The Return of Pandemonic

I can hardly believe it has been three years since I posted as Pandemonic. However, lest you think I have been lazy, incarcerated, or perhaps both, my real life person has been busy writing novels. Also busy working in the Real Life business, but that’s boring.

So far, I have completed three novels, self-published one, and am in the process of editing the other two. Also working on finishing a fourth. So I have been very busy. I’ve also been blogging in my real name.

So why would I come back to the Pandemonic blog?

In a word, anonymity. I love that while here, I am a nameless, faceless pandemonic person. My other blog features my real name. There I feel as though I can’t quite cut loose as myself. You always have to worry about stepping on someone’s toes. If you can say one thing about the modern man, most of us are too sensitive to take a joke, and too closed minded to look at things from varying perspectives.

This is why Pandemonic’s Time and Space was started: as a way to vent and bitch and moan and be politically incorrect without suffering the slings of Internet trolls. Been there, done that, and I can tell you, it’s no fun.

I nearly forgot the password and the email address I had used to launch this area of WordPress. But…obviously not. Perhaps I am not getting as old as I thought I was.

Anywhooo…I will be changing around the look of the blog. I feel a bigger need for anonymity.

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My Memory Fails Me…

I have been seeing my memory slip down the memory meter for the last couple of years.

This is not a good thing.

My paternal grandmother had a severe case of Alzheimer’s syndrome at the end of her life. The last time I saw her, she didn’t even recognize me. She recognized my dad, but none of the other fifteen relatives that were there that day.

I am deathly afraid of Alzheimer’s. The only thing worse than cutting off my fingers would be to have my mind succumb to such a brain sucking illness.

I used to have a memory like the proverbial steel trap. I could remember lyrics after hearing a song only once. I would sit through college classes and not take a note. I somehow passed the test at the post office, which is 99% remembering numbers and letters and 1% correctly marking FOSDIC circles. I knew zip codes, phone numbers for not only my friends and family but for half my employees and my driver’s license number.

Now I can’t remember a movie I saw three weeks ago, Seven Pounds. I know Will Smith was in it but other than that, my mind’s a blank, a total empty white canvas. Either Will Smith or the movie was unforgettable or I’m going nuts.

Food, now, is another thing. I can remember memorable dishes and fine wines. The mediocre, no… but the good and the bad, yes.

My husband, Mr. Demonic is quite the note taker. Every day he sets up a list of things to do in handwriting that resembles chickens scratching at feed. He can read it, which is the most important thing. I used to think it was foolhardy, but now I know he’s just trying to keep it together.

So taking his lead, I have purchased a little notebook for putting down things I might like to remember. Like ideas I have for my book, or names I want to remember. Otherwise I wouldn’t remember a thing.

One of these days I’m going to have to use it to find my way home. I just know it.

A Diversion from the November Nutshell: Charging the Hostess Stand

Many people know me as a fine, upstanding citizen, someone who is basically laid back and mellow. Oh, sure, I used to have quite a temper in my younger days. I would like to think that was the result of my genes, you know, crazy Greek meets similarly crazy Asian. Age and wisdom have diluted my temper, thank God. However, put an obstacle between me and my food, and you might as well declare war.

I love good food, fine wine and new experiences in the gastro-sexual. Yes, I liken my love affair with outstanding cuisine as very close to orgasmic. When Mr. Demonic and I have chats, it’s usually regarding the memorable lunches and dinners we had. There have been many. We oooh and ahhh over the lunches in Napa, French dining in Chicago, big honking steaks in Colorado. Mmm…

Those who know my real last name will know that there aren’t many on the planet with the same last name. We are all related by blood and marriage, my husband’s family coming from a Bohemian background in what is now western Czechoslovakia. Many decendants are still in the other Tundra city, and some in Chicago and northern Indiana. (Those are from my huband’s great-great-uncle who supposedly killed a man.) Some of those Chicago-ites moved to Palm Beach and the Left Coast, so now there are contingents in Florida and California.

There were two times where standing in line waiting for a table got to me. One was at an Outback Steakhouse about fifteen years ago. They were trendy and few and far between, so we took a trek into another city to try it. The other was a local steak house, one that was southwestern in theme and made the best margaritas I have ever had the pleasure of inhaling.

Both times, we sat at the bar and waited for well over two hours. This is because both places refused to take reservations. If you as restaurant owner keep serving me margaritas for two hours (I ingested three), then you get what you deserve. Back then, there were no paging devices, and the hostess would call your name, and not always over the loudspeaker.

Like I said, I’m normally mellow, but I can get pretty cranky when I’m buzzed. Both times I charged the hostess stand and asked “what the hell?” while Mr. D cowered in the dim barlight and hoped no one noticed we were together. Both times, someone answered to the call of our last name.

Yes, we were ripped off!

Now, I would never think to do that to anyone, but why someone would acknowledge being the owner of our last name, I don’t know. Oh yes. To line jump into a better position.

In one case, while I was giving the hostess a piece of my mind, another patron half in the bag walked up and asked where he was in the line, to which I said, “Back off, Dude. We’re next. We’ve been sitting here three hours!”

To which we were next.

For my size, I can be pretty scary.

That’s why I like the local seafood grill. (Just don’t go there for Thanksgiving.) It’s small, cozy, and not many people eat seafood. More people prefer steak. They will also save the same booth for us every Friday night, and always seat us on the same side of the booth. (After all, it is date night.)

Thinking about having our reservation scammed twice is making me ornery. And fiesty. I haven’t been in a minor scrap in a long time.

Maybe tonight we should go to a crowded steakhouse and see if some idiot scams our place in line.

NaNoWriMo Update Day 7

Over 12,000 words so far!

I’m not really a machine, but I’m trying to get the bulk of the writing done before Mr. Demonic comes back to town tomorrow night. Then it will be payroll, holiday, limited Christmas shopping and playing with the new dog. (I forgot to tell you, I got a dog! Will post photos next week!)

Here’s another photo in the meantime. It’s Maxx. I’m reading all y’all, just not commenting all the time.

maxx21

Taking a Sabbatical from Garbage

The current political season has left me spent. Add to that our declining business, shaky economy and my girls-gone-wild 18 year old on the Left Coast, and I can honestly say there were times in the last month when I really and truly wanted to run away from home. You know, jump into the car and head south or west and drive until I hit an ocean. Before the Republican Convention, I had toyed with the idea of Alaska, but I’m now thinking that our last frontier is not far enough away. (It’s not Sarah Palin, really…)

Politics is starting to irk me. The barrage of television advertising in particular has gone from the Annoying Level to the Sickening Level. I can’t even find “Forensics Files” or “American Justice” without having to be subjected to continual mudslinging. I tried to find a weather forecast as Hurricane Ike’s eye ended up right over my house, but all I had to channel surf through commentaries. (For those who really want to know, Ike came, it rained like a monsoon for a day and a half.)

I write on another (couple of) forums, and petty political sniping is all I see there. What used to be interesting reading (I especially like reading others’ views) has become nothing less than a free-for-all. Emotions are running high.

People are now yelling at each other when they’re not trying to insert “gotcha” moments, you know, something like pigs in lipstick. What sows wear on their lips not important to me; for Petey’s sake, I seldom wear lipstick myself, and don’t recommend it for any mammal. Besides, there are far more serious issues than comparing people to animals in various forms of make up. For all of the fray, for all of the noise, no one is being heard. In the end, though, it’s all garbage.

Friday, I decided to take a “mostly” sabbatical from garbage. I say “mostly” because I managed to come here and rant about my daughter, and I managed to go over there and rant about the stupid level that the political process has now sunk to. I refused to get sucked into any ideological commenting, which was fine by me. I also refused to watch TV, and only looked briefly for hurricane reports.

So what did I do?

Here’s one thing I did:

I made jewelry. Lots of it. I just started experimenting with it a couple of weeks ago, and now find myself inexplicably drawn to bead shows and craft shops. I found these really cute little charms, and voila! the “Be Here Now” bracelet was born.

“Be Here Now.” I remember that mantra from the early ’70s. Even though there was a war going on, things seemed tranquil compared to today. There was plenty of excitement, but no sniping.

I also canned a lot of tomatoes and corn. Buying a pressure canner was the best investment I could have made. We can’t eat the tomatoes fast enough, and I’m going to love opening a jar in December.

This weekend, I also started Chapter 13 of my novel. Coincidentally, Chapter 13 is when my main character gets the worst of her bad news. Her life plummets from a pleasant complacency to the gates of Hell, before taking a turn toward normal. I toyed with the idea of skipping right over Chapter 13, you know like some hotels do with the 13th floor. But serendipity intervened, and I’m not arguing with that kind of Karma.

I knocked off a couple of restaurant reviews I had on the back burner as well. Remembering what I had to eat during my vacation put me back into a California kind of mood.

I also took some time to read. Yes, read a book. Although, I have to say I am reading books written by our major political candidates, but I figured doing so would enlighten me more than watching TV would.

And finally, I finished cleaning out Ms. MiniD’s room. I took all of the photos stuck onto the walls and boxed them up with her knickknacks and doo-dads and put everything in the attic. I plan on painting the room, in a color she will no doubt hate.  She had admonished me NOT to do that before she left, but seeing that her behavior has led to some consternation on my part, I found that I no longer gave a damn what she thought. It was somewhat freeing, even though I found evidence that in addition to drinking and having sex, she was also smoking weed.

*sigh*

There’s garbage everywhere, isn’t there?

By the way, if any of you see a gray Prius speeding south or west, please do not stop it.

Requiem for An Internet Boyfriend

[sniff sniff]

I’m sad to report that My Internet Boyfriend is no more. I would link you up, but he has taken down his WordPress blog.

The Internet is a wonderful place where you can meet people. They become your friends in Cyber Life, and sometimes if you’re lucky, in Real Life. I am lucky to have made a good friend in MIB.

I wish I could tell you a juicy tale of how we fought and broke up. That’s not the case. I still like MIB. In fact, we email regularly, although not so regularly these days. That’s because it’s summer time and he has obligations. I have obligations. In fact, I am totally amazed that I even have ten minutes of time to devote to this blog. If you saw my plate, you’d know that it was piled over with things to do. I have so much stuff on my plate, I’m not sure what china pattern is under there.

I wish I could tell you that he died. Well, he didn’t die, really. He died an Internet death, which means he has gone to a better place. NO! Really! I myself have committed web suicide. It was from another site that had a bunch of weirdos in it (some of whom are over here… ha ha ha…) and was time sucking. I made a boatload of cash from the place but it was unsatisfying. I planned my G suicide with panache and style. I don’t miss the place though. I’ve gone on to better things.

Anyway, some of you have been asking me what has happened to MIB. He’s around, but he’s not around.

Since he’s not around, I thought I would take this opportunity to detach myself from him. Only online though.

Now that I’m single again, I think I will take the time to mourn my loss. If any of you would like to add any words of encouragement, please feel free to do so. Or, if you would like to leave a touching eulogy for My Internet Boyfriend, I’m sure he would appreciate your sentiment. Perhaps someone can tape themselves singing “Oh Canada!” and post it here. (Oh. I think I did that before.)

Rest In Peace, Internet Boyfriend.

Adventures with G-Men and Conquering Paranoia

I love Tigereye. She has the convoluted but perhaps valid idea that just because her favorite ice cream has been taken off the menu at fine ice cream parlors and grocery stores in her area, that means she’s on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. On one hand, it sounds far fetched, but on the other hand, I don’t doubt it in the least.

I’m thinking it’s an omen, a sign from God that she really should lay off the ice cream.

But no, really. Consider the Federal Government. At the risk of inflaming The Powers That Be and causing them to wiretap my phone and monitor my internet activity, I have to say that their usual modus operandi is to act irrationally. That’s why they are in charge. Sensible human beings would have nothing to do with the Federal Government. I know. I speak from experience.

First of all, My First Husband had a top secret clearance. The CIA was probably watching both of us all through Europe. I made the mistake of writing a rather scathing letter to the ex’s commanding officer, which earned me a couple of G-men tag-alongs every so often. It didn’t matter. I pretty much did what I wanted to anyway.

Later on in my life, I was employed by a government agency, and for about twelve years. During this time, I witnessed an amazing amount of government waste. Some of this was human waste (and no, I’m not talking about what ends up whirling down a toilet bowl). The stereotypical government worker standing around while people are waiting to be served is not a joke or cartoon. It’s a real deal, people.

There’s also a fair amount of wasteful spending. Even in my rather benign section of government employment, I saw first hand that certain supervisors could be paid off. It didn’t take much, either.

For example, let’s say you have an item to sell, like a computer or printer. My old boss was a master at obtaining perks for throwing certain vendors the deal. You can be sure that some of the perks were not monetary or even tangible in nature. Sometimes the perks included rolls in the hay. Yup, he was a slut. Because he was a lecherous boss and guilty of sexual harassment, I ended up filing an EEO complaint. In my complaint, I outlined what was going on in our little cesspool of the government. Handy tip of the day: That’s not a good way to make or keep friends or influence people.

There’s nothing like being investigated by the Federal Government. During my EEO complaint process, I not only had to deal with local police departments, but also with the long arm of the Federal police. The locals might be Keystone Cops, but you don’t want to mess with the federales. For one thing, they have no sense of humor. For another, they tape and record everything. And for yet another, they will trade the information they collect with other agencies, like the IRS and Department of Labor. Doing so unleashes all of the dogs so to speak, and they’re free to nip at you as if you were a tasty pork chop.

The resulting paperwork from my EEO complaint amounted to six inches of pain and suffering. It’s now collecting dust in my basement, an anchor to remind me of what great pals our Federal Government is. (If you cannot detect a sense of snarkiness here, feel free to insert a full can.) In the end, nothing happened to my old boss. I think he’s retired now. I could have been retired now, but I decided that my sanity was worth more than a big fat paycheck and early retirement, so I quit my high-paying government job. I’ve since shucked off my experience with working for the government as continued learning.

In retrospect, none of it was worth it, and you have to wonder why the government would want to waste time and taxpayer money on frivolous crap like this. If only they would concentrate on their jobs, we’d all be a lot better off. They might have even captured the 9-11 hijackers before those dudes got on the planes.

But, as they say, hindsight is 20-20, and for the government to learn from their mistakes would be an oxymoron.