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diary of a mad cheesemonger

Aug. 16th, 2010

11:19 pm - RIP Plissken

So today I went to the pet store to get some fish our our snake. when I got back, I changed his water, and then gave him a fish. all through this process he was quiet, which to unusual as he had seem to have adjusted to life in his new home this past year. Well, I looked, and he seemed just a little too still. I tapped the glass. He was still. I opened the drawer of the bureau his tank is on, which is like a mini earthquake to him, no response. Reluctantly, because now I was pretty sure he had died, I moved him slightly with his climbing stick. He was very stiff. I don't mean to be morbid, but I'm thinking that means he passed sometime last night. I had just measured him yesterday, he was slightly short of two feet, and very active. I guess he was just old. He was big for a garter snake, and the fact that he had one eye means he probably had survived something attempting to eat him. I cried. Max and I are going to bury him tonight.

Aug. 3rd, 2010

08:38 pm - Long overdue, Sigh.

I've been in Florida with my father the past 3 weeks. He has developed inoperable stage 3 cancer in his lungs. One of his vocal cords is paralyzed, so he can only whisper. I will try and condense the situation. After tests and long talks with the oncologist, we are not going to treat it. The treatments are harsh and will make him sick, and they have little chance of success.

We have had some really good times, playing cards, watching "Bonanza", and "Andy Griffith", having the obligatory 4pm martini's, and eating out at our favorite places.

The other thing is that as most of know, my Dad has the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. the horrible upshot of this is that 6, 8, 10, even a dozen times a day I have to tell him all over again that he is dying. A few times these past weeks, I have thought that I will literally run mad. Out the door, never to be heard from again. Seriously, it's REALLY hard to take.

Tonight was my last dinner with Dad, and probably my most difficult evening with him. One of the nurses that works at his facility knocked on the door and asked to talk to me. which is fine, it was about his future hospice care. The problem is that if he thinks you are discussing ANYTHING about him, and he isn't standing there, he goes berserk. There is no need for him to be in the conversation, I explained to him what we talked about, and then it all went downhill after that. ie, I don't tell him what's going on, (I do, he just doesn't remember it), and then I explain for the bajillionth time, and he glares at me and says, "That's the first I've heard of it!", which, of course there is no answer to that won't piss him off. Silence pisses him off. It becomes this surreal cat and mouse thing of what words or actions will calm him down. This shit wears on you, let me tell you.

I am headed back to Pittsburgh tomorrow, both relieved and that we have a course of action, and loaded with anxiety at the unknown. Ain't life grand? It always seems that when I get one crisis under control, there is a sneering bigger one waiting in the wings.

The one thing that has kept my sanity, everyday, after I leave the facility, is this.


I've been working diligently on my homework. And today, Joe, the maintenance guy here at the condo (I need a new disposal) walked into my living room and looked look at my macabre tableaux and said,

"Jane...?" WHAT are you building here?". Most people probably would have called the police. And the really funny thing is that at the time, I was shooing two of my Dad's sweet and elderly lady friends out the door after a visit. A visit into the kitchen where there is no view of the living room project;) "I'm like, I'll tell you in a second..."

He knows me, knows my quirks, and so he was amused. Check out the link, it will be worth your while.

May. 23rd, 2008

10:49 pm - A week ago

My husband and I went to the Renaissance City Choirs - Rainbow Broadway Show.

We don't get out much, and in fact I didn't much feel like going out, so I was glad we did, because we had so much fun.

There are two choirs, men's and womens, and they are for gay, bisexual and transgendered folks.

Our neighbor was performing and invited us, he was so excited about it, so I knew I just had to go.

The really fun part was the tongue in cheek twists on the song selections. Some subtle, some not so. For instance, The guys sang "Dancing Queen" from Mam Mia, and "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar. The ladies sang "How To Handle a Woman", from Camelot, and "When You are Good to Mama" from Chicago.

The singing was exceptional, and the director chose many other great Broadway standards. There will be another concert this summer, and a Christmas show as well, which my husband and I are now hoping to attend.

If you live near Pittsburgh, I recommend their concerts. It was fun and full of talented performances.

10:46 pm - Shrinky Dinks!!!!!

Did any of you know that you can still buy Shrinky Dinks?

I did not, and I used to love making them.

Somewhere in this house there are some Pee Wee Herman Shrinky Dinks.

I am finding some of the coolest supplies, ideas, and creations from etsy. I'm really loving it, and I will post a link to some of my favorite finds soon.

May. 18th, 2008

08:06 pm - Laveau's Rag and Bone

Hi All,

There will be posts about this on all of my online communities, so if this is redundant for some of my friends, please excuse.

I am going to shill for myself, but not so much for sales, just that I am proud of what I've done.

I've opened an etsy shop. I have my own handmade jewelry and some vintage items. I am going to be adding stuff continually, and eventually I do hope to profit from my creative endeavors.

So, if you are interested, or want to pass the link along, please bookmark the page and check back in.

I do have some spooky sorts of things, along with some oddities and whatever strikes my vintage aesthetic.

Here is the link:


Thanks guys,

May. 15th, 2008

06:28 pm - Penny Candy

A few weeks ago I bought something I haven't bought in years. Penny candy used to be available in a big bin at the local 5 and 10, or the 7 Eleven by the house I grew up in. Of course, now you get the same type of canies in bulk bins at the grocery store, and it's like 4.99 a pound.

I got a small bag with some orange slices, caramels, and those Neapolitan coconut things. My grandmother always had these in a candy dish at her house, and I used to love them.

They're still good. The thing that really struck me though was that after I got home, when I opened the bag, the scent that emerged was SO nostalgic I had this huge rush of emotion that sent me back to childhood. It's so odd how that happens. The scent of Camay soap always sends me back to my maternal grandmother's house. It's the only brand she ever used.

Have any of you had a similar experience?

Apr. 12th, 2008

09:44 pm - Cool Event!

Jim Warren, the founder and publisher of Warren magazines (Famous Monsters, Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, The Spirit, etc.) is going to appear at the Abington Free Library in Abington, PA on May 4th. That is, if enough people say they are going to be there. Right now, the response is not what the library was hoping for. So contact them today!

Here's all the info you need short of directions to get there:

Comic Magazine Publisher
Sunday, May 4 at 3 p.m.
Abington Free Library, Community Room

Register for this free program:
Library Office, Abington Free Library
1030 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001

Mar. 3rd, 2008

11:04 pm - Rondos

There are only a few days left to vote for this year's Rondo awards. If you are into classic horror, go to...


and VOTE! Do you're Monsterkid duty! This means you!

Several of my friends are nominated, more than a few in the same category.

The only stumping I will do will be for my dear husband Max. His blog, www.drunkenseveredhead.blogspot.com has been nominated.

Check out the out the nominees, and if you are in the Louisville area in July, attend the ceremony!

That is all. Over and Out.

Feb. 18th, 2008

07:18 pm - Long time no write

I was inspired to journal again by a recent trip to a very nostalgic place.

It's called Monster Mini Golf, and it's loads of fun. It's an indoor miniature golf course, all done in black light paint with a monster theme.

I haven't played miniature golf in aeons. I ended up beating Max by one stroke, and then amusing myself in the arcade while he took photos. It's in Monroeville. We went for Valentines Day, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I played Martian Invaders pinball, scooped up some candy and trinkets with the crane game, wasted quarters in a useless attempt to make loads of other quarters fall, but ended up with enough tickets to get a glow in the dark rubber ducky.

The best game was called Carn Evil. Basically, you shoot at zombies and circus freaks on the screen with a pump action shotgun, that uses a light for scoring. You have to keep track of your ammo rounds in your peripheral vision, and when they are low, pump the shotgun and shoot some more.

I LOVED IT! While Max kept taking pictures, I kept running over and saying "Okay, gonna go shoot some more zombies!" Which is appropriate, as I live in Pittsburgh.

All in all, in was a very fun Valentine's outing.

Jan. 8th, 2007

03:14 pm - Arrrrr, yeh scurvy dogs!!!!!

My pirate name is:

Iron Anne Flint

A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you a tough person. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
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