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.

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.

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.

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.


Blah, Blah, Blah

Mr. Demonic and Ms. MiniD are away for the weekend. They are doing some final parent-child bonding in a resort condo up north before she heads off to college in August. Three years ago, when my son got ready to leave for California, my husband did the same thing for him. Of course, with guys, it’s all golf. With a teenage daughter, it’s a lot different.

I received an early report from Mr. D that Ms. MiniD and the friend she brought to tag along with have somehow caught the attention of some teenage boys staying at the same resort. (Like that had no chance of happening!) I wonder what the Boyfriend is thinking… He is still here. This condo is so far up north, my daughter has no cell phone coverage, so there’s no texting.

While my husband decided to retire early last night, the girls took the opportunity to hang out at the pool and charge up a steady stream of refreshments. They straggled in around 2 a.m. when the pool closed.

It’s nice to be in the house by myself. I can play the violin as loudly and as often as I like, with no comments from the peanut gallery. I can hog the cat, the bed, and the bathroom. (A squirrel update: all this recent talk about guns and they have been conspicuously absent. Well, maybe that monsoonal rain we’ve had the last three days had something to do with it, too.)

I am the ruler of the roost this weekend, my friends. I mowed the lawn between downpours. I cleaned the refrigerator, which needed it badly. I threw out so much mystery food, I should call the city and ask for an extra pick up and a game of Clue.

I enlisted the aid of an illegal alien to tear up some sod in my side yard. (Well, he IS illegal. I won’t give out his name because I don’t want him deported. He’s a nice guy.) The strawberries are spent, but I notice the raspberries coming in. There’s the promise of tomatoes, in about four weeks.

For dinner tonight, I thought I would go to the local YaYa chicken place. The chicken is seasoned Greek style and grilled, so it’s very healthy. When I got there, right about dinner time, they informed me that they were out of chicken. (!) This was a problem, since I’d spent the entire afternoon cleaning out my refrigerator, and now there was nothing (interesting) left to eat.

On my dejected way back home, I stopped at the market. Nothing looked good. I mean, nothing. The watermelons looked peaked and pale, with too much rind. The strawberries didn’t look as good as the fresh ones from the yard last week. The California peaches were way too hard. I wandered over to the deli section, which also includes hot food, and was totally unimpressed. I circled the entire store three times looking for salvation. The store manager probably thought I was casing the joint. A well-known local news anchor who recently committed suicide was caught shoplifting $300 worth of groceries from that very store, so I think he gives all middle aged women the evil eye.

In the end, I picked up a cantaloupe that definitely wasn’t ripe and a container of pineapple that looked yellow and yummy. Where I live, you just don’t know about fruits and vegetables until you get your produce home and eat it. What looks delicious in the store is often a piece of fruit with the consistency of a slice of redwood disguised in bright food coloring or shiny wax.

I’ll check it out later. For now… I’m just chillin’ – the queen of my castle.


They don’t scare me or the cat, but they sure scare the hubby and daughter…

Silly people. It’s just a bug.

Bad Kitty

Well, I can’t really call Max a “kitty” anymore, since he’s almost nine months old. Already he looks like an adult cat. Sometimes he acts like one too, playing the aloof card where before he was all about getting snuggles and kisses. After his one-day escape a couple of weeks ago, I thought he had gotten the wild oats out of his system. I was wrong.

I tell myself, at least he doesn’t bite me hard anymore. That’s a good thing.

I’ve found that he does have some “bad kitty” attributes. Like a lot of house cats, Max likes feet. He has taken a shine to nibbling at toes at night. Usually we are in a deep sleep when he attacks. I’m the kind of person who is cold all over except for my feet. My feet dangle outside of my blankets, and that has made for a wonderful target. There’s nothing like being startled out of a pleasant dream by the gnashing of kitty teeth, even if it’s only in play.

I’ve also noticed that like a lot of kitties, Max likes dirty socks. He’ll drag them out of laundry baskets and fling them all over the house. Of course, he doesn’t do this while we are at home; he waits until we go to work. Perhaps he’s playing with himself, or perhaps he is expressing his displeasure over our absence. Thank goodness summer is around the bend and socks will be off the wardrobe menu for a couple of months.

Max has also developed a taste for butter. I know this because I usually leave my butter out on the counter, and there have been more than one occasion where I’ve seen tiny kitty-sized tongue prints on the butter in my butter dish. Learning about this has necessitated the storing of butter in the refrigerator. Oh, well. That’s probably where it belongs anyway.

I learned early on not to leave my knitting on the couch. He made a spider web out of the entire lower level and part of the second floor by weaving yarn over everything. The only way I could clear a path to the kitchen was to machete through the string, thus destroying several skeins of very expensive yarn. He taught me a lesson, I’ll say.

Last weekend, I decided to place some of my hardier houseplants out on the back deck. They grow so much better in direct sunlight and with rain water. I use the summer to fatten them up for their eventual return to the wintertime dungeon that is my house. As I was dragging some of the larger ones out, I noticed that Max had decided to play in the dirt on some of the bigger ones. I thought he’d grown out of that bad habit once his tiny kitty body had become too big for my six-foot bamboo plant pot. Unbeknownst to me, he had shifted his attentions to my massive aloe vera, a plant that because of its nature needs little or no tending. Of course, with plants like that, I don’t pay attention.

I only have one thing to say: Bad Kitty.