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  1. I am having to see the humor in this situation or else lose my shit. My mother’s dementia has escalated very dramatically in the last couple of weeks, to the point that this conversation took place a few days ago: My mother, frantically: You need to get the vanilla crisps out of the fridge before they burn my hair. Me, trying to make sense of this word salad: Do you want me to get you some vanilla wafers out of the pantry? My mother, even more frantically: No, no, no, no! You need to get the vanilla crisps out of the fridge before they burn my hair! Me, silently: WTF are vanilla crisps anyway, and how can they cause spontaneous combustion of hair while still in the fridge? The rest of the family and I are using this event as a way to assess her daily level of mental confusion: Is she just at “calling you by the name of one of her dead siblings” confused or is she at the “vanilla crisps” level?
  2. @TattleTeeny, I have had the same experience with other carriers, especially UPS, to the point I called UPS to ask them what was going on. After listening to the corporate speak about the issue, my conclusion was that many times the driver has delivered the package to the wrong address (one street over or a few houses down) and the other times it’s the driver deliberately scanning the item as having been delivered, so as to make the driver’s delivery time stats look better, and then they actually deliver it later that day or the following day.
  3. I have the opposite of a rant today. About a month ago my area was informed we would be getting new job titles for various reasons. Having been through this before at a few organizations, I assumed it would be a negative impact, such as lower salary ranges, reduction in bonus, etc. so color me extremely surprised to learn a couple of days ago that along with a new title, I’m getting a 10% raise to my base salary and my bonus % is increasing by 5 points. Maybe the universe is finally balancing things out after the years earlier in my career when I was grossly underpaid.
  4. I can attest to the usefulness of the roadside assistance option (at least as offered by GEICO). This weekend I stupidly locked my keys in my car, used the mobile app to request help, and they sent someone out very quickly to unlock my car so I could retrieve my keys. At no additional charge; it’s included in the very low additional cost to my premium. I have paid around $100 for similar services in the past, so this option is well worth it to me. Plus I like knowing that if I have a flat tire or break down on the side of the road, I can get reliable help quickly and not have to pay exorbitant prices for towing or changing a tire.
  5. @bilgistic, it sounds like a semi-scam in which the company ultimately wants you to attend some seminar during which they try to convince a roomful of people that they are wonderfully suited to do aggressive sales and marketing, based on their related work experience as warm bodies and interest in absolutely nothing related to sales.
  6. @Sun-Bun, stop feeling guilty about wanting your own life. Your mother had children for her own selfish purposes, and you’re not responsible for her choices. Maintain whatever contact you are comfortable with, and resist the impulse to give in to the various guilt trips she lays for you. My mother is 91 and has dementia, so I am willing to cut her a little slack on her being so self-centered, and if I consider the entire relationship we’ve had, it’s fairly good with some pain points here and there. But your situation sounds quite different. And in my own relationship with my parents, my regrets are mostly around putting their wishes above mine, so I spent way too many holidays and vacations visiting them instead of doing things I would have preferred. Don’t fall into that trap any more than you already have. It’s your life, not your mother’s or brother’s.
  7. Exactly. For example, I have a durable POA that gives me the right to make legal, medical, financial, etc. decisions for my mother, and specifically mentions real estate transactions and decisions. When it was executed roughly a year and a half ago, she was theoretically capable of making some of those choices herself, but now, not so much. In Darlene’s case, if the POA gave her the right to make that decision for Bev, she was within her rights to do so.
  8. I’ve generally assumed that the reno budget is what they can pull out of savings and/or what they can get from a home equity loan. If the funds are mostly from an equity loan, then no, they wouldn’t have been able to use that money directly for a new house. I’m almost always in the camp of they need to move to a new house. I watched a couple of reruns today, both of which were set in Durham. The first one was a single mother with two kids, whose mother had helped her buy the house originally and since retired and moved in, so that the single mother and her mother were now sharing a bed in the master bedroom. They wanted an additional bedroom for the grandmother, larger bedrooms for the kids and a bonus room for the kids. The mom was currently using the dining room as her home office. Hilary of course revamped the kitchen, which did need a bit of refreshing. Converted the dining room into a fourth bedroom. Didn’t really address the priority items much. But I kept thinking that if Hilary had limited the kitchen renovation to just new paint, she could have used those funds for some of the items the mother considered more important. So I wasn’t in the least bit surprised that they went with the new house, which had pretty much everything except a dedicated home office; they were going to take one of the two walk-in closets in the master and repurpose it as an office. The other was a young couple who bought a fixer upper while the wife was pregnant, deluding themselves they would get all the renovations done before the baby arrived, which did not happen. As someone who is currently in DIY hell myself, I sympathized with the husband, who just wanted something that was move-in ready and needed no big projects to do. Hilary did a good job with the house, but there would still have been some big projects left. David was able to find a turnkey house that worked better, so the couple could spend more time together rather than losing every weekend to major DIY projects. I was very glad they opted for the new house. It wasn’t brought up on the show, but the dust and debris from DIY projects are probably not the best thing for a baby to be exposed to. Overall I think Hilary’s solutions work okay when there’s sufficient space but it’s not being used effectively. But short of adding square footage, when you need an additional bedroom, there’s not much else you can do other than find a bigger house. Hilary seems to rely on turning the dining room into another bedroom, which I personally think is a mistake. The kitchen table is usually barely big enough for the family, and most of these people insist they have extended family who will be visiting, so without a dining room, is the expectation that everyone eats in the living room from a tray? I know some people don’t want a formal dining room, but I would prefer to have a house with enough bedrooms and a dining room, even if not used often, than convert a dining room into a bedroom and have very limited options for extended family dinners or parties, etc. I also sometimes scoff at those revised estimates of the house’s post-renovation value. Yes, completely updating a seriously outdated kitchen will increase the value. But half the time to me it looks more like the house has basically been decluttered and had some cosmetic changes. Nor do I understand the need to revamp functional bathrooms just because the cabinets are not this year’s color. It just feels to me as if there’s too much focus on purely cosmetic items without addressing major space limitations, and the owners are so distracted by new shiny kitchen counters they forget what they actually need.
  9. I don’t think Darlene especially needs to be in a romantic relationship of any kind, and would prefer the show explore that she can be perfectly fine as a single parent, which is essentially what she’s been ever since David took off after Mark’s death. However, if TPTB are hellbent on having her in a relationship, then FFS they need to use this episode as a real turning point. That is, no having her get involved with her boss, and no reconciliation for the umpteenth time with David. I loathe the overused trope of a couple who repeatedly break up and then reconcile again. If a couple is divorced or separated, generally there’s a good reason for it, and they need to stay that way.
  10. Why do you need to be “diplomatic” about it? If asked for money/assistance, a simple “No, I’m not comfortable doing that” should suffice. If pressed for a reason, then “You’re in this position as a result of your own decisions and actions, and it’s not my responsibility to bail you out” could work. Bottom line, when someone is asking you for something you don’t want to give, you can simply refuse the request for any reason you may have. You’re not obligated to provide help, and you’re not obligated to defend your decision.
  11. For a 3-day job, I would expect the repair workers to use whatever bathroom was closest. But it’s also possible they needed access to the master bathroom as part of the job. I recently had to have a repair person deal with my AC system, and he had to go into the 2nd floor attic to get to the condenser and also into the upstairs bathroom because the condenser drains into the pipes in the upstairs bathroom. My master bedroom and bathroom are downstairs, but if they were upstairs, it could easily have been the case that the condenser drained into the pipes for that bathroom. I really don’t care which bathroom repair people use, because generally I am so happy to get the problem fixed that a little minor cleaning isn’t a big deal.
  12. @ParadoxLost, even though it may be a couple of months before you know how things shake out, consider updating your resume and starting to apply for another position now. It can take much longer than expected to find another position, but doing this early would at least give you some practice in dealing with interview questions and so forth. Plus you might run across a company and potential colleagues who would be a good fit, without the problems in your current company. If you are burned out, I agree it might be helpful to take a short break, and you shouldn’t worry about explaining that to any potential employers in the future. They will be used to applicants who were out of work for a while, and if you simply want to say that you took a break for personal reasons, that’s generally sufficient. Don’t feel like you have to explain/defend every career and life decision to anyone; decide what’s best for you and act on that decision.
  13. I work for a very large bank and yes, once in a while the online banking site will crash, despite all precautions. But when that has happened, the responsible people are doing everything they can to restore it ASAP, because nobody on the business side wants to prolong the inability to transact business as usual. I can understand customers being upset, but as long as it’s not a frequent or prolonged problem, I don’t see why people declare they will never use that particular bank or company again. I have virtually no sympathy for people who react that way to a social media site being down temporarily. No site is immune from glitches or the need to do maintenance work. The sky is not going to fall just because people can’t access a particular social site for a day. Again, if it’s an ongoing problem, consider other options. But expecting any site to work 100%, 24/7, 365 days/year without occasional down time for maintenance or glitches is unrealistic.
  14. Yes, I generally don’t condone violence but if Warren had confronted Danny and punched him out, I couldn’t have blamed him. One small thing from the book that goes against the idea that Warren knew or believed that Diane had a drinking problem: When Jackie first tells Warren that Diane had slurred speech and sounded drunk, Warren’s response was, “Impossible.” Obviously this is just my interpretation, but if he thought or knew she drank a lot sometimes, it seems as if his response would be something different, such as “Oh, shit,” or “I’m going to kill her,” or something that indicated anger instead of disbelief at the idea of Diane driving drunk. So I am really wondering if Diane was just a very occasional and low key drinker rather than secret heavy drinker, and that’s part of why the entire family was so shocked at the toxicology report. That doesn’t negate her decision to drink a ton of vodka and smoke weed, and drive, though, but it makes me skeptical that she was simply accustomed to driving while lit and misjudged the quantities she was consuming. Someone upthread suggested she went to the convenience store in search of Tylenol specifically because of the likelihood the combination of vodka and Tylenol would kill her, and I think that’s a good idea. I think she wanted to die and was past caring if she took other people with her. Jackie mentioned in her book that during the roughest times between her and Warren after the accident, she didn’t feel she could leave him because he had been so devastated when his mother left. Maybe Diane also had such an aversion to divorce and breaking up a family that she decided death was better than being put in the same position her father had been, deserted by a spouse having an affair. And the father (the elder Mr. Hance) came across as not especially supportive or able to empathize after the accident, and I wondered if he was also that distant with Diane when the mother left and he became the sole custodial parent to Diane. ETA: Regarding the impression that Jackie wasn’t especially close to Diane, from Jackie’s comments about her friends, it seemed like most of her close female friends were SAHMs like herself. So I suspect that Jackie and Diane weren’t as close in large part because Diane was the primary breadwinner in her own family. Between her job, taking care of her kids, and taking care of her man child husband, Diane probably had minimal time to socialize with other adults. So I don’t really see the closeness or lack thereof between Jackie and Diane as indicative of anything other than very different schedules. Which is not to say they would have been BFFs if Diane had also been a SAHM, but just that even if so inclined, Diane didn’t have the same flexibility in scheduling that Jackie and her other friends did, to get together for coffee or something during weekdays. Jackie did say at one point that she had loved Diane like a sister, but I would think any socialization would be on weekends. From what she said, it seemed like a normal relationship with a SIL, except it was very apparent that Jackie didn’t care for Danny. My impression was that nobody in Diane’s family liked Danny or had any use for him. OTOH, in almost any family, there’s going to be a token spouse or other in-law that everybody else can barely tolerate.
  15. I went back to the book to check the comment about when Danny was supposed to leave the campsite, and it occurs on page 21, after Jackie has made some phone calls and gotten frustrated. She mentions that she would call Danny, because he would be the last person to have seen Diane, and might know something. That’s when she says that Diane and the girls had planned to leave first, with Danny staying behind to clean the camper. Which personally strikes me as some nonsense that Diane might have told Jackie, because the idea of Danny cleaning up anything seems farfetched. In any event, it’s another example of how the original plan changed. If the plan was for Danny to go up a day early, as he originally claimed to have done and then recanted, plus stay there after the others left to clean up, then those plans changed a lot. Again, to me that ties into the speculation that Danny was having an affair, lied about his plans to give himself some free time with a girlfriend, and things blew up that morning. I also got the impression that Jackie and Diane weren’t especially close, but that Jackie thought Diane was trustworthy and a doting mother and aunt. Jackie definitely took the high road for most of the book, and didn’t reveal a lot about Diane other than her previous trust in her and her anger at her driving drunk. The part of the book where Jackie is describing the chain of events after the conversation with Emma is hard to read, because as a reader you know how things turned out. As soon as Warren left to find Diane, Jackie felt relieved while obviously still worried. She assumed Diane would stay put as told, and that they were at a rest area where other adults could reassure the kids. Even when she hears the rumors that there’s been an accident, she initially believes it won’t be anything major. That’s when she thinks that Emma is going to have a broken leg, as karmic payback for Jackie having fibbed about a broken leg to get out of a commitment. She then starts worrying that someone might be brain dead, but one of her friends tells her to stop thinking that way. The entire time, though, she is assuming that if there are injuries, it would just be limited to one or two people. Like with the Bastardi family being in disbelief that all three of their family members and friend are gone, Jackie can’t initially comprehend that all three of her kids are dead. The scene where she runs screaming out of the house and down the street to the house of the older woman who used to babysit the girls is gut wrenching. I can’t imagine how incredibly difficult that would be to process. While the book wasn’t intended to be a companion piece to the documentary, it fills in some of the gaps and details. It definitely confirmed my impression of Danny as a sleazy loser who exploited the tragedy for financial reasons and refused to take any responsibility for what occurred. Jackie doesn’t mention it specifically, but my sense is that she believes Danny did or said something that morning to send Diane into a rapid downward spiral, resulting in the crash.
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