observations


Jun 6
I do have the sweetest cat on the planet: I open her mouth, drop her thyroid pill in, and she swallows it. This morning, she even purred.

Jun 6
Anyone who tells me what I should do is probably full of horsesh*t.

Jun 8
Riding the back of a flying dragon defies the laws of physics, but it’s become an entrenched fantasy trope. And hey, dragons aren’t real, PJ. My own solution to the Dragon Problem was painfully ludicrous, and I’m the only one who thinks dragon-riding is a problem, so I should just give it up.

Jun 8
To think I once got really excited and emotionally involved by beauty pageants.

Jun 9
I suppose it could be construed as unprofessional that I am sitting at my desk popping my gum loudly.

Jun 10
I’m in the process of reinventing myself yet again, always a slow and painful process, but more so because I am so distracted. I wonder who I’ll wind up being this time?

Jun 10
Jawdropping map: The 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook. http://on.mash.to/1s4lz2O 

Jun 11
Bwoogity. I got rid of the Piers Anthony books a lifetime ago. I read them in junior high and thought something was off about them even then. Now Marion Zimmer Bradley is going into the recycling bin. I won’t inflict her on any library sale or Goodwill. Blech. http://tinyurl.com/kqhh9k5  and http://tinyurl.com/cf2uv3a 

Jun 12
A swarm of bees/wasps came in my mother’s bathroom window today. The beeman is on his way. WTF.

The bees had formed a colony in our attic. They are gone now. And we caught the wasp nest just in time. Life is exciting.

The “hilarious” part is that Mom sat there for 20 minutes wondering what that buzzing sound was. Flies, maybe. Thank God, no stings. We got lucky, considering she’s half-blind. She recognized the danger and got out of harm’s way in time.

The bees were back by evening. The bee man will be returning in the morning and my mom is sleeping on the futon.

Jun 13
The bees dealt with again this morning, vents sealed. Hopefully this will do it. I’m so stressed I’ve got hives. *rimshot* Gotta laugh. It’s a ridiculous situation. Terrifying in retrospect but we bumbled our way through.

Jun 13
Whatever you love has consequences.

Jun 14
Someone egged my car last night. The neighbor’s car next to it was untouched. Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me. It’s a late model banged up Honda Civic and the neighbor’s car is spiffy and new. Such is life.

Jun 14
Dr. John Dee has shown up as a character in so much recent spec fic that he’s practically become a new fantasy trope.

Jun 15
That was fun. I sat on a cloth garden chair and kept right on sitting until I hit the ground. Guess I shouldn’t have let it winter outside.

Jun 16
Mom fell on the way to the door to let the medical transport guy in. She said she was okay and went to dialysis but it scared the crap out of me. Dealing with all this over the phone at work while the neighbors help her is nausea-inducing.

guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt guilt

Jun 17
I was typing in my mother’s insurance company and spell check came up with “trickster.” Which is pretty appropriate now that I think about it.

Jun 17
Products I would like to see: InstaMan, for all your hefting and moving needs. Just add water!

Jun 19
If you describe yourself as having “clarity and courage” perhaps what you have is “smugness and self-absorption.”

Jun 20
Ironic (and unfortunate) Twitter juxtaposition. http://twitpic.com/e6kxdg 

Jun 20
On the 24 hour Dodger station Mom never knows if she’s watching a replay or a live game, and the she thinks the commercials are also games.

Jun 21
Sometimes I think white people are purposely stupid when dealing with a person with a Latin accent. A lady at the donut shop asked why the whole wheat bagel was more expensive than the others. “It’s 9 grams,” said the clerk. The lady kept repeating “9 grams?” like it wasn’t perfectly clear and making the clerk also repeat herself several times. Finally I turned to the lady and said sharply “It’s because it’s heavier!” That shut her up. I smiled at the clerk & said, “Perfectly understandable to me.” The clerk laughed, gave me my receipt and said, “Thank you for everything.”

I think people do this because it’s a power trip, an attempt to assert (pseudo) authority over someone because of language differences.

Jun 22
Here’s one of our new Patty O’ Chairs. Please note: it is not cloth. It has lovely cushions which I was too lazy to bring outside.

pic.twitter.com/H4hlA1mhkS

And here’s the new bench that goes with the chairs.

http://tinyurl.com/o39ehcr

Sturdy is GOOD. The literature said it will weather to a “nice grey.” And yes, it’s very comfortable and easy to get up from. Mom had no trouble. Nor did I. They are Strathwood Gibranta if you want to look for them elsewhere.

Jun 24
Here’s a thing I don’t get: “My team just won a big game! I’m going to go out and destroy things to celebrate!”

Jun 25
The Rasta Bus I passed three miles earlier passed me as I waited for a light on Main Street. There’s a metaphor there somewhere.

Jun 25
Life is a lot like Faery: once you enter it, you can’t go back. You must go through it.

Which is the premise of one of my novels. God and the fairies know if it will ever be written.

Jun 26
I think I’ve got outrage fatigue.

Jul 15
One of the downsides of having someone in to stay with my mom while I’m at work: snooping.

Jul 16
Min disappeared for hours and we thought she’d gotten out. I combed the neighborhood for her. Finally we heard her scratching from the underside of my mother’s giant recliner. She’d gotten trapped when Mom put the footrest down. All three of us were traumatized.

Jul 16
An epiphany this morning listening to NPR about living with teenagers: caregiving is like living with a toddler and a teenager at the same time.

Jul 17
Trust is a fragile thing, and when you have an unreliable 93-year-old narrator, it’s sometimes mighty difficult to know the truth.

Jul 23
Isn’t the idea of in home care to take the burden off rather than add more stress? Did I miss a memo? We recently received a grant from the VA allowing us 12 hours of help a week but it has problems of its own.

Things could be much, much worse. June was hellish. This month things are looking up. But there are always complications.

One of the nice/complicated things: a very nice, mature, solid replacement to a snooping, manipulative, thievish sort, but with scheduling conflicts. I’m going to ride it out and let next month take care of itself because I’m exhausted and can’t take more time off and because it’s not a perfect world.

Jul 23
Proof that there is a God: http://tinyurl.com/pp7dd9e 

Jul 25
So Mom fell in her bedroom today when she was alone. Not hurt, thank G–, but the neighbor who came over to help took the opportunity to lecture me about having someone stay with her full time. “We don’t have the money. What do you suggest we do?” “Oh, well, it looks like you’ve got a situation,” she said. Indeed, we do have a situation. Mom and I will have a talk tonight about using her medical alert button next time she falls rather than calling the neighbor. I work a half hour away so it’s difficult to get home to her in a timely fashion.

People are real free with the lecturing and advice, whether they have experience with caregiving or not.

Jul 25
I used to think I was a good judge of character but recent events have shown me that may be an illusion.

Jul 27
Thunder, lightning, and downpour. What are these things?

Rain pouring down, all the windows wide open, and fans going at full blast. We are not use to humidity. It sucks.

Poor Minnie is hiding under the bed. Every thunder strike is followed by sirens. We Californians really don’t know how to drive in the rain.

Turns out the sirens were due to a lightning blast a couple of miles away at Venice Pier. One killed, several injured. In fact, today 9 people were struck by lightning on Venice Beach CA, and a man and a girl hit by a plane forced to land on Venice Beach FL.

Jul 28
I suppose it’s too late to cry, “Foul!” on spoilers for The Big Lebowski, a movie I’ve always meant to see.

Jul 28
Discuss: “All depression has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.” ― Tom Robbins

“All” is a bit broad. Some depression has roots in brain chemical imbalances and that cannot be said to be a character flaw. There’s a constellation of causes for depression. Self-pity and taking oneself too seriously may be two.

Perhaps Mr. Robbins is a dick.

Jul 30
My latest Etsy obsession: http://tinyurl.com/n3d9l5w 

Jul 31
The whole “Unfriend a Man” thing? http://tinyurl.com/jvos6l9  I can’t think of anything more boring than being surrounded only by women. Besides, when has reverse bigotry ever solved anything? When has blaming an entire half of the species because of the actions of a few led to anything other than Elliot Rodger? If you want to live in an estrogen-only environment, more power to you. As for me, I prefer a more varied hormonal environment, with give and take and the possibility of dialogue. Keeps life interesting.

Aug 2
Mom’s confusion tonight is too vast for 140 characters but too exhausting for anything larger.

All the perky caregiver advice experts make my ass burn.

Aug 4
A lifetime ago I read Malamud’s “The Magic Barrel” and adored it. Gave me the warm fuzzies. I read it yesterday for the first time since. I barely remembered it and when I was done I thought, “Why did this loom so large in my young imagination?” I mean, I liked the story, but it wasn’t the epic turning point it had been back then. And I remembered it as much more romantic, less downbeat. Could it be that I myself was more romantic and less downbeat? One must draw the conclusion that it is possibly so. Maybe the reason it loomed so large was because for the first time I saw one could be a fabulist and still considered literary, an important distinction for me back then.

Aug 4
I just learned that my cousin, the one who was going to stay with Mom while I had surgery, passed away in her sleep last night. Shock and sorrow.

She was diabetic and had COPD, and about five or so years ago, successfully fought off breast cancer. But when she realized her health had deteriorated to the point where she’d have to go to an assisted living situation, she decided she wouldn’t take her meds anymore. Her independence was everything to her. She wanted that last bit of control, I guess.

She wanted peace. She was done. She wanted to go be with her husband, the love of her life, who passed when he was only 35. She didn’t have an easy life. I hope she found that peace she was after.

Aug 5

To make the week even more perfect I am currently sitting in the jury room at the L.A. Metropolitan Courthouse.

Aug 5
I’ve gotten to the age where when I think back to how long it’s been since I did X activity the answer is often a bit frightening.

I’m also so old I have no shame. I am wearing my steampunk bifocals (reading glasses over my distance glasses) in the jury room. I’d take a pic but, alas, no pictures allowed in the jury room.

However, in a couple of weeks I will have grown up glasses at last and my army of reading glasses will go into the recycler.

Aug 7
Much easier feeling compassion for someone’s life once they’re dead, much harder when confronted with the irritations of day to day living. I guess we always assume they’ll always be around to irritate us, no matter what our head tells us about the impermanence of life.

Aug 8
I am not a responsible adult. Whoever put me in charge of this household made a HUGE mistake.

Aug 8
A death in the family, jury duty, and two days of stomach virus. I am D-O-N-E with this week.

Mar 12
I love this man: http://ontd-political.livejournal.com/10981269.html 

Mar 13
Some days I miss hanging out with my characters so much it hurts. Some of them were running though my mind a lot today. Maybe I’ll be able to use all this to write a really profound book one day. Either that, or croak early.

Mar 16
Always glad to see Jenny McCarthy slammed for her unscientific and harmful beliefs on vaccines. Can we start on Gwyneth Paltrow now? Oh wait, she’s just criminally elitist and stupid, not a murderer.

Mar 23
I feel bad that you feel badly. Perhaps your doctor should examine your hands.

Mar 24
The dream factory isn’t dead: it keeps supplying me with good ideas I haven’t got time to write.

Mar 25
I like the idea (from The Caliph’s House by Tahir Shah) that the Jinns decide whether or not we’re going to believe in them.

Mar 28
A working mom’s open letter to Gwyneth http://nyp.st/1eVO22J 

Could this woman be any more blinkered and entitled? Yeah. I don’t think she’s bottomed out yet.

Mar 28
My cat is sad because she wanted to seek enlightenment but all the other cats cared for was tuna.

pic.twitter.com/fQMG2efc5w

Mar 29
Louis CK: “I got a white noise machine. You know what that is? It’s a machine that allows white people to sleep.”

Apr 3
Pro-tip: Don’t ask an animal activist the old joke question, “Do you know how to get down off a duck?” You’ll never get to the punchline.

Pro-tip2: Use a ladder.

Apr 3
Duty vs. personal aspirations, that’s my conflict. Most days sublimated, some days excruciating.

ETA: Love is also in the mix, making things more confused.

Apr 4
Walmart’s false argument: RT If Walmart Paid Employees a Living Wage, How Much Would Prices Go Up? http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2014/04/walmart_living_wage_if_the_company_paid_its_employees_more_how_much_would.html …

Apr 4
I believe in science and I believe in spirit. This doesn’t have to be a dichotomy or a contradiction. It just is.

Apr 4
While eating chips I read, “Every bite of food you eat alters your daily metabolism, electrolyte balance, and proportion of fat to muscle.”

Apr 7
And my mother turned 93 today. Happy birthday, Mam!

Apr 8
Dear Nekkid Girl Posing In An Abandoned Warehouse: it isn’t arty. You’re still just a nekkid girl.

Apr 10
Penn & Teller decimating the anti-vaccination brigade in under two minutes. http://youtu.be/lhk7-5eBCrs 

Apr 10
When did “alone” become synonymous with “lonely”? The two are quite distinct.

Apr 11
The transport company that takes Mom to dialysis two days a week just called to say that in May they’ll charge $70 a ride not $30. I don’t know what we’re going to do. We can’t afford that, and the alternative is me missing a lot more work.

Apr 13
Potentially hopeful news from the social worker yesterday about transportation for Mom to dialysis. Don’t want to say much for fear of jinxing.

No, I never engage in magical thinking, why do you ask?

Apr 14
Let go and let the Universe. I now have three possible solutions to my mother’s dialysis transportation problems.

Apr 15
I’m so old I remember having to get up and walk over to the TV to change channels.

Apr 18
Me at the cafeteria: This morning I need a whisky muffin. Hold the muffin.

Apr 23
A hornet’s nest found in an abandoned shed. The head is a part of a wooden statue it fused with.

pic.twitter.com/rL1xLzXLLB [Warning: may cause the wiggins.]

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Apr 24
3 judges sided with Verizon and decided to let ISPs censor the internet. Tell the FCC to restore net neutrality! http://cms.fightforthefuture.org/tellfcc/ 

Apr 24
Maybe I should do as my spam suggests and get myself a Russian Bride. Of course, I might not be able to fulfill all her expectations. Too bad they don’t have a green card program for “domestic assistants.”

Apr 25
What Hitchens got wrong: Abolishing religion won’t fix anything http://www.salon.com/2013/12/07/what_hitchens_got_wrong_abolishing_religion_wont_fix_anything/ …

Apr 29
Avoidance seems to be the chief management style of many organizations.

Apr 30
I’m thinking of starting a company called Clusterf*cks R Us. Probably wouldn’t get much business, though.

Apr 30
Okay, maybe I’m a little panicky over how much I have to do before my surgery in two weeks. And maybe the surgery, too. And the recovery.

A little.

Verging on a lot.

May 1
My spam keeps sending me a “Notice to Appear.” I think I’ll send my Russian Bride instead.

May 1
The night air is full of jasmine crushed into luscious fragrance by the first heatwave of the year.

May 2
Even the most shining hero is a human being with feet of clay. If we’d just remember this, there would be less anger in this society.

May 3
The same government agency which made us prove my mom was married to my dad and that he had died needs us to prove it all over again 20 years later. Different department, you see. Apparently they’re unable to communicate with one another. Dealing with government agencies is a big component of caregiver fatigue. It wouldn’t be so bad except my dad’s death certificate has gone missing and L.A. County takes 4 weeks to get a new one.

May 3
Or maybe I won’t have surgery in 2 weeks. If I put it off this time, it will be 2 times.

May 4
Mom is home from the hospital. She’s doing okay.

May 6
I wonder if the superbuff guy on the cover of so many romance novels who’s face disappears past the top of the cover has a really ugly mug?

Or if, yanno, it’s supposed to be some artistic sh*t.

Or if, yanno, it’s so women can fantasize any man they want?

May 6
Abandoned mill from 1866 in Sorrento, Italy: Oh, the stories this conjures up!

pic.twitter.com/kHgXAnyRVV

May 6
I think “narcissistic loony toon” sums M. Lewinsky up quite nicely. She has wedged her way back into the public eye just like that string was wedged between her cheeks.

[Fortunately, it was a brief appearance and quickly faded from the public’s notice.

May 7
The Red Queen still rages. “The trick is not becoming a writer. The trick is staying a writer.” —Harlan Ellison

pic.twitter.com/C0YNAXzclI

May 9
My surgery has been officially postponed. Mom had some minor setbacks that were major enough to warrant postponement.

I’m deeply ambivalent. I don’t fancy being a cripple for the rest of my life, however.

I think I’ll change my middle name to Ambivala.

May 11
THIS. Roz Chast on people wanting to live to be 120: “I feel like these are people who don’t really know anybody over 95.” http://n.pr/1nCUcrx 

“The reality of old age,” she says, is that “people are not in good shape, and everything is falling apart.”

Everyone says, “It’ll be different for me. I’ve taken good care of myself.” But you NEVER know what life will throw at you.

That’s life’s sweet and cursed mystery.

“When you’re young you look at old people & just think they’re old people. It’s only later that you properly realise they’re ex-young people.” —Tom Cox, Twitterfeed 5/10/14

Everyone thinks they will be 30 until they’re 75. Until they hit 40, I guess.

May 15
RIP Lady Mary Stewart. You filled my Young Adulthood with many happy hours.

May 15
Ironic Twitter Juxtaposition: http://twitpic.com/e3vvhy 

May 17
Ironic or psychosomatic? I wrenched my knee on the very day my surgery would have taken place. Not the one that would have been operated on, either. My other knee which has as many problems and will need its own surgery someday.

May 21
Ironic Twitter Juxtaposition: http://twitpic.com/e4drq1 

May 21
I’m at the bargaining with the Universe stage. That can’t be good.

May 22
My friend and I were just saying that the next Survivor should feature an all-geriatric group of contestants.

“If your team all successfully completes your challenge, you will be given your meds as usual. If not…”

And complaint marathons to see who lasts the longest. That competition is expected to go on for days.

May 22
I can hear a train whistle every once in awhile late at night. It’s always wonderful. I don’t know where it comes from. There are no trains closer than five miles, but I guess that sound carries. Either that, or it’s the ghost of a train which once ran just down the hill from where I live.

When I was a kid I used to follow those tracks from Venice, once all the way into Culver City. The trains only ran once a month late at night to keep the access rights. Eventually, they gave those up but the rails remained for years afterwards, partially covered in blacktop in some places. They’re all gone now, alas.

There is so much that is gone. Venice is a highly urban place now but once was full of open fields, trains, horse stables. I’ve seen them all go in such a short span of time. A lifetime. Palimpsests. They’re everywhere I look, all over Venice.

Here’s one of my palimpsests: http://tinyurl.com/oa4z3mh 

May 28
“It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.”

Maya Angelou seemed immortal, but it was her glowing humanity that made her seem that way. Alas, if only. RIP.

May 30
pic.twitter.com/OX9CqMctxV This picture reminded me to send a b-day card to a friend. I may inhabit this skull but I don’t always understand it.

Jun 3
Sexism kills (maybe): http://tinyurl.com/p5rkuta 

Jun 3
It’s such a pain reading academic books on the Kindle that I’m going to order a paper copy and be done with it.

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.

14 Jul
Life: it’s kind of like being nibbled at by ants.

15 Jul
Huh. Because I’m a member of Amazon Prime I just received a tote of free samples from Amazon Fresh, including a one cup coffee maker.

16 Jul
I ain’t greedy. A half a mill would do me nicely.

17 Jul
I love you, Jennifer Crusie, with great heaping <3 <3 <3 ‘s: http://www.arghink.com/2013/07/17/carpe-sharknado/ …

22 Jul
I bet making love to the Geico Made of Money guy would be kind of scratchy.

23 Jul
Medicare is planning to cut coverage to dialysis patients. Help protect access to dialysis. Tell Congress to stop Medicare cuts before they start. We need your help: http://bit.ly/DaVitaAdvocacy 

This disproportionately affects poor, sick people. Through no fault of her own my mother has kidney failure. She did everything right: ate healthy, kept active, took all her BP meds, but they could never control her high BP and eventually it destroyed her kidneys. Diabetes can do it, a severe e-coli infection can do it, many diseases can do it. This is not about people abusing their bodies. This is often just about bad luck, and the cost of the treatment is staggeringly high.

August 1 Addendum: This is basically a dispute between the drug manufacturer who charges exorbitant rates for anti-anemia drugs, the dialysis centers who make money off of kidney patients, and Medicare.  My mother’s kidney doctor says she does not need the drug that they are fighting over at this point. So that’s good news for us personally, but still potentially devastating news for other old, poor sick people. It makes me ashamed to be an American, frankly.

25 Jul
Worry and guilt are useless emotions. You have to learn to let them go. Fear is sometimes a life saver, but you’ve got to let that go, too.

26 Jul
The world is an illusion that we have to take very, very seriously.

28 Jul
The kind of day where I’m too tired to even get up for aspirin for a headache. Mom, cat and I dozing in our chairs watching the Dodgers. Bottom of the 9th and a 0-0 score.

29 Jul
Whenever I run into a really fussy person I want to tell them, “You haven’t got time for that. Whatever you do, you’re still going to die.”

29 Jul
Middle Class Problems: I hate it when the foliage is at the apex of its summer glory and the gardener decides to trim it back to a stub.

29 Jul
The Universe is so strange. Help comes from the most unexpected places.

31 Jul
Protip: When someone is frustrated and angry, don’t laugh at them. You won’t josh them out of it you’ll just make them more pissed. My glasses are held together with a paper clip. Hilarious this morning. Last night at the end of a trying evening, not so much.

31 Jul
There seems to be an unpleasant theme in anagrams of my name from the anagram server: Aha Moments Plop, Shaman Melt Poop, Anal Moppet Mosh, Ample Phat Moons. Hmmm. I had to stop reading after awhile. Aha Moments Plop is a lot how my creative process happens, so I have a certain fondness for it. The anagram server found zero anagrams for PJ Thompson so I had to use my Real Girl Name.

1 Aug
Hilarious and horrifying—one star reviews on Amazon of classic novels: http://bit.ly/15yoRxn 

2 Aug
CBS and Time Warner are both corporate Aholes for holding their customers hostage in their negotiations. Get off the dime, jerks

4 Aug
Channel 9 carries some of the Dodger games here in L.A. They are owned by CBS. They are blacked out. You know what’s really fun? Explaining to a 92-year-old with short term memory problems why she can’t watch her Dodgers (ad nauseam).

6 Aug
The Onion: I’m Only Really Happy When I’m Writing… http://onion.com/1b9ruYs 

8 Aug
Who needs bifocals?

bifocals photo smallishbifocals_zpsdf01c6c8.jpg

14 Aug
My latest Etsy admired whimsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Mindielee 

16 Aug
It’s amazing how busy some peoples’ desks suddenly get when there’s shitwork to be done.

It is done, and I am not merely dead, but really most sincerely dead.

17 Aug
I just spent $180 at the pet store. Not all of it was bird seed but a big chunk was. This is part of my expensive trip to the pet store. http://twitpic.com/d8w98j 

In my defense, I waited until it was 20% off. Min had a great time with it and can once again look out a favored window.

19 Aug
I want a house the color of orange sherbet with white trim: a Creamsicle house. I’ve been obsessing about it for weeks now. A neighbor down the block has burnt orange with mustard trim. Not as horrible as you’d imagine. Alas, my dreams of color will not be realized soon. No money and a “roommate” who does not appreciate…beauty.

23 Aug
I’ve decided, all things considered, that I am not going to knuckle under to blackmail. Do your worst, sir. I will persevere. Ultimatums are really not a way to persuade anyone to do what you want them to.

23 Aug
Seems like morning show hosts are irritating nerds all around the world.

 The Russian Army Choir doing Adele’s “Skyfall” on a Moscow morning show: http://avc.lu/16WvFbm 

23 Aug
Middle Class Problems: The cleaning woman threw out a brand new unopened large container of cottage cheese with a pull date in October.

26 Aug
A nice summer evening gathering around the fire pit last night. We had enough food for 25 people. Five were in attendance. I wanted to be sure no one left hungry. They’ll probably be dining on the leftovers for days. I know we will.

28 Aug
The irritating neighbor just turned scary. If you don’t hear from me for a week, assume the worst. My mother did the one unforgivable thing, apparently. She told the truth as she sees it. He couldn’t handle the truth. Why is it that bigots never recognize that they are bigots? Or maybe they do, they just don’t want to be called out on it. I shall be providing my mother’s transportation to and from dialysis from now on.

29 Aug
omg I must still be a writer. I just got a gobsmacking idea for my next novel. That I have neither time nor energy to write. I guess I’ll let it simmer for an ice age or two. I’m wondering if you can still be a writer without a consistent or predictable time to do your writing.

30 Aug
I’ve got so much to do today: reading, sitting on my butt, dictating into the phone and seeing what VOS comes up with. Oh wait, I meant VRS. Or as VRS wrote, “to be our ass.” (Don’t ask me.)

30 Aug
Mom: “How do I tell if WiFi is on?”
Me: “I’ve told you 100 times.”
Mom: “But I can’t remember the other 99 times.”

30 Aug
Watching an H2 mockumentary on the zombie apocalypse and Mom is all “Wuh?”

31 Aug
It’s too hot for lap time so Min is making do with pillow and towel. http://twitpic.com/dbbhle   She has such a tough life.

31 Aug
Only 1.8 days left on my initial backup to a cloud service. Damn, I’ve got a lot of junk on my Mac. My internet service is decent most times but not for stuff like this—and there’s a lot of junk on my harddrive. This is a one time upload, though.

2 Sep
Backup complete at 78262 files, 21.6 GB.

2 Sep
Min had a pretty good day yesterday: people tuna for dinner, fresh catnip on her carpeted kitty stairs, steak for table scraps, lots of lap time…All in honor of her 12th birthday. Live long and prosper, baby girl.

All is right with the world. http://twitpic.com/dbonfg 

3 Sep
The news was not all bad at the doctor’s office. In fact, there’s a glimmer of hope. I may be able to have knee surgery after, all but there are too many variables yet to be determined.

6 Sep
My hair’s been on fire all week at work, and I’ve also been dealing with Los Angeles County Department of Social Services. OMG. So ready for the weekend.

But Putting It Out There works in mysterious and unexpected ways. I end the week in more hope then I began it. Praise the Universe!

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.

16 May
Man, are there a lot of people who are terrified of mature women. If they can’t be sexualized in a cliché way they must be mocked & crushed.

 Mature women: http://bit.ly/10BoP22 

16 May
And in other news, Jon Hamm’s camo wad still has the most clicks on my Bitmarks. Although “Kindness” by Naomi Shahib Nye is a close second.

Camo Wad is the name of my next band. That or Ironic Sexualization.

20 May
Ricky Gervais says, “Atheism is a belief system, like ‘OFF’ is a TV Channel.” That’s because he confuses his belief system with fact. He can’t disprove God any more than believers can prove God. When it gets to the point of foaming at the mouth, as it does with Mr. G, then we’re dealing with emotion, not rationality. Emotion is the core of a belief system.

20 May
I try to pretend things aren’t hard on me in order to save Mom from feeling bad, but some days, I’m so tired and it’s so hard the mask slips. And I always feel so much worse when she gets a glimpse and feels bad. Guilt is my constant companion. Not a boon companion, either. Not trying for sainthood, just trying to be humane as much as possible. It’s really hard.

22 May
My friend, M., wonders if insurance companies have special classes for their workers on making well-crafted “mistakes” that delay payouts. I certainly believe JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE OF THE BUNGLING IDJITS do. I am informed that this scenario was a plot element in The Rainmaker by John Grisham. Which only tells me there are many people who have had my experiences with insurance companies, alas.

26 May
Life is good. Bird is sitting on my shoulder and hasn’t pooped yet. This will probably change soon.

26 May
“We do not decide to believe or actively change our minds.” —Dennis Gaffin, Running With the Fairies

28 May
Our neighbors in the back have chickens. I find their “bwoks” and “cluck-cluck” oddly soothing. Of course, there’s no rooster.

29 May
Pope Francis: Even atheists can go to Heaven if they do good.

30 May
Just found in Australia—giant, florescent pink slugs: http://yhoo.it/10KWkjS   If you wrote this in a fantasy, people would laugh at you.

31 May
Greenies Pill Pockets saved my life. I have to give Min pills twice a day but she thinks it’s a treat!

31 May
Celebrity gossip makes me so damned weary. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

31 May
In case you missed this Awesome Thing from CC Finlay: “My son sent me this comic about old super-heroes. Read it all the way to the end.” http://imgur.com/gallery/h2my0 

2 Jun
I had the weirdest dream about the Magic Castle last night. Instead of being in a large Victorian Mansion it had been Disneyfied into a theme park, so instead of being able to enjoy an intimate exposure to magic and magicians, and those lovely bars, you were lost in cavernous spaces and large groups of people. I got separated from the people I was with and couldn’t contact them because the Magic Castle staff wouldn’t allow cell phones. I spent all my time searching for my companions and feeling left out instead of enjoying the show. 🙁

3 Jun
I wish Google Images had a -no -crappy -pastel -art setting.

3 Jun
Feeling extra glad this week that I didn’t get involved with Game of Thrones.

4 Jun
Another intense dream last night, a thriller: chases, betrayals, assassinations. The details are fuzzy or I might try to write it. Eh. Who am I kidding? Although at least two of my seven completed novels started their lives as dreams. Back when I was still a real writer.

4 Jun
Is it just me or does the Miami Heat’s logo look like a flaming butternut squash?

4 Jun
Reviewing a very old ms. I realized I’d used my least favorite cliché line in all of writerdom: a character not realizing they’d been holding their breath. Curse those double realizations!

5 Jun
Be careful who you diss because you might end up working for them. God help me. I don’t need this crap on top of everything else.

5 Jun
Sequestration sucks, and nobody’s doing anything about it. Everyone says, “It doesn’t affect me. Why should I care?” You know what? It will roll around to you eventually. We need to insist our Congresspersons get off their butts and do something.

5 Jun
I got this from someone on Twitter but can’t remember who. You literally are the stories you tell: http://nyti.ms/18XF82k 

6 Jun
Never say never. Unless, of course, it’s to say “Never say never.”

7 Jun
In the waiting room while Mom has a routine outpatient procedure. Routine, nothing to worry about, but I still do. She came through just fine. We were home by one.

7 Jun
I picked the right day not to go to work. In Santa Monica. SM College is an alma mater of mine.

11 Jun
Weird: is that memory fragment something I saw on TV or something I dreamed?

19 Jun
Things you have to be really old to remember:

“Calgon, take me away.”
Bubble Up
One Step Beyond
Carbon paper and mimeograph machines

21 Jun
I once circled a scene for three months. I couldn’t figure out why I was stuck until I admitted I didn’t want to do what had to be done: break my protagonist’s heart. Once I admitted that to myself, it came unstuck. Still not fun to write, but at least the story progressed forward. It doesn’t take me nearly as long as three months anymore. I assume. Once I write again.

21 Jun
C: Why do people act so damned weird?

Me: Because they lose track of the fact that life is short and our time here is very limited.

21 Jun
I’ve been researching retirement options that last few weeks. They are: slim, none, and hahahaha.

19 Apr
All I can legitimately talk about is my own process—in whatever. It’s presumptuous to assume everyone’s process will be the same. However, talking too much about one’s own process is talking too much about one’s self, so it’s something of a No-Win.

19 Apr
Conspiracy theory is just another form of denial.

19 Apr
I just realized I forgot to take the poem out of my pocket from Poem In My Pocket Day. But at least it’s in “my other pants.” 🙂

23 Apr
In May it’ll be two years since I last worked on my last novel. I’d say where did the time go but I know: down the whirlpool of caregiving. I was born to take care of people, apparently. My life has no other meaning. There’s just no time for anything else. I can’t help feeling much of the time as if my life, everything I valued about my life, is over. I’m so tired most weeks I wonder if I’ll make it through to the other side. There are good days, but most days I just grind it out as best I can. Some days, it just piles up. But I’m still moving.

And being free of caregiving means someone I love is gone. There’s no happy ending, as my friend Lisa says.

There are millions of people out there just like me. Caregiving is the unrecognized and unacknowledged crisis in this country

My friends tell me my creativity will come back, that everything is cyclical, and I believe them, but it’s sometimes hard to see that from here. I keep trying. “I’ll just read a chapter a day, or part of a chapter.” But something always happens. And writing from scratch? Unthinkable at this point.

Okay, enough of the self-pity party. I took the time to reread the first chapter of that last novel and tweak it. Holds up well.

23 Apr
In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

tp://bit.ly/ZnFRWA 

25 Apr
Jacob’s Dream was playing in the cafeteria so I just had to tell everyone about the Lost Children of the Alleghenies: http://bit.ly/ZPZC4t 
Everyone was properly riveted and scads went to You Tube and the links I provided.

26 Apr
Back at the ER this morning. Mom got an IV of antibiotics. Now we’re waiting to see if we can go home.

27 Apr
Even in stressful times there are compensations in this world: hearing David Sedaris sing the Oscar Meyer bologna song as Billie Holliday. Laughed so hard I cried. The guy in the car next to me looked concerned, like I might be having a fit. I was. The good kind. 

27 Apr
So my printer and my dishwasher went belly up the same night.  I’m sure there’s a pattern there but I’m too tired to figure it out.

29 Apr
Leaving Mom on mornings when she’s not doing well are heartbreaking but if I didn’t leave on those mornings I would have long since lost my job.

29 Apr
I find it absolutely hilarious that Hitler was a vegetarian. Even funnier? The ardent vegetarians that try to backpedal that fact. I know many fine human beings who are vegetarians but there’s a vocal minority that do seem to have something in common with Nazis.

30 Apr
“Dammit I’m mad” spelled backwards is “Dammit I’m mad.”

3 May
I guess the house is officially mine. I’ve just had my first plumbing disaster. This time it was the 50 gallon water heater that went belly up.

3 May
John Hancock Life Insurance is dicking around about paying me the money they owe me. I guess that’s why they have cock in their name.

4 May
It’s a morning for people saying stupid ass stuff and I am not in the mood to be nice about it.

 That tenderness of a few days ago is still there but having a harder time swimming up from the cesspool.

 That’s in the nature of this process, though. If you don’t like the mood you’re in wait an hour and it may change.

8 May
Now I know what was wrong with the opening of that novel: I put a gun on the mantelpiece and never used it again (figuratively).

 How many years did it take me to figure that out?

 I really love that opening (and it works in so many other ways) so I’ll have to find a way of using that “gun.”
 Although I do seem to recall another writing truism about using that gun to murder your something-or-others…What was that again?

8 May
My old, beloved neighborhood that I grew up in, has become the Shrine of the Unknown Hipster. You may have heard of it: Silicon Beach? I literally grew up on 4th Avenue near Rose, the very heart of Hipsterville now. I way preferred it when it was the ghetto: funky, beloved ol’ Venice.

9 May
You don’t get to be a crone just by getting older. There’s a experiential component to it. And man, is that a bitch. Which is also a separate thing from being a crone.

13 May
I’ve just come up with the last line for my novel, Carmina. I guess it’s a real story now.

13 May
Well, at least I made it down to the final 800 submissions. :-/ Probably just as well. I don’t have time for a writing career right now.

14 May
John Hancock Life Insurance, the company that isn’t giving me ma money, mistakenly informed the state of California that Mom is deceased—but only on one of numerous policies they have in her name. The others are still in force. Also, they told us a few months back that no other policies existed. Now all of a sudden they’re breeding like rabbits. Do not use John Hancock EVER.

15 May
Social Medea is the name of my next band.

15 May
I’m halfway through chapter six on the read-and-clean final of that novel I didn’t touch for two years.

17 Mar
It’s been a weekend of Dealing With Shit.  I am tired of dealing with shit. But I don’t have any choice. Privilege!

19 Mar
Tom Cruise is thinking of despoiling another classic 60s TV show: U.N.C.L.E.  Nooooooooo!!

I’ve pretty much resigned myself to turds like Cruise ruining my childhood memories.

20 Mar
She wore black tights and knee-high boots, a lavishly ruffled green blouse, walking her little white dog as if heading down a fashion runway.

20 Mar
Surprisingly, my Lotto ticket does not have winning numbers. One more chance tonight. I bet this time I’ll win big

21 Mar
I’m not sure if I’m ashamed I know about this or not. It certainly is hilarious, and possibly (probably) TMI: http://bit.ly/YIPmJU 

22 Mar
PETA kills 90% of all animals taken to their shelter: http://bit.ly/Xvr070 

22 Mar
I’m finding it highly ironic that I just put a “Freedom” stamp on the payment I’m mailing off to the Tax Board.

22 Mar
Writing tip: Chances are, anything that can be labeled hip is not unique. Know what true uniqueness is before you attach that label to yourself.

25 Mar
Tell the L.A. Times ownership: “No Sale to the Koch Brothers!” http://signon.org/s/T39u6o 

25 Mar
Girls who define themselves by who they’re dating creep me the hell out. Talk about the Zombie Apocalypse!

26 Mar
Forms, forms, and more forms. The gubmint’s appetite for them is endless.

26 Mar
Dear upscale boutique: having a sign outside your store with script so fancy it can’t be easily read negates having a sign outside your store.

27 Mar
There are days when I could start screaming and never stop till my voice gave out. Fortunately for those around me I’ve maintained control.

27 Mar
Ironic outsourcing facts: The address for the Los Angeles Fire Department EMS billing is in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

27 Mar
Mom home from rehab on Friday. Thus follows days characterized by alternating moments of terror and relief.

3 Apr
I wouldn’t say I’m frazzled, but I just had a moment of panic about missing a meeting this morning…that I actually attended.

3 Apr
My phone conversations with my mother would make great comedy routines—if they weren’t so desperately frustrating to endure.

Who’s on first? That’s right.

8 Apr
Mom turned 92 yesterday and everyone wanted to give her little parties. The Happy Birthday phone calls began at 7 a.m., but she enjoyed herself a lot.

 That’s all that really matters.

8 Apr
I began my “weekend” in the wee hours of Friday morning with a nasty bout of food poisoning, but the weekend ended well enough, Sunday being Mom’s birthday. We took her out to dinner at Billingsley’s—an old-fashioned (70s décor) steakhouse. It was great and she really enjoyed it.

8 Apr
I had a long, happy dream last night about having enough time and energy to have a creative life again.

9 Apr
I think Peter Dinklage should be People’s Sexiest Man Alive.  Dead serious there.

9 Apr
Nothing in life is quite so good as sleeping in your own bed.  And yes, that includes sex and porterhouse steak.

9 Apr
She was always a slamming great cook; it’s a big point of pride to still cook, though it’s not always what it once was. Wouldn’t dream of saying anything to hurt her feelings. Just shut up and eat. Which is emblematic of my entire life, now that I think about it.

10 Apr
Back at the ER.

11 Apr
Mom’s chest pains turned out not to be a heart attack. A day of testing in the hospital. She’ll be released today. Update when I know more.

p.s. My cat is sick. I’ll try to work the vet in.

Finding time to get the cat to the vet while not knowing precisely when to pick up Mom…special.

11 Apr
Found a new use for my portable Bluetooth speaker: sitting it on the counter while I take a shower and waiting for the doctor(s) to call.

11 Apr
A strained muscle in Mom’s chest so that when she took a deep breath it hurt.  On our way home.

And Min is feeling much better tonight, too. 🙂

15 Apr
I spent an ungodly amount of money at the vet this weekend. Min is okay. I don’t feel the money was wasted. I love my baby.

She was harassing me at 4 a.m. to get my slothful butt up and feed her so I’d say she’s back to her old self.

16 Apr
I was busy all day at work then there was a screw up at the dialysis clinic and Mom got hooked up late. We didn’t get home until 8 p.m. so I heard about Boston plenty, but in bits and pieces. I wasn’t flooded with it all day. This morning there were police cars out in front of the building when I got to work. Just parked, hanging out. We’re a soft but unlikely target. Still, I don’t imagine the poor people watching a venerable race in Boston imagined themselves to be targets, either. Godspeed, Boston. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

16 Apr
I feel like the mother of a toddler: my purse is full of snacks and things to entertain the one I care for.

16 Apr
Mom saw a TV ad for the larger Kindle Fire HD and said, “It sure would be nice to have one of those larger ones. Too bad my birthday’s past.” What I thought but didn’t say was “Mother’s Day is coming up.” Mom probably was thinking but not saying the same thing. She may be old, but she’s still sly, and doesn’t hesitate to ask for stuff she wants. Life’s is way the hell too short.

16 Apr
Min has the beginnings of kidney issues. Nothing life threatening right now, but we’ll get her tested every 6 months or so. Kidneys!

Feb 15
And then there’s my shredded Achilles tendon…People grimace when they see me limping down the hall.

Feb 15
“Seek simplicity and distrust it.” —Alfred North Whitehead said. Simplicity is sounding real good right about now. Mom’s escalating pain issues have led to a rush MRI this afternoon, maybe a bone scan.

Feb 15
New favorite indie bookstore name: Libros Schmibros

Feb 16
Back in the ER with Mom. I think I’ll start bonking my head now.

Feb 16
They admitted her. Not life threatening, I don’t think.

Feb 17
Is life anything more than a series of disappointed hopes?

Feb 17
I turn on the TV to distract myself and the first thing I hear is Sally Kirkland saying, “She died at 97.” The opening to Paper Hearts.


Feb 18
Medicare not seizing our asset vibes would be nice, too. I’d rather not be homeless.

(Note: I got this wrong. It’s MediCal/Medicaid that seizes your assets.)

Feb 19
Mom is going back to the rehab today, perhaps permanently. They finally found that her terrible pain is from severe spinal stenosis. They may try to do an epidural nerve block if nothing else helps. Her spirit is good, her fighting spirit undiminished, so we’ll see how things go.

Feb 21
I’ve been sitting here all afternoon saying “Oh my God” over and over to myself. Rollercoasters suck.

(Note: I learned that my house might be protected after all.)

Feb 24
It may be a measure of my worry that I was seriously listening to Joel Osteen this morning. Not any crazier than my previous money making scheme: buying Lotto tickets. Both Lotto and Osteen require unfettered faith, something I sometimes have in microbursts.

Feb 25
No matter how bad it gets, my life is not as bad as Fantine’s…or millions of other people around the world. Everything is relative.

Feb 28
Heard Jimmy Cliff driving to work so “The harder they come, the harder they fall, one and all” is the theme of the day.

Feb 28
There’s a difference between taking off your shirt while running to show off your manly chestal pulchritude and taking off your shirt while running and having manly chestal pulchritude. We can tell the difference, guys. And not just cynical old broads like me.

Mar 1
I am so tired of grown up stuff.  Can I run away now?

Mar 2
At home nursing a strained back. Life is good.

Mar 2
Why is it in movies and on TV when a scientist sees something unbelievable he removes his glasses? It’s become a total visual cliché.

Mar 3
The strain has progressed to spasms. I’m at urgent care.

Mar 3
Back still very unhappy and so am I. Two muscle relaxers at least make things bearable.

Mar 4
Back doing better but I’m still spending the day with my heating pad and my drugs. What part of driving with a strained back is not good did I not get? Pass more muscle relaxers.

Mar 5
I’m beginning to think the main job requirement for weather “girls” is “Must wear at least a C cup and adore tight clothing.”

I’m definitely watching too much TV since the back injury.

5 Mar
OMG the political phone calls the last week!  Once or twice an hour sometimes on two phones and me a couch prisoner! Just got another an hour before the polls close. Argh! Very hotly contested mayoral campaign.

8 Mar
Since hurting my back and unable to reach the floor without pain I’ve turned into a ham-handed bumbler constantly dropping things on the floor.

11 Mar
*sigh* I’m sitting at my desk at work with a pillow and a heating pad tucked behind my still-spasming back.

12 Mar
My new favorite bumper sticker: “What would Scooby do?”

12 Mar
I don’t want to be a grown up anymore. Can I crawl into a hole instead?

13 Mar
White smoke… Bring on the papas and beer.  Always thought it amusing that in Spanish and Italian pope/potatoes are the same, with only the article differentiating. Las papas de El Papa.

13 Mar
The Queen of Clueless Privilege strikes again: http://bit.ly/WnGOex   Yes, Amy F. Grant and Katie F. Couric are also queens of clueless privilege, but Gwyneth Paltrow is the original Clueless F. Queen.

14 Mar
Mom called twice this morning to check the time of her doctor’s appointment and once for me to tell her how to fold boxes from paper. Both equally important.

15 Mar
They found the violin that Wallace Hartley played as the Titanic sank:  http://yhoo.it/10XBK4u 

15 Mar
Some good news yesterday: Mom is responding so well to therapy she won’t need an epidural and may be coming home soon.

Also, my back is slowly getting unstrained. Driving still remains a painful challenge, but I can sit at my desk with only occasional spasms.

With all the drugs I’ve been taking for the back my Achilles tendon isn’t hurting at all anymore.

Next Page »