, but he was 13 when she died so he must have just blown me off when I asked.  Anyway, that is an example of the genealogy I searched for, and not just A married B and had C with only the bare dates recorded.

I got a photo of Dad's sister and my sister was the spitting image of her as a toddler; which explains, all these years later, why Nana favored my sister and not me as well, (her only grandchildren) who looked like my mother.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Damned if I do...

When I worked at the Health Science Campus doing cell culture, I worked for a woman widely known as Bitch B...  Unfortunately I didn't get the memo; my previous job ended when the money ran out and I was in a swivet to get another job before the mortgage came due.  The only revelation I got was that she wanted lots of extra time and dedication.  My job was for a group of 4 researchers combining their expertise and the Bitch was the primary investigator.  That alone should have warned me off, trying to balance my time between 4 separate people/projects.  Anyway, there was another very junior researcher in Pathology who was very happy to get some technical chops to work on her project.  She needed cells that were primary cells and Dr.B generously provided a small amount of frozen cells that I had cultivated.  She and I met with B after she had gotten some very promising results and needed another bit of frozen cells to continue.  She was eager to continue ASAP and so I took one vial of frozen cells (out of a stock of 50+ vials) before our meeting and started them in culture.  After our meeting B wanted to talk to me, and I thought, "Uh oh" and she proceeded to tear me a new one.  "Those are MY cells and you are not to start them unless I say so".  I just shook my head and she said, "What does that mean???"  And I replied, I'm damned I do (put them to grow right away) and damned if I don't (hold up the other researcher  waiting for the cells to grow).  And B launched a tedious dressing down.  She even said that other people in the department complained that I was hard to get along with.  I said mildly, that if she asked "people in the department"  who was hard to get along with, it wouldn't be my name that was on their lips.  Then she continued into my time off, my attitude (?), and so on.  She was looming over me while I sat at the table, and so I stood.  I am 5-6 inches taller than B and she backed up quickly to continue her diatribe.  I just said ,"I don't need this crap..." and walked down to personnel and put in my application for another position.  Two weeks later B told me the funding for my salary was gone, and so was I.  She gave me instructions for a couple of new experiments (that would take at least a month to complete if all went well), and I delivered the flasks to the care of a graduate student and left on two weeks vacation before starting my new job in Pathology. Bitch.

Anyway, I don't know what brought all of that up, but seeing it here I felt anew the grief and hatred of those days.  I had just lost my mother to cancer and had to put my dad in a nursing home 40 miles away which I traveled every day; he was way too confused to live alone.  And so I had to juggle him, selling their house, and an auction for their belongings; plus a new job, and it nearly put me in a hospital myself.  My new boss, thank god, was a kind and thoroughly organized guy.  Timing, everything is timing.

It has been raining here for days, but even with everything soggy, I am delighted that it is way too warm for it to be snow.  If only it would snow on the grass and leave the roads bare.  I am also aware that there is still a good bit of winter left.  Sigh.

Monday, February 03, 2020

Facebook can be pretty clever

Well here it is another Monday and my therapy went pretty well.  I am getting therapy on both knees (before it was just the one with the replacement knee) because all the support for most any movement involves putting all my (considerable) weight on the "good" knee which was feeling the burden.  So now it is readily apparent how far I have to go before I can walk without a walker or cane.  But I won't give up.  I wish my mother were still here, she had knee replacement done 10 years before she passed, and I wonder now that she never got out of her wheelchair, what she thought about me having the same procedure, and at what point did she give up on therapy?  I will never know.

The temperature today was a steady 60 degrees, for the third of Feb!  Before we moved here, we were  doing a look-see for N to check out his job, and the people he would be working with, while they got a look at him.  Anyway, our first night at the Holiday Inn it snowed buckets (and we were coming from San Fran), and the rental car did not have snow tires.  He called and they sent another car (while they probably thought he was being a wuss) and when they went to the first car to drive it away, it wouldn't start.  Click.  That was it.  Anyway, everyone remarked that it was their first snow that winter.  On February 5th.  It didn't make us feel any better.  Anyway, he took the job and retired 35 years later.  And we always had snow tires.  Chains even.  And we never got stuck.  Let's hear it for Subarus.

Around here they call student tires "snow tires".  That means they still have tread.

I've given up following the election news, and I won't donate any more money either.  I just don't have that energy anymore, and I am sure, in my heart, that the miserable wretch in office will win.  My question is, after the end of his second term if he will actually leave, or will he declare some 'trumped' up emergency that he will stay to be a dictator?  And even if he does leave, will our country ever be the same?  Will the last honest person in Washington please turn out the lights when she leaves?

Who did you think I meant?  We will see.

I am too tired to go any further, so thanks for tuning in and reading this far.  Take care!