I Wish I Could Still Fit into My Bikini…

‘Nuff said.

Advertisements

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.

SAD No More, But Still a Procrastinator

Many of you have considered me missing in action. I admit, I have been.

If you think that the past few weeks were full of progress and hard work, you’d be dead wrong.

My name is Pandemonic, and I am a slacker. Show me a 12-step program, please.

At least I had a good time! (I believe this was the argument I gave myself in my 20s when I was enjoying the late 1970s by partying a bit hard.)

The most wondrous thing that happened was when the sun came up about two weeks ago and with the exception of a few rainy days, has been glorious out ever since.

Hip, hip, hooray! My SAD has disappeared!

Of course, with the advent of pleasant weather and sunshine, comes the overdoing. It’s been a long, tough winter here in the Tundra, folks. On the first day over 40 degrees, the local restaurants were carving out space on the sidewalks and getting the market umbrellas out of storage. Such actions proved premature, especially since the temps dipped back into the low 30s that night.

Still, the People of the Tundra embrace spring and summer. We’re glad for whatever sunshine comes our way. I’ve been out in the yard trying to figure out the extension of my Asian garden, pulling weeds, wrestling with grapevines, raking, you get the picture.

On rainy days, when I’ve not been glued to the Scramble board on Facebook or tweeting on Twitter, I’ve been busy making jewelry. In fact, I’ll probably catalog and Etsy my creations, because 1. I don’t have that many friends where I need this stuff to gift as presents and 2. I enjoy making it, so I am probably not going to stop in the near future. Being an artsy-craftsy type person is part of my being. Working with my hands is relaxing.

All of this outside-inside activity speaks for one thing: I am still a world-class procrastinator when it comes to my editing and writing.

But, there is some book/writing news. After eliminating all of the -LY adverbs from my book — which took much longer than I had anticipated —  and taking out a chapter and a half, I’m still left with over 167K words. I tried to refashion the first few chapters, but gave up. Slashing is not the answer here. A major transplant is in order.

I have begun to rewrite the entire first third of the book.

This is starting from scratch. My finished novel is dark and sad. It’s hard to write dark, sad, depressing stories when one is reveling in the splendor of Spring. I have to get in the proper mood, so to find my way there, I wrote a short story of dark and depressing circumstances.

This helped, but that damned sunlight beckoned.

In the meantime, I had a dream about a third book. Uh, oh, you might be thinking. Can’t she finish one project before starting another?

Well, I finished the first epic tome, so YES, I can. However, it took a lot of berating from my writing friend cheerleaders, a commitment to NaNoWriMo, and self-inflicted flogging to get to those magic words “The End.”

However, after my third novel dream, I began to worry. I do want to finish all of these projects. And I’m no spring chicken, much as spring is my season.

I’m going to have to get off my lazy butt and start working.

So if you see even less of me here, that’s the reason why.

Gah! Tearing My Hair Out!

For those of you bemoaning my lack of presence here (or not) it’s not that I don’t like you (or love you), because I really do. I’m up to my eyeballs in work, and trying to get those damnedable first four or five chapters re-written.

I spent Monday and Tuesday of last week poring over the sentences, barely able to take anything out but adverbs. That’s because my protagonist is an intelligent person, but her brains have been reduced to ditziness after 20 odd years of marriage. It’s hard to convey those abstract qualities in few words.

Wednesday I came to my senses. Though I had eliminated 5K worth of adverbs and “thats” 170K words is about 50K too many. I took to the knife and wacked out entire chunks, paragraphs falling to the wayside willy and nilly.

Re-reading my weeding, I couldn’t make any sense of it.

I took a step back on Friday and Saturday due to nice weather. Since a week’s worth of rain was in the forecast, I had to get in grape vine pruning and raking during the two good days I had available.

By Saturday night, I was feeling quite irritated with the whole thing.  I really want to get my portion of the re-write completed by the end of May, and that’s going to be tough since 1. I’m a world class procrastinator and 2. I’m lazy. “Daunting” is not a strong enough adjective to describe this task.

In addition, there’s some truth to be said for the fact that writers are often weary of their work, especially during the re-write process. Then Saturday night, I had a dream about my book, which is good. I woke up at 3 a.m. and began to think.

Such a revelation means only one thing: I’m going to have to re-write the entire first 13 chapters from scratch, taking bits and pieces from the 50K or more words I have written to describe the first part of this journey.

So, if you’re wondering where I am, I’ll be up to my eyeballs in angst.

The Drunk Man Saga

Our ex-manager no longer works for us. It’s because he ended up in the hospital back in November. We’re still not sure what was wrong with him. He couldn’t breathe, fell down in his filthy apartment, and was lacking oxygen. He spent a week in the hospital, and was released no longer able to work. He won’t tell us what is wrong, but we’re thinking emphysema, among other things.

I am referring to him as the Drunk Man, because he most likely is. Being a heavy drinker is probably what caused his problem. He thought we didn’t know, but we were all well aware of what was going on. He had one of those beet red noses, and made a mad dash for home each day at 5 p.m. to get his fix. Oh, and he was a heavy smoker as well, which came to a screeching halt after the hospital incident. That’s because I hear that oxygen is highly flammable.

Since November, we paid him twice, but when it appeared he was never coming back, we terminated him. Mr. D gave TDM a car, and continues to pay his health insurance, at least until the disability kicks in. He was grossly overpaid anyway. For the amount of money he was making, he should have done more than sleep five hours a day at his desk.

TDM now uses my husband’s “bitch” as his own. This little twerp of a man is 70 years old but can’t retire because his life is in a shambles. So he acts as a go-fer for Mr. D. Now he has become the paid go-fer for TDM.

We learned that Go-Fer has been providing TDM with groceries each week. In those groceries is three liters of vodka. I couldn’t drink three liters of vodka in three years, but I’ve seen TDM drink. I’m thinking the Go-Fer is TDM’s pusher, and I told him so. However, TDM pays well, so he’s not going to offer up his advice.

TDM now lives with his elderly mother, who liquidated her entire life on the West Coast of the state to move here. The mother stayed with us while TDM was in the hospital, and we like her a lot. TDM used to complain about his mother, but it’s true that people usually complain about their own mothers. Mr. D and I no longer have living mothers, and TDM’s mother was very nice.

Since she moved here, we have been trying to have her over for dinner. She refuses to leave TDM alone. I don’t know if she realizes he has a serious drinking problem or not. TDM takes his alcohol into his room, according to Go-Fer.

In the meantime, we promoted a guy (one that I originally hired for the office, above the objections of everyone) from instructor to TDM’s position. I was hoping this would happen. New Manager is personable, knows the office, has been teaching for over a year and I like him. Plus he smells good, which is always handy.

The drama comes in because New Manager really has the least amount of seniority. Of course, when Mr. D initially hired TDM, he had only been working as an instructor for a month. Talk about low man on the totem pole.

There’s a lot of rumblings within the ranks, and New Manager doesn’t like it, because he want everyone to like him. I told him to get a tougher skin. When you’re at the top of the food chain, lots of people aren’t going to like you. In fact, many people don’t like me, and I know it. However, the buck stops here, and that’s why I’m such a hard ass.

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.

A Pain in the Neck

I have a referral for the physical therapist, because I have a pain in my neck.

Said pain developed after going to the writers’ conference. For three days, I schlepped my bag around, which contained a computer, business cards, phone, credit card, pens and plenty of synopsis (synopses?) of my book. My bag weighed about 15 pounds.

I have a recurring neck problem, and I’m not supposed to carry anything bigger than a small wallet. This was hard to do when first ordered by my doctor. In the good old days of good necks (and other younger things), I used to carry a purse the size of a small suitcase. My cell phone was one of those enormous monster flip phones, and I had to have snacks, ready change, napkins, sunglasses, etc. My kids were younger, so it doubled as a diaper bag. This way I would only have one bag and not two.

My current choice for purse is one of those small organizer things that looks like a wallet with a long shoulder strap. I have a closet full of those. For most days, I just need a license, a credit card, my checkbook and a pen. Oh, and my cell phone, but I’ve taken to putting that in my pocket, now that I don’t have a Blackberry.

I came back from the conference a month ago, but I’ve been putting off the doctor visit until this week. That’s because 1. I don’t like going and 2. our insurance sucks. But on Friday, I had to make an appointment. That’s because I couldn’t turn my head to the right. Being so crippled makes it difficult to drive. It’s also painful.

So now I have to go to the physical therapist, because massive doses of drugs and muscle relaxers aren’t doing anything. Oh, and the heating pad makes it feel better, but not for long.

I knew a psychologist who explained that when people complain of aches and pains, it related directly to their life and may not be so much to their body.  If your shoulders ache, it may be because you feel like you have the world’s problems on your shoulders. Therefore a “pain in the neck” really means that something in my life is figuratively a pain in the neck.

I can think of a thousand things that are “paining” me in the neck right now, but I doubt the physical therapist will help me with that.