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.

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.

Mr. Demonic Jr. Gets Married, and Other Earth Shattering Events

My son, the outrageously talented Mr. Demonic Junior, emailed me three weeks ago on a Friday afternoon and announced he was getting married the following Tuesday.

What was most curious about the email was that there was no cc: to his father.

Eventually he told his father. Like twelve hours before.

To bring some of you clueless about the Demonic household up to speed, Mr. D Jr. is recently turned 22 and has recently graduated from a chi-chi music conservatory (where he was the recipient of the President’s Scholarship and was also on the Dean’s List) with a degree in piano performance.

Mr. D Jr. has just enough left in his college fund for a year and a half of graduate study. However, the previous 17 years of education have left him with a bitter aftertaste when it comes to academics. He announced wanting to take a year off before making a move.

(Motherly input here: if anyone deserves a year off, that would be ME.)

In the ensuing months, Mr. D Jr. has been applying for positions. Unfortunately for him, he lives in San Francisco where every other person is a musician or artist. In the meantime, he’s been doing some gigs here and there.

Yesterday he played for a funeral.

If you knew Mr. D Jr., you’d know that he tends to gravitate toward funeral marches. His fascination with them began long ago, at age 7 when he discovered the Chopin funeral march. He likes the dark Russian pieces evocative of depression and angst.

When I told Mr. Demonic of his son’s funeral gig, he laughed and said Junior should print up business cards and hand them out to local funeral homes. People die in San Francisco, you know.

Back to the wedding… With such short notice, I was unable to attend. EVERYONE was unable to attend, which caused a furor among my family. You see, we like to party. (Mr. D’s side doesn’t party at all. They rarely speak to each other.) Mr. and Mrs. D Jr. tied the knot at the Courthouse in downtown San Francisco, a stunning building to be sure.

Basically, they did what his father and I did, but for different reasons. Mr. D says to me one day, “Let’s get married, but I don’t want a big wedding.” to which I reply, “I’ll go along with that, but only if a get a substantial diamond to make up for the lack of party.”

So yeah, it wasn’t exactly like that.

Mr. D Jr. had been dating the girl for two years. I like her. She’s rather quirky in some ways, but basically good to him. I’ve only witnessed one tiff between them and it was nasty as all tiffs can be. I’ve even used her as the basis for one of the characters in my first novel.

However…

I am not without motherly reservations. Junior is only 22. He doesn’t have steady, gainful employment. (She works part time at Victoria’s Secret, not exactly a money maker.) There’s also an immigration issue, which is why I think they speeded up the process to begin with. Her student visa extention was coming up shortly and she’d have to go back to Japan.

Don’t worry, my dear readers. Mr. & Mrs. D Jr. are NOT pregnant. Wouldn’t that be the icing on the cake?

However…

I cannot be the kind of mother-in-law my last one was. Come to think of it the first mother-in-law was rather a bitch too. I just can’t be that way. I remember many days crying over the tenuous relationship and at the end the lack of relationship. I had no mother of my own so I adopted my MIL. Bad deal. I expected as much from her as I was giving and it wasn’t going to happen.

So I’m being a good MIL, congratulatory whilst biting my tongue (again and again and again).

Oh, this is rather long. I’m going to have to put the other earth shattering events in another post.

Mr. Demonic Gives Up the Ghost

Actually, Mr. Demonic’s car finally breathed its last, and it’s about freaking time.

When last we left Mr. D, he was nursing along a very old Malibu with over 250,000 miles on it. It’s a car that’s seen a lot of action, first with a multitude of teenagers who invariably aim straight for curbs.

At 80,000 miles, he coopted the car and started driving it himself. At that point, it was still a reasonably nice ride. Leather seats, nice stereo. Luckily he took off the stickers and the dual brake. Such items are a dead giveaway as to the perilous nature of the operator.

Fast forward a hundred thousand miles, four years and several pots of coffee later: the car is beginning to show its age. It shakes, it shimmies, and the worst part of all, it smells like rotting caffeine. Hint: you don’t want to set your purse on the floor.

Nonetheless, Mr. D decides to take it on numerous cross country journeys. He motors to the Twin Cities, to Kansas City, and to Nashville, in addition to driving it back and forth across our Rust Belt state several times a week. I held my breath every time he backed the car out of the driveway.

This was two years ago.

After that, it was a matter of principle. It was pride. It was a matter of tenacity. Plus, he’s a tightwad. Mix all of these wonderful characteristics together and you have a person taking his driving life into his own hands. He wasn’t going to get rid of the car until it died and he was darned ready to give up the car. He was going to see clear to the end of the relationship.

Three months ago, as the odometer edged nearer to the 250K mark, Mr. D’s Malibu began to run even rougher than before. It smelled of burning fluids. I was afraid to get in it to go for a quick run to the grocery store. Then he started to run out of gas on a regular basis. Like three or four times a week.

For those who know Mr. D, he has run out of gas with amazing regularity. He times it so that just as the last fumes are circulating through the engine, he rolls right up to a gas pump. It’s something of a joke. On those other unlucky occasions when he’s stranded, he calls other people to come and get him out of his fix. That’s because even though I’m the wife, I think it’s ridiculous in the modern age to run out of gas. Gas stations are like fast food joints, there’s one on every street corner.

I ran out of gas once. I was on southbound I-35 north of Minneapolis. I was 20. It was 1976.

For me, walking two miles to a gas station that one time cured me. My gas gauge never goes below 1/4.

Mr. D’s car appeared to suffer from a malfunctioning catalytic converter, which was replaced. Twice. However, he still continued to run out of gas. This is because the gas gauge hasn’t worked in six months, and with the catalytic converter gone awry, his miles per gallon fluctuated. Wildly. Most of the time he was getting right around ten miles to the gallon. Or less.

Cash for Clunkers came in the news, and I told Mr. D (no, I begged. I implored. I nagged.) please, oh please, could you maybe see fit to get a new car? Something with a working gas gauge maybe?

He was resistant to my idea. He still had hope. (!) He wanted to see the odometer hit 300K.

Last week, his car bit the proverbial dust. Mr. D called around and learned that since the car was titled in the business name, he couldn’t take advantage of the Cash for Clunkers program. (What? Businesses don’t have clunkers?)

But it’s over for good, so let’s get out a requiem, or a pitcher of margaritas. He cleaned out the car over the weekend. I’m embarrassed to say we’ve pulled up to valet parking at ritzy restaurants in that sad ride.

He’s not sure what the next car will be. It’s the end of summer and they all come back to roost, so he’ll choose one out of the fleet and probably drive it until it drops.

OMG! I’ve been gone for over a month!

I just realized that I hadn’t visited WordPress for awhile, but I was amazed to find out after just logging in today that it’s been over a month!

What the hell?

There’s much news and no time to devote to sharing it. For those of you who wish to follow my escapades, send me a quick note at the end of this entry and I will send you an email with links to what I’ve been doing.

Let’s just say summer  has been busy.

The best thing is that I’ve been writing, usually for an hour or two every day. Yesterday I pumped out four pages of the novel which sprung from the loins of the novel I was working on. Tandem novels! Whee!

My garden is super, all in place. Except for the critters, things are going great. Now if the weather would cooperate. We haven’t had much for a summer this year. It’s mostly been cold, rainy, foggy and gray. Just like San Francisco but without the culture or the sushi.

I’ll try to come back this weekend…

A Guilty Pleasure

Hello, all, I have been away.

Not that anyone cares…

Life is full of things to do, especially this time of year. My husband got the bright idea to pressure the home office into putting up a web site for us, since because of the name we cannot do it ourselves. Actually, he’s been nagging them for about five years. This week, it finally became operational.

It’s still in its infancy, which means I have to do a lot of back and forth work. My husband has been driving all over the state and is unable to work on the bugs, but he’s not too adept at bugging, so it’s a good thing he’s out of the office.

It’s hot here, summer came up and over us in about two days time. Really, it’s not too hot,  but the humidity is horrible. Going from the house to the car to the office is excruciating. I don’t know what people did before air conditioning.

This morning I woke up at 6 and started mowing the front lawn. (Don’t worry, I have an electric lawnmower that makes less noise than my vacuum.) Even though it was very early and not yet hot, by the time I finished 45 minutes later, I was dripping in sweat.

I received a huge bead shipment and it has taken me a few weeks to sort through it. In fact, I’m still not finished, but I have all winter for that.

My one guilty pleasure came when I went to my favorite discount store, Nordstrom Rack. Nordstrom the real store is nice, but very pricey. I feel like I’m hitting the lottery when I shop at the Rack. Last week, I had a coupon. I didn’t need anything in particular, but I’m getting to the age where I don’t need much these days.

I happened upon a pair of marked down shoes. These weren’t just regular marked down shoes, these were Ferragamo slides. Originally sold for $500, now less than a hundred and with a $20 coupon, I couldn’t let them go to someone else’s feet.

Before I continue, people who don’t know me must realize that I have a thing for shoes. I sometimes buy shoes just because they are architecturally superior and sometimes because they are works of art. I also collect vintage shoes, especially those produced during the disco era. The clothes sucked then, but the shoes were to die for.

I would never pay $500 for a pair of shoes, but I can see why people do. The Ferragamos are the most comfortable, softest sandals I’ve ever worn. The leather is soft like cool butter, and even though there is a bit of a heel involved, it’s not hard to stay atop them. Shoes that are poorly envisioned are easy to teeter off of.

If you must know, I’m not wearing them yet. It’s because it’s too darn hot and I don’t want my sweat to ruin them. I’ll wait for a cold spell before I take those puppies out for a stroll.

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.