It has been such a long time since I last wrote! I realize this...and there are several main reasons. The transcontinental journey would be the main one. That went quite a bit better than I expected; talking to my grandfather was generally interesting, and he was more easygoing than usual. But then right after I got back, I started working, and when I haven't been working, I've been trying to see everyone who's preparing to leave the area, and running around on various errands. An I just haven't really had access to add to this, which is probably the main reason. I have internet access at work, which is where I am now, but it's a pain to do this from here, and after all, I'm supposed to be working. My father's computer at home is incredibly slow, and he gets annoyed at me when I spend much time on it, so I try to avoid that. At any rate, though, I'm alive, and stuff, and writing, but I have to get back to work. I shall write more soon, really.


Well, I can't write long--I'm just avoiding going to work at the moment, and I have to get there soon, because we have a lab meeting at 9, and I have some stuff to do before then, and it's almost 8:30. But I've just been quite bad about writing, and not for lack of things to say, but just because it requires effort, since the computer on which I had all these files before is now in my grandfather's garage until the end of the month. Until then, it's just rather time-consuming to update this stuff. Well, not exactly that--it just takes effort, whereas before, it was quite simple. So, it just takes a bit more energy to follow through on writing and uploading and such.

At any rate, though, I've been keeping rather busy, what with working all the time, and dealing with family, and friends still left around here, and everything. My grandparents from Tennessee are coming into town this weekend for my sister's graduation from her one-year dental assistant's school program, so I'll probably spend much of the weekend trying to see them, since I haven't seen them for a year. And the weekend after that, I'm flying to Houston to visit a friend whom I haven't seen for a long time, and then the weekend after that, I move into my apartment, finally. So, yes, I'll be staying busy.

And it's so strange to be on this campus when it's so empty. Where are all the identical looking people? Campus seems so strange without them. And, yeah, so I should go to work now. I get to go sit in a meeting! Whee!

This journal has hit the big time! I am the number one search result on google for "I need a frickin job!"

Okay. Really going to work, I just couldn't keep that to myself :-)

So, it's 11:30, and I should really be sleeping now, since I'm getting up at 6:10 tomorrow, as usual, and I haven't been getting anywhere close to enough sleep this week. I did get around to cleaning my room, which was a good thing, since I remembered that my grandparents are coming this weekend. And now I'm just sort of bored, but not really feeling like going to sleep. I suppose I was hoping to see somebody I know online, but no such luck. And I'm more tired than I'd like to admit--in lab meeting today I had definite problems keeping my eyes open during the first presentation, which was rather bad, since I was sitting directly in front of the big lab bossman, who was probably giving nasty looks at the back of my nodding head. Oh, well. I got better during the second half--doodling helped, and I assume that he didn't see that. I was, ummm, taking notes, right.

And, yeah, I should sleep, and stuff, and I'm tired. Sooooo, time to go to bed, and I'll attempt to keep up this streak of writing somewhat regularly...


Hmm. So, my family is getting still crazier, it seems. When I got home last night, my father informed me that he had something to tell me...so, I waited around. It turns out that my younger sister, who's a junior in high school, the one who's rather determined to fail every class this year, who took half a bottle of tylenol back in November, decided to report my father to the Department of Social Services for child abuse, which is just, ummm, so amazingly outlandish. One of her messed-up friends apparently knew how to get in touch with these people--I can't imagine she thought of this on her own, and so my father came home last night to find a note on the door from Social Services saying they needed to talk to him regarding my sister. The story she told was that he got angry with her, threw her on her bed and choked her, while my stepmother, who was also in the house, ignored her screams. Right. So, while I wasn't there when the alleged incident happened--incidentally, she can't recall when, exactly, it happened, but thinks it was about a month ago...the social worker asked my stepmother where she was at the time of the incident, and she replied, "when?" and the woman just said she didn't know. So, ummm, where have you been at all times during the past several months? Or something...but I'm sidetracked. While I wasn't there, I have lived with my father for way too many years to fully believe my sister's story. I presume that she provoked him, and he provoked her, and he pushed her on her bed, and I'm quite sure that she screamed, as she tends to do whenever she feels like it, but I don't believe that my father was choking her. And now I feel like I'm defending some abusive parent, and that's not really it. My father often has a short temper, and is often unreasonably difficult and stubborn. Years ago, he spanked us rather often. However, he never hit us or choked us or whatever out of anger. At any rate, that's not even the strangest part of all of this.

So, the social worker called him and my stepmother and my stepsister into her office, and made the two adults sign a statement that they would neither physically abuse her, nor raise their voice or engage in any other verbal communication which could be construed as a threat of physical violence. And this is all just amazingly weird. My sister, who has given up on achieving just about anything, apparently heard from a friend that this is a great way to get your parents off your back and, well, it worked. My father basically can't make her do anything now. If she doesn't want to go to school, what can he do? Write notes to her? Ask her kindly to go? And yet, he's still responsible for her until she's 18, but he has no control whatsoever over her.

So, my father seems slightly frustrated. Basically anything he does now is wrong, since if he denies it strongly, that only makes him seem even more like the abusive parent in complete denial. My stepmother was freaking out about being implicated in this whole mess, in case it might somehow take her daughter away from her, and she basically hasn't been able to cope with my sister for the past year or so, anyway. I'm also just not really sure what my sister is trying to accomplish. She has, at this point, more or less pissed off just about anyone who can help her. My mother doesn't want her living with her; my father is stuck with her but isn't really all that happy with her; she's failing school, so that's probably not going to get her anywhere fast...she's being about as illogical as one can be, and at some point, it's all going to hit her, hard. And that's not going to be pretty.

And I'm quite powerless, as well...what the heck can I do? It's not like she listens to me, or anyone else for that matter. I try to talk nicely and calmly, but anything I say is inherently logical, at least on some level, and logic just does not through to her.

I don't know what to do, but at least I'm not alone in that. Nobody knows what to do. Nobody even has any vague ideas. Sigh.


Okay, so, to recap, my younger sister called Social Services and told them that my father abused her, which wasn't true. This is sort of a big thing to accuse someone of...I'm not entirely sure how public this would be, but if it showed up when, say, he went to apply for a job, it certainly wouldn't help. I remember a politician in Montreal who went from a sure bet to win a seat in the Quebec National Assembly to losing by a landslide due entirely to someone uncovering that his wife had alleged that he had beaten her, and filed a restraining order against him, years earlier. He wasn't proven guilty of anything, and I know nothing more of the situation, but isn't this the same thing? My father is accused of something extremely despicable, and proven guilt can often be overlooked. Social Services more or less put him under a restraining order, or the nearest approximation of that that one can have when housing the person you are supposed to have abused. And now my father's worried that if he's home alone with my sister, she'll accuse him again, and he'll again have no way to counter it. And nobody can figure out what she's thinking or why she's doing any of this, but I'm afraid that she has no idea, either.

So, this weekend, my grandparents are in town, and she has been acting extremely bouncy and happy and hyper, as if nothing at all has happened. It's all so strange...

My sister graduates today, and I'm trying to figure out what to wear, because it will be inside, in a huge gym with no air conditioning, and it's quite warm today. I'm leaning towards wearing shorts, and I doubt that I would be underdressed, but my grandparents might give me nasty looks. I'll probably just go see what's clean, and decide from there :-)

And my grandfather is reminding me again how alike he and my father are. It's scary, really, and it allows me to understand why my father used to bug me about how he and his father are so much closer than he and I are. A lot of it has to do with my dad's general difficulties in interacting with anyone different from himself, but he has no problems talking to his father, really, because they agree on, well, just about everything.

And my mind is skipping around, and all I'm getting down is just snippets of thoughts. I leave for Texas this week, which should be fun, but I of course haven't packed, or even washed clothes yet. I should do that tonight, or something. I think my grandparents leave tomorrow morning, so things should be slightly less hectic then.

Oh, so, I went to my mother's house last night for dinner, with her family, my sister, and her boyfriend. The kids were hyper, as usual, but probably the weirdest part of the night was sometime after dinner, when we were sitting in the kitchen playing Old Maid with my little sister's Scooby Doo playing cards while my stepfather ignored us all and watched TV in the den. He came into the kitchen, going on and on about how he saw the TV spark, and we just had to buy a new one, no sense in repairing this one, we need one right now, because we NEED A TV (he kept reiterating this...I thought about asking about the two other televisions upstairs, but didn't say anything)...so, my mother said a few things to him, told him not to buy one, or something, and he went out to his car, presumably to go to the mall in search of a new TV. So, we finished up our card game and walked in to look at the TV. My sister's boyfriend pushed a few buttons on it, saw that it wouldn't turn on, and unplugged it and plugged it back in, and lo and behold, it worked fine. My stepfather had apparently failed to attempt even the most basic adjustments on it...and then, so, my mother ran out and caught him in the driveway, and he was quite visibly pissed that the TV worked. He apparently really wanted a new one, with whose money, well, I don't know. And this was all just a very strange episode, but not at all out of character for him. He and my mother have such an odd relationship, well, to me, at least. I suppose it's probably more like the sort of relationships that most Americans are in, but that doesn't make it any less odd to me.

And I'm just rambling about random things now...hmmm. Today is probably going to be rather busy, though I'm not entirely sure what's going on after the graduation ceremony at 1--well, we're going out to eat, but then I don't know. My grandmother might be exhausted at that point; I don't know.

And so, yeah, I've rambled about nothing for long enough; it's time to take a shower. I may not write for a while, depending on how busy things keep me, and such...


The past several days have been great...well, work has been rather mediocre. A lot of stuff just hasn't been working. But I met this amazing person, and somehow, we just completely click. Like, when we talk, having only known each other for several days, it completely feels like we've known each other for years...it's a very strange feeling, but at the same time, really wonderful just to have someone I feel, well, comfortable around. And I suppose I'll just refer to her by the first letter of her name, so A she is. As sort of a strange twist, though, after talking for several hours last night and tonight, I'm leaving to go to Houston tomorrow. It's oftentimes so funny the way things work out. And I just reminded myself again that I'm leaving tomorrow, like, for real, and I haven't packed anything at all. That's sort of bad, since it's, well, after midnight. I am going to be so exhausted tomorrow...but I guess I can sleep on the flight, hopefully. We'll see.

And my father is as stressed as ever. I don't believe he's sleeping at all, and it's not because he's up after midnight writing in his online journal, either...I really wish there was something I could do, but I don't really think there's much of anything that anyone can do. The situation pretty much sucks from every angle. Sigh.

And I really need to go toss some stuff in my duffle bag and attempt to get some sleep. I won't be writing until sometime next week, so goodbye for now...


While away from computers, I wrote an entry, and because I'm rather busy, I just scanned it in and put it here. Go read it, or something--it's a little taste of my illegible writings.


So, here I am, back in NC, with much to say and nowhere near enough time to write it all. I had a great time in Texas, and then I had a lot of fun yesterday, too, wandering around town here, but now, I'm back to work, and I move into my apartment this weekend, which should be great, but it will be incredibly hectic, I'm sure. I need to find some boxes today, get them home, and fill them with all the various junk in my room. My love life is now messed up completely beyond recognition, but I'm not going to get started on that. Maybe some other time. I also need to figure out how to get my cat back, since S isn't really responding to my e-mails and stuff now, and I have no idea what she wants me to do. So, I don't know. And I really must be getting to work now, so I will run...

deep in the desert, one flower standing alone
faith, hope, and love carry me back to my home...

Hmmm. This is most definitely not good. I just got mail from the federal student aid office, and they reminded me that my father makes a heck of a lot of money, and yet still claims to have absolutely nothing with which to pay my tuition. And, since my sister isn't in her quasi-college any more, for which he wasn't paying anything at all but which reduced our expected contribution by half, well, the federal government expects us to pay over twenty thousand dollars towards my illustrious education this year. Hmmm. So, unless the financial aid office does something at least marginally illegal, I foresee some major issues arising all too soon. I have no idea what to do, of course...I had anticipated this last year, but things changed when my sister enrolled in her certificate program, which apparently counted as full-time study and all. Hmmm. I doubt, though, that he would really listen to me, anyway, so it may be better just to hear it from financial aid. I would at least like to be out of this house before the feces hit the fan. And I'm only delaying the inevitable, but I'm quite good at doing that...

And tonight is packing night! Whee! Should be fun. Must go. Family dinner fun time is about to commence!

Shades of Gray