little_tristan: (Gilead Gunslingers)
That's a good thing, though. Finances are caught up, bills are paid, and all my big projects are either finished or not urgent at the moment. It's nice to have a day that doesn't feel like an overwhelming burden crouching on my chest. I try to enjoy them. One never knows when the burden-creature will return.

Heather didn't get to take the old man shopping after all. He's decided he doesn't need more clothes, because the person with the money gets to change the deal any time he wants. That totally flies in the face of Tiny Communism, but he never pretended to be one of us anyway. It's extremely weird sharing a house with someone who is both totally controlling and not actually part of the group. Maybe other people learn that earlier, like in college. That's what it's for, right?

Anyway, she brought her vacuum and went over the living room floor for me. Also cleaned a couple of heating ducts. That'll help the dust even more. I hope I never stop appreciating the absence of dust.

I finished watching House this morning. It's amazing how funny it is, no matter what kind of tragedy is happening. Watching House take care of Wilson during the chemo really makes me hope I have a friend like that when my time comes. Mark is great, but I already know he won't be able to see the humor in the situation. Maybe that's why I keep getting stuck with the dying. I know what you're thinking, but I swear I'm funny in person.

So now it's late afternoon (for us--early afternoon for people who stay up past seven) and I'm listening to proper writing music to see if it shakes anything loose. Maybe Stiv can be the funny guy in this human trainwreck of a story. He still kind of needs a personality to fill the body that fills a purpose. I don't want to get hit with another Human-Cypher flag on the play like happened with Nate and Morgan in The Bedlam Boys.

Stiv's personality has always been a problem, actually. This is another book I started in high school and he was problematic even then. When I first got to know Steve, the banished thief of Gilead, I thought Stiv could be something like him, a helpful man of all work. And the longer I lived with Steve, the more Stiv started to resemble him. It was okay at first, but as I got to know Steve better I realized my mistake. He simply couldn't live in that house, in that situation, and be any kind of an asset. It would be even worse than living here. And the clearer that became, the bigger asshole Stiv became, until there simply wasn't a place for him in the story anymore. He just wasn't the man he needs to be to pull it off. So the story died, and that is, in a nutshell, what happened to my highly anticipated summer publication date.

It is, btw, purely a coincidence that Steve became the model for a guy named Stiv. His name is Stewart, but I got tired of it a few years ago and nicknamed him Stiv. I knew then that it was more properly a nickname for Steve, but I figure people can call themselves whatever they want, right? If I can call myself Tristan, who am I to argue if Stewart wants a new name? I'm not sure yet who he'll be, but he won't be the thief of Gilead.

Maybe I can borrow some Russell. He'll never read the book so he won't care. And he is funny.
little_tristan: (Default)
Everyone's been so tired and cranky and desperate to get away from the nemesis, who is pretending the other night didn't happen and so is not apologizing. Although Russell did tell him off pretty good, forbidding him to show any concern over basement activity (if you don't know what's going on, obviously it's none of your business), or wake us in the night for anything short of home invasion or an actual fire in progress. It's not that we're keeping secrets from him, it's just too much trouble explaining stuff that doesn't concern him, and that he won't understand, or remember five minutes later.

Anyway, I was going to write a sad entry today about all the things going wrong with my body and how scared I am, but there's nothing anyone can do but send love and I know you're doing that already.

So instead I'm going to talk about Argo, which we saw this afternoon. It was really good. Normally I don't care for Ben Affleck, he's too ordinary in too many ways to hold my attention, but this role called for a bland, ordinary guy and he was pretty perfect. Also, Bryan Cranston is always great and John Goodman was hilarious, so it balanced out. It could have been boring, I think Mark expected it to be, but they kept enough action going that I was occasionally on the edge of my seat, in spite of knowing how it would come out. My favorite part, of course, was the initial storming of the embassy, which reminded me eerily of World War Z. When the security guy watching the monitors announced "They're over the walls!", it took me right back to the zombies breaching the fortresses in Europe by climbing the bodies of slain zeds that had piled up before them.

That's going to be a movie, I hear, but I doubt it'll be good.

I'm not much of a movie reviewer, not like [ profile] valis2, who must take notes in the theater, but it was totally worth the two hours. And I'm sure I'll be researching now to see how close to reality it was. Just to keep the fun going.:D
little_tristan: (Christina's World)
The good news is I sold some books! I gave a box to Cousin Heather to take to a craft/rummage type sale she's doing this weekend where people rent a table and sell whatever they want. But before she could get there, a friend of hers who'd read The Bedlam Boys asked if she could get him more so his book club could read it. He bought the whole box and I had to send another with the boys so she'd have some for the sale. (Their work is close to her house, so she can sneak over there and take things from their truck during the day.:) I doubt she'll sell any more, but it's still pretty cool. And if it's not raining, they want me to come speak at the club meeting. Only in good weather, though, as I won't be able to get into the house. Of course I've no idea what speakers do at these things, so I'd love advice from anyone who has experience. Or just good ideas.

I also think I've finally lost some weight, as today I was able to cross my legs for the first time in about 4 years. That was exciting.:)
Cut for depressing shit that no one wants to read )

Oh, and the boys put up a higher door between the kitchen and dining room so Willow can't even see over it, let alone jump it. The a-n still teases her over the door until she leaps for him, but she can't get to him so he can't complain. And the latch is way easier for me to work.
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 )

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: (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: (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: (Kitten Glowing Kitten is Glowing)
Things have sort of come to a head with the arch-nemesis. We had a bit of a dog-related blow-up a couple of days ago (sorry you were there for that, [ profile] catyah), and he hasn't spoken to me since. The quiet has been kind of nice but it's also given me time to think. With a little help from my boys, who are very good at shifting my POV. Sometimes I hate that. This is one of those times.

I'm starting to get what senility actually means. In three words: He. Can't. Learn. It's really that simple. When The NY Times online logged him off, as it does every couple weeks, he had me come and log him back in. Only he doesn't ask for that. He says it's not working right and he can't get it to do anything. I've explained the log in concept maybe twenty times, but to him it's a great technological mystery. And it always will be. In fact, this time he said he'd never seen that screen before and didn't know what it meant. He said he'd have to try and learn it some day. When I showed him the card next to the keyboard with the user name and password written on it in his own handwriting, he didn't recognize it. He had no idea what it was. I told him to forget it and logged him in.

He's also relapsed from leaving the soap in the kitchen where I can reach it. At some point in his past, he developed the habit of putting it behind the faucet, and after a couple of weeks of leaving it beside the sink, he just switched back. Presumably because the memory of my shouting at him about it only lasted that long.

So this is where we are. He isn't going to change. He isn't doing this because he's stubborn or mean or trying to piss me off. He just can't learn any new or different ways of behaving. Which means I have to. I'm the only one here who can change, and if I don't, I'll spend the rest of his life in a rage. Which, believe me, isn't fun. And, though this admittedly concerns me a little less, it's probably not fun for him, either. It's probably very confusing and maybe a little scary, having everyone around him be angry all the time and not understanding why.

I don't know exactly what's going to happen--how I'll adapt to this mental paradigm shift--but things are going to be more peaceful from now on. Now that I've fully accepted my part in all this, and the boys understand the source of the trouble (my failure to grasp the true situation up til now), I think we'll be able to work together to make things better for everyone.

Although I'll probably get some books on senile dementia. Best to stay ahead of these things.
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: (BtVS Spike Sod Off)
It actually makes the opossum thing look pretty good, I think. The story goes back years and years, to when I went to a state agency that helps disabled people find jobs. They gave me a caseworker, D, who got me the interview that led to my only "real" job. We stayed in touch until D moved to the other side of the state. Then I kind of forgot about him until two or three years ago, when he moved into a house up the street and a couple blocks over from me. I ran into him once and decided not to walk down that street anymore. Then, a couple days ago, I ran into him again on a street that I always use, since it has the best curb cuts. We talked for a bit and, since I'm an inherently honest (read: stupid) person, I gave him my real phone number when he asked. Because, you know, old friend.
Click here to find out how stupid I really am... )
little_tristan: (Ranger)
Yesterday the arch-nemesis put Ranger outside. I don't know how long it was before I noticed. Half an hour, maybe. When I brought her back in, she was sick. She'd eaten some crap off the ground and threw up all over the house for an hour. Then, last night, she ate all her supper, and woke up in the morning feeling perky. Finally, an occasion where the worst possible thing didn't happen.

Just thought I'd pass it along.:)
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.
little_tristan: (Kitty WTF)
Arch-nemesis: Do you know if that box of kitty litter by the door is new or used?

Me (thinking he meant new or old box): Is there something in it?

Arch-nemesis: It's awfully heavy.

Me: Then it's new. We don't store used kitty litter. We throw it away. (Insert obvious Did you see a sign on my front lawn that said cat doot storage? joke here.)

Arch-nemesis: Well, I was just wondering. You never know.

Me (kind of offended): You never know if we're keeping boxes of used cat litter around the house?

Arch-nemesis: Well, I don't know. (Wanders off shaking his head.)

It's not even noon, but I really hope that's the weirdest conversation I have today.
little_tristan: (Firefly River I Can Kill)
The furnace guys got here around noon, which was a little late, but they had other jobs to finish first. I saw them in the driveway, then Trevor called to make sure the dogs were situated, and I met him at the door to give him the key to the basement. Fifteen minutes after they went to work, this happened:

Arch-nemesis (entering kitchen, which also has door to basement): Do you want me to lock this door into the cellar?

Me: No.

Arch-nemesis: Because those guys are down there. In case you didn't know.

Me: Yes, I know.

Arch-nemesis (pissed off and shouting): Well, fine! I just wasn't sure if you remembered. (Storms off in a huff, while giggling maniacally.)

What's really ironic here is that I actually fear him more than I do the metal-wielding strangers in my basement.


little_tristan: (Default)

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