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.

NaNo Finished & Stuff

This November, I’ve been a good little girl. I have NaNoWriMo’ed myself into shape. The 50K word mark was met on Saturday (two entire working days early) and I’m liking the story. It’s off-beat, whacky, a bit nonsensical but damn, it was fun writing it. It’s so out there, I’m thinking it’s my only hope to published stardom.

Now I need to keep the momentum going. I am the first to admit of my lazy, easily distracted personality.

As for other news, the kids did not come home. MiniD spent the holiday at Mr. Demonic Jr.’s house. They also did not ask for any money, which was a first. The older one is a bona fide adult, although I’m not sure how he’s making money. All I know is that he doesn’t ask for any and hasn’t dipped into the remainder of the college fund. Ms. MiniD, I believe – hope – pray, is learning to live within her means. She also found a team sport that keeps her out of trouble. (YAY! *doing happy dance*)

We spent a quiet Thanksgiving with our manager. Turkey, homemade pie, crab cakes for an appetizer. Yes, indeed. I have exploded into another pants size and it’s only been a few days.

I hurt my left thumb. I smacked it with a mallet during my jewelry class, but that’s not what’s wrong. I have De Quervain syndrome which is probably related to jewelry and the prolonged typing I’ve been doing lately. I have a brace, and plenty of drugs. Except for the pain, I am in bliss.

Business sucks, but that’s the breaks.

I will go into all of this in some detail at some future point. Right now, I want to remain in the NaNo zone and will write a few thousand words today. I will also visit blog friends who probably thought I dropped off the face of the earth.

Biscuit Poisoning

Thanks to a bona fide doctor in the house, I have discovered the source for my belly fat.

That’s right, I’ve been biscuit poisoned. And not by any biscuit, the kind that come in cans.

Dr. B is from the south, where most genteel women (and men) know how to make a biscuit or two. When we lived in Arkansas, even my mother, an Asian military bride, got into the fine art of biscuit making. She also made cornbread and grits but that’s another gastronomical story.

Me, I don’t really care for breads of any kind. It took me two decades to eat dinner rolls at restaurants. Before I started eating dinner rolls in restaurants, they would just sit there in handsome baskets, making lovely props while I picked at my food. (One eats like a bird while dating, but makes up for it after the nuptials.) I’ve just recently started to like dinner rolls, especially the flavored chi-chi ones, which may also be a small part of why the belly fat.

When we do have biscuits at the Demonic house, I opt for the canned variety. However, canned biscuits are not without their inherent dangers.

I was scared by an exploding can of biscuits once. It was early in our marriage. To free the biscuits, one must place the end of a spoon on the edge of the can and press, but the ensuing blast is sometimes jarring. This is a hazard associated with biscuits past their expiration date.

Since the biscuit explosion (where I almost lost an eye), whenever we have biscuits (usually with soup or stew), I must enlist Mr. D’s help to open the can. Similarly, I cannot open a bottle of champagne. I was knocked to near unconsciousness by an errant cork.

He thinks this is silly. Of course, Mr. D must also open jars for me. Carpal tunnel. I can barely open the car door.

Come to think of it, I can barely open a bag of kettle corn. 😛

When Mr. D is gone — meaning dead because he’s not ditching me now — I’ll probably lose weight because I won’t be able to free food from its containers.

Thank goodness for summer. The likelihood of biscuit ingestion goes way down with warm weather. I should use this time to thin down for winter’s upcoming biscuit poisoning.

Lost in Translation and a Few Other Places Chapter 1

When I last left WordPress, I was suffering from a terrible neck pain. My subsequent visit to the doctor pumped me full of muscle relaxers and pain medication. This did NOT work, much to my dismay. My appointment with the physical therapist isn’t until next week.

I spent a week in torture, and then more torture occurred. I was felled by a cold, a really bad one. My #2 contracted one from her boyfriend, and seeing that she was sniffling and sneezing for three weeks straight, there was no way to avoid her germs. There’s nothing worse than having a head full of boogers whilst one cannot turn said head to the right.

As a result of my assembled maladies, I became lazy beyond belief.  No, really, I am not exaggerating. I haven’t looked at my now-completed novel in a month. Instead of writing, I played on Twitter and Facebook. I think I am even “getting” Twitter now.  However, it wasn’t really playing… I logged on in bed and then promptly fell asleep. That’s what a combination of Nyquil and Flexoril will do for you.

All of this uncomfortableness caused me to seek another trip to the doctor this week. She sent me for X-rays, and a couple of days later I learned that I have developed minor arthritis in my vertebrae not far from where my neck is located.

I knew I was getting old, but to be slapped in the face with arthritis is the wakeup call. I restarted my stalled exercise of Malibu Pilates, purchased a huge bottle of glucosamine chondroitin from Sam’s Club and started taking the dog for afternoon strolls.

I thought long and hard about dying, which is something I do on a regular basis anyway. When you’re over the hill and coasting downward, you want to get in everything before the final farewell.

So, I am now reformed and on my way to productivity and creativity.

In the meantime, there has been a little drama going on with the Drunk Manager, which I will get to as soon as I send a care package off to Ms. MiniD. All it takes is one email titled “Moooommmmmyyyyyy!!!” and I’m there.

Competitive Depression

Hand it to Random Name to give me a smile at least once every couple of weeks. He did it again today.

At the end of this New Permanent First Post of Blog for 2009, he responded to a comment I made, where he coined the term “competitive depression.”

Well, okay, maybe he didn’t say it exactly, but I knew what he meant.

I was comparing my dire circumstances (which aren’t really that dire) to those of our dear David Rochester, who for some reason seems to have the worst luck in the world. At times. Other times, I find Mr. Rochester’s posts to be amusing glimpses into his life. (Honestly, David. I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you.)

As many of you might know, I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I came by the diagnosis quite late in life. It was only a couple of years ago when I was talking to my doctor about something unrelated that she pointed out all my depressive episodes occurred in winter. There was a light bulb moment and a hastily scrawled prescription. (Nowadays, they just send the script to the pharmacy online. No need for paper or the World MD/English Dictionary to translate messy MD writing.

January was a particularly brutal month for me, as we had only three days of temperatures over 30 degrees (Farenheit, not Celcius), and the sun did little shining. As I look at our sales figures for that month, we were 25% down from the same month last year, which was 23% down from 2007. There were other upsets as well, but there always seems to be more of them at the beginning of the year.

The glory days are over, and I for one am scrambling for a Plan B. Mr. Demonic, I believe, thinks he will die of a heart attack or some other malaise before he’s 60, only because his people have a long history of early demise. When he said it again last weekend, I replied, “Oh, sure. Die and leave me all alone to deal with this mess.” It would be a mess too, not counting the clutter in Mr. D’s office.

I once worked at a federal agency where we were ruled by tyrannical sadists who liked to browbeat their workers. That is a true story. It was the kind of federal agency that was well known for having employees turn on their coworkers and gun them down in fits of rage because of the inequity of it all. As a former government worker, I can tell you that working for the government is no cakewalk.

But I digress… We employees would get together (working) and hash out the latest botched plan of one of the supervisors. Of course, we weren’t supposed to be talking to each other, that was a no-no. I was amazed at how negativity breeds negativity. By the end of our ten hour shift, we were all so beaten down, we headed straight for the bar. Thank God, the bar opened at 7 a.m.

Sure, being drunk by 10 a.m. wasn’t the optimal solution, but it was the only one I had at the time.

Let me say now that I’m not competing with anyone for the prize of Most Depressed. I like to think I’m a good-natured and basically happy cynic. If Rochester wants the coveted prize, he can have it.


Happy Belated Birthday to Me

I’ve been busy, but yesterday I noticed this post by Mr. Random, patting himself on the back for surviving yet another birthday.

I thought that peculiar, because as luck would have it, last week it was my birthday too. I only think it peculiar, because I share some sort of affinity with Mr. Random. This is not the same bond I share with my Internet-Boyfriend-Now-Friend. I think Mr. Random and I are brother and sister separated at birth.

I’m not going to tell you which day was the dreaded day. I like to completely avoid acknowledging the fact that I still have birthdays. I can tell you that I spend it the same way every year: I do nothing.

I don’t come into work, and I usually amuse myself somehow. In past years, I have trekked to San Francisco (or Alabama) for my birthday. This is because my family is so mean to me, I would much rather spend the day being somewhere I love.

Sidebar: I don’t really love Alabama, but my friend moved there, and she is very nice. She threw me a huge birthday party with her friends, even though they didn’t know me from a random guy at the Publix. I brought my violin and played with her cello friends.  She invited me this year too, but since I’m leaving for out of town next week, I declined.

My husband is nine months younger than me, and for three months out of the year, we are the same age. The other nine months, he is razzing me about me being so much older than he is, even though we graduated from high school in the same year. My daughter, Ms. MiniD, hopped on that bandwagon long ago. To hear the two of them, you’d think I was ready for a wheelchair and the nursing home.

This year, I wrote a chapter and a half and a piece for another forum I write for. Then we went out to dinner at a very chi-chi French place. It’s the kind of rich food that you must savor over the period of at least three hours, accompanied by wine and champagne. (Their housemade truffles are to die for.)

Something else also happened that day. (If you are of manly persuasion, you may want to fold up this post right now and move on.)

It was the return of The Curse.

Damn it, but I had been reveling in menopause for the last year! I practically told everyone I knew (including co-workers) because I was so happy to 1. not have that monthly thing going on and 2.  was finally warm enough at night that I didn’t need to hog the blankets. Of course, with over a year’s enjoyment of no need for feminine protection, I was caught with my pants down and no help. I even scoured Ms. MiniD’s bathroom, but to no avail.

I know if I go to Sam’s Club and buy the economy, jumbo box of tampons, my uterus will dry up completely next month, and there I will be. Of course, if I choose the other route and only buy as much as I need, I will have a great, big need for the jumbo box next month. (And the next, and the next.)

I was depressed before over the fact that I am again wintering in the Tundra. (In January, there were only three days – THREE – count ’em, that reached the 30 degree mark. That’s cold, people.) Now I am truly despondent. Here I am, 53 – friggin’ – years old and still not over it yet!

Well, that’s it for my birthday.

Happy Birthday to Me.

The Amazing Bubble Machine

Right around this time last year, I enlisted the dear Mr. Demonic to allow me to remodel the bathroom in the older part of the house. It was an eyesore, painted completely peacock blue. Tres ugly. In order to sway his thinking, I had to work on him for a couple of years, because as we all know, Mr. D is cheap, um…  “thrifty.” Instead of stomping my feet, which I have been known to do in my youth, I used my feminine wiles by offering early morning seduction in the office. Before you think I’m that good, I’m not. What really clinched the deal was that my son was coming home last Christmas with his girlfriend. We needed a decent bathroom, especially with two more bodies in the house.

Our house was built in 1927. The front part of it is the old part. The previous owners, a romance novelist and her attorney (now ex-) husband added the back part on about ten years ago, so our family room, master bedroom and bath, along with the kitchen is new and wonderful. The old part is old and charming and wonderful in a different way.

When we first moved in four years ago, I wanted a new garage. This is because the garage was original to the house, meaning it’s very narrow and small. In addition, the windows are leaky, the roof and walls had holes in them, thus allowing for critter invasion, and there was no way to lock it. The garage also sits adjacent to our deck, also put in by the previous owners, and should be located a few feet away so as not to hit your head on the eaves. This has happened so many times to so many people, I put hanging baskets, bird houses and wind chimes in the general area so people won’t wander over and bean themselves in the head. There is also no automatic garage door opener, so in the winter when I park in there, I have to wrestle the door up and down to get my car out.

Needless to say, Mr. D did not want a new garage. I was quite pissed off too. I wanted a decent home for my car, then a Monte Carlo. He thought it a waste of money, but he doesn’t park in the garage. When you drive a car with 185,000 miles on it, there is no need to shelter it from anything. (I’m praying for something to happen just so he can get an upgrade.) Mr. D also foresaw the recent financial collapse back in 2005 at the time I was lobbying for a garage, so I guess the end result is that I’m happy he ruled with his iron (gloved) fist that day.

Fast forward to the bathroom. It was the only fugly spot in the house. I longed for years to demolish the thick peacock blue walls. If Mr. D Jr.’s impending homecoming was the impetus for change, I was all for it. However, I insisted on the bathroom of my dreams.

Although the space is small (1927 bathrooms are very tiny, it’s probably no more than 6 x 6), I wanted nice granite, oak cabinet, artistically tiled walls and floor, and a Jacuzzi tub. This is because in our master bath, we do not have a Jacuzzi tub, and people, when you are my age, there are sometimes days in a row when one needs it. I didn’t need to get a genuine Jacuzzi, but the bubble tub of my dreams would have to have sufficient jet action to alleviate minor aches and pains.

Off to the plumbing supply store I went. I had them fill several tubs and tested the water pressure. There are tubs that bubble like simmering pots of water. These are stupid. If you want to sit in a simmering pot of water, place a large can outside and set a nice healthy fire under it. I finally settled on a Kohler which was small enough to fit into my teeny tiny bathroom yet powerful enough for my occasional kinks.

There were many obstacles to the completion of said bathroom, and it took until the end of January to finish it. Let’s just say that Murphy’s Law played a big part in the delay. That’s another blog post altogether. Finally it was complete, but I was not to enjoy my tub until the summer, after Ms. MiniD was out of the house. That’s because she took it over and cluttered it up with her miscellaneous crap.

Once she was gone, I invited Mr. D to a soak, and we jumped in. Finally, even Mr. D discovered the joys of my tub. We use it all the time.

This past weekend, we were subjected to several days’ blast of icy winter. Mr. D, being a tightwad, um thrifty, decided to do most of the snow removal himself, with shovel and snowblower. Fourteen inches of snow is a lot of snow. By Sunday night, he was pooped.

I unfortunately put a little too much bubble bath in the water. Here is a photo of Mr. D. It’s after I had gotten out of the tub. (There has never been a published photo of Mr. D in WordPress, so this is a World Premier.) Imagine a thick trail of bubbles spilling over the floor and into the hallway. There were bubbles everywhere, but we laughed about it. Actually, it was more like squealing. Ms. MiniD thought we were nuts.


You don’t know how much I love that tub.