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.

Golf at the Indianapolis 500

It’s called the Brickyard, and it’s super cool. You start out somewhere outside the race track, and in the middle, several holes are right inside the center of the track. It’s a popular place, and it was busy that day.

The course is really nice. Lush grass, well tended. The carts had GPS. It’s a tough course too, but Mr. Demonic’s friend is a good golfer, who likes nice, tough courses. Me, I could putz around on a city course, and I’d be just as happy.

I was amazed at how big the place was. The track seems to go on forever, and there are plenty of boxes lined along the way. Likewise, the inside of the track is massive. I’m not much for racing, so I wasn’t aware.

Friday, there were several cars racing. Why, I don’t know. I always thought they only raced the 500, but obviously they use the track all year long. When we crossed over to the inside of the track, we could watch them as they sped around.

Now, for updates on my golf game:

1. The weather was very nice, so I couldn’t use that as an excuse.

2. My back wasn’t hurting, so I couldn’t use that excuse.

3. I have a great set of golf clubs (Lady Callaways), so I couldn’t use that excuse.

4. I had Arby’s for lunch, so I couldn’t use the excuse that I was hungry. It was a junior sandwich, so I couldn’t use the excuse that I was overfull.

5. I had plenty of drugs (Benadryl and Motrin), so I couldn’t use that excuse.

Let’s just say that I hit some good shots, but I hit more bad ones than good. I always feel guilty when I golf on a nice course with thick grass, such as the Brickyard. That is because I tend to hack up the course.

Perhaps I should get out on the course more than once every two months.

An Escape of the Narrowest Means

Last Friday, Mr. Demonic and I decided to meet some friends of ours for a golf weekend. Since we live in the upper Midwest and they live in the South, we mutually agreed to hook up midway. For last weekend, the halfway point was Indianapolis.

I had only been through Indiana on my way to somewhere else. If you’ve never been there, you haven’t missed much. If you have been there (or God forbid, are currently living there), my deepest condolences. My own area is no prizewinner, but Indiana… sheesh.

We decided to take my car instead of the dear Mr. Demonic’s. My car is a Toyota Prius. My car is roomy, and you can’t beat the gas mileage with a stick. It’s also clean; I keep it that way. On the other hand, Mr. Demonic drives a used training car. It has over 180,000 miles on it, and has been rear-ended several times. (He tends to fall asleep at stop lights.) Mr. D does not have a briefcase. Instead, he uses the tops of paper cases and carries his stuff around in cardboard boxes. That’s a handy reuse of cardboard, but as soon as he makes a sharp turn, everything tumbles out, and so the entire car is covered in scraps of paper.

In addition, Mr. D spills his coffee on a daily basis. The passenger side is stained and smells of stale cups of Joe.

Mr. D didn’t like that I was driving, but heck, when have I ever done anything where he actually liked it? And in return, he does plenty to piss me off, but I won’t go there in this post.

We set off into a bright and sunny Friday, missing all of the morning rush hour. This was a good thing, because I tend to drive like a snail. I haven’t gotten a speeding ticket in years, and I certainly wasn’t going to get one last week. (Come to think of it, the last ticket I got was a direct result of Mr. D urging me to drive faster so he wouldn’t miss the Buick Open on TV.)

When we arrived in northeastern Indiana, I found I had the need to fill up the gas tank. That doesn’t happen often. It was also nearing noon, and Mr. D was getting hungry. (Me, I can take food or leave it, especially at noon.) If you have been to that part of Indiana, you’d know that the pickin’s are pretty slim when it comes to food choices. It’s not Napa Valley, where you can get a damned good, nearly gourmet sandwich from the gas station. My choices were fast food and more fast food. I would have preferred a homey country diner, but no such luck.

I don’t do fast food. Well, I will amend that. I will eat it, but only sparingly. Our choices that day were McDonald’s (NO), Burger King (DOUBLE NO), Subway (maybe… but they’re so big!), or Arby’s. I chose Arby’s, because they offer a petite roast beef sandwich (which tastes nothing like roast beef), but since at the time I was craving mustard, I thought would be good to relieve that craving. Arby’s personnel usually crinkle their noses at the request of mustard packets, but that’s half the fun of going there.

After getting our food, we set out on the road again. Unbeknownst to me, Mr. D had picked up a local real estate guide from the lobby at the Arby’s. While I drove, he serenaded me with real estate listings.

“Holy cow. A three bedroom house for $92K? They’re practically giving them away here…”

“Uh huh…” I was driving, so I tried to ignore him.

“Look at this one!” he would shout, shoving the book under my nose. “Four bedrooms, two baths, three car garage, lakefront. $325K! That’s practically a steal!”

I tried to keep the car on the interstate as I glanced over. “Yeah, nice.” I was noncommittal.

A few minutes later… “Look here! Forty acre hobby farm, old farmhouse completely redone with granite kitchen, pole barn, and a river runs through it. $200K. Are they nuts?”

“Why are you looking at that? We already have more houses than we can handle.” That’s true. In fact, the condo up north is up for sale, and so is the lot in Colorado. The other little house, we’re keeping because we have a reliable renter, otherwise that would be on the chopping block too. We’d sell our own house, but in this market, I doubt we could get anything for it.

“Look at this one. It’s commercial property. RV park with home. 500K. We could run an RV place!”

“Why are you looking at that? We already have a place to live and a business.”

“I’m thinking I could be a farmer.”

That was ridiculous. He doesn’t even mow the grass, I do. “You hate vegetables, remember?”

“Yeah, but we could live here. I could live here, especially if I had a nice house with a river running through it. Just think, I could go fishing!”

“You hate fishing!” It’s true. When the kids were little, they wanted to go and he never took them.

“I’d like fishing if there was a river right next to me. Besides, you said you’d move anywhere.”

I considered it. I really hate where we are now. It’s depressing and cold. I looked at the scenery. Indiana is not unlike southern Illinois or Kansas or Iowa. It was flat, miles and miles of spent corn and dry, brown soybeans cooking in the sun. There were miles and miles between exits and even more between houses. While the houses were cheap, I couldn’t imagine myself living there.

“I don’t think so. No, I couldn’t live here. Think of somewhere else.”

Thank God the skyline of Indianapolis came into view. Mr. D threw the real estate guide into the back seat where it lay until just now, when I took it out to throw it away.

Gone Golfing

I’m going to be gone this weekend.

Golfing. It’s supposed to be restful.

I stink at golf. I am prepared to be most frustrated.

Oh, well. Someone has to be in the bunker…

The Great Bell Pepper Debate of 1986

This recent post by our illustrious mandolin playing, freelance writing, golfing, bona fide medical doctor (Dr. Bibey) about his proposed shopping trip today with his wife caused me to remember the reason why I do not go shopping with my own husband.

Now my Dear Mr. Demonic is a wonderful man. He’s smart, funny, and a fine, upstanding citizen. He’s been a good husband and a loving father. He has provided for us in ways that most men cannot. But for all his wonderful qualities, there is one thing we cannot do together.

SHOP.

As I indicated in my response to Dr. B’s post, with the exception of Christmas shopping for the kids (pre-Internet, now you can buy anything online), I don’t go shopping with Mr. D.

The reason: I would like to stay married.

Oh, sure, I said the same thing about working with Mr. D. I tried it about 25 years ago, when we were just dating. I was filling in for his regular girl while she was on vacation. The end result was the longest two days of my life, we ended up in a horrendous fight, and almost broke up. After that, I thought it best to give him some room. A man likes to feel his workplace is his kingdom, and my Dear Mr. D. is a king among business owners.

Ten years ago, due to some touchy circumstances that I won’t relate here, I took the bull by the horns and forced my way into his business. It was the best thing I ever did. It was hard at first, since what I was doing amounted to little more than a hostile takeover. In the end, it was good for both of us. I could see his world from his eyes, and he abdicated his role as scary, mean boss to me. That left him being the good guy, and he likes it.

But the better thing was to keep my desk with the office girls and his office down the hall. There are days when I don’t even see him. There are times when he’s there, but we email each other instead of getting on the intercom. In addition, he goes out of town a lot. We’re like two ships that pass through the workday, with an occasional quickie in the conference room before people show up. It’s been so successful, now he’s going to transfer the entire thing to my name. I think it has something to do with taxes, and likely more to do with the fact he would like to hit the golf course more often.

But, back to shopping. I can’t shop with him, or for him.

Our temperaments are different. I tend to swoop down into the sales racks and leave if I don’t find anything 75% off. He doesn’t care what things cost, and he also likes to finger things. Unlike my previous boyfriends and husband, I don’t buy his clothes, not even his underwear. That’s because he’s incredibly fussy. He likes to match the smallest, minutest threads on a pair of pants to another on a tie.

We used to shop for groceries together when first married. We’d make a date of it on Saturday afternoons, after his half day at work and before going out for dinner to a corner eatery with Ms. Pac Man in the lobby. There was a local store we liked, and I liked to go with him mostly because there was a check out girl there that had the hots for him. “Oh, no,” Mr. D. professed, “She’s just friendly…” My woman’s intuition kicked in the first time I saw Miss Hottie.

She was more than friendly, she was predatory. I promptly found a new store. (That was the Young Me. The Old Me is so tired out, she would likely say, “Honey, if you really want him you can have him.”)

One Saturday, as we were shopping together, Mr. D went to find something in the liquor aisle and told me to pick up some bell peppers in the produce section. We were making spaghetti that night. (Mr. D’s spaghetti sauce kicks butt, if you must know.) When we rendevouzed back at the cart, he took one look at my pepper choice and chastised me. That’s because one of my peppers had a small, almost indistinguishable wrinkle in it.

I’ve never lived that one down. He still looks over my produce.

Grocery shopping together came to a screeching halt when my son, Mr. D Jr., came into the picture. At first, it was because I would take the opportunity to go shopping while he watched D. Jr. as a baby. I came to enjoy those long moments alone, just me and my cart in Meijer Thrifty Acres. When the kids were a little bigger, they actually liked going to the store. They were fairly well-behaved and never clamored for sugary cereal or candy. They didn’t have much exposure to commercial TV, and besides, those things were considered treats in our house. Or, vacation food.

Now that it’s just Mr. D. and me in the house, we still go shopping alone. Instead of once a week splurges at Meijers, we go every day and pick up a few items, just like the Europeans do. Stocking up the fridge is only okay when there is a houseful of people. I don’t want to cultivate any more mystery food than I can take care of in a 15 minute period. We usually visit the same store within a half hour of each other.

I guess I could blame the entire shopping habits of the Demonic Family on a couple of bell peppers, but that would be a stretch, now wouldn’t it?

It’s True What They Say About Golf

There’s this adage implying that a bad day at the golf course is better than a good day at work.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Actually, since there are rarely any good days at work, a bad day anywhere else doing anything else would be better than working.

I know. I have a bad attitude. This is particularly treacherous since I own the business. I also realize that my bad attitude sparks more negativity. That is why I’ve been excusing myself from the office and going home to write. Or, I’ll go home and mow the lawn or dig up more grass for my garden. I thought I would miss being “in the loop” but I don’t really.

So yesterday, we decided to golf. It was a nice day, not too hot and not too chilly. There was a hint of bad weather, as we were getting reports from the Left Coast of our state saying that the area there was under tornado warnings and penny-sized hail. (Hail is flat like a penny? Since when?)

I am happy to report that I made a couple of really brilliant shots. I also whiffed the ball a couple of times. My short game sucks. I was only in the bunker, twice, which was nice. It was so humid yesterday that the greens were soft and spongy, thus slowing down the ball, and so my putting really stunk.

Right as we were approaching the ninth green, the clouds descended and roiled around. It looked a lot like a tornado to me. I forfeited my hole and headed for the safety of the cart (which isn’t very safe at all, but beats standing out in the open with a metal putter in your hand), while my husband decided to finish out the hole. It was tough. The wind picked up and blew him all around. However, after a short pit stop at the clubhouse rounding the turn, the sun came out. Go figure.

The rest of the day was picture perfect. Even with a score up in the 120s, it was good.