So disorganized. Has it really been a month since I wrote my last update? It’s weird, I feel like I’m doing really well emotionally, taking care of stuff around the house, and I have ideas and thoughts and just don’t get around to writing them down. Not to mention I had some fun travel in the middle, spending a long weekend in New York City. I used to hate Manhattan and I discovered the secret of enjoying it is to not go there with my mom! Also I went to a super fun con, Con-volution. This was their second year of the con, and it was even more fun than last year because I stayed at the hotel and was there for the whole con. And the parties were great, and I didn’t get to nearly enough panels but I still had a great time. And I got Richard Kadrey to autograph one of his books. Oh and I also went to Mira Grant‘s book signing for Parasite. I keep joking with my friend DMA that I’m going to start stalking Seanan McGuire (aka Mira Grant) but I have now seen her sing filk, do book readings, and just entertain an audience, and I think she’s incredibly entertaining! She also seems to genuinely like her fans and appreciate having us there.
My big weird news is that my mom is moving out to California. Tomorrow. My mom and I haven’t lived in the same state since I got out of college, and she’s now going to be a mere 90 minutes from me. I’m actually kind of finding this very odd, and difficult in some ways, because I’m not sure how it is going to change my life. I’m well aware it will change things, but not sure in what way. I was talking to a friend this morning who reminded me that I’m good with boundaries, something that I feel like I always have to work on with my mom anyway. I will see how things develop.
I ended up trading in my old iPhone 4s for an Amazon gift card. I didn’t know that I could do that until I was browsing on Amazon looking for a case for my new iPhone 5s. I got $185 for trade-in, which means more books for my Kindle! Just picked up The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White and am going to start that first. I heard them read the first few chapters when I was at Lonestarcon and I was waiting for the book to come out. Yeah, you can buy anything at Amazon including Battenberg cake, but I’m seeing myself buying a lot more Kindle books. Pretty sure I’ll flip through that $185 pretty quickly.
I just had a friend from college staying with me for a few weeks. She’s kind of in-between things, and mostly she was staying with me so she could stay some place with someone sane and dry out. Staying with her folks made her drinking a problem. Her husband lives in another state she doesn’t want to live in much. Anyway, it was weird having someone around in my space, and I think on some level it was fine, and on another level, it was just odd. I think it would have been perfectly fine if she hadn’t slipped back into drinking last Friday. I know there’s a lot of stress and other factors, but I think she was just embarrassed by drinking and under a lot of anxiety and whatnot. Anyway it’s been nice kind of reclaiming my space, and my two cats are incredibly happy to have the house to themselves again. (They put up with me for my can-opening and litterbox-scooping skills.)
I just finished reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I’m obviously a few books behind since I know that Doctor Sleep just came out, and I was going to try to get that from the library, but it wasn’t yet available, so I got this one instead. Now, I was born 10 years after Kennedy was assassinated so the glamour and intrigue of the Kennedy White House was lost on me, and the tragedy was just something that showed up in a history book that I studied a long time ago. That was why I was initially not very interested in reading the book, despite being a fan of both time travel stories and Stephen King. But I’m really glad I read it because I loved the book.
It follows one of my favorite time travel plots, where someone from the present can go a back in time and try to change history, maybe. It’s all the interesting stuff of how culture has changed in 50 years, how a present person could try to fit in. Oh and also the whole idea of changing this big thing in the past, stopping the Kennedy assassination. I’m not going to spoil the book for anyone (because I hate spoilers) but I felt the book was really interesting and good, and reminded me a little of one of my favorite time travel books, Replay by Ken Grimwood. The same thing where the author isn’t bogged down in the “how” of things so much as the “what happens when he gets back in time.”
Reading this book made me think a lot about my own life, and how sometimes I think about large choices that I made and how they put me on the path I’m on now. Sometimes when I’ve been more down and depressed, I’ve second-guessed (and more than just second, I’ve ruminated over and over) choices that I made, things I didn’t do or say. I try not to live in a state of regret and make the most of where I am, but really, I don’t live as consciously as I liked. Also when I was younger, I didn’t know as much as I know now. I think that’s the appeal, of going back in time, maybe helping my younger self believe in herself more and make decisions based on something other than fear. But I know that wouldn’t really work, because I wouldn’t be me with the knowledge I have NOW if I were going back in time and mucking around with things. I don’t know if I feel the larger sense of purpose in my life that some people seem to have, but I do feel like decisions I’ve made for myself have been mostly right, and even if they weren’t/aren’t, I have to accept that the past is not changeable and all I can do is make the best decisions now for where I am in my life.
Still not posting about Lonestarcon. I’m still sort of feeling like I’m catching up, almost 100% done with con-cold, but I still have a slight cough. Now I’m dealing with a fly problem at my house (no idea what is going on with that, but I had a maggot infestation in my trash and I thought I got rid of all of them, but I am now guessing I didn’t). But there is always something to be stressed about, isn’t there? So I am doing the best I can with being a massive fly-murderer this week, and looking for help this weekend for some better solutions (or perhaps a Final Fly Solution).
Last week, I sent out two sympathy cards for friends who lost a parent recently. It does really seem an epidemic in my circles lately. Then we got word at work that this guy who has been working there for over ten years passed away unexpectedly over the weekend. It was truly shocking because he’s someone that I don’t really know that well, but I’ve known him for a long time, and he’s always been pleasant and friendly when I run into him in the halls, in the elevator. I don’t know if he was in particularly bad health, heard later he had had some heart problems and high blood pressure, so I suppose that is what they are thinking. Does it matter exactly why someone dies? Other than on TV cop shows? I think we want to know, us survivors, to tell ourselves that we are lucky because we don’t have that particular problem, or that wouldn’t happen to us. But we all know deep down, that it will happen to us at some point. And the more people you know who die, or whose parents die, the more it reminds you that you too will be dying some day. Hopefully not soon though.
When I last saw my therapist, I was talking about how now that my dad has passed, and I’ve been dealing with those emotions for over a year and a half, I feel like I get it to some degree, know better the things to say to people or at least to say that I understand and feel like it’s true, that I do understand. Because having someone you always thought would be there ripped from you, I’ve been there. And that kind of hole it leaves in your heart.
Had such a great time at LonestarCon, but of course I managed to pick up some con flu and was somewhat sick when I got back. The sickness seems to be fading by a lot in the last week, but I still have this weird gross cough and the occasional sneezing. I should probably think of writing a post of setting some observations of being at WorldCon, etc, but I think that will have to wait since my laptop battery is running low.
Heading off to Lonestarcon 3 in just a few days. I’m very excited. It’s only my second WorldCon and the first was incredibly fun. I am hoping this time that I’ll manage to get up earlier (hard to do after staying up until 2 AM going to parties) and pack in as many panels as possible. I mostly want to try to get to a lot of readings, and also panels about new books and series I like. Oh and see more of the films and go to filking and everything. Yeah, too bad I am not on Wellbutrin or some other drug that would help me stay up late and wake up early.
I have been talking to my mom about the Hugo’s, and how as a WorldCon member, I get to vote for the Hugo’s. I even sent her a copy of 2312 for her birthday, along with the Obsidian & Blood Trilogy by Aliette de Bodard. Telling my mom that I can vote for the Hugo’s somehow made her think that I had some very special power, and that my mere vote amongst all those others voting would pick exactly who won the Hugo. She even said to me, “you are the most qualified person to vote because of your skills and background.”
I think I said a nicer version of “what the fuck” to her. I think my childhood was filled with these kind of statements about how I was the smartest and most-talented, but I think it often has had the opposite effect. You would think someone saying something like that would make me have higher self-esteem, but it never did. It just made me think that somehow the world “owes” me something because I’m so smart, yadda yadda. It’s the opposite of the lessons that I have learned as an adult about hard work and having to promote yourself and not expect things to just come to you naturally. Anyway, it was a bit weird hearing her say that and remembering things that were said to me often when I was a kid. Don’t get me wrong, not like I would have wanted her to tear me down all the time either, but the hyperbole didn’t seem overly sincere or accurate. The world doesn’t revolve around me, and the sooner I figured that out, the better off I was.
My mom is the family member that I’m emotionally the closest to and this has probably been the case for some time. The good thing has been that she has been geographically the furthest, which makes it easier in some ways. When I was graduating college, my mom moved to the east coast. I had no desire to leave California (still don’t), so I instead made a life for myself in Northern California, avoiding returning to Los Angeles after college to get away from my other family.
Fast forward to now, eighteen years later, and my mom is heading towards retirement and she and her husband decided to move back to California. They are going to be moving to Monterey which is about a hundred miles from where I live. Far enough, I suppose, but not as far as the three thousand plus miles she has been. When my brother found out she was moving near me, he basically said, “oh good, you are in charge of Mom now.”
Don’t get me wrong here, I do really love my mom. I like talking to her often. I mostly like spending time with her, if she’s not under stress. But sometimes it’s hard too, because as much as I try, sometimes I feel pushed back into the role of being a child again. And the child I was, the childhood I had, well it wasn’t all that functional in some ways. I have come to terms with a lot of that, but it’s an old story of being a child of a parent who is immature, sometimes high-maintenance, and wasn’t too happy with her own childhood. I spent a lot of time being calm, being a peacemaker, suppressing my own feelings and reactions so that I wouldn’t rock the boat.
And I don’t want to return to that way of life again. Though I’m not a teenager, not even a young adult at this point, right? Still, it does make me anxious, as any change might. But not majorly anxious. So we’ll see how it goes.