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.

Home Alone

Mr. Demonic and his “boy” (I call him the other “b” word most of the time) are over on the West Coast of the state on a mission. They are moving a classroom from one store location to another one in the same mall.

This calls for an overnight stay. This is because the West Coast is a long drive away. They could come home, but it would be after midnight by the time they get back into town.

I have no problem being home alone. In fact, I rather enjoy the unencumbrance.

For one thing, I can do what I want, when I want. Like eat junk food. I had junk food for dinner, and it was sinfully awful. I will not divulge which form of junk I consumed, just know that my cholesteral is probably peaking even as I type.

For another thing, I can lay out my craft work. Take over the entire living room. I did this, until my fingers got numb. My fingers don’t take long to be numbed.

I can play my etudes on the violin. If Mr. D is home, I can only play melodies. Etudes are studies and they are not supposed to sound harmonius. No, they are supposed to confound your brain and your fingers at the same time, contain more flats than sharps, and sound like the cries from Hell. In fact, they are hellish for the first couple of weeks until I figure out when to shift and what the notes are. In the meantime, it sounds like a cat in heat.

I took the opportunity of Mr. D’s absence at work to get caught up on some other projects. I worked on some computer designed brochures, business cards and the like that I had been putting off for weeks.

I worked out a little too. I work out very little, because working out is boring. I can only take fifteen minutes of it. I cannot work out when Mr. D is around because his workout machine is next to mine. He likes to watch golf or the news, and I like music. He also sweats like a pig. I work up a mild sweat. Sweating like a pig I save for mowing the lawn in 100% humidity.

When Mr. D is gone, I can work on my writing. Thus, my presence here in the dark tapping at the keys. I’m about one third of the way finished with my YA novel. I am working slowly compared to some, but compared to myself only a year ago, I’m on freakin’ fire!

I haven’t heard from Mr. D. I think he took his friend to the casino. Good for them.

I think I will get a glass of wine and go to bed early. I’m entirely wiped out from my loneliness.

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.

Mohawk Boyfriend

This weekend we were treated to a visit from my daughter’s current Boy Du Jour.

Now Ms. MiniD has had countless BDJs in the last year. I’ve run out of fingers and am working on the toes for my abacus. This is because Ms. MiniD is quite attractive. She’s also flighty, ADD, loud and seemingly self-absorbed. The ADD could be the reason why she tires of them quickly and then moves on.

BDJ showed up at the house on Thursday. He had taken the train from Chicago. He lives in California with his family, his mom, a successful character actress of small and large screen (if you saw her, you’d know who she is) and step-dad, a director. They were visiting the older brother and his girlfriend in the Windy City.

My daughter had only been home three days when BDJ came over for a visit. It wasn’t even enough time to let the dust settle on her suitcase.

BDJ endured a five hour train trip, but arrived with plenty of enthusiasm. It is at this point that I’m going to refer to him by his new name, The Mohawk Boyfriend.

That’s because just before he left California, he decided to get a Mohawk haircut. And he doesn’t just have hair, he has red, curly hair.

Lest you think this kid is Goth or some sort of aberrant creep, I will reassure you that he’s far from it. In fact, Mohawk BF is quite personable. He matches my daughter in verbal decibels which is a good thing. Her first two boyfriends were soft-spoken.

He also seems to be quite intelligent, even though his speech is peppered with California-isms like “gnarly.”

He ate everything I put before him, including brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus.

The Mohawk BF stayed in my daughter’s room. This was quite upsetting to my husband. Mr. Demonic tends to view his youngest child as a child, when in actuality she is almost 19.

I like the Mohawk BF and told him so. I also warned that my approval is the kiss of death for the relationship, to which he laughed it off.  This is true. My daughter once loved Beanie Babies, but as soon as I expressed an interest, hers cooled. When she got a bird, I found I liked it a lot. Then she decided she didn’t like birds. I liked the first boyfriend and the second boyfriend, but she didn’t like that we liked them so much. I think that’s why she dumped them.

November in a Nutshell Part I

I’ve had to chop this up, since November was such a huge month. So expect my life in nutshell installments over the next couple of days.

NaNoWriMo = a success. I told myself that I was going to use the month of November to get the lead out of my shorts and write a substantial amount of words for the novel that has been gathering dust in my brain. It took me a year and a half to write 70K words. It took me 29 days to write 50K. Yes, I am lazy. But that’s progress. If you’re a fledgling author, I would highly recommend the NaNo route for you next year. If you are highly motivated, as I was, you will automatically reserve a certain amount of time each day to write. I am hoping to continue with the regimen, but it’s hard to say. I have some personal issues that I must address shortly. (More on that later.) Plus, I’m lazy.

I used my real work time to play, so that I wouldn’t have to play once I started writing. This means I was on Facebook during the morning playing Scramble. For those who don’t know, Scramble is very addicting. If you like words, don’t go there; it will be hard to extricate yourself. Depending on the day, I would either leave the office at 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. and go home and write. Silence works best for me. Weekends, I wrote in the morning. Most of the sessions were at least three hours long, but I did have a few days where I marathoned about six hours.

The thing about NaNo-ing is that you have a lot of cheerleaders in your corner. Not only did I have trusted friends online urging me on to victory (like the Little Fluffy Cat, Rochester, Dr. B, Corina and others), I also had some real people giving me some good advice. I reached out and did some research, which got the people I spoke to excited for me. They actually want to read the story now, even though my novel is quite chicky and these are old guys. (Well, a little older than I am.) I needed to know how much a guy like this would make if he had an office and agency of a certain size, and they were very helpful. These two guys were actually very funny. I told them that my protagonist had a son who went to school in San Francisco. I told them about the no-good husband, and warned that he wasn’t my real husband, the dear Mr. Demonic. Then they asked me where the family lived, and I said “in my house.” They thought that was hilarious. Research is a good thing, especially if you’re clueless like me. Well, I knew about the story lines, the emotions. Being a mom, being a daughter. But the technical jazz, yes, I needed help. The NaNo people also send you emails to cheer you on. This was beneficial.

I think I have about ten chapters to go before I can wrap this puppy up. Yeah! My character is making a cross-country trek to California. She’s in Colorado now. She must go deep inside herself to find herself, after trauma. It turns out her son has to do the same thing. All ends well in San Francisco, which is where all should end well.

While thinking about the mom-son relationship, I got to thinking about the mom-daughter relationship. So, guess what? As soon as this book is put to bed (and the crazy novella I’ve been working on that just needs an ending), I’m starting another book. It will have a grandma, mom and teenage daughter, set in my northern Tundra town.

Oh. I’m so excited about that.

How I Proposed to My Husband (or Got Him to Propose to Me)

Although it seems rather gauche, women have been proposing to men since the beginning of time, and I don’t see any change in the situation. My son’s girlfriend proposed to him. I’m a little leery of a couple of twenty-somethings getting married before either has a college degree. If one or both had a full time job, that might sway me. However, I’ve been a daughter-in-law before, and I can tell you from experience that the man’s mother should not say a word. So I’m not talking.

The girlfriend’s mother is here in San Francisco. She flew all the way from Japan to meet my son and see his recital. The girlfriend’s mother doesn’t speak much English, but I got a lot of information out of her anyway. She thinks the marriage is a bad idea. She wants her daughter to go home after graduation. I doubt that’s going to happen.

I started thinking about how Mr. Demonic and I got together. I asked him out in the beginning. I insinuated myself into his life soon after. (Not unlike Mr. D Jr.’s girlfriend.) The difference was that after the first month of dating, Mr. Demonic moved 750 miles away from me. Despite the distance problem, we managed to maintain a long distance relationship for two and a half years. I’m not saying it was easy; there were times where I thought we might not make it, but in the end, love prevailed.

At first, we would take turns flying to the other’s city. He was a big shot, I was making good money at the federal agency, and plane tickets were under $160 round trip back then.

After a year of this, I decided to make a move. It was obvious that he never was going to do it. I didn’t pop the question, per se. Instead, I took the roundabout approach. During each visit to his Rust Belt city, I would make appointments for interviews with the local offices of my federal agency. I was looking for a transfer.

Transferring wasn’t going to happen. My ex-federal agency was hard to transfer around in. You’d think that they’d want to keep the natives happy, but it was a matter of the union. Going on job interviews gave me something to do when he was working. Mr. Demonic didn’t know this. He thought I was serious. (I was only partially serious.)

This caused the first major rift in our budding relationship. He told me not to make plans to move. I was adamant. He told me I’d have to find my own place. I said fine. I wasn’t fine though. I was pissed off.

After that, there was a cooling of ardor. I decided to concentrate on my own life in my own section of the Tundra, and took a couple of steps back. My new life consisted of going to parties and hanging out with friends, male and female. Oh, I still deeply loved Mr. Demonic, but I was done with the pursuit.

I applied for airline positions. I decided to enroll in a travel agent class. (HA! That would have been a bad move. Now everyone is their own travel agent!) I quit my federal agency job and got one working for the university. One cold January day, I was running late for work. There was an ice storm and my alarm didn’t go off because we had a power outage. I disembarked from the university bus, and began to run in the crosswalk toward my building.

I never made it. I was wearing clogs (a bad choice for winter in the Tundra) and fell down in the street. (Yes, I’m very uncoordinated.) I couldn’t get up. Students were passing me by, and I couldn’t get up. Eventually, after a few light cycles, a police car pulled up and threw me into the back seat. They took me to the hospital where I learned I had broken my leg.

Mr. Demonic found out, and had me discharged and sent for me. Thus began the long plane trip with my broken leg in a cast up to my hip. He wanted to take care of me. I thought, “Isn’t that sweet?” but also thought it was nuts to go 750 miles to be taken care of.

Sometime after I had arrived and was safely dispatched to his apartment, loaded down painkillers, he told me we were going to get married.

And we did. About six months later.

I Know He Says He’s Working On It…

I know he says he’s working on it, but I can’t wait to for the news to come hot off the press. I have a busy day scheduled and only so much time allotted for playing on the internet.

Therefore, I will dive right in and give you all the Reader’s Digest condensed version of How I Met My Husband, even though I might have blogged about it before. I’m way too lazy to search through and find it. So here goes…

How I Met My Husband… by Pandemonic

It was late one night toward the end of fall. October 29, 1983, to be exact. I was working the late shift at a federal agency.

All of a sudden, a bunch of new recruits came on the workroom floor, perhaps ten or twelve. I gave them the once-over. As I spent most of my time at work, the dating pool was very shallow and drying up by the minute.

A couple of younger guys looked like possible prospects. One was attractive and blond. I try to stay away from blond men (I don’t know why, so don’t ask). He wasn’t very tall, but still, rather good looking. The other was tall, dark and handsome. Roman nose. Nice features. Beautiful dark brown hair. And he was TALL. (Since I am short, I tend to go for tall guys. Go figure.)

A supervisor told the two guys to work with me. HOT DIGGEDITY DOG! The blond guy was aloof. He looked forlorn being up at 11 p.m. at night, and terribly out of place. The tall guy was talking to the short blond dude. That’s what happened in this particular facility. People who started working together tended to band together, and there was no clique jumping.

Of course, I didn’t believe in enforcement of the classes, especially when it came to the dating pool. I was known to clique-jump whenever. So I started talking to Tall, Dark and Handsome. Not just there, but in the break room too. (Horrors! That was really in bad form!)

It took about a month, but I asked Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome (Mr. Demonic) out to dinner at my place. And, as they say, the rest is history.

**Wait a minute. I do think I posted this before… Perhaps I should blog about how I got him to ask me to marry him…

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.

The Last of the Tomatoes

We’ve had a really nice, long growing season this year. It’s October 17, and I still have tomatoes. My house plants are still on the deck.

I know it’s not going to last long, but I’m going to take it. There have been many years when we were covered in snow by October 16. As some might know, I do not like winter. In fact, I despise it. One of these days, when I hit the lottery or the economy comes back (which is much like hitting the lottery), I hope to move somewhere where the sun shines more than half the year. Somewhere reasonably warm all the time. If I never see snow again, it will be too soon for me.

When the season draws to a close, the garden looks a little ratty. The tomatoes are smaller and thicker, and they ripen faster on the window sill. The basil is leggy and overgrown. The oregano suffers from some sort of bug eating it. Even the chives look a bit droopy. I have some sort of squash growing, but I’m not sure if it’s an eating squash or a gourd. It’s very peculiar looking. The brussels sprouts are starting to bulk up. Even in the Tundra, we don’t pick them until December.

The good thing about fall is that the squirrels have a bounty of acorns on the ground, so they are leaving the veggies alone. I still wish there was some sort of squirrel birth control…

I don’t like the fall. Oh, sure, the trees are pretty when the colors turn, but the air is a bit brisk. Fall is the prelude to winter, the season I really dread. It could be my age, but I don’t think so. I’ve never caught on to the Winterwonderland school of thought, even though I’ve lived in the Tundra for 20 years and in the Deep Tundra for 11 years before that. Unlike some who embrace frigid temperatures, cold and snow, I recoil from it all. If I could get away with sleeping from the end of November to late March, I would.

Last year, my physician and I did an assessment. I had always suspected, but wasn’t sure, that I had Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). In looking over my history, we found that I was only depressed during the winter. This knowledge is helpful. Instead of waiting until I’m in a sad and lethargic coma, I get my medicine in advance of the days growing shorter and colder.

It’s not retirement in a sunny, temperate climate, but it’ll do in the meantime.

A Cure for the Red-Eye

I’ve been flying back and forth between the Left Coast and the Rust Belt quite a bit, and most of the time, I’ve had to make use of what is known in the airline vernacular as the “Red Eye.” This means the plane leaves late at night, and it arrives at your destination early in the morning. Five a.m. is a good time for red eyes to come in. That goes for both planes and people.

I used to hate doing the red eye. This is because I can’t sleep sitting up, and I can’t sleep with people watching me. I also can’t sleep in uncomfortable chairs, and I can’t get comfortable in an airplane chair.

One of my employees, who got married in Italy to another one of my employees (what a happy union! Too bad I couldn’t make it, since someone had to mind the store…) gave me a sure fire cure for traveling on red eye flights.

First, make sure you get up early in the morning, even earlier than normal.

Second, run around like a possessed person all day long, so that you are sufficiently tired by 9 p.m.

Third, have a generous alcoholic beverage when arriving at your gate. This takes the edge off from fighting rush hour traffic in downtown LA, having to have been stopped as part of a routine check of all cars coming into LAX, and then having to wait in the security checkpoint for an extra long period of time since they were training in a newbie. While considering alcoholic beverages, consider a double margarita made with Cuervo Gold, rocks, no salt. That’s what I did.

Fourth, forty-five minutes before your plane departs, down a couple of Benadryls. If you must know, in my case, that will be in approximately one hour and twenty minutes. Set your watches, please.

Fifth, or perhaps Zero, make sure you have your own comfortable pillow. I used the one that I had flattened with my butt on the bumpy car ride out to this part of the country.

I have found that by following this prescription for the red eye, by the time you settle into your seat, you are so tired that you can’t help but fall asleep, instantly.

By the time you wake up, it is 5:15 a.m. and the flight attendant is nudging you from your seat.

Try it. It works.