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: (Books Not Blogs)
But first, today: Blasted Heath is giving away a Kindle book TODAY ONLY that sounds like a lot of fun. If you have Kindle capabilities, or are interested in downloading the desktop reader, grab your free copy of Fireproof.

Now yesterday:

Apparently I was so busy, I forgot to play FarmVille. This is a good thing. My crops withered in the fields like Biblical justice, but my hoard of foals is fine. Animals that are cute and don't die are awesome.

Heather brought her son and the babysitting (babysat?) girl over yesterday. It was a little rough. I adore them both, but the girl is a bit scared of me. She's five. She's terribly like I was at five, which means scared of almost everyone, yet really, really needing to talk to them. I think she's afraid I'll yell at her, because I yell at the boy so much. But he's horrible and his mom can't do all the yelling. It's exhausting. He needs people working in shifts to get it all done in a day. Otherwise his parents would have to yell at him while he sleeps just to stay caught up.

The girl is smart and imaginative and able to obey as well as carry on conversations so I never want to yell at her. Except when the boy is climbing on something and there's about to be a smash of broken glass and I nearly run her down getting to him because she decides she needs to get there first and help yell. I'm afraid I hurt her feelings then, but it's better than breaking her leg. They never understand that it can really happen until it does.

But Heather did round up all the returnable cans that we've been saving in random bags (and strewn across the floor) and carry them away. She has a recycling center near her where they give out barcoded bags. When you return them, they count up the cans and bottles and add it to your account. We give her ours to buy gas to keep visiting. Luckily we drink a lot of rubbish with deposits.

More this week, since there's suddenly no water from the fridge. The tap water here is unpleasant so I rely on the Whirlpool and its inline filter. But the waterline from the basement ruptured somehow (Mark says it looks like it was deliberate, which is deeply strange) and now there is no water. The arch-nemesis, who is weird about ice, can't cope with this either. Only he fails to cope by trying to get ice two or three times a day and making us explain each time that it's just not going to happen. (For fuck's sake, just drink the whiskey neat, old man!, is how these talks usually end.)

I stopped drinking water, which also isn't smart, but is less annoying for other people. Heather brought me a couple of bottles yesterday. It's very good, but I'm trying to make it last. Maybe the boys will get me more today. I need to send someone to the library. There's probably a store with water between here and there. I miss going to the library. But it got to freezing last night and not much higher since. The light outside is yellow, like there's going to be thunder.

I hope there's going to be thunder.

Murphy Sloane is slowing down at last. He sways so continuously, and falls down often enough, that I've taken to calling him Wobbles. It's a fun word. I asked Mark if he thought it was insulting to a cat of Mr. Sloane's age and position to be addressed as "Wobbles", and he said no. In fact, he thinks it's cute and that it should be the name of our next kitten. They are adorably wobbly.

I predict that theoretical kitten to be at least five years out, though. Plenty of time to come up with a name for the litter-mate we'll also need.
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: (Bunny)
But it's not even dawn so here's yesterday's news.

Ranger made a full recovery and spent the day reasserting her dominance over Willow. Surprising how quickly a dog Will's age can forget a year and a half of fuzzy-butt-whippings and start thinking she's in charge after just one day. But that misapprehension has been corrected and all is well.

Tammy came over and dusted, which is probably boring to read about but never fails to thrill me. Everything is so clean, and she's so much fun to have around. Really breaks up the boredom of a Tuesday.

I've been playing around with The Dancer this week, too. With Steve out of the way (he was a bad influence on one of the characters) and no deadline, self-imposed or otherwise, I might get it fixed up this winter. Or not. Depends on if it keeps being fun.

The nemesis avoided me all day, which was really nice. I kept the heat turned up unbearably high to reduce the chance of yelling, and apparently made some points. He wandered in last night while Mark and I were kicking back with a little Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the first hour, at least--we'll have to finish it tonight) and offered to raise the rent. That's pretty standard. If shouting doesn't work, throw money at it. Well, if it makes him feel better, who are we to say no?

Today Heather's coming over. Hopefully with canning jars, or I'll have to send her to Goodwill to look for some. She also volunteered to take the old man shopping for proper clothes if he wants to go. He probably will. Hanging out with Heather is that much fun. I'm bummed that I'll miss out on her company, but having the house to myself is nice, too. There was a new Criminal Minds DVD in the mail yesterday, and I still have a disc and a half of the final season of House. Heather doesn't let me watch that stuff with the kids in the house.

Also big plans to finish reading The Dark Tower so I can start The Hitchhiker's Guide series. I haven't read them since I got them for Kindle and short books will help my numbers. (Next on deck: Anne of Green Gables series.) I think I need to read another 40 books before the end of the year to meet my goal. This has not been a good year for me and reading. Next year I'll raise my goal again and try harder. Maybe more Kindle Singles would help. They sure did last year.
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: (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: (Catloaf mini)
First, thanks muchly to [livejournal.com profile] amine_eyes. [livejournal.com profile] birdgirl_1107, [livejournal.com profile] oasis3017. and [livejournal.com profile] barancoire for all the hugs and good wishes. I didn't have time to respond before we left, but it was strengthening. *HUGS ALL*

Anyway, it went pretty smoothly. Except for the foolishment of Oregon's biggest, most important hospital not having anything resembling handicapped van parking. All the parking is underground now with a 6 foot 10 inch clearance, and apparently we have the last van in the state (and Southern WA.) with a 7 foot 8 inch raised roof. They put us in an ambulance bay at first, and then sent us to a garage with "oversized" parking right by the door. It wasn't so bad getting in, but leaving took two guys stopping traffic so Heather could back up and turn around in the single lane before going out the entrance. And I had to load outside because they packed other oversized vehicles in beside us.

And all that is just me avoiding thinking about the hospital itself and how much I hated going back for the first time since my dad died there fifteen years ago. And the brutal unfairness of my beloved Daddy dying at the age of 54, while the arch-nemesis, who is 86 and beloved of none, learned that he isn't nearly as sick as he for some reason told us he was. That whole ticking time bomb, dead before winter thing was bullshit. Seriously. I genuinely believe his doctor gave him the referral to get rid of him and his obsessive questions that can't be answered by anyone who isn't technically Jesus. The OHSU crew told us that not only is the aneurysm not on the verge of rupture, it's not even serious enough to require surgery. Maybe next year. Or the year after. I suspect he orchestrated all this for the attention, and I'm still going back and forth between being pissed off and painfully sad about that.

So, yeah, we wasted a whole day on pretty much nothing. Heather swore she enjoyed it, though. Just for getting away from her kids for a whole day (and her daughter had a school event last night that she was using me to get out of:), and going to Burgerville, if nothing else. And, of course, we found a convenient parking lot where the a-n wanted to get out and smoke in the sun, leaving us the back of the van for getting ridiculously high before continuing on home. Nothing goes with a Burgerville milkshake quite like a big bowl of peace.

The van met my performance expectations, although it definitely drags a little going up the giant hill. But being an after-market conversion, it's overweight and badly balanced, so that's also well within my expectations. It just doesn't like hills. But the old man couldn't praise Heather's driving enough. She was definitely the right choice for the trip. He really enjoyed being treated like a five year old, having her fasten his seatbelt, roll his window up and down (it's powered, but it doesn't work right so there's a trick), help him get his jacket off, ask four times what he wanted to eat, and on and on and on. Honestly, Russell would have knocked him unconscious and hogtied him in the back after the first half and hour but she just kept giggling and flirting and carrying on. What a trooper. She's really cute, and he thinks that's all girls are really made for, so it was a perfect fit.

We got home late and Heather swept the floor and hung out with Russ for a while, to make sure she'd be really late for the school thing, and I spent the rest of the evening trying to decide between waking up and going to bed early. One wouldn't think that riding in a car would be that tiring, but unsecured wheelchairs are sort of like those mechanical pony rides outside the grocery store. They don't want to throw you, but you have to work a little to stay upright. Wears me right out.

However. Thanks to the incompetence of someone at work, much higher than my boys although I don't know who, maybe a supplier even, they didn't have to go in today. The materials they need won't be in 'til tomorrow so there's nothing to do. Although the materials have to be assembled into product and shipped out tomorrow, too, so they may work late. That could suck, but I'm not one to borrow suck so I'm hoping for the best. Point is, I got to sleep in this morning and get up just in time for Criminal Minds. That's how I like to start the day.
little_tristan: (Bloom County cutter john)
Otherwise known as driving to Portland with the arch-nemesis. Interestingly, this will only be the fourth time I've ever been in a vehicle with him. The other trips were no more than 10 minutes each way and that was A LOT. This one will be closer to 4 hours. Hopefully he won't notice if we get extremely high before and during.

Actual conversation that took place between Mark and I on the phone a few minutes ago:

Mark: Just be careful, and--I don't know. Watch the van* and--be careful.

Me: Pet, don't forget. I have an iPhone, credit cards, and Heather. There's no problem we're going to have in the Portland Metro area that I can't solve with those three things.

Mark: Oh, right. Okay, have fun!

Well, I won't be having any fun, but I appreciate the trust. I'm still going to make a couple maps, though. Google Maps on the phone are awesome when we're suddenly lost, but printouts are bigger and more efficient. We're also going to try to get the a-n to buy us lunch.:)


*I think the van is fine but Russell insists it's going to drop dead at any moment. Mark never drives it and is easily swayed.
little_tristan: (Breaking Bad Walt & Jesse)
I'm not sure where I am right now. I finished the book club book on time, which was good. We haven't had the discussion yet, but I was ready and that's what counts in my head. And yesterday I finished Wizard and Glass, so I'm down to only four books on the Currently Reading list. At least three of which will get finished for sure sometime this year.

Heather was supposed to come over yesterday but she got a last minute invitation to see Alanis Morissette at the Crystal Ballroom Sunday night and was too tired to do anything Monday. But she was able to tell me about it in great detail, so it was like being there. Only without the hassle of actually seeing Alanis from fifty feet away and, you know, hearing the music. Because the only thing better than missing out on something awesome and fun is listening to someone talk about it nonstop for an hour. *sigh*

But it did give me a chance to catch up on all the paperwork the boys dumped on me over the weekend. They give me two kinds of work when they're around. One has to be dealt with immediately, usually with one of them standing over me impatiently or calling for updates every two minutes. The other is a cumulative thing that I can't handle until they stop producing it. Otherwise it would be like cleaning up feathers during a pillow fight. Better to wait until the pillows are all empty before starting to sweep. Or, in this case, sorting, entering into the software, and throwing half in the trash and filing the other half. So I did that and paid the bills that were stacking up. I can't do that sort of thing when Heather's here, since the kids never stop running and screaming and grabbing things and it takes both of us to watch them.

Tammy's coming to dust today and I'm putting her on the big desk so I won't be working much. I'm very excited about having it clean for maybe the first time since it's been here. And tomorrow Heather's coming without kids to take the old man and me to the hospital for his consultation with a vascular surgeon. Which he's now trying to blame on me, of course. He sat on the referral for two months and then asked me to make this appointment three weeks ago. Now he says he never wanted to do it and almost for sure won't have the procedure, but "you kids were so insistent". Um? What? I guess if saying "No one's going to ask why aren't you dead yet if you decide to prolong your life" is being insistent, then maybe. But no.

My favorite part is how he says he never asked for this consultation and I set it all up on my own. I reminded him that he gave me the information, otherwise how else would I have the phone number, but he just shook his head and wandered off. The boys say he always does this so no matter how it turns out it will be someone else's fault. Of course. Whether he dies in agony or spends another cold and boring Oregon winter in our library, it'll be on me because I insisted on whatever he ends up doing.

Maybe I'm good at this life and death shit, but I sure am bloody fucking tired of it.

Hopefully the sun will show up this afternoon so I can go downtown. I just found a stack of last year's Scientific American that Homeless Steve might enjoy, he likes reading physics, and they have a book for me at the library. Because I need to start another one.

But not right now. Right now it's time for my uncontrollably twitching thumb and I to go watch Criminal Minds* and wait for Tammy.

Is it sad that I dressed up for this?



*I wrote a CM fic a while ago and finally got it to a satisfactory point. I think. If you want to read something totally different from anything I've ever done in any fandom, it would be Everything to Everyone.
little_tristan: (Kitten Horror)
Hopefully it will be a while before I lose the use of any more digits. First it was the Murphy bite on my right thumb that got infected within seconds and cost me the use of my right hand for typing purposes. I got an antibiotic that I was told could cause mild stomach pain if taken without food. Substitute mild pain for agonizingly violent, inside-out level vomiting and it would be closer. But it's working, and Mark has almost forgiven Mr. Sloane. I don't need to forgive him. He gave me a warning. Not quite fair warning, imo, but the cat's opinion of fair is the one that counts.

On Sunday I shocked my left thumb trying to plug in the battery charger for my broken chair and it was numb for the rest of the day. I didn't get anything done after that. My only consistent internet presence is Twitter, because I can use my phone and it's super easy. (You can follow me @bonnybedlam if you want to keep up. It's kinda boring, though.)

The good news is it's making it easier to read and catch up on tv. I'm on book 3 of The Dark Tower, The Waste Lands, and I'm pretty sure it's my favorite. But I haven't read the newest one yet, which goes between 4 and 5. It's very exciting having new Roland stories to look forward to. Now that I can comment again, I might even take a whack at LJ. Probably still too tired to resume writing--it's a terrible strain on my hands taking up for injured digits--but maybe soon.

Criminal Minds is fascinating me to the point where I wish I was still completely irresponsible so I could buy the whole series on DVD and watch it in a week. This one disc at a time Netflix thing is getting old. Maybe I can drop some of the cable channels we never watch and go up to two at a time. It's a tough call, since the cable is shared with people who don't get to add discs to the queue. The real villain here, of course, is A&E, which refuses to air the syndicated eps in order. Maybe they're getting a cut of the DVDs.

My broken chair, btw, is still broken. The repair guy brought new batteries and wheels, but the seat tilt actuator the other guy ordered was wrong. Like, nowhere near the right size or shape. And the last guy didn't even write down on the work order that the motors and trannies are bad. That's why it needs fixing. The drive wheels don't even turn at the same rate anymore. If I'm going down a ramp, the right wheel will start to go faster than the left and it'll whip around in a left-hand circle if I don't stop it in time. Stopping is also a problem with worn gears, btw. I got out of it when it started rolling down curb cuts on its own.

Apparently insurance companies are tired of paying for the motor/tranny replacements every year, though. At 2 for $3000 I'm not sure I blame them, but their solution sucks donkey. The guy wants to come back with a programmer for the computer (which he didn't have with him yesterday, because why would you carry a programmer for a chair you're going to be working on?) and see if he can make it "compensate". Meaning the programming is correct but the parts are worn, so maybe he can fuck up the programming so it brakes more sharply or the left wheel turns faster or something. Not that it will solve the problem, the parts will just get worse, but it might mean Providence won't have to pay for it until later.

The repair guy, if that's even the correct name for someone who would suggest such a solution, seemed quite calm about it. I'm scared almost to death. I mean, even if I do survive the winter depending on a doubly-fucked machine, what about when it does get fixed? Will they even remember what they did to the computer, or bother putting it right? Somehow I doubt it. These are the same people who used to give me loaner chairs that were literally broken worse than the ones I brought in for repair and tried to tell me they slewed and dog-tracked because "the speed is set too high". Which makes exactly the same amount of sense as passing off a car that automatically self-destructs at 50 mph. If it can't attain factory approved speeds without jittering around like a bug on a skillet and slamming into walls, THAT MEANS IT'S BROKEN, ASSHOLE. But what do I know? He's been out of Screwdriver Turning School for five minutes and I'm just a cripple who's been living in the gorram things for 12 years. How the hell would I know when something's wrong? And why do I deserve to have it fixed when he can just fuck it up worse and write the job off as complete? Which will also make it a lot harder to get it fixed for real later. Actually, given the sheer number of wheels they tried to slip through on this invoice (10! for a 6 wheel chair that actually got 4 new wheels), I wouldn't be surprised if they were planning to charge for the motors anyway.

I've looked the other way on a shitload of Medicare fraud over the last 12 years, but if they do that, I'm SO turning them in. There comes a time when the line must be drawn. This far! No farther!

And on the subject of broken down stuff, the a-n has decided to grasp at straws in spite of his apparent determination to die. Heather and I are taking him to Portland next month to meet with a vascular surgeon and see if he can be saved. His doctor told me that the only procedure that can be used on him doesn't always work and isn't possible to do on everyone, and his chances of survival were summed up with, "His health is not good, you understand." But he wants to do it now. (The a-n, not his doctor.)

I've explained all of these things to him, how he may not be a good enough risk, and the replacement part might not fit him anyway (it's very new still and they just have the one size), but his only question, repeated ad nauseam, is, "Are they gonna do the procedure the same day [as the initial visit]?" The one time I got him to comprehend that they might not do it at all, he asked what they would do instead. Being me, I told him the truth. Nothing. They won't try if it means he dies right then, where it's their responsibility. He didn't seem to understand the implications, that medical intervention has its limits, and went back to asking if they'll do it the day of the first meeting. I'm not entirely certain they'll even find him competent to consent at this point.

He's considering giving me medical power of attorney. I wonder what I'd do with it.
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: (Puppy Upside Down Willow)
I've achieved a sort of d├ętente between Willow and the arch-nemesis by establishing a schedule for the dogs to go outside. Actually I established the schedule over a month ago. He just never caught on to it and I finally typed it up and explained it last week. It's very simple. Dogs go out at 8, come back at 8:20, go out at 10, come back at 10:20, every two hours until they come in for the last time at 2:20. After that the boys are home and the house becomes both more chaotic and more controlled. So basically, if he's just not sitting in that one chair in that one spot at those times, they never have to meet. If he's standing in the kitchen or something it doesn't matter. She pretty much ignores him then.

The thing is, ever since I explained the schedule, he's been in the way at exactly those times. Up until then I never saw him before 8:30 in the morning. Now he's in the kitchen at 7:59 on the dot. He never used his computer in the mornings before, but now I hear him leave his room at 5 to 10. And his lunch time moved from 1:30 to 11:55. I probably should have told him that those 20 minute intervals were the only times he was allowed out of his room.
Clicky for da bitchy )
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.

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