Friday I had all sorts of ideas about posting. Didn't.
I got up early so I could get to Michael's place early. Got there at 9am.
Having figured out part of what was going on with the program, and spending some time figuring out where the best place in the pipeline of changes to put the necessary changes for prices that are still changing, I then spent a painful chunk of time reading about the database I would be searching from, and learning more and more about the WebCarbook stuff and where it comes from.
When I was looking at this program a couple years back, Penny told me (as I was describing what I was trying to find out) that it was excruciatingly dull, but it's not, really. It is, however, far too complicated, because it tries to make everything simple and easy and then the dealership wants it to be more sophisticated, like the PC Carbook program that it replaces.
I got to Costco at 4:15, got chicken and salad and stuff to put on top of salad, and got to the church at just around 5pm Friday. Michael and Miles were there, and we were joined shortly by Miles Johnson, my Stephen Minister. Janet Roth showed up, Michael had to head back home because he was (with other folks) taking kids on a scouting trip to Mount Hood this weekend, and he was insisting that the kids could not come unless they had their packs explicitly inspected by him, beforehand. (They'd been having problems with unprepared kids.)
Susan and Roger Tait showed up, then Susan ran off to get something at WinCo.
I set up my laptop to show the DVD of the film from college that Penny made, and of the 1993 christmas lights tape that we sent to Andrea and David to show them (1) the sort of insanity we get up to, and (2) that our roads are insanely huge.
After a while, Nancy arrived with Elliot, and Brand and Linda arrived, and Janet and John Sr. of the Wehlitz clan, with John Jr. (Janet's hubby) being trapped on the phone helping a customer, apparently. That, or driving back from the coast.
About 6:15ish, we got a circle, I asked a blessing on the food and the night, and then we lucked the pot, and ate probably too much food. Conversation, watching the film, a quick reading of Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schiori's response to the President's declaration of intent to send more people to die. It was kind of like a Panhandlers if we'd been able to get all these people together at one.
I stopped at several times at the corner of the memorial garden where Penny's ashes are buried, but a rather amused and plainly almost-audible "I'm not in there, you know," made me move along to the party, or to the car. I had a few moments, during the day, but it was remarkably calm over-all, which has been the case for the whole weekend. I suspect this is because things are holding off, rather than because I'm resolved.
Certainly I've been showing plenty of signs of suppressed anger and pain, in rather emphatic responses to discussions of death and to the cultural adaptations we're making to it.
I was also quite irritated yesterday. I made the mistake of thinking that this combo VHS/DVD device was worth the money I paid for it. Not so. The copy feature is deliberately broken to prevent fair use of the content.
The presence of Macrovision encoding on any tape prevents my copying it to the DVD, either silently or explicitly, and because of it, I went to Target and (among other needed things) got a cheap VCR to play back the info. It didn't work. I will have to try to find a specific device made for that purpose, and thanks to the DMCA, that piece of truly suck-up bribe-induced catastrophe which should never have become law, I would be a FELON if I were to try to make such a thing from commonly available parts. Even trying to buy the parts would be problematic. My right to make archival copies of content that I purchased has been illegally abridged, and Mr. Clinton and the smug Republican congress of Newt Gingrich are to blame. Fie on all of them and may they find that they cannot read or watch anything that they want to ever again. May the harpies of technology foul their televisions, their radios, and their books, screaming DMCAW! DMCAW! at them all the while.
No, really, no displaced aggression here.
This morning, having stayed awake too late (and on purpose) I woke at 10:00, having had a subtly strange dream. Penny was there, of course, but it wasn't the "Hey, she's here, wake up, no don't wake up" event that I'd had earlier. It's hard to say what we were doing, but we were working together. Technology was strange, not sophisticated, not ornate, but primitive and profound and very advanced all at the same time. I think we kept trying to talk about things, about the house we were building, but we kept being interrupted by the huge emergencies that other people were having, that we had to respond to in one of a dozen different ways, sometimes going in to fix things, to confront something, to repair or move something, to hand it off to someone else, but never ignoring them.
I know that this will hardly be the 'end of grieving and the dawn of unending joy' because, frankly, even writing this down tells me that I'm still quite sore and that there are untapped glaciers of unthawed pain.
I also know that there has been change, most of it where I cannot see it. I have no idea what or why. I was howling "what am I supposed to do now" in the middle of the night Wednesday, and I still have no idea.
This is where the comforting platitudes fall apart. I'm a Christian, yeah, so I do what God says, to the best of my ability, to the best of how I understand, but when I don't know what he's asking, and don't know what he plans, and I haven't the energy to go through the discipline to discover, to listen, then I only get what he tells me very loudly. I suppose, right now, he's telling me "Take your time, this is hard, I spent days in the wilderness and in seclusion, praying. Do some of that yourself," since I took the time to stop just now.
And I need to take the time to do this in the mornings. So, tonight, I pay attention to the 'midnight' alarm.
My resolutions were more upheld in the breach than in the practice - I only loosely planned food for the week, and I did manage to sleep more often, but I didn't bother to clean the kitchen every day. I did find toilet brush heads at Target last night so was able to clean the filthy things, finally, and I checked blood sugars this morning (unchanged in the 276ish range; a week of cinnamon hasn't budged them, but it has changed the way I feel, and I've been weighing in at 277.5 in the morning, instead of 285, so that's slow improvement, I guess.)
I've been doing something Penny wanted me to do: Not watching television while also gaming or reading. She felt that I didn't give my real attention to any one thing at a time, and it showed. I can attest to some truth to that: I was just distracted by the Hidden Valley Ranch commercial (when you have the flavor of Hidden Valley Ranch, things are more the way they're supposed to be) which reminds me uncontrollably of the "Ketchup Advisory Board" commercials on the Prairie Home Companion, only stupider because they're not intended as comedy.
It's been a year. Things are going along, not as well as I wanted, not as badly as I feared.