oxymoron67: (dino head)
This memory jarred loose by the LJ Idol topic "Burnt Sienna".
Adventures in being an altar boy. )
oxymoron67: (Default)
That I didn't get the promotion? It's the number three family storyline.

1) My eldest nephew got into a (bar?) fight and managed to break his ankle. His ankle now has two or three pins in it. Since this happened on Friday, surgery was yesterday and he is on SERIOUS painkillers.

We don't know what's going to happen when he;s released. He thinks he can go back to his apartment, but it takes an outdoor flight of stairs to get to it.

Also, no electricity right now.

He says his electric bill is paid up, so no idea why.

2) My brother did indeed get laid off.

The folks at his job wanted someone who could work with live wires, and my brother doesn't have the experience. Of course, as one of the people at his apprenticeship program pointed out, he can't get that experience if they don;t show him, which *IS* what they are supposed to be doing.

Granted, this could be complicated work, and not something that would work as a training exercise.

However, given recent events, you'll forgive me for not giving anyone in a position of power the benefit of the doubt.

3) My non-promotion
I'm actually mostly over not getting the promotion. The way I was informed? Less so.

Life moves on, I can't dwell on it.
oxymoron67: (Default)
An all-nephews edition!


Nephew #1 is still sending money to the New England Drug Addict.

Why? She's telling him that she's going to come into a trust fund of $500,000.

Issues?
1) She's an addict and therefore not to be trusted.
2) While $500,000 is a nice sum of money, it's not enough to live on. You could get a nice house out of it.
3) He's still choosing to send money to her rather than pay his own bills.
4) He's not listening to anyone. Which isn't surprising, really. At this point, pride and obsession have pretty much taken over.
5) She;s still jerking him around about moving to Pittsburgh.

Nephew #2 registered for the Fall Semester last week. He's taking an "English/Philosophy combination class" (his words. Critical Thinking?) and science classes.

Due to money issues, he may have to live at home his first year. I hope not.

Nephew #3 has been put in a long-term care facility. He's not happy, but, you know, the house is still being repaired, so they can't take him home. Also, I think he needs some ... um... training (for lack of a better word). Of course, for the training to be worthwhile my brother and sister-in-law would have to enforce rules, which they are not really wont to do.

This new facility is the one that his parents wanted him to go to, so that's good. We'll see what happens from there.
oxymoron67: (Default)
The addict's mother just got involved.

Apparently the addict has been shipped off somewhere and the addict's mother is setting up a repayment plan with the nephew.

Oh... and the nephew and the addict have broken up.

I talked to the nephew yesterday and he sounded more at peace than he has in weeks. Now I know why.

I am cautiously optimistic that this storyline is over.
oxymoron67: (Default)
The nephew took another $1000 from his mother's account today. This led to a serious blow up.

The nephew has sent the addict $11000 of his own and his mother's money.

Everyone has passed the fury stage but are now in the hurt, depressed and simmering anger phase.

I hope this addict is worth it.

WHY IS HE NOT SEEING THAT SHE IS PLAYING HIM?
oxymoron67: (Default)
So...

When last we left my intrepid nephew, he was funneling money to his addict girlfriend, who was just using him. His mother was all "Well, he wants to take care of someone, so I raised him right." Which confused me.

Last night, the nephew took more money out of his mother's bank account for a plane ticket for the addict.

They had a knockdown, drag out, explosion of a fight (over the phone). My sister changed the passwords on all her bank accounts.

The nephew said that he was sending the money to the addict to buy a plane ticket to come down to the Burgh.

For some reason, my other sister decided to try to mediate, and both of them just screamed at her.

I don't know why she would do this.

This afternoon, my sister and her son reconciled (tempers cooled: it's their pattern). The nephew is, as I speak, driving to NEw England to pick up the addict.

I still think that no good comes from this.

They also better not drop in to see me: I'm in no mood to get further involved in this.
oxymoron67: (Default)
We were on the phone for over three hours a few nights ago.

We avoided politics.

Me: So, I met up with John, and he said he was still a little scared of mom.
Bro: I get that from people I went to school with, too.
Me: So, when I relayed this conversation to mom, she said she didn't understand why people were so afraid of her.
Bro: She did not.
Me: Yes, she did. Of course, it was over the phone, so I don't know if she had that carnivorous grin that we all have when she said it.
Bro: But... the image she projected...
Me: I know... her entire school persona was BASED on a "Cross me and there's an unmarked grave waiting for you in the woods" thing.
Bro: Seriously.

Mom does seem to be worried that people think that she's an ogre. Which she isn't. The one dependable thing about mom was that she set the boundaries. Within those boundaries, you were free to do as you pleased. Step outside them, and she crashed down on you like boulders on Wile E Coyote, but you knew that going in.

After that, my brother and I talked about his new job and the old one at the mass transit authority down there in Atlanta. The mass transit people really did screw him over, but that was almost three years ago, and he needs to let it go, if only so it doesn't affect the current job.

And who knows, he might only talk about that stuff with family and friends. It may not affect his work. I doubt it, mostly because my family tends to dwell on things.

Finally, his oldest son came on the phone to ask me a question. Here;s the question:

"Can you name a paradox in Beowulf?"

Now, it's been almost a decade since I read Beowulf (the Seamus Heaney translation. Excellent.) As a result, it took me a few minutes. The best I could come up with was that Beowulf gave his all to save his people, who were cowards and refused to help him, thus they were cursed to be conquered. Yes, that's irony, but it was the best I could come up with on short notice.

Family news

Dec. 4th, 2008 10:57 am
oxymoron67: (Default)
The nephew has broken up with the girlfriend that the family hates.

Of course, they've broken up before, so we'll see.

I didn't much care for her either, so let's hope this sticks.

Meantime, I had a two hour long conversation with my brother. We started off with economics and family stuff, but the conversation turned to gay and transgender rights.

My brother acknowledged that the Church says that gays are mentally ill but the AMA does not, so he's not sure what to think.

You have no idea what a leap forward this is for my brother. I was shocked.

Of course, the open-mindedness couldn't last. He launched into a tirade about transgendered people, Whoopi Goldberg being annoying, gay marriage, and race.

After he complained for a while about, essentially, uppity minorities, I responded with this:

"You know, the response to you is that you're a straight white man: you've had all the power for many years, and now that you have to share, you're acting like a spoiled four year old."

He was silent for a moment then said "Well, that's why I'm Republican, so I can ignore that."

I think this says an awful lot about politics in America.

What launched the tirade? He read an article about transgendered people. That;s not quite right. He read a Marxist Transgender Theory article.

That's right: MARXIST TRANSGENDER THEORY.

Again, I give my brother credit. It's nice to see that he still has intellectual curiosity, especially since *I* never would read that. Of course, this sounds too much like the Literary Theory genre, 90% of which ranges from merely unreadable to un-fucking-readable.
oxymoron67: (reading)
I splurged on iTunes, and among the things I bought was The Best of The Commodores. I was listening to this today when this memory came flooding back, and I had to share.

My eldest nephew was in that "My family is totally uncool and I cannot bear to be seen with them in public" phase that teenagers all go through.

My mother, not someone whom one would call a patient, never put up with this. She (and the rest of my family, really) feels that if someone is going to snub them in public, then, by God, she's going to give them reason.

Then, afterward, if these people who are embarrassed to be seen with her are *HER* children, she'll kick their asses.

We had gone out to eat, and were heading for the car, when the nephew did his "I don't really know any of you" thing. (Some of his friends from his summer job were in the parking lot.)

So, my mother, a very dignified woman pushing 60 (at the time) with a head full of gray hair and no discernible dancing talent, disco danced along to the song blaring in the parking lot. She danced in a circle right around the nephew, and he turned fifty three shades of red.

The song? "Brickhouse" by the Commodores. So she was shaking her chest and doing her best Tina Turner impression. It was quite something.

He turned to my sisters and myself for support while mom was shimmying around him, and, well, we laughed. And laughed and laughed.

The nephew did learn the appropriate lesson: do not ignore our family. We *WILL* make ourselves known.
oxymoron67: (Default)
For some reason, the conversation turned to him writing a relationship advice column.

Me: Well, if you need letters that will cause much comment, I could send my friends your way.
Him: I don't need that.
Me: Sure you do. How about this one? "My boyfriend and I have the same first and last name*. Well, we're planning a commitment ceremony. Whose name goes first on the announcement?"
Him: I don't know how to answer that one.
Me: I'll give you another try. "I came out of the closet as a lesbian, but then, three days later, said that I really wasn't one. To prove it, I flew to Amsterdam to have sex with a male prostitute. And now, I've been sleeping off and on with a guy that everyone assumed was gay. Why aren't my friends taking my protestations of heterosexuality seriously?**"
Him: What can you possibly say to that?
Me: I don't know. *YOU'RE* the advice columnist.
Him: ... I never said that I wanted to be one. It was just a suggestion.
Me: Well, really, if you can't answer easy questions like these. Okay. One more. "The man I'm dating is into bondage, cross-dressing, has a shoe fetish and God only know what else. When does it stop being 'quirky and fun' and start being 'potential serial killer'?"***
Him:... I hate you right now.




*This part actually happened. I made up the rest.
**All painfully true.
***It is a legitimate question.
oxymoron67: (Default)
We were talking about my Xmas travel plans, and brought up the year that, while my flkight was uneventful, there was an accident on the parkway (at 9:00 pm) that required the HazMat people to come out, so we were trapped in traffic.

Me: ... then your grandmother turned into Little Miss Road Rage.
Him: Now, I'm seeing her as the Hulk.
Me: Ooo... that's good.
Him: Only, when gram Hulks out, she keeps her white poofy hair.
Me: Could you imagine? She'd be all 'Hulk smash!" then she'd scream "Hulk run guilt trip!"
Him: I don't know how effective that guilt trip would be.
Me: Think about it... if the Hulk looms over you telling you to feel guilty, you'll feel guilty. Or at least you'll say you do.
Him: But it's not subtle.
Me: Who in our family is subtle?
oxymoron67: (Default)
(I typed this up on the Saturday after I arrived in the Burgh.)

So, I saw Star Wars: the Clone Wars with my nephew and his girlfriend on the Saturday after I got home. The movie was okay: not spectacular, not awful. The plot was fairly well-structured, but some of the new characters grated on me. Anakin’s Padewan learner really irritated me. After watching her for several minutes all I could think was “Star Wars doesn’t need a Scrappy Do, does it?” She annoyed the Bejesus out of me. But she was delightful in comparison to Jabba the Hutt’s apparently gay uncle, Zero. My nephew thought he sounded a little like South Park’s Cartman; to me, his voice resembled that of Truman Capote.

Seriously, Zero was like a gay drag Hutt. Only not done up enough to be spectacular, just enough to be... well.. kind of sad, really.

The animation was okay, if unspectacular.

Meanwhile, having spent time around them, I now know why the nephew’s current girlfriend bothers my mom. The girlfriend seems to encourage the nephew’s lazier characteristics. She is a chatterbox, which doesn’t bother me, but she comes off as uneducated, which does bother me. I don't expect most people to be as geekily into reading and history as I and many of my friends are, but she seems to be content in her cluelessness. That bugs.

Meantime, I haven't been able to spend much time with mom or my sisters yet, because one sister was working her second job, the other sister was out to see West Side Story at the Benedum Center and mom was running a conference at church.

Yes, a conference at church. She is the vice-president of the parish's Ladies of Charity, and, this year, our parish Queen of the Rosary* was chosen to host a day long retreat for all the Ladies of Charity diocese-wide. Then, the president, a family friend named Edna, fell ill and was hospitalized for five weeks (and no, the doctors still don't know what was wrong), so mom ended up running the show.

So mom was busy. Mom said that it went well except for one of the huge coffee makers, which took three hours to brew. Well, after three hours, they gave up. Mom is still, two weeks later, pissed about this, and, since she's on the parish's finance committee, she is going to hound our priest into buying a new one.

I pity him. If he's smart, he'll just agree with her and do it. When my mother is determined to do something, you have two choices: help her or get out of her way.

*When the parishes in my hometown were merged, the three major ethnic groups were Irish, Italian and Polish, so the diocese couldn't choose a saint from those groups because it was piss off the other ethnic groups. So I suggested they chose a French saint and piss off everyone. Instead, they chose Queen of the Rosary. I still sometimes refer to our parish as Our Lady of Holy Genericness.
oxymoron67: (Default)
My autistic nephew Eddie is in the hospital again.

Sometime Monday night, he just went nuts, started attacking... well... the wall: punching a hole in the dry wall with his head.

Then he attacked his parents. (His favorite target, his older brother was staying with his normally useless grandparents.) My brother, Tim, tried to restrain him, only to bit hit, pinched and head-butted repeatedly.

Tim almost lost consciousness at one point after two head butts to the head.

My sister-in-law (Michele) called the police, who didn't do much but did see that there wasn't abuse which came in handy at the emergency room. The nurses first reaction is "What have you been doing to this boy (after repeated head-butting, Eddie's forehead is a mess and his hands and arms are bruised and bleeding as well.)

Michele tells them what's going on, and has Tim show them his injuries. (And also mentions the police report.)

So, after a few hours (Eddie had calmed down by then), they finally see Eddie and decide to transfer him to a children's hospital. Unfortunately, the only children's hospital that can handle cases like Eddie's is two hours away.

So, Tim called to let me know what was going on because they were back at home getting more clothes for Eddie, who's going to be in the hospital for about a week while they fiddle with his meds (and run some tests to see if there is a biological cause for all of this, I hope). Tim asked me to call the rest of the family because they were going to make the trip back and forth from the hospital, and then (hopefully) get some rest, because neither of them have slept.

Yesterday was my mother's birthday. Sharing this news on her birthday was a joyous task.
So, I get a call last night detailing all this. Then I called both of my sisters.

Mom told me that Tim had said that the state of Georgia, in its all too finite wisdom had turned down their request for insurance for the boys because Tim was making too much money.

This was before Tim was laid off, however, so that may change.

Or not. Having listened to Tim and Michele discuss tangling with Georgia's bureaucracy, I don't think that the government of Georgia hires anyone with an IQ over 75 to work there.
oxymoron67: (Gay Army)
A bit long. )

Family news

Jul. 6th, 2008 08:53 pm
oxymoron67: (Default)
So, I talked with my brother, my nephew (briefly), and my mom this week.

News?

The situation with Ed might be getting easier -- or they're just getting used to it -- we didn't really talk about it much. He was talking about his work -- he has issues with a co-worker. Fortunately, Tim learned a lesson from his previous employment and documented everything he did, which shut said co-worker down.

Then, we discussed my work, which is a separate post.

Finally, Tim talked about mom and the Christmas Tree fiasco. (Have I talked about the Xmas Tree mess?) In Tim's worldview, mom is the bad guy of the family, therefore *she* is the one who picked the fight over the Xmas tree.

She isn't. That was Erin, and Tim knew damned well it was going to happen. Unfortunately, Erin was at work, so mom and Sandy tried to mediate. Tim dislikes Sandy (it's and oldest boy v. oldest girl thing) and with the issues with Mom, it just didn't go well.

At the end of it, my eldest nephew and I stepped in and dealt with it.

Anyway, Tim was harping about how Mom used this event to "divide and conquer" her children. Never mind that she was trying to save Xmas.

The aggressive cluelessness about such situations bothers me.

I love my brother. Sometimes I want to hit him with a clue-by-four.*

*not my term, I got it from godawful fanfiction.

__________

Brian (the nephew) is still unemployed, but is talking to his former employers, who he left on good terms.

While I haven't met his new girlfriend, I've seen that entire family disapproves.

He was in Johnstown last week because that's where her family is from and someone was sick.

Well, he visited Aunt Karen, my mom's sister, who read him the riot act for all the issues with unemployment and the girlfriend and that he asked his mother (my sister) if said girlfriend could move in.

Let's just say that this situation could get ugly.
____________

Meantime, mom is trying to visit Aunt Karen more often, partially to help with Aunt K's two grandchildren, who are both handfuls. The younger one, who is about eight months old, is very friendly. He gets all excited when people visit and he smiles and squeals when you hold him.

Alas, he gets so excited, he also kicks you. Hard enough to bruise.

The older one is going to day camp right now. He seems to like it.

Updates

Jun. 24th, 2008 08:40 pm
oxymoron67: (Default)
Just got off the phone with my brother... and... nothing.

Well, that's not true. He sounds exhausted and he says contradictory things like:

1) "Well, things are calming down"

Followed by

2) "My brother-in-law (possibly bipolar, definitely alcoholic and drug addict) has moved in."

Or at least they're "looking after him."

I thought the brother in law was living with her parents, who were dealing with him, but I guess they figure that Tim and Michele can take on another burden. It's not like they're busy.

If I was giving her parents *ANY* benefit of the doubt, it just flew out the window. They're the textbook definition of useless.

Meantime, my eldest nephew should hopefully have a job soon... he's interviewing with the company he left on good terms.

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