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Big screen blues

Posted in Crazy Wisdom on Monday, November 10, 2008 at 4:19 pm by flerly.

Payday could come sooner if it wanted. That would be just Grrrrreat!

So, Thanksgiving in San Diego, Christmas in Chattanooga, New Years in Alabama is the plan. As such, this past weekend was our “holiday” visit to mom’s, since we likely won’t go back up until February (her birthday). The trip isn’t TOO long, though, so we’ll see, but that is the usual schedule.

Only somewhat spontaneously, I have somehow conned other members of my family to pitch in with me on a big screen tv for mom, to finally replace the tiny little thing we all struggle to watch movies on at family gatherings when she guilts us into staying home instead of going to a theater while we’re visiting her. Er… um.. I mean, well, not just that, but also because she has often commented on ours or sis’s tv’s and about how dad had always wanted a bigger tv in that room, but they’d never gotten around to it. We’re already paying for her to have beaucoup cable channels since she’s a hermit, so why not improve the TV. And, well, Sears cooperated nicely with the sale and the 2 years no interest and the local delivery and such.

We went up this weekend to make sure all was well, set everything up, swap her cable box for an HD box and generally get her over the inevitable technology fright that would set it upon laying eyes on it. I am happy to report she seems to LOVE it! And, I figured it would be nice to have in place as the rest of my family gathers up there for Thanksgiving later this month, and for her in case she decides to hermit-up Christmas by staying home alone again.

While there, we also took her old tv and vcr and put it in a guest room — there’s no other cable run anywhere, but it’s a nice place to just pop in some of the old videos that dad used to take and be sentimental. Mom confessed she has been very sad lately, wishing that she’d still had his voice on an answering machine message at least, and regreting that he was almost always behind the camera in those videos. “He barely ever talks,” she said, though she did like to watch everyone being goofy and reacting to him filming. With just the straight tv-vcr setup, there’s no confusing swapping things around to watch a tape for her, so she seemed happy with that.

Overall, it was a sort of sad, nostalgic trip for me. Moving the giant old tv cabinet that held a tiny tv and drawers full of VHS tapes revealed a long unseen section of the brick mantel and hearth dad had built in the den. The new flat panel tv and modest wood-iron stand are especially nice for me because you can still see it all behind them. It really looks “right” there to me now, better.

Then of course there is the inevitable “messing with pictures” that is apparently a habit of mine and something mom expects that I do each visit. I have to rearrange the family photos she has out, swap some out for different ones, just because there are SO many in the drawer to choose from, and that leads to the flipping through photos albums and more talking about dad. I actually snagged two albums to bring home this trip, so I can scan some photos to have for myself. Mostly dad and me, lots of baby pictures, and some to me that seem funny because it shows my siblings as teenagers in the 70s holding baby me. There’s some sweet clothes in those photos, I tell you, and haircuts, too. Or lack thereof, in the case of a couple of hippie brothers. =)

On the up side, got to spend Friday night out with the Phatass niece, who really needs a new nickname. Something like the sleepwalker niece, who apparently hasn’t figured out a schedule in college yet, and apparently barely sleeps or makes time to eat. Not sure how she could get skinnier, but she is, and combined with the racoon-eyes, she is looking so tired of it all. We’ve been trying to encourage her over this hump of the first semester of college, and I think she’ll make it, but I sure hope she figures out how to deal soon before she snaps like the twig she is turning into. We also went to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which has got to be the funniest thing ever. Just go.

Saturday we got the flip-side of the coin as we hung out with eXstranged brother and his “lady-friend” for a nice dinner (which he picked up unexpectedly as a late birthday surprise) and then several hours of “chatting”. I think it went well, and I hope it sets them at ease a bit that “the whole family” doesn’t hate her/them. Lady-friend only got started badmouthing on Phatass niece, but I shut her up suggesting that she needs to let go of all that anger and quit dwelling on the past, because it can’t be good for her health to let an 18-year-old drive you insane.

I have to say, though, my favorite thing about their feud is all centered around Phatass niece “banning” dad’s lady-friend from visitng their house. SO, lady-friend has banned phatass from coming to her house. Since Phatass’ house is technically my brother/her dad’s house, why would anybody care what the kid had to say about banning anybody from coming over? Doesn’t Dad have the say in that? In fact, didnt dad and lady-friend already decide that lady-friend shouldn’t be at his house because he is technically still married to a psycho woman, even if they have been separated almost 2 years now, because even the notion that he already has a lady-friend could be bad for his nasty, long and drawn out divorce proceedings?

So yeah, it was a couple-hours of nice chat mixed with a hint of crazy that I didn’t quite understand, but I’m not about to step in and try to do anything more than to remind her that she is dealing with an immature child, in essense (18 or not), and to remind phatass niece that she is overreating to things, as it is all about the drama in her world. I am confident that said niece WILL grow up some now that she’s off at college, as the visible signs of those growing pains are all over her face. If we can just get lady-friend to forgive and forget some youthful hot-headedness, I think they might just all be able to get along. There’s certainly no forcing it now, though, and I do kind of feel sorry for eXtranged brother caught in the middle of it all.

Anyway, enough family babble. It was a very long weekend, and bless the dear heart of JamesT who endured it all by creating some busy-work for himself in the form of using dad’s garage to work on my car a bit. It was quite cold, but I’m sure the escape time from my crazy family (me included) was well loved. My car previously had 6 speakers, only 3 of which were working. Now I have 4 fully-functional and much better sounding speakers, which made the ride home quite enjoyable. I guess we’re all about the speakers these days. One comment from me that listening to music in the house now made me dread our long car rides with my crappy speakers, and he remembers. He’s a keeper.

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