Welcome to my world!

My life's been crazy since my Daddy moved in with me immediately after my mother's death in October 2010. My one and only kiddo headed to college at Carolina at the end of August. So...I lived on my own, for the first time in my life, for a total of a blissful six weeks. Then, I started the parenting gig with my dad. He's a combination of a grouchy old man, a surly teenager and a temperamental toddler. Needless to say, I get very close to the brink of insanity sometimes. I get through life by finding the humor in difficult circumstances. And for some reason, I wind up in the weirdest situations. I couldn't make this stuff up. So I wind up having lots and lots crazy adventures which make great stories to share with my friends. Writing about my life is so therapeutic. My ramblings range from funny to sad to angry (full of cuss words) to sweet. While my focus is dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a parent to my Daddy, I have lots of random, totally unrelated posts. Whatever's on my mind. I love to make people laugh, and I'm happy to think my readers will get my strange sense of humor. And maybe, people who are in my situation will be encouraged. That's all I can hope for...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fill or Kill

Google it.  I'm not spoon-feeding you any more.

I'm learning to exercise some discipline.  In investing, anyway.  I placed a limit order today at 2:58 - two minutes before market-close.  I offered to sell my 100 shares at 2 cents below the bid price and waited for the trade to execute.  While I sat and thought, "Why do I care about $2?"  Because I didn't mind holding onto it.  And 100 shares was only half my position.  Compromise.  Very different from my usual all-or-none approach.

Lo and behold, at the very last minute, my order executed.  I made a tidy little profit, for three days.  I keep thinking I could be a Rich Girl if I could just focus on the market.  But I'm smart enough to know I'm kidding myself about that.

Like with poker.  If I could've stuck with Texas Hold 'Em, I could've been a contender.  Or not.  The truth is, I'm an open book.  Which, strangely enough, plays to my advantage in poker, since I'm frequently confused.  And always near-sighted.  I need to find my glasses.  Maybe my competitors would take me more seriously.  But that could be a disadvantage.

Four Hours and Fifteen Minutes

That's how long I waited at the mammogram place today.  I went with my friend, D.  I would've bailed on her at about the 2.5 hour mark, but they had these fab-o massage chairs.  She said I'm gonna be sore from them, but I'm not worried.  At 3.5 hours, I would've abandoned the chair if not for the fact that she wasn't supposed to lift more than five pounds after the biopsy and her bags weighed a total of at least 50 pounds.

Since I wasn't wearing a white robe and I'd dressed kinda business-y, three people asked me if I was a drug rep.  Oh, I did have my leather satchel, but still.  What kinda sales person would be lying around in a massage chair in the doc's waiting room?  I was flattered, though.  Those women are always hot.  And they make a shit-load of money.  Maybe it's time for a career change... 

There were four M-Chairs and I kept an eye open for anyone waiting for a one, when all of them were filled.  Since the session only lasted 15 minutes and it was a light day, I'd hit the start button 17 times before I had to relinquish my chair.  (That bitch.)  But I had to pee, anyway.

I went into the bathroom and was a little embarrassed to see that I had major bed-head.

I had to postpone a client meeting today (hence the biz clothes).  Got The D in and out of the cardio doc's in an hour - at seven -fuckin' - thirty this morning.  That was a direct result of my begging, plus the fact that I ran to fetch a wheelchair for the poor lady in the waiting room who was on the verge of fainting.  Her sweet husband asked me to call a nurse and I screeched like a shrew, got wet paper towels for her forehead and went to the ground floor to fetch said wheelchair.  So my Karma should be in excellent condition, for a change.

Ok, better run.  I need to go clean up some cat vomit.  Yes.  Bulimic Cat's been at it again...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Letting Go, Part II

I really didn't intend to talk about stocks in yesterday's post.  That was supposed to be a clever intro to what was really on my mind.  Which was letting go of loved ones.  Specifically, my mother.  My friend L buried her mother yesterday.  I was oddly devoid of emotion during most of the service.  And then it hit me.  My mother and Mrs. P were very different.  But very much alike in some ways.

They were both fiercely independent.  I sometimes wonder how it would've worked if Mother had come home from the hospital to live with me.  As much as I loved her, we could butt heads and when we did, it wasn't pretty.  I guess that's part of why I know she loved me unconditionally.  There was nothing I could've done that she wouldn't forgive.  Immediately.  And wordlessly.  Without dishing out guilt.

I'm blessed to have inherited her forgiving spirit.  For the most part, I can forgive anything.  Except one.  Betrayal.  Sometimes I wonder what Mother would say if she saw the way the Emotional Vampire operated.  Systematically turning our extended family against my younger sister and me.  Those relationships can never be mended completely.   With EV, the only healing to be done is for me to let my anger completely transform into apathy.  I expect the only time I will ever see her again is at The D's funeral, if he doesn't outlive me.

When I was so sick the other night and I thought my head was going to explode, I pictured her swooping in to my funeral.  The grieving sister.  How she would relish the role.  I told Deb that under no circumstances should EV be admitted.  She'd have to hire a bouncer.  But since I'm giving my body to science so it will be cremated gratis, there'll be no funeral.  I want my loved ones to take the $13 fucking grand they'd spend on a funeral and go on a great trip and scatter my ashes over the ocean. 

I need to work on my will.  Not that there's lots.  Especially if I keep doing a number on my IRAs.  But I do have a nice life insurance policy.  Everything would go to ex-husband as it stands now, but since he's such an ubermensch, I'm not worried.  It'll all go to Kiddo eventually.  Really, what I should work on is a trust.  I could load it up with conditions.  Make him jump through hoops.  Believe me, if anything motivates the kid, money does.  He was remarkably kinder when I gave him a chunka change to use for his frat dues this summer.  And I might've mentioned needing to work on my will.  Wait, I remember.  I said, "Straighten up Kiddo, or everything goes to the cat.  With the residual to the Humane Society."  A remainder trust, is what it's called.  Leona Helmsley did that for her dog.  She didn't have children.  I think her step-children challenged the will.  And lost.  It was airtight I'm sure.

Speaking of motivation and money.  If FF married me, he'd get a cut.  Besides, Kiddo's set on becoming a Wall Street magnate, so he won't need it all.  I've instructed Mr. Man to start working on the pre-nup.  I have a feeling it'll be complicated.  Or not.  Since I don't really care about money beyond meeting my financial obligations and doing some occasional thrift store shopping, I'd be happy with health insurance.  And I'm sure he'll outlive me.  Like Owen Meany, I'm quite sure I'll have an untimely death.  I don't know the exact day or circumstances, but I'm pretty sure of it.  Or maybe I just hope so, because I can't bear the thought of outliving anyone else I love.

Well, FF has until May 31, 2013 to make up his mind.  That's when my COBRA runs out.  I think I've mentioned that a time or two already.  I'm hoping he'll get the hint.  But realistically, I can't just fart around until the deadline.  I'll have to work on a backup plan.  So in May 2012, I'll launch a full-scale offensive if his bachelorhood remains confirmed.  I'll give him fair warning.  Right of first refusal, depending on the qualifications of Mr. Right Enough.  Of course, a Christmas engagement would be nice.  And yes, that's a hint.  A blatant one.  I really do have it bad for him.  But maybe I shouldn't show him my hand.  He does read this blog faithfully.  And then there's the specter of being publicly dumped.  If that happens, though, I'll just quit blogging about him.  Or not.  After all, FF stands for Fantasy Fiance.  Not Future.  Hopefully not Former.  Fantasy.  So for all anyone knows, he's already flown the coop.  I really couldn't even assign a percentage to the likelyhood of his jumping the broom with me.  He's hard to read.  A tough nut to crack.  This girl loves a challenge, though. 

Ok, enough babbling.  The market opens soon and the futures were down, last I checked.  I need to make some decisions.  I think I'll wait until after amateur hour, though.  I'll get ready and take The D to the urologist's office to pee in a cup.  He's chomping at the bits.  I'd ask Sarita to take him, but I'm hoping to see my new best friend, the sweet funny nurse who does all The D's procedures.

Better run.  Over and out...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Letting Go

I wish I could do that.  I bought two stocks Friday and they've surged since then.  I'd have a tidy little gain if I could bid them farewell.  But I'm destined to play the "What If" game.  That doesn't always bode well in the stock market.  It doesn't hurt that the market is up significantly since Friday morning when I bought them.  Bernanke had just started his speech and I decided he wouldn't let us go to hell in a handbasket, so I got a jump on things.  Good timing for a change.  But that could change.

I tell myself I should sell some and get back in when the price goes lower, which it almost invariably does.  I don't have the discipline, though.  And I'm loyal to a fault.  My methodology has evolved into a couple things.  I have to like the product and it has to have a strong balance sheet.  That describes both companies I invested in Friday.  I've bought and sold them before - made a nice return.  For some reason, I don't get attached to them.

Now, if I had a brain in my head, I'd take some gains and cut some losses and buy gold.  But when it comes to investing, I use my gut.  And the truth is, IDGAF.  It's my retirement money.  If I hit it big on my pet stock, I'll be a wealthy woman.  If it goes belly up, I'll be eating Alpo for dinner.

I need to go - duty calls.  I'm going to take a look at things in an hour - 20 minutes before market close.  The Dow is up 239.  I've made a hundred bucks on my two new stocks since I started this post.  Unrealized gain, though.  Important distinction.

If I were smart, I'd figure out the ticker symbol of the producer of Alpo...

Daddler Update

I did laundry last night.  A white load.  It takes a while to accumulate whites, for some reason.  I was dismayed when I saw The D's underwear.  He's kept me posted on the problem with his plumbing.  The urologist said it would take up to three months for the prostate-microwave procedure to work.  So I wasn't worried.  Until I saw what I saw.  Blood.  Or I should say, blood-tinged urine.  Dark enough to worry me though.  I asked The Daddler about it this morning and he confirmed what I already knew.

So, as soon as the office opens, I'll get on the horn to the urologist.  I have a feeling they'll want to do another urinalysis to rule out infection.  He seems to be feeling fine even though the incontinence thing is bothersome.  He won't wear the pads I bought.  I don't blame him.

On another note, I'm happy to report that he finally has grab bars in his bathroom.  I bought them when he first came to live with me at the old house, and my procrastination paid off because we never put them up there.  My dear ex-brother-in-law came over yesterday and installed them.  Deb came and helped decide where to put them.  It was a group decision.  My only involvement was to take the bars out of the box before we made up our minds.  The Daddler had strong preferences.  Actually, I had opinions, too, but the four of us reached consensus without any conflict.  Amazing.  I think The D was nicer to me because of ex-b-in-law. 

About that, Deb's ex and mine are so kind and helpful.  Waaaayyy more than the man who's currently married to Emotional Vampire Former Sister from Hell.  My parents detested him.  He's an Asshole with a capital A.  Actually, it should be all caps for emphasis.  ASSHOLE.  You get the idea.  My ex-husband isn't much of a handyman, but he is an ubermensch.  We get along so well.  In fact, he was here Friday night and watched a little baseball with The D and me.  He lives within a mile and that's really good.  Especially when Kiddo's here.  Hey, maybe I could ask him to stay with The D at night when I go to Baltimore to see my girl Melanie later this month.  I am so ready to get away.

One more thing about the exes.  I gave ex-b-in-law a small check - put it by his keys and cell phone.  When I came into my office last night, he'd left it on my desk with a note saying simply, "We're family."  Wow.

Glad I decided against EJ, the dog.  I've got enough pee to worry about right now without adding to it.

Better run.  I need to get ready for a funeral.  All for now...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Dog

I decided to take the plunge and get a dog for The D.  So after Deb and I took him out to Cordova to see his empty house so we could get his blessing to put it up for sale, we stopped by the Humane Society's new shelter.  I have some preferences in dogs.  Medium-sized.  Like a shepherd or collie.  Female.  Not agressive with cats.  House trained.  Older (puppies chew everything).  No excessive licking or barking.  For the right dog, I could be flexible.  These aren't deal-breakers.  But being a pit-bull is one.  My heart breaks for them, but I can't go there.  And as it turns out, there's another deal-breaker I hadn't anticipated.

Like dogs, with men I have my preferences along with some things I can't tolerate.  Under any circumstances.  Like bad teeth, bad grammar, poor hygiene, smoking, bad manners, no job.  I'm flexible with regard to politics and religion - a good thing, since I seem to find myself surrounded by athiest liberals.  I only have a few must-haves on my list of qualifications Mr. Right.  The main ones are honesty, a good sense of humor, high emotional intelligence, regular old intelligence and kindness.  For dogs, I'm much more flexible.  Mainly, I want one who'll make The Daddler happy and not wreck my house or finances.

So, back to the Humane Society shelter.  I started out in the open area at the entrance.  It was quiet.  I walked down the aisle looking at each dog.  Turns out, they were, without exception, full or part pit bull and male.  Several were missing a leg, and Deb couldn't handle that, so she retreated to the cat area.  I went into the back section, which was full of dogs in cages on both sides.  Unlike the front cages, which were behind glass, the back cages had wire fronts.  As a result, it was extremely loud - most of the dogs were barking.  More pit bulls.  One of them had his nose pressed against the wall and was snarling and drooling.  It was strange and very sad.  My anxiety level surged to the point of a panic attack and I high-tailed it out of there.  Back to the reception desk.  The girl told me that over half the dogs were at least part pit bull and the others were mostly large dogs.  She offered to make a list for me but I told her I couldn't go back in.  She said she had one in mind and that she could bring it out for me to see, but that he was missing a leg.  I told her that didn't matter to me.  So she went to get him.

And we met EJ.  A big fluffy schnauzer-poodle mix.  Gray and white.  We couldn't see his eyes through his bushy bangs.  He was about five years old and had lost his right front leg.  Which made me love him more.  He was so sweet.  The Daddler took to him right away.  So did I.  But he immediately peed on the wall.  Maybe he was excited.  The girl said they should've taken him outside first.  So she got a guy to take him outside.  When he brought EJ back, I asked if he'd peed.  He said yes.  Then we took him into the cat house to see how he acted toward cats.  He was perfect.  Didn't even bark.  He seemed happy to see Test Cat.  TC hissed at him and he backed off.  Good sign.  But then, EJ peed on the wall.  Again.  Ok, no two ways about this - he was marking his territory.  He was five years old before he'd gotten fixed.  There's no undoing that.

I hate to sound heartless, but I can't have a house that smells like urine.  Especially not after the stinky chair debacle.  If Bulimic Cat's puke smelled anything like my stomach flu-induced vomit the other night, she'd be history.  Or at least an outdoor cat.

Speaking of the stinky chair, I finally figured out what my carport looks like.  Sanford & Son.  Seriously.

So, back to EJ.  There's a 24 hour waiting period, so I left my application.  I can't get EJ out of my mind and I'd love to have him, but peeing on the wall is a definite deal-breaker.

I have my limits.

I think I'll ask Mr. Man to help me.  He's good with animals.  He keeps his emotions at bay.  I haven't met Mambo or Lobo yet, but from what his mom says, they're very well behaved.  He's a regular dog-whisperer.  I think he's been trying to use those techniques on me.  But I'm slightly feral.  Which might make me a challenge.

On that note, I'm signing off.  I have some unpleasant tasks waiting for me.

Tomorrow is the funeral for my dear friend, L's mom.  I need a good night's sleep for that.

I ordered a Kindle 3G and it should come tomorrow.  Reading's been my salvation.  Blogging is good.  Whatever works...

Feeling Better

I had an amazing night's sleep.  Wow, what a difference that makes.  I feel a little feverish, but I'm still ready to tackle the world.  Or at least some things around the Good House.  First, though, I'm heading over to the Daddler's church next door.  They have lunch after church once per month.  Today is meatloaf, purple hull peas, and other good stuff I can't remember.  They are so incredibly sweet to us.  They mow the part of our lawn outside our fence.  There's an extra 15 feet on the side and 20 feet in the back and every time I mow the lawn, I'm so very thankful I don't have to tackle that.  The D loves it there.  We have a regular Sunday morning routine now.  I sit on the sofa, read the paper, and watch CBS Sunday Morning with him, and he comes back and forth as he's getting ready for church.  He always tells me he's not going to wear a coat and tie.  That's a change for him.  Then around 9:30 he shows me his watch and asks me if it's time for him to go.  Sunday School starts at 9:45 and I usually send him on his way around 9:40.  It always makes me sad when he's confused about the time.  He never misses Dr. Oz, though.

Deb's coming over later and we're going to take The D to see his and Mother's empty house so we can get his ok to put it on the market.  I haven't seen it since Deb got everything out and dumped the stuff on my carport, where the boxes are still sitting.  I have a feeling we're going to all feel very depressed. Soooo, I had the bright idea of heading to the Humane Society afterwards and looking at dogs.  I'll try to get one who's used to cats but I can always put up a baby gate and keep Bulimic Cat in my EA.  I'm hoping we can get one on approval and if it doesn't work out, we can take it back.  We'll see.

Ok, it's time to head across the field for lunch with The Daddler.

Later...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

No Joy in Mudville

I wrote a very morose post yesterday and thought better of it and deleted it last night.  It was precipitated by the sadness I felt for my friend Lundy.  Her mom died yesterday.  I've spent some time with her mom.  I helped her with her finances after Lundy's daddy died a couple years ago.

So naturally, it brought back painful memories of losing my mother.  Then, after that post, I had some very unsettling news from someone very close to me.  That made my post somewhat eerie.  Last night, I wound up feeling feverish, with a raging headache.  Copious crying didn't help.  I took some tylenol for my headache.  And then the vomiting started.  And when I throw up, I want my mother.  I cry and moan like a sick cow.  Luckily, The D is far, far away from my EA and is hard of hearing.

Every time I throw up (which thankfully, is rare, especially since I swore off Singapore Slings), I remember the year my brother got a cassette tape recorder for Christmas.  It was the first day back to school after the holiday break and it was the usual morning chaos with four kids and one bathroom, all trying to get somewhere on time.  In the middle of it all, I got sick.  My very funny brother took advantage of the opportunity to use his new tape recorder.  And everyone had a good laugh when he played it back.  In the middle of all the shouting to hurry up, pounding on doors, and whatever else contributed to the usual cacophony, there was the unmistakeable sound of vomiting followed by moaning.  "Mommmmmmaaaaaaa.  Mommmmmaaaaaa."  Imagine listening to that over and over and over again.  And everyone laughing.  Hard.

In A Prayer for Owen Meany, the narrator has three mercilessly brutal cousins.  It reminded me so much of my childhood.  I remember being locked in a trunk, hit over my head with a croquet mallet (I forgive you, Deb), having my diary read and recited back to me, being dragged by my hair (I don't forgive you, Emotional Vampire Former Sister), being called Fatty Arbuckle by The Daddler (I wasn't fat - just a little prepubescent chub) and Grease Mop by sibs (it paid off, though - oily skin = fewer wrinkles later on).  Being laughed at when I caught my belly in a dresser drawer (I was 5 years old, for god's sake), having the bejesus scared out of me when random family members would jump out of a doorway as I was coming down the hall.  I remember overhearing my mother telling one of her friends on the phone that I'd gone through a whole box of Kotex the first day of my first period.  Who wouldn't?  It's yucky and she thought girls would lose their virginity if they used tampons.  I'll just tell you that the filmstrip they showed us in 4th grade didn't prepare us.  There's nothing cute or sweet about "becoming a woman."  At least not the way they defined it...

Ok, I'm done now.  I'm going to go make a cake for L.  Or more likely, make a grocery list so I can make a cake for L.  The D has lotsa leftovers, so I'll hold off on making pork tenderloin.  I have two of them, so might make one to take to L with the cake tomorrow.  I have a feeling they'll be overrun with food.  I should probably make something I can freeze and send with her.

Carpe diem.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Four C's

I wonder if, instead of being Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat, they should be Coerce, Compel, Conquer and Crush?

Just a thought.

P.S.  Stay tuned for my upcoming post about the electric toothbrush.  It involves another cluster-fuck at Sam's.  Is it possible to go there without a CF?

P.P.S.  Have I mentioned how much I love Amazon.com?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Warning: Adult Content

I started to title this post "Flipping My Bean."  And then somewhere in the dark, depraved recesses of my mind, I realized that this would probably come across as vulgar.  So sure, in fact, that I'm not even going to UrbanDictionary.com to find out.  Because they have every possible combination and permutation of slang.

Ok, here's where it gets weird.  Deb brought The Daddler back from Genghis Grill.  He loved it.  If I'd taken him, he wouldn't have liked it.  I swear.

I gathered everyone around to admire The D's cucumber crop.  He laboriously picked one for Deb.  He was hanging on to the little wire trellis thingie, teetering on the brink of a mud pit.  Mud pit with what looked like a pile of fake snow.  Deb asked what it was and I told her it was the paper she told me he loved to shred.  I reminded her that she said it would make good mulch and the earthworms would love it.  She told me I needed to stir it up.  As if.  I hope the ink doesn't poison the cucumbers.

Ok, my bean.  I planted some green beans in the spring.  I trained them up the wire trellis.  They're exciting plants.  If you look closely, you can almost see them growing.  If you go out in the morning and look, and then again in the evening, you'll be amazed.  Think Jack and the Beanstalk.  Apparently, though, the beans are an afterthought.  Because I've been watching my beanstalk.  I've seen pretty little white flowers.  No beans.  Finally, yesterday I saw some pea-podish looking things.  I checked on them this morning.  Still there.  I showed Deb and she said I might wind up with enough for a stir fry.  Smart ass.  I couldn't get The D to come look so I decided to sacrifice one in the interest of my need for affirmation.   I picked a fetal bean.  I gave it to Deb.  She passed it to The Daddler.

You won't believe this.  He scoffed at it.  Suddenly, I was a prepubescent little girl with an emotionally distant father.  Hello, Sigmund?  Then, he placed it in the palm of his hand, flipped it into the shred pile, and smirked.  They both had a good laugh.  I didn't.
On the subject of mutilated appendages, Deb and I switched cars.  She transferred the title for the one I signed over (I will probably never get around to mine).  The D shook his head at me when I was trying to take the keys off the key chain to give to Deb.  Same as when I backed into the house.  Then we went outside to hand the keys over to Nephew.  The D nearly stroked out trying to get the hood open.  I told Deb to take over, and when she couldn't do it, it dawned on me that Nephew should know how to open his own hood.  I have a story about Kiddo and the president of a very large Memphis company and a dead battery in that very car.  Another post.

So Nephew sat on his ass and Deb popped the hood.  She couldn't find the prop thing and The D pushed it up and knocked her aside and tried to explain that it stood up on its own.  Deb said she wasn't comfortable with that.  The D had his head positioned as if it were in a guillotine.  He was reaching into the bottom of the windshield to take out dead leaves.  I told him he could clean out the gutters next time.  I told Deb we were going to plant cucumbers in the gutters next spring and she said we could put them on the windshield, too.  I said, "Yeah, like the Christmas wreaths on the grill."    Can you picture that?

I told The Daddler that if he decapitated his hand (I know that's the wrong word but I had a sudden attack of aphasia and couldn't come up with amputate) he could go live with the Emotional Vampire and that she'd put him in a nursing home.  That was kinda mean, I know, but after all the angst, I wasn't myself.  Plus, I need to keep the balance of power tipped just a little bit in my favor.  Considering the sitch and all.

At this point, Deb shook her head and The D gave her a knowing grin.  I don't scare him one little bit.  Because he knows, as the Baptists would put it, Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt, that I'd never, ever, turn him over to the Vampire.  Not because I'm so crazy about him, but he knows I'd never give her the satisfaction. 

Whatever works...

Care and Feeding of The Daddler

I read that the life expectancy of caregivers is shortened by four to eight years.  Elevated cortisol levels.  Stuff like that.  In other words, stress.  For the most part, I've got it pretty easy.  He can stay by himself during the day and the occasional overnight.  He fixes his own coffee and microwaves a muffin in the morning.  He pitches in around the house and yard.  Oops, I just realized I have to take over mowing now that Kiddo's back at school.

The Daddler has a bumper crop of cucumbers about to start coming in.  I have two small green beans.  It takes a hell of a lot of leaves to make a few little beans.  And the tomatoes have been a total flop.  Two tiny, hard little cherry tomatoes.  From about 20 different plants.  Not enough sunshine with all these big trees.

The D is very neat and organized.  He makes his bed every morning.  He gets the paper and reads it with his coffee and muffin and big-ass TV blaring Fox news.  He checks the mail and happily takes out any mail I need to send.  I call him my mailroom clerk.  He keeps an eye on the neighborhood.  He reminds me about garbage and recycling on Mondays.  Why is that a surprise to me every week?

In other words, he's pretty low maintenance and I shouldn't bitch about him.  It could be a helluva lot worse.

At the risk of sounding whiny, though, I am going to vent a little.  That's the whole point of this blog, after all.  He can be moody.  He complains.  Funny little aside.  I think he likes lots of people in and around the house, and Lord knows they come and go.  I kinda thought he liked JoJo because she's pretty.  So yesterday afternoon, when he was watching his 18th hour of news, I told him to wait outside with me until Jo got there in the minivan for me to take her to get her car from the shop.  I thought he'd bound out of the recliner like a puppy.  I went outside.  No Daddler.  I went back in and asked him if he was coming.  He said no.  I said, "Don't you wanna see JoJo?"  He said, "I don't care about her!"  Funny.  He does get excited about Deb and other family members. 

Back to complaining.  He bitches about Sarita.  He gangs up on me with Kiddo.  He bugs the hell out of me when he has a doctor's appointment.  Which is averaging 1.67 times per week these days.   I've already blogged too much about the pill dispensing, so I won't revisit that.  Oh, that reminds me.  It's time to reload.

Then there's the food issue.  I fix him lunch and dinner.  I spoil him.  I put it on a tray and give it to him in his recliner.  I've never gotten the hang of the family dinner thing.  Sitting down at the table together.  And I'm not much for routines.  No sense of time.  So just like garbage day, it's always a surprise to me when it's time for lunch or dinner.  Or when we're out of milk.  Most of the time I can pull something together at the last minute for lunch.  I try to make a hot meal for dinner three or four times a week.  I pick up Wendy's or Chick-Fil-A to fill in the blanks.  All this to say, feeding him is a big responsibility.  But it's my fault.  He could make himself a sandwich for lunch.  If he has chili in the fridge, he'll microwave it.  Sometime when I'm running out the door at lunch time, I tell him his choices and he fends for himself.  Still, there's that never-ending responsibility.  And it takes thinking beyond the next three minutes.

Then there's handling all the finances.  Major stressor.  After handling client shit all day long, the last thing I want to do is work on personal stuff.  So I put it off.  And it gets to be more stressful.  But I can't think about that now.  It's making my cortisol surge.

The hardest part, though, is worrying about him.  If he sleeps late, I wonder if he died during the night.  I think about peeking in on him, but he startles easily.  As for startling him, I try to enter the living room so he sees me approach.  I swear, he can jump two feet in the air sometimes.  And with his heart problems, that makes my heart skip a beat.  Sometimes he bumps into the wall, or hits it or something, and I shift into alert mode thinking maybe he's stumbling.  Which reminds me.  I still haven't had the grab bars installed in his bathroom.  Dammit.

I hate that he's having to get up three times during the night to pee.  I hate that he has to tell me about it and I wonder if that's hard for him to do.  I struggle with him when he's trying to find a word.  I usually finish his sentences for him.  He gets frustrated if he can't come up with the word.  I try to let him try, but it's just easier to help him.  It makes me sad that he doesn't get to see more of Deb and the rest of our family.  It breaks my heart that the Emotional Vampire (our new word for Evil Former Sister From Hell) didn't call him on Father's Day or his birthday.  She didn't even send a fucking card.  Fuck that bitch.  Whoa, I keep thinking I'm not angry any more.

Most of all, it tears me up to think how much he misses Mother still.  He doesn't show it, but he's got to be terribly sad without her.

Ok, this should've been cathartic, but I'm depressed.  So I'll stop now.  I think I'm getting sick.  I've felt feverish all morning and kinda nauseated.  But my hip dysplasia is somewhat better.  Still not sleeping much.  Talk radio was really weird (and therefore good) last night.   I'll have to blog about it later.  For now, I'm going to jump in the shower and start thinking about what's for lunch...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Punch Drunk

Did you know that's a real thing?  The official term is Dementia Pugilistica.  I know from my daily AWAD email that pugilism involves hitting or boxing.  So it makes sense.  It's what boxers and football players get after too many concussions.  Or me.  With too little sleep.  Hopefully, mine is acute and not chronic.

Unless you're smarter than I am (which is entirely likely), I hope you're having to Google some things.  Pugilism.  AWAD.  Chronic v acute.  The answers are in plain sight.  Hey, do I sound like a Dan Brown novel?  Google that.  Actually, I've decided to stop spoon-feeding you people.  All 29 of you.  Actually, there are only 28, because I'm not counting FF.  As much as it pains me to admit it, he probably is smarter.  But I'm probably smarter than any of his exes.  Which is not necessarily a function of IQ, unless his sample is large enough to be representative of the entire fairer sex.  And it could be.  He used to be in a band.  I definitely have a higher EQ (Empathy Quotient), but he gets a gender handicap.  I have a pretty good SQ (Systemizing Quotient) but my gender handicap offsets his.  It's very complicated.

Bottom line.  I'm pissed at him.  And I'm sure he doesn't care.  And this is where, in the old movies, the man grabs the woman and she pounds on his chest and he kisses her against her will and her desire overcomes her anger and she gives in to his seduction.  She doesn't jump up, put her hands in the air, and say, "What part of NO don't you understand, dude?"  If you look back on my previous posts, you'll see that I had the opportunity to do that recently.  In the interest of full disclosure though, I should tell you that this particular dude wasn't trying to kiss me.  And in keeping with my new philosophy, you'll have to figure this out for yourself.  Especially since the object of his agression doesn't read my blog even though she is prominently featured on a regular basis.  I tried to talk her out of a purple, sequin-studded salsa dancing dress tonight.  To no avail.  She can pull it off.  It's dark in that place.  And that's why studly young men try to kiss her and I have to be the gatekeeper.

And since she doesn't read my blog, I'll start talking trash about her.  She diagnosed my new limp as hip dysplasia (she laughed about it, even).  I hope she's not right.  She didn't care.  She had another GF to guard purses and order Mojitos at the Salsa dancing club tonight.  And this one doesn't drink, so it's no big sacrifice for her.  Payback is hell, JoJo.  Just you wait.

Ok, I've hit the wall.  I'll close.  This post is pretty perfect.  It's like a scene from a Chekhov play.  Google that.

P.S.  No more cute pictures.  No time for Google image searches.  Besides, there's some sick shit out there.

My Day, So Far

If I had to sum it up in one word, I suppose that word would be "strange."  I am severely sleep deprived and that definitely makes things more surreal.  I've managed to stay awake, in no small part to Sarita's serial phone calls about the accidental car key mix-up.   I'd come home around 3:00 and lay down (lain, laid?) on the sofa in The D's living room.  He had Dr. Oz blaring on his big-ass TV.  Why the fuck do I care that Nate Berkus had a laproscopic appendectomy?  He is really cute, but he's gay, so that takes all the fun out of it.  He and Dr. Oz were just a tad too friendly at the end.  I was kind of hoping Dr. O would ask Nate to show him the small scar, though, because I have a feeling there were some washboard abs under that D&G t-shirt.  Whoa, where'd that come from??

In addition to being sleep-deprived, I'm also socially deprived.  My only human contact, other than The D and Sarita, was in the form of client meetings.  Two of them.  Neither of which I was ready for.  Neither of which seemed to mind.  Oh, there's the bank teller who eyed me up and down for making a big-ass deposit.  She probably thought it was incongruous with my thrift store outfit.  But hell, I was putting it in, not withdrawing it.  And then the cashier at Wendy's.  She was very sweet.  I tried an experiment.  Instead of acting like I was in a hurry, I smiled, asked her how she was doing (that caught her off guard, sad to say), and tried to engage with her in conversation about how much The D loves their food.  I stopped short of telling her the story about how I worked at Wendy's for two weeks in high school before the tornado (thankfully, because I hated working there) blew it away.  And about the tray full of soft drinks I spilled and how I had to pick up a thousand little slippery round pieces of ice.  How the little girl thought I was Wendy.  And how the mean manager told me to clean the men's room and the nice manager saw me cowering near the door (waiting to be sure there were no men inside) and told me not to worry about it.

But it's scary that I thought about telling her all this.  My experiment didn't produce any earth-shattering revelations.  It still took a long time.  Then when I got home, Sarita had magically appeared (I'd forgotten today's schedule) and had given The D something for lunch.  He was excited about his frosty, though.  So S & I sat down and ate lunch together.  I was hungry.  But after that, I felt like I was going to throw up.  Still feel full.  I think maybe I'm getting a little bug.

Well, JoJo is gonna be here any minute.  She's been using the minivan while she was getting her transmission fixed this week.  We've got to drive to the hood in rush hour.  I'm not looking forward to that.

Oh, while I'm bitching, I'll relay the fact that I did something to my hip and it hurts like hell and I can't walk without limping.  I must've slept on it funny.  Or tossed and turned on it funny, anyway.  One last thing.  A near miss.  I was zoned out, walking across the parking lot after my first client meeting and I came within a foot of walking into an extension ladder sticking out of the back of a pickup truck.  That would've left a mark.  I shouldn't admit this, but the ladder in the truck thing is a pretty common occurrence* for me.  I should really pay attention when I'm walking through parking lots.

Well, that's all for now.  If the D doesn't have some news channel on with the news ticker with market indices rolling across the bottom, I'll go watch TV with him until Jo gets here.  Unless they're doing the story about Eddie Vedder coming to town to celebrate with the West Memphis Three.  See, it isn't just me.  It's been a strange day...

P.S.  *occurrence is a damned hard word to spell

Swallowing my Tears

While doing meticulous research for this post, I came across this quote:

Swallow your tears.  Hide your frown.  Never let life bring you down.

Wow.  Profound.  Profoundly stupid.  This sounds like something Jack Handey would say on Deep Thoughts.  By the way, Jack is a real person.  You can buy books of his quotes.  In fact, Kurt Cobain quoted him in the Nirvana song, I Hate my Life and Want to Die.  And just in case you're as curious as I am, here's the quote:

"Most people don't realize that large pieces of coral, which have been painted brown and attached to the skull by common wood screws, can make a child look like a deer." -Jack Handey

I wouldn't suggest googling the rest of the lyrics to the song.  Or more of Jack's quotes.  Unless you're really bored.  Or avoiding work/dishes/laundry.

Ok, back to the title of this post.  Last night I had a "moment."  Kiddo left for school Tuesday.  My sleep cycle is totally disrupted.  The Daddler's still having problems with peeing - told the urologist this morning that he has to get up three times during the night since the procedure two weeks ago.  Strangely enough, I was up five times last night, needing to pee.  And I never have to do that.  One of the times, though, I was already up because Bulimic Cat was crying outside the door to my Enchanted Aerie.  I would've ignored her, but I couldn't remember the last time I'd fed her.  I was more than slightly pissed (pardon the pun) when I got to the kitchen and saw that her bowl was full.  I gave her fresh water and cussed her out and headed back upstairs.  What was up with that?

I really do have a point to this.  My moment.  I fell asleep sometime in the late afternoon and woke up around 6:30  (I know, I know, that's probably why I can't sleep during normal-people time).  Realized The D hadn't had supper.  Went downstairs and told him I was sorry I hadn't fixed anything.  He said it was ok, and that he wasn't hungry.  I wished he'd been mad so I wouldn't have felt so guilty.  I asked him if he wanted some fruit and he made a face and shook his head.    So I made him a turkey sandwich, without asking if he wanted it.  Sliced a tomato and a peach.  Took it to him.  His face lit up.

As if the combination of sleep deprivation, missing Kiddo and guilt over The Hungry Daddler wasn't enough, some sort of gospel music in the style of the Bill Gaither Trio was blaring on the TV.  Maybe it was the Trio even though I think there were more than three of them.  Either way.  It triggered my meltdown.  My life just seemed so pathetic.  And the whole weekend was stretching ahead of me.  And JoJo was already after me to go Salsa dancing.  Which would really just be Jo dancing while I guarded the purses and avoided eye contact with potential dance partners.  And as bad as sitting at home alone is, it's better than that.  Sorry, JoJo.

I trudged up the stairs, cried my head off, and called Deb.  She is so sweet.  Such a good listener.  Sometimes, so good that I think the call got dropped.  I'll say, "Are you there?"  And she'll say, "I'm here."  Sweeter words were never spoken.  I love her.  Couldn't do this without her.

We talked some more and decided that if the Evil Former Sister From Hell died, we wouldn't attend her funeral.  I said I guess I'd have to drop The Daddler off.  Maybe I could get him a ride with one of the DeSoto County relatives (with gas being so high, it would be expensive to drive to Little Rock and back).  They love funerals.  And they're mostly in EFSFH's camp.

We decided it was a moot point and that she'll outlive all of us.  Mean people always do.  Still, it was fun to think about.  If you think this sounds awful, just read some of my early blog posts and you'll understand completely.

When Deb and I hung up, I was all cried out.  I had a splitting headache, though.  And I never get headaches.  Except when I cry really hard.  I was kinda dehydrated, too (maybe that caused the headache) and really thirsty, so I drank lots of water, which is probably why I had to pee all night.

When I knew I wouldn't go to sleep and I didn't want to listen to the talk radio topic of alien abductions and hybrids, I went in search of a book.  I'd just finished the last one.  After reading the back cover of several that looked horribly depressing, I found a light mystery by Janet Evanovich.  It made me laugh out loud.  That felt good.  At 4:45, I decided I'd go on and get up so I could prepare for my 10:00 meeting, and it seemed like I should get up right at 5:00, and of course, the next thing I knew, it was 6:15.  And now I've wasted too much time on this stupid blog.

It helps, though.  It's therapeutic.  I'm feeling much better today.

And now it's time to get busy.  Later...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Daddler's Bladder

Sorry, I couldn't resist.  I know it doesn't rhyme exactly.  Close enough, though.

We had the follow up visit from the Prostate Microwave procedure two weeks ago.  He tends to spill his guts (or bladder) on the short trip to the hospital.  Apparently, things are worse since the procedure.  I told the fun girl who zapped him that she'd botched it.  All in good fun.  Love her.

Apparently, it takes a good six weeks for the thing to work. 

Two down, four to go...

Clarification - I Don't Give Up

Monday's (the August 15th) post titled I Give Up needs a little explanation. 

One line could've been misinterpreted.  In fact, it was misinterpreted.  By the obvious person.  See, it might've seemed like it was directed at FF.  In fact, it was an admonition to myself.

The specific line was:  I give up on FF, Prince Charming, Mr. Right.

I didn't mean I give up on Dude.  Just the Fantasy part of FF (Fantasy Fiance).  The idea of Prince Charming.  Maybe not Mr. Right.  Dude could be Mr. R.  or not.  It seems like I blogged once about the whole fairy tale indoctrination so many little girls are subjected to.  How many children's stories involve the beautiful princess being rescued by the handsome prince?  Too many.  And that sets us up for disappointment.  I concluded that I didn't need rescuing.

I'm a cynic.  Skeptical.  A realist.  Most of the time.  I attribute it to my years spent as an auditor.  A big part of my job was to verify.  Just to be clear, I wasn't an IRS auditor and my clients liked me.  Really.  They were happy to see me.  Well, almost all of them.  Because I wasn't on a witch hunt.  I just did my work to test the system and transactions, to verify.  To be sure there were internal controls in place.  And when clients are honest, they have nothing to hide and they don't mind being audited.  Especially by an auditor as pleasant and fun as I was.  Still, I had to be objective and exercise professional skepticism.  To question things.  To discern excuses from reasons.  To get proof.

On a personal level, I've been hurt and disappointed many, many times.  Too many to count.  Betrayed by family and friends occasionally.  Dumped by men I really liked.  Borne the brunt of displaced anger.  I can be an easy target.  Because I'm too trusting when I'm not in audit mode.

But in spite of that, I'm still an idealist when it comes to my personal life.  I have to manage my expectations.  That's hard for me.  I tend to plunge headfirst into everything I find exciting.  New friendships (male or female).  Business ideas.  Hobbies and pastimes.  Only problem is that I don't always follow through.  I'm too easily discouraged.  And when I encounter difficulty, I tend to throw my hands up and fizzle out.

So when I said I give up on FF, I was feeling disillusioned.  Not with him.  With myself.  For buying into bullshit.  Of Prince Charming rescuing the fair maiden.  And it is terribly unfair to put that kind of pressure on Dude.  Counter-productive, too.  He's been nothing but honest with me.

All this being said, I keep trying to embrace his good advice:  Live in the moment. Unfortunately, that's easier said than done.  Especially when the moment isn't particularly pleasant.

So, I'll reserve the right to vent my spleen through this blog.  It's therapeutic for me.  And part of that is being able to be open and honest about my feelings.  And in case you haven't read enough to notice a pattern, I'll tell you that my angst-ridden rants are tempered by some joyful, funny, optomistic posts.  I hope it's clear that I'm grateful for my life.  I wouldn't change places with anyone on earth.

And I'm so happy to have Mr. Man in my life, in spite of the 550 miles between us.  Because he makes me laugh.  What more could you want in a FF?  And a tiny bit of Fantasy isn't really a bad thing.  As long as it doesn't stop me from living in the moment...


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Melencholy Me

Elvis is dead.  Yesterday was the anniversary of his death.  I'll never forget that day in 1977.  My mother and my aunt were on the phone.  I didn't know Mother was so enamored of him.  Turns out, they were the same age.  We happened to live just a couple miles south of Graceland.  For what that's worth.  FF probably lived even closer.  I'll have to ask him to tell me his Elvis stories.  Everyone here has one.  Or several.

So, the picture, in case you can't tell, is my annual homage to Elvis - a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  I'm not a purist when it comes to that, though.  I use wheat bread (not white) and I don't grill it in butter.  And I didn't mash up the bananas.

JoJo stopped by last night and we had a little ceremony of sorts.  The Daddler refused to participate.  Just as well.  J and I talked trash.  About our LDRs.  Long Distance Relationships.  Funny that we both find ourselves in one.  We talk about doing a blog.  Anonymously.

Mine has gotten me into trouble.  Seems that public blog posts carry more weight than personal emails.  Soooo, if we do a blog re LDRs, we have to swear to secrecy.  Of course, that's how I started this stupid thing.  I'm such an open book.  Particularly when alcohol is involved.  Or not.  That's me.

Melencholy.  Baby.  Maybe... 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Feeling Forlorn

I wasn't expecting this.  Kiddo left about an hour ago to head back to Carolina.  Something's happened the last month or so because he's been very helpful and respectful to me.  Yesterday we were talking at the kitchen table, and I told him to be mean to me.  To say something rude.  So I wouldn't miss him.  He laughed.  This time last year, I was so ready to see him go.  That was before The Daddler lived with me.  Before Mother died.  I was excited about being on my own.  That lasted six weeks.

Kiddo's dad came over to see him off.  We stood in the driveway watching him pack his stuff in the back of his friend's SUV.  They're both moving into their fraternity houses (different ones).  I can't imagine.  Wonder if parents will be allowed inside the hallowed confines housing their precious children.  On parents weekend, at least?  Maybe it's better not to see.  Kiddo said he's not sure he'll have a mattress.   I told him to order one on Amazon.  With one of those mattress pads that's impervious to bedbugs, vomit, pee, etc.

I refrained from my usual lecture about safe sex, DUIs, alcohol poisoning, statutory rape and the Duke Lacrosse team.  The fact that you can't get a girl pregnant from oral sex but you can contract herpes, which is incurable, painful and unsightly.

Oddly enough, today's DelanceyPlace email was about the making of Animal House.  I could've done without it.

He didn't take a car back to college so I have my beloved Subaru back.  Complete with dented fender from when I backed into the house.  Kiddo took it to the body shop for an estimate and they wanted $1,600 to fix it.  Screw that.  Unfortunately, my last ride in the Subaru was nausea-inducing due to the overwhelming stench I can only describe as ripe.  As in sweaty athetic clothes fermenting in the bottom of the hamper for a week or so.  Ugh.

I've got my work cut out for me.  I spent Sunday afternoon cleaning out the gutters.  There were trees growing in them.  A big colony of ants.  Two roaches ran out.  Thank god they didn't jump on me or I would've fallen off the ladder.  I had a tiny little rake thing with a long handle so I didn't have to get too close, but I did get brave and use my hands (inside great big suede work gloves) to pull the wet crap out.  I told The Daddler we should plant cucumbers in there next year.

Oh, Deb told me he loves to shred.  And that it makes good mulch.  Worms love it she says.  So yesterday I gave him a pile of shit to shred.  And he just dumped it out in the pseudo garden at the end of the driveway.  Which adds to the white trash look with all the boxes under the carport.  I guess I'll need to get out there with the hoe to chop it into the dirt.  By the way, we should have a bumper crop of cucumbers.  He's gone crazy with the Miracle Gro and there are about 10 million yellow flowers with tiny little fetal cucumbers at the end of their fading blooms.  He harvested two small ones yesterday.  The tomatoes haven't done shit.  Neither have my beans.  My garlic chives and green onions are great, though.  And my rosemary, which I rooted from the herb garden at my old house.

Oh, my.  So much to do.  And I've done nothing but mope this morning.  And write this rambling blog post.  Gotta take D to the dentist this afternoon.  I took him last Tuesday, but I was a week early.  But since the person who had that appointment was late, they cleaned my teeth.

Wow, I feel like crying.  But no time for that now.  I have to meet the church treasurer in a little while.  So better run...

What got into me last night?

Whatever it was, the pizza didn't cure it.  A full night's sleep, however did.  When I woke up at 6:45 and realized that I'd actually slept the whole night through.  Amazing.

Then I remembered running across a few Ambiens left from a horrible stretch of insomnia a couple years ago.  And taking one last night.   If it works like last time, it'll just help me reboot my sleep cycle in a few nights.  I hope.  We'll see.

For now, Kiddo's getting ready to fly the coop back to college.  I hear him up and moving around now.  I think he's leaving within the hour.  All of a sudden I'm feeling sad.  I'm gonna run.  See if he has time for a hot breakfast.

Later...

Monday, August 15, 2011

I give up

I'm discouraged.  It won't last.

I'll go bake a pizza.  And make a great salad.  Damn, I crave lettuce and tomatoes sometimes.  Like now.

I give up on FF, Prince Charming, Mr. Right.

Pizza.  That'll cure what ails me...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Necessity is a Mother

I got carried away with my newfound privacy in the form of a doorknob to my Enchanted Aerie that not only stays closed, but locks.  I'm sure you can figure out where I'm going with this.

The reason I was so overjoyed was because I was able to lock Bulimic Cat out.  So she wouldn't wake me up during the night with her wretched retching.

I've taken to closing the door behind me so she won't hide under my bed.  She's crafty that way.  So this afternoon, I bounded up the stairs to the EA, and lo and behold, the door was locked.  Dammit.  And guess who was INSIDE my beloved enclave.  That's right.  I think she locked the door.  She showed me.

So, I did what any rational person would do.  I googled "how to pick a lock."  I swear, it involved not one, but two paperclips, wire plyers, twists, turns, bends and flicks of the wrist.  I gave it a half-hearted try.  Several times.  In between, I looked for a crowbar.  Maybe it's good I couldn't find it.

Then somehow, I had a revelation.  The credit card.  No thanks to Google or YouTube.   I remembered seeing a 20 year old Speigel credit card in the junk drawer in the kitchen.  I never threw it away because I thought I should cancel it in case it hurt my almost perfect credit rating.  Never got around to it.  Thank god.  It's flimsy.  Perfect.  I slid it in between the door and the jamb.  And it clicked open.  Abra Cadabra.  I rushed in and the frantic cat rushed out.  My EA has never felt sweeter.  And I'm so grateful that I can close the door (I'll refrain from locking it) and hear it click.  And know that all the cat-head-butting in the world won't open it.

Rapier Wit...

...I was accused of having it.  I don't think of myself as having that ability.  Except when someone's been rude or condescending to me, and then I come up with the best comebacks.  Unfortunately, I think of them about two hours later.  A good thing, though, because otherwise I would've lost every job I've ever had.  Rapier wit implies a sharp, cutting sense of humor.  And I try to be kind.  Most of the time...

I'm not sure how I'd describe my sense of humor.  Silly and inappropriate comes to mind.  That can be dangerous.  You have to know your audience.  Sometimes I'm impetuous.  Ok, I'm almost always impetuous.  That can make it even riskier.  Oh, well.  I guess that's why my new favorite quote is:  Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.  - Dr. Seuss.

Recently, I had to register a client for online banking and I was on the phone with the woman who was in charge of that sort of thing, on a volunteer basis.  A church member, which probably made it worse.  Did I blog about this before?  I think so.  But it's one of my better (or worse) quips, so I'll tell it again.  There were a bunch of stupid security questions, and as I was reading down the list so she could choose one she'd remember, I said "How old were you when you lost your virginity?"  Dead silence.  Inappropriate.  I dread the next time I see her.

Same church client (different people).  I was working there yesterday.  I called the church treasurer, Clarence, to tell him I'd finally closed July books.  He told me to tell the church secretary, Sheila, something, and she told me to tell him something, and it went back and forth like this:

Clarence:  Tell Shelia to put the cashier's check in my mail slot.
Me:  Sheila, Clarence said to put the cashier's check in his mail slot.
Sheila:  Ok.
Me:  She said Ok.
Shelia:  Tell Clarence that Jim was here and said to tell him he'll have to get back to him on such and such.
Me:  Jim was here and said to tell you that you can do the damn thing yourself.
Silence.
Me:  Clarence said you can tell Jim to go to hell.
Clarence and Sheila in unison:  I did not say that!

It just happens that Jim isn't my favorite person.  Clarence and Sheila knew that.  And they like me.  So we all had a good laugh.  I don't think they're crazy about Jim either.  That probably helped.

Well, I'm going to try to make good use of my first free Saturday in a long time and do the FlyLady thing.  I already cleaned the sink this morning.  It was bad.  That's a big thing for FlyLady.  I'm not sure why.  We'll see if it helps.  It took me forever.  More than 15 minutes.  But not as long as this silly blog post.

Later...

My Exciting Life

I just finished a Dan Brown novel.  The guy who wrote The DaVinci Code.  This is the third one of his I've read.  They're all the same.  Kinda like Grisham.  Great beginnings - they pull you right in.  Then the action/intrigue/suspense builds until it's way over the top.  Work with me, guys - there's just so much disbelief I can suspend.  Then, of course, the endings fizzle.

The protagonist is always some honest, intelligent, decent looking guy who saves the day by rescuing his sagely mentor, attractive love-interest, and national security.  You get the idea.

So, here I am, at 1 a.m. on a Saturday morning, blogging.  Thinking about foraging for food.  The only chocolate in this house is a bag of chocolate chips.  I should eat a peach.  But I just brushed and flossed.  So I'll just refill my cool BPA-free water bottle.  Head back to bed and hope the Bulimic Cat doesn't use her head as a battering ram on my door when I finally fall asleep.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Across the Miles

FF is sooo far away.  So when he pisses me off, I can't hit him.  If I cry, he doesn't see my tears.  I've been told that I "cry pretty."  Damn.  He won't Skype when he's mad.  In fact, lately, he doesn't want to Skype at all.  What's up with that?  I think it's that Garage Band.  He's got groupies.  I'm just the girl in his home port.  So when he comes to town for Thanksgiving, I'll be waiting.  Or not.

The Daddler almost passed out tonight.  I put him to work in the kitchen.  All of a sudden, he got wobbly.  I grabbed him and practically carried him to his recliner.  He said he was ok.  Got mad at me.  I gave him fresh purple hull peas, buttermilk cheddar cornbread, cucumber tomato salad, and fresh sliced peaches.  And he was mean to me.  I can take it.  I called Deb and put her on the line.  He bitched about me.  Typical.

The good thing is that JoJo isn't pushing me to go to Salsa dancing tonight.  She has out of town company.  I bought some random bottles of red wine and asked her to stop by on her way home from work.

I don't have my usual Saturday afternoon client meeting, so I can stay up late and sleep late.  Put it off.

On that note, I'm going to go find some way to... forget about my troubles...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Feel Stupid

I was telling Sarita about the stupid cat today.  She walked over to my fucked-up door, did a little somethin' somethin', closed the door, and it clicked shut.  Damn.  It was better than Seifgried and Roy.  David Blaine.  The guy who does Bar Mitzvahs.

Except she told me her secret.  She just pulled out the brass thingie on the door jamb.  The female to the male lock.  It seems so crude to put it that way, but it's self-explanatory.  Unless you're a seahorse.  Or a starfish.

I met my friend, Rich, for a late lunch today at the kitschy Mexican restaurant around the corner.  Unfortunately, I mentioned to "Miss Dolly", the ancient waitress, that I'd just had a birthday.  Dammit if they didn't sing some royalty-free version of Happy Birthday.  But no flan.  Miss Dolly didn't think it would go well with my beer.  So she said.

I explained to MD that R was a Yankee.  From New York and all.  Jewish, to boot.  She regaled us with the story of her son's Navy friend from New York who demolished her kitchen looking for a wok.   He burned up her nice skillet trying to make some sort of exotic asian dish.  Long story short, she kicked him out.  And when she did, he tore up her yard doing doughnuts in the rental car.  It had rained.  I don't know if he was Jewish.

Just so you know, every time I stereotype Jewish people, I follow it with, "I love the Jews.  They're God's chosen people."  I'd hate for anyone to think I'm anti-semitic.  Same with African Americans.  Black men love me.  I have a big butt and thighs.  They like big legs.  If I need a confidence builder, I just go to the Kroger on Summer (the same one with carts that lock up if you go past the yellow line).  I get lots of affirmation there.

And that's hard to come by at The Good House...

Justifiable Felinicide

The Bulimic Cat is killing me.  So if I killed her first, wouldn't that make it self defense?  She had a major binge/purge spell last week.  A few years ago, she threw up on me during the night.  Ever since, if I hear her retching, I sit bolt upright.  If she's on my bed, I push her off.  Once I hear her yack, I turn over and go back to sleep, knowing I'll have a pleasant little chore to tend to in the morning.

She woke me up this way, not once, but twice one night recently.  The doorknob to my Enchanted Aerie doesn't catch.  So I took to barricading my bedroom door.  If I'd ever remember to buy one of those wedge shaped doorstops, I wouldn't have a problem.  But I never think of it until I'm going to bed.

So I put heavy things against the door.  And it's amazing how much weight BC can move with her little battering ram of a head.  The other night, she got past the vacuum cleaner.  One night, I moved a bookcase in front of the door.  That was a little extreme, but it stopped her.  Right now, I have two cable boxes shoved against the door.  They're pretty heavy.  Three times, she's started her head-butting, and three times, I've jumped out of bed to push the door closed before she got it open enough to squeeze through. 

And now I have to pee.  That's why I don't use the bookcase any more.  The problem, though, is that when I go to the bathroom, I can't close the door behind me and she can sneak in.  More than once, I've come back to the EA, barricaded the door, settled into bed with a nice, empty bladder, and felt that familiar bounce of BC jumping onto my bed.  Fuck.  So frustrating.

So here I sit.  At 2 a.m.  Wide awake.  Needing to pee.  And hating that evil cat...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Want Chocolate

For some reason, I'm jonesin' for some chocolate right now.  That doesn't happen often.  I don't have a sweet tooth.  I'm not even a major chocolate lover.  In fact, I don't keep it around.  My weakness is salt.  Pickles, olives, tomatoes (with lots of salt), chips and salsa, potato chips...

So I walk right past the candy aisle.  My only weakness is peanut butter cups.  Because there's the salty peanut butter surrounded by chocolate.  Great contrast.

Damn, I think I'll go get a spoonful of Jif right now.

Oh, that reminds me:  it's Dead Elvis Week.  We'll have peanut butter and banana sandwiches in his honor.  I won't fry them in butter.  Or maybe I will.

He and Mother were the same age.  For what that's worth...

The Catalyst, Part II

To continue the series of how my life is different since I took over the care and feeding of The Daddler, I'll write about The Good House.  I wasn't even looking for a new house.  But one day, in one of The D's many doctors' waiting rooms, I was making small talk with another Daddler-type.  I mentioned that I needed to sell Mother and Daddy's house and that it was a terrible time to try to sell.  He told me that his church had been trying to sell its parsonage for three years.  Turns out, the parsonage was less than a mile from my house.  And bigger.  Five bedrooms, three baths.  Two stories.  My house had four bedrooms and two baths, but with all the furniture I'd had to move for Daddy, we were bursting at the seams.

We stopped to look at the parsonage on the way home.  The church secretary let us in.  When I walked upstairs and saw the Enchanted Aerie, I was sold.  The bedroom was huge and compared to my master bath, so was the bathroom.  Plus, there was another bedroom.  Downstairs, there was the master suite for The Daddler, a bedroom for Kiddo and a room for my office.  A formal living room for The D and his big ass TV and a den for my big ass TV (which I never watch, but Kiddo's made good use of it this summer).  The kitchen was lots bigger, complete with an alcove surrounded by a bay window.  Lots and lots of windows - good light all through the house.  And a huge plus  - a million electrical outlets.  Wow. 

A huge lot with huge oak trees, a fenced yard, an open field beside us, a new roof and two new A/C units.  It's great to have a separate one for upstairs.  I like to sleep in a cold room. 

The Daddler was against it at first.  He didn't like the windows.  I told him he didn't get a vote.  When I showed him the raised bed for gardening at the end of the driveway, he got on board.

The move was hellish and I'm still surrounded by boxes and I don't know where anything is.  But all of a sudden, I'm making progress.  A friend told me about FlyLady (I added a link) and I'm becoming a believer.

The D keeps his bedroom and living room immaculate.  I guess it's that military discipline.  Mother was in the Air Force.  She told me many times that I wouldn't have lasted a week.  She's right.  I'm not the compliant sort.

Well, it's time to set my timer and get something accomplished.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Catalyst, Part I

Just this week, it dawned on me that as hard as these last 11 months have been, my life is better for it.  The Daddler has been an agent of change for me.  A catalyst.

Too many things to cover in one post, so I'll just choose one.  Boston.  I never would've had my wonderful trip to Boston if not for The D.  Because I'd never have gone to the senior center.  So I never would've met FF's parents.  Which means I never would've met FF.  Which means I wouldn't have gone to Boston.

On the other hand, if you believe in fate, soul mates, crap like that, you could argue that I might've decided to go to Boston to escape the heat and just happened to run into Mr. Man.  Or that eventually, he'd be home for the holidays and I'd bump into him at Fresh Market.  But remember, I'm good at sending those "Don't waste your time asking" nonverbal signals.  He is, however, quite fearless.  So who knows?

I like to think of it as good Karma.  A little reward for not smacking Daddy when he's awful to me. 

Back to Boston.  I've always wanted to go there.  A year or so ago, I was even invited to go.  Sadly, though, that invitation never materialized.  Just as well.  I might've had to cancel.  That was around the time Mother got sick.  After that, it's a blur.  And ultimately, no matter what happens with FF, exploring Boston with him was pretty perfect.  He's a savvy traveler.  Very protective.  Funny.  Adventurous.  What more could you want?  Maybe someone who could stay awake past 10:00?  A small thing.

I got to see Fenway.  Sweet surprise from Dude.  Wow.  He found my Achilles Heel.  Damn him.

Ok, I could go on and on, but I won't. 

Salsa Strangeness

Well, I decided to throw caution to the wind and go with JoJo to the Salsa dancing club downtown Friday night.  My second time to go.  The girl loves to dance.  She's embracing all things Latin - dancing, the Spanish language, you name it...

I am two left feet.  I tried ballroom dancing a little over a year ago.  Just to try something new.  It's just not for me.  So, being the good friend that I am, I was J's companion.  Somehow, I'd forgotten just how desperately bored I felt the last time.  Maybe because I wound up cutting the rug a little myself.  With a very patient, kind instructor.  He was one of the best dancers in the room.  I think he took pity on me.  So it wound up being kinda fun at the end.  J was a little jealous because she'd set her sights on dancing with him earlier in the evening.  Said you should dance with the best dancer in the room, because that's how you get better.  It's true, I suppose.  Because I did get better.  Or at least I finally got the hang of it.

Part of my aversion to dancing (springing from my ballroom dancing experience) is that I don't like to be manhandled by strange, sweaty, sometimes smelly men.   They tell you not to look at your feet, and to just let them lead.  I'm terrible at letting someone else lead.  And if you're not looking at your feet, you might have to actually make eye contact.   I hate when they try to spin me around. 

 I've gotten really good at avoiding being asked to dance.  It's all in the body language.  I told Jo that sometimes I can see, in my peripheral vision, someone walking straight toward me and stop, stand there a second and walk in a different direction.  It's like they hit my force field.  The way it works is that if you want to dance, you turn your head toward them when you see them coming.  Then you smile warmly.  This is what Jo says.  And it works.  Her dance card is full.  I guard the purses and order Mojitos for her, she comes back to the table breathless and glowing, and before she can toss back half her drink, another dance partner appears.  She's very sweet and will dance with anyone.  I'm much pickier.  She scolds me about that.  I tell her I'm just efficient and don't want to waste my time on someone I'm not interested in.  She scolds me about that.  She's much sweeter than I am.  Much.

Sooo, besides being a good friend and holding down the fort, I was entertained by a couple of Whirling Dervishes.  By the way, Whirling Dervishes are a real thing.  Read this fascinating exerpt from Wikipedia:  The whirling dance or Sufi whirling that is proverbially associated with Dervishes is best known in the West by the practices (performances) of the Mevlevi order in Turkey, and is part of a formal ceremony known as the Sama.  It is, however, also practiced by other orders. The Sama is only one of the many Sufi ceremonies performed to try to reach religious ecstasy (majdhb, fana). The name Mevlevi comes from thePersian poet, Rumi who was a Dervish himself. This practice, though not intended as entertainment, has become a tourist attraction in Turkey.


The couple in question were enthusiastically, incessently twirling each other around.  It's a wonder her long blonde hair didn't hit him in the cornea.  I've done that when blow drying my hair before and it's very painful.  The blonde girl came dangerously close to slamming her elbow into the face of a woman nearby.  I wish I'd thought to take a picture of the woman's face.  She had attitude.  Everytime the Dervishes would get closer, she'd get the angriest expression, which was totally lost on the spinners.  They were in a world unto themselves.  I laughed just a little too hard about it.

Well, Jo is already talking about our next excursion.  I might have to take to wearing the huge boot thing around her.  I have it from when I sprained my ankle a few years back.  I'll just tell her it's flaired up again.  Actually, I think I tore my quad running the other day.  Seriously.  But my ankle hurts a little, too.  And then there's the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus still lurking in my belly button.  I think it's gonna be a while before I'm up to Salsa dancing again...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pop the Slide...

I'm just about ready to take two beers and pop the slide. In case you don't know what I'm talking about and you're too lazy to JFGI, here's the definition, according to my preferred source for hip lingo, UrbanDictionary.com:

To quit a job in dramatic fashion. Named after the flight attendant who got fed up, stole two beers, and popped the emergency slide.

By the way, "hip lingo" is probably an oxymoron. You're on your own with that.

What I'm getting at is that I'm sick of work. Demanding clients. I'm jonesin' for some affirmation, and I ain't gettin' any. And I'm not kidding myself - everyone is replaceable. Even me. The question is pricing. And psychology, of course. I think I've been too accomodating. That's what I meant with my cryptic comment the other day about becoming scarcer. It worked with The Daddler, as evidenced by his incredible sweetness to me after my two blissful trips this summer.

As for the pricing, I think I'm a bargain. They pay their plumbers more per hour. And we won't even talk about their CPA firms. But if my clients don't think I'm worth what they pay me, they should follow my advice and shop it. Take a test drive. I'll do everything I can to help with the transition. And if they beg me to come back in three months, I'll entertain the idea. The key to good negotiating is being willing to walk away. When it comes to cars, payroll services, loans, insurance, et cetera, I'm good at it. With people, not so much. And my clients are people. Good, honest, quality people. People I want to help. So I subjugate my needs to theirs.

And that's why I told my girl Jo I can't go Salsa dancing tonight. That and the fact that I hate it.

But I miss her. She's precious. And the slide is looking better and better...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sudoriferousness

Lots of us are afflicted with this. Fortunately, I spent the morning at another doctor's office with The Daddler and it was about 60 degrees. I have the thermostat set at 70 here in the Good House. Screw the utility bill. In fact, I have a chicken pot pie in the oven for The D's lunch at this very moment. He needs some comfort food after having a delicate part of his anatomy microwaved this morning. I'm not kidding about that. It reminded me of the lady who put her poodle in the microwave to dry it after she gave it a bath. That was in the early days of the microwave oven. Poor D. I offered him tylenol and he didn't want it. He's tough.

I don't have to set foot out the door the rest of the day so hopefully I'll stay cool, calm and collected. Relatively speaking, anyway.

I had shitty day yesterday. I decided to get on the roof to clean the gutters late yesterday afternoon. All the big trees made the heat bearable. I've been doing major soul-searching. I think it's time for a shift in priorities. I think I'm going to become more scarce. And as I learned in Econ 101, that'll make me more valuable.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

WTF?

Thought for the Day

"Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but manifestations of strength and resolution."

-Kahlil Gibran

Talking with my Hands

I've been accused of it. I forgot all about it, though, until I was at friends' for dinner the other night. My hostess was talking while she was cutting up veggies or salad ingredients and she was waving the knife all around. I didn't hear a word she said. See, as someone who's very accident-prone, I was terrified that she'd slice her jugular open at any moment. She didn't.

That reminded me of other women who do that. My friend Angela, for one. We're close enough that I can ask her to step away from the knife. And then I remembered that FF's mom does that. Maybe that's why the talking with hands thing is a distraction for him. I'd never talk with a knife in my hands. For one thing, I can't multitask. Not even a little bit.

And then, I realized there's a pattern. All three of these women are strong, intelligent, independent, and passionate about life. And they're women. Could that be part of it? I have a feeling there's a neurological component. I'll have to start noticing.

I'll have to close with this quote from Rachael Ray: I cut myself a lot--but not when I'm chopping. It usually happens when I'm holding a knife and talking with my hands!

Belly Buttons, Part MCXLII

Damn it. I think I'm getting MRSA. I'm feeling feverish. Of course, this doesn't help one bit:
I woke up wondering about the best practices for cleaning the navel. The little eight step process Dude so kindly shared with me failed to mention one thing. How often should you do it? Is it a daily thing, or do you just do it every week or two? Like when you cut your toenails. Only problem is that I don't do that until they start catching on my sheets or rubbing when I go running - I forget about them. Same as my navel. Should I just do it quarterly, when I change my air conditioner filter? Dammit, I think I'm overdue on that. I can't believe the WikiHow article left out the frequency. It was very complete. It even explained that Q-Tips are the same as cotton swabs. Q-Tip is a brand name. Wow. Who knew?

I think the problem is the heat. That and the fact that I never dry my innie after my shower. So between sweating and taking more showers in this miserable summer, I'm sure it's a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. And to think that I've always been proud of my innie. It even stayed in when I was nine months pregnant (some women's navels pop out or get flat). Which happened to be the middle of a blazing July, many years ago.

Damn, I'm obsessing. Better stop. I did, however, notice my blog received an excessive number of views yesterday. I'm probably attracting weirdos with belly button fetishes. Is there such a thing? I'm sure there is, but I'm not gonna Google it. For fear my blog will rank high in the search results. Yuck. Oh, for the record, that was NOT a photo of my BB in yesterday's instructional post...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Breaking Belly Button News

I do have an infected navel. I did have to wait three hours to see the doctor. She did not give me antibiotics (I told you they were impossible to get). She did not give me morphine, either. Damn, I meant to ask for that.

I don't have a piercing. Apparently, just bad hygiene. One of my loyal followers informed me that there's a proper way to clean a belly button. Am I the only one who didn't know they needed cleaning? Why didn't my mother teach me?


Check it out: http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Your-Belly-Button
There's an eight step process, complete with implements and a special spray.
Belly buttons are one of the hardest areas on your body to clean. Some people have lint and dirt in their belly button. Here is how to clean your belly button and make your body clean.

My favorite step is #2:
Give yourself plenty of time. You could hurt yourself rushing. Be very patient.

Damn, which would be more embarrassing? Getting an infected belly button because you never cleaned it or hurting your belly button because you got in a hurry while you were cleaning it?

At first I thought this was a joke and then I realized that the makers of Navel Fresh Spray probably posted it. Where can I get some of that shit?

Ok, I think I've exhausted that subject. And I'm exhausted. I'm gonna go squirt a little Bactroban (prescription antibiotic cream - does that count as getting antibiotics?) in the old navel and hit the sack. Because tomorrow's another day and two more doctor's appointments. If we finish at the VA hospital in time for the second one. Which is doubtful.

Random Musings II

I'm contemplating my navel. It's infected. This happens from time to time. Every couple years. It always clears up with a little dab of Neosporin. This time, though, it came back with a vengance. So, being the hypochondriac that I am, I'm certain it's MRSA and I will die from it. Just called doc to make an appointment and they said they had not one, but three appointments this afternoon. That worries me. I love her, but why is she so available? I'm sure I'll still have to wait three frickin' hours...

Doesn't matter. I probably need an antibiotic. Which is harder to get than morphine these days. If it's MRSA, I could be hospitalized. Which would be a good excuse to blow off client deadlines and responsibility for The Daddler. Maybe I could score some good pain meds, too. Gotta work this COBRA.

Am I supposed to clean my innie? I never had this problem before some idiot quack did laproscopic surgery there. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations has run out.

Ok, gotta run. Need to shower before I head to doc. Still sweaty from my run. I'll pack a bag, just in case...

Random Musings

I'm going to break my rule that I'm not going to complain about the weather. So banal. I decided to go for a run this morning, and damn, it was awful. It probably didn't help that it's been two weeks since my last confession. I mean run. The heat index is 110 today and the actual temperature will be 100 degrees. And I went at 9:00. So much for my lizard tendencies to not be bothered by the heat.

Speaking of heat, which leads to sweat, I have a funny story to tell. In a moment of largesse, I impulsively bequeathed my beloved Subaru to Kiddo to take to college in the fall. It's a stick shift, so he had to learn to drive it (I narrowly avoided whiplash). He was motivated, however, by the desire to drive something less grandma-ish than a 97 Lumina or a 99 minivan. I was motivated by how safe my precious Subaru is - all wheel drive, antilock brakes, airbags, you name it! Not bad for a 2001. I'm such a good mother.

On several occasions, I've been tempted to take it back when Kiddo's been not-so-nice to me. That seemed to get his attention. But I decided to embrace the minivan. After all, I'm 50 years old and it's practical, paid for, and The Daddler likes it.

Sooo, the other day, Kiddo was hounding me to go to Sam's. Ugh. The D loves Sam's. So the three of us loaded up in the Outback. As soon as I got in, I noticed the stench. Like a locker room. I asked if he had sweaty clothes in the car. No. I asked The D if he could smell it. "Yea, it smells pretty bad." Kiddo grinned. He couldn't smell it. I told him to take towels so his sweat doesn't soak into the upholstery.

On the way home, we rode with the windows down. Don't know which was worse, the heat or the stink. I guess the heat was better - my nausea subsided.

Later on, I figured it out. Kiddo marked his territory. He knows how sensitive I am to smells. When he was in 8th grade, he'd let a big ole' stinky fart on the way home from school. He'd wait for my reaction. And take great pleasure in it. He seemed to relish my reaction to the Subaru-funk smell equally. I bought a multi-pack of Febreze at Sam's.

Ok, I've spent way too much time on the stink thing.

I need to cover some other topics, but it's 11:00, so I think that will have to wait until later. Time to think about lunch for D.