16 April, 2006


"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example."
Mark Twain

15 April, 2006


Lots of people ask me why I'm in pain. I tell them that I have "osteoarthritis" and they go, "Oh." I get the feeling that they don't quite understand exactly what OA is. While I was on the Celebrex web site, I found a very useful page that explains most of what OA is all about, and why it causes pain. Maybe this will help people understand at least some of my pain.

Oh, by the way, I have very severe osteoarthritis in my right ankle, as well as severe diffuse osteopenia.


So now that I find out, that in addition to being kicked out of my house by my uncle keith, I'm not even allowed to go to the house anymore.

So, I'm finally at my father's house. I got out of the hospital on Tuesday, and have been sleeping on various friend's couches since then. It's now Saturday, and I'm at my father's house. The first time I've been on a computer in about a month, give or take a few days. Internet withdrawal is not a fun thing.

I don't have any money .... I took all the money out of my bank account before I left the hospital (it was only a few hundred dollars) and gave it to my friend Mike, who's a mechanic and is fixing my car, because the part that my car needs wound up costing a lot more, because he had to resort to getting it from the delaership instead of the discount parts store where he usually gets parts. So most of the money went to Mike. The rest of it, well, I lost about $50 because I left my wallet on a counter in Mt. Vernon (which is basically where I was crashing on friend's couches) for a few minutes (my mind is kind of occupied at the moment ... I have a lot on my mind) and when I realized what I'd done, someone had already taken out the rest of my cash. So I don't have any money for my prescriptions.

Oh, when I got out of the hospital, I took a cab to the train station in Tarrytown, and wound up leaving the freaking wallet in the cab, with all the money in it. Fortunately, I was able to contact the taxi company, and the driver was honest enough and turned the wallet in. But I was already on the train and almost at my destination (Yonkers), so I asked the taxi company if they could bring my wallet down to me, and I'd pay the fare. I wound up paying a $40 cab fare, plus I gave $10 to the guy as a minor reward. I couldn't take the train back because I didn't have any money (I managed to pay the fare on the way down b/c I put the change from the cab fare from the hospital to the train station in my jacket pocket, not back into the wallet).

Hrm, what else ... so much has happened in the past few days I can't really remember. Oh, my niece had a few grand mal seizures on Sunday, and on Monday, she had a really big one and stopped breathing and began running a very high fever. They transferred her to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. The last I heard, they don't know what's going on.

My uncle is still at my grandfather's house.

I don't feel like writing much more ... I need to get my medications.

When I was in the hospital, the doctor there (who I like quite a bit, because she listened to me) started me on an anti-anxiety medication called Buspar, in addition to my anti-depressant (Paxil). While I was in the hospital, my doctor also allowed me to take Celebrex, and even gave me a prescription for it. I just wish I could afford it. :(

11 April, 2006

I just got out of the hospital. I'm feeling a little better. I'll do ok as long as I don't have to deal with uncle keith.

10 April, 2006

I'll be coming out of the hospital tomorrow. I'm starting to feel a little bit better, despite my uncle's attempts to sabotage my efforts to stabilize my life. Uncle Keith got my grandpa to give him permission to kick me out of my house.

22 March, 2006

I'm going inpatient at Phelps Memorial Hospital in Tarrytown NY (maybe called Sleepy Hollow). I'll update when I get out.

I just met with my new therapist. She seems pretty cool. She wants me to go to the psych ER at Phelps, so i'll probably end up there. With everything that's been going on lately, it's probably a good idea for me to in back in.

From my mobile ph

Firefox 2.0 Alpha Available

The Mozilla Foundation has released an alpha version of its popular open-source web browser, Firefox.

Firefox 2.0 alpha is now available from Mozilla's ftp server.

Lots of people are now using the Firefox web browser, but not as many are using Get Thunderbird!, Firefox's companion Email client. I recently convinced one of my friends to switch to Thunderbird, and he's been quite happy with it since the switch. Although Thunderbird doesn't have a built-in calendaring application and some of the other group/collaborative features that Microsoft's Outlook has, I find that it has what I need for even the most advanced e-mail tasks. However, a calendar application is currently being developed by the Mozilla Foundation.

As with all alpha versions of software, unless you really need the latest and greatest and you're very good at troubleshooting, it's probably best to wait at least until a beta version of Firefox 2.0 is available. Mozilla is releasing the alpha version to start getting the community involved in hunting down hunting down all of the bugs that inevitably pop up in new software applications and new versions thereof. (Wikipedia has a pretty good wiki on the software development process, including alpha and beta versions.)

Another reason that you might want to wait until a beta release is that alpha releases aren't finished being developed, and features are still subject to change. When the beta version(s) are released, the features are, by that point, pretty much set down and it's more about the bug-stomping than anything else.

So if you're adventurous, and you don't mind using a browser who features aren't set down yet, and you absolutely, positively, must have the latest and greatest technology products, then check out the 2.0 alpha version of Firefox.

InformationWeek | Browsers | Firefox 2.0 Alpha Imminent | March 21, 2006

21 March, 2006

Life Sucks. a/k/a My Uncle -- Part II

I just got home about a 1/2 hour ago. My Uncle Keith, from Williamstown, MA, is a real piece of work.

He left a voicemail for me last night. Here's a transcription (I've previously worked both as a word processing operator and transcriptionist):
How's my favorite nephew? Your father said you that he was bringing you right back after you uh got finished visiting with grandpa in the hospital. I said OK. Uh, I'd like to find out what you did about trying to get grandpa's car fixed, what arrangements you made, if any. Um, you're welcomed here. It's just not going to be for the long-term, that's all. So come on home. I'll talk to you when you get here. Or call me if you don't want to do it in person. Alright? Bye.
My phone battery was pretty much shot by this afternoon, so I was only turning my phone on to check for voicemail. At 9:55 this evening, I received the following message from him:
Hello there, Peter []. This is your Uncle Keith. Um, I need to hear from you to find out what you're planning on doing. Um I got permission to start cleaning your room out, as soon as possible, that was a request and I was kind of hoping that you'd come and do it. Let me know if you're going to come by and do it or if I don't hear from you I'll assume that you just don't care and I'll do it myself. I'll start by taking your computer apart tomorrow and putting it out on the street. So let me know what you decide to do. Thanks. Bye.
So when I got home, the first thing that I noticed is that his car was on the other side of the driveway than where it last was (since the serpentine belt in his car wasn't completely hooked up, it wasn't in any condition to be moved unless it was fixed). So he somehow came up with the money to get his car fixed.

I got to my room, and found that he had removed the door to my room (he had threatened to do this yesterday, when he was kicking me out):

My door frame -- the door had been removed by my uncle The hinges to my door -- the door was removed by my uncle

I also found that my computer had been shut off (not shut down, the difference being that he just hit the power switch on my power strip, which can cause major physical problems with the computer, like a hard drive crash, for starters). I called my father, and he told me to ask him to put the door back on. I did, and he ignored me.

Of course, now my room smells like cigarette smoke. I'm asthmatic, and cigarette smoke triggers my asthma. My clothes all smell like cigarette smoke, along with my room. He's smoking in the house, which he shouldn't be doing in the first place, especially with a disabled baby in the house.

I think part of what my uncle is doing is thinking that he's going to be able to move into the house, because he never had the opportunity to move back home after he moved out. You see, my father had moved back into the house and stayed here for a number of years, until the re-married to my stepmother about four years ago. My sister has pretty much lived here her entire life, and I moved back home after my car accident (I spent a number of years living in the City). Or maybe it's just that he's jealous that we've been able to live here. Or whatever.

Whatever it is, it's bullshit, and I really don't know how much longer I an hang on. I probably should go back into the hospital, because I'm eyeing some pill bottles right now. Too bad they're empty. Of course, I can't make the attempt now, because the bottles are empty and unless I knew I were going to succeed, I'd just be accused of acting out in a borderline fashion again.

20 March, 2006

My Uncle Keith

My uncle is a fucking asshole.

Yesterday, he had my sister, her boyfriend, and the baby drive him up to Massachussetts to get more of his medicine so he could stay down here. Never mind the fact that he could have borrowed my grandfather's car and driven himself, as opposed to making my sister make the drive with her disabled baby.

As a favor to him, I got my friend Mike, who's a mechanic, to agree to come up and take a look at his car and fix it, if possible, for a reduced price. Since Uncle Keith went to MA with my sister in her car, and since my car is waiting on a backordered part and his car wasn't working, the only other car available for my use was my grandfather's car. So as a favor to him, I went down to the Bronx to pick Mike up and bring him up here to look at the car.

I then had to take Mike to an auto parts store to get some parts for the car. We went to Medallion Auto Parts in Port Chester. When we came out of the store, I found that the driver's side door had been hit by someone. There was yellow paint on the door (a yellow SUV was parked next to us on the way in, but was gone on the way out), the door handle was broken, and of course the door was creased in. I tried to call my sister to let her know, but she didn't pick up. I tried to call my grandfather, in the hospital (it's his car, after all) but his line was busy. So given that I've had experience with this sort of thing before (my car was hit in a parking lot while I was shopping and when I contacted the policy, they were basically like "so what do you want us to do, they guy's gone?"), I went up to see my father at work and then went to the bank to get the money to pay Mike and go back and finish fixing the car.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I, stupid me, agreed to lend my Uncle the money for Mike to fix his car. Stupid me, of course, because there's about a 0.0000000001% chance that I'll ever see that money again.

So last night when my sister/Alex/Uncle Keith get home, they get all upset. But I explained what happened, and my sister at least was OK with it. My Uncle called me a "fucking idiot, you stupid fucking idiot." Of course, I said that I would pay to get the door fixed, as I was responsible for the car. But Uncle Keith apparently didn't believe me. He wanted to go to the store and see if they knew the guy who owned the SUV and track him down.

So this morning Uncle Keith woke me up at like 9am and told me to get working on getting the car fixed, he was taking it to see my grandfather and to call him if I had any news, blah blah blah.

He just came back a few minutes ago, storming into the house. He tells me, "Pack up your shit and get the fuck out of the house." He calls me a "fucking liar, no good worthless fucking piece of shit." He said that he went to the auto-parts store to track down the owner of the SUV, and a store employee told him that he saw the car hit a telephone pole that's in the parking lot. Then he says that he matched the paint that's on the telephone pole "and it's the same fucking paint." He told me that he told my grandfather this, and it made my grandfather cry, so "that was enough for me." He then got in my face and became very threatening, physically, and told me to get the fuck out of the house. He told me that my grandfather said "don't even bother cleaning his room, just tell him to get the fuck out." He said those were my grandfather's exact words (my grandfather, if you know him, doesn't swear). He said he doesn't give a flying fuck where I go or what I do, just get the fuck out of the house. He told me that if I go upstairs and lock my door he'll break it down and throw it in the garage. He also told me to tell my friend not to bother to come back to finish fixing the car.

He also told me that he'd break my neck if I called my grandfather to plead with him.

Alex was downstairs pretending to be washing dishes, with a big shit-eating grin on his face the entire time. But that's another story.

I don't know how much longer I can hold on. I called my father to ask him to come get me, and he said he was on his way.

Here's a copy of an e-mail I sent to my father a few days ago:


I'm lending Uncle Keith about $100 so he can get his car fixed and go back home -- he's incredibly annoying, and I'd rather be out of the money than continue to put up with his BS.

Grandpa's going to be in the hospital until at least Monday -- he's in more pain today, and they're doing physical therapy with him.

Marie (his "lady friend") went into Greenwich Hospital today -- they think she had a stroke.

Mom's getting a divorce. She wants me to come up there and help her with the paperwork and try to get Jack deported and a bunch of other things. She said he offered her $20k or something like that, and wants to know if she can get more, but she doesn't want alimony from him.

Uncle Keith is being as annoying as ever. He made a comment about my hair in front of Elaine (the baby's physical therapist -- she's a pretty cool person). He said something like "What the hell is THAT on your hair?"

Are we having fun yet?
I should point out that the "THAT" on my hair to which he is referring is hair dye -- I've been coloring my hair for the past few years (wild colors, not ordinary colors -- it helps me feel more alive).

Read more about what he did in Part II.