Week of March 24, 2019

Sunday

Spent time at my parents collecting necessary paperwork to provide to elder care attorneys. We have hired a firm to help us file for VA benefits for my dad. My father happens to be a Vietnam vet, even though he never spent a single day in Vietnam. We have been using a companion service agency to help my parents remember to take their medications, make sure they eat something nutritious and keep them active as a stop gap while we determine where they will live. We won't be able to sustain this expense for the long haul.

My sisters, aunt, and I had wanted to get them into assisted living. We were on the verge of moving them out of their home of 40+ years just before my dad got diagnosed with colon cancer. It would not have been a good idea to put him through a major surgery, have him recover in a skilled nursing facility, then transfer him to an apartment with which he was not familiar, so we put the plans on delay until he had recovered. Since that time, his dementia has progressed to the point that I am not certain they can both be in assisted living. It is quite possible that my dad must be in a memory care unit, which is considerably more expensive at the place we wanted to move them to last Fall. This is the reason we need help getting the paperwork filed properly, hope to get my parents additional funding sources, and assess where they can afford to live based on their finances.

After that, I tinkered around with the blog, writing a post because I want writing to become a habit. Part of me hopes that this will stave off memory loss that could be in my future, thanks to my gene pool.

Monday

Spent a fair amount of time discussing priorities for work in meetings. I’m trying to help organize a new structure at work intended to make it easier for people to see how their work aligns with corporate goals. This is the kind of crap you do as a manager, so that the folks doing the work can spend less time administering tasks or justifying their time spent and can focus on getting stuff done.

Tuesday

I shared the structure I created the past few days with our department’s leadership team, hoping they see the value in it.

The follow-up doctor appointment from my hospital stay the week before was mostly watching my doctor read the paperwork from the hospital, so he could get up to speed. He gave me a quick, but relevant exam and prescribed some new medication I will have to take daily for a month. If the pain is gone at the end of that month, I will be able to take it only on an as needed basis.

I spent the evening goofing around in SpeedCurve getting it set up for our team’s use at work. It was fun in a very nerdy way.

Wednesday

So. many. meetings. There was a pile of emails that I couldn’t get to because of it.

It was Scott’s birthday and he had also set up an appointment for our taxes to be done. We don’t typically do much on the actual birthday if it is a weekday. We tend to save it for the weekend and then celebrate it then. So, this was definitely a low key day. My brain was too tired to do much other than chill in front of the TV when I got home.

Thursday

Sat in a session conducted by our HR department about Emotional Intelligence. I actually thought they did a nice job with the material they had to cover, but sessions like this are so generalized, that I find myself struggling to be open minded, while inwardly being cynical. I’m not suggesting that people should allow emotion to rule their actions all the time—but sometimes, a well placed outburst shines a light on very bad behavior where calm, rational attempts to resolve conflict don’t succeed.

I would prefer a session titled, “When a Tantrum Is the Best Course of Action” or “All the Feels and How to Wield Them Responsibly.” I’d find a session like that great fun!

There was a flurry of activity over email about several active projects. There were some knee-jerk reaction recommendations happening because people weren't able stop and think clearly. I provided a reminder of our operating principles by writing in a response to one of the emails:

“…business goals that we aim to provide a solution for must include these considerations:
  1. Privacy
  2. Accessibility
  3. Performance
These are non-negotiable.”
I think I'll have a plaque made with that on it and hang it somewhere prominent.

I met with the elder care attorneys my sisters and I contracted. I’ve been concerned about how we can make my parents assets last long enough. They are too poor to afford to go wherever they want, yet too rich to qualify for Medicaid at this time. At some point, their money will run out and we will need Medicaid to sustain them. However, a large number of assisted living or nursing homes expect residents to be able to privately pay for a number of years before they accept Medicaid Waiver. That’s why we hired professionals—to help us get a grasp of what my parents are entitled to and how to get us to that magic number of years where a facility will transition them from private pay to some form of financial assistance.

Friday

I worked from home in my comfy lounge-around-the-house clothes, from my comfy bed. I usually work from the couch when I work from home, but when I have phone calls, I try to stay out of the main area of the house so that Scott isn't beholden to the constraints of my being on the phone. That's when I choose the bedroom. Got quite a bit done, but not the things on my to-do list. That seems to be par for the course.

During Lent, we keep with the tradition of not eating meat on Fridays, even though we aren't Sunday-church-going Catholics like we were when we were children. We don't really do it out of actual obligation. It's more out of habit than anything. And it feels weird when we don't do it, so it sticks. We decided that dinner would be sushi at our favorite place to get it. We traveled the restaurant only to find out that they had let their lease lapse. We were standing there kind of stunned. Sure, we can get sushi lots of places, but this was our favorite place. Scott got over it faster than I did. We ventured to a nearby Bonefish, which is tasty enough even though it wasn't sushi like we planned. During our meal, I kept hunting through search results hoping something could explain to me why I would have to find a new favorite sushi joint. I found nothing, thus I was unable to find closure on this matter. I remain haunted. The volatility of the restaurant business does not aid our nation through these troubled times. Some things need to remain steady to retain a sense that not all hope is lost.

I realize that was a bit melodramatic, but you'll recover.

Saturday

I updated the Instrumentals playlist if have on Spotify. It's up to 516 songs which is 27 hours 12 minutes of music. The list is mainly comprised of soundtracks of movies, heavily weighted by superhero movies, mostly Marvel at that. There are other things sprinkled in there like Star Trek, Star Wars, Game of Thrones and Westworld but Marvel superhero music is mostly what you will find if you choose to take a peek.

I created this list because I found that when I was writing code to music with lyrics, some of the lyrics would pop into what I typed. This was not productive. I don't know if it is some strange medical condition or just age that makes it difficult to filter music with lyrics entirely into the background. Either way, from that strange situation this playlist was born and I am quite happy with it.

Stuff I read this week