little_tristan: (Default)
I wish Protestants would stop using the term Immaculate Conception. It's peculiarly Catholic doctrine and they don't know what it means. It sounds good but they're really just perpetuating the confusion.

I also wish Supernatural had come up with a different word for what they call purgatory. Purgatory is a real word. It has a long history and a well-defined meaning. The place they're talking about is not it. So far as I can tell, their purgatory is purely an invention for the show--given that the monsters who go there don't exist--so they could have made up a name for it rather than appropriating an unrelated word.

These things don't offend me as a Catholic. They offend me as a student of the English language.

The atmospheric pressure is changing. It's killing my sinuses and I want to go to bed. This is the only time I still miss Steve. But I don't miss being lifted at arm's length.

There was another dust-up with the arch-nemesis this morning. He got all petty about the amount of stuff I had cluttering up the counter in "his" bathroom. (A bottle of body wash, a bottle of hair oil, a razor and a box of replacement blades.) I was taking the dogs out and found my things in a box of trash he'd gathered up and left on the shower chair in the hall.

He said of course I could put the important stuff back in the bathroom, but where? Not on the counter. He just cleaned it! And the medicine cabinet is too shallow and the shelves too close together, and he just cleaned the windowsill, too, and his stuff is under the sink, but I can put it anywhere else if I just tell him where!

I assumed it was a rhetorical question. He did suggest that, since I use those things so rarely, I should just leave them on the chair. In the hall. That gets knocked over at least twice a week by me or the dogs (or Russell, in the dark).

That seemed to be the one last humiliation that it was still possible to avoid, so I took my stuff to my room and am trying to figure out a way to transport it back and forth easily enough that Mark won't get pissed off every single time I take a shower. Or worse, put it back in the bathroom (where it belongs) so I can pick it all out of the trash again in a couple weeks.

In less cranky news, stamps came today so I'm going to mail holiday cards tomorrow. It'll be a good project while I wait for Tammy. This week I'm going to ask her to do the stuff I felt too guilty to ask for last week, since I felt too guilty to ask anyone else, either.

There were two Discover magazines in the mail. I just subscribed a few weeks ago and recently got the November issue. Today I got December and January/February. I forgot they do that, use up as many of the issues you've paid for as they can with ones already printed. It's cost-saving without being a complete ripoff. At least to me. I like missing out on as few as possible.

Sort of on a whim, I subscribed to Mother Jones yesterday. I wasn't even sure what it was until I saw it on Amazon. If asked, I'd have guessed newspaper. I've seen it sourced in a lot of really interesting articles on the web and their information generally holds up. I'm hoping it's less pretentious than The New Yorker. The a-n makes me read some of the articles and explain them to him. He only knows what about half the words mean. It takes forever.

(Off, crankypants! Get back!)

Hours later, my headache is mostly gone and there is promise of food soon. Not food that I love, but certainly edible and nutritious food. If Ranger steals another pork chop right off the broiler pan, I'll try to get a picture.
little_tristan: (Default)
Not my kind of service, though. She should be a hearing dog for the Deaf. I've never seen a dog react so consistently to such a wide variety of sounds. She's always right here to tell me when my phone rings or a programmed alarm goes off. And she loves dragging people to investigate strange, tiny noises that we don't hear until we're right on top of them.

She's an excellent fuzzy friend, but her talents are wasted here. If she didn't have kids to herd once or twice a week she wouldn't get to use her skills at all.

Too bad she hates the arch-nemesis. He could use an attention getting dog. His sister's calling me three times a week trying to reach him. He never hears his phone when she calls him. He tells me the problem is she's old and doesn't know how to work her cell phone. That makes me laugh. If he could work his phone, he could call up an iron kettle and tell it that it's black. But he can't. Lucky kettle.

I'm watching the Flight of the Phoenix remake. The writers didn't know much about pilots. It has a lot of weirdly bad scenes designed for high Hollywood drama but only one really bothers me. After the crash, when the girl is trying to talk the captain into being strong for his passengers, he says it's not a Girl Scout troop and he isn't there to hold anyone's hands.

Okay, it's not Girl Scouts. If it was, they'd have cookies. But those people are his responsibility until they arrive at their destination, not just until the plane hits the ground in some random piece of desert. He's still the captain, he's still in charge, and if hands need holding, that is his job. Unless he officially delegates it to another employee, but he still has to supervise.

In the end, he gets his own airline because he's such a famous hero. In reality he'd likely be unemployable after treating his passengers with such disdain. In the original, Jimmy Stewart just hauled cargo. He was good with people and knew his job. This guy needs to go back to flying metal pipes around.

Oddly, the designer who shoots the wounded enemy in cold blood could probably still get on with NASA. Fewer public relations issues there.

If you're wondering why I own the dvd and watch it repeatedly, I have a two word answer: Hugh Laurie.

The longer answer is that I just love the story. The book is excellent and I'll probably own every movie version they make during my lifetime, even though the 1965 will almost certainly never be equaled.
little_tristan: (Kindle)
Maybe it was a one-time thing, like when a silverfish fell out of a used book I got in the mail and failed to reproduce. The silverfish, I mean. I suspect the book has reproduced several times over.

Criminal Minds is being gross with amputations and fertilizer and other ickiness. But Reid finally almost had a story arc! It was SO close. And Henry's costume made up for ALL the things!

The arch-nemesis has outdone himself again. He wanted me to look up a documentary show and tell him what time it was on. Also what channel. And he couldn't remember what it was called, but he sort of knew what it was about. So could I please locate that in the next thirty seconds.

It actually took a couple minutes. I wish I hadn't done, though. He'll expect me to do it again. And after finally I convinced him that I really couldn't Google what, specifically, was wrong with his car when it was making a noise that time.

Anyway, I solaced myself with some new Kindle books--Jaws, Jurassic Park, and The Bell Jar. Kind of a mixed bag, but they're all ones I've been waiting for on Kindle and now they're here! This is good because I still have to read 36 books by the end of the year or else look like a giant failure on GoodReads. I don't know why this matters. Probably it doesn't.

But there still may be a children's/YA dash the last half of December. Unless I decide to take up Zane Grey.

There was an ad for the local news where the talking head announced they'd be covering "How your genes/jeans help determine how you vote". The graphic was Romney/Obama. Without more clues, I honestly don't know if they're talking about our DNA or our pants. Probably both angles are equally valid. I don't watch the local news, except to get the weather.

The election hasn't happened. I wish it would. Today the robocalls show as BLOCKED in the caller ID. This is not more subtle. I already didn't answer when it was from IL, where it might possibly have been an actual person I know. Or DC, when it might have been the actual president. Perhaps in four years they'll have learned to hack our phones and make it appear as if our mothers are calling. Of course I still wouldn't answer. I'd want to save the voicemail.

Today I deleted 20,000 words of The Dancer. Pretty much everything beyond the point where I stopped last night, except for one paragraph of dialog that I quite like. With luck it will fit back in somewhere. The rest was all a mess with people being married to the wrong people and being too religious and characters hanging about who should have shriveled up and fallen off when I cut them out back at the beginning. Plus that whole section was about something that isn't going to happen now. Or if it does, it'll happen differently, with the right people being married and widowed and fallen off the page. But I think it'll be something else entirely.

Hopefully I'll get an inkling as to what, basically, that might be in time to write 500 words about it before bed.
little_tristan: (Otters Significant Otters)
The nemesis pitched a bitch over room temperature, as he does most days, because it was only 74 degrees and he was chilly in his flip flops and Hawaiian shirt. I didn't want to turn it up because I was wearing a heavy skirt and three shirts. It's October, after all, and this year it's the start of winter. (In 2006 October was summer. We never know which it'll be until it happens.) But I did turn it up, I always do, and got screamed at anyway.

It turned into a bigger problem when Ranger got sick. I'm not sure what her initial problem was but she self-medicated by eating dog shit, rocks, and those needles off the tree out back that we haven't identified. And then puking it up all over the house. She didn't care for the heat either, but the nemesis doesn't like her so her vote didn't count. She just slept against the front door crack all day.

Mark was closing up the house for the night when his dad caught him and ordered him to order me to turn up the heat during the day. They yelled at each other for a good ten minutes about heating costs and my right to be comfortable in my part of the house (not unlike his right to keep his part of the house at 90 degrees and make us pay for it), but that didn't count for much, either. He insists he only wants 15 minutes of extreme heat while washing dishes and flat out denied the two other times he walked into the kitchen that afternoon, shouted Christ, it's cold in here!, and stood around waiting until I turned it up for him. It's similar to his version of asking (How about some damn heat in here already?), but he says it doesn't count. I guess because I cut off the screaming before he made it a question.

Anyway, I went in there and ended it when I heard Mark ask him if he understood what muscular dystrophy actually is, and he said of course he does, he's been living with me for years. I can not hear that from the person who puts my food on the highest shelves, leaves broom handles lying across doorways, and routinely locks me out of the house because he can use the door with the key and I can't. If he refuses to grasp that I can't change my clothes when it gets too hot or too cold, he doesn't get to claim to understand anything. But just because we got to go to bed, that doesn't mean it's over.

We didn't give Ranger her pills or supper, the vet thought her stomach needed the rest, but we left the bedroom door open so she could sleep with us. I didn't want her thinking she didn't get fed because I just went to bed and forgot about her. But she wasn't very happy and didn't want to lick my hand when I said goodnight.

It got better, though. First because having her curled up beside the bed kept Mr. Sloane on my pillow much longer than usual. I do love sleeping with a peaceful, fuzzy cat in my face, but he leaves early when the room is too warm. Unless there's a dog present. We even have a saying for it, recited to the tune of shave and a haircut: Dog in the cat-room, oh no!

The nemesis got hold of Mark again this morning, waylaying him by the side door on his way to start the truck and sending him all over the house in search of a bathrobe which may or may not exist. The a-n says he bought it years ago but none of us remember it. Mark never found it, but he was late to work so the point was made. Stupidly, of course, as it's very cold in this old barn in the morning and all the heaters were on everywhere. But he wouldn't be able to torment Mark later, so he had to pretend to be cold and blame us for it while he had the chance.

Fortunately Ranger seems to be all better. That overrides senile stupidity and lets me say my day is off to a good start. Her nose is cold and wet again, which I couldn't help but notice when I got my crazy happy morning hand licking, and she ate her supper for breakfast. Although she did eat it lying down, which tells me her joints hurt and I ought to give her a pain pill to make up for the one she didn't get last night. Then we can be stoned and happy together.

Last night I was kind of sad about having so few people friends, at least in RL. (I understand it and it's my fault, but it still makes me sad.) But when I have a giant wet dog nose under one hand and a warm furry kitty under the other, it really doesn't seem to matter that much. Fortunately the world will never lack those two things.
little_tristan: (Kitten Halloween)
Heather and the kids got here early. The kids were a huge pain, as usual. How do two year olds even survive? I'm frankly amazed there are so many people on the planet if we all had to go through that phase. Which, as I'm given to understand, we did. Just amazing.

But. Tammy was over to dust and I couldn't be happier! Having tackled the really tough areas on her previous visits, she went over those rooms again and then finished the living room. It's sincerely cleaner than it's ever been. I don't even know for sure how she does it, just that it's not coming back nearly as fast, either. More amazement.

If the events of the day don't seem like enough to fill the time, the rest of it was spent just kind of looking around at how sparkly it all was. I get lost in sparkle.

Heather has a friend who's moving so she unpacked all the stuff that's been delivered since last Wednesday and took the boxes. That was handy. There have been virtually no men in my house the last couple weeks, in spite of the fact that they comprise 75% of the population. That's not amazing, just weird. But now all the stuff is put away and the room is clean! At least to my standards!

The wheelchair guy came in the afternoon to put the new tilt actuator in my broken chair. Which is nice and all. It still worked, but Willow had done so much damage to the wiring that the whole thing was pretty iffy. (Note: When Border Collie puppies appear to be sleeping innocently under your feet, check every ten seconds.) They're still not making any progress on the motor situation--you know, the whole reason I called this circus in--but I think I've finally gotten the truth as to why.

Yer gonna love this. The insurance company is too cheap to take a flier on me actually knowing what's wrong and signing off on the repairs. They want it computer analyzed with the little Quickie programmer that will chat with the chair and give a code for the problem. Otherwise I could just be one of those wacky cripples who demands new motors every time theirs gets, I don't know, dusty or something. Literally, I don't what the thinking is here. Can't even make something up. It's like trying to be funny in a foreign language.

The upshot is that this repair company I'm dealing with sees so few Quickie power chairs that they don't technically own a computer programmer, per se. Were there a way to research these shops, I could have found out months ago that their market consists of Quickie manual chairs and Invacare Prontos*. But I still find it odd that I've spoken to them many times, they've been to the house three times, and this is the first I'm hearing that they aren't actually equipped to diagnose or repair the problem. I mean, even if it got through reception, wouldn't someone in the shop look at the form and mention that they don't do that?

Oh, wait. That must be why I also just heard something about no one having written anything down about... Shit.

So I'll probably be calling the inherent liars that I got the chair from and brace myself for the flood of half-truths and broken promises to follow.

Moving on. It's cold and rainy in Oregon now so I've broken out the fuzzy sweaters and heavy skirts. It's nice, except for the whole arch-nemesis in threadbare shirt and flip flops shouting at me to turn up the heat. It's ninety degrees in his part of the house and he's not happy unless mine is, too. So he's perfectly comfortable for the collective thirty minutes
a day he spends walking through.

I sort of hate my fuzzy sweaters by noon. But they're so soft and pretty! I'm determined not to spend this winter like I did last, wearing the same clothes five days in a row, regardless of dog prints and food stains. It was ugly and sad and did not make me happy. Not like my grey skirt with black roses does. Except I just got it this summer and it's already too big. But that's a good thing, too. Heather has a friend who can alter the stuff I still want to wear next year.

This morning got off to a rocky start when I pulled a Kleenex out of the box, wiped my nose, and then saw the dime sized black and grey bug of horror clinging to it. Creepiness-wise, that's right up there with the time I washed my face with a washcloth that was discovered to have an earwig in it. This house is full of surprises.

I won't spoil the one about the spiders. You have to see that for yourself.;)




*If you or someone you love has an Invacare Pronto and wonders why it seems so damn cheap and crappy, it's because it is. $4000 at Walmart.com. Anybody can have one. Insurance approves them when they don't think you need a power chair but they want to get you off their backs. Respect for you? They haz none.
little_tristan: (Volcano)
Mark's phone woke us up at one this morning. Usually he leaves it charging in the kitchen overnight, but it was still in the belt holster last night so we actually heard it. Of course the caller had hung up by the time Mark crawled to the foot of the bed in the dark, located his pants, and then got the phone open. Other people (me, at least, maybe I'm alone in this) check to see who called. But Mark's one of those who literally doesn't care. All he wants is to go back to sleep.

Which he did manage to do, for about two minutes. I was waiting for something else to ring so I was awake when the banging started on the bedroom door. Mark jumped up and shouted WHAT!?!?!, in a perfect sleep-deprived fury. Anyone else would have fled, meaning it could only be the arch-nemesis who let himself in. And what was so important that he was actually intruding in our bedroom at one in the morning?*

"Did you know there's a light** on down in the basement?"

I wish I was making that up.

Mark said he knew (YES!!!!!), but somehow that didn't end it. For some reason, maybe because it was so bloody fucking late, the a-n ignored everything he should know about Mark's electrical skills and knowledge and went on to his main point, "Aren't you worried it might start a fire?" I wish I could recreate his dog-awful old-man-from-Kansas accent so you could appreciate the full skin-crawling obnoxiousness of that one word. Over which Mark completely lost his shit.

"NO I'M NOT WORRIED ABOUT A FIRE!! JESUS CHRIST!!! SHUT UP AND GO TO SLEEP!!!!!!"

The door slammed in the dark, the dog gate at the kitchen doorway rattled and banged, and in the silence that followed, as Mark huddled back down in the blankets, completely focused on sleep, I heard Russell's phone begin to ring upstairs.

It's a terrifying thought, but Heather being so nice to him might have accidentally given the old man the idea that he understands what's going on around here and that his input is relevant. Seriously, when it comes to household/work situations, he's never told us anything we didn't already know, or suggested an idea that we hadn't already considered and rejected (primarily because we start working our problems long before he realizes they exist). So we've always had to put up with a lot of foolishment and redundant nagging, but if he's really going to start pointing out the incredibly obvious In. The. Middle. Of. The. Night--hey, you know that light that's been on 24/7 for the last 6 months? Yeah, it's on--that's a whole other ball of crazy.

I'm really starting to get how elder abuse happens. It's not right and I'm not condoning it in any way. I just kinda get how locking them in their rooms at night with no phones could start to make sense to otherwise kind and rational people. Because you know what you need to be kind and rational? SLEEP.


*Seriously, Mark is 56 years old, works 16 hours a day, gets six hours sleep a night, and has to get up at 3:30. Fucking with his sleep is a criminal offense in Gilead.

**It's a veg light and it's been on day and night since at least May. Maybe April. Low wattage, no heat, safest thing in the world.
little_tristan: (Puppy Upside Down Willow)
But it could have been worse. Long version of the story: The other day I was out on the front porch smoking (because I don't allow it in the house, except in Mark's man-cave office). I was gone 5-10 minutes, and when I came back in, the arch-nemesis was in the kitchen/dining room doorway beating Willow with his cane. I started screaming at him, telling him for the millionth time that that kind of behavior is just making things worse (he tries to close the half door by waving his cane around in the dining room (her territory) and hooking the door to pull it shut, which she also hates) and he went off me. There was a lot of shrieking about how I'M the one making it worse (now?) by not having trained her better from the beginning, and it's all my fault that she's a vicious bitch who deserves to die.

Sadly, Steve was out on the side steps having his own cigarette and telephone break (he likes privacy when he talks to his friends, which is totally his right) so he missed the whole thing. I took Will into my room and put up the baby gate, which she's terrified of because she hates inanimate objects that move when she touches them, and stayed in there crying like a fool until Steve came and found us. I told him what happened and explained that it's so awful because "Willow is our puppy of life and hope. Everyone died last year and Willow is the only good thing that came out of that whole God-awful mess (well, and you, of course)." Which made him go all shy and adorable, and eventually got me a hug. He said he couldn't talk to the a-n about it because it's not his place, but he would be willing to talk to the boys about the effect it's having on me (near hysteria), because that's unacceptable. I asked him not to because they know what the problem is and told me to handle it. And venting to Steve did make me feel better.

The next day, I found Doc's old Gentle Leader out in the shop and put it on Willow. She now wears in all day, until the boys come home at least, so I can keep her on a leash and not keep wrecking my arm like I was doing with the collar leash. She does pretty well with it and is with either me or Steve at all times, so she's safe. I also wrote the a-n a lengthy and rather hostile letter telling him she won't be running loose so he can just back the fuck off and leave her the fuck alone.
You can read it here if you want. )

Which brings me to my elbow. This morning when the boys left, I decided to play with Will for a while before putting the halter on. I was throwing her rubber bone and she was bringing it back, having a really great time. Right up until the fourth throw, when she brought it to me and then started playing keep away. I'd reach for it and she'd lower her head or drop it altogether, then hold it up and lower it when I reached again. It was on the third reach that I suddenly lost my balance and remembered as I fell that I hadn't put my seatbelt on. It's such an automatic action, the minute I'm dressed and sitting down I buckle up, but I totally forgot today.

Luckily Willow didn't know what was happening (is she coming down here to play with me?!?), so I landed pretty squarely on her with the right side of my body. This is good because my right shoulder is already nine kinds of fucked, so I rolled off her and landed on my left side. It was loud and scary and I hit my head. I also left my phone in its pocket on my chair, and since I can't sit up at all, it may as well have been on the roof with a dead battery. This being ten (TEN!) minutes after the boys left, and Steve being in the habit of sleeping til seven or eight, I had to make a LOT of noise to wake him up. It took about half an hour of shouting and other things (the third thing he said, after "What happened?" and "Are you okay?" was "Where did the video tapes come from?" My answer? "It was all I could reach and I was pounding them on the floor.") but he very promptly rescued me. He's a small man, maybe 5'6" and definitely weighs less than me, and has a sore back, but he refused to call the fire department for help and did an astounding job of picking up my enormous ass and getting it back into my chair. I gave him a Vicodin after and he said it helped.

So it was kind of my lucky day, even though my left elbow and knee are beautifully bruised. But don't worry, Willow is fine.
little_tristan: (Prison)
Do old people ever just drop dead in the middle of the day, or do you have to start over every morning waiting to see if they wake up? I ask because he's gone out and acquired a totally new (metal) cane just to keep in the kitchen for puppy bashing.

The answer!

Dec. 5th, 2011 09:09 am
little_tristan: (Zombie Response Team)
I've figured out why the Arch-nemesis seems immortal. He's already dead! The signs were there all along. The shuffling gait, the nonsensical moaning and roaring, the way he's been eating my brain all these years--obviously he's a zombie. It even explains the smell.

Now we just need to enclose the property, put out warning signs for the neighbors, and wait for him to finish decomposing.
little_tristan: (Kitten Prepared for War)
The house has become sort of an unarmed camp. Since I last posted, the boys have swung around to my side, but even with three of us we're losing. Or maybe we've already lost. The nemesis is convinced that Willow is attacking him when he's sitting in his office chair in the library. (Having finally destroyed the manual wheelchair he took from me, he's now appropriated the last of the boys' chairs with working features.) She jumps on him, yes, because we can't seem to break her of jumping on everyone. But when she does it to us, we either tell her off in an appropriately stern voice (followed by sit, so she has something to do), or, if we're feeling warm and fuzzy, grab an armful of puppy and get our faces licked. Really, it depends on if she's been out in the mud or not.:)
Much complaining this way... )
little_tristan: (Prison)
I couldn't sleep because I was pissed at Bruder for taking the nemesis' side in a dispute over dog care, which will make my life hell forever. I lay away fuming so long I had to pee again, but Herr was tired and we miscalculated a little so I ended up on the floor beside the bed. Ouch. He tried three times to pick me up, but I now outweigh him but such a large margin, all he did was hurt his back. He had to go upstairs and get Bruder so they could lift me together, which was when it became slightly more relevant that I wasn't wearing any underwear.

After the bathroom, I crunched up a Xanax so I could get to sleep. I haven't done that in years and years, not since the breakdown when I was taking them all day and all night--in fact it's the first time in years I've had two whole ones in one evening. (Sometimes I nibble a half in the afternoon if things get bad. I'm only human.) It worked, though. I was asleep in about 8 minutes. But it screwed up my internal clock so when the alarm didn't go off, I didn't wake up in bewilderment wondering why. Instead we both woke up in bewilderment 70 minutes late when Bruder finally came to see if we were dead or what.

So now I'm a cranky-ass bitch with a sore leg and a Xanax hangover, preparing to spend the day with a puppy with a sprained elbow (too many laps around the yard) and a bleeding asshole of a nemesis who's going to insist he has Bruder's permission to put her out whenever he wants. So long as he's responsible and lets her back in. The way he's responsible for turning off the stove when he uses it. Or shutting off the water in the sink when he leaves the room. Or closing the for chrissakes front door when he comes in. If he's as responsible with Willow as he is with all those other things, it'll be a sad Christmas in Gilead. (These are the thoughts that were keeping me awake, btw.)

There were bright points in the afternoon, of course. The new Kindle is everything it's supposed to be. I downloaded all the books I haven't read, and the ones I've read that I love, but left out the disappointments to save room. Not that I really need to. It has 3000 MGs of storage and my 200-odd books take up about 240. It's sort of a dream of mine to keep one alive until it's full. Or until I read the majority of the books on it. One or the other.

The display case met with everyone's approval, too, and I got to spend a fun hour or so putting the kitties away. The best part is that there's room on the top shelf for more tiny kitties (up to a dozen if they're no bigger than an inch or so), so I can keep collecting. I have the tripod, too, so the video will happen sometime when the nemesis is out of the house and the dogs are quiet. I will try to get them in it, though. Ranger's getting shinier (and her hackles are growing back!), while Willow's just plain beautiful in the way that only a young dog in perfect health can be.

Okay, the day wasn't a total loss. It's just an awful lot of fighting for a couple good things. Now I wish I could go back to bed and just try again tomorrow. Except, at some point, I would have to pee.
little_tristan: (Fist With Hardon)
It's like I've come full circle. I set out a few weeks ago to be nicer to the arch-nemesis and try to understand his whole senile journey. But within a few days I was losing it and yelling at him again. Which isn't entirely my fault since he can't hear and you pretty much have to yell, but I probably would have anyway so it counts. And now I've gotten to the point where, when he says something deeply irrational, I actually kind of enjoy throwing logic at him until he becomes completely inarticulate. Every battle ends with him shouting Well I don't know, to which I get to respond, If you don't know, then stay out of it. Because he's always bitching at me about things he doesn't know/can't understand and then refuses to accept any answer that I give. The only way out is to reason until he no longer knows what questions/accusations are even appropriate anymore.

It really isn't fair, though. I wonder what's in his head, how he perceives the world around him and if he really believes the things he says. Maybe he's just making up shit out of frustration and then I make it worse by poking holes in his stories. (If Willow craps on the floor because she thinks she's supposed to, to the point where she'll play outside for an hour, then run in real quick, crap, and go right back outside, then how can he say he sees her "asking to be let out because she has to crap"? What would that even look like? We don't know because she's never done it.)

And the worst part? I think I'll probably keep on doing it because it's the only way to shut him up. If he can't learn anything else, maybe he can at least learn that shouting at me is more trouble that it's worth.
little_tristan: (BtVS Spike Sod Off)
I'm completely failing at my enlightened approach to be nicer to Captain Senility. I was moderately failing before, but then I so generously killed an entire Friday setting up a computer for him (which felt oddly like deleting my life so he could replace it with the yawning emptiness that is his own), and that earned me some points. It's like collecting indulgences so I can get to heaven.

But today we're screaming at each other again and I am awash with hate and rage. Why? )

I'm going to make popcorn and watch horror movies now. It's fun to fantasize about being a vengeful ghost.
little_tristan: (Ranger)
Yesterday I got into all kinds of trouble when the old man found out I've been leaving the back door unlocked during the day. I go in and out a lot and the latch is kind of a bitch. You know how it is. True, there have been a lot of robberies in the area lately (20 in the last month!), and they all involve unlocked doors, but only between the hours of 1 and 4 in the morning. Which is when our house is waking up, and we lock the doors at night anyway. I explained all that (and wasn't he disappointed that I had heard the facts already), and that there's too much activity here for daytime burglars. Too many cars out front, too many voices inside, not to mention his radio cranked up so you can hear it across the street and down the block, and him standing in the window in his underwear all day. We're just bad targets.

When I added that, besides, no one wants to mess with my dog, he had what he must've thought was the final answer. He said all it would take was a pellet gun. He told me that when he lived in Albuquerque, someone broke into his trailer, killed his white German Shepherd with a pellet gun and stole everything in the place. I stuck to my theory in spite of that (he wasn't home, Albuquerque is a cesspool, our retired neighbors are outside all day and crime on the block is way down), but he wasn't having it.

Now here's what's interesting about his little dog story. It's. Not. True. I told the boys about it this morning and both of them were stunned by the length and breadth of the lie. He never lived in a trailer in Albq, and he never owned any such dog. The boys had a white Shepherd when they were kids in Texas, living with their mom, but he never did. And all his years in Albq, he lived in a motel that was essentially a concrete fortress. Bruder had a room there for a while to run his business out of, just because it was so impossible to break into.

So this is what we've come to. He's making up dead dogs to try to scare me into thinking someone will kill MY dog, so he can have his way about something that doesn't matter.
little_tristan: (Home)
The arch-nemesis actually set an alarm so he could get up at five this morning and catch the boys before work to tell them to move Mom's van off the lawn, since the mowers are coming today. There are a lot of reasons that this turned into a screaming match in just a matter of seconds. First, he opened with, "You know only white trash keep cars on their front lawn." This isn't the insult you might take it for, as he has actually called me white trash to my face, while telling me we have the worst house on the street. And this is when there was an actual crack house directly across from us. So relatively speaking, today's shot was a minor one.

But the real reason he got yelled at is that it's his fault. Our driveway could actually hold four cars and have all of them be accessible if they were arranged correctly. We used to do it, even when there were only three vehicles, because the fewer there are, the better it worked. But one day the boys went out separately, one taking the van and one the truck, and he went out and moved his car to the exact center of the driveway, which is technically the best spot. The spot you'd use if there was only one car. The spot that no one got to park in with our configuration, because the center had to be open. He's held that spot ever since, and there's been nothing we can do about it, short of moving his car. Which we've done, btw. He just puts it back. So not only can we not fit Mom's minivan in the drive, we have to park our Econoline with two wheels in the grass and then back it onto the sidewalk to lower the lift, because, you know, his car blocks it. (We can't park on the other side of his car because that side of the driveway is gravel and the current lift won't work on uneven ground.)

So he's bitching at us over something that's his fault. And his solution is to park the minivan in the back yard, instead. Because it's okay so long as no one can see it. (Remember the junk yard in the videos? We never wanted that, either.) I'm against the backyard because there are too many hazards. Little things that the mowers could pick up and throw at it. It'd also take up most of the dog's exercise space. But the best part is that it doesn't start anyway. No one could legally drive it until the estate reached a point that wasn't reached until last week, so it's just been sitting. The battery went flat and we jumped it once, to move it out of the driveway so the landscapers could back their truck up to the gate, and now it won't hold a charge. (I also have to mention that even when it was in the driveway, he was bitching and whining at me to put it in the backyard because it blocked his view of the kids walking home from the high school. Considering that he was watching while standing in front of a totally uncovered window in just his boxers, I didn't have a problem with that. Presumably the kids didn't, either.)

Anyway, it needs a new battery, which isn't as easy as it sounds because there are some after-market electrical modifications crouching on top of it and we haven't figured out how to get it out of there yet, but it's somewhere on our to-do list. Just because driving and keeping it in shape is the right thing to do, not because I'm going to pull a parking space out of my ass and save him, the fat hairy guy in the window in his underwear, blaring the musak versions of the greatest hits of the 1940s, from the accusation of being white trash.

But the real showdown? Will be in a few hours when he comes and says these things to me, and I respond with all the arguments I've written here. I saw Kay on Wednesday. She says we need to set boundaries for him. No better place to start than with things that are none of his business, like where I park my mommy's van, and what I do with my lawn.

And, if he pushes me, we're going to talk puppy, too.
little_tristan: (Riptide Murray's Bad Day)
I'm swiftly losing my mind living with an idiotic old man who shouts normal conversations and SHRIEKS when he wants to raise his voice. And he shrieks often. Why? Because he feels it's his duty to constantly scream at the dogs to shut up without any regard whatsoever for why they're barking. And the noise makes Willow bark more, so there's a vicious circle in hell right there. Sometimes he'll wait as long as fifteen seconds after she's stopped barking before yelling at her to shut up, which of course makes her bark again.

But usually? There's something to bark at. And he never bothers to find out what it is, just stands there with his back to the dogs, or even in another room, screaming at them to shut up. Meanwhile, UPS men knock on the door, mail gets delivered, cars pull into the driveway, neighbors pop over to ask if we've seen their cats--all things that dogs are supposed to bark about so that we know something's happening. Sometimes it's not even that. Right now he's shouting and cursing because the girls were wrestling and Willow, who is, after all, only 4 months old, got so excited she let out a little puppy yap. No doggy sound is too reasonable, or insignificant, to escape the nemesis' demented orders to STFU. And no logic is obvious enough to convince him that he's only making it worse.
little_tristan: (Puppy Willow)
For a while now, Willow's been working toward going outside to do her puppy thing. This means she pees in the kitchen and craps in the library, right outside the arch-nemesis' bedroom door. Of all the square footage in the library, that's her spot. Right in front of his door. It amuses me a little. Especially on days when he steps in it. (I know it's mean, but come on. I don't have much.)

Today he was extra mad, though. So he came up with a brilliant plan: Since the weather's getting better, we can just leave the back door open all day. After all, she's doing it in the library because she thinks she's outside. (Where we keep the rest of the books? I don't know.)

Because I never tire of shouting the same things over and over to a senile egotist who's never actually listened to a female in his life about anything anyway, I reminded him about the holes in the fence, the vast number of things in the patio workshop that a busy puppy could use to commit suicide (am I the only one who remembers Doodle?), and the fact that she can still squeeze under the gate to freedom. But it all fell on (literally) deaf ears. Every once in a while he wanders back in to share more reasons why she'd be fine outside. None of it makes sense. In between the words to and share, he came in and made me open a case of tp for him. When I was done ripping cardboard, he pointed to Willow and said, "I think she's getting bigger". She's more than doubled in size over the last month, but he still says these things (daily!) as if they were profound statements on world events. A totally new take on global warming, perhaps.

I acknowledged that she has, indeed, gotten bigger. To which he responded, "She'll make it." WTF does that even mean? She'll make it where? Under the gate and into the street? Or is he suggesting that her having gone from 9 pounds to 22 means she's now big and strong enough to survive his completely insane plans to minimize his inconvenience? Or perhaps he's determined, based on the fact that I closely observe her outside nine times a day and he ignores her completely unless she's barking, that she's too big to escape the yard. I'll never know. I put up a baby gate to keep her from going down there at all. And if cleaning up after a puppy on an unfinished wood floor is nearly impossible, while the library floor is tile (TILE!), that's not his problem.

And the other day, I figured out why. Whenever someone comments on one of our dogs, Bruder always puts on his Dr. Know-It-All voice and proclaims, "I've had dogs all my life". I don't know what information this is really meant to convey (I've had dogs all my life, so that's why I let my sister-in-law raise and train them for me now?), but being a child of a very traditional family (which always had dogs--I just don't feel the need to announce it to everyone I meet on a daily basis), I inferred incorrectly that this meant his father had dogs. But I forgot the real history. The a-n's wife took the kids and left him when Bruder was about 4 years old. After that, the boys spent vacations with their dad some years, for some holidays, but they lived with their mom. She had dogs. The old man did not. He lived with a dog for a while when the boys were with him as adults, but the dog was also grown.

He's never had a puppy in his life.

That makes me sad for him. Yet glad for all of puppy-kind.
little_tristan: (Daria: Mr. D)
WARNING: Triggering accounts of rape, child abuse, victim-blaming, and rage-inciting insensitivity on the part of some white dude who gets paid to be a dick in the big-city paper.

First, the New York Times article, here. (If they take it down, let me know. I have it saved as a Word doc and will happily forward.)

If you can't see what's wrong with it, click here to have it explained.

And, finally, click here to point out to the aforementioned white dude that he's being a dick right in front of God and everyone. In case he also needs it explained.
little_tristan: (Losers Don't Start None)
Day 2 - What do you enjoy least about life at the moment?

My arch-nemesis. He's old, he's loud, he makes me keep the heat cranked up to 75 so he can walk around in his underwear all day while my eyeballs dry out and my skin blisters. He cooks awful food and expects us to eat it, leaves the water running in the bathroom and then denies it (even though we're the only ones home and I don't use that bathroom), and throws away important bits of Herr's machine because it all looks like scrap metal to him. And then he steals my Scotch tape. I could go on and on, and I have, and I will again, but for now it's enough to say that if nothing worse comes along, I'm probably lucky.

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