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)
Also, I'm sick. It must be allergies, although it's different from allergies I've had in the past. My right eye hurts. Not all the time, just when I look at things. When I rotate my eyeball in its socket it feels like stabbing hot needles. And now the bones under it hurt. It's making me very tired and disinterested in most everything.

However, I had a pretty good week. Steve, either because he felt bad or because his side project is going well and he's happy, was downright pleasant all week. I tried to leave him alone as much as possible, but he sought out my company on at least two occasions. Friday his girlfriend and her kids were here all day and he took us out to lunch. I had quiche.

Two things I learned at lunch on Friday. One: Old people write about how great it is to be a little kid, discovering a new world of magic and wonder every day, but that's because they're old. Actual kids are bored shitless most of the time. All they do is wait for adults who are busy doing endless boring adult stuff and having conversations they can't understand. Two: There's a reason you don't take kids under eight to restaurants with silverware on the table. Actually there are a lot of reasons. Boredom is at least three of them.

This evening we're going up to Portland to buy a stove we saw on Craigslist. It's exactly like the one we have (which we got at a yard sale 9 or 10 years ago), only ours is kind of dead. At least three of the four burner igniters are broken so we have to turn on the gas and flick a Bic. We get burned a lot. Then, last year, one hinge broke on the broiler door so it was always kind of hanging open. We put up with it until a couple weeks ago when I backed into it and ripped the whole thing off. It's seriously screwing with the temperature, and last night it fell off again while Russ was baking potatoes and melted the linoleum floor. None of this is good for my eye.

Neither is using the computer, but I'm still trying to catch up on my flist. I miss you.
little_tristan: (Puppy Upside Down Willow)
But it could have been worse. Long version of the story: The other day I was out on the front porch smoking (because I don't allow it in the house, except in Mark's man-cave office). I was gone 5-10 minutes, and when I came back in, the arch-nemesis was in the kitchen/dining room doorway beating Willow with his cane. I started screaming at him, telling him for the millionth time that that kind of behavior is just making things worse (he tries to close the half door by waving his cane around in the dining room (her territory) and hooking the door to pull it shut, which she also hates) and he went off me. There was a lot of shrieking about how I'M the one making it worse (now?) by not having trained her better from the beginning, and it's all my fault that she's a vicious bitch who deserves to die.

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

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

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

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

So it was kind of my lucky day, even though my left elbow and knee are beautifully bruised. But don't worry, Willow is fine.
little_tristan: (Prison)
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: (Riptide Mimi)
I just called Bruder at work to ask what was the extremely rusty, sad car part in the backyard. To wit: Did the muffler fall off the F-150 this morning, or are the neighbors escalating hostilities by throwing increasingly offensive types of trash over the hedge?

As you can imagine, there's really no good answer. But, yeah, the muffler fell off the truck. From the looks of all that rotted metal, I'd guess we're looking at a whole new exhaust system. Hopefully they can go back to driving the VW without too much inconvenience while we sort that out. (Today they had to take too big a load of tools and equipment to work. This is, after all, why we kept it.)

At least it dropped off before they got out the gate. I'd be so embarrassed if the neighbors saw.
little_tristan: (Shaun)
I watched Stripperland yesterday. It was surprisingly bad in ways that I’ve never encountered in a movie before. Like, the sound editing was—well, they probably didn’t have sound editing. Everything inside the cars was hollow and echoey, like they were all shouting into cardboard tubes. And no zombie traditions were respected. They were killing zombies by blowing holes in their guts and cutting off single limbs. (The special effects were indescribably bad, of course.) And everyone in the movie had seen Zombieland. They made occasional stabs at deconstructing it, but mostly just went with imitation. In virtually every way, except that Stripperland just wasn't funny. There were also a few jokes borrowed from Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and, oddly, Star Wars. (Because every movie needs a Star Wars reference?) And I think there were some quotes from 28 Days Later, but they weren't jokes. That movie just wasn't funny.

But. It also said some interesting things about women, strippers, and feminism. Nothing too profound, but enough that I kind of felt like the guys who made the movie, at least, weren’t as dense as other aspects of the film might lead one to believe. So it had sort of a worthwhile, if somewhat heavy handed, message.

However, and this is why I watched it, it also had Thom Bray. And why not? It was filmed in Portland (hilarious goof: they stop at a mall in another state, and after getting back on the road, see a sign that says Oregon 20 miles; but the mall was Jantzen Beach--they didn't try to disguise the sign or anything--which is in Portland) and he does love to do bad horror movies. Usually none this bad, but still... Anyway, he played the sole non-zombie bad guy, a sort of generic evil doctor with a severe Oedipal problem and no respect whatsoever for women as human beings. He was experimenting with zombie strippers to try to calm them down and train them in wifely arts, the idea being that since they can't think for themselves, they're already nearly perfect. He got as far as teaching one of them to sort of do a manicure (Thom with nail polish--pause for hand porn), and then one thing led to another and they ate him. Being an over-the-top bad guy, this is not a sentimental loss. Not like in Prince of Darkness, where the look on his face as he dies always makes me cry. (If you don't follow Thom's horror movies, be advised that he always dies. And he's usually really cute first, so it's sad.)

Anyway, not even Thom could make this funny, but he still did an awesome job. The kid who was the primary character/narrator/maker of rules was a decent actor, too, but they were the only ones. He's lucky he got to work with a master at the very beginning of his career.

(Interesting side note: the only reason I knew about this movie was because it was listed on Thom's IMDB resume. It was there as recently as last week, but it's gone now. And he's no longer listed on the movie's cast and crew page. So you'll just have to take my word for it, I guess.)
little_tristan: (BtVS Spike Sod Off)
That when you install a new version of Semagic it transfers everything from the LJ server, like tags and icons, but nothing from Semagic itself? Like locations, friends' birthdays, and, you know, saved entries? Good thing no one's holding their breath for that review of A Short History of a Prince, because I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be rewriting it.

But seriously, a little warning would've gone a long way.
little_tristan: (Christina's World)
This will be Jerry Lewis's last year hosting the MDA telethon. Which, for some reason, will be only six hours long this year. Because they figure they can make the same money in a quarter of the time? Well, whatever. It's the end of an era and I don't exactly have high hopes for the new one.
little_tristan: (BtVS Spike Misery)
Yesterday I got more legal stuff in the mail. It seemed unnecessarily complicated, so this morning I called the lawyer to ask about one minor detail. And it turns out that that detail is actually irrelevant right now. It will become relevant later, after I've ponied up several thousand dollars of my own money to secure an insurance bond to protect the estate which, and I can't stress this enough, I'm not getting any of. So that's what I'm doing today.

My point? Dying without a will is the worst thing you can do to your family. Okay, I can't say flat out that it's worse than dying, but for the love of puppies, don't do one without the other.
little_tristan: (Daria: Mr. D)
In all of my previous 36 years, life has followed a sort of pattern. Bad things happen, and then good things happen. Sometimes the good things come directly out of the bad things (car wreck = new car) and sometimes it takes a little perspective to see how it worked (Dad died = new improved life. Eventually.). Sometimes they aren't related at all, the monotony of misery is just broken up by random good things. (Crappy day/book in the mail) And sometimes it's just expecting the worst and being pleasantly surprised when it doesn't happen. (Thinking the IRS wanted to send Herr to prison, but they didn't.)

But year 37 is taking a decidedly different turn. It just keeps getting worse. It's like entropy has completely taken control and everything is trending relentlessly toward chaos. (Yes, I was working on the estate today. How did you guess?) I keep seeing potential bright points, but they vanish before I reach them. Everything that seemed like it might be a small compensation, a little bit of "at least this will help with...", has turned out to be just another wad of frustration. I can't even come up with ways in which things could be worse. I mean, they're pulling rugs out from under me that I didn't even know I was standing on. Soon the fates will have to trade in their scissors and strings and shit for shovels so they can devote themselves full time to digging deeper holes for me to fall in.

I fully expect my house to burn down in the next few days. But don't worry. The arch-nemesis will be fine.

Yes, I'm wallowing. So the fuck what? I can't come up with one semi-decent reason not to. Everything sucks. Suckity suck suck fuck it to hell. Damn it.
little_tristan: (Daria: Mr. D)
WARNING: Triggering accounts of rape, child abuse, victim-blaming, and rage-inciting insensitivity on the part of some white dude who gets paid to be a dick in the big-city paper.

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

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

And, finally, click here to point out to the aforementioned white dude that he's being a dick right in front of God and everyone. In case he also needs it explained.
little_tristan: (BtVS Spike Misery)
Herr just left for work, after one of the worst weekends we've ever endured together. Over the last few months, he's been degenerating into a fanfic character--one who spins around in an endless panic, not eating or sleeping and living on caffeine and fear. The middle of last week, he started throwing up a lot, whether there was anything in his stomach or not, and he finally collapsed in the factory on Friday. Even then, he wouldn't see a doctor. He's scary that way--the lengths he'll go to to avoid losing control. Instead, he clocked out and slept in the truck until Bruder finished up and brought him home. He slept on the sofa all evening, refused his supper, and for the first time in months, slept through the night.

Ever since, we've been trying to get small bits of food into him, or even water if that's the best we can do, and he's developed a tolerance for my liquid food. (He drinks the high calorie stuff; I stick to the sugar free.) But we couldn't keep him home today. He may be a walking skeleton on whom Victoria's Secret extra small yoga pants hang loose (he wears them for underwear, not having any body fat whatsoever), but he's by-God going to work. The only sign that he's at all sane is that he is planning to spend most of the work-day sleeping in the van. He hasn't decided if he's going to clock in, or tell them he's taking a sick day while being on call for the things only he can do. It's sort of a toss-up between sleeping on their time or working on his. Either way, he gets paid and the work gets done. Unless he collapses again.

You'd think someone that writes these scenarios as often as I do would have some clue as how to handle the situation. But I don't. Actual men are just a whole different story, and I'm not being allowed to dictate the ending.
little_tristan: (Daria: Mr. D)
All weekend, Herr and Bruder have been worrying about going to work today. They were supposed to start working split shifts, with one of them running a morning crew, then an overlap from about noon to three, and the other running an afternoon/evening crew. They badly didn't want to do this for several reasons: a) it's a long commute and with both of them driving themselves, it would double our gas consumption without increasing pay; b) Bruder really shouldn't be driving in the dark, and in Oregon in February, almost everyone goes to and from work in the dark; c) they're so co-dependent (a term they actually agree with) that they only really work effectively together. Dividing them doesn't spread the productivity, it reduces it. So they've been pretty upset about the whole thing.

Turns out, though, that they should have been worried about something else. Yesterday they were given such a huge stack of work that takes two people, that only they can do, to keep both of them there all day. The crew will work two shifts, but the boys will have to be there for both. Why? Because they aren't allowed to have charge of any employees who are actually smart enough to learn to change the heads on the manufacturing machines, and they don't have any say in the production schedules, so they can't plan the best way to, you know, produce.

The ex-partner gets the orders and they go through at least three members of the office staff, none of whom actually understand or care about what they're writing down. And they don't get into trouble when they screw it up, the boys do. The numbers get transposed, letter codes get mixed up, truncated, or left off altogether, and when one of the boys catches a mistake (which is hard to do when they don't know what it's supposed to be), they get into trouble for contacting the ex-partner for clarification. They're not supposed to go directly to her, they're supposed to go to the office staff, who, when presented with two sheets of paper that are supposed to say the same thing and yet don't, aren't even capable of understanding why that's a problem. ("Oh, I wrote down 22 DPT here when she said 22 T. So?" "So, DPT and T are two radically different kinds of trays. The customer wanted DPT and we just made nine pallets of T." "So?") These are the conversations they have at least twice a month. The waste of time, soil, and paper that costs $800 a roll is tremendous.

Yesterday the boss, who is also an owner, showed up on the factory floor and lectured them about "not catching these red flags". For some reason, they're expected to know instinctively when they've been given a wrong order, and further, what it should be. But still without checking with anyone. The bosses have been ranting and harassing about stupid shit like this ever since the boys got there, and they've finally started getting angry and yelling back. It's very interesting. They probably won't quit, and I'm pretty sure they're too important to be fired, and that alone might be why the small, petty, partial-owner boss is being such a wanker. He put up money to buy in, but he doesn't seem to serve a purpose. I'm coming to think that he doesn't like people who have actual skills.
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, [ profile] oddmonster. Maybe tomorrow.
little_tristan: (catloaf)
Which I think actually started around nine last night. It was partly my fault for forgetting my sleep-more-soundly-with-fewer-dreams medicine before bed. Herr and I were talking about stuff and not arguing (well, we sort of were, but it was purely academic, not personal to us) and I just blew it off. So I was waking up every hour and not especially happy about it.
Click for my minor dramas and traumas )
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 [ 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: (Murray's Bad Day)
It was sunny for a while, but honestly, I can't remember most of the day. I think I talked to my cousin on the phone, but I'm not sure when.

Word on FaceBook is that another of my friends is dying. She's been in a medically induced coma for weeks, but whatever the doctors were hoping to achieve by it, it's apparently not working. If her family decides against life support, she won't last long at all.

My sister lost her new kitten last weekend, but I missed the news because I was off having fun and now I feel bad about that. Not that I could have done anything, but still. The poor little thing was crushed in a tragic recliner moving accident, and I can't even imagine how bad she must feel, having it happen right in her living room like that.

Probably time to lay off the wine and drink some water. And maybe go to bed. It's way, way past my bedtime.
little_tristan: (cutter john)
McCoy was just here to look at my chair. He had wheels, but when I explained some of the other symptoms (the right front wheel that rotates on its caster like a deranged shopping cart, the excessive play in the left drive wheel, usw), and he was able to see it for himself, it was determined that there was nothing for it but to take it into the shop. Those caster bearings are hell to pull out, and the motor/gearboxes need replacing. Which I suspected, but didn't say, because when I tell people I need new motors, they assume I don't know what I'm talking about and ignore me anyway. (Note: I get new motors every year. These things are not built for my purposes and I burn through them like they were powered by hamsters.)

So all that is about what I expected. The good news is that he was able to bring a loaner after all. The bad news is, it's a Pronto. Now I'm going to educate you a little bit on wheelchairs so buckle up. )


little_tristan: (Default)

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