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...

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Here's hoping that 2013 is a better year!  I've noticed a pattern in my life.  My odd years are better than my even years.  Maybe that's because I was born in an odd year.  Or maybe just because I'm odd.

Highlights of odd years include Kiddo's birth, and, ummm...  Can't think of any more right now, but maybe the odd years just aren't bad.  As for the even ones, 2010 was a year from hell, and not just because I lost my mother.  I can think of several other major misfortunes, but I don't want to talk about them.

Maybe it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Probably is.  I should count my blessings for 2012.  I'm sure there were many.  I'll think about that today.  Maybe I'll have time to blog about them later.

Either way, I think I'll hold on to my superstition for another year, in spite violating my perpetual New Year's resolution.  To stop procrastinating.

Later...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day

I wonder if this is what it's like at the mall today.  Maybe the snow has tempered the mania.  One can only hope. 
 
I won't be joining the melee.  In fact, I'm in good shape.  Regifting is a wonderful thing.  Except when it's reciprocated.  I've lost count of how many chapsticks and picture frames I've received.  Not to mention body lotion and bubble bath.
 
Better run.  My skin and lips are dry.  Good thing I'm well equipped with the solutions!!



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas to Me!

Wow!  I've already had a great Christmas!  As in, lots and lots of great gifts!  Including silver earrings and bracelet, a fluffy pink bathrobe, lots of baked goods, and some great smelling potions for my body/bath/hands.

As usual, I'll shop until the 11th hour.  But I must admit, my gift closet is well stocked.  I bought a mixed case of wine and lots of great smelling things from Claire Burke.  Their Original scent is my favorite.  They have great gift sets, and all my friends seem to love them.  Now, using a gift closet might seem impersonal, but I refuse to regift - so that counts for something!  And I make plenty of handmade gifts (like the best chocolate-chip cookies in the world.)  I found the cutest Christmas cards with a sparkly Dachsund (like Lovely Lucy,) but of course, I haven't managed to get them in the mail.  Maybe next year...

I've been celebrating non-stop.  I started with a huge Christmas dinner a week ago.  Turkey and the works.  Cornbread dressing from scratch.  Orange-cranberry relish.  China and crystal.  Presents under the tree.  Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

Since then, I've had wonderful meals at Erling Jensen's,  The Pancake House, and Slider Inn.  Don't ask...

Unfortunately, Kiddo is his usual, ummm, obnoxious self.  Which is why I don't feel the slightest bit guilty about never being home.  His dad has, in keeping with the typical non-custodial parent, assumed the Buddy Role.  Why am I surprised?

The Daddler is happy as a clam.  He enjoys the role of patriarch.  What does that make me?

Oh.  That reminds me.  The other day, a big styrofoam box arrived on our doorstep.  Full of inferior animal flesh from Omaha Steaks.  I took the high road, and dialed her number, thrust the phone into The D's hand, and stepped back to hear his haltering attempt at leaving a voice mail message.  It pissed me off to hear him say, "I love you" before hanging up.  WTF doesn't he ever tell me that?  Even though I know it's natural to take a caregiver for granted, it still makes me cry.  And it makes me want to throw the cheap meat on the floor for Lucy to devour.  I really should regift it, to avoid any reminder of The EV.

Oh, well.  It's time to do a little laundry and wrap a few presents, and get ready for the next installment in my social whirl.

So, if I don't post before the big day, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Latest Project

I think I've exhausted The Daddler topic for now.  So I'm branching out.  I have a new blog - Necessity is a Mother.  Here's the link: http://necessityisamother.blogspot.com/

Here's a picture from my first post - Free Christmas Wreaths:

The point of this is to share some of my brilliant ideas for making crazy-cool creative crap on the cheap.  Because these days I seem to have more money than time.

My girl JoJo is gonna help, too.

Our next project is to learn how to monetize our little venture.  Any ideas?  Actually, that sounds like a job for Lundy...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's beginning...

...to look a lot like Christmas.  For the first time in forever, I'm in the holiday spirit.  I've actually enjoyed decorating, shopping, baking and all the rest.  This is the third Christmas since Mother died, and the 14th year since my brother died. 

And the 744th day since I've set eyes on the Emotional Vampire.  Or at least since she assaulted and battered me.  That doesn't count the accidental encounter this summer.  Or the nightmares or flashbacks.  I hate that I hate her, but I do.  They say the opposite of love isn't hate - it's apathy.  Maybe one of these days I won't care any more.  Won't fantasize about hiring a hitman, or imagine the joy of hearing the news about assorted other violent ends for the Beyotch from Hell.

I wonder if there's a Christmas version of Death Wish.

O...M...G...  I just googled that.  And I happened across this on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In3i39CwUpo&playnext=1&list=PLCD00952BFA1BB143&feature=results_video

It is THE funniest thing I have ever seen in my entire life.  Seriously.  I cannot believe that it's only had 1,223 views.  I have a feeling I'm going to view it at least that many times before the week is out.

Because I abso-bloody-lutely detest those songs.  And they DO, indeed, get stuck in my head like a popcorn hull under my gum.  And I spend half my life swinging around on similarly frustrating phone-trees.  Wow.  I'd better stop here and go listen to my sound machine and visit my happy place.

So much for simply having a wonderful Christmas time...

P.S.  The only thing worse than that song is Last Christmas by Wham!.  The worst song in the history of the world...  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8gmARGvPlI

P.P.S.  So sorry to inflict this on you.  But you know what they say:  Misery loves company

Friday, November 30, 2012

What a Day!

I'm so exhausted.  But I've got momentum.  As long as I don't sit down, I'll maintain the inertia.  The good kind.

I've made major progress today.  I've achieved closure - that's huge.

I'm running on fumes after sleeping just 3 hours last night.

But it's Friday and the world is my oyster.  Hey, I think I'll head to Half Shell and claim my oysters.  So, I'll sign off.  Wash this sweat and stress right outa my hair.  And bathe in the bliss of a beautiful weekend...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I'm Thankful...

...for the people who love me.  I don't always feel loveable.  Unfortunately, on my trip to the Atlantic coast, I wound up feeling not only unloved, but reviled.  It's a long story, and if I were still hurt and angry, I could share the three page list of my shortcomings I made on the flight home.  It was therapeutic.  And I'm healing - grateful for my poor memory.  Which reminds me of my favorite quote:  One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.  - Rita Mae Brown

I cut my trip short.  Spent Thanksgiving night in a Marriott.  It was comfy, quiet, and peaceful.  In walking distance of the Shoney's.  I had the holiday buffet.  I was the youngest diner by a good 25 years.  I sat in my booth, gorged myself on surprisingly good turkey and dressing (I think they call it dressing there,) and worked crossword puzzles.  I ordered hot fudge cake for dessert - major calorie splurge.  Remember that?

I hoofed it back to the hotel, past the ToysRUs with a quarter mile, single file population of Black Friday Desperados.  I have a feeling the emergency room was flush with frostbite victims the next day.  Hopefully, they'd been fitted with prostheses beforehand (pardon the pun.)

Got to my room, ran a hot bath, fell asleep and consequently bathed my crossword puzzle book, too.  Woke up.  Dried off.  Laid puzzle pages on A/C fan.  Found remote control and turned off lights.

Spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure out why I couldn't get anything besides an error message on the TV.  Gave up and called the front desk.  It turned out that the cable was out and Antietam Cable was closed for the holiday.  It was no small consolation that I knew I could negotiate a discount on my room in the morning (it turned out to be $15 - $17.18 with tax.)

Strangely, after my Shoney's food orgy, I was hungry.  I went to the bogus bogeda and bought an exhorbitantly expensive bag of Cheez-Nips.  Fortunately, wireless internet was free (and worked), so I found comfort in I Heart Radio (crazy talk radio - the surefire solution for sleeplessness) on my Kindle Fire.  And fell asleep without brushing my teeth.  Not so smart after suffering, seven short days earlier, a root canal and filling replacement.

I woke up just in time for free breakfast.  A lovely angel of mercy (the waffle lady) gave me good advice about the best way to get home.  There's a long, long story about that, but it'll have to wait for another day.  Stay tuned - it involves a huge red Ford F-250 and a black, boozing, Baptist, drug-seeking preacher lady from Nashville.  I couldn't make this stuff up.  How many times have I said that?

Another teaser.  I fell through the ceiling last night.  While retrieving Christmas decorations from the attic.  I wound up with a cheap substitute of a multicolored, icicle lighted tomato cage (I blame Southern Living) in the living room.  Lucy has eaten every bulb below the second tier.  Thank god for complete circuits.  And circuit breakers.

Better run.  I've been invited to a Christmas Tree Decorating Pary.  I know.  Glutton for Punishment.  But I'll be appreciated, fed and hydrated.  And I'll be in close proximity of a steaming hot tub, my sweet surrogate daughter, and my house.  It's so sweet to be able to safely stagger home...

Friday, November 16, 2012

T Minus 24 Hours

This time tomorrow, I'll be on my way to Hagerstown to see my BFF Melanie.  I'll be there a glorious nine days!  In the meantime, I have a boatload of things to do to get packed and ready.

I've been sidelined by a root canal AND a filling replacement.  And a day taking care of The Daddler after he fell.  After seeing the doctor (long wait since he had to work us in), and another long wait for a CT scan, I was relieved to know he was ok.  He fell when he was taking off his pants to get dressed for bed.  I asked him why he didn't sit down to do that and he replied (in a very hostile voice):  "I will from now on!"  Hell, I can't stand on one leg without falling down.  At least it wasn't a blood pressure problem or something else.  He hit his head on the night table (fortunately, it's round, as opposed to something with sharp corners,) and consequently, looked like he'd been in a boxing match.

Last night, two days after my root canal, I felt like I'd had a sharp left hook to the jaw.  I had an abscess and apparently, the antibiotics weren't doing their job.  Now, I'm taking two.  It's better today.  Luckily, Melanie is a dentist, so if I have trouble, I'll be in good hands.  She's been calling every 4-6 hours to check on me!  This morning, she told me that I was likely to have diarrhea from the antibiotics.  Great.  Nothing better than traveling with the runs.  Maybe I should borrow some of The D's Depends.  I bought them back when he was having the prostate probs, but he hasn't used them since.  Deb, however, did make good use of them during our family colonoscopy prep.  I suppose everyone ought to have some around.

I just thought of something funny.  Other families have reunions.  We have colonoscopy preps.

Well, I should go.  So much to do.  Hopefully, I'll have lots of blogging time (and material) on my vacay...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Republic of Ohio

What's up with that? 

I'll stop there.  Because anything else I say will result in a Department of Homeland Security appointed swat team converging on my humble abode.

I'm so disillusioned.  I'm trying to focus on breathing deeply and chanting my mantra - IDGAF.  Unfortunately, I do GAF.  Dammit.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Things are Looking Up...

...at least for the moment.  It's been a good, busy weekend.  I do best when I'm busy.  I don't have as much time to overthing things.  To ruminate.  Interestingly, I just realized that the verb ruminate is related to the adjective ruminant.  Makes sense, since a ruminant is an animal who chews its cud.  Actually, it regurgitates its partially digested food and chews it again.  It has four stomachs.  There are 150 species of ruminants, including cows, camels, goats, sheep, giraffes (wonder how they get the food all the way up their throat from their stomach?), and water buffalo.    Unfortunately, I feel like a water buffalo at the moment.  I ate Mexican food yesterday, and Dim Sum today, so I've probably had a near lethal dose of sodium.  I hate this bloated feeling.  Ugh.
 
Dim Sum was good, though.  It's been at least ten years since I've had it.  My usual place closed down and my D.S. buddy moved away.  So when I heard about another restaurant which serves it, I couldn't wait to go.  Generally, it's served only on weekend afternoons.  They roll little carts around and you choose what you want.  Kinda like tapas on dessert carts.  There are lots of Chinese people there, so you know it must be good.  I had some old favorites.  One of these days, I should get up the courage to try the chicken feet.  I have a feeling that since I don't even like barbeque ribs or chicken wings, I won't like chicken feet.  I'm not fond of eating animal parts which look like what they are.  Like fish or shrimp with their heads on.  Any organ meat.  You get the idea.
 
I got The Daddler some shrimp-fried rice to go.  It's nice to know that his supper's taken care of.  I'm so glad he's not a picky eater.  Mother would've driven me crazy that way.  Except toward the end, she barely ate at all.  Wow, I miss her all of a sudden.
 
I suppose animals are on my mind because I had a beautiful morning at the zoo yesterday.  It's been forever since I've gone.  Perfect weather.  Good company.  Very nice change of pace. 
 
That's all for now - duty calls.  Over and out...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Freedom

Is just another word for nothing left to lose.  Which is a fucking depressing thought.  But strangely, empowering.  This is no revelation, but when negotiating, the power is in the ability to walk away.  Which is where IDGAF is useful.  Don't get me wrong.  I get emotionally attached.  But only to emotional beings.  Car salesmen are void of emotions.  And they're not beings.  They're not even organic.  They're below the protozoans.  Like a virus.  This is why I get incredible deals on cars.  They fuck with me, but I call them on that, and fuck with their walnut sized excuses for a cerebrum.  Like a cat with a small rodent. 

So sorry.  But I don't care.  I mean, IDGAF.  I love the feeling of walking away.  I do, but I don't.  I'm a cynical optimist. 

All for now.  Gonna go lick my wounds...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nothing...

...is ever easy.  The latest calamity is my non-functioning furnace.  The same furnace for which I paid dearly this summer.  I'll try not to make this into a saga, so here's my attempt at the executive summary.  Cliff Notes?

Yesterday, I noticed that it was kinda cold downstairs.  Not intolerable for me, but the Daddler started bitching.  I fiddled with my fancy, new-fangled electronic thermostat.  I managed to make the heat come on.  Miraculously, the house warmed up.  The D was still complaining about how cold it was in the back of the house (his senior suite, specifically), and I explained that his faux-fireplace-space heater warmed up the living and dining rooms (where the thermostat was located), and consequently, the thermostat thought it was warm enough, so it stopped the furnace when it touched its target temp.  And that since we have to hermetically seal the rear of the house with a series of doors (to keep Lucy from running roughshod through it,) the heat wasn't distributed democratically.  That seemed to appease (confuse?) him.  It probably didn't hurt that I'd schlepped him to early voting and Picadilly that morning.  Talk about a dutiful daughter.  I'm sorry, but DillyPic (his pet name for it,) isn't my fav.  I love salt, but they go overboard, even for me.  I suppose all those old people with impaired taste buds appreciate surplus salinity.

Ok, back to the frigid furnace fiasco...  This morning, I came downstairs bright and early.  I noticed a chill in the air.  Yup.  The thermostat read 60 degrees.  I checked the pilot light.  Still lit.  I worked on the thermostat.  Went around the house and felt the air near the vents.  Listened for the fan to kick on.  Nothing.  Nada.  Nyet. Negatory.

I cranked up The D's little fireplace.  Prepared my speech.  When I heard him shuffling around, slamming doors, I made my pre-emptive strike.  I explained that I'd checked the pilot light.  It was fine.  I had a call in to the HVAC man.  That seemed to appease him.  Not too much grumbling.  Glory be to God.

When I called Mr. HVAC, his lackey answered and explained to me that it's impossible for the pilot light to go out.  I explained that it did, indeed, go out.  I was promised a service call, but I'm not holding my breath.  I am, however, about to check the prices for faux fireplaces on Amazon.  Path of least resistance.  Pathetic, I know...

Oh, well.  I'm tired of all this.  I give up.  I've given it my best shot.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Honey, Vinegar, or Arsenic

I've tried honey.  I've tried vinegar.  I'm about to resort to arsenic.  For me.  Not for the flies (maggots) who are poor excuses for customer service representatives. I won't go into details.  Suffice it to say that, once again, I've been thwarted in my never-ending attempt to navigate "the system." Even if I succumbed to my murderous impulses, said invertebrates are safer than any snitch in the witness protection program.  Not that they're particularly safe, come to think of it.  Given the debacle in Benghazi.  But I won't even get started on that.

One of these days, I'm going to read Don Quixote.  I have a feeling I'll be able to identify.  Because no one could be more Quixotic than I am.  Just call me Alonso. 

Why in the hell do I keep trying?  I wish I knew the answer.

I know better than trying to figure it out.  It's nonsensical.  Illogical.  Stupid.  Talk about tilting at windmills...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Two Years Ago

Today is the second anniversary of Mother's death.  Deb is at the cemetery with The Daddler.  So sad.  On top of that, three days ago was my brother's birthday.

Instead of grieving my losses, I'm going to count my blessings.  Because my sweet sister's birthdays is six days from today.  I want to do something special for her.  She deserves it.  In spades.

Well, I'm on the verge of being maudlin, so I'll close. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Land of the Living

I'm back in it.  After fighting the flu for a week and a half, I finally had enough energy to get a little exercise in with my girl, JoJo, this morning.  An hour and twenty minutes of running and walking, to be precise.  The weather's beautiful, so in spite of my coughing and snottiness, I made it.  I'm hoping the exertion will alleviate some of the OCD symptoms with which I've presented over the last few days.  I have no idea where that's coming from.  But the way I understand it, OCD is a coping mechanism for anxiety.  And I'm flush with that.  So I need to focus on reducing it.  It's kinda like insomnia, though.  Thinking about it just exacerbates the problem.

That reminds me.  I have vivid memories of Kiddo standing on the pitcher's mound (or in the batter's box), with a fucking-miscreant excuse for a coach hollering, "Just relax, Eight!"  That was his jersy number.  You might think that would sound like encouragement, but you'd have to hear it.  Think about a marine drill seargent trying to get his grunts to ring the bell.  You know what they say...  Winning isn't everything.  It's the only thing.

Oops.  My timer is buzzing.  Which means it's time to put my canned goods in alphabetical order.  Then my spices.

Later...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Something to Look Forward to...

...I have it.  My BFF Mel, and I finally figured out the logistics for my visit to Hagerstown for Thanksgiving.  I booked the flight last night.  We are both so excited.  She has a million fun things planned, but I have a feeling we'll wind up just curling up on the huge sectional, watching trashy reality TV, with Shane (the second sweetest dog in the world) protecting us from the cold, cruel world.  And Roger.

Speaking of Roger, we're gonna throw a huge 60th birthday party for him.  A casino party.  We've outsourced the gambling part, but we'll handle the rest.  Mel is the Hostess with the Mostess.  I'm a good worker bee. 

Even though November seems eons away, I just realized that it's one day more than a month from today.  Wow.  Cool.  Rad.  Groovy.

Better run.  Lots to do between now and then.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What a difference...

...a day makes.  Or, Getting the Hell Out of Dodge.

I escaped.  After two weekends without Baby Sister's usual Saturday Daddler Ministrations (he was getting extra grouchy) and my near-death experience with Fungal Meningitis/West Nile Flu (contrary to my Quack-Doc's diagnosis of sinus infection.), I went to visit a friend who lives 90 miles from here.  I don't think I've ever before thrown up forcefully and repeatedly enough to break blood vessels in my eye.  I came very close to calling 9-1-1 that night.  I was afraid that I'd die, naked, in a pool of sweat and vomit.  That The Daddler wouldn't miss me for a week or so.  And by then, Beulah, The Bulemic Cat, would've run out of food and (justifiably) feasted on my festering carcass.

I haven't felt that forlorn in a long time.  See, there's something about throwing up that makes me cry for my mother.  Unlike The D, who could sleep through a nuclear attack, nothing got past Mother's parabolic-sound-amplifier-ears.  Like when I skulked in at 5:00 a.m. after a decadent night of collegiate decadence.  The upside is that after I married and left home, I knew I could call her anytime - day or night - and she'd be there.  I couldn't have made it through giving birth and being a young mother without her.

It's a mom thing.  Toward the end, I assumed the mom role with her.  I was the one she clung to when she was sick and afraid.  When she was helpless, I rose to the occasion.  I was scared shitless, too, but I was strangely imbued with an uncanny ability to do for her the things she'd done for me for so many years.  The night before she went into the hospital for the last time, a week and a half before she died, she cried in my arms that she didn't want to be a burden to me.  I can still hear myself reply, "Burden?  Just think of all those shitty diapers you changed!"  In other words, I channeled her strength and fortitude.  I will take great comfort in knowing that.

Even though I miss her desperately sometimes, I will be forever grateful for the legacy she left me.  Fierce independence.  And fiercely protective of the ones we love.  Which is why I manage to put The Daddler ahead of my own wants and needs.  I promised her I'd take care of him.  And more than the legacy of independence and strength, she taught me to be honest, no matter what.  To keep my promises.  Come hell or high water.  So, even though I've failed her many times, I know I've honored her with the big things.  And I firmly believe that she'd be so very proud of me.

And even though The Daddler is incapable of expressing gratitude or affirmation for my selfless martyrdom (is that redundant?), I know that I'm his favorite.  Mother would never admit it, but I know she loved me best.  What more could a daughter want?

Back to my great escape.  We ate.  Slept.  Watched a goofy Chick Flick.  Talked.  Laughed.  Cooked, and then ate some more.  Rubbed each other's feet.  Lounged on the sofa and read the paper.

I needed this.  It was healing.  I'm slowly, but surely, recovering from a horrible case of PTSD.  I'm not sure I'll ever be completely cured, but I've come a long way since I started this blog.  And I'm looking forward to brighter days ahead.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Speed Post

Here's what's on my mind, in case anyone cares:

  • Monday - the final extended tax return due date
  • Tonight - Veep debate
  • My leaking roof
  • The Daddler's Din-Din
  • My bangs (they're getting too long)
I was on death's door just 48 hours ago.  I survived.  And now, I must face reality.  It's grim.  But less grim than the reaper...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClQcUyhoxTg&feature=related

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Symbolic Pigs

Forget it.  I'm wasting my breath.  Say what you may, but I'm not a victim of group-think.  I don't drink the Kool-Aid.  Because I think.  For myself.

I hate the party system.  I hate the electoral college.  My disdain for the latter made me embrace the former.  In the whole scheme of things, I'd probably classify myself as a libertarian (can we say Tucker Carlson?).  Except I don't even fit into that box.  I do believe in the necessity of government regulations, with limits. 

The current state of affairs reminds me of a book I read in freshman english.  Animal Farm.  The pigs are the smartest.

But I also read Lord of the Flies.  The pig didn't fare so well.

Wow.  Am I sounding like an anarchist?

Think about that.  I need to run.  My anarchy meet-up group convenes at 5:30...

Black or White?

Left or Right?

I'm leaning right.  In fact, I'm sick and fucking tired of the left.  I'm proclaiming myself as right.  Red.  Right.  Republican.  Romney/Ryan.

I'm so sick and fucking tired of left-wing liberals.  I waxed splenetic (vented my spleen) today.  I won't go into details.  Except to say that I was quite combative.  With a loyal friend.  We'll see how loyal he can be...

But I will say that this political vitriol was the straw that broke the camel's back for my quasi-LDR with an anarchist asshole.  I forbade him to read my blog.  But I have a feeling he disregarded my decree.  If that's the case, I'll say two words to him...Susan Rice.  Actually.  Let's add a third word.  Liar.

Susan.  Rice. Liar.

Sometimes...

...it's too much.  I've had a bad cold the last few days.  Started out as allergies.  Now it's settled into my chest.

I hoped The D would cut me some slack.  I made a point of moaning and groaning, coughing and sneezing, and maybe whining a little, within his limited range of hearing.  To no avail.  When I had my face-plant on the sidewalk this past spring, he displayed compassion.  I guess he exhausted his limited supply. 

As a matter of fact, he's been incredibly grouchy and demanding. 

I could go on and on, but I just realized that I don't have anything for his din-din.  My cupboard is bare.  As if that weren't bad enough, I'm out of Q-tips.  Since I've been sequestered in this minimum security facility for the last four days, I'm going to be reckless and drive to the nearest retailer, despite the fact that I'm under the influence of Cheratussin AC (the C stands for codeine.)

Hopefully, I'll post an update soon.  In the meantime, if you get a collect call from a correctional facility, please answer it.  It will be me.  Asking for a cake with a file baked into it. 

I'll reimburse you for the collect call charges, and I'll give you a cut of my expose of our corrupt prison system.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

One Word

One of my favorite questions, when I'm getting to know a new friend, is, "If you had to choose one word to describe yourself, what would it be?"  I've thought about it lots, and "mercurial" is usually how I describe myself.  But that can change, depending on my mood.

I've chosen a new one.  For now.  "Picaresque."  Dontcha just love to add "esque" to the end of words?  It makes anything sound smart.  For example, instead of saying, "He's a big old redneck,"if you say, "Oh, my.  He's quite Hillbillyesque." you sound like a scientist observing a lab rat instead of like a snobbish person whose mantra starts with "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

The best one, though, is "Kafkaesque."  I think that describes me perfectly.  Actually, combine "Picaresque" and "Kafkaesque," and you have me. 

Don't you just love words?

Ok.  If you notice a change in my writing style, I must find it incumbent to tell you about the catalyst.  Ignatius J. Reilley.  Here's one of my favorite quotes:

“I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

I decided to read this book again, after a long, fallow period, during which the extent of my literary pursuits was limited to Cosmopolitan and Better Homes & Gardens magazines.  With the occasional Oprah thrown in for good measure. 

I was pleased to remember how hilarious it was.  Laugh-out-loud-esque, in fact!

I so identified with Ignatius.  There are a myriad of ways, but I'll describe only one, for now.

I started a silly, little, quasi-job today.  After five grueling hours, I was hobbling on my swollen feet.  I was too exhausted to assume a Samuel-Gompers-esque role among my fellow, down-trodden, indentured servants.  The inferior lunch I inhaled during my nine and one half minutes (I had to allow thirty seconds to walk to the break room and back) cost me precisely 45 minutes of hard labor, after taxes.  If I had deigned to purchase any of the products I was hawking, I would have been better off staying home, playing Words with Friends, and watching Toddlers-and-Tiaras-marathons.  I have GOT to catch that Honey-Boo-Boo sensation.  I feel like a pariah, pretending to appreciate the latest rage.

Speaking of pretending...  After three hours and twenty-three minutes at my daring new endeavor, I decided to employ some mercenary-esque techniques.  In an attempt to extol the virtues of my most exhorbitantly expensive elixer, I devised a dishonest deception regarding said potion.  In a trembling attempt at tempting potential patrons to partake of my products, I proudly proclaimed that I was 77 years old.  And that I'd discovered the fountain of youth in the form of a 0.025 ounce jar of serum (that sounds more valuable than "cream.")  And that since I'd started this beauty regimen, I'd been told by my numerous new admirers that I didn't look a day over 67.  I said this with a straight face.

Since I'm only 51, I hoped this yarn would provide enough margin of error to prevent any embarrassing intercourse.  Fortunately, none of my potential patrons believed me.  Unfortunately, I struggled with assessing the ages of the lovely ladies I so assiduously assaulted with my apologue.

Well, like IJR, I'm exhausted after an extremely stressful spell of struggling in a sweatshop, selling scents.  And like him, I adore alliteration.

Wow.  I'm worn out.  Wiped out.  Worthless.

Exhaustedly yours,

Elizabeth (my new nom de plume)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Veeps

After a train wreck of a day yesterday, I've decided to look for relief in the form of humor.  Joe Biden immediately came to mind.  If you need a laugh, do this Google search:  Biden+buffoon+gaffes.  What I didn't realize before my in-depth research, though, was that he's from Scranton.  Think Michael Scott.  The Office.  'Nuf said.  Which made me think of HBO's hilarious series.  Veep.  Watch it.  It's worth whatever the hell Comcast charges.  Especially since you can get Newsroom, too.

If you're in desperate need of a laugh, and you can handle a little good-natured ribbing from a member of the IDGAF party, take a look at the following link.  I have to issue a disclaimer, though.  I cannot attest to the veracity of any of this.  Still, SNL couldn't make it any funnier.

http://youtu.be/HWlSX9TT2eo

So, if you play Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin, I'll ante up with  Bumblin' Biden and raise you Aaron Burr...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

One more thing...

I hate the electoral college.  The stupid commercials.  Halloween. 

I know, this is nonsense, but lately, that's my life.  I tried to care, to make a difference.  But I've lost my ability to adapt.  Beat of a different drummer. 

Here's the philosopy I'll cling to... for now:

In a cruel and evil world, being cynical can allow you to get some entertainment out of it.
After all, you have to laugh to keep from crying.

Exercise in Futility...

I try to make a difference.  I give up.

There's nothing more to say.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Taking a Break

I'm overdue.  This weekend, I haven't left the house.  Beyond the yard.  I've gone to bed before 9:00.  The bad thing about that is waking up at 11:53 and being very confused.  That's p.m.  I've had a few complicating factors, including night sweats and bad dreams.  I can't remember the one that woke me last night, but it seems like it involved a villian tackling and clawing me, and wielding some sort of lethal weapon.  I think I've watched too much Damages on my Kindle.  I've switched to Parks and Recreation and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  Neither is violent, but both are inane.  They're wearing thin.  Especially since Newsroom is exactly the same as S60SS.  West Wing, too.  The common denominator is Aaron Sorkin.  Aaron, I'm all about recycling, but seriously...  And then there's his subversive agenda.  Since I love Newsroom (I'm developing a major crush on Jeff Daniels, in spite of his being an asshole in my favorite movie of all time, Terms of Endearment), the other two can't compare.

And I just can't suspend my disbelief when it comes to Bradley Whitford and Matthew Perry hooking up with all those hot, smart women.  Seriously, why would Monica fall for Chandler?  When she could've had Magnum P.I.?  Don't even get me started on Monica and Ross.  Give me George Costanza any day.  Or Kramer.  No, that's just crazy talk.

In case I come across as an idiot, I should mention that I'm caught up on Downton Abbey.  I'd feel cultured if it weren't so formulaic.  (Spoiler alert...)  How convenient that Matthew's fiancee (think Melanie in Gone With the Wind) died right before their wedding, when he really wanted Lady Mary.  Because she dumped Sir Richard.  Then there's the Romeo and Juliet story line.  Well, maybe more Love Story.  Lady Sybil runs off with the chauffer.  Much to her parents' chagrin. 

Then there's the Desperate Housewives story line.  Cora Crawley, the Countess of Grantham, with a change of life pregnancy.  Think Lynette.

I could go on and on.  But I won't.  Reality calls.  Laundry.  Dirty dishes.  Tax returns.  Trying to eradicate dog pee stains on this horrid carpet.  I'm on the verge of ripping it out and walking around on plywood.  I could pour that self-leveling concrete on it.  Wonder it that would look like industrial chic?  Which could be convenient.  I could take a sledge hammer to those awful popcorn ceilings.  Wonder if there's asbestos?  My house was built in 1971.  I think it's suspect.  But Mesothelioma might be the lesser evil.  Especially since, according to the million commercials I hear when I hang with The Daddler, I might get a windfall.  I could also do a reverse mortgage.  While I'm at it, I might as well get a Cash-for-Title loan.  And have my tax return prepared by Mo Money Taxes.

I should stop.  This is  crazy.  I'm just keepin' it real, though.  And reality bites...

Monday, September 17, 2012

When it rains...

...it leaks.  The ceiling fan in my kitchen starts dripping.  I've tried before to find the source in the attic, to no avail.  After a little detective work this morning, I finally figured it out.  I found a very small wet spot on the attic floor.  Nothing dripping from the ceiling, though.  I put a plastic bin over the wet spot and waited.  A drip appeared.  Right under the exhaust pipe for the water heater.  I felt around the pipe, but it wasn't wet.  So I got very ingenious and stood my flashlight on end over the drip so it was pointing directly up, and I saw that the flashing was wet around the pipe was wet.

I've already had the slipshod roofer come once.  It was like pulling teeth to get him to show.  He kept saying he'd be here, but didn't show up and wouldn't return some of my calls.  The last time I called, I was very irate and threating.  He finally arrived.  Climbed up on the roof, reported that it was the flashing, which he didn't have anything to do with.  How the hell did he replace the roof but not the flashing around the exhaust pipe?  He said he'd fix it anyway, just to be nice.  Obviously, he didn't fix it. 

So I called the company which replaced my HVAC system this summer.  I'm waiting for them to call me back.  I know they'll be able to repair it, once and for all.

When my week starts out like this, I'm reminded of the song by The Carpenters: Rainy days and Mondays (always get me down.)

More unpleasantness awaits me.  Tax returns.  The extended deadline is less than a month away.  Ugh.  Better get busy.

Over and out...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Olive Loaf

The Daddler is eating it at this very moment.  I just got back from the grocery store.  He likes variety in his meals (refuses to eat leftovers), so when I spotted the OL, I decided to chance it.  I should've gotten some potted meat and Vienna sausages while I was at it.  This is a reflection of my humble upbringing, but I used to take all of the above in a brown paper sack for my school lunch.  My favorite, though, was tuna salad.  I actually liked it better at locker temperature.  With soggy white bread (whole wheat hadn't been invented back then.)  And Charles Chips, which were delivered weekly in garbage-can sized tins. 

In the good ole days, we hadn't even heard of Salmonella or E Coli.  Our biggest health risks were pinworms and catching our toes (we went barefoot) in the bicycle spokes.  Never mind about bicycle helmets or hand sanitizer or full-contact football in the front yard, sans helmets or pads (I held my own against my beloved brother - I think I might've been a tomboy).  Or seat belts, for that matter.  Our mom's arm shot out quicker than any airbag to keep us from flying through the windshield.  We were on our own in the back seat, though.  I wound up on the floor more than once.  I remember landing on a loaf of bread one time. 

Speaking of sliding off the back seat, that happened to me once in a NYC cab.  The lack of seatbelts in The City in 1990 was reminiscent of the mid-sixties.  So nostalgic.

Those were the days...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Non-Stop Weekend

In addition to my newly burgeoning social life, I made the mistake of offering to help a friend (gratis) with her silver jewelry booth at the Germantown Festival.  That resulted in my spending Friday morning moving bunches of big, very heavy boxes in sweltering heat.  Around the time we finished, one of the festival officials announced the dire weather forecast.  Big storm coming.  60 mph winds.  Wow.  Not a great thing for a pop-up canopy made of aluminum and canvas.  Then there was the fact that we were in a suburb of Memphis, which unfortunately is crime-ridden.  Even with a police patrol, I convinced my proprietor friend (who's from a small town in Kentucky) not to leave valuable, portable (therefore theft-prone) jewelry out for the taking.  We're not in Kansas any more.

Sooo, we loaded the heavy boxes back into her extended length cargo van.  Needless to say, I was dripping sweat and verged on pulling the muscles in my lower back.  We considered spending the night (a la the Memphis in May Barbeque Festival) to guard the inventory, but thought better of it.  Instead, we decided to get there at 5:00 A.M. the next day.  Believe it or not, we scurried to finish setting up for the opening at 9:30.  The plus is that it was much cooler.  The down side, though, was the rain (albeit light) and wind gusts.

Once more, unloading heavy boxes.  Rolling up the sides of the canopy.  For the life of me, I couldn't manage the stretchy cords to secure them.  I gave up after getting popped in the forehead with the big plastic bead on the end of the loop.  It left a mark.  I bled, even.  My friend was a maniac.

Now, take into account the fact that I didn't go to bed until 12:30 that morning, so I only got four hours' sleep. I was on my feet until 2:00 when my buddy Rich showed up to rescue me.  We walked over to the arena to watch the Running of the Weenies.  A Dachshund race.  So cute.  I tried to get Rich to make a wager to make it more interesting, but we pretty much agreed on which dogs would win, so we didn't bet.  I swear, I think some of those masters/mistresses were guilty of blood-doping and/or administering steriods to their pooches.

Then I decided that I was done for the day (see comment re my lack of compensation above).  By then it was 4:00.  And I had to get home and get ready by 6:00 for my next outing.  It took me at least 30 minutes to wind my way out of the extremely congested traffic.  Including my near accident involving a close call involving a too-wide left turn on a narrow road with no shoulder and an adjacent deep ditch (next to the railroad tracks, no less.)  It scared the crap out of me, which wasn't a bad thing.  If not for the surge of adrenalin, I'm not sure I would've made it home in my extremely sleep-deprived, physically exhausted state.

When I finally got home, I decided that I need to stay vertical so I wouldn't fall asleep and stand up my suitor.  Especially since I'd already slept through (and stood up) my first planned get-together with this guy.  I have no idea why he persisted.

We went to a concert at the Levitt Shell.  It was really great.  The weather was so nice and cool We took a picnic blanket and lawn chairs.  My girl JoJo was there with her main squeeze.  I set off to find her and the bathroom.  I wound up rescuing not one, but two lost little girls (what is up with these parents?).  I found Jo and her man and his sweet little four-year old daugher.  He had the most incredible hair.  I couldn't help myself from running my fingers through said hair and inquired about his use of "products."  He was sweet and indulgent.  After my visit, I made a pre-emptive visit to the loo.  On my way back to home-base, Bella (the four-year old) saw me and almost tackled me.  She reminded me of Gabby's and Carlos' chunky little girl.

I have no sense of time, and it turned out that I was AWOL from the forebearing guy for 45 minutes or so.  But hey, at least I didn't stand him up.  And I stayed awake.  For most of the night.  I think I dozed off on the picnic blanket for a few minutes.

Ok, this is enough about that.  I need to figure out how to handle the festival gig today.  I've decide that I'm going to beg off for the set-up and sales duty.  I'll offer, however to get there toward the end and help pack up the freight.  What's she gonna do?  But I did make a commitment.

Fortunately, I slept like the dead last night.  Which is great, because I have lots of catching up to do around my house.  I'm gonna go make The D a good lunch.  Take Lucy out.  Play Words With Friends and read emails.

Over and out...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wow...

I'm conflicted about how much to reveal here.  But for some reason, I feel the need to come clean.  I don't want this to turn into a dating blog (that's been done, ad nauseum), but the truth is, I'm "out there."  After a year and a half of pining away for FF (he is 550 miles away), I decided it was time to move on.  Actually, he decided to move on.  Which is cool.  He's the lawyer (I should've known better), but I had to give him the third degree about his sudden indifference.  Sure 'nuf, it was a local hussy (out of sight, out of mind).  Which was good.  I didn't feel rejected.  Love the one you're with, and all that crap.

He's smart and funny, talented and extremely witty.  He challenges me.  Plus, his parents like me - major plus.  I guess.  I think he worries about that.  He told me once that he's an open person.  I laughed.  A belly laugh.  I might've even pooted.  That's the true test.

Ok, since I'm out there, I have plans tonight.  Saturday, too.  I'm looking forward to tonight, but I have mixed feelings about tomorrow.  Tonight is 1st date, tomorrow is 2nd with a different guy.  I thought I'd ditched him, but he was persistent, and I believe in second chances, so I acquiesced.  After I demanded an apology for his poor manners.  He seems penitant.  He complied.  And agreed to my conditions.

Well, I just looked at the time.  I have a little more than an hour before I need to vamoose.  And lots to do in the meantime.  The Daddler's been fed, thank heavens.  I've already figured out my outfit (no small feat.)  So really, I should be fine.

Hopefully, tonight will be fun.  I hope I can remember his name, refrain from interrogating him and yawning (sleepless night).  I'll do my best not to poot or snort my drink if he makes me laugh.  Again, no small feat.

Better run.  Lots to do.

Over and out....

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Alas...

...all's well that ends well.  The problem is that we never know the end.  That reminds me of the time, in college, when I went to a university theater production.  A former, esteemed professor had written the play.  I suffered through the first act.  Resisted leaving during intermission.  And breathed a sigh of relief when the second act ended.  Headed back to my lowly slum/dorm.

The next day, in the Helmsman (campus newspaper), I read the review.  Turns out, there were THREE acts.  Wow.  Was I the only one who hightailed it out of there after way too long?  Apparently, the playwright had delusions of Wagner.  Or Chekhov.

That reminds me of another university play.  Clockwork Orange.  Weird, violent story.  The strange thing is that I don't think I received extra credit for either of these excuses for a play.  I should've, though, particularly after I saw the giant/rapist from CO walking down Patteson on my way to Econ 102.  I ducked into the Catholic Student Center to avoid him.  Talk about a fish out of water.

Dadgumit.  I was so naive.  Innocent, even.  I could write a thousand blog posts about that.  But it's totally irrelevant now.

Gotta run.  It's almost time for The D's din-din.  Duty calls...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Change

I love it.  A couple hours or so ago, I decided to rearrange the furniture in my den.  For the second time in a week.  I also had the brilliant idea of moving the TV from an awkward spot in the corner on a TV stand I've had 25 years, to the built-in bookshelves.  The shelves are adjustable, and I spent considerable time with the yardstick and the brackets to the shelves and dusting said shelves.  Unplugging so many cords from TV and cable box, and power strip.  No small feat.  Moved 2 shelves multiple times and lifted big-ass TV to upper shelf.  Cable box to bottom shelf.  It took me a good 55 minutes to figure out the bazillion cords and cables and menus and settings and sources and reboots...

I was about to give up, but miraculously, I prevailed.  Damn, I'm good.  I have to admit, though, that I needed a friend with a Y chromosome to help me find the filters in my new HVAC systems. 

It's been a crazy few weeks (which is why I haven't been blogging lately), but things are looking up.  I've been in great demand, on several levels.  A part-time gig.  A weekend project.  A couple social outings this weekend.  Wow. 

I don't want to elaborate, but FF has transitioned from Future Fiancee to Former Fiancee.  I'm cool with that.  And I'm happy to report that after a few ugly, painful communiques, we reached a detente.  Agreed to be friends.  But Words With Friends Foes.  He seems to think that my victories in that arena are flukes.  A result of luck.  Not related at all to skill.  Which makes me want to master chess.  No luck involved there.  I have a feeling I could whoop his ass after a few games.  But I have to give him credit, competing with him makes me better.  Because, if nothing else, I'm competitive.  That's the only reason I passed the CPA exam the first time.  But that's another post.  Not to boast, but back in the day, I was in the elite 6%.  My employer rewarded me with a lovely gold Cross pen and pencil set.  With their logo emblazoned on it.  Needless to say, that made it all worthwhile.

On that note, I'm heading to the pool with my girl JoJo.  My BFF's pool - five doors down.  It's been a day.  It'll be nice to let my hair down and float on a blow up raft.  Especially since it's 105 degrees, with the heat index.

Gotta love Mempho.  Global warming.  And friends with benefits.  Such as pools, hot tubs, a fully stocked fridge.  All within a tenth of a mile.  Life is good...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hope Springs Eternal

After the first half of a sucky week, things are looking up.  I got a silly, part-time, temporary (from now through the holidays) gig.  I think it'll be fun, plus I can have my entire net pay withheld for federal income taxes, which might eliminate my need to make estimated payments.

I've managed to keep up my fitness frenzy.  I've logged at least 10 hours this week, walking and running and sweating on the Green Line and the streets of my hood.  In addition to shedding 10 pounds, I've acquired a tan of sorts.  Which makes it look like another four or five.  At the risk of sounding conceited, I'll say that my legs are lookin' fierce in my white shorts.  I still look like a geisha above my neck (layers and layers of SPF in my moisturizer, primer, foundation and powder), but I discovered bronzing powder (a benefit of my new gig), so I'm ok.

My social life is improving, but that's another post.  Or two or three.  The Daddler's doing fine.  Lucy is still demolishing everything in her sight, but at this point, I don't care.  I've locked Beulah, the Bulemic Cat, out of my boudoir, so my sleep is better, except for being awakened once or twice per night with her head-butting and desperate crying.  At least Lucy has settled into sleeping in her crate for the night.

So my Enchanted Aerie is pet-free, and I'm resting for a change.  Kiddo is settled at school.  No health or rental crises.  Who could ask for more?

Over and out...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Henny Penny, Part XIX

What a coupla days.  I'd say the sky is literally falling, but that might cause you to think I'm embracing the whole Global Warming, Ozone Eroding, Henny-Pennyish Al Gore philosopy.  I must admit, I've actually considered his viewpoint, but after what he did to Tipper, he has no credibility with me.  I won't even get started on John Edwards.  What a prick.  Still, I recycle, avoid styrofoam, and buy alternative energy stocks (huge hits there.)  If I had no conscience, I'd buy alcohol, tobacco and big oil stocks.  At the rate things are going, I might need to rethink my socially responsible investing.  A girl's gotta think about the future.  And I'll proudly admit that I vote for candiates with an R beside their names.  On the other hand, I detest Rush Limbaugh.  Someone needs to shut him up.  What an asshole.  Misogynist.  Idiot.  Did I say asshole?  Alarmist.  Obnoxious hypocrite.

Enough already.  I feel like Will McAvoy on Newsroom.  My new favorite show.  So smart.  I think I like it even better than Boston Legal.

I could go on and on about how shitty my last few days have been.  I won't go into details, but I got a disturbing call from one of The D's doctors today.  According to the pathology results, he has skin cancer.  It's the best kind to have.  Wow.  Can it be good to have cancer?

I reacted violently to the word "carcinoma."  I think that was the kind my brother died from when he was 41 years old.  I shifted into my Henny Penny mode.  Which means I overreacted.  Who, me?

I could write about lots more crap I've been dealing with lately, including incredibly vivid and violent nightmares, a dog who destroys everything in sight, and a grouchy old Daddler who can't throw me a bone, no matter how hard I try.

But I won't.  I'm going to watch last night's episode of Newsroom.  Crush on Jeff Daniels.  Why is it that I fall for obnoxious, arrogant, emotionally distant men?

Could it be that I see myself in them?  Nawww.

Over and out...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Just Breathe

The Daddler fell yesterday.  He was making coffee.  Said he got light-headed and his knee went out.  It's a regular thing for him to feel weak when he first gets up in the morning.  It's called orthostatic hypotension.  This is the first time he's fallen, though.

I took him to the doctor this morning.  He had the usual stuff done, plus an X-ray of his knee (it was a little swollen), an ECG, and extensive bloodwork.  Everything looked fine.  We'll get the lab results Monday.  He's still walking the dog and keeping his usual routine.

I worry, though.  This morning, I was upstairs making my morning ablutions, when I heard an ambulance siren.  I wasn't sure he'd gotten back from his walk.  I hurried down the stairs to see if he was home.  I was relieved to see him parked in his recliner, with Lucy in her chair.  Which reminds me.  She has chewed half the arms off the chair.  I keep meaning to put Tabasco on them.  By now it's too late.  It's ruined.  I wonder if she's part beaver.  I've lost at least five pairs of shoes and assorted other things.  Her chewing includes, but is not limited to, a bottle of nail polish, a string of rusty nails, a dried up squirrel carcas, a kite, and the hose to the shop-vac.  This, in spite of $40 worth of chew toys.  Oh, well.

Back to The D's doctor's visit.  From the time we walked out the door until the time we got back home, he instructed me on every single turn, parking space, elevator location, exit from the professional building and the parking garage, entrance to and exit from Wendy's drive-through, stop-lights, etc.  Keep in mind that each command was issued a minimum of two times in a harsh tone.  We used to call him Sarge.  As in drill sergeant.  When he does this, I get flustered, and turn the wrong way (I went to the second floor of the parking garage instead of toward the exit), which reinforces his behavior.

Usually, I can let it roll off my back.  This time, though, I was in tears by the time I signed him in at the doc's.  The sweet receptionist gave me a hug.  This isn't the first time she's seen me cry.  The first few times I went after Mother died, I got very emotional.  I guess this goes with the territory.

While we were on our way to Wendy's (his Shangri-la), the song, Breathe: 2 AM, by Anna Nalick, came on the radio.  It made me cry more, but it consoled me, too.  I don't let him see me cry.  Not that he would notice.

Even though I've failed him many times, (his pill boxes run out for a day or two before he tells me so I can refill them, I forget about his lunch or dinner), when it comes to his health, I've vigilant.  I've been to countless doctors' visits.  And trips for lab work, and diagnostic and outpatient procedures.  I've spent so many hours on his medicine, including a multude of phone calls and trips to the pharmacy.  The doctors love my elaborate spreadsheet of his meds, including whether he takes them in the AM or PM, a list of his specialists (complete with phone numbers and which prescriptions each one writes), and all his contact information.  I love the spreadsheet more, because all I have to do is print the updated one before each appointment and hand it to the nurse.  Only once did I have to fill out the stupid form instead of writing "See attached."

On that note, I need to catch up on laundry, make some muffins (he's out), clean up the kitchen and figure out dinner.  I still need to do his tax return.  Which is very complicated with all the medical expenses.

And remember to just breathe.

Over and out...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

When it rains...

...it pours.  Usually we think of that as a negative thing.  But for quite some time, we've desperately needed rain.  I've needed rain.  Not a torrential downpour, but a nice, steady, soaking rain.  Like the one on the sound machine I play at night to help me sleep.

Over the past three years or so, I've learned so much.  It's been extremely painful, but valuable.  I learn from my mistakes.  And I make lots of them.  So I should have lots of wisdom.  And I do, but only when I don't get caught up in my emotions and abandon logic.  It's a delicate balance.  I'm happy to report that I think I'm there.  I'm cautiously optomistic.

I'm learning to live in the moment.  Focus on the good stuff.  And try to shake off the shit.  Funny, I just thought of extending the analogy.  The rain is cleansing.  Think about that.

I've also just thought of one of my favorite songs.  From Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  What a great movie.  If you have 3 minutes and 11 seconds, watch this clip.  I promise, it will make you smile.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VILWkqlQLWk

Oh, by the way, I just thought of a fun little ice-breaker.  Kinda like, "Are you a cake person or a pie person?"   (I'm definitely in the cake camp.)  I like this one better.  And it's my original idea.  "Paul Newman or Robert Redford."  In case you're interested, I'm a Paul-girl.  I think he is the most handsome man who ever walked the face of the earth.  I think it's not a coincidence that he was a genuinely good guy.   

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed
Nothin' seems to fit
Those raindrops are fallin' on my head, they keep fallin'

So I just did me some talkin' to the sun
And I said I didn't like the way he got things done
Sleepin' on the job
Those raindrops are fallin' on my head, they keep fallin'

But there's one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me won't defeat me
It won't be long till happiness steps up to greet me

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red
Cryin's not for me
'Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin'
Because I'm free
Nothin's worryin' me

 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Older and Wiser

Or maybe just older.

It's been a crazy coupla weeks.  But extremely good the past few days.  I celebrated a birthday.  I'm terrible at remembering my friends' b-days, and marvel that they remember mine.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that I'm good at dropping hints.  The sweetest thing, though, was when The Daddler patted my head (the same way he pats Lucy, the dog) and said, "Happy Bert-day."  I'll always remember that.

I have plenty of good material about which to blog, but not enough time to do it justice.  Plus, I'm trying to be less impulsive.  No small feat.

Heading out in just a few minutes to extend the celebration.  And you thought the opening ceremonies of the Olympics went on too long...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Continued Improvement

I'm so grateful for it.  I've made big progress in my garden today.  I think I sweated out some venom.  Vitriol.  Poison.  And rancor.

Feeling tired is good.  Also, I'm no longer fish-belly white.  I'm tan, but a little bit pink.  It feels good.  My vitamin D is surging!

A good friend stopped by today.  He's moving to Lakeland, and I have an open invitation to visit.  He's on the lake and has a great big pontoon boat, which he can't use at the moment because the water level is too low.  Still, he's caught catfish from the shore.  He's a catch and release guy.  I'll take The D with, and I'll leave it up to him about releasing or eating.  I can put a minnow or worm or cricket on a hook (my friend is a chicken and uses slices of hot dogs... please...), but I can't gut a fish.  And I'm not sure I want The Daddler to do it, since he's on Coumadin.  Plus, I'm not a big catfish fan.  But every fish is good when it's fresh out of the water.

About my friend John, he's so sweet, and I love his wife.  They live just around the corner from me.  For now.  He's a retired pilot, and I met my BFF Melanie at his wedding.  Kismet.

I've recovered from the heat.  So I'm heading back out.

Over and out...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Feeling Better

Couldn't feel any worse.  As I've said before, I'm a regular Henny Penny.  Actually, I'm probably more like Chicken Little.  CL (Funny, those letters happen to be my first and middle initials) is the one who thinks the sky is falling.  It's very complicated, but fascinating.  Disney used the story as a cautionary, anti-Nazi tale, in 1943.  According to Wikipedia, the villian, Foxy Loxy, seeks advice from Mein Kampft to manipulate the flock.  The hysterical hens, who are playing bridge, fly into a panic when the developmentally challenged CL heralds the end of the world.  Because Hitler Foxy Loxy knocked him silly with a board which was painted in sky blue.

The following scene was incredibly disturbing to me.  Foxy Loxy extracts a wishbone from his mouth.  He sticks it in the ground with countless other wishbones.  Walt Disney was a regular Dickens.  I cried watching Finding Nemo (think of the bloodthirsty, menacing sharks) and Lion King (murderous Scar luring Mufasa to his death), and so many more.  Why were Walt and Chas so fixated on orphans?  Not to mention the Grimms.  To make matters worse, I'm reading Jane Eyre.  Damn.  If I'm not careful, I'll go back to Tess of the D'Urbervilles.  Hardy, Hawthorne, Poe.  Why is good literature so depressing? 

Ok, I'm off on a tangent.  I need to get back to real life.

I went to the farmer's market today.  I gave The D a big bag of snap peas to snap.  I was saddened when he asked me how to do it, but encouraged when he not only caught on, but disregarded my instructions.  What the hell if we have a few stems to deal with?  I'm sure they're loaded with fiber.

I made him a BLT for lunch.  With a tomato far superior to the poor excuse I find at the grocery store.  I microwaved an extra piece of bacon for him to give to Lucy.  That dog is going to be so obese.  I'm going to switch her from puppy food to the weight-control kind.

I'm missing Linus, and I'm in such a quandry about him.  The whole flea infestation/territor-marking disaster has made me rethink the prudence of taking on another dog.  I miss him, though.  I've wanted to visit him, but I know if I do, my heart will melt and I won't leave without him.  He's so sweet, but I know that I don't need any more complications in my life right now.

So.  Real life waits.  If you wanna see the crazy, weird, subversive Disney short, here's the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vnp4kj5lLOU

Over and out...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tailspin...

...I'm in one.  That's all I can say right now.

I'm heading to Angela's to lie by the pool.  No sunscreen.  I'm tired of being so pale.  I'm sure I'll burn to a crisp, but I don't care.

Maybe the sun and the water and escape from my responsibilities will help me regain altitude.  I can only hope.

But the truth is, I don't care.

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Crazy Life, continued...

The other day, when I called the adoption agency animal clinic to complain about Linus' flea problem, I was instructed to return the merchandise.  I suggested that I treat him here at The Good House, to make it easier on him.  Nurse Ratched was on vacation so the receptionist cum dog whisperer (named Tiffany or Brittney or something equally silly) denied my request to speak to a real vet, and refused to back down.  I didn't feel like sparring with the poor (no doubt sensitive) child, so I acquiesced.  I asked her to advise me about which products would kill the fleas, who were most assuredly infesting every fiber of my home as we spoke, without killing those of us with endoskeletons.  She put me on hold.

When she came back on the line, we had a complicated debate about the efficacy of Frontline Plus v. Advantage II (my online research was meaningless since Tiff was the Oracle of Ortho - The One True Cure); the need for bathing a canine-flea-host (she said I shouldn't because it could splash up and wash off the Advantage II, no matter how careful I was); and other practical matters involving carpet, upholstery, and innocent mammalian bystanders.  Said debate was quite complicated. For me, at least.  Tiff (Britt?) had a nice little script and she delivered it with confidence.  I exercised considerable restraint by not telling her to audition for community theatre, because she had a knack for method acting.

Oh, my.

Long story short:  I think I want Linus, but it is much easier with just one dog.  And The D says he doesn't miss Bubba, but I have a feeling he enjoyed the challenge.  Furthermore, Lucy seems lonely.  Kinda like a younger sister whose big brother is away at summer camp.  Even though she loves the undivided attention from her parents, she's at loose ends without the challenge of competing for their affections.

That reminds me of long, unstructured summers spent fighting with my brother, David.  Every day, we wound up in some sort of ruthless competition.  Including Battleship, croquet, HORSE, Monopoly, full contact (tackle) football, Mastermind (the best ever game of logic - not counting chess, of course), our version of UFC (we never drew blood or broke bones, but it was pretty brutal), perfecting our cussing skills, climbing trees and fences, etc.  Now that I think about it, there was plenty of bloodshed and a few stitches.  David had a broken tooth and a forearm fracture, and I got my toe caught in the bicycle spokes and sliced my hand open on the cracked glass on a storm door.  I won't even get started on the time my little sister hit me over the head with a croquet mallet.

Well, I think I'll get busy and do something productive.  I'm just getting home from spending all morning with my latest, nonsensical, misadventure.  But that's another post.

Over and out...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mi Vida Loca

or, for the monolingual among us, "My Crazy Life."

The clouds evaporated and the sun came out.  Linus and Lucy had spent a couple hours outside, without escaping.  In my muddy yard.  So the logical thing was to give them a bath.  Cool them off.  Clean them off.

Great idea, huh?  Since Linus is a newcomer, I had no idea how he felt about baths.  Turns out, he tolerated it very well.  Better than Lucy.  Which isn't saying much.  Unfortunately, the colony of fleas he hosted didn't take it as well.  OMG.  I have a parasite phobia.  I swear, they said he was negative for everything.  Heartworm, rabies, hookworm, and surely, fleas and ticks.  I should've listened to The Daddler when he said the new dog was "knockin' fleas."  I thought it was an allergy to the cat.  It was congruent with his sneezing.

After doing my best to spray away the fleas with the jet setting on the nozzle, I wrapped Linus in a towel and handed him to The D.  I fastened the "Lucky Dog" collar and slipped on the leash, and told D to take him in and put him in the crate (which, fortunately, had clean bedding.)  A minute later, I'd plunged Lucy into the fresh (hopefully flea-less water).  That's when I heard The Daddler holler, "She ran away."  Amber alert.

I abandoned Lucy and ran in the house.  Told D to get in the van.  I grabbed the keys and a leash and headed down the street.  Like a ghost, we kept seeing her, but she didn't materialize.  I jumped out of the van and ran like the devil.  I tried to head her off at the pass.  That's when I saw the mini-van rolling down the street.  The Daddler was behind the wheel.  Pressed into service.  I jumped into the passenger seat and told him to go past Linus, so I could head him back to our house.  The opposite direction of White Station.  Major thoroughfare.

I imagined the convo with the animal clinic's In-House Nurse Ratched, telling her of Linus' demise.  I was comforted by the fact that my house was likely infested with fleas.  And that I'm on the verge of figuring out how to do small claims court.

The D did great.  I instructed him to pull into a driveway, so I could jump out and pursue the prodigal dog.  He did.  And I did.  And Linus submitted.  I snatched him up.  The Daddler was getting out of the van when I got back, and I told him to keep on driving.  And he did.  What was the worst that could happen?

Wow.  I think I should try to reinstate his license.  I'm not sure he could pass the written exam, given the aphasia,  but the truth is, he's a much better driver than I am.  And as far as sense of direction... No contest.  And so what if he got pulled over and ticketed for driving without a license?  If he did some time for doing the crime, I think he'd have a positive influence on his cell mates.  And I'd have a break from preparing meals.

Ok, this is nonsense.  I should close.  I need a nap before I head to the James Taylor concert tonight.  Turns out, everyone I know will be there.  So I should figure out something to wear.  Maybe just a towel, because it'll be a sauna.

Over and out...

The Great Outdoors

Now that I've determined that Linus can't get out of the yard, my life is much easier.  Unfortunately, neither he nor Lucy likes to be outside.  But the weather is very temperate, so I don't feel one bit guilty about exiling them to the shady, but muddy yard.  I now understand, though, why they call it a "mud room."  I purloined some of The Daddler's baby personal cleansing wipes for the filthy paws.  Linus, being a male, covers up his poop, so he gets much dirtier than Lucy, who shits and gits.  Funny, it's kinda inverse to humans.  Think about it.  It's the whole toilet seat conundrum. Backwards.

I'm making progress, and The D seems to be adjusting to the idea of another dog.  I'm still not sure, but I'm comforted by the fact that I'm just fostering bubba.  Kinda like cohabitation.  Or "shacking up" to a traditional lady.  It should be noted that I consider myself to be one, in spite of my sometimes unladylike language.

Actually, I'm just pragmatic.  After the debacle of moving, a year ago, I think moving in with a man would be paramount to marrying him.  And that's not counting what The Daddler and Kiddo would think.  Losing my alimony.  Dealing with difficult stepkids.  But then, there's employer-sponsored health insurance to consider.  I feel a spreadsheet coming on.  Well, actually, it's not an issue for me right now.  Still.  Lots to think about.

In the meantime, I have a fun, paying gig this week.  I get to be an interviewer for a focus group.  I get all of $10/hour for two whole days.  Wonder if I'll get an apple pie or two?  That was my one and only experience with this company.  Don't worry.  They're legit.

Getting paid to talk!  I can't think of anything better!  I'll have to practice modulating my voice.  Enunciating.  Slowing down.  Toning down the southern accent.  Maybe I'll channel Phoebe Finebottom, my British friend.

Better run.  Dogs are barking...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Today's Episode...

...is sponsored by the letter P.

As in Pee.  Or, as The Daddler puts it - Piss.  It always catches me by surprise when he says that, because he never cusses these days.  Except for the occasional "damn" when I scare him with my driving.  One of these days, I'm gonna pull over and make him drive.  I'm sure he'd do a great job.  Seriously.

About the pee.  I did a very impetuous thing.  I brought another dog into our family.  He's a seven year old Jack Russell terrier rescue.  So sweet.  But, he's only recently been neutered.  Which means he's used to marking his territory.  Which means this horrible carpet is ruined.  That's kind of redundant, because beige carpet is intrinsically awful.  On top of Bubba's effort to comfort himself, Lucy has regressed.  So she's peeing everywhere.

To make matters worse, we had a thunderstorm last night.  Both dogs are afraid of thunder.  And they hate the rain.  And my yard is a mud pit.  Picture this.  At 5:48 this morning, I was soaking wet and covered with mud.  Trying to corral two dogs who had full bladders and colons, and very muddy paws.

Somehow, I made it through the day.  Improvised.  The Daddler wasn't too bad.  We decided to divide and conquer.  He maintained Lucy duties, and I handled Linus (a/k/a Bubba).

I was in the home stretch a little while ago.  I'd fixed The D a good dinner, and I was cleaning the kitchen.  He appeared.  He mentioned an accident.  I assumed it was Lucy, but I realized it wasn't her.  It was Daddy.  He showed me his pants, which were very wet.  Said he felt the urge to go, but before he could stand up, it happened.  I told him I'd schedule an appointment with his urologist.  I told him to take a shower and put his clothes in the laundry basket.  I was due to do another couple loads anyway.

I hope his eyes were just watering, but I saw a tear under his lower eyelid.  All of a sudden, I was a new mother with a sick child.  Fiercely protective, and scared to death to realize that I wasn't in control.  That I'm in over my head.

I have my work cut out for me, but I can't think of a better way to spend my time.  And selfishly, I hope that if I can love the unlovely, it'll come back to me in the end...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm the most...

lachrymose...

I've been in a very long time.

I used to be able to figure out how to fix things.  I was a fixer.  In fact, I have total clarity when it comes to fixing other people's problems.  Just not my own.

At the risk of indulging in self-pity, I'll say that I am a victim of my circumstances.  I've never made a practice of playing the victim, but I'm in uncharted territory.  This sandwich generation thing is so hard.  And I've had more than my share of problems over the last three years. 
I'm an affirmation addict.  Unfortunately, I've had very little of this drug of choice, and I'm jonesin' for an 'atta girl.  The Daddler is incapable of expressing approval or appreciation and since he is the primary focus of my energies these days, that can be painful.  I know in my head that he loves me and is happy here with me, but it still hurts when I go out of my way to do something special for him and the best he can do is say, "It's pretty good."  I made homemade ice cream the other night.  I've never done that on my own.  It took lots of planning.  A phone call to an aunt who doesn't use a recipe - when she says to check it in "a little while" and "add more milk until it looks right."  A trip to the grocery store, trying to remember the things on the list I left at home.

As much as I complain about The Daddler, he keeps me hangin' on.  I take care of the ones I love.  Way more than I take care of myself.  I'm no martyr.  But on the other hand, if anyone wants to beatify or canonize me, I'll be flattered.  Did you know that most of the saints were nuts?  There's a whole science devoted to them.  Hagiography.

Well, this is no longer making sense.  I'm going to try to get some sleep.  That's a rare commodity for me these days...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

If Nancy Drew...

...had Google, the books would be much shorter.

It's kinda scary how easy it is to find things out about people.  As a former auditor, I have a very inquiring mind.  And I know how to find information.  I have a few tricks.  In keeping with the cloak and dagger thang, I won't reveal them all, but let's just say, I do my homework.

I will share one, though.  Because I'm so sick and tired of so-called Customer Service Representatives.  They call themselves CSRs for short.  They should be called SNSs.  See n' Say.  Except, instead of saying, "This is a duck.  Quack, Quack.", they say, "Thank you Ms. Mispronounced Last Name, I'm sorry you are having trouble with your (inferior) product today. "  If the CSR is in another continent, I usually have to say,"Pardon me?" at least three times.

I'm not a bigot by any means, but when I'm frustrated, I don't want to tell my story more than five times.  And when the person I'm talking to sounds like they moonlight on weatherband radio, I figure I'm not going to get anywhere.  Once I told the woman that I couldn't understand her and that I'd like to be transferred to a North American representative, and she said, "What part of 'How can I help you?' don't you understand?"  Hmmm.  Reckon that was in the script?  Also, why is it that these CSRs with exotic accents have such humdrum names?  How many Michaels and Amandas can there be in South Asia?

Oh, my point was, if you want to get through to the executive offices of a big corporation, go to the SEC website.  That's Securities and Exchange Commission, not Southeastern Conference.  Look for their 10K, and you'll see a phone number on the first page or two.  Call it.  You probably won't have to go through a 15-step phone tree.  And you're about a thousand times more likely to get results (and avoid going postal), if you can avoid getting caught in the insidious customer service web like a helpless fly.  If you're really mad, find the CEO's name on the 10K, ask for him, and tell his assistant you're his mistress and you need to get through.  Desperate times call for desperate measures...

Oh, well.  I digress.  Let's just say that I'm beginning a new adventure.  About which, I'm going to be very cryptic.  In keeping with my alter-ego.  Nancy.

More later.  Maybe...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Motherhood, redux...

The Daddler had two wisdom teeth removed today.  It was a little more complicated because I have to adjust his coumadin whenever he has an invasive procedure.  I took him for an INR last week (blood clotting test), and it was fine.  I was worried because when I did the laundry, he had a hankie and some shorts stained with blood.  Very atypical.  I think Lucy might have been involved.

There's a long story re his wisdom teeth, but they needed to come out.  He did just fine - didn't even have nitrous.  I swear, I've asked for laughing gas for an overdue cleaning before.  He has a high pain threshold, though.  I didn't inherit it. 

He had tomato basil soup, watermelon, a free milkshake from Chik-fil-a, two glasses of iced tea, and some apple sauce. 

We changed the gauze.  He slept.  I took over Lucy duties.

So, all's well that end's well.

Over and out....

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Minimalism

or... Ockham's razor.

I want to embrace it.  Deb told me I should.  It's that, or a Hoarder's intervention.

Today, I noticed that I had seven bathrobes hanging on the hooks outside my shower.  I decided that I really didn't need that many robes.  And I thought about someone else who didn't even have one.  And I pictured this grateful recipient of my generosity wrapping herself in my beautiful, soft cocoon of fabric. 

It was like Sophie's Choice, but I managed to part with three of the seven.  There was an elaborate deliberation, involving fabric, sleeve and hem length, color, my mother (one had been hers), my former husband (one had been his but he never wore it), designer logo (I kept the two with RL embroidered prominently), and seasonality.

Wow.  So complicated.

But liberating.

And scary.

But I'm on a roll.  So I'll close.  I so desperately want to declutter.  In other words, to simplify.  Maybe when I do, I'll be able to breathe.  Without hyperventilating...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Meaning of Life...

...I've found it.  Get ready.  It's so very simple.

Here goes...

Pegboard.

That's right.  I think this will be the cure for all that ails me.  My panacea, so to speak.

I first stumbled onto it when I was cleaning out The Daddler's workshop at his and mother's house.  He had lots and lots of little brackets.  All different shapes and sizes.  And they were old, which is cool.  Like his beautiful minnow bucket.  Wow.  I didn't really think about it until my plumber admired it.  It was sitting out with so much detritus on my carport when he came for his weekly visit.  I'm not exaggerating - I'm snake-bitten when it comes to plumbing.  This week, it's the dishwasher at my old house.  Last week, my garbage disposal (the third time in a year).  The week before, installation of a water line for the refrigerator which will not fit in the tiny niche in the kitchen cabinets.  Do they make dorm fridges with ice-makers?  The week before that, two clogged drains and a stripped faucet handle.  Damn, I love it when more than one thing goes wrong at a time.  Two birds... 

Before that, the sewer line to the street.  Several toilet episodes.  We have three.  The lever which wouldn't fully divert the water from the tub faucet to the shower head.  The D's spewing Waterpik shower head hose - I managed that one on my own.

Did I mention the morning that I had no hot water?  Turned out, the HVAC guys had turned off the gas to the hot water heater the day before, and neglected to turn it back on.  Big relief to find out that it was an easy (no-cost) fix.  I didn't even mind feeling greasy all day.

Ok.  Back to the original point of this post.  I spent a little time in the shed tonight.  Playing around with all the fun little pegboard brackets.  Hanging things up that had, heretofore, been scattered around at random.  In addition to The Daddler's brackets, a friend had given me some of his unused pegboard accessories. 

I made a dent.  In my flotsam and jetsom.  All because of it.  The Pegboard.  I'm going to install it wall to wall in my house.  I'll have so much fun with my brackets.  And once I'm organized, I'm sure I'll find myself with time on my hands.  And when I do, I'm gonna grab that gorgeous minnow bucket, head to the bait shop, and catch some crappie or bream with The Daddler.

Before that happens, though, I will have organized all his rods and reels, and hooks, lines, and sinkers.  Which reminds me.  The most beautiful sight I can think of is that of a little red and white fishing bob getting pulled under and then popping up from the muddy brown pond water I'd been gazing at, quietly, for what seemed like hours.  Prettier than a sunset over the river.  Fireworks on the fourth of July.  They're so cliche.  Give me a minnow bucket and bob any day...