msLaura: Modern Mama Laura Hamilton + Dan Baker = Julian Hamilton Baker & Adrian Hamilton Baker "When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
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My brother the junkie

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July 07, 2003

My brother the junkie

Early last Thursday morning I got a call from my cousin Brent. He had heard from my brother Morgan's roommates that Morgan was acting strange again and it appeared that he had gone back to using heroin. Brent wanted to bring my Dad into the picture, I agreed, and I gave him the phone number.

A few hours later I called my Dad to find out his plans. He said that he was going to be driving up to Oakland from Southern California (about a 6.5 hour drive) that day, and arrive around 7:00pm. Was I free?

I told him that I had friends coming over for a dinner party, and I didn't think that I could reach them all in time to tell them not to come. Dad said it was no problem, he didn't think he would need me there. I said I thought it would be better if he talked to
Morgan on his own, since Morgan respects him and craves a good relationship with him. I also recommended a long-term inpatient facility for Morgan. He agreed.

I went hiking around 6:30pm with some girlfriends, then we came back to the house for dinner around 8:30pm. I had a message on my voice mail from my Dad. He had not been able to leave until relatively late, and so would not be arriving in Oaland until 11:00pm. He thought that I should be there after all, and my cousin was going to come over as well, and bring some friends with him.

Bring some friends with him? What the fuck? Like this was going to be some sort of sideshow? Or were they planning on roping my brother like a steer and wrestling him to the ground? Yeah, THAT will make him willing to seek treatment, having a bunch of strangers show up to sit in judgement on him. Ugh. This was getting ugly.

And what the fuck? My Dad wanted ME to hop in my car at 11:00pm and drive for an hour, then likely stay up all night in this "family intervention"? When I am 8 weeks pregnant and can barely keep my eyes open after 10:30pm?

There were two ADDITIONAL messages on my voice mail. One from my cousin Brent, who sounded pissed that I hadn't answered my phone, and one from my aunt Polly in Maui (his mother, my favorite aunt) who said that she was trying to reach me to encourage me to come and be part of the intervention, and how was my pregnancy going? You would think that *she* might be sympathetic, and realize that maybe it wouldn't be a good idea for me to stay up all night, but no, it's all about my goddamned brother and *his* needs.

My guests were still there, so I told them what was going on, and they were like, "Are you nuts? You're thinking about driving to Oakland now? You need your rest! What can you possibly do there anyways that would be worth staying up all night?"

I decided to just not respond to the calls. Fuck it, I wasn't about to stay up all night and be driving around on the freeways exhausted. I almost drove off the road one time coming home late, and I wasn't even knocked up. Screw it. Brother or no brother, I was going to be selfish and just take care of myself.

Well, it was a good decision, but then I fucked up. I was going to call the next day and ask how things were going, explain how it was unreasonable to expect me to stay up all night and drive for an hour each way in my condition, and offer any other help I could.

But I didn't call. I felt too guilty and ashamed. So then I didn't call Saturday or Sunday either, because then too much time had gone by.

And now I'm in a bad situation becasue it's Monday and no one has called me and I haven't called them, and I'm sure everyone thinks I'm the most cold, selfish sister in the world. Ugh.

I guess I'll just pull myself together and call my Dad tonight to see what's going on. If he's pissed at me, he's pissed at me. If everyone feels that I've let them down, then fine. I'll just have to deal with it, and so will they. Aargh, this sucks.

Long Weekend

Besides the brother thing... I had a great, though somewhat non-productive long weekend. I had all these plans to make jewelry, clean out the garage, organize my clothes and finally get rid of all those size 4s and 6s that I will most likely never fit into again. How are we going to have room for a kid when our own stuff takes up all the spare room in the house? How will I ever be able to work from home if I haven't made a damn single piece of jewelry?

Well, I had very good intentions, but on Friday morning (the Fourth of July) it was hot, and Dan and I watched "Lawrence of Arabia". It was good, beautiful cinematography, and Omar Sharif was HOT, but Peter O'Toole was kind of dorky. Too much eyeliner and pancake makeup. His character bugged me. Taking ridiculous risks at the beginning, then falling apart later over nothing and acting all crazy.

When it was over we went to Vasona Park with Bugs, laid out a sheet under a tree, people-watched, and took a nap. Very nice and relaxing. I brought all kinds of games, smackball, frisbee, but we just laid under the tree and chilled. Around 6:30pm we left for Dan's parent's house, where we had dinner and then walked over and watched the Shoreline fireworks from the Corn Palace cornfield. Sylvia and the kids came over.

Saturday we went to Capitola for lunch with Bugs and he practiced his Parisian cafe dog techniques. He was OK, but since he didn't walk too much first he was all restless and kept moving around instead of laying on his blanket like a good cafe dog. We sat up on the hill and people-watched for a while....the surfers, the people walking by. It was packed in Capitola, and a gorgeous day. But no dogs allowed on the beach, and Bugs needed a walk still, so we looked at the map and headed south to Seacliff Beach, where leashed dogs are allowed on the beach.

It was less crowded there, we walked down a ways and found a relatively unbusy spot where we could let Bugsy off the leash and let him run a little. I went in he water up to my knees. It was ice-cold at first splash, but then it felt good after that. Suprisingly, Adventure Dog went in too, all the way up to his belly! We ran him back and forth between us, and since I stood in the water he zoomed past me and tore into the surf. Pretty brave for a dog who avoids sprinklers like the plague, and tiptoes on his absolutely *tippy* toes through wet grass.

Another little nap in the sand and we headed out when the sun started to go down. Home for an evening with "Apocalype Now Redux", which I thought was fantastic. Amazing camera shots. Good characters, very gripping story.

Sunday I cooked and worked on Resumix bullshit that I was supposed to do on Thursday when I was "working from home". Screening Questions wireframes. What a waste of time.

Today I had lunch with Cheryl (new VP Engineering) and Peter (new UI Architect). I *guess* I'm not getting laid off, though no one as told me directly. It appears that I will be reporting to Peter in the future, and people actually realize that there is too much work for one person to do, especially if they expect himt o actually be able to meet with customers and do usability studies, valuable stuff like that. So I'm glad I still have a job for the sake of the money at least. God, I wish Dan were still making money like he used to. I wish he loved his job like he used to as well. I feel pretty stressed out that our finances are so precarious compared to before, and the only ways we have of making money right now are by doing jobs we hate. It's really unfortunate.

Anyways, since I'm turning over the Screening Questions project to Peter, I suddenly have nothing to do. Well, I could fix bugs, but no bugs have been assigned to me, and that will take time. I am supposed to help Angela put together the next newsletter, but she hasn't sent me any content, so nothing I can do there. This place is such a pain in the ass. Well, I'll just leave at 5:00pm and go to my clasp-making class, learn some jewelry-making skills, and try to put it in practice this week when Dan goes away on business. I have a three-hour class tonight and tomorrow night, then he leaves on Wednesday for New Jersey. So hopefully I can get something done.

I want to sew, I want to knit, but I am just going to do one thing at a time and not be too dillettante for now. Bil emailed me today and he is addicted to knitting. He knitted himself a hat that says "fuck" on it in different colors. What a crackup. He is going to knit a hat for the baby, and has offered to give me knitting lessons, which I would love. Like I said, I don't want to get to distracted though, but it loooks like my knitting circle is getting started. Who would have thought that it would be Bil? Well, more power to him!

July 02, 2003

More pregnancy blah blah blah

Last night I took the big king-sized sham pillow and used it as a body pillow. What an awesome solution to the problem of getting my newly bodacious ta-tas squashed between my arms when I lay on my side!

I slept really well for a change. Bugs got up and decided that he wanted to play or some shit like that in the middle of the night, but I was barely conscious. I got up and peed and then zombie-walked back to bed, wrapped myself back around the pillow like it was my passionate lover, and zonked out again. Had a very funny dream along the way about going over to Mellen's house, where we filled up her bedroom with water and then went scuba-diving with airhoses.

So I slept on the couch from about 10:00pm to 10:30pm (while I was supposed to be watching "My Best Fiend", about Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski), then Dan dragged me off to bed. I read for about 15 minutes, then passed out again and didn't get up until 7:00am. Over 8 hours! A new record!

Dan is THRILLED at the prospect of being a Daddy. I think he is even more fired up about it than I am.

We both think it would be ideal for me to take off the first year from work to be with the baby full-time. That first year is so crucial. But I am worried about how we will be able to afford that, being able to get away from time to time, stuff like that.

Dan has absolutely *no* worries whatsoever. If it's tough, it's tough, but we'll get through it and everything will be great.

So I'm trying to relax a little and not have my little random worries flare up. So hard to control with these hormones raging! Luckily I can lean on Dan and cry on his shoulder when I'm feeling all emotional (which is about every day!). He's so sweet and supportive.

I gave him a book called "The Expectant Father" and he read the whole thing, but he was like, "Duh! I already know this!"

He would read me excerpts from the book, like, "Help your wife out by taking over the vaccuuming", and then say to me all disgusted, "I ALREADY do all the vaccuuming! What kind of idiots is this book meant for?". Too goddamn funny!

I feel much more relaxed now and have lost the urge to get the fuck out of here. Now I am looking forward to a long weekend of catching up on neglected tasks at home...making some jewelry, etc. Ah, mood swings, nothing like them. I'm glad Dan is patient with me.

Ugh, I just ate a big lunch and 20 minutes later I'm feeling hungry again. I can't *believe* this appetite. I literally have to keep eating ALL day long. I have to carry nuts, fruit roll-ups AND string cheese in my purse. If hunger strikes me and I don't eat within 10 minutes, I start to go insane.

I can't believe I haven't put on 20 pounds yet. I stare at the scale and I can't believe that the needle doesn't move. My metabolism must be off the charts.

Dan and I went hiking last week and I forgot to bring a bag of snacks with me. I had just eaten before we left the house, but about an hour into our hike I was so insanely hungry that we had to turn around and come home. In the car I just kept moaning nonstop, "Food! Food! Oh *GOD* I need some food right NOW!" And I specifically had such a horrendous craving for sushi...it was all I could think about.

Last night I was all about potatoes. I made each of us two baked potatoes with green beans and chicken-apple sausages. I didn't want the sausages, I just ate the green beans and inhaled the potatoes. They were SO fucking good.

So John has gone. I am happy for him. He definitely needed to go. I'm a little worried that he's going to a $200/night hotel and spending an arm and a leg, but that's ok I guess, it's his decision. Still, he will be going into debt and said he might sell some of his stock.

I have to say it was a little hard hearing non-stop over and over how excited he was to go. Damn, Dan and I aren't going anywhere. And after a while, how can you respond? You can only say, "That's great, I'm happy for you!" so many times. But now that I'm over my fit of insane travel lust, I guess I'll be fine. We may go to Carmel over the 4th of July weekend. I've never really been there.

Tomorrow I am going hiking with Elizabeth, Gillian and possibly some friends of Gillian's at Kennedy/Limekiln Open Space. Fanya may come as well, but I doubt it. I haven't talked to her since Dan and I were leaving to get married, and I just found out today that she is 13 weeks pregnant! So she is one month ahead of me. That's cool, I'll have another new mama friend right around the same time.

The ladies are coming over for BBQ dinner afterwards. I'll make chicken, fish, potato salad, some kind of veggie thing. Maybe I'll try out the couscous recipe from Fitness magazine. I tried the green beans with feta/buttermilk/mayonnaise/dill sauce last night, but it was just too mayonnaise-y. I liked the feta. I'm always trying to find fancier ways to do things, but I think I'll just squeeze some lemon juice and salt on the next time and then crumble feta over it. And no radishes. What the hell is the point of radishes? They taste like air with horseradish sauce. Fuck that.

July 01, 2003

What a funk

What a funk I was in yesterday. Those nightmares just bummed me out all day, and I still don't know if I'm being laid off or not.

I got home last night, ate a snack of cheese and crackers and fruit, and then we took Bugs to the park for a run. I was talking to Dan about planning a getaway, going camping, taking off and going somewhere, anywhere to get a break from the rut that we're in. I want to go up to Mt. Lassen and maybe Southern Oregon, but that would take at least a week, and Dan can't get away before August. So this weekend then....but it's going to be 4th of July and everywhere will be packed with people. Ugh. I feel all tied down by the dog and our finances and all this crap that I didn't even think of a week ago.

This must be the hormone swing that I keep reading about, where all of a sudden you freak out and wonder what the hell you're doing having a child and giving up all your free time and suddenly you just feel ambivalent about the whole thing. I always think this stuff I read about won't happen to me, but I guess it really does happen to everyone. So I'm still very excited about the baby and wouldn't change anything, but suddenly I feel all tied down and want to go roam around the world for the next six months or so. Completely impractical. And Dan doesn't feel that way at all, this thing hasn't hit him, or at least not yet. But he's about two weeks behind me in pregnancy symptoms.... ;-)

We saw Chuck on the way home with his baby daughter Sophia. He was raving about parenthood, and how amazing it is, which cheered me up, but then he said that he didn't actually watch the baby's head come out or anything, because he may not have been able to sleep with Maria afterwards. That totally did NOT cheer me up.

John is going to Maui tomorrow for 10 days. He deserves it, he hasn't taken a vacation in 3 years.


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