Friday, December 30, 2011

I. Am. So. Tired.

I'm not even sure how much caffeine I've had in the last five (including today) days.  I'm sorry for any horrible grammar/spelling/etc errors I've made while blogging.  I managed to spend $25 on coffee in four days.

Starting on Boxing Day, the fewest amount of hours I've worked per day has been nine.  I worked ten on Monday, nine on Tuesday, twelve on Wednesday, and eleven yesterday.  I think today I'm working ten.  We're in the space doing intensive spacing and with high schoolers, and that's not easy.

On top of my work schedule, it's the last week that most my closest friends (not to mention Boyfriend) are in town because of college's Christmas break and I'm trying really hard to hang out with them as much as possible.  I have slept a total of twenty hours in five days and only been home for maybe...twelve (?) of those.

Tomorrow I have Christmas with my friends (which has been my favorite tradition for five years now) and while I have all my gifts sewn, I realized I haven't even wrapped them because I've been home so rarely.

So...I have really lost track of this post.  I have no idea what my point was.  I was spinning around in circles at Will's house yesterday because I was so high from lack of sleep.  Basically, I'm fucking exhausted.  I'm going to go home and sleep tonight so I can actually be awake for second Christmas tomorrow.  Next week however, I have so much time to sleep and hang out.  Timing was just about the worst ever.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo- My Thoughts

Yesterday night I went to A Girl with a Dragon Tattoo with Lana (the theatre was incredibly crowded (ie completely full) on a 9p on a Tuesday night).  I have been meaning to read the book for ages, but just have never quite gotten around to it, which means I have no idea how the book reads.  I want to talk about the women in the story for a moment and I think I can do it without spoiling you anymore than a summary would, but be warned spoilers and very very possible triggers (I was ahoy.

The movie itself played out like a book, which I didn't know was possible for a movie to do.  It was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time (though I don't actually watch many movies), but it also was the most triggering and difficult to get through that I have ever seen.  The movie features two scenes where a women is forced into sexual situations and is raped and one seen where the woman takes vengeance against her attacker in the form of both rape and violence.  And all three of the scenes made my grit my teeth, tense up, squeeze Lana's hand and just try to get through it.  I'm not sure I ever

The movie features one of the most independent and strong woman I have ever seen depicted in literature, television, or film.  The audience is made aware that she has been abused multiple times throughout her life if they can do a little reading between the lines.  And she certainly is traumatized by this, but she is shown, despite being quite young, as being completely able to handle herself.

Though the movie is primarily populated with men, it does pass the Bechdel Test (a movie passes if it has two named female characters who have a conversation which is not about a man).  And the women who are not the protagonists are also frequently portrayed as strong.  It is movie about the victimization and assault of women, so the strong contrast between women in vulnerable positions and women rescuing themselves from those situations is a strong and unusual one.

Always in movies the women are rescued by men or, very very occasionally, but other women.  I'm not sure I have ever seen a woman who was able to deal with a situation by herself.  Now, I want to be very very clear, many women in situations like the ones in this movie do need help.  Situations can easily get beyond one person's ability to handle the, and so they should be encouraged to ask for help.  What just struck md most was movies always portray men as the knight in shining armor and this time is was the women, both for themselves and others, who were the "knight in shining armor"

A Review: The Ethical Slut

One of the very first things I did when I realized I was poly was locate good books on the subject. Will recommended The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy to me and I also bought Opening Up by Tristan Taormino, which I will review when I finish.

I started The Ethical Slut right away and I liked the tone Janet and Dossie took immediately: accepting, personal, open. And I want to cover what I disliked now because I liked a lot more than I disliked. My three problems with book were that it was so general that I didn’t feel it ever related directly to my situation, I felt like I already knew the vast majority of the information, and the authors spend great length on defining an ethical slut and I’m pretty sure I don’t fit the definition of slut.

In regard to the first problem, I fully admit, the book is intended as a general overview, which is very very accepting of everyone. It does its best to assure  us that as long as everyone is equal in the relationship that you’re doing just fine. And these are wonderful messages, but I just wanted more specific information. In relation to the second issue, I have done a lot of reading online about polyamory already, so the repeat of information is not particularly surprising. Finally, I don’t think being a slut is a bad thing. I think it’s a fairly awesome lifestyle but I have spent most of my latest years being monogamous and so have slept with very very few people. Dossie and Janet’s point is that being a slut is more a lifestyle than an action, but I’m just not entirely sure I agree. I am sex-positive, I think people should be allowed to have whatever and however much sex they would like as long as everyone is consenting, I just didn’t identify as a slut and thus every time the word was used I felt a weird dichotomy.

Really quickly, while I’m on the topic of disagreeing with the authors, their views on cheating were strange to me. While they did acknowledge that cheating in a closed, monogamous relationship was a major breach of trust, they professed that the partner who was cheated on should forgive their partner and that the relationship should be open. They stated that they believed this would be the best solution to solving the cheating problem. However they did not address that maybe the cheated on partner didn’t want to be nonmonogamous. They never really acknowledged that perhaps breaking up would be the best solution to this size of breach of trust and betrayal. And while I’m not positive that breaking up is warranted every single time a person is cheated on I think it certainly should at least be a very possible option (I can think of a few friends who may disagree with this statement).

Moving on: I have no intention of reviewing the book in order or chapter by chapter (mainly because I let someone else borrow the book and I don’t have it with me right now). I will however talk about things as the occur to me.

I greatly appreciate that the book addresses problems that happen in both “traditional” and “nontraditional” relationships. Janet and Dossie discuss jealousy, communication, break ups, and several other types of issues. The advice they give is solid (though I felt like skipping the chapter on jealous since it has never really been a big issue for me).

They also spend in depth time discussing terminology and defining what sex is (uggh hanging preposition again…I should fix that…). “What do you mean?” You say, “Sex is intercourse between a man and a woman” (penis-in-vagina sex). But that is an incredibly heteronormative point of view. Most of my friends, the authors of this book, and myself would say that sex can be considered any sexual act that you feel like qualifies.

In the beginning of the book, the authors talk about how and why monogamy is so common and valued in our society. They talk a great deal about Puritanical values and everything they say agrees with every history class I’ve ever taken. Apparently many other reviews of this book disagree with their statements about Puritans? Or something? I personally didn’t have problems with this section, nor did I believe they require citations.

As you might have noticed by now, I haven’t talked much about nonmonogamy/polyamory. It’s interesting, but the sections of these topics didn’t stick in my mind as much as the other parts. Again, I think this is because the book was so general; more of an overview of polyamory than a how to guide.

Overall, it’s a great book. I keep meaning to try the writing exercises they include throughout the book. Many of them seem like they could be extremely helpful. Even if know a fair amount about polyamory, I do recommend it, I just didn’t connect with it quite as much as I could have.


It amazing when I'm speaking to people how much I edit out details I don’t want them to know. Lana becomes my best friend instead of my girlfriend (this is the most common edit I’ve made of late). I was “hanging out with my boyfriend and girlfriend” becomes “I was hanging out with my friends.”

It’s not that either of those statements are untrue when phrased either way. One statement is certainly more true (to me) however. It’s not even that I’m uncomfortable with the full truth. I’m becoming more and more comfortable with myself every day. My biggest reason? Because as soon as I say something about being poly or queer, even just in passing, it means I have to explain and explaining is a) hard and involved and b) occasionally risky.

Is censoring my speech supposed to be so easy? Maybe I’m just used to it. My job requires it. The actors cannot know much of what the directors know, so I naturally change what I say to them. I’ve gotten good at it and it’s bled into my normal life. I’m honestly not sure if it’s necessary or if it’s something I want to change. I suspect that it’s a bit of both.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Thus far in my blog, I haven't mentioned the area I live in aside from Pacific Northwest.  I do this for obvious reasons and I'm not about to give out my address.  However, I do live close enough to Seattle to take a day trip into the city on the occasion and my family has done a trip into Seattle on Christmas Eve since I was born.

It's a funny little tradition but generally one I have a lot of fun with. For the past several years it's been my mom, dad, sisters, mom's parents, and Boyfriend.  We do a lot of window shopping and have some delicious food.  Here are some pictures I took (with my phone (I should have thought to bring my actual camera)) from Pike Place Market (mostly).  No people or faces, just some of the gorgeous views.

Despite my phone's delay, I actually did manage to get the bird in the picture too.  The picture doesn't really do the day justice, it was gorgeous.  Sunny and clear (which I'm sure as you all know is a rarity).

Another view from the same area but in the a different direction.

If you've ever done the tourist thing and gone on the underground tour, some of the guides make a joke about someone on the thirtieth floor of a building tossing paper airplanes out of a window, so every time I see a plane with a building foreground I think of that joke.

A different view of the public market sign that you normally get.

I'm entitling this picture: Not Sex Toys

Friday, December 23, 2011


Fucking cramps. Fuck. God dammit.  They've been so bad in the mornings the past two days.  Doubled over, hard to move, pain almost to the point of tears (or this morning, pain to the point of tears).  I am so exceedingly jealous of people who have never experienced cramps.

The first time I missed a day of school for cramps was really the first time I had really really bad cramps.  My period started in fourth grade but in seventh, in science class, I remember having to limp to the nurses' office, white as a sheet.  I could barely walk and the nurse took one look at me and called my mother.  My parents immediately picked me up, but had to make a stop on the way home.  I ended up throwing up in the parking lot because the pain was so bad.

Freshmen and sophomore years of high school I missed a volleyball open gym one time and had to call my mom to go home early one day, but the summer before junior year I had the worst cramps I had yet to experience.  They woke me up, which is something that has only happened that one time (normally sleeping helps my cramps).  I was in San Diego and staying in a hotel room by myself.  I literally crawled to the bathroom, turned the shower up all the way to hot and crawled in.  I must have stayed there for over an hour, wishing for some release of the pain.  Finally the cramps let up and I was able to go back to bed.

The summer after junior year I was on one of the longest trips I've ever taken: a full month.  We did Boise to Reno to Boise (there may have been another city or two in there, I forget).  The first time we were in Boise, I was on the hide-a-bed (my sisters always made me sleep on them).  I couldn't move for two days.  My cramps had never lasted more than a day, at least at that horrible stomach turning, tear causing intensity.  I spent two full days curled up in a ball in my bed or around the toilet, throwing up, unable to keep any food down.  I had a fever and I honestly can't remember what happened during those two days.  I know people came and went from my family's room, but I have no idea who.  I couldn't walk.  I couldn't move.  My parents gave me pain meds that did nothing for the pain.  I have never been in so much pain in my entire life.  It felt like my uterus was trying to rip it's way out of my body and destroying everything in it's wake.

When senior year I got cramps bad enough that I didn't go to school two days in a row, I finally went on birth control and my cramps have been infinitely more manageable since then.  It's only when I go off birth control for a month and then go back on it that my body decides to flip out.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Some Things I've Learned

  • I hate -absolutely HATE- the butterfly nervous people I get before asking someone out.  I have never liked it.  I have plenty of friends who enjoy it sorta, but it makes me feel sick and the anticipation kills me.
  • When you're dating two people, weird complications pop up that you wouldn't expect.  Who do you sit next to in the car if one of you is driving? Who do you sit next to in the car when a friend is driving? You could all sit in the back but then the poor driver gets nervous.
  • I dislike the idea of being judged more than actually being judged
  • My mom still has a lot of influence over my life.  She mentioned being nervous about me liking a girl because of other people's reactions once and now I just can't forget.
  • I really (still) don't like being the absolute center of attention.  It makes me nervous.
  • I can split my attention less well than I thought I could.
  • I feel compelled to tell everyone around me about the changes in my life, even though it is nervous-making, because if I feel like I'm lying if I don't tell them.
  • I am more prone to panic attacks than I've ever realized.  Hopefully they'll settle down soon.
  • It really bothers me to say that I'm bisexual to people as a simplification for my sexuality, because I really am not bisexual.
  • I have the best friends and family I could really ask for.  They've been really accepting and have made this transition a lot easier for me.
  • I have a moirail (spoilers for Homestuck, examine at your own peril (you may become addicted))
  • I am really, really happy right now.

New and Different

So. Part of the reason I haven't been blogging much lately was because I've been busy with friends.  But the other part is because I have had information I couldn't share yet.

I've been interested in one of my best friends, Lana, romantically for awhile now and I finally asked her out recently.  It was something I haven't done in a very long time.  Boyfriend was actually my first and before that I had asked people out but they had said no.  So I was fairly nervous, but she said yes and I am exceedingly excited.

And now, I'm going through the process of telling my friends and family (which is the daunting part, though my sisters were awesome about it).  I'm not sure if I've ever been so sick of fucking talking to people.  Not because people have been mean or bad or judgmental about it, but because every time I talk to someone I psych myself up so much that it becomes really hard to even handle.

There are so many changes in my life right now.  So many changes.  Changes I never ever ever thought would be happening.  And unfortunately, I just occasionally have times where I just freak out and shut down because everything is so hard to handle.  But I'm happy.  I'm so happy.  Boyfriend is wonderful.  Lana is wonderful. And I have great friends, which is always what's drives the panic attacks away.

The most frequent question I've had to answer?

Yes, Boyfriend really is okay with this.  As much as I can ever be sure about other people's thoughts and feelings.  It seems like he wants an open relationship too, so I honestly don't think I'm pushing him.  We're partners together and I honestly believe we will tell each other if we're feeling uncomfortable.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


It's been awhile, so hi to everyone.  I did warn you that December would be sparse and I have a lot going on in my life right now that I really want to blog about but can't yet because I need to talk to people before I do.  But here is something I've been thinking about lately.

As I've gotten older more words became more offensive and more hurtful.  I'm not saying this is a bad thing at all, because really it's not.  The word I'm thinking of in particular as an example is the word retarded.  I have a sister who is quite intelligent but has severe, severe learning and personality disorders, so I feel like I should be more sensitive to it because I've met some of her friends who are legally defined as retarded and they are wonderful people.

Lately, my friend Will, has been particularly on top of pointing out when me (and other friends) are saying the word because a lot of people say it so often that they don't even realize.  It's never been a word I've used a ton, but I have friends who do use it more than me.

But Will reminding has helped me think about other words I use: stupid, insane, crazy.  And generally, I use these words to describe myself, which is a problem in and of itself.  As my music director pointed out to the kids the other day: those words mean something.  I don't consider myself stupid and I'm not crazy or insane.  So why do I use those words?

I do consider myself silly, ridiculous, a spaz, or mistaken sometimes though.  And those are the words I've really started to use more and more often.  I had a friend (who I should also ask for a pseudonym) who was mentioning how the girls in her psychology class were always insulting themselves because they were "too stupid" to get it and it drove her crazy.  And it is something I've noticed more with my female friends and acquaintances, and I do believe it's because women are still not expected to be intelligent and worse show that they're intelligent (that would just be awful </sarcasm>).

In short, I really need to think about what words I'm using, because it's easy to use words without even realizing I'm really doing it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Out of the Closet?

"Kaylee, do you like girls?"

There's the question my mother has been dancing around for weeks.  I think about the phrasing for a second.  I don't like women.  I don't like most women.  I don't like some women.  I like the very occasional woman.

"Umm...not really."

She's not happy with that answer at all.

"I don't like women very often, but I'm attracted to women very occasionally."

She's happier with this answer.

"Are you bi then?"

Again, a tricky question.

"I don't identify that way, no."

She's not going to be satisfied with that answer so I explained what being queer means.

"And Boyfriend is okay with this?"

This question is easy.

"Yes, he's completely okay with this.  Why wouldn't he be?"

"I don't know, most people wouldn't be okay with this.  So, he'd be okay with you asking out a girl?"

"Completely okay with it."

She just doesn't seem to understand that concept.

"So he's just not the jealous type."

As she completely misses the point.

"Not really I guess."

"Is he attracted to men then?"

"Not really."

I'm barely comfortable discussing my sexuality with her, let alone Boyfriend's.  I shift uncomfortably, try to keep sewing, but have pretty much no success.

"Are you okay with this then?"

I have to ask her.  If I didn't I would have just wondered forever.

"Well.  It's not my favorite..."

Oh great.

"I just don't understand.  I could never be attracted to another woman, so I just don't understand completely...It's just. Your life is going to be so difficult."

Sigh.  Mother.

"I already have so many friends who are gay or bi.  I stand up for them already.  I get in the middle of people gay bashing already.  I can handle myself."

I realize personal discrimination is a lot different than just defending your friends or people you know, but...I don't know.

"But what about your schools.  Weren't people mean and abusive?"

"No, not really."

I don't know why.  My schools were always, if not accepting, then extremely indifferent.

"Did you think that we were going to kick you out or something?"


"Well, why didn't you tell us sooner?"

Sooner? I'm still barely in the process of understanding this myself.  I was going to tell them in a couple weeks.  When I was ready and prepped to do so.  I wasn't ready for this conversation.

"This is a really recent thing, so I'm not sure what you mean."

"Well, we always knew that you'd done things with girls?"

"You mean beyond a kiss in a game like Truth or Dare?  No, not really."

In retrospect this isn't strictly this complete and utter truth, but at the time I wasn't really thinking.

"Well, we thought you'd gone on a date or something."



Parents.  I've told you everything.  I don't know why you think I'm haven't told you things.  My mom walked away after this, went in the kitchen and did the dishes.  

Glad we had this little talk Mom.  Not really at all.  It wasn't something I wanted to do.  It mostly ruined my entire day.  I wasn't prepped.  I wasn't in a mental space where I was ready to do that talk.  At least I didn't get kicked out or something I guess.

I can't even imagine poor people whose parents yell and scream and actually kick them out.  I have it lucky. Really lucky.  But that doesn't mean that conversation was one I really wanted to have.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Dark

Let's see if I can get so more blog posts written in the time I have before work (I should probably actually be sewing).

I drive in the dark a lot, particularly since it's winter now.  But even in summer, I frequently end up driving at 2 or 3 or 4 oclock in the morning,  I'm a night owl (I've done a post about it and everything) so going to bed much earlier than 2a generally doesn't happen to me.  As such, I'm accustomed to the dark.  One of my biggest pet peeves about driving is people not turning off their high beams when other cars are around.  I understand that they forget, but you shouldn't be using your high beams at all if you're going to forget.  It's extremely dangerous to blind the other drivers around you and more importantly, high beams are almost never necessary for proper sight (at least they certainly aren't for me).  I can see just fine without my brights on except on rainy and moonless nights.

As a small child, I was desperately afraid, not of the dark so much, more afraid of what could be lurking in the dark (maybe that is what being afraid of the dark actually means).  A night light wasn't enough for me, I actually slept with a set of my room lights on.  Eventually I remember realizing that the dark wasn't scary, the dark was just comforting and suddenly it became very difficult for me to sleep with any source of light in the room on at all (ask Boyfriend, I drive him crazy, I cover over lighted light switches and small LEDs).

I also work a lot in the dark.  Backstage, you only set up one or two lights per side of the stage.  Generally if you err on the side of not enough light and too much, people generally err on the side of not enough. (Now, this can get dangerous with many actors or young actors or when there are endless cables running across the ground, in which case, more light is important).  The dark has become comfortable backstage for me though.  There have been a couple times when I've been calling the show from the booth and I've forgotten to turn on my light and my board ops have had to remind me that the reason I'm having trouble reading my lighting is because I don't have a light on.  When I'm not in the booth but instead I'm backstage, I tend to read a lot.  I situate myself somewhere where there is just enough light to see and sit down and read a book.  As a child on car trips I used to read by the light of other car's headlights so I have always been used to reading in the dark.  I have had countless people come up to me and ask: "Aren't you going to ruin eyes this way?" or "Your eyes are better than mine if you can read in this dark", etc etc.

Tip: Reading in the dark doesn't actually damage your eyes in any permanent manner, though it may temporarily strain them (though apparently it may have been linked to nearsightedness, maybe? And that seems like damaging to me?)

Regardless of all my tangents though, I find the dark comfortable and inviting.


I've basically been all but ignoring my blog and I feel bad, but I've a) been pretty sick and b) just picked up another job and auditions start today for it.  I wish I had something more exciting to write about, but I've also basically been completely out of ideas.

I guess the first thing that comes to mind is how small the theatre world is (I apologize for the hanging preposition).  The past two days, I've had two people look at my resume and say: "Oh, I know one of your references".  This just seems funny to me because both of those references don't live in this area.  They are actually working at least fifty miles away.  And yet, people seem to be more connected than I ever expect.

All my professors told me that your first year out of college is about networking: meeting new people and making connections.  I guess I just didn't realize how very true that statement was.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I can already tell that December is going to have a lot less posts than November.  With my job picking up in regard to hours, and good friends in town who I haven't (mostly) seen in months, and sewing Christmas presents, and then the holidays themselves, I'm fairly busy.  However, here is the post about casting which I mentioned yesterday:

As a stage manager, I've sat in on a lot of auditions.  I've sat in on auditions for my shows, shows that I thought I was working but didn't, and shows that I knew that I wasn't working but was helping out with as a favor to a friend.  The thing that always struck me was how horribly horribly shallow the process was.

Certainly there was discussion of: "Oh, he's really talented" and "She just commands the room" but for all of those comments, there were a lot more: "He's just too fat", "She's just too tall", "I wish she was a brunette", "He just doesn't fit the vision in my head".

And the thing is, to some extent, directors are justified in many cases.  A character whose supposed to be a starving orphan just wouldn't make as much sense played by a chubby actor. A character who is specifically said to have red hair in the dialogue of the script, couldn't really be played by a blonde (unless hair was dyed).  Casting is a horribly superficial process, but I'm not sure there is a way to make it better.

You can talk about color blind casting, but really that only works in plays that aren't about gender issues or about racial issues or etc etc.  It would just be horribly offensive if you cast a white man to play a black slave. Not to mention blackface is ILLEGAL, for quite good reasons.

My choreographer was talking to some of the actors the other day and she had worked at Disney Land as Wendy.  And she was just listing off the height requirements for the "face characters" (the ones not in masks like Mickey or Goofy).  *Note: these are rough guesses of what she said, I'm just ball-parking.  Wendy and Alice need to be 5'-5'2"; Belle and Cinderella need to be 5'3"-5"6"; Tinkerbell needs to be 4'8"-5'; any Disney prince needs to be 5'11-6'3"; on and on and on.

She said that the audition process was just brutal because the people picking would just look at you and kick 90% of the people out based on nothing more than looks.  And apparently the mask characters are treated poorly because they are viewed as expendable.  It was just astounding how much actual people were treated like nothing more than a piece of meat.  And this isn't even discussing the fact the the princes are expected to be (at very minimum) 5" taller than the princesses.  Because apparently the magic would just be ruined if they were about the same height or (oh no) if the woman were actually taller.

I talk all the time about how nice and non-judgmental theatre is, but in this one area, theatre is behind nearly every other field in existence.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

That Day

Over the summer, my grandma (my dad's side) died from a stroke.  Over the past few days I've just been reliving it over and over again.  I really don't know why it's happening now, but I think I need to do a thought dump.  Trigger warnings probably.  She was the first person I've known whose has died.


The phone rang.  It was 9:30 in the morning and I was in between jobs.  It's so cliche, but I knew it was my dad and I knew it wasn't good news even before I woke up, despite the fact that I was asleep when my phone started playing the Game of Thrones theme at top volume.

Dad: Kaylee. I'm sorry.  I know you're probably asleep.  But.  Grandma had a massive stroke.  You need to grab Carla and come to the hospital.
Me: Okay Dad.
Dad: I'm so sorry.
Me: It's okay Dad.  I'll see you soon.

I throw on clothes as quickly as possible, grabbing a coat despite it being summer.  Hospitals are always cold.

Me: Carla, we need to go. Now.  Grandma's had a stroke and we need to get to the hospital.

I'm not sure my sister said anything in response.  But I grabbed a granola bar for myself while she put on clothes and then handed her one as we headed out the door.  My sister who has never done anything quickly in her life got out the door in under five minutes.  Something was so wrong.

I got in the car and convinced my sister to text Boyfriend for me.  I remember speeding 10+ mph over the speed limit.  If I had been pulled over, the only possible thing I could have said was: "I'm sorry officer.  My grandma is dying and in the hospital and if we don't get there soon, there's a good chance we won't be able to say goodbye."

Carla called Shea and talked to her briefly.  My mom and Shea were both at work, but both were allowed to go early, so my mom was going to pick Shea up and meet us at the hospital.

I knew that too.  That my grandma wouldn't recover.  I knew it from my Dad's broken tone.  I knew it even if I had no reason why I knew it.  I knew that if my Dad called me or Carla when we were in the car, there was a fairly good chance my grandma would already be dead.  The phone rang when we were five minutes from the hospital.  I couldn't hear my dad on the other end of the phone as he talked to Carla.

Carla: Dad says that grandma's on life support.  Grandpa doesn't want to prolong things though so as soon as the whole family's there he'll pull the plug.  Mom's picking up Shea now.
Me: Okay.

My sister was sobbing, but I couldn't speak.  I had to be able to drive.  I couldn't cry yet. I couldn't.  I had to drive.

The hospital had recently been remodeled, so I parked in the parking garage that I knew, before realizing that there was a parking garage closer to the ER.  Carla and I parked hurried towards the ER.  As we passed the toll station I realized I didn't have my wallet, it was in a different pair of pants, and I wouldn't be able to pay on my way out.

We got into the main waiting room and saw my dad.  He ushered us to the main desk where we got our visitor's pass.  I then hugged my cousins and my dad.  The cousin who was older than me by two months, his brother who was Carla's age, and my other cousin who was Shea's age.  Her twin was attending his first week of college classes and my uncle and aunt hadn't been able to reach him yet.

My dad's oldest brother and his wife (who is a nurse) were back with my grandpa.  My dad informed us that they were moving my grandma to the ICU and so we couldn't see her yet.  He said that she was on life support and there wasn't any chance of recovery.  They had seen my grandma's scans and the burst blood vessels had covered an area larger than a half dollar coin.

My sister joined my cousins and I sat next to my dad.  We didn't talk.  I didn't cry.  He didn't cry.  My dad's other older brother was in absolute tears and his wife was (very awkwardly) trying to comfort him.  My cousins and sister just sat in silence, teary eyed.

My aunt and uncle returned and informed us that my grandma had been move to the ICU and we should go to the waiting room there.  The rest of my extended family went up, but my dad, my sister, and I waited for my mom and Shea to arrive.

I remember calling Shea twice because they were taking so long and then, finally, they showed up.  We went up to join the rest of my family and a nurse informed us that three people could go in to see my grandma.  My sisters and I, who hadn't been back yet went.

I memorized the twists and turns the nurse took us through.  I remember the nurse being friendly and supportive and saying she was glad my grandma has such a big family.  I also remember pitying the nurses of the ICU who see grieving families every day.  Seeing people at their worst constantly and just having to deal with it.

My grandpa was quiet.  We all hugged him and then hugged my grandma, who lay quietly in her bed, covered in blankets with a horrible breathing tube in her chest.  I remember the awful sounds of the automated breathing.  I remember looking at the equipment and medicine.  I remember not being able to look at my grandma for long because she just didn't look like herself.

She had always been small, but now she looked tiny.  And broken.  Her skin wasn't cold though.  It was warm to the touch.  I can't remember a single time in my entire life that my grandma had been warm to the touch.  Except that day.

I hugged my grandpa, but I just couldn't stay for long.  I could have stayed.  I could have forced myself.  It wouldn't have been torture, but I just didn't want to.  I knew at the time (or at least hoped fervently) that I wouldn't regret my decision(s) and I still don't.  My sisters stayed and I got my mom so she could say goodbye.

I sat over by my cousins and they talked quietly.  I had nothing to say.  My uncle (the younger of the two) still cried and my aunt was starting to get annoyed.  My older uncle and his wife. talked with the doctors/nurses.  My dad sat over coffee at a table.  Eventually I joined him at the table.  Being near my cousins was making me tear up and I just couldn't be that vulnerable around people I barely knew anymore.

I remember us all cycling through visiting my grandma and being back their to support my grandpa.  I remember the nurses finally giving up on the three person room and letting us have as many people as we wanted in the room.  I remember grabbing tissues, for myself...later, and then giving them away to other people.  I remember sitting with my mom in the lobby, hardly being able to stand being in the room for long. 

I talked with her.  I looked up the wiki articles for aneurysms and strokes to figure out the difference.  I talked via a chat program on my phone (the phone I had gotten only a few days previously) with a good friend.  I texted back and forth with Boyfriend (who was at work).  I texted another friend (the only one who hadn't yet left for college) and asked for his support when I left the hospital later.

My cousin finally got their and we all went back to the room.  My final goodbye to my grandma was brief; everyone else's was not.  My mom and I went back to the lobby; we were just more comfortable there.  My family returned (much later) and the four of us (but not my dad) decided to go home.

There was nothing else we could do.

I got money from my parents to pay for parking and for food.  I took Carla in my car.  She wanted a frozen pizza, but I needed food sooner.  It was now mid afternoon and I had only had that granola bar to eat.  When everyone (minus my dad) got home we all found our own space and Boyfriend came over.  And when he got there, I cried on his shoulder.

I sobbed.  I hiccuped.  All those tears I had yet to shed fell and I couldn't stop them.  My house was stifling. I couldn't be near my family.  We left. I told my mom I'd be back eventually.  I didn't know when.  My friend (who I mention often enough that I really should get permission to use a pseudonym) finally texted me back and we went over to his house (we accidentally went to his mom's house first before realizing that he had meant his dad's).

We got there and I cried on my friend's shoulder.  His entire family was there though, so I wrapped up in a blanket and just sat on the couch.  Boyfriend and he talked and I mainly listened.  Eventually (after a very lovely dinner, which I am still very thankful for) we did go over to his mom's house.  I think we watched Game of Thrones, but I'm not totally sure.

My mom texted me saying that my dad had left the hospital and despite being off life support for many hours, my grandma was still technically alive (I say technically because I'm not sure at that point, there was anything left in her body.  Which is a horrible thing to say.  But it was a horrible day).

We watched more Game of Thrones.  I just couldn't think about anything.  I had to keep my mind busy/distracted/preoccupied.  Eventually Boyfriend had to leave for the night, because he had work in the morning.  I was going to sleep over though.  My house was just an intolerable thought.  About ten minutes after Boyfriend left, my mom called and said that my grandma had passed.  I hugged my friend and cried for the third time that day.  Then we watched more Game of Thrones and later slept.

The next several days I remember sobbing in Boyfriend's arms a lot.  I was rarely home because facing my family was too hard.  I distracted myself nearly constantly.  Eventually things started to get better.  Her memorial service wasn't remarkable in my mind.  I had already said goodbye, but the night before it, which I had spent with my family in a sort of vigil, was really important.


I look back and think I seemed kind of heartless.  But that's apparently just how I grieve.  I feel bad, because I had this lovely post about casting for theatre (and film) all prepared, but this is what decided to come out instead.  It's quite the downer.  If you read it, thanks.