holidays


(1/27) Let me thread you a story…(1/27)
(2/27) Portalville was prid near shut down to outsiders in the days leading up to and after the 4th of July.
(3/27) We had our annual parade, featuring the Alouette High marching band, a float for Miss Firecracker, & Zombie Drill Team, like always.
(4/27) But visitors to Portalville had trouble getting here. There’s plenty ways to Portalville. You can go through the Imogen Mountains,
(5/27) east of town, and then on through the Rokoko Valley. And there’s Route 40 which passes north-south through town.
(6/27) But the main way most outsiders get here is from the west, over the Wynotte Bridge on the Wynotte River.
(7/27) Folks approaching Portalville from the bridge might notice a strange structure nestled under the eastern end of the bridge.
(8/27) It looks kind of like a condo clinging there. The impression only gets stronger once they get close because it is, in fact, a condo.
(9/27) It connects via a staircase to the toll booth right above. And it’s where Dennis the Toll Troll lives.
(10/27) People might not think he’s a troll. He usually dresses in a red plaid flannel shirt (summer and winter), black gabardine trousers,
(11/27) with a “Portaville Toll Authority” baseball cap. ‘Course, he is ten feet tall with two lower jaw tusks curlin’ over his lip.
(12/27) And he also has a tendency to take the fifth of Hiram Walker whiskey out of his back pocket to take a slug while collecting tolls.
(13/27) Generally, though, Dennis is peaceable. He collects the tolls, pockets half, and to the best of our knowledge never eats anyone.
(14/27) Wasn’t always so. Wynotte wasn’t always a toll bridge. Dennis freelanced. If someone came across the bridge when he was peckish,
(15/27) that person might not be heard from again. The town had to do something. A mob with torches formed, but Dennis is a powerful troll,
(16/27) not only strong as a whole army, but with mesmerizing magic. The mob didn’t have much luck. Dennis had a full belly, though.
(17/27) We didn’t have Sheriff Limonada back then or she might have defused the situation. As it was, Mayor Begay had to negotiate.
(18/27) The town finally agreed to let Dennis collect tolls officially on the bridge, half of which he could keep, half for the town,
(19/27) but under no circumstances was he to eat people. He didn’t like that. “I’m a humanitarian,” he protested. “I only eat humans.”
(20/27) So the town agreed to supply Dennis with a steady stream of hogs & cattle if he’d agree to let people alone. No more mobs would
(21/27) trouble him. He reluctantly agreed since the mobs were a nuisance & not having to hunt & fight was a perq.
(22/27) We even built him the condo to sweeten the deal. AC, a chef’s kitchen with an island & granite countertops, & a killer master bath.
(23/27) Things were good for a long time. But Dennis had him a backslide this week. Far as we know he didn’t kill and eat anyone, but he told
(24/27) the sheriff that the human-eating jones was so strong he decided to close the bridge rather than risk it having his way with him.
(25/27) She said he belched a meaty belch at her, excused himself, & said, “I sure would miss my AC if you had to force me to move.”
(26/27) The bridge is open again and outsiders are moving over it unmolested. Dennis seems to be calm and happy again.
(27/27) We’ve received no missing persons reports. So far.

This tale can also be found on Twitter @downportalville.

Happy holidays, everyone, whatever your traditions may be. The random quote will be on vacation until January 4, 2016.

Random quote of the day:

“Do what you do. This Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, Twelfth Night, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Paddy’s Day, and every day henceforth. Just do what you do. Live out your life and your traditions on your own terms. If it offends others, so be it. That’s their problem.”

—Chris Rose, “Lights in the City,” 1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina

 xmas4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

thanksgiving-food-catering-Denver-Spices-Cafe

I’ll be taking part in the annual American Turkey Bacchanal (otherwise known as Thanksgiving) and won’t be posting a folklore blog this week. But…

Here’s a very interesting website with lots of Native American Turkey mythology.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it!

I had a crappy week last week. I’d managed to pull a muscle in my ribcage the week before and not only had it not improved but by midweek last week, it was spasming and reflecting around my side and into my back. I missed work on Wednesday because of it, thought it a bit improved Thursday so went back to work. But by the time I drove home Thursday night it was flaring again. When I woke up Friday morning it seemed worse than ever, the spasming returned with a fierceness—and my stomach roiling and burning, too. Since it was also raining, I stayed home from work, called my friend and cancelled our dinner for Saturday night in Pasadena (I just wasn’t up to the drive), and went back to bed. I didn’t leave the house for three days.

I read and watched a lot of TV, ate bland food, took aspirin (which doesn’t usually bother my stomach and worked well for the muscle pain), wore a heating pad, tried to be as gentle with my side as possible. I had to resort to drinking chamomile tea to soothe the GERD-like acidity of my stomach. It works well. After that initial Friday, it was never as bad, but the heartburn never completely disappeared that whole weekend. Added to that, I couldn’t seem to get enough sleep. Even sleeping until noon, I was ready for bed again by 10.

Every television show I watched, including the news, was awash with Mother’s Day, Mother’s Day, Mother’s Day. I thought perhaps that might have something to do with my heartburn, but after three days alone in my house with nothing but my own thoughts and Mother’s Day, Mother’s Day, Mother’s Day, I started contemplating all sorts of exotic maladies.

“I’ll call the doctor first thing on Monday,” I thought, although he’d seen me the week before when the pain in my side was just a muscle pull and not radiating into my back, and hadn’t seemed particularly worried.

Sunday night about 10:30 I was ready to go to bed again. I crawled gingerly into bed (so as not to set the pulled muscle off). The cat came in and got on the foot of the bed and commenced to clean herself.

I thought, “I sure am glad Mother’s Day is over.” Out of nowhere—I swear I don’t know where it came from, perhaps the Otherworld for all I know—but out of nowhere a noise erupted from my throat, part cri de coeur, part animal yowl, part choking sob, long and loud and reverberating against the walls and ceiling.

The cat looked up from licking her butt with an expression that clearly said, “What is your problem?”

“Sorry, kitty,” I told her.

I’d swear she shook her head and said, “Just get on with it, for crying out loud,” and went back to licking her butt.

I thought it very sound advice. I closed my eyes and went to sleep.

The next morning I woke up and felt ten times, a hundred times better. The muscle thing hasn’t completely gone away, but mostly. The acidity is almost nil. I can face the world again. I am not cured, won’t be for some time, I imagine. But I am definitely getting on with it.

Forgive me, LJ. It has been three months since my last confession.

Time has really slipped past me. I’ll spare you some of the Christmas whinging as that is so last year…

Dec 18
1 in 200 Women Say They’ve Had a Virgin Pregnancy: http://yhoo.it/1dPsJwS   Ooookay.

Dec 18
It wasn’t something I needed, thought it a bit extravagant, but I will admit that I sure enjoy my new latte maker. Best part? It was a gift!

Dec 19
More structural rewrites are in my future. I had so hoped this one was good to go.

Dec 19
If only my name was Felicia. Then I could change my Twitter handle for the season to Felicia Navidad.

So now of course I’m earworming Feliz Navidad.

Dec 19
My new most-hated phrase: “Clear all the jelly!

Dec 19
So beautiful! Worth sitting through the annoying ad.

)

Dec 23
Having occupied my office chair for 4 hours I will now go to lunch. 4 hours after that I will be off for 9 blessed days.

Dec 23
Ooookay. Candy Crush has now moved beyond divertissement to obsession.

Dec 25
My cousin’s Christmas gift to me: coming to take care of Mom while I have knee surgery. God bless you, Francie.

Note from March: there’s an unhappy ending to this story.

Dec 25
I still think the Miami Heat’s logo looks like a flaming butternut squash.

Jan 1
One half of the gay couple who married on the Rose Parade float was a former hair dresser of mine. I’m thrilled for him!

 photo aubrey_zpsd4438e72.jpg

Jan 3
I hate cutting characters out of stories even when I know it’s necessary. I feel like I’m denying them there chance at the limelight.

Jan 4
You know that thing where you’re unintentionally full of shite, where bad memory and public pronouncement collide? That thing.

Jan 6
This guy! who flew his plane under the Eiffel Tower to chase and shoot down a Nazi:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2533373/WWII-fighter-pilot-flew-THROUGH-Eiffel-Tower-dies-Virginia-aged-92.html …

Jan 7
Mom had some issues at dialysis last night so we had an outpatient procedure this morning. Home again. Everything’s fine.

Jan 7
Michael Easton on General Hospital always reminds me of Dr. Drake Ramore.

Jan 8
Back in the ER again. This week is a clusterf*ck.

Jan 9
Mom’s CAT scan was OK so the hospital kicked her loose late yesterday afternoon so I could take her to dialysis. I was not pleased. We didn’t get home from dialysis until after 10 and Mom was hurting. I had to do two hour watches on her all night long to make sure the head wound didn’t go south. But she’s doing much better than we had any right to expect. She’s got a 4 cm cut on the back of her head and 10 wee. She fell in the street when the transport guy came to pick her up to take her to the clinic.

Jan 9
I used to live 2 blocks from here in 79 (and other inane facts)—Venice Beach, 1979: http://twitter.com/History_Pics/status/421099026046808064/photo/1pic.twitter.com/i6p2z7Jwoy 

Jan 15
A vivid and profound dream last night. Clearly a message from Self to self, but I haven’t quite figured out all it was trying to tell me.

Jan 18
A belief which keeps you prisoner in a life you hate should be done away with. It is not a thing of the Spirit, it is an aberration of Man.

Jan 19
All Ma wanted to do today was watch football and all I wanted to do was read philosophy. What a ridiculous conundrum.

Jan 20
I think Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber should date. Then the gossip media mill would implode and none of us would have to listen anymore.

Jan 24
So I says to my friend, “If the Apocalypse comes, I’m going to shelter in place and let it get me.” I’m not cut out for dystopia.

Jan 24
I’ve getting so tired of manufactured crises. I’m tired of the real ones, too, but the manufactured ones are really wearing thin.

Jan 25
I’m a committed mediocritist. It’s exhausting trying not to do better, but I can’t compromise my principles.

Jan 27
It’s official: I get my bionic knee on March 20.

Note from March: As previously stated, this may not be true.

Jan 30
CCF is one of the most decent people in FSF. RT @Catrambo Charles Coleman Finlay produces some tips for rejectomancy. http://ccfinlay.com/blog/nectar-for-rejectomancers.html …

Jan 30
If you believe in the possibility of a fair trial in Italy, read The Monster of Florence by Preston & Spezi. Their legal system is a joke.

Jan 31
I think my cat is as likely to answer to “You little t*rd” as she is to Min.

Feb 2
RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman. Stunning. Heartbreaking.

Feb 7
Actually, I’m not really having knee surgery in March, I’m headed here.

 photo candycrush_zps209ef385.jpg

Note from March: In fact…

Feb 9
The rages come out of nowhere like they always have. Why do they still have the power to surprise me?

Feb 10
He’s so cheerful all the time he gives me the creeps. No names please.

Feb 10
RIP Maxine Kumin, one of the best. http://tpr.ly/1ddOkBz 

Feb 11
Both beautiful and sad. Help take care of Baby Iver:  http://yhoo.it/1lxsoTZ 

Feb 12
Daily Mail article on sitting down: “those who sat more than six hours a day were 37 per cent more likely to die” NEWSFLASH: everyone dies

If you MUST read it for yourself:

http://dailym.ai/1omhzX3 

Feb 19
People assume that because you aren’t ambitious in the same way or for the same things as they are that you have no ambition.

Feb 20
Pussy Riot is brutalized by Cossacks while trying to protest, then Livejournal goes down. Probably not a coincidence.

Feb 20
So I won’t be getting my bionic knee after all, not for awhile. My cousin can’t stay with Mom. Not her fault, just life. She got sick herself.

Feb 24
Ah, farewell Harold Ramis. One for the ages.

Feb 26
So Der Weinerschnitzel is using a tiki motif to advertise their new chili cheese dogs which have no tiki motif that I can tell. ??  I’m a big fan of tiki so I don’t mind, but…

At home sick and watching too much TV I suspect.

Feb 27
Dear Marketers: If you make me create an account to shop at your site I won’t be shopping at your site.

Feb 28
My cat answered to “Farthead” today. In other news, I’ve been home since Tuesday with an awful cold. Am sick of being sick.

Feb 28
I watch my mother destroy a vintage pattern I bought her so she could make something from her past. Things don’t matter, just what they mean to people, and she is so present and content recreating that past. And I am content.

Mar 2
In Braveheart it always sounds to me like Mel Gibson is saying, “You may take our wives but you will never take our freedom!”

Mar 2
Watching the Oscars, Mom is confused. Spike Jones and Steve McQueen are not who she remembers.

Mar 4
Dear Nekkid Girl with “Individuals” emblazoned across your nekkid picture: all nekkid girls are exactly the same.

Mar 5
They’re getting Social Security and Medicare now—New Year’s Eve party, c.1960:

 photo 60sgirls_zps73fb9e7e.jpg

Mar 6
She has no pattern recognition left since the stroke. She was a crafter/artist. This was key to her identity. Life is a cold-hearted bitch.

Mar 6
If I start receiving ads in my car as some bright sparks are proposing I’ll drive my car through the front door of the first ad agency I see.

Mar 7
And sometimes a miracle occurs and the way becomes clear again and the universe seems a warmer place. You just never know what Life will do.

OTOH, Miley Cyrus still thinks she’s the only person ever to discover S-E-X.

Mar 11
My latest Etsy obsession:

http://etsy.me/1nHBVJa 

and a continuing one:

http://etsy.me/OiQOVN 

Mar 11
In my Twitterfeed I saw a story about shamans bilking relatives of those on MH370 claiming they can find the plane, followed by another claiming the loss of the plane was a giant government conspiracy. These seem to be the inevitable exploitive accompaniments to all tragedies these days.

30 Oct
Get out your hankies. The 20 year old toddler:  http://yhoo.it/16mrLa8 

31 Oct
SHAME: We got home from the doctor late and I’m so exhausted I’m sitting in the house with the lights out hiding from the trick or treating kids. I usually love having them but it’s been a very stressful few weeks.

1 Nov
The Sears robot is still calling to say I need to reschedule the repair appointment for the dishwasher. I’ve called the Repair Desk several times. After complaining again to them that I don’t need repair I got yet another call from the repair scheduling robot and a tweet from SearsCares. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that SearsCares breaks down to Sear Scares. It’s been my experience with them lately.

2 Nov
Compassion fatigue.

3 Nov
The Amazon Prime goodie bag went into the dumpster along with a box of other clutter. The need to purge the Room of Doom is strong.

3 Nov
Having posted about my virtuous purging of junk I then opened a box of crap I ordered from American Science & Surplus:  http://www.sciplus.com/   They’re sort of a depository for unwanted but interesting junk. Kind of like my house. Left hand, right hand.

6 Nov
Color outside the lines, but read between them.

6 Nov
I shall rename myself The Great Phlegmingo. I’d really like to stop coughing now, weeks after getting the cold.

11 Nov
Another epic starring Bird, this time whistling Blue Danube and imitating my mother and I coughing:  http://bit.ly/1buZWwd 

11 Nov
Every once in awhile, after not reading one of your novels for a long time, you surprise yourself with how much you like it. Mostly it’s cringing, though.

16 Nov
Why do people adopt children only to abuse them or “give them back” when things get challenging? It sickens me.

17 Nov
The only thing worse than watching jury orientation online is watching it at the court house.

17 Nov
Sears now claims they never got the plumbing invoices I sent October 29. I think sarcasm is in order, don’t you?

18 Nov
I postponed jury duty because my legs are not up to the hilly walking conditions in downtown L.A.

18 Nov
In other science news: You are what you eat may not be just another outmoded hippy slogan: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/11/18/244526773/gut-bacteria-might-guide-the-workings-of-our-minds …

19 Nov
You know what I don’t need? Someone who doesn’t know a thing about the day to day of my life giving me advice about what I “should” do.

19 Nov
I stayed home from work today because my knee was in such bad shape I needed to sit with ice on it for as many hours as I could stand. It’s somewhat better.

20 Nov
Some days Mom is victorious over the microwave. Other days it is beyond her and I get these phone calls asking me to diagnose over the phone. On those days, I wish to be shot in the head. But not really, Universe! I’ve got too much to do.

20 Nov
I just bought a mystery solely because the detective is named Pamela Thompson.

21 Nov
Well, I’ve had my Christmas miracle. My mother apologized to me.

21 Nov
The only thing certain in this world are death, taxes, and Kardashians.

22 Nov
Dear PJ: you cannot hide the similes by using “as if” instead of “like.” We can still see them.

23 Nov
Apparently I needed to be punished more. My knee was just starting to get better and I fell at Ralphs and wrenched it worse.

26 Nov
Mom went back in the hospital this morning. She either has an infection or a persistent virus. Either way she’s spending the night for tests and evaluation. Thanksgiving seems cursed as something happens every year. But she seemed better tonight.  I hope that direction continues. (She came home November 27 and has been strong and doing well since.)

28 Nov
Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was great. Carl cooked the entire meal and brought it over. Delish–and a wonderful surprise. I have the best friends in the world.

29 Nov
Mom remembers her dad going for supplies by horse and buckboard wagon to Watson UT when she was a kid. It’s now a ghost town.

30 Nov
My fantasy of buying a small smart TV lasted all of 24 hours before I got real. Too much other important stuff to spend the money on and we don’t need fripperies. Got caught up in Black Friday madness without even shopping. But sometimes being a responsible grown up sucks. 🙂

2 Dec
The guy in the Pinocchio suit stares into the abyss of his existence and despairs. Disneyland, 1961: pic.twitter.com/yPVGRvSkH0

2 Dec
This article encapsulates the caregiver situation quite well: http://bit.ly/1avcAck

The loneliness of the long distance carer. May I just add, **** you Amy F. Grant and Katie F. Couric, and anyone else who talks about the “privilege” without understanding the facts of working class people having to deal with this.

4 Dec
RIP Willis Ware, brilliant engineer and lovely, lovely man.

5 Dec
The resolution to a plot point that has been hanging unsolved for years finally came to me in the shower this morning. Unfortunately, I was in the shower, couldn’t write it down, and I was so busy after the shower I forgot, and now I can’t remember what it was or even which novel.

5 Dec
Adorably awesome! Lea Salonga and Darren Criss sang A Whole New World together at a bar: http://bit.ly/1kfEmiB

6 Dec
RIP Irreplaceable Nelson Mandela.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/nelson-mandela-becomes-first-politician-to-be-miss,34755/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=Default:1:Default …

6 Dec
I put on an episode of Finding Bigfoot last night. Mom fell asleep just after it started and woke just as it finished.

Mom: What happened?
Me: They didn’t find him.
Mom: Oh, okay then.

8 Dec
I keep buying books I haven’t got time to read.

8 Dec
And after two years of living as if this is a temporary situation it’s finally setting in that this is probably a long haul. I’m okay with that, but it’s a necessary shift in perspective that may allow me to handle things better.

8 Dec
“It’s not the Calvary coming to save us, ” said the sportscaster. Which is a whole different save than Kobe returning to the Lakers.

8 Dec
I read so slowly these days that I can go from comfort read to comfort read. No more waiting for release days. *sigh*

9 Dec
People and ghosts in rooms talking. *sigh*

11 Dec
Hurray for heated mattress pads!! My poor mom has been freezing, but she’s snug now. 🙂

11 Dec
Is the big reveal ever worth playing the reader? Does that answer ever have a yes? Why is there air?

12 Dec
Baby Pygmy Marmosets pic.twitter.com/eODml0ov3H

And now for something completely different… The Marmoset Song: http://youtu.be/4oiLfTnrC40 

12 Dec
When Mom gets really down she threatens to stop dialysis and I have to josh her out of it. Today would be one of those days.

13 Dec
I love it when people driving Smart cars make a really big dick traffic maneuvers. I originally said “really idiotic traffic maneuvers” but VRS decided to go with big dick and I left it that way.

13 Dec
Dear Sir: Most sentences should not be a paragraph long. Less is more. A tortured use of punctuation does not remedy this problem.

15 Dec
RIP to the great Peter O’ Toole.

16 Dec
Sears finally kept their promise. They’ve sent me a check to cover my plumbing costs for the Abominable Dishwasher Incident. Thanks, Sears.

7 Sep
Feeling as stupid as Hoda Kotb this morning. Sat in the driveway listening to a This American Life story and ran my car battery down. The AAA guy is changing it out for a new one now. It was old and on its last legs, he said. Glad I didn’t have to have the car towed. The other irony? I never did hear the end of that story.

Not much energy today, even less after The Battery Incident. Desperately want a nap.

7 Sep
My 92 year old mother just declared that she wants to cook Thanksgiving dinner rather than have it catered as we’d planned. “It will taste so much better.” It will, but neither one of us is up to it anymore. At least I’ll have three days to recover. I may just be able to walk again by Monday. Mom doesn’t like having Tgiving at other peoples’ houses, either.

Mom has a huge spirit and can’t accept her frail body. Who’s to say she’s wrong?

But I need knee surgery on both knees and that much cooking will involve a lot of time on my feet which will require a lot of recovery.

9 Sep
First sign of autumn at my house.

 photo autumn_zps8f88ead2.jpg

12 Sep
Called DPSS to find out exactly where to take the form they insist on getting in person (no email) before actually taking the day off tomorrow to bring it to them. 

”That’s not a walk in office,” the person on the phone said. “You can’t bring things there until we transfer your mother’s case to a new office.” Which won’t happen until October 1 when her case worker comes back from vacation. Apparently, no one else can help me.

On the one hand, I should be irate for the sodding great waste of time. OTOH, yippeee! I don’t have to go to DPSS tomorrow!!

12 Sep
So I walked outside last night to put scraps out for the wild critters and came face to face with one—fortunately. I’d hate to be face to tail with a skunk. A skunk! In the middle of the city near LAX. I beat a hasty retreat back inside.

13 Sep
WUUUUUFFFFFFF! That’s the sound of a giant gust of wind going out of my lungs in relief. Doing a little caregiver dance!  Dancey dancey dancey! Take that Amy F. Grant and Katie F. Couric! I got someone to take my mother to dialysis on Mondays and Wednesdays so I don’t have to leave work in the middle of the day and make a 50 mile round trip! And I don’t have to wait on DPSS to pay for it!

18 Sep
Remember when newsreaders actually understood the news they read?

19 Sep
She actually simpers. I didn’t think anyone did that anymore once past the age of 16. Or who weren’t employed in a cat house.

23 Sep
Mom was not in a good way after dialysis tonight. Had to call the paramedics to assist in getting her out of the car and into the house. She’s okay. It just takes it out of her sometimes, makes her weak and very disoriented. She’s usually fine by morning.

24 Sep
Procrastination is not a good thing. Then again, neither is exhaustion.

25 Sep
Note to Pam: you can’t rely on the 92 year old to say when she’s running out of things. It sucks but you have to monitor Every. Blessed. Thing.=

27 Sep
Mom came through her outpatient procedure very well. Unclogged the fistula in two places which may explain the excessive bleeding Saturday.

27 Sep
Got an absolutely brilliant idea for a story this morning. Unfortunately it was while laying in bed. I fell asleep and now can’t remember it.

28 Sep
So relieved that necklace I’ve been ogling on Etsy sold. Close enough to my price range to be so tempting, but not money I needed to spend.

28 Sep
The nights when Mom is hallucinating from a combo of dialysis and pain medication are not at all stressful. Not at all.

It is what it is. She’ll be fine in the morning once she’s had a night’s sleep, once I can get her to bed. It’s been an occasional ongoing situation for awhile, just been a stressful week and harder to deal with today. Hoping things settle soon.

4 Oct
“[Those]…otherwise very good at math may totally flunk a problem that…goes against their political beliefs.” http://fb.me/2xzM2CDAw 

4 Oct
Plumbing. Plumbing, plumbing, plumbing, plumbing.

5 Oct
My new dishwasher has been down since Sunday. Turns out rat(s) gnawed a hole in the drain hose. Min’s a good mouser but can’t get under the kitchen sink/counter where the bastards are coming up.

5 Oct
Emergency Kittens: pic.twitter.com/7I3Yb87rKi

7 Oct
Sears customer service sucks. My dishwasher purchased in April has a hole in the drain hose and even though I told two people at Customer Service what the problem was, they sent an installer crew not a repair crew and they didn’t have the part needed to fix the washer.

 When I called Customer Service/Repair back I did get an intelligent, responsive person on the line who is sending the correct part to me, but even if they had sent a repair crew, I was informed, they wouldn’t have had the part on their truck and I still would have had to wait to get the washer fixed. This is illogical, inefficient, and non-responsive and I am DONE WITH SEARS.

8 Oct
Apparently no one on service desks listen anymore.

8 Oct
So sorry people are leaving Goodreads over the review pulling. Sorrier still about pulling reviews because of some whiny authors.

9 Oct
Not surprisingly, the part needed to repair the dishwasher, which Sears promised would be here on Tuesday, has not arrived.

9 Oct
One of the worst aspects of being home sick is having to watch tea party wipes talking out of their ass. Oh right, I can turn the channel. Senator Buck McKeon claimed that less than 10 people in the whole country had signed up for the Affordable Care Act. Wolf Blitzer corrected that: over 16,000 in the 3 states reporting.

10 Oct
Tipping the potato chip bag up to get the last crumbs in your mouth: ladylike or beyond mortal definitions of assigned gender roles? Asking for a friend.

11 Oct
Guess what? Wonderful Sears ordered the wrong part for the dishwasher. The repairman won’t be back for yet another week. That will be three weeks without a dishwasher plus taking care of a sick 92 year old and working full time. I’m so happy.

(Insert primal scream here.)

This morning as I was reminding Ma about the repairman coming I had a premonition about the wrong part. I’m furious but not really surprised.

13 Oct
Friday Sears said someone would call me within 24 hours. Do I even have to type the rest at this point? Sick as a dog since Friday. Probably just as well they didn’t come.

14 Oct
My mother doesn’t understand the concept of laryngitis even though she had it in the early days of this cold. What? What you say? What?

“The disease is nothing, the terrain everything”—Louis Pasteur on his deathbed.

Well, at least there’s a UFO Files marathon on.

Fun: trying to get VRS to understand you when you have laryngitis.

18 Oct
Sears has gone beyond incompetence into criminal neglect. The part to fix the dishwasher is on backorder until November. At the crucial moment when I thought I was getting some resolution, we were disconnected. I called back to try to get to who I was talking to and the clueless helpdesk folks had no idea and connected me to someone who decided to stonewall and say “I see no record of you talking to anyone who made you such an offer. We can’t do anything more for you. You’ll have to wait until November.” At one point the Sears stonewaller said, “I’m sorry you’re unhappy with your dishwasher. Contact the manufacturer.” “It’s a Kenmore,” I told him. “You are the manufacturer.” He sputtered some but didn’t have much else to say.

18 Oct
In other corporate news, Alka Seltzer Plus Nighttime is most excellent. First good night’s sleep in days.

20 Oct
Hilarity of the morning: the bird and Mom coughing at one another. Or the bird saying “Ouch!” when I cough.

20 Oct
Birdie between coughing fits.

 photo birdie_zps14d47d14.jpg

20 Oct
I suppose it’s not possible to hope both teams lose the World Series. No hard feelings.

21 Oct
Every time I look up there’s another Sears commercial on TV. The Universe is mocking me.

21 Oct
The ironies pile up.  “18 Depressing Photos That Show Why Nobody Wants To Shop At Sears”    http://yhoo.it/1a0jUyq 

22 Oct
I gave up on Sears and called plumber. He fixed the dishwasher in about 20 minutes with the parts the Sears tech said were wrong. The only reason I stuck with Sears this long was because the dishwasher was still under warranty.

Sears corporate types have been reading my Twitterfeed complaints and calling me, but the situation never got resolved. The weird thing, when corporate Sears calls me they go direct to voicemail. Those are the only calls that do. And when I call them back it goes direct to voicemail. This only increases my frustration and adds paranoia.

23 Oct
I’m not so much hoping the Sox win as I’m hoping the Cards lose. The Cards are a team of prigs. No hard feelings.

25 Oct
#1. Act 3 is broken and I don’t know how to fix it and haven’t got the time. #2. It’s been out there so many times. #3. I never did find the time for that final read through. I don’t know what I’ve got there. Could be brilliant, could be crap. #4. There are holes in this that still haven’t been plugged. Plus #1 and #4 are part of trilogies. Oh the humanity! If I haven’t got time for a one-off, how can I find time for 3???

I’m thinking of changing my name to Oh!TheHumanity! Thompson.

29 Oct
Sometimes I seem nearly psychotically cautious, other times the feckless, trusting fool.

29 Oct
Sears, to be perfectly fair, has promised to pay my plumbing bills for the dishwasher. I have not yet seen cash. I will keep you posted.

26 Jun
Yeah, I was late to the SCOTUS party as well as Wendy Davis’s stand. Thrilled and frustrated both this morning.

27 Jun
Okay, I just wept like a fool when I heard the Gay Mens’ Chorus sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

27 Jun
Stand Up Wendy. We love you. You are fighting the good fight.

27 Jun
My friend from Mississippi lessoned me on alternate meanings of “crunching” that put a new light on “crunching numbers.” According to her, down in Pontotoc, Mississippi “crunching” is another way of saying defecating.

27 Jun
Interesting times at work. In the Chinese curse sense.

28 Jun
You go, Joan and Edna: Joan Crawford reads Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Dirge Without Music”: http://tpr.ly/13cxuQK  .

29 Jun
From Margo Howard: “Don’t die a virgin. Terrorists are up there waiting for you.”

WARNING: THE NEXT SECTION MAY CAUSE DISTRESS TO SENSITIVE VIEWERS:

30 Jun
Min left a dead mouse somewhere in the computer room but I can’t find it. How do I know it’s here? Heatwave, that’s how. Thanks, Min. I think I’m going to vacate this room for awhile. Even with all the windows open it’s not fun. Blargh. Found it. It had crawled into a collection of cloth grocery bags and a ground-level shelf of a cabinet to slough off the mortal coil. Except not really. Chlorox Clean and Nature’s Miracle and the room is barely habitable after everything was thrown out. It barely missed my Tarot card collection. That would have been an expensive throw away. I moved the Tarot card collection and anything else valuable off the lower shelves in case Min decides to release another half dead mouse in here. She was very proud of herself and when I complained about the outcome, she patiently explained her job was to catch them not dispose of them. In fairness, I interrupted her in the process and allowed semi-dead mouse to escape—which Min pointed out when I complained. A neighbor called during cleanup to invite us for the 4th and he and Mom were discussing menu items. I kept shouting, “Shut up!”

30 Jun
Just spent two hours on the land line with tech support for my aged, ailing Droid. Think it’s fixed long enough for my new Droid to arrive.

1 Jul
Anyone want any more dead mouse stories? Just kidding.

1 Jul
I’ve decided to lay aside my martyr rags and wear shining raiment instead.

1 Jul
Survived day one at work. Two more to go.

2 Jul
Maybe I didn’t survive yesterday and I’ve slipped into the Purgatory Zone.

2 Jul
You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?/Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down /Letting the days go by, water flowing underground /You may ask yourself, how do I work this?/You may ask yourself, where is that large automobile?/You may tell yourself, this is not my beautiful house /You may tell yourself, this is not my beautiful wife/Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down/ Letting the days go by, water flowing underground/Into the blue again, after the money’s gone…Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…

2 Jul
The idea is not to fall into the rabbit hole even if you take things on faith.

2 Jul
The greatest English queen and one of the world’s greatest monarchs couldn’t really have been a woman, but must have been a man in drag: http://dailym.ai/163pFI5 

3 Jul
I am definitely not having fun. Four more hours.

3 Jul
Booga-booga, ya’ll. The case of the spinning Egyptian statue: http://bit.ly/14OtstD 

4 Jul
My old Droid died for good this morning. Fortunately, I had a new Droid in hand and have (mostly) finished programming it. The 4G is so much faster than the 3G, but I think I’m inferior to it.

4 Jul
The Fourth of July artillery barrage has been going on for hours now with no sign of letting up soon.

4 Jul
The world is not a pure place and although it’s very colorful it favors shades of gray.

5 Jul
I still haven’t retrieved my contacts on the new phone. Because my old phone died the death of a thousand…deaths I couldn’t transfer them that way, and the phone wouldn’t accept my pin, tech support got stumped, so now the “Network Engineers” are working on it and I may have to wait another 24 hours or so. Because I’m an anal bunny I’ve got most of those backed up to a paper address book so I’ll be 80% okay if they can’t retrieve Ma Stuff. I like Verizon, they’ve been very good, so I’m hoping it’ll all be okay. But I’m wondering why I spent money on this Droid cover. It seems so anticlimactic.

6 Jul
Protip: when using Backup Assistant on your Droid remember to manually back it up periodically. Apparently just telling it to backup your contacts at the time you’re adding them is not enough. Most of my contacts are gone for good.

7 Jul
Min is having her first supervised walk in the backyard for months and what does she choose to hang out with? The smelly old trash cans. Stink so gud. Alas…Mom wanted to come out, too, but she got a phone call from my cousin which is lasting hours. She’s actually doing quite well these days, despite not liking stinky trash cans as much as Min.

7 Jul
This phone proves over and over again that I am inferior to it. Except for the spell check. Well, it’s superior in that too, just wacky.

8 Jul
Spent the morning at Urgent Care with Mom. She’s okayish. Barked and ugly shin. Now I’m at work.

9 Jul
I need to find more money I need to find more money I need to find more money I need to find more money I need to find more money I need to…

10 Jul
Let’s hope the loud “DROID!” notification of new email doesn’t wake me up at 2 a.m. like it did last night. I think I changed the settings.

11 Jul
The Droid was quiet as a little lamb last night but Mom’s talking clock starting screaming, “It’s 12 o’clock midnight!” over and over…at midnight. It’s a very handy gadget when the alarm function hasn’t been accidentally set. It’s atomically aligned to Greenwich or some such nonsense. It’s always right.

12 Jul
For the third night running electronica conspired to disturb my sleep. First, the talking clock again shouted, “It’s 12 o’clock midnight!” I unplugged it and took the batteries out just to be safe. I noticed before doing so that the alarm icon was still showing on the face. I shall attempt to fix that when I’m actually awake. Sometimes the functions on this thing are easy to figure out, sometimes not, and of course Mom doesn’t know where the instructions are. But sight-impaired Mom won’t go without her talking clock. I hooked up the spare one for her this morning.

The second electronica whim-whammery came when the Droid again screamed “DROID!” in the wee hours. I was too tired to care, turned over, and went back to sleep. I guess I didn’t get those settings right after all. I may have to admit defeat and call Support.

27 Dec
The guy in the Cadillac Escalade whose license plate included “ASAP” driving at least 10 mph under the speed limit.

30 Dec
I have strep throat. The doc said “I worked in the ER and nothing phases me but THAT’S impressive.” God knows how long I’ve had it.

31 Dec
I’ve been sick as a dog for days but tonight I feel like I may have regained my humanity. Happy new year everyone.

1 Jan
No fever this morning for the first time since Friday. I think I may survive. 

 May you all enjoy a happy and fever free 2013.

1 Jan
Having watched all the Rose Parade I can stand (10 minutes), I will turn my attention elsewhere.

2 Jan
People are the foulest species. I don’t usually watch Animal Cops because I can’t stand the cruelty, stupidity and culpability of some people, but it happened to be on when I turned the TV on and I became transfixed by a story of three horses. Happy endings for two of them, no word on what kind of ending the third experienced. I want to believe the number of good people balances out the bad, but there are days I have my doubts.

2 Jan
In other news, I still feel like crud.

2 Jan
Watching a Dr. Oz diet show while eating KFC: another fine irony.

3 Jan
Profound: doing an oracle reading re: Mom and having her interrupt it with a phone call. If I was a writer I might make something of that.

4 Jan
I felt mostly human today but still tire way too easily.

6 Jan
Who likes mimes except other mimes?

7 Jan
I think “don’t describe eye color” is one of the more bogus writing rules. Someone with a personality disorder must have made that one up. I always notice eye color in Real Life. It’s pertinent in description; eyes are the windows to the soul, etc. Having said all this, I do believe amateurs way the hell overuse eye color as a descriptor, as if it’s the only thing important about a face. It’s one more piece of the puzzle, that’s all, and perhaps that rule was generated by someone’s frustration over too many “he had brown hair and blue eyes” 
flat and lifeless descriptions. More important perhaps to note the pitted quality of his nose, how light never touches those blue eyes.

7 Jan
They’re talking about springing Ma soon from the Big House. She’s been walking real good.

9 Jan
Boycotting Olive Garden, Red Lobster and now Wendy’s: http://bit.ly/ZyYiY5 

10 Jan
Hope seems to be my Rasputin emotion. No matter how many times and ways it is assassinated, it refuses to die.

10 Jan
Mom got cocky, thinking she was going home, and decided to go to the bathroom without help. She lost her balance and “fell.” Although she insists she just “slid down the wall.” No breaks/fractures, thank God. But they want to monitor her another week or so before releasing her. She’s doing well. They took her outside and walked her up and down the block yesterday (assisted). They’re just being cautious.

11 Jan
I’m so old that when I hear the word “butter” I have to fight the urge to say, “Parkay.”

14 Jan
Dear Man on the Cycle: your clownish bicycle clothes just got stupider with the addition of the unitard.

14 Jan
The water in the birdbath froze overnight, a very rare occurrence here near the beach.

14 Jan
It doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t 

mean anything.

Don’t read anything into it, don’t read anything into it, don’t read anything into it, don’t read anything into it, don’t read anything into it.

Remember: hope is the thing without feathers.

14 Jan
Funny the things that stick in your mind: I can’t read/hear “papier maché” without hearing Rowan Atkinson’s voice (from Blackadder Goes Forth) saying, “Pap-ee-yay MASH-ay willie.” (He was mocking the artistic strivings of Hugh Laurie’s upperclass twit character.) That phrase has been rattling around in my brain for years. Sad, really.

15 Jan
Wow. I just forgot my boss’s last name. I had to get up and look at his name plate. That’s rather terrifying.

15 Jan
Stop being a writer and just write.

15 Jan
Conspiracy theory and gun nuts—a terrifying, sick combination: http://yhoo.it/106HIPr 

30 Nov
Huh! With everything, I completely forgot about the looming Mayan Apocalypse. I wonder if I’ll even notice?

30 Nov
Mom is being transferred to the rehab center this afternoon. That was fast! Such a bundle of conflicting emotions right now. She’s feeling much better and they’ll give her the help she needs. But I’m still twisted in knots. This isn’t a logical I thing, it’s an emotional one. I’ve been her only caregiver for a long time and have to remind myself I’m not abandoning her but getting help.

2 Dec
God save me from people who think being an artist excuses all manner of bad behavior. Mom’s roommate is an Artiste and the most self-absorbed tyrant to her children and everyone else I’ve met in a long time. They’re talking of moving her Monday. Hallelujah.

3 Dec
There are people who will return your phone calls and others who are never going to be able to do that. You have to let go of expectations.

4 Dec
A horror show in the Marina: http://bit.ly/XDkS1D  It broke my heart to see those gorgeous old trees taken down, some 40 years old or more. I have to drive by the stumps of 50+ cut down trees every morning and evening and I keep imagining them crying out in pain and horror. Sometimes a good imagination is a liability.

4 Dec
Your decision: try to help a man off the tracks before he’s hit by a subway train or take a picture of him as he’s about to get hit? Then sell it to the NY Post, of course. What is wrong with some people?

4 Dec
The physical therapist at the rehab center thinks that with some therapy Mom may be able to get back on her feet. This would be a very good thing.

5 Dec
I hope it’s not an omen of Apocalypse: yesterday while sitting at the gas station a dismembered pigeon wing dropped in front of my car. A crow came along presently to fetch it and fly away.

5 Dec
The girl bicycling in a thigh length beige fake fur coat. (At least, I hope it was fake.)

10 Dec
Just when I thought I could relax a bit, the medical transportation company decided to clusterfu*k my mother’s dialysis appointments. Foolish me. You can never relax in the caregiver biz.

11 Dec
Exhausted, desperate for rest, don’t know when that’s going to happen. And the Christmas carolers are here. The happiest time of the year.

12 Dec
Ironic juxtaposition: Driving to work I followed a rusted, corroded, bondo-enhanced “personal pleasure craft” full of fishing poles being towed by some guy to the Marina del Rey. Just as I wondered if they had life jackets on board that mess NPR announced, “Forty years ago today The Poseidon Adventure premiered in theaters.”

13 Dec
So the fire captain of my local fire house called to say he was meeting with the Chief about my mother’s 911 call that they botched. I have no beef against their house—they’ve helped us many times. But this call was not their finest hour. Glad it’s being addressed. The hospital and Mom’s doctors filed a complaint against them. Still, I appreciate the outreach.

13 Dec
Some bright spark asked at the official timekeeping meeting about the tradition of sending us home early the day before a holiday. No more early exits for us. Don’t ask and we won’t officially tell.

13 Dec
Free-floating anxiety. Tried all day to reach Mom on her cell phone. She had her headphones on and couldn’t hear the phone. I’m exhausted. It makes the imagination a wee bit crazy sometimes. I managed to calm down after I talked to her. I need to take up meditation or something.

14 Dec
Obviously handing out a high-powered weapon to anyone who wants one is a great idea. /bitter irony

17 Dec
On the drive back from visiting Mom at noon I couldn’t take listening to tragedy anymore so punched the button for KUSC. Just in time for Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. And yes, I sang along!

18 Dec
The clouds this morning a fuzzy gray blanket lying heavy on the tops of the Santa Monica Mountains and tucked in over the foothills and city.

18 Dec
Driving around yesterday I saw several celebrities. Robert Pattinson (not really) was driving towards the airport at Lincoln & 83rd in a late model muscle car that had been primed gray but not painted. Edgar Winter (not really), dressed all in black, crossed the street at Lincoln headed towards Marina del Rey Hospital. Stephen Fry (not really), his hair grown out long, crossed in front of me at Pacific and Windward heading towards the Venice Circle. At that point I really did begin to wonder if there was a celebrity lookalike convention in town or something.

 

 

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