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)
The boys got home early. The machine works so they're happy. Mark has to write some more software to make it do a few more cool things, but that's okay. He'll complain about the hours, but he loves writing software--which he taught himself to do--and applying it to his own robot. Also he can do it at home.

I thought of a scene for my new novel today but I'm being slow about writing it because I don't know what the next scene will be. Or the ending. The character who sort of resembles Sister's MiL and that other terrible woman who's a lot like her is being difficult. Partly because I'm so angry at the MiL that it's hard to write the character without her being a total caricature, and partly because the only way people like that can take over a situation and implode it is if you let them.

If I can't imagine something, I can't write it. And I literally can't imagine letting that happen. I also can't imagine being one of those people myself. So it fails from both sides.

I've spent years observing both those women, one as an adversary and one as a friend-turned-adversary, and I still can't figure it out. In my stories people tend to get along. That's what I understand. That's what makes sense. If they hate each other, they shouldn't live together.

I know, arch-nemesis, but it's different. He's just old and selfish and stupid. He doesn't have a medical history that reads like the DSM-IV.

She might disappear in the second draft. It might turn out that the story needs someone not so hopelessly evil.

I've cheered myself up with a Ding Dong. Now there's one left and I'm saving it for a day when absolutely nothing else will do. There will easily be at least one of those before I hit the expiration date on the box.

This is the stamp I pre-ordered for next year.


I enjoy the added poignancy of it being a Forever stamp.

little_tristan: (Apple Pie)
The boys are still at work. That part kind of sucks. But if they get it all sorted they won't have to go back tomorrow. Then we can watch DVRed Supernatural and The Big Bang Theory. Also, if they're tired enough tonight, I get corndogs from The Used To Be Crackpipe Store for dinner. I can't remember what it's really called. The last owners kept getting busted for selling crackpipes. It's really nice now so we couldn't keep calling it The Crackpipe Store.

I could learn the real name, but the boys probably won't and then they wouldn't know what I was talking about.

For breakfast I had apple pie.

I took a break from writing today to celebrate not being accountable for writing. It opened up a lot of time for reading. If tv keeps being awful, I might finish Mostly Harmless.

Mailing Christmas cards is being a problem because I'm out of stamps. Russell tried to get some this morning but the PO was closed and they don't have the machine he knows how to use anymore.

The first place I always go to buy online is Amazon. They sell stamps. And they suck. You get Prime shipping, but it's still $17 for $9 worth of stamps. How can that even be legal? The USPS site has them for actual face value. I ordered a bunch and the shipping was $1.75.

Next month they're issuing stamps with the Emancipation Proclamation on them. Not all of it, of course. But enough. I ordered a year's supply. That might've been a mistake, though, as I understand there will be more Civil Rights stamps coming out during the year. Probably I'll end up with a lot of stamps.

I don't have tags for any of these topics.
little_tristan: (Kitten WTF)
I haven't been able to find anything about this on Google but something weird happened. I mentioned before that we've been putting ointment in my eye for what felt like an infection. It wasn't getting better, though. It was, in fact, turning into another hasty trip to the doctor.

Last night Mark put the ointment in and we started getting ready for bed. After about five minutes, the inner corner where the pain's been worst started itching like a son of a gun. I gave it a very careful scratch, sort of scooping out excess ointment with my fingernail in case that was the problem. In the blob of ointment was a tiny, shiny, perfectly round and very hard white bead. I couldn't even break it with my thumbnail. The itching stopped after another minute, and I realized it hardly hurt at all anymore.

We're still using the ointment because it feels so good in this ridiculously dry environment. But whatever that little white bead was, it seems to have been the problem. I'm wondering if it was a bit of pet hair or peat stuck in the tear duct, and my body built a smooth protective deposit around it until the ointment greased the way out.

I also wonder if oysters would feel this good if we could take their pearls out without killing them.

Do oysters feel anything at all? I can probably Google that.
little_tristan: (Kitten WTF)
First the IRS apologizes for an oversight.

Then I sit down to straighten out the finances and make sure everything's in the software only to find a huge discrepancy in the credit card statement and my record. Basically mine says we owe a good $800 more than the bank does. I've been over it until my eyes are all numbers and can't find the problem.

Then a t-shirt arrived in the mail. The shirt I ordered for Mark over a week ago, and which arrived the other day. And they didn't even double bill, so we have an extra shirt and no help on the credit card deal.

I called Mark to see if his world was equally improbable today, and it is. It's barely noon and they're almost home.

It's scary, I tell you. The cats will be sprouting wings any minute.
little_tristan: (Default)
Comes a severely leaky faucet in my bathroom. The hot tap, of course. They've shut off the water to the sink and the main hot water source is going next. I just had to squeeze in my shower first. It's too bad I didn't have enough warning to clear out under the sink, though, because the boys are deeply baffled by the sheer number of products jammed under there. And, no doubt, why there's a Dave Barry collection in the middle of it.

Not sharing bathrooms with other people is awesome.

Anyway, I'm washed, robed, and writing so it's a standard Sunday. Watching YouTube vids of live Gin Blossoms performances and marveling over how much Robin Wilson has come to resemble Steven Tyler. Could that be on purpose? Did he see how his face was going and decide to throw on a hat and glittery scarf? I guess I'll find out. Unfortunately I already found out who Ambrosia, the other act on the bill, actually is. Holy 70s easy listening, Batman. I wanted the Gin Blossoms to go on second so they'd get a longer set, and that would, of course, be awesome. But if they play first, I can skip Ambrosia, buy my t-shirt, and get home before midnight. Win/win.
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: (BBT Penny Says What?)
So maybe all the breast cancer awareness that abruptly happened yesterday morning had something to do with my post. Although I don't have cancer so all I really did was raise awareness of breasts. Hai, I haz some. In case you didn't guess. But so does Russell, so it wasn't entirely selfish.

Now let's all hope that I don't get breast cancer, because the first time someone implied that it obligated me to support the pinkafication of a disease that's cutting through my family like a scythe, bad things would happen to them. Then I would rant endlessly about it here.

I will, however, support the production of t-shirts that say Forget the Boobies/Ta-Tas/Funbags, Save My Life. So long as they aren't pink.

As always, if you or a loved one have cancer and a different POV, please feel free to school me. I'm here to learn.
little_tristan: (BBT Penny Says Explode)
This was going to be something about Family Guy making a point (giggity) about the double standard regarding men's and women's nipples. Which it still kind of is. The joke was Peter and Lois looking at a Marylin Manson poster and trying to decide it it was a man or a woman. Peter says, "You can see his or her nipples. That's obscene. Maybe."

Cracks me up every time, no kidding. But then I started thinking. It goes without saying that the world is largely obsessed with boobs, right? From what I see on TV, girls are supposed to be even more obsessed with them than boys, starting around age 10. I have an eight year old cousin who wears a bra she won't need for several more years. Trust me on this. Her mom doesn't need one to this day. That's not an insult, it's just a fact.

I never really got that. They were just sort of there one day, like I always knew they would be, and I didn't care much one way or the other. There's nothing you can do about it, right? Like my wide-hipped bone structure and indefinably odd nose. (I can't explain what's wrong with it, it just ain't right.) Of course when I got old enough to watch a bunch of movies with topless women in them, I learned that while the size of mine was okay, they were entirely the wrong shape, making me completely unattractive and unworthy of love. But whatever. There was nothing I could do about it, so my boobs and I just went on about our business, more or less waiting for the guy who hadn't seen as many movies and might like us anyway.

What the Marylin Manson joke got me thinking about is nipples specifically. Last year sometime, when I was too messed up to give much of a shit, I started reading on blogs and advice sites that nipples are a problem. In fact, apparently they're Unacceptable. Not like a four letter word in a G movie Unacceptable, but full-on Daisy Duke shorts (or Daisy Duke herself, for that matter) at a White House dinner Unacceptable.

So now I realize that all this time I've been walking around in a proper bra and medium to heavy-weight shirts, uncontrollable nipples of SEX poking out and offending everyone in sight. It's become a matter of office politics, memos are being written, other women are telling us nippleteers to put on sweaters, and men are leering and making sneering comments about how "of course they know they're doing it, they're just fucking with us". And suddenly, unlike the ugly and unworthy shape which I'm allowed to endure as best I can on my own, this is A Real Thing that I'm expected to a) give a shit about; and b) fix. Somehow.

Bringing me to this post where I ask, seriously? I mean, for real? If I had a job outside the house, would this be the business of everyone in my workspace? I did have a real job once, but I wore a lab coat and there are limits to the powers of even my enormous poky female cones of humiliation. Does everyone really think women who don't go to the trouble to somehow padding their bras, because dog knows that never gets commented on, or whatever the fuck we're supposed to do, are, I don't know, taunting them on purpose? Because until it hit Dear Prudy on Slate, I cared exactly as much about visible nipples as I did the inexplicable nose weirdness and now it's everywhere.

Are they going to make me shield my nose next? Or will they go right for the turkey wattle neck? Because I gotta get ahead of this thing before I get arrested.
little_tristan: (Home)
Swiped from [livejournal.com profile] catyah

1. What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now?
Aveeno Lavender Body Wash

2. Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator?
Yes

3. Is there anything moldy in your refrigerator?
Probably in the a-n's private drawer of Obsessively Collected Leftovers for Depression Survivors.

4. What would you change about your living room?
The colors and the floor. Unfinished wood is impossible to clean.

5. Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty?
Don't have a dishwasher.

6. Do you have a can of mushrooms in your pantry?
Nope.

7. White or wheat/brown bread?
Wheat.

8. What is on top of your refrigerator?
An empty cookie jar, a candy bowl that was last used as a fishbowl, and a crapload of cookie sheets.

9. What color is your sofa?
Chocolate leather.

10. What color or design is on your shower curtain?
Clear plastic with a world map so I can study geography while Mark washes my hair.

11. How many plants are in your home?
None.

12. How many candles are in your home?
Couple dozen.

13. Is your bed made right now?
Sort of.

14. If you have a coffee pot, what color is it?
Black.

15. Electric or standard can opener?
Standard.

16. Comet or Soft Scrub?
Soft scrub.

17. Is your closet organized?
Sort of. Most of the stuff is in plastic tubs, but there's clothes on the floor for the cats to sleep on.

18. What color is the flashlight that you use the most?
Purple.

19. What kinds of things are in your junk drawer?
RCA cables, screwdrivers, bags for vacuums we no longer own, Hello Kitty drink umbrellas...

20. Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home?
Plastic water bottle.

21. Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now?
No.

22. If you have a garage, is it cluttered?
No garage.

23. Curtains or blinds?
Some blinds, but most of the windows are uncovered. (Yes, we've lived here 10 years and never put up curtains. But there is insulating plastic over most of them from last winter.)

24. How many pillows do you sleep with?
Two pillows, a plush football, and the face-warming Murphy Sloane.

25. Do you sleep with any lights on at night?
Nope.

26. How many ceiling fans are in your home?
I wish.

27. How often do you vacuum?
No carpets, but we run the shop-vac in the furnace vents once or twice a year.

28. What color is your toothbrush?
Blue and white.

29. Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch?
Nope. In fact, we have a Not Welcome sign on the front door.

30. What is in your oven right now?
The oven racks.

31. Is your microwave clean or dirty?
Dirty, we think. Some of it's probably rust.

32. Is there anything under your bed?
Yes, but I hesitate to guess what. It's probably covered in cat puke anyway.

33. Chore you hate doing the most?
Getting Mark back to sleep after work-related nightmares.

34. What retro items are in your home?
Some antique furniture and a few old toys.

35. Is there a separate room in your house that you use as an office?
Mark has a private computer/inventing lab, and the dining room is essentially my office, although it's open to the living room and kitchen.

36. If you have a yard, who mows it?
Blake's Yard Maintenance.

37. Is there anything on your kitchen floor right now?
Dog hair.

38. How many mirrors are in your home?
Three.

39. Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home?
Nope.

40. What color are your walls?
Off-white everywhere but my bathroom, which is bright white and blue, and the library, which is white with different colors behind each set of built-in shelves.

41. Which rooms in your house have wallpaper?
The lower half of the dining room walls.

42. Do you have a peephole in your front door?
Nope. Big window with the Not Welcome sign and a shade over it.

43. Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home?
Two dogs, an actual sword, and a half dozen or so firearms.

44. What does your home smell like right now?
Dog.

45. Favorite candle scent?
Lavender.

46. What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now?
None.

47. Who are in the pictures you displayed?
Relatives and friends from camp.

48. What color is your favorite bible?
Red.

49. Do you have plenty of cabinet space in your kitchen?
Nope. But they are valuable metal cabinets from the 40s.:)

50. Ever been on your roof?
No, but Mark and his daughter have been at different times.

51. Do you own a stereo?
Yep.

52. How many TVs do you have?
Four.

53. How many house phones?
None.

54. Do you have a housekeeper?
Just hired a new one today, two hours one day a week.

55. What style do you decorate in?
Durable and dog-friendly.

56. Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints?
Solid.

57. Is there a smoke detector in your home?
Yep.

58. In case of fire, what are the items you would grab if you only could make one quick trip?
(Too frozen by the thought to answer.)

59. Do you know how to work your electrical box?
Technically, but it's in the basement so it's not my department.

60. What temperature in your home is most comfortable to you?
+/- 70 degrees.
little_tristan: (Riptide Murray Happy)
Well, not the whole day. I was working on household stuff this morning, and then went to continue my business by picking up prescriptions at Walgreens. On the way back, taking the same route, I spotted a really flashy cigarette box on the sidewalk and went "Ooh, shiny object!" Because it was. Camel is apparently angling hard for the lady market because it's black with hot pink edging. And they're called No. 9 100s. Love potion in cigarette form, anyone? Since smokers are like crack addicts who will smoke dead bugs if they're high enough, I snagged it (what? it couldn't have been there more than 15 minutes; it's not like that time I was seven and wanted to pick up a pack of gum off the ground but it was covered with ants) and giggled with joy to find only 3 missing. Sign of things to come.

I really was going to get back to work, but Homeless Steve (not to be confused with Dickless Steve) is back in town and was hanging out with some friends at the bank plaza. So I ended up staying for about three hours, sharing my lady-smokes and handing out spare lighters. One of the new guys, Frank, isn't actually new to the city. He used to live a couple blocks from us, but after a few trips to jail and a stint in the state pen, he seems to be in transition. I learned a lot from him about conditions in the prison (I'm all for punishment, but no a/c when it's 100 degrees out and 120 in does seem a little extreme) and can just feel my writer muscles expanding.

He's also a big reader of the kinds of books you find in such places, like James Patterson and Michael Crichton. He suggested I plant some of my books in detention centers because prisoners will read anything and if they like it they'll tell their friends on the outside. I've always wanted to do something for prisoners, it's one of Jesus's big five--along with clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and sheltering the homeless, but Mark's never allowed me to get involved. (Who can guess why? Show of hands. Yep, not a secret.) However, I already asked him and he thinks giving them books is just fine. So that's on for later in the week, when I have time to walk over to the jail. Also conveniently located in my neighborhood.

The other big event was running into Rob and his girlfriend, whom I met when they were playing music on the sidewalk a few weeks ago. This time he had his cat with him. It's a nice medium sized cat, like Murphy Sloane only younger and sturdier, with a shiny black coat. The cat was on a leash attached to a studded collar, and wearing a little harness with saddlebags resting on its shoulders so it could carry its own toys. Everyone pulls his own weight on the street. Rob carried the box of cat treats, though, and the cat did some tricks for us in exchange for chicken bits. These included slapping five, playing patty cake, and sitting up to beg. Cutest. Thing. Ever. When it was time for them to go, Rob put the cat on his shoulder and away they went.

I sure hope we meet again.
little_tristan: (Emergency! Johnny facepalm)
It's been broken for a while, but it's really starting to irritate me. It has five alarms set for a total of 12 reminders per weekday and the only way I can hear them, or the gorram phone ringing, is to keep my ear piece in all day. Without that, all I get is a short buzz from the vibrator, which only works if I happen to be touching it. Needless to say, this is causing a lot of unnecessary concern, re: the new check-in system.

The really annoying thing is that I haven't even dropped it since Mark fixed it last time. It's probably from keeping it in the bag on the side of my chair where it bumps against the frame on rough ground. There's a lot of rough ground. More so now that I'm back in my old chair with the bad caster that makes it ride like a shopping cart at 8 mph.

I'll give you a moment to ponder that image.

I went ahead and bought the new part today, only off eBay this time. The wholesaler where I got the last one is out of stock and I want it this week, on the off chance Mark can work on it over weekend. No promises, of course. He hasn't even taken me to the pool yet (I'm supposed to keep losing weight at the same rate though; logic doesn't always apply) and the two tasks take about the same amount of time. I did get the speaker with the little circuit strip on it so we don't have to peal and stick again, but according to the auction that's the WiFi antenna. Probably don't need that anyway. Why do 3G phones even have WiFi? It's not like I can ever get on anywhere. Even at home, I have to get past the nemesis and reboot the router first. (The modem and router are on his desk and since he doesn't know what they are or why I sometimes need to mess with them, he does his best to keep them way back out of my reach.)

In good news, yesterday Mark killed a giant spider of a species that I particularly hate and which was clearly planning on laying eggs above the tv. It's not exactly live saving, but I was pretty pleased.
little_tristan: (Kitten WTF)
Mark went to the gas station the other day and brought me a receipt to put in the financial software. But I couldn't because it cut off the last digit in the total, reading $41.1-- (Econolines are not at all cheap to operate.) I figured I could do the math, multiplying the gallons pumped, 10.378, by the price, $3.95, and get the answer with no trouble. Except my total came out 41.02865, which in all fairness should have been $41.02, but I'd have been okay with them rounding it up to $41.03. Notice how none of these starts with a 1? So today I checked the credit card statement and found the actual charge was $41.12.

Snopes.com recently posted an article about how gas stations aren't deliberately calibrating their pumps to do this, and despite the fact that machines do wear out and slip over time, gas pumps are tested at least once a year and generally more often by the government agency for weights and measures. The promise is that they'll be accurate within a penny or so. This dime thing isn't supposed to happen.

Welcome to my real life, where I'm beating the odds on a daily basis.
little_tristan: (Ranger)
The Back Story: Ranger wears a heavy purple nylon collar with a plastic/metal squeeze clasp. Willow, who is much smaller but way more determined to dominate, likes to grab said collar and try to drag Ray around with it. Sometimes she gets hold of the clasp and unfastens it (presumably by accident, but with a Border Collie you can never be completely sure). The result is someone searching the back yard (they wrestle all day but the collar only comes off outside), recovering it, and putting it back on.

What Happened This Time: Ranger came inside yesterday evening sans collar. Mark searched the yard twice with no success. Just now I was letting the dogs out and the collar was lying at the bottom of the ramp outside the sliding door, on the floor of the shop. Now, since he walked right by there 4 times yesterday, and I checked the shop itself twice, that means it wasn't there last night. One of the dogs must've picked it up in the yard earlier this morning and left it there when they came inside.

The Question: Do dogs think about their collars, and if they do, what do they think? Do they regard these colorful bits of nylon as theirs, something that belongs to, or is a part of, them? I could see that, since the collars smell strongly of the dogs that wear them. But at the same time, they come off. And they can be resisted. Still, dogs favor their own things, so Ranger could have brought it to the door because it's hers.

The other option is that the dogs see the collars as belonging to us. Something that we put on them for reasons of our own and that they respect because they (the collars) aren't particularly annoying. A cat will get annoyed and pull one off as a matter of principle, but I've never seen a dog do that. In this case, whichever dog returned it to the shop could be thought of as returning it to me.

I suspect the most likely answer is that they were playing with it, keep away or tug of war or something, and one of them just incidentally carried it as far as the ramp before getting bored. Or dropping it in the excitement of getting back in the house. But I'm curious if anyone else has thought about this at all.
little_tristan: (Noam Chomsky)
But yesterday I was flipping through the On Demand menu for a series to watch and felt drawn to A&E's (that's Arts & Entertainment's) Hoarders. Without commercial interruption, even. Four episodes were available and I just finished the last one. It's a good show. It made me feel connected to other sad people who feel the need to fill their lives with things, with a stern warning about letting it go too far. Also, I hadn't known that there are mental health professionals who specialize in hoarding and know how to help a person let go without destroying what's left of their fragile sanity. Because I worry about that. Other people's sanity.

Most of the hoarding folks I saw came out okay. The therapists kept the families from pressuring or frightening their hoarders, although a couple times a sad spouse was used to push someone into admitting that other people were being hurt, too. It was calm and controlled, no one flipped out, and no dead or sick animals were found in any of the homes. One woman's home unexpectedly had to be condemned partway through the project, but the cleaners, who also specialize in this sort of thing, did a great job of recovering the valuable parts of her past for her. Photo albums and her mom's jewelry. The things people need. The program was very soothing to me. Seemingly insurmountable problems were cut down to size and calmly handled by competent professionals. I could have watched it all week.
For a few minutes I thought I had this reality tv thing all wrong. )
little_tristan: (Home)
It was fun in a hard working, boy did we get things done, kind of way. Bruder and I have been working on clearing excess stuff out of the front rooms, which led (how could it not?) to unpacking several boxes of stuff from Mom's kitchen. I kept a bunch of mugs and dishes that were sentimental, left over from childhood, or went with our dishes. We had the same pattern, only I had saucers but no cake plates. Yes, they're almost the same, but saucers have those grooves in the middle and it's hard to get all the frosting. So I gave away some saucers and cups, but I kept the cake plates and the lunch plates, since we were full up on the dinner size.

Anyway, I filled 4 boxes with stuff we didn't need and listed it on Freecycle, since [livejournal.com profile] oddmonster inadvertently told me it existed yesterday and I thought it sounded pretty cool. The first text message came about 30 seconds after the ad posted, and they finally stopped about 10 minutes after I took it down. Then people came and took the stuff away. It was awesome. I wrote posts for some more stuff that needs to get out of here, but the mods haven't approved them yet. I think they took the afternoon off.

We did get the place cleaned up pretty well, though. There is now more open space in the living room/dining room area than there has been since we initially invaded it. It's actually confusing for me, since I keep thinking I'm going to run into something every time I turn around, but now there's nothing there. We're also considering acquiring some sort of entertainment center to contain the DVDs and such so we don't have to dust so much. That ought to really pull the room together.

And the best part? While watching Idiocracy, we realized that we're not stupid and took a break to hook the TV up to the stereo speakers so we could get good booming theater sound. Okay, we're a little stupid for not thinking of it years ago, but we regain some points for getting it done in a minute and a half.

And Idiocracy? Never gets old.
little_tristan: (Riptide Geek On)
Everyone's familiar with the To Be Read list (TBR) by now, and it's been really helpful to me for the whole staying sane thing. Like Murray, in a reference you will only get if you're the kind of fan who reads everything I write, no matter how icky and squicky, I must have a plan. I can't read a book unless I know what book I'll read after it. I can't watch a TV show without knowing what the next two shows I'm going to watch are. (If it's 4 o'clock, I have to know what I'll be watching at 5.) I make Herr nuts asking, on the eve of his days off, what he'll be doing tomorrow. It's not because I want to do something, or I'll complain if he says "work" (which is what he always says)--I just have to know. That way I can plan. Okay, he'll be in his office or in the shop all day, so I can sit here and do exactly the same things I do every day. Check.

So, yeah, the TBR. Lifesaver. What will I be doing in December? Reading the ends of all those long, socially significant, historical non-fiction books I started in January. Of 2009. Check. And if I've cheated at all, it's been in adding books to it. Except for Lost Souls. (Sorry, Doc. You're awesome and I love you, as a writer and as a human being, but I just couldn't get through it.) But today I got a book in the mail, Burnt Offerings, by Robert Marasco, and the TBR went right out the metaphorical window. I just stuck it on the spreadsheet and started reading willy nilly, like I didn't even have a list.

Because, and Murray would agree here, it is possible to over-plan.
little_tristan: (Puppy Willow)
I just realized that, while I keep posting to LJ, I haven't actually read my flist in almost a week. That keeps happening. So things I've missed or just let slip:

Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] speak_me_fair! I hope it was fun and joyful in spite of the anniversary connection. (And isn't it weird how your body or subconscious or whatever remembers, even when you don't think about it? They need a pill for that.) Hugs and love and happy wishes for you, and have a good time in Paris!

Also, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] hardboiledbaby and [livejournal.com profile] calamitycrow for the pretty v-gifts. *hugs and kisses you both*

Somewhere today, in between therapy, puppy wrangling, and staring blankly at my novel, which, let's face it, is probably too lame to even bother publishing, I will find time to finish reading and commenting on everything else. If I don't, blame the puppy. She's used to it.

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