little_tristan: (Default)
The last 24 hours have been sort of an off and on anxiety attack that I don't want to treat because it would make me more tired. And I've already lost control of ALL THE THINGS. My books are not read, my prompty things aren't filled, my commitments outside the house are neglected, and worst of all, my dogs are not brushed.

Well, maybe that's not the worst. But it's bad because I could just go over there and fix it. But then my arms would be too tired to do anything else for the rest of the day and I would FAIL AT MORE THINGS.

I miss Mark and Russell. When they're not in Canby at their daily work, they're at the shop down the street at their personal work. They work EVERY DAY. ALL DAY. They're working RIGHT NOW. Then we eat and sleep and they go away again in the morning. Mark holds my hand while he falls asleep, but he always turns over before I'm done.

I'm failing at being married, too.

What I want to do is read Ghost World, which I can do. It's right over there. (Points at shelf three feet away that you can't see, but trust me, it's there.) And watch Criminal Minds, which I can't do because I don't have any more DVDs. If the postman had come up onto the porch on Thursday when I had an outgoing disc, I'd have gotten a new one yesterday. But he didn't because we didn't get any mail. A&E never shows the episodes where Reid talks about being a drug addict so I didn't know that was going on. There's a lot they never show, apparently.

I miss Reid.

My arms hurt already and I haven't even brushed a dog. I wasted all my energy writing this and it doesn't even mean anything. But I'm trying to catch up on comments since last time (only 10 days ago!) so maybe I'll say something meaningful and non-failurey then.

My cat bite didn't get infected and it looks good, but it still hurts. Mr. Sloane never fails at what he sets out to do, be it four foot standing leap onto a slippery shelf or majorly fucking up my thumb. And if he stays on the dresser all day he isn't letting anyone down. In my next life I'd like to come back as my own cat. Yes, I see the obvious flaw, but a girl can dream.

I'm going to go see if Reid is on tv. I miss him so much since yesterday.
little_tristan: (Rat)
Yesterday morning I had a rather stupid accident where the laws of physics turned on me and I smashed my right hand. It was on ice all day and is somewhat better now, but as the most severely injured digits were the only two I could use in the first place, I can't type much until it heals. The memes were done ahead so I'll keep posting those, but there won't be any real communication until I have all 7 fingers working again. Hopefully it won't delay our next discussion at [livejournal.com profile] oddlittlecat. Sorry about all those unanswered comments, too, but I'm sure I'll be back soon.
little_tristan: (Daria: Jane)
It wasn't all bad, of course. I found every episode of Stark Raving Mad (the short-live Tony Shalhoub-Niel Patrick Harris vehicle from 1999) on YouTube, and it's almost as funny as I remember. Willow managed to only pee on the floor once today. She's getting really good at holding on until I take them outside, although she doesn't know to ask yet. And the new credit cards came this morning, which takes some of the hassle out of the whole online fraud thing. (I had to cancel our Amazon Reward cards yesterday because of, you know, fraud.)

But while I was taking care of financial stuff, wrangling dogs (and recording their new game, which will be posted tomorrow), I managed to forget to bid on an auction for a part that Herr really needs, and to turn on the oven to start supper. So now he's down there looking for another big expensive linear screw for under $400, hungry and disappointed, and I feel even worse because I was having a decent day. What with not having to clean up puddles, and getting to watch good tv, not to mention buying The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass to make sure my new credit card worked after authorization. Somehow I always end up feeling incredibly selfish, like I had a good day at his expense. Not that anyone gets excited, or even thanks me, the hundreds of times I do win auctions, turn on the oven, find people's keys, house train their dogs--whatever. But, boy, the disappointment when I fail...

And speaking of fail, I finally started the final edit on my next book. The one that was supposed to be out by now, except I stopped caring when Mom died. And in the first 40 pages, I found two problems that required major rewording and could have totally slipped by me. Have, in fact, for years. First, I told the story of Annie's abduction two different ways, through her eyes, and then when the police are watching the video. How did I not notice that the accounts totally conflicted? Possibly the same way I managed not to notice that as long as she's outside where it's cold and snowing, she's wearing a short skirt, but when she's being held hostage in the empty house, she's suddenly wearing jeans. Um, duh. So now I'm afraid to read the rest because there are probably a lot more things like that, just crouching there in the print waiting to make me feel stupid, and because I might miss them again. I really need to get the bloody thing off to the publisher, but my confidence is badly shaken.

Maybe I'll get more things right tomorrow. Or just have a less satisfying day, so I don't have to feel bad.
little_tristan: (Ray & Kenny)
Our little Doodle dog is sick, possibly dying, and since I can't do anything for her (she's at the vet's house receiving the most intensive, personal care that a pet can in this town), I'm posting all my favorite pics so you can join me in sending good thoughts her way. The vet says she can give supportive treatment, but Doodle has to heal herself; there's nothing they can really do directly. So enjoy the pics and pray for my puppy. Okay, she's 5 years old, but she's still a puppy at heart and was planning on being one for another 10 years or so.


Doodle's first bath
More doggy cute this way )
little_tristan: (Daria: Mr. D)
I think I posted a while ago about a conflict I was having with a medical supply company over money they felt I owed from June 2009. It's been a complicated and stupid fight, and I surrendered last week after my repeated requests for proof kept resulting in irrelevant pages of invoices, accompanied by handwritten notes in place of statements from insurance companies. They were threatening my credit rating, and there was enough of an air of plausibility to it (in spite of the fact that they wouldn't explain why it took a year and a half to send the bill, or why the initial invoice was for a rental chair rather than repairs), and it wasn't that much money, so I ended up paying it.

Although I sent with it a letter saying that I wasn't happy, that I thought I deserved those answers, that I was insulted by the billing manager's insistence that the invoice said repairs when it clearly said rental ("some months of rental", it said, and that doesn't really translate to "some months of repairs"; especially when it was a one day, while you wait, job), and that I was paying it without getting those answers only because I might have to do business with them again and I couldn't afford to be penalized by them for having made trouble. Insurance companies decide where you go, and Herr's boss could switch companies on us again at any time. And I also made a note about "questionable billing" on the check, in case any proof came up later. You know, so I'd know which check it was when I hit them up for a refund.

So they got the letter, and then I got an email. I didn't read it (although I did stick it away in an email folder in case I need to later) because I hate conflict and I've been sick over this thing long enough. Then I got an envelope from them, with that woman's handwriting on it, and that made me sick again. I let it lie around for a couple days before asking Herr to open it last night. I told him if it was a letter, I didn't want to hear it. Anything else, he could decide for himself if I needed to know about it. It was another copy of the bill, apparently crossed in the mail. I threw it away and figured that was the end.

Then, just now, she called me. Now that I've paid, she wants to know if there are any other papers she can supply me with. Do I still want to see the insurance statements that I asked for five times before I gave up and paid? I said, Look, you got your check, right? Aren't we done? Her response: We just want to make sure you don't go away unhappy. I said it was too late and hung up. But now my stomach hurts and apparently I have to live in fear of follow-up calls. And emails. It might never end.

What the hell's wrong with business people in this country that getting their money, which they may or may not even be owed, doesn't shut them up anymore? It's not like they need my goodwill for future business. It's the insurance companies they need to suck up to for that. And I'm sure they do.
little_tristan: (Penny Says Explode)
Brought to you by FaceBook:



This was the top sidebar ad on my FB page this morning. What I'm trying to figure out is who this ad is directed at. And what schools are the respondents going to apply to? Bartending Academies? The Albuquerque School of Massage (specializing in happy endings since 1987, conveniently located upstairs from the liquor store on Central)?

Oh, wait. It's for ONLINE colleges. That's way more legitimate. Fuck.
little_tristan: (Goofball in taped glasses)
I think I'm about through the staring-into-space-in-a-blank-depression phase (yay!), but now I'm having uncontrollable muscle spasms in my right thumb and forefinger, which are basically the only working digits on that hand. So still no writing, and very little typing of any kind. Sorry, [livejournal.com profile] oddmonster. Maybe tomorrow.
little_tristan: (Firefly Jayne on You Side)
It was my shower day today. This is traumatic enough, because my bathroom doesn't have a shower so I have to use the one in the hall, which is too small to fit my chair into. I have to leave it outside the door and have Mark hold me up in a demented dance of doom wherein we stagger inside and he leans me against a wall while the water warms up. Today was hard because I was having weird muscle cramps in my right hip and could hardly stand, but I was doing pretty well with the wall support. But just as we prepared to make the move into the shower, there was a furious pounding on the door.

It could only be the a-n, because Bruder has respect for my shower time. (But even then, the a-n rarely bothers me. He just uses my bathroom and craps all over the seat. It's like living with a pissed off cat.) Herr tried to ignore him, but he went from knocking to trying to open the door. The lock doesn't work well, so Herr gave in, opened the door, and asked him what he wanted. (Bear in mind that it was noon already and he'd been up for hours, while I cowered in bed, afraid to face a furnace-less day.) So what does he want? His teeth, which are in the medicine cabinet over the sink. I'm standing in front of it, starting to slide down the wall as my hip cramps up again, and when Herr asks if it can wait, his dad tried to just shove his way in to get them himself. Herr got the teeth, pushed him back out, and caught me just before I hit the floor. What a weird start to my day. At least the hot water made my hip feel better.
little_tristan: (Sam iz Confuzzled)
The fact that DVDs from tv series can't be purchased individually. I've been watching Supernatural all the way through in preparation for tomorrow's premier, and I just got screwed. I have no idea what happened, but the fourth disc of season one is suddenly so damaged it's unplayable. It won't even read on the computer, which is pretty extreme. It skips and sticks during Nightmare, and I can't watch The Benders (one of my favorites) or Shadows at all. So what am I supposed to do here, buy the entire season again? It's $20 for six discs (on Amazon), so why I can't I pay $3.50 for one? You'd think, given how easy illegal copying is, they'd be interested in giving us more options to avoid it.
little_tristan: (Facepalm Lion)
I think most of my friends are like me, operating in more than one network and keeping them separate. I have friends here who have been invited to join me in my FB and Twitter worlds, but my friends there have not been let in on my secret LJ world. The door only goes one way.

Now it looks like LJ has decided to remove that option by allowing people who comment on my posts to instantly cross post those comments to their own FB and Twitter pages. Those posts will include links for people to follow back to my LJ, and if it's a public entry, they will be able to read it and comment using their off site logins. If it's a friends only or group locked post, the text of the comment will still appear, along with the heading of the post, but unauthorized readers will not be able to follow it back. Considering I only use locks to talk about family and work problems that could get me into a lot of trouble if even small elements of them become fully public, I see this as huge betrayal by Live Journal. I'll be changing a lot of recent locked posts to private today, and considering much more carefully before I share things in the future.

But just in general, I'm asking my friends not to post comments outside of LJ that could lead the world here, to my safe place, where I trust you all and come to find peace. I promise to do the same for you.
little_tristan: (Charlie Bartlett)
Since I haven't posted about much besides books lately, here's the scoop on everything else:

It's been hot here. Not terribly so. Not record-breakingly so. Or ever average-meetingly so. But still hot. (Yes, I'm making up words, Sarah Palin-like, but I'm an artist. I'm allowed. She's a politician. She's supposed to be clear.) So anyway, it's hot.

On Monday I took Doodle, who is a miniature Spitz (AKA American Eskimo), to the vet for a rabies shot. It's a long walk for a little dog, but she's been shaved recently and it was early morning so it wasn't too hot. Also, she's only four, which is the peak of strength for yappy little ratbags like her. (Ratbags is so a term of endearment. Watch Flight of the Phoenix. The good one from the sixties, not the new one.) Anyway, she hadn't been in since last year when she ate the insulation of the side of the neighbor's house, so they gave her a quick exam and found a minor infection around one tooth. She had a lot of plaque built up and the gum was receding. Basically the dog needed periodontal work. So in the interest of not letting it get worse, she went back yesterday to have the teeth cleaned so that hopefully the gum would reattach. Unfortunately, when they got all the crap off, they found that the tooth was cracked and full of holes all the way up into the root, so out it came. Apparently it was caused by all the ice the arch-nemesis gives her. He can't control the flow from the dispenser in the fridge door so a lot of it ends up on the floor, where the dogs eat it.

And speaking of eating, the vet also told me that Doodle is overweight. She weighs 24 lbs and needs to weigh more like 18. Which means she needs to drop a quarter of her body weight. (Hey, so do I.) Doc, the Border Collie, is already arthritic and needs to lose a third of her body weight, so I came home determined to help them for real. They're Bruders dogs and he feeds them (Doodle eats upstairs, so I don't know how much she gets, but Doc gets the diet Dog Chow in huge amounts), and adorably enough, he thinks food is love. This is part of why I'm fat, too. Until we started dieting together and actually talking about it, he would thwart my attempts to eat less by constantly making my favorite fattening foods. But now that he's lost 20 lbs and feels 20 times better, he's more prepared to give that to his dogs, too.

So when I got home Monday, I checked the feeding suggestions on the bags, factored in the vet's advice, and got a measuring cup to dish out just the right amount. Then I hunted down containers that only hold those amounts so there won't be any mistakes. (I know him. If he had measuring cups and had to read the numbers every time, he'd get tired of it and start just filling them full. Both of the boys are only precise at work.) For Doc that means a cat food dish that's too small even to feed three cats overnight. And Doodle now gets her servings scooped out with a yogurt container. Although after she's lost the weight, she'll probably go up to a higher amount for maintenance. Doc is too sedentary for that. She'll be on a diet for life. And I'll be watching the arch-nemesis every time he goes into the kitchen to make sure he doesn't give them scraps and leftovers. Ranger, who is an active dog and a sensible eater, has to be tied up in the living room all day to protect her from his fuckwittery (he used to seek her out, as the thin one, to feed crap to, not realizing that that's how they stop being thin), but the other two won't stand for that. Doc thinks it's punishment and Doodle chews through the leash.

I found some more Perry King movies recently. Sadly not up to the standard of some of the first ones I watched. (Mandingo was not that bad.) The Lords of Flatbush was okay. He didn't get the girl, but the 50s Elvis hair and leather jacket helped console me. Andy Warhol's Bad was pretty terrible, though. It's the story of a woman who runs a beauty salon out of her home, and maintains a harem of young woman who kill for pay. She only wants women, because they're more vicious, but somehow she's convinced to take in Perry's character, LT. Here be spoilers )

A slightly better movie, but not by much, is 2005's The Perfect Neighbor, a made for TV flick where Perry plays an almost perfect husband and father who becomes the object of some nutty chick's obsession. She moves in next door, fixates on him in the first five minutes, and starts scheming and killing to get rid of his wife and take her place. Sort of a Hand That Rocks the Cradle thing, with cheesier lines and a lot less plot. But Perry's so pretty, and really adorably clueless, that it was still kind of fun. He always brings a certain amount of cluelessness to these roles that I love. A total lack of recognition of his own value and appeal that makes it really hard for him to imagine that his next door neighbor would kill his assistant with a tire iron because she suspected they were having an affair, and wanted her job. Over little ol' me? Aw shucks. That can't be right. Yet it is. And he's twice as cute for not catching on.

Moving on from Perry, I watched a movie yesterday called The Car. This had to have been the inspiration for Christine. Stephen King had to have seen this mess on late night TV when he was stoned out of his gourd and said to himself I can do that right. Because yes, the car was scary. It drove around killing people, acting on its own, yet with deceitful intelligence. And James Brolin (quick note: Semagic is suggesting I mean Karolina rather than Brolin here; it's obviously never seen the movie) was surprisingly hot, with a 1977 mustache and haircut that made him look exactly like his son does now. But there was no explanation. No history of the car, no point of origin, and no reason for how or why it chose its victims. The ending, which I believe Stephen King referred back to in Desperation, implies it was simply Satan, but that still wasn't satisfying.

Also, our next door neighbors are moving. I'm sad about that. But I think I've gone on long enough.
little_tristan: (Goofball in taped glasses)
I'm watching a movie called Familiar Strangers, about a dysfunctional family getting together for Thanksgiving. It differs from others of the genre by including a county fair and donkey basketball, and DJ Qualls, the 21st century's answer to Thom Bray, riding a donkey is well worth the price of admission. But it also features a brother who wrote a technical book that no one below the rank of Murray Bozinsky could possibly read and understand. He gives copies to everyone in his family and they all roll their eyes and laugh. Who wouldn't?

So I got through the emotional breakthroughs with mom, the adventures with the dying dog, and the heartbreaking part where, after dad tells Brian (the writer) that when his kids grew up, he replaced them with dogs and likes them better, Brian tells his brother and sister total lies, like that Dad said he loves and admires them. It was hard watching their faces light up under those lies (Really? Dad said that?), but I made it through dry eyed.

Only to go completely to pieces when Brian finds out they all read his book. Even the eight year old niece. Why? Because he's family, and when a family member publishes a book, you read it. Even dysfunctional fuck ups like these people know that.

Or maybe that's just the movies.
little_tristan: (Catch a Fallen Murray)
I got my good chair back on Wednesday and had five fun days. Trips to the library, the post office--even the county fair. I got to pet horses (shout out to Miley for the face snuggle), watch a little rodeo, and eat half an elephant ear, which was a real treat, given the strictness of my diet. (It was freaking awesome. And so was the hot dog. I drew the line at the onion rings, but most because they were cold.)

But this morning while sitting in front of the computer, after not having even been outside since the fair on Friday, my left tire suddenly went flat. I assume Herr can fix it when he gets home, we have a nice air compressor and McCoy gave me a spare tube in case it's needed, but I'm stuck in the amazing craptacular Pronto for the day.

I miss my headrest already.
little_tristan: (Murray's Bad Day)
This morning I had an email in my inbox from my ISP saying I was busted for illegally downloading copyrighted computer games. They provided enough helpful details for us to ascertain that they were games we'd never play, and it was done when everyone was asleep (just after one, Tuesday night/Wednesday morning), so we immediately turned to the new router, which has been with us since just before Christmas. It's our first foray into wirelessness and we didn't pay much attention to it, since we weren't wireless at the time. Later, we got a laptop with wireless capabilities and Bruder's been using it. So we went to look at the network and see if we could fix the security breach and found a foreign computer on it that we couldn't access. There was also a password on the router where there hadn't been before, so we couldn't change anything. I spent an hour on the phone with a tech support person in the Ukraine or someplace who helped us reset the router and set up our own security, but I'm still very unhappy. I'm terribly worried about wandering piggybackers having had access to our computers all this time and possibly lifting information, and a friend tells me that cracking the passwords aren't that hard, either. I'm hoping that isn't true, but when I get scared like this, I don't know what to think.

So if any of you know any good things about Linksys routers, or have been hacked without too many ill-effects, or even just think that a bunch of kids looking for games wouldn't be stealing my life for fun, this would the time to bring it up. I'd also welcome advice on better security. We all have Norton and Windows firewalls. Just, no horror stories, please. I'm a little fragile right now.
little_tristan: (Sheldon WTF)
Yes, I admit, I like a classic now and then. And the premise of a woman being driven mad by her husband is almost universally relatable, no? Yet my disappointment, nay disgust, with this film was such that I'm taking precious time away from Pet Society to complain about it.
Spoilers for a movie you'll never see if you haven't already... )
little_tristan: (Uhura says what?)
The lovely and sarcastic [livejournal.com profile] jekesta recently took issue with one of their UK ads, and now it's America's turn. Except it's morning and I'm not stoned, so I'll be bitching here instead of directly to the offenders. Cowardly? Maybe. We'll see where it goes.

A couple hours ago they aired a Special K ad that reminded me why I buy my shows on DVD instead of actually watching TV. It was some kind of low fat granola version of Special K (now even specialer?), and the announcer assured us "ladies" (not "customers", "consumers" or "cereal buying populace", but just us girls) that NOW we can eat without feeling guilty. Because we were supposed to feel guilty before? Because we have to feel guilty when we eat anything that isn't low fat, or at least Special K? They didn't even bother to say that it tastes good, or that it's good for us, or that we'll like it, just that we CAN eat it because it's low fat. Jesus. So's dirt. Shall I have that for supper?

Adding injury to insult is the fact that I rather like Special K. But I won't be buying it anymore, because that feels like broadcasting to the entire discount grocery store populace that I'm buying the ONE THING that I can eat without having to feel like a big ol' greedy cow who should be wracked with guilt. And Kellogg's? They can eat me.
little_tristan: (Crazy Reject)
Ever since LJ changed the flist format, I've been trying to figure out how to get it back to 20 entries per page. (Or even more would be better.) This 10 entry thing is crap. What's the benefit to making me click the previous button twice as often? Anyway, I can't sus it out. If anyone else has, PLEASE share the secret. It's such a little thing, but it's driving me nuts.
little_tristan: (Chekov Plaintive)
I'm sad and desperate now. I'm working with Gimp Gap, which is free software, so it has no useful help and the sites I Googled are all run by pretentious wankers who hate me. So here's my problem. I finally got the image I wanted, cut and cropped and scaled down to the proper number of pixels, but it's 350KB. How do I reduce that? I've been through scale/crop/resize frames/image, and found nothing. Is it that the animation needs to be shorter than 4 seconds? Does it need fewer layers? Any clues at all would be much appreciated.
little_tristan: (Christina's World)
I feel like I'm living in Oklahoma, ca. 1928. The dust is everywhere. It's inescapable. And I don't really know where it's coming from. Is it because the house is so poorly sealed? Are the dogs carrying it in as mud? Maybe because Doodle has such an obscene amount of hair? I keep sweeping and Swiffering (Toby was done in by hair a month ago and won't run again without an overhaul), but it's getting in faster than I can chase it away. Everything is gritty and fuzzy, to a degree that is actually depressing. I was trying to clean the bathroom just now, and it's EVERYWHERE. I can't even reach most of it. I can't reach anything, really, which is depressing in itself, but not the issue.

A year ago, I would have asked Herr to help and he would've sympathized, promised to clean and then gotten busy and not done it. Now he just sighs in his best Peter Murphy descending-bleak-and-put-upon manner and gives me a repeat of his unvarying lecture about how much work he has to do and how little time he has to do it in. He's so obsessed, it's like living with Howard Hughes. Except for the dirt part. That seems to be unique to us.

Normally I ignore it, saying a small prayer of gratitude that no one ever comes in here (except for a few relatives who also live, or were raised, in filth), but I'm trying really hard to up our standards before [livejournal.com profile] catyah gets here. T minus 16 days and counting. Maybe the boys will rally at the last minute.

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