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.

Here’s Hoping 2009 Will Be Better Than This Year

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, and I’m raising a glass to my friends today because I’ll be conspicuously absent tomorrow. I still can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by. It seems like only yesterday I was writing the word “January” in the space where I date my checks.

This year I’ve seen my nest emptied and partially refilled. I’ve seen my retirement go down in flames. I’ve seen business take a nasty turn for the worse. I’ve seen my house lose approximately 60% of its value since 2005.

I don’t like to think I am negative, but that I’m a realist. I can’t see where things will get better, not yet, anyway. That’s because I really don’t think we’ve hit bottom yet. When that happens, it will be a life altering event. I’ve seen lives mildly changed but none altered. We’re like the well to do yet clueless voyagers on the Titanic, still drinking and dancing while the ship sinks.

It’s hard to keep my mind on anything positive, but I’m doing my level best. Still, 2009 looms large, like a thunderhead cloud ready to spill downward into a class 5 tornado. All I can do is hang on for the ride. That’s why I will uncork a couple of bottles of Mumm tomorrow night and toast the passage of time and drown my sorrows in the same swig.

Oh, well. There’s one more thing I can do.

There’s always praying for the lottery.

Update on the November Nutshell Vomit and Drama Episode

1. I haven’t yet received the medical bills. But Mr. Demonic will send them to the BF’s mom, as soon as…

2. My daughter writes her an apology letter. She’s still working on it.

3. The two are still together. They are only apart on Facebook.

4. My husband refers to him as “Doofus” very likely thinking of  “That ’70s Show” when Jackie’s father called Kelso the same. I sort of like that term of endearment.

5. BF is driving Ms. MiniD up to San Francisco on Saturday. This is because the cheapest airfare I could get back to this Frozen Tundra (and believe me, it IS NOW) was for her to leave from San Francisco instead of LA. Don’t ask me, I manipulated the dates on four different browsers before I was satisfied with a plane ticket that wasn’t going to cost us an arm and a leg. (She’s a darling girl, but hardly worth an arm and a leg.)

6. Ms. MiniD recently went through alcohol counseling at school. You may remember that I emailed the Dean. Well, she talked to the Dean and several counselors. They discussed how alcohol works in her system and the steps she should take to lessen the effects. She said they thought she had a high tolerance, and therefore didn’t feel buzzed until it was too late. (I don’t know about this, I’m just reporting what she told me. Sounds crazy.) Ms. MiniD wasn’t at all mad that I ratted her out. Using the safe drinking tips (!) given by the school, she was able to party last weekend at the beach and not throw up! I would say progress has been made, but that would be nuts.

7. Ms. MiniD arrives home Sunday morning. I put her on a red-eye, and she has to be able to catch the connecting flight in Minneapolis. Hopefully, she won’t sleep through the boarding call.

8. Ms. MiniD has prepared a menu of possible dinner items. This is all stuff I normally make, but back then in her high school hey-day, she thought my food was “weird” and so she never ate any of it. Oh, how a semester away changes a person…

9. I’m not looking forward to the partial filling of my empty nest. (The other one has a temporary JOB! Yes! and a wedding to attend to next month.)

My Pledge is in the Mail

Mr. Random Name is hosting a  Scheharazade Pledge for cyber world’s famous David Rochester. So far, an unofficial poll of pledges finds that the people are embracing the David Rochester situation with open arms.

I’m a good guy, and I like to donate to just causes whenever possible. That is why, after cooking the books and going over my expenses, I have decided to jump on the Pledge bandwagon. David, my contribution is in today’s mail. To prove it, I have included photographic evidence.

I know that it’s Sunday, but you should be receiving this envelope by Wednesday at the latest. I have used a business envelop (being cheap) so Mr. R, please don’t think that this is junk mail and throw it away. As you can see, this is a tidy sum. I’m hoping that it will at least keep you in kitty litter for a couple of months. Or cat food. Or your favorite coffee. Or, God forbid, if someone should happen to catch your eye and you decide to take her to a movie (please choose the matinee so you have some money leftover for popcorn).

Now, on the off chance that Mr. Rochester really doesn’t want to accept my “pledge” because maybe he has a problem with actually being a charity, I will offer this alternative. Mr. R can edit my novel, at least offer $25 worth of editing. Is that fair? Otherwise, consider this a gift.

I am proud to be part of the Scheharazade Pledge. I only wish I could give you more.

An Entirely Strange Dream

Last night was the first time in seventy-two hours that I finally got a decent night’s sleep. I’ve had other things on my mind, including payroll, cabling my house and getting the phone back (a long sad story that ends with the sentence “And that’s why I HATE AT&T!), a power outage at work resulting in loss of a server (it’s still down), my kids in California calling me for this item or that, and other deadlines too numerous to outline here. After all of that, I was spent and really wanted to sleep. So, I drank a half bottle of wine last night, something I don’t usually do, and downed a Tylenol PM.

I can report that I slept well.

However, I did have one entirely strange dream, which I’m going to write down here before I forget:

The set up: As some of you know, I had an “Internet Boyfriend.” I say “had” because even though we are still friendly, he’s no longer MIB. He had a summer filled with a lot of activity and took a short break from here, which was fine by me. Our interactions have been very sparse, considering that we used to chat almost every day.

The dream: I dreamt that MIB was in bed with me last night. The weird thing was that my husband was also in bed. I was sandwiched right in the middle of the two. In my dream, I was dead tired (much like I was really) and really wanted to go to sleep. MIB was to my left, dressed from head to toe in a long nightgown. It wasn’t a girly nightgown, but a plain white one. My husband, on the other side of me, was dressed in what he normally goes to bed in – a tee-shirt and his underwear. That’s what I was wearing too.

MIB was turned toward me, and talking the entire night. It was quite annoying, so I turned away from him and toward my husband and started drifting off. My husband was perturbed at the internet boyfriend in the bed, so he turned away and started twitching, pounding his pillow, and generally making a huge commotion. I couldn’t fall asleep because of it.

I tried to sleep on my back, but I’m not much of a back sleeper. Besides, I had MIB on one side of me talking about this and that, and my husband on the other side rolling around in bed like a mini-earthquake.

And so I drifted off to sleep, but it was a dissatisfying type of sleep. It was like sleeping on a train or airplane or in the hospital. You think and hope and pray you will get some rest, but because other things are going on around you, part of your brain is somewhat alert just in case it has to wake the rest of you in the event of a crash, turbulence or a nurse coming to poke you in the ass with a needle.

Unbelievably, my real sleep went fairly well. When my alarm went off at 6 a.m., I got up, turned it off and went back to sleep so quickly, I didn’t even realize I had done it.

I hope I dream something more soothing tonight.

Frank Sex Talk with the Daughter’s Boyfriend

That’s right, you heard me correctly.

I was answering my Facebook mail when I witnessed a rather tense exchange between my daughter, Ms. MiniD and her current boy du jour. BDJ is still in our Midwest Rust Belt declining city, going to community college and working at the local broasted chicken place (18 outlets in the metro area), and pining away for Ms. MiniD, while she has been busy at school, making friends, and going to the beach and Disneyland.

He has a visit to LA planned for a month from now, and their notes to each other started out with “oooh baby, baby, miss you, love you, blah, blah, blah” and have now ended up with tense “get off my dick”s (that’s from Ms. MiniD… yes, colorful language she has, I agree).

So, I wrote an encouraging private email to the lad, advising him to lay low when she gets bitchy. Her level of bitchiness comes and goes, just like the tide. She can be an annoying pain in the arse, but she means well and snaps out of it once the meds take effect. I also stressed to him that she really needs to get straight As or Mr. Demonic is going to have a major fit. He’s already pissed off about the school situation, and none of us wants to see him SUPER pissed.

BDJ wrote back and asked me what I meant about putting the chill on the situation. (You’d think an 18 year old would know what that means, but hey…) So I explained it to him in words that a twelve year old could understand. Then I said, “Oh, by the way, I found some interesting surprises in Ms. MiniD’s room as I was shoveling out the garbage. Care to explain yourself?”

The interesting thing was an empty condom wrapper.

My daughter is 18, which makes her a legal adult in the eyes of the law. Also, in my eyes. It’s her body. I’ve been trying to talk to her about sex since she was 8, but she is loathe to ask my opinion or discuss the topic. I remember the first day of her first period, which also happened to be the first day of middle school. She was aghast, mortified and crying, but still didn’t want to talk to me.

BDJ hurriedly wrote back that the wrapper belonged to the previous BDJ, the dude who up until last week worked in our office. OH, GREAT, is what I thought. I was contemplating if my daughter was indeed a skanky ho, or just a girl with a lot of hormones. But I thought I would use this moment of incredibly uncomfortable candor to slip something else in.

“Do you think you can talk her into getting on BC?” I wrote back. “You know, condoms are NOT 100% effective. I’m too friggin’ young to be a grandma.” Then I said, “Oh, by the way, you’re welcome around the house any time.”

BDJ wrote back that he would certainly work on that for me. Then he told me when he would be online next and that he would talk to me later.

Hmm… That worked fairly well. Now I have to get Mr. Demonic Jr.’s girlfriend to talk him out of taking a year off and into applying for graduate school.

Japanese: It’s Not Easy

After some consideration, weighing the pros and cons of home study against that of being in the class room, I opted for a full package of Japanese from Rosetta Stone.

To give some background, I AM part Japanese. However, I am painfully ignorant of the language, since my mother rarely spoke it at home. When I was a small child, I knew a little bit, like hello, goodbye, the numbers, and a few enchanting Japanese nursery songs, but what one learns when they are under the age of two, one usually forgets by the time they reach kindergarten. And so it was with me.

I’d always wanted to learn Japanese, but I never could find the time. The local university has a Japanese program, but it involves driving to a far western suburb two evenings a week. I can barely commit to my violin lesson one evening a week, and so for the last two years have almost signed up before backing away at the last moment. Last year, it was because a girl quit the office with little notice right as school started in September. I didn’t mind losing her (she was a terrible employee), but that meant I had to pick up the slack in the evenings.

Last year, my son started going out with a Japanese exchange student. Besides being very cute, she is also teaching him Japanese. I’m amazed at how much of the language he knows, even if he does pronounce everything with a stilted Midwestern accent. It’s the same stilted Midwestern accent he has when speaking German.

This year, my Japanese cousin came to visit me for the weekend. (Yes, she flew halfway across the world to stay here two and a half days and then flew back.) I really wanted to be able to converse with her, but I couldn’t. Thank goodness she speaks English.

My sister and I want to visit the relatives over there, before my aunt passes away. We have plenty of cousins over there too. The target date for our trip is next summer, although it could be even farther in the future.

Now, Rosetta Stone. I’ve only finished about one third of the first segment, and it’s tough. I can say a few things, hello, goodbye, apple, eating, eggs, juice, water. I can say that my cat is running. (!)

In addition to learning the language, I’m also learning the alphabet. Kanji is extremely difficult. The language has a lot of symbols. My brain is really small. It’s hard to get all of those symbols into my tiny brain.

My opinion: Japanese is not easy. If you are faint of heart, don’t even go there.

If you want to use my Rosetta Stone in a year or so, call me.