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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The Demonics Host an Unwanted Visitor

Last night, the Demonic family hosted a most unwanted visitor:

A squirrel.

People who know me know I hate squirrels with a passion. I don’t want them in my neighborhood, much less in my house. I see them as glorified rodents, rats with big fluffy tails. I don’t like rats in the house either, which is why when Mr. D became enamored of them a few years ago, I told him they had to stay in the office, not in my house.

Anyway, said creature slid down the chimney. (Damn those roofers who forgot to put up the critter barrier!) He landed on our gas logs and decided he didn’t like the look of the arrangement, so he threw a couple of them around, thus ensuring his escape from behind the glass doors.

Behind our fireplace is the sunroom, where I keep my cranky love bird and all of my orchids. The bird eats seeds; squirrels eat seeds. Squirrels like green things; orchids are green things. Ergo, the squirrel went for the sunroom.

I had heard some crashing about when I was upstairs, but figured it was just the cat and dog in some spirited play. They tend to chase each other around the house. I yelled downstairs and the noise stopped so I figured that was the source.

An hour later, Mr. D comes home and we prepare dinner. Mr. D hears an unusual noise coming from the direction of the living room, which is a misnomer because we never use the room. “What’s that?” he says.

“It’s just the bird.”

“Doesn’t sound like the bird.”

We go about our business, and the noise becomes louder. Mr. D goes to investigate and confronts a very fat squirrel. He manages to corral the critter in the sunroom, which is no easy task. Trying to herd a squirrel is much like trying to herd a cat.

The cat follows, but at a reasonably safe distance, the coward. The dog retreats to her crate upstairs.  She’s not stupid. The bird is going nuts, hopping from one side of the cage to the other. Cranky lovebird is trapped in the sunroom.

Mr. D grabs a broom and attempts to broom it into a corner. No luck. The squirrel is almost as big as the cat, and is bleeding profusely. There’s squirrel blood on the doors and windows.

Our sunroom is full of windows. Eleven to be exact, and they extend from ceiling to near the floor. Being an old house, there’s considerable framework around the windows. Our unwanted visitor parks his butt at the top of the windows, and traverses them to get around the room.

We lay out a critter trap which we have saved from when we lived in a northern suburb and used to trap baby skunks from under our deck. You would think peanut butter covered almonds would entice a battered squirrel, but no.

After dinner, we go back and attempt to round up the squirrel. Mr. D gives up when the squirrel dive bombs him from across the room. Flying squirrel? My friends, all squirrels fly. He secured the room, and we went upstairs and did the same before going to sleep.

This morning, Mr. D opened one of the windows, which hasn’t been open for at least 40 years. (No screens. I was going to have some made, but it cost too much.) It was still dark outside, but the squirrel wasn’t budging. In fact, he sat on the windowsill of the open window but refused to go. I told Mr. D to take his broom and shoo him out. When he attempted this, the squirrel lunged at him again.

It’s 20 freaking degrees outside and we had to go to work. It took an enormous amount of sneakiness to get the birdcage out of the room. Mr. D again secured the room and we left.

I emailed the roofer and let him know he should get a critter catcher on our chimney TODAY. Not tomorrow, not next week, but this morning.  I’m keeping the number of our local critter control company handy in case our house guest refuses to vacate by noon.

I’m not going back in until that thing is gone.

Mr. Demonic Buys a Craftsman Circular Saw

One thing that is going on in our house is urban renewal. We cannot sell our house, because in our Tundra town and in this financial environment, a buyer would turn their nose up at our house and snap up a foreclosed 6-bedroom mansion for less than $250,000. No joke. We are among the unfortunate empty nesters who have a four-bedroom house for two people and no way to unload it to downsize.

There’s nothing wrong with this scenario, of course. I happen to love our house. Every night when I go to bed, I look out through our wall of windows to oak trees and stars. My bedroom is like a hotel room, and my bathroom is to die for.

Before the economy really headed south last year (and that is literally as well as figuratively), Mr. Demonic started upon a plan of home improvements. At the time we were flush, so we spent a summer of enduring painters and carpenters. Last winter, we completed the gutting of the bathroom in the old, 1927 part of the house, complete with Jacuzzi tub and granite. It was probably overkill in a room that’s only 6’x6′ (or maybe smaller) but hey, at least now it’s not peacock blue from floor to ceiling.

This year is a different story. This year, we barely have enough money to make the mortgage. True, Mr. D put us on an aggressive mortgage schedule, 15 years, and he pays extra on the months when he can. We could have cushioned ourselves with a 30-year, but Mr. D thinks we won’t be around in 30 years. (He’s right.)

Around Christmas time, we decided to redo Ms. MiniD’s old room. She had pasted all sorts of memorabilia on the walls, which were an unsavory green. Think frog poop. She also spilled fingernail polish remover on the hardwood floors we had redone before moving in. It was a mess.

I picked a more calming sage green, and Mr. D set about painting. He was also going to put in crown moulding to match the rest of the house.

A little back story: Mr. D is a fuss budget when it comes to home repair. If it’s not 100% perfect, he’s not happy. When my oldest was just a fetus, Mr. D set about to redo a room and make it a nursery. I kid you not when I say that the room and the baby came at about the same time. Mr. D was redoing wood trim, and every time something came out less than perfect, he chopped up the wood, threw it in the fireplace and took a trip to Home Depot for more. It took two whole months to wallpaper one wall.

Mr. D is handy, but not really. He’s self-schooled and tries very hard, but if he can afford it, would rather pay a professional. That’s because they can complete the task in less time.

Last week, Mr. D went to Sears. People who know us know he’s in the store all the time. He returned with a huge box. It was a circular saw. A HUGE circular saw. He informed me it was to cut the crown moulding, because his tiny little miter box couldn’t do the intricate angle.

Today, I helped Mr. D hold long strips of wood while he cut them, right in the bedroom. My first impression: Mr. D isn’t very safety conscious. He works with his mug of coffee right on the saw and with no goggles or gloves. My second impression: a circular saw makes a lot of noise and sawdust, sawdust that gets tracked throughout the house by people, cats and dogs.

He had to cut each piece three or four times. That’s because it had to be perfect.

I prayed Mr. D wouldn’t slip and cut himself. I don’t do blood very well.

All is well. We both emerged from the room unscathed.

Lower Tundra Weather Update

It’s friggin’ freezing outside! No, it’s Super-Friggin’ cold!

Well, let me amend that. It’s 15 degrees and dropping. The wind is blowing gusts of 45 mph, meaning I don’t care how well your house is built, it feels like you’re outside if you’re unlucky enough to sit by a window. I am thusly unlucky, since most of my house is window. With the wind gusts, it’s about 0 degrees counting windchill. Needless to say, my wind chimes are rocking.

The dog went out, peed quickly, and came back inside. She wouldn’t do #2 outside, and instead picked a nice spot right by the door. (I can’t blame her, not on a day like today.) The cat poked his head out for less than a second and thought better of the game of having Mr. Demonic chase him around the yard. Besides, there’s about a foot of snow, making small animals going into the yard look like they are drowning in snow drifts.

Mr. D went out to plow the lots. Not with the plow, mind you, because we don’t have a plow. With a snowblower and snow shovel. One lot is about 10,000 square feet, almost an acre. With the wind blowing as it is, I am thinking it is an exercise in futility, but you can’t tell him anything.

I hear that even my southern neighbors are getting a nice dose of winterly blast. So much for global warming.

It’s only 11 a.m., but I’m going to get myself a hot toddy.

Notice: For Little Fluffy Cats Who Love to Nag

Due to a shortage of personnel (the Sick Man likely gone for good, my Number 2 in maternity leave, and my Number 3 on vacation), yesterday I worked 12 hours straight. I wasn’t totally alone, though. Ms. MiniD’s ex-BDJ (aka boy du jour) who used to work here, came back from college for Christmas break. He  was looking for something to do, hours, money, and lucky for me, he fell into my lap.

I didn’t realize that I would be here that long until about 12 noon, when I looked up and thought, “Oh, hell! I’m going to be here another seven and a half hours,” at which point I hastily left to make a pit stop at the Post Office and back home. I retrieved my laptop and brought it back to work with me.

This notice is for the Little Fluffy Cat who loves to nag: Last night, I pounded out a chapter and a half and 5,000 words while waiting for the phone to ring. (Obviously, it didn’t, or I wouldn’t have had the time to accomplish so much.)

The Cat is one of my biggest cheerleaders, and she also has a strong streak of momliness in her too. Lately, the momliness is more apparent than the cheerleader, but I don’t mind her continual chipping away at my bad habit of procrastination. This is because I know I’m being bad, and I need something nipping at my ankles, now more than ever.

Thank you Little Fluffy Cat. If you see me on Facebook, I know you’ll yell. Just remember, all work and no play makes the Pandemonic a sad literary figure.

Throwing Off the Monkey on the Laziness Back

There must be something wrong with me.

Every so often, I get into something and it takes over my entire life. You will probably recall my foray into the world of beads. For a long time, I could be found in the “bead room” aka my son’s old room (he’s never coming back, so I figured, why waste the space?), playing with wire and glass. I began to frequent the local Michaels and Joann Fabrics looking for pieces. I’d walk in searching for a clasp and walk out with $50 worth of glitter. I also went to every bead show within 50 miles of home. Even some of my WordPress “friends” turned me onto more places where I could buy beads. This is much like giving an alcoholic a fine wine “just for a taste.”

My fascination with creating jewelry went on for weeks. My trip to California back in October ended my bead craze. I had purchased some interesting beads from a little store in the Castro, and when I came back to the bead room and deposited them into my little trays, they beckoned me, all shiny and glimmering in the late afternoon sun. However, my muse had mysteriously vanished and I had no idea what to do with all the glass hearts I had purchased.  So now I am stuck with many hundreds of dollars worth of beads and no muse.

Next came NaNoWriMo, and I’m glad that obsession overtook me, because now I am more than 2/3 finished with the novel. Of course, once I achieved the magic goal of 50K words, my muse again left me all alone with Mr. Laziness, damn her. I’ve worked on the book only sporadically since the first of December.

People who know me here probably know me from a different web site located in the far reaches of the internet. I spent a lot of time in that place, and it wasn’t just for the bonanza of gift cards that I received just for being there. (Although I must say, that was a nice bonus.) I really liked the people there. There was a lot of witty repartee going on, some drama, and some of the most interesting writing from some of the most twisted minds around. I found My Internet Boyfriend there, and we’ve been friends ever since. But the place was uber addicting, a huge time-sucking venture. I found that I had to log in, even when times were tough and some people were acting troll-like and mean.

When I cut myself off from that place, I had to do it with a complicated suicide event that spanned several months. Even after I said my final goodbye and signed off, I signed back in a couple of times as one of my alters, just to read my favorite peeps. However, I’ve been good since then and not signed on as anyone since last March or so.

And now I move on to the current addiction-du-jour. I hate to admit it, but it’s Facebook.

Once used solely as an instrument in stalking my children, Facebook has, in the past several weeks, been enormously fun and addicting. This is likely because several of the peeps from the original web site have discovered Facebook and came out from the cold. It’s nice to see my old friends again. I’ve missed a certain craziness from that “other” place. It was humorous, and I needed some fun injections into an otherwise dreary life.

If you aren’t on Facebook, you should be warned that there are several game applications that you can add to your profile. I discovered a couple of word games on Facebook that are so addicting, I find it hard to tear myself away. (When I was younger, you could give me a dictionary or a volume of encyclopedia and I’d be in heaven for hours. I like words.) I couldn’t really play some of the games on there that MIB or other friends liked, such as Knighthood and the like. I just couldn’t get it. Playing with my imaginary cat also lost its appeal after a week or so. (I believe my cyber kitty Matty is now dead, or close to it. I haven’t checked on him in weeks. He’s got to be both hungry and thirsty.) Kanji Box is helpful, because I’m attempting to learn Japanese, so I’m looking at that game as an educational tool.

No. That’s just an excuse.

The Little Cat says I spend too much time there, and I have to agree, albeit sheepishly. Granted, the time spent on the dreaded FB is the same as during my work hours at my real job, but still, I could be doing something productive, instead of chasing my tail around trying to beat Kathleen‘s high score in Scramble. (Damn her, she’s a freaking machine!)

So anyway, this week, I’m not signing into Facebook.

That’s the only way I can get that damnedable monkey off my back.

Time Sucking Headache and Other Stuff

I don’t know if I can work on my novel today.

Yesterday, I reached the over 26K mark for November, just slightly over halfway for NaNoWriMo. In the total novel-picture, I’m sliding down past halfway. The end is in sight. Of course, it took me a year and a half to get to this point, but I’m hoping that I have learned a valuable lesson in time management this month. Either that, or I’ll return to my procrastinating ways and won’t be finished for another year and a half.

I would be working on my book today, but I have a killer headache. I’ve been treating it with advil because I also have a killer neck ache from sleeping like a pretzel last night. That is because Maxx the cat bed-hogged my side of the bed and I couldn’t turn over. Mr. Demonic claimed that as a result, I was bed-hogging his side of the bed. No way, Jose. I was contorted and couldn’t move.

There are other time sucking problems. Our manager at work ended up in the hospital a week ago last Monday. He’s 60 and an only child. Mr. D tried to call his mother over on the Left Coast of the state, and that took three days. She’s 87, and what happened was Mr. D had someone pick her up from her city and bring her to ours. The sick man wanted her to stay in his apartment, but we ended up having her stay with us. That’s because the sick (and hopefully soon to be permanently disabled) man was living in filth and squalor. No really. Think “garbage house” and multiply that by 1000.

Now before someone starts yelling at me about being the Man and putting my employees down, not paying them a decent wage, blah, blah, blah… the sick man actually gets paid pretty damn well. Too well. He’s spent the last six months sleeping six hours each day on the job. The girls and I would wake him on a regular basis. My husband, the boss and the infamous Mr. D, was largely unimpressed. In fact, he was getting madder and madder by the day, and had planned on speaking with the sick man the week the guy ended up in the hospital. Obviously, he had to put that plan on the back burner.

The sick man is a terrible smoker. He’s also an alcoholic. No, really. I mean, severely alcoholic. We had an indication when we have had the opportunity to be in social situations with the guy. If left to make his own drink, it would consist of 99% alcohol and 1% mix. He’s also done some very annoying and embarrassing things while drunk. It is more than likely that his grave condition was due to smoking and drinking. The mother has no clue. Her ex-husband (the sick man’s father) recently died. He was a big smoker and drinker. (Duh.)

Yesterday, the sick man was finally released from the hospital. I bid a teary farewell to the mother. I have a feeling she is going to be waging an uphill battle with the sick guy. She might be older than dirt, but she’s a nice woman, and deserves a better son than the one she has. His mood to her of late has been testy and mean, and that pisses me off. She’s so sweet. She knows about my novel and is very supportive. In fact, instead of talking, she let me go off for a few hours and write, while she watched TV. We exchanged phone numbers and addresses, and I told her if she needed anything at all to call me.

The sick man must have oxygen for the next six months. He hasn’t said what is wrong with him, although he did reveal that his blood has no oxygen and his red blood cell count is high. When I went to the hospital to visit him, his legs were completely black from the knees down, and the skin was like an elephant’s. It was totally gross. If someone knows what condition that is, I’d appreciate a head’s up.

It’s also been snowing the past couple of days. Grace, the dog, does not like to go outside to do her business in this cold weather. I’m not so happy about it either. She sometimes #2s in the house, but that’s not a problem, unless someone steps in it. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened much.

And of course, times are getting tougher. I don’t think there’ll be much for Christmas. That’s okay. The holiday has lost its meaning if you ask me. I might even go to church, although not the one affiliated with my kids’ school. I need a place where there’s not a lot of singing. My head and all, you know.

Anyway, today I have a headache.

That is all.