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Middle-Age and Exams? Pfft, I’ve had my fill…

11/02/2016 Comments off

Entry 11/02/2016 08:00:45 AM – Mentat 1204

Welcome to Babylon 5, the last best hope for a quick buck.” – Susan Ivanova, Babylon 5

While I’m not sure whether or not this entry’s going to be going out to the world, I think that quote is rather apropos for at least one of the subjects that I’m going to be covering in this entry.  However, as I’m sitting here breakfasted, caffeinated — mostly, more to explain there — and the happy little Hell-beast is up on the desk gingerly flicking its tail, I’m wondering how to approach everything in an orderly fashion…  Yeah, the usual sort of chaos that comes from the fact that there’s much to cover in the wide, wide world of the Baldelli Homestead.

My annual physical has come and gone.  I’ve gained about 17 pounds mainly due to laziness and more than unusual intake of junk food in the form of chips, crackers and candy.  So much so that after the blood work had been processed, the doctor’s office called me to tell me the usual that my sugar’s a little high and the unusual that my triglycerides are of a concern and that I should change my diet a bit more.  Yeah, sure no problem there.  So at the time of this entry, I’ve cut out all sorts of junk foods from chips to crackers to anything that would be chocolate (yeah, that part’s killing me at the moment, but at least the jonesing hasn’t really started yet).  Instead, I’ve been doing my best trying to eat more healthy snacks — raw fruits and vegetables, less pastas and that sort of thing.

I’ve also cut down on my caffeine intake with my morning coffee, either picking up decaf iced coffee if I’m out of the house or drinking half-caf when I’m lounging about the house in the morning.  While my sleep might be a bit knackered if only because of other influences — like middle-aged — at least I’m learning that if I’m working I need 7½ of sleep a night and when I’m not working 6½ is more than adequate.  At least the good thing is that I’m more than happy about mid-afternoon naps when I can have them just in case.

Oh yeah, and thanks to the more temperate autumn, I’m more than happily picking up my habit of walking at least 3 miles (4.8 Km) during the afternoon.  The good thing about this is that couple this with both quick galivants in the morning and the usual walking of my mother’s Monster Child™, I can average more than 10,000 steps in the day; which I’m sure my doctor’s going to be happy about the next annual checkup.

Then yesterday, I had the pleasure of the other-half of the annual checkup/preventative measure that come with Middle Aged:  the dreaded colonoscopy examination.  Pfft, I say to that.  While I might understand the need for such things when it comes to people from families that have histories of various forms of cancer to even smoking in one’s life — for someone like me I’d prefer to perform an enema with Dranō especially after that gallon of swill consisting of Gatorade and MiraLAX with a Dulcolax chaser.  The day before fast can also go.  I made mention to the doctor an enema with distilled water would have been less of an annoyance than the pre-prep that’s handed out to all patients, but he explained to me that with a cleaned out system they also do checks between the large to small intestines, so that suggestions for that discomfort are out.

While I can barely remember the post-operative conversation because I was still loopy from the anesthesia they used, I do remember that the doctor had explained to me that they had found a couple of polyps — although my mother being present at the time explained they also found them on her and had confirmed they were benign, so I’m playing the waiting game at the moment until it’s confirmed they’re benign from me as well.  I do also remember something about the doctor saying something about looking forward to the next exam in 3 to 5 years.

Thinking, fuck that, I nodded, shook his hand and hobbled my way out to the car.

Yeah, no…  As I said to my mother, if they ever confirm the possibility of cancer, I would rather die than go through the chemotherapy and the various other horrors that await someone trying to get their cancer treated.  Besides, I have other concerns that might be happening later in my life, from the possibility of Parkinson’s Disease from my mother’s side of the family, Alzheimer’s from my father’s side of the family, a stroke in my later years from both sides of the family up at least 5 generations, just to name the ones I’ve seen in my years on this planet.

As a side note, the first thing I did was completely cheat any dietary restrictions and bought a Chicken Ranch and Bacon Calzone from my favorite local restaurant: Vasilio’s, apparently screwed up my maths between cost and tip by at least $0.20 cents, ate that while watching Xmeagol’s stream has he was playing something, passing out in my chair in the office and then hobbling to bed to sleep another couple of hours with the cat on my chest.   It was surprising how I was able to function in spite of being in a post-anesthetized state.

The homestead has been in a state of chaos, disrepair and blackmailed repairs when the issue gives me the feeling that I’m not living in a house, but out in the forest like the Radical Faeries I knew used to in Atlanta, GA.  Starting with the roof, apparently there had been water damage to parts of the roof on the eastern side of the house.  I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it publicly, but I’ve made quite a bit of noise on it privately as there was one night when it was seriously lashing out that when I took a break from whatever gaming I had been playing, went to the toilet and heard that the facet was leaking in the kitchen.  Without turning the light on, I checked the faucets and when I got dripped on, realized that the dripping water was coming from the third floor. Investigating, it turns out that the water dripping was coming in from the roof above the third floor with it running down the walls and straight onto the floor on the third and as gravity is a harsh mistress, was coming into my apartment in the process.

I can put up with a lot of things going wrong in my part of the shelter, but water in my apartment is definitely not one of them.  I talked with the landlord and his temporary solution while he was dealing with things in his life was to put a basin down  in the hopes of catching the water before he had to call out for someone to work on the roof.  Turns out that his temporary solution was as useless as a screen door on a submarine, and I was forced to hold back the month’s check as a means of blackmailing him to getting someone to work on the roof.   And so before the next rainstorm that we had, he got someone to work on the roof and since it’s rained more than few times in the following weeks — my apartment (and the third floor apartment) — have been bone dry.

Then yesterday, as I was prepping for the colonoscopy exam, I was entertained with a very lukewarm shower.  Without my morning coffee, by entertained I actually mean tortured.  After investigating the problems in the basement, I encountered water from one of the three sewer outlets in the basement (seriously three of them for a three by three apartment building).  Seems to be the front one that deals with the sinks (for the kitchens) in the front of the house.  After relighting the pilot on the water heater and checking it a couple of times between last night and this morning — so far it’s remained lit (knocking on wood) — and while the water’s definitely warming, it’s not the piping hot that I’m used to…  I adjusted the temperature upwards a bit, it’s significantly warmer, though not as piping hot as I remember, but then I just changed it less than an hour ago, and it’s a large tank so I’m not sure.  Let’s hope that ends the problem, but if not I might need to look into a new water heater sometime in the future.  More on that I’m sure.

On my off time, I’ve been playing the usual games and added one more game to the repertoire.  First and foremost ties into the reason for the quote that opened this entry:  Star Trek Online.  While I play games my way and solo, I often watch chat (and sometimes the exchange/auction house) the price gouging in that particular game has been astronomical.  With the introduction of Tier-6 Kelvin Timeline Constitution Class Cruiser  (otherwise known as the JJ Abrams’ Enterprise), pricing for starships has gone from the rather insane 500 million energy credits to well over 1.2 billion (there’s an EC cap on players that’s only to 1 billion) and have incorporated exchange of Master Keys as necessary for the purchase from sellers.  While I had no issues on the Energy Credit Costs, going into real-world money — upwards between $270 to above $300 USD — for an in-game item seems to be  the epitome of greed.

Perfect World/Cryptic  seem to well aware of the greed and seemed to have instituted Energy Credit requirements for Fleet/Clan projects, but the truth of the matter is, this instituted method of greed control is too little and much too late as the price gouging and greed going on within game, as the sellers have now completely moved onto Master Key exclusively for exchanges for sellable ships.   PW/Cryptic’s solution is too little and much too late and I’ve suggested that PW/Cryptic look into a solution this morning, but I’m pretty damned sure it’ll go ignored.  The game is making more money now than when it was subscriber based.

Then there’s Warframe.  I’ve covered that game’s ongoing issues in this forum thread.  While I’ve made my peace in that posting (and pretty much ignored the comments that were made on it), I’ve pretty much said my piece and made my piece with the imperfections of the game.  I continue to play the game in spurts — what I like to call burst playing (playing missions in a burst of one to three per run) — either based on the alerts that I see, or for the grind for leveling up weapons (and later warframes).  After that I wander off to do whatever else it is I want to do during that time.

As of the last time I paid attention to the developer news (through their weekly Live-Streams on Twitch), I was moderately pissed-off that I lack one of the many requirements for doing the recent story about to be released next week (The War Within), but also made my peace on it as I’ll be able to check it out sometime in the future.  Hell, thinking about it, it almost took me six months after the release of Second Dream to actually play and finish it, so I shouldn’t be too miffed that I won’t be ready for the newest part of the saga on release.

In place of Rift that I’m dumping again, for two reasons; in its place I’ve picked up and starting playing Elite: Dangerous. Unlike Warframe (which also gets called Farmframe from the amount of grind in the game), E:D is clearly grind from the time you start playing the game (either in Solo or Open area Modes).  I’ll definitely playing this game much like I do Warframe in burst mode to prevent the potential burnout that can occur from playing a game with more than a little sameness.  I still haven’t figured out how I want to play this game, given I’ve seen some pretty impressive Twitch streams covering aspects of taxiing for money to YouTube for bounty hunting and from what I’ve been reading on the wiki there are other choices and combinations thereof.  I’m still trying to make up my mind on that, although knowing me I’ll probably go with something Privateer and legal.  I don’t like fines and I hate the thought of being hunted down by other players.

And that’s about it for the time being.  Tomorrow it’s the 0400 laundry run and then it’s back to life as usual.  Until the next time.

The Throes of Summer

08/08/2016 Comments off

Entry 08/07/2016 05:00:00 AM – Mentat 1147

Having failed to take a nap for a second time this afternoon, when I shambled my ass out of bed a little while ago, it had dawned on me that I couldn’t for the life of me remember the last time I wrote a diary entry that would go out to the world.  The first question that came to mind was, “has it been that long?”  followed closely by the stampede of, “if I can’t remember, it must be that long…”  with, “nah, it couldn’t be…”, mixed with feelings that old age has begun to get the better of me, through the fleeting thought of Alzheimer scares.  It was promptly concluded with checking one of the two sites that I routing visit (though rarely post to) confirming it was almost three months since the last time I had the gumption to posting anything to the world.  Though you can tell by the numerical system I have traditionally used for my entries that it’s been a mere 59 entries since then.  Eh, I’m not surprised really.

Some of the events that have occurred since the last time I sat down to write includes some of the following insanity:

For Emancipation Day, I have deleted my account from Deviant Art.  The straw that broke the camel’s back on that was watching the management of a chat area I used to frequent either tripping over their tampon string or channeling the worst possible elements of Scorned Woman Syndrome.  I watched with horror as my perspective of the place transformed to a niche area for sanity and artistic good nature to exactly as it’s been laid out on the Encyclopedia Dramatica entry.  While it was a good 8 years there which I had been introduced to the site thanks to Damion — after that incident of ban-hammering people for the slightest transgressions — I felt it was long since time I moved on.  While I’m in a lull when it comes to fractal art at the moment, my art can typically be found on WordPress and Flickr where I continue to maintain my presence even if it’s a shadow of my former self.

Thanks largely to the media circus of the Presidential Elections here in my country, I’ve been avoiding sharing my opinion on any of the normal sites that I still frequent as well: namely Twitter, Facebook and Google+.  There have been times I’ve considered completely deleting my account from Facebook given my family and at least 1 friend has gone of their rockers and posting/re-sharing based on ad hominem feelings against the candidates.  And there have been more than a handful of times none of them have done any fact checking their re-shares, which is enough to get my knickers in a twist as I’m sitting there and having to perform the fact-checking necessary for peace of mind.  What’s funny is that I tend to either respond to completely superfluous wall-entries, or food if only to prove I’m still alive.

I think this dour attitude of mine started on Twitter when a former work-mate had been blasting tweets in a deluge fashion neither fact checking either, or worse, simply whinging for the sake of it, about government, about freedoms curtailed and even about first world problems.  There had been numerous times during his tweet spamming that I thought about commenting sharply in his direction, “…if you want change in government, become an activist…  don’t blast your woes in 140 characters hoping others will make those changes for you…”  Instead, I tried out the feature of Muting and have been happier with the clear lack of noise and friction from that part of the world.

Consequently I’ve been doing the same on Facebook with moderate success.  Still, the impulse to delete my account there exists even if it’s a bit quieter.

I have (once again) lost complete interest in television.  While I don’t tend to watch too much I think I’ve completed watching to the last series finale two shows since the beginning of the year:  Shadowhunters and The FlashDaredevil I gave up after episode 3 into the second season because while Jon Bernthal was believable in his role of Frank Castle (Punisher), there was something off-putting about the intensity.  I believe it had something to do with just how bloody angst-riddled the character was.  I never got back into Jessica Jones because every episode I watched of that, I felt like I needed a bath…  in Clorox… to get over the feeling of just how dirty I felt watching it.  Anything else, I stopped my re-watches to try to get back into the shows after a long hiatus from them…  All because of the amount of tropes I was catching in them snapping the back of my ability to suspend my disbelief with a sickening crack.

The biggest disappointment out of my television woes goes to Legends of Tomorrow having bailed on that show after the second episode.  While I was sort of looking forward to seeing Arthur Darvill again since his departure from Doctor Who, the reality distortions of him playing Rip Hunter — (ex-)Member of the Time Masters — were just too much for me to separate the juxtaposition from Time Lords and Doctor Who.  Well that and watching (Wentworth) Miller and (Dominic) Purcell being together since Prison Break also utterly distorted my ability to suspend disbelief as well.

Movies have suffered worse since March.  While I found myself morbidly enjoying Henry Rollins’ performance in He Never Died, remember liking the humor of Deadpool, and waiting patiently for Brenton Thwaites to being shirtless in Gods of Egypt (it didn’t happen); my interest in Allegiant disappeared within the first five minutes when the movie had to establish that the outside world announced those living in Chicago to come out of the walls (which never happened in the book).  Batman v Superman: The Dawn of Justice within 10 minutes where they had to retcon Affleck in the Metropolis destruction scenes from Man of Steel.  I shut that movie off when there Affleck is, squatting down giving the girl a hug and looking all angry at the fight between Zod and Superman that recalled this skit from Jack Whitehall.  Yep, I bailed faster than you can say, ‘off like a kelly-green, polyester prom dress…’ And as far as I can tell — there’s nothing on the horizon at the moment that I would want to see — and that’s not going to be changing in the months to come.

The deskside has been converted to Windows 10…  finally.  Two days before the deadline to boot.  I wanted to do a clean install on the system drive without taking up more space with the messy conversion from Windows 7.  I also wanted to confirm that with the Product Key I have for Windows 7 Ultimate would convert to Windows 10 Pro.  It did.  Well that and I wanted to ensure all the bugs I had experienced with Windows 10 on my laptop would have been completely smoothed out by the time I got it on the deskside.  With it, I still have more than one language pack loaded in (English and Japanese based on my experience with both), Bitlocker, and the Policy Editor for passwords and password control (among other features too numerous to mention based on Active Directory skills I’m familiar with).  Since installing Windows 10, I’ve also set the password locally (in spite of the mistake of installing an app from the Microsoft Store that had changed my login to my Hotmail account).  So we’ll see if the password change reminder is working correctly with Windows 10 as it stopped working in Windows 7 a long time ago.  Now all I have to do is get all the specialized words in the custom dictionary loaded back up…  Something that never made the backup from the old system to the new.  Eh, a small loss on the whole if I do say so myself.

My UPS of 8 years is beginning the slow process of dying the slow death and the battery is no longer working according to spec.  While I’m sure that I could get a replacement battery for the thing (and install it on my own), the fact is that at least 2 of the plugs in the back (on the surge suppressor side) have suffered damage of some sort or another and are no longer operating properly so, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  While the replacement UPS (same make and model) should be in sometime this week, I need to play extra-carefully running the PC and Air Conditioners in this house ensuring I neither brown-out or blow a fuse.  When the house has a brown-out and tries to draw power from the battery as a boost, it will shut down the UPS (and the computer) abruptly; pretty much the same as a blackout.  The alarms will sound, I will check to ensure it’s not a blown fuse and then I have to take 20 minutes to reset the UPS and then bring the PC back up.  Not fun.

Summer has been annoying here in the Tundras of New England.  There have been a few moments where the weather’s been beautiful for the summer months, there have been more times where the raging humidity has made it impossible for me to either sleep or exercise.  While it hasn’t been as bad as I remember living in the South more than a decade ago, as I’ve become acclimated to the weather of the north — there have been more than a few moments where I felt like I should be melting onto the sidewalk because the heat and humidity.  Since taking the medications for Hypertension, I swear I’ve become far more irritable with the high humidity than I used to be last year as I seem to want more comfortable temperatures around the house.  Hence the want for running the A/C whenever possible.  In fact, since I’ve become more used to taking these medicines and being more aware of the body changes, I could swear I can tell the difference between a Northern Thunderstorm and a Southern.   Northern storms are wet, cooler and don’t have half of the amount of heat and ambient humidity as they are in the south.

Because of this and the fact that I’m warned against prolonged exposure to strong direct sunlight, walking has become a more difficult now than during the Autumn through Spring Months.  Because of it, I’ve done my best to keeping busy when I can, and definitely adjusting my intake when I can’t.  I’ve slacked more than I should and while I’m not getting 10,000+ steps a day, I try my best to keeping as active as possible with the 250 steps/hour challenge currently being offered.  This has been making Moe pretty damned happy as he seems to like being picked up and  held over my shoulder as I walk around the house.  About the only thing he doesn’t seem to like is being in the rooms with A/C on.  Something about it being cooler than usual along with the noise that they make seems to be off-putting to him, so off to the un-air conditioned bedroom he goes during the day.  Doesn’t seem to mind the heat other than the occasional loneliness of me not being around so he’ll make his way out of there to check up on me.

And with that, I’ve covered everything — pretty much — for the last couple of months.  Off to meet the day as I always do..  On the bridge of the USS Retrospect fighting enemies of the Federation or being a Tenno checking out the Origin System of the Orokin.  I haven’t decided which as both entertain me more than television ever could.

Coming up for Air

06/22/2015 Comments off

Entry 06/22/2015 12:11:24 AM – Mentat 929

I know, I know — no art…  Less of that lately (I’ll get to that in a minute), and a rather banal come all-over-the-place journal entry.  Hey, it’s been a while since I’ve written and some of the things I’m writing about seem to be “…the story already in progress…”  But then again since I’ve pulled my diary offline and written privately, those are the breaks.

So now that I’m entering into Monday morning and looking at the calendar, I’m reminded of my out-cry on my way in to work this evening that Emancipation Day is 3 days away and I haven’t thought of anything I want to be free of for the prior year.  Well other than perhaps the fact that I’ve had to wash quite a few freakishly odd queerfolk out of my life the last month alone:  Michael in Apple Valley who was coming off not only a few fries short of a Happy Meal™ but also somewhere between abrasive and abusive (verbally, definitely verbally).  While it was charming for a while, I got tired of hearing things like, “are you that gullible?” and “You have monumental baggage” routinely enough that it was a friendship that didn’t build up the person, but tore ’em down in order to make oneself feel better about it. Not that he was feeling any better really — he was damned busy whinging about not having a boyfriend and then doing nothing to modify the way modern queerfolk go about the whole dating thing.

The other man (I’ve had to watch out of my hair) was from Mississippi (I think his name was Richard, but I can’t be assed to remember it really) who seemed jovial though vapid in his e-mails who I suspected was a bit of a freak (of nature) only to have him turn out to be a real freak of nature with his sense of humor comments that didn’t feel the least bit jovial or jocular.  More like desperate, cloying and the sort of creepy that leaves you feeling like you need a shower afterward.  What I mean is that quite out of the blue from the usual conversation he starts asking for nudie pictures and making assertions of marrying him.  Uh, no thanks I don’t like marriage jokes when the conversations have been light (and vapid) and didn’t lead down anywhere that would have called for such intensity.  And let’s face it — anyone asking for nudes of is asking for trouble from the likes of me.

Although the true irony of that whole conversation had to do with the fact that the only reason why he started chatting me up had to do with the fact that I went checking out his profile while wearing the flag-mod hat and checking to see if the profile was another one of the cavalcade of fake users that routinely come onto OKC.  The only reason I was chatting with him is that his profile seemed to only point to wanting chat — and who am I to deny a good chat to anyone that wants it?

Then there was this kid (AKA under 30) that was trying to chat me up for god-only-knows what reason.  Seemed to be the sort of kid that lived off the attention until I noticed that his location changed from Fall River, MA to Bum-Fuck PA which sent up the usual warning bells of a fake user.  Tried to pull me over to KIK which is an automatic block as I can’t stand that bloody program (seems to be geared more towards those sort of vapid and attention whore sort of teens and 20-somethings that have nothing else better to do with their time).  Seriously, no thank you — I’ve had more than enough people of this caliber in my life, I don’t want any more of them.  Hell and what’s left of them in my life I don’t want them in there anymore…

About the only one that I’ve been entertained with has been the guy from New York City, but even then it’s more one-sided than I like.  Eh, I’ll give that a bit more time and see how that plays out.

In other news, one of the gifts I worked on buying for my birthday was a FitBit.  Part of the reason was I wanted to shed carrying around two phones (iPhone from AT&T that the contract has been cancelled and the Droid that I’m currently carrying).  The other part of the reason was I wanted to have something that integrated better with a fitness and health conscious program for tracking calories in and out.  While I don’t like the whole cloud integration for the program (it’s currently held on the FitBit.com website) I’m really liking the investment I made with the Fitbit HR.  While I haven’t used the actual caller-ID integration between it and the phone (apparently I need to load up the program for it as phone is not supported for direct integration) everything else about it seems pretty accurate…  Well other than perhaps sleeping.  It’s marking my restlessness as times that I’m awake and the thing about that is I’m not really awake.  My eyes didn’t open and I didn’t register anything consciously.  I think it’s just because the movements that I do through the night are enough to raise my pulse into the consciousness zone and that’s enough for it to mark me as awake.  Still though, it’s better than the Sleep Time app which seems to monitor not only my movements, but Moe’s as well.  And my cat has a nasty habit of getting up a whole lot more than I do.  While I might not be getting the full 5 day charge (I’m noticing it’s about 4 days according to YMMV) it’s not as though I need to wear the thing down to nothing as I’m close enough to both the charger and the dongle that I can sync and charge the thing up with little effort.

Oh yeah, the other thing I like about this unit is the fact that it works with a vibration for the alarm.  I saw Matt Inman over at The Oatmeal raving about the Taptic Engine in the Apple Watch and gave it a go with the silent alarm on the FitBit HR.  When I have slept long enough to catch the alarm, it actually wakes me up…  Though I suspect that the reason why I’ve been up a majority of the time before the alarm is because I fear I’m going to sleep through it.  I haven’t, but that doesn’t stop me from activating the Wonder Twin Power™ of self-consciousness.

I missed Providence Pride this year.  I’m not in the least bit surprised about that given 1. I was working that day and 2. I thought it was the last weekend of the month of June and not the third weekend when it was celebrated.  No big loss there in any case.  Though it did give the bus lines a bit of a problem given that Route 1 that I usually take the day I have to work over-time had to temporarily re-route away from Dorrance Street.  Although it was funny given that when it was heading down Washington Street I thought I had accidentally gotten on the Northbound bus instead of the Southbound.  But after that scare from the re-route, I was happily heading down to work for a couple of hours overtime to cover while the fuck-up second shift person can have his added time off for Father’s Day.  No names mentioned (publicly of course), but if you ask me, I’ll more than happily tell anyone privately.

Waking up today was like waking up in the Crotch of the Bible Belt:  I felt like I needed SCUBA gear in order to breathe properly.  And without the necessary exhaust vent it’s not as though I can run the portable AC unit for the time being.  At least the good news is that sometime this week the vents covers that I had ordered from Haier (that didn’t come with the package I purchased) should be in by the end of the week.   So hopefully, I’ll be able to run the A/C during the hottest parts of the summer.  And it’s looking like the humidity isn’t going to be going away any time soon.  Not sure what that’s all about, but it’s enough to annoy me.

Work…  I have positively no words for that circus.  Between the politics and the personal conflicts going on between the Manager and the Supervisor it’s a royal Charlie-Foxtrot.  All I’m doing for the moment is riding it through and hoping that it’ll clear itself out one way or another.  While it’s nice to being Nightbreed again and management is only seen sparingly the changes that seem to be going on boggles both the conscious mind and the imagination.  And that’s all I’m going to say on that subject in a public setting.

And with that — I think I’ve covered everything for the time being.  I’ll close it here for now and hopefully sometime this week, I’ll don the hat of the Mad Scientist™ and try to make another wallpaper.  Until the next time.

A Year Later…

03/02/2015 Comments off

Entry 03/01/2015 08:53:39 AM – Mentat 893

It’s hard to imagine that more than a year has passed since that cold (and snowless) day when I moved out of the Valley and a mile up the road to the Hill. Federal Hill that is. The move itself was relatively painless and drama free. There had been no sight of the douchebag ex-landlord. The drunken ex-roommate was probably sleeping through most of it in his typically alcoholic catatonic stupor. The only two that might have seen the move were the two Guatemalans living on the third floor; and I think at one point I stumbled across one of the two of them in the process. The weird one on the third floor (above me) probably hid like a conspiracy theorist… I never did figure out whether his favorite headwear was tinfoil or was simply one of those functional agoraphobics that enjoyed his own company than the company of others. And the artist below me? Bless her heart, I’m still rather amazed she stayed in spite of the lack of storm windows and constant drafts cutting through her apartment.

There of course had been other drama going on… My mother had slipped on the ice when she had been walking her Monster Child (her 140+ pound very spoiled Chocolate Labrador Retriever) and had to spend a month in the hospital and then another 5½ months housebound and hobbling around her house with the Zimmer frame I often joked about needing sometime in the near future as I’m getting up in the years. I was there helping her through her various chores around the house, meeting her visiting nurses at the door and escorting them up and down the two flights of stairs from the outside door to her apartment. I was wrangling that spoiled trouble child during those visits to ensure he doesn’t try licking the nurses to death while they were helping my mother going through her various physical therapy exercises to strengthening her leg and to get used to the pins in her hip. And walking him at the assigned times that he often didn’t like as they were an hour later than the times he thought he should be going out.

In that time, I was getting used to my own little all-black hellion on four legs in the new environment and learning how a change of environment changed several of the habits he had into something between annoyances and health concerns. But any crises I might have been feeling when it came to Moe were quickly abated when I adjusted to those new habits he was demonstrating. Like the fact that the water bowl and the food bowl can’t be near each other in this house like they were for the house in the Valley. Heh, the food bowl is fine near to the door to the apartment, but water needs to be in the bathroom near to the bathtub and opposite to the litter box location. Like the food bags needs to be out of his reach. Like the doors to the cabinet need to be tied closed or else he’ll get in there and snap the mouse traps in there because he thinks they’re toys to play chicken with. Like the top of the fridge is a perfect place to lay down on during the winter because he likes the heat and likes being out of the way when I’m doing the weekly house-cleaning. Like looking out the windows at 2 in the morning during the summer (which he avoids during the day because people seeing him scares him to hide). But I digress; the bottom line is that my cat’s content, well-fed and well-watered.

I know that it took me several emotional purges and a serious voodoo-like ceremony for Emancipation Day (June 25) for me to exorcise the anger and pent-up rage I had been feeling because of the years of working/living under the douchebag ex-landlord. I might still maintain my complete refusal to use his name in any references to him because using his name is deferring respect of some sort in his direction: respect that he most assuredly doesn’t deserve. And the drunken ex-roommate? Pfft, forgotten.

Along the way, I realized I couldn’t have people in my life that were depressed, in ruts of their own (and refused to shake out of it) or were the sort of crotchety that came off as arbitrary or negatively capricious. And so it was the mid-year sort of purge that so many other people do at the beginning of their years. After all, nothing I could do to suggest change was going to change them; and their attitude while not being labeled “toxic” were the wrong sort of energy I needed during my healing process for dragging myself out of the hole I had dug for myself. And like a woman breaking up with boyfriend; I washed them right out of my hair. I haven’t looked back at them or tried to look them up — they are behind me, and I don’t need their negativity in my life anymore.

Things for July and the beginning of August were looking up. I decided on pulling my journal/blogging offline except for when I had some issue that was working my nerves and then I would be off to blasting to my heart’s content. Local government, local attitudes even clear wastes of energy and effort were the targets of that passion. I went at the old mayor (and now the new mayor) with passionate fervor. I went after thoughtforms that were generated by lack of sense, experience or sensibility.

On the other hand, I kept up with my learning and whimsical randomness with Mandelbulb and for the new year J-Wildfire; posting fractals on Mondays (almost religiously) and other times in the week depending on love, pride or “feel the want to share” of whatever it was I produced. I had in that time got back in touch with the Mad Scientist™ within creating the sort of weirdness I could in mathematics and losing the writer’s block in being able to sit down and write to myself without self-consciousness nor the pressure of entertaining people. Sure many times my entries are banal, frivolous, even vapid… But the writer in me is happy to let the words flow. The thoughts run stampede and my feelings to take wing as free and carefree as the local birds in the summer. As you can see here:

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Quite the change from the end of July which was 10% at best just over 75,000 (or so) words.

There was another dramatic moment at about this time. I was getting seriously tired of walking my mother’s dog — mostly because it’s not my dog and he has serious obedience issues when it comes to anyone not my mother nor her husband. The weather was also getting into the humid times of August and while I didn’t mind the walks, his constantly pulling and my needing to be mindful of other dogs was getting on my nerves. It’s my mother dog after all, and as she always told the three boys — “your pet, your responsibility.” It was also a sort of way to getting my mother to walk more for exercise as for the last months was doing nothing more than hobbling about. The walk started off sort of all right — her Monster Child was pulling as always and excited to be walking to the vacant lot.

I didn’t see the man walking his dog in the vacant lot. The Monster Child did first. And that’s when he pulled like he always does. So hard and so fast that he pulled my mother off her feet. She tried bracing and failed; getting her first experience of asphalt surfing on Adams Street toward Marcello Street and breaking her ankle in the process: the same ankle that she broke her hip. This meant for the next 6’ish months more hospital visits, more pins and a plate (since removed because of issues with the thin skin around her ankle), a skin graft, more hobbling around the house for months at a time, more visiting nurses visits, and more of my having to help her with the chores around the house.

When it comes to injury and illness, my mother and I truck along the best we can. We might whinge a bit here and there when it comes to pain, we sometimes even get a bit alarmist if it’s taking too long and we sort of clam up when it’s something that might be frightening but on the whole all we do is keep going and let the body heal according to its own schedule. My mother’s husband on the other hand… Well let’s just say his over-protectiveness got on my mother’s nerves constantly and his issuing orders were often disregarded the instant he was out of eyesight and earshot for the betterment of the situation and the often frayed sanity.

And there was still more drama around September. A flare-up between my mother’s husband and myself. One that I recall distinctly writing about. While I won’t recant the story about this, I can tell you that because of the promise I made to my mother, I have avoided creating any drama against him in the time that she was healing and the couple of months since his recovery. Unlike other parts of my family who always apologize for their transgressions — he refuses. I had a chat with the son that positively hates him and from what I’ve collected from him he a “…narcissistic bastard… that thinks he does no wrong…” So I keep this in mind when avoiding dealing with him. He was also able to confirm that with the amount of whinging he does with his job, his life and frail ego, he’s not the Commissioned Marine that he tries to paint himself as, but instead is part of the armed forces that he constantly derides: an air force officer. I know there’s only matter of time when the opportunity will present itself and I will face off against him again with the energy of taking back what he took when he physically attacked me. Promise or no promise, I refuse to be cowed by acts of a bully.

More drama for the coming winter too… End of October to be exact. Though not so much the negative drama that comes with family, illness, dating or whatever. More like the comedy of errors and over-caution that’s the product of a litigious society. There had been a gas leak in the house — a very small one — caused probably a combination of events between my moving the stove to light the pilot on the space heater and the gas pressure of an added unit to the gas main into the apartment. It was enough to give the place the wrong odor of leaking gas, but not enough to actually be a threat to life, property and well being. I called the utility company to ask them if their checking service was free and they confirmed it was. Stressing it was a gas leak that didn’t involve an emergency call to the local fire department, I told them to send a technician to confirm where the gas was leaking out of. I remember telling the call representative that it’s not an emergency and that it’s a very small leak as it took almost 8 hours to get the whiff of it in my house, he told me that someone was going to be over in less than thirty minutes.

Turns out that I happened to look out the window when I heard sirens racing up Atwells Avenue to see that the full fire company was trying to get up my street as well as parked in front of my house. Seeing the Department’s chief, I quickly sorted out what happened and tried to explain to them that it wasn’t that much of an emergency, and ask that the Chief and one other come upstairs to investigate while I explained to them why the call and what happened.

Two men turned into the whole of the Company, which friends ribbed me about it being a “gay man’s dream” with that many firemen in my house. Sure, it might have been — if my apartment were bigger. It’s roomy for one man and a cat, and perhaps comfortable with a couple and a pet or two… But 12 men in a 20′ x 20′ kitchen all firing questions at me scattershot trouncing upstairs (to the vacant apartment), downstairs to my neighbor’s place (also a quiet person that doesn’t make all that much noise even when her adult children are over), into and out of the basement; it was the sort of chaos I would have rather liked keeping out of the homestead and spending some time with my terrified cat in the closet in the bedroom. After the utility technician showed up and confirmed a small leak in the distributor and one of the non-lighting pilots on the stove — they all filed out of my place with almost a look of disappointment (coupled with relief) it wasn’t as bad as they were expecting.

Since then it’s been pretty uneventful and a hell of a lot more peaceful. I’ve been getting back onto the socializing wagon, trying to be the charming curmudgeon I was known for before my relationship with the psycho-ex (pre-2000). While I haven’t really met anyone to try to shatter the commandments with, I’ve been more friendly with strangers than I have in a long time. Old friends spotted the change with time, new friends and acquaintances don’t understand the teeter-totter between snarkish, helpful and the overly-opinionated perspective I share with them… Some find it simply funny, others are more to take the ‘respective distance’ until they can figure out that I’m (very) vocal but otherwise harmless. I might still have issues with the way local government is run and take them to task verbally in either a blog entry or with the assistants that answer the phone at the Mayor’s office at least it’s more snarkish rather than vitriolic. I seem to remember days where it didn’t matter whether one was a pedestrian or not: walkways and sidewalks were always shoveled. Days long since passed where pedestrians now are nothing more than second-class citizens… But again, I digress.

I’ve also been doing daily exercises since the beginning of October and couple this with the rather surprisingly gross amount of water I drink (7 or more cups) and more than 7½ hours of sleep at night, I find myself better able to handle whatever stresses that come my way on a day to day basis. I still have some obsessive-compulsive habits; but at least those habits don’t consume hours of my time and energy in the process as they used to in the past. Oh, I’m definitely not buff, or lean… But instead maintain the illusion of a teddy bear; but with a little more bite (and strength) than before.

And that’s it for this year on the Hill. Now it’s time for me to do the dishes I used for lunch and perhaps work out playing a game or three with my very verbal hellion on four legs wanting “lap time”. In the end I know, I am back. Even if not everyone sees (or fully understands) it. Until the next time.

Final Update

10/28/2014 Comments off

Entry 10/28/2014 09:00:00 AM – Mentat 775

Getting up to my mother’s house a bit earlier than expected because the visiting nurse happened to have been earlier than scheduled, I was greeted by my mother proclaiming to the visiting nurse that the results for her biopsy from last week had come in (not sure whether it was last night or this morning after we finished our weekly laundry)…

**Drum roll**

It’s benign.   So now that’s out of the way the next thing on her wellness agenda is continuing to heal up from the ankle…  Which seems to be going well… slow…  but well.

Tomorrow. it’s artwork and curtain ironing & hanging…  Oh the joys of a house controlled by the seasons…  At least it’s not mine.  I couldn’t care less.  Curtains are curtains…  Doesn’t matter to me if it’s summer or winter.  They block sun, I’m happy they’re hanging.

Until the next time.

Updates and what not…

10/23/2014 Comments off

Entry 10/23/2014 06:01:47 AM – Mentat 770

So last night was the first night since I’ve been here that I had to shut the windows in the house.  I think it’s safe now to open a couple of windows as last night there was a hell of a lot of wind and rain.  Surprisingly also there was thunder & lightning.  It’s been a long while since we’ve had thunderstorms in the autumn.  And… Opening the windows right now, there’s still a hell of a lot of wind out there.  Sure it comes and it goes, but when it’s here it’s pretty damned gusty.  Hopefully it won’t be raining as it was last night and through the morning.  Because I don’t want to have to rush over here to shut the windows again.

I talked with my mother last night as she got home a bit later than I expected and during my usual exercise routine — namely the 2 mile (3.21 km) walk.  I saw the lights on in the house and no car in the driveway so I ventured up to make sure it wasn’t as worse as my imagination can be.  She was there, hobbling around the house.  She told me that the PICC line was removed and the clot that they found during yesterday’s visits and to the hospital were the cause of the clotting around the area of the PICC line in her arm…

She said she was fine and that tomorrow (today) I need to be over at around 8 AM so that we can get around to doing my favorite part of her fall cleaning spree:  ironing and hanging up the curtains around the house.  Yay….  fun times and all that.  At least I did the vacuuming yesterday while she was at her first appointment.  So that’s pretty much out of the way.   Well, until the Monster Child sheds himself another Chihuahua…  Or my mother sees a rogue lint ball rolling around the house and she thinks the whole house is positively filthy.  Whichever comes first.

[Last Edited: 10/23/2014 10:05:07 AM]

Getting over here for 8 in the morning and according to what she’s telling me, the punch biopsy (at least that’s what she calls it) that they were supposed to do to determine the mass in her right breast has been canceled because she’s currently on some sort of oral immunosuppressant that will interfere with the biopsy results.  So right now she’s woken up and going through the various calls to doctors, clinics and hospitals that she has appointments with to cancel and reschedule…  Heh, the funny part of this is that this is absolutely normal on my mother’s side of the family.  Routine doctor’s appointments until retirement and then it’s the metric shit-tons of them shortly after that for the gaggle of problems that crop up for being old.  And yes, this is something I definitely look forward to.  Joys, eh?

At least the good thing is that I don’t have to worry about starting the fall curtain change.  That’s going to wait until the weather and the wind calm down.  After all, it’s more than a little difficult to be cleaning the windows while we have strong gusts and the occasional rains.  And given that the NOAA reports severe wind advisories through to 11 PM, it looks like it’s going to be here for a while even if looking out the window at the moment it seems relatively calm.

Heh, sitting here at the moment she really hasn’t stopped.  The biopsy appointment got rescheduled again for the morning tomorrow (at a slightly respectable time) which means she’ll be there for a couple of hours.  Though during it her husband began working her nerves with his anger.  Of course the reason for his anger is because the man’s having problems processing all this scares with the blood clot, the endless batteries of visits and runs to the hospital,  the scare of the biopsy and the possibility the mass might be malignant.

In a way I’ve been fortunate.  On the one side I’ve spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals when I was a child and again later on after the car accident that such visits don’t always end in terrible news and worst case scenarios.  More often times than naught, the doctors and staff often approach things with the attitude of a worst case while trying to prove there’s nothing to worry about.  On the other side, having spent so much time in the mid-80s through mid-90s and watching so many of my friends and supporting friends with their lovers in the hospitals succumbing to complications to AIDS I’ve learned to simply accept and support with compassion, understanding and sometimes even just listening.   After all, what’s the point of anger, rage or frustration?  It’s not going to change the inevitability of the situation.   I believe that’s the closest to Divine Apathy that I can come.

So I reaffirmed with her the reason for his anger and frustration and told her I could have a word with him about this anger issue of this…  Of course,  she vehemently forbade knowing that my words would be more forceful than she would want.  And they would be rather forceful because of the unfinished business from almost a month ago.  But I’ll abide for a while longer as the rancor’s not bad — and I’ve found that I don’t obsess about it half as much as I might have more than 18 months ago.

And that’s about it for the time being.  I decided on posting this because of the potential for bomb dropping from yesterday’s entry.  Off to take care of things with my mother and getting the Monster Child for the morning walk.  Until the next time.

For the Love of a Foul Mood

10/10/2014 Comments off

Entry 10/10/2014 12:31:42 PM – Mentat 757

I have been in a hell of  a foul mood since this morning when I received a call from my mother informing me that the reason why she had been pulled into surgery yesterday morning.  It wasn’t about the fact that I hadn’t been told that the reason why there was surgery yesterday for the skin grafting that they had performed to thicken up her thin skin around the ankle area.  Seriously that was to be expected.  The thinning skin around her ankle since the accident has been an issue of contention since they put the pins and plate to hold together her ankle some months ago after the accident with the Monster Child.  What set it off this morning was in fact the news of her coming home maybe on Sunday and that for a while afterwards, she’s going to be laid up and have to keep off her foot and have it elevated while she’s healing.  What set me off is the fact that this is going to put me in a difficult position with her husband.  Now this is why…  Three weeks ago this Sunday there was an incident between he and I.

 


 

It started with going over my mother’s for dinner.

I went a little bit earlier than usual, partially because I know how my mother has been since breaking her ankle and she usually ran dinner a bit earlier because of it.  So when I was over there, while my mother was finishing her cooking (boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes), I watched a few of the subscription videos in advanced.  By the time we sat down I was sort of confused about Twitter and the fact that my ADD was acting up (thanks largely to the various aches and pains in the back of my head and sinuses as well as the cramps from whatever I ate two or three days ago).  So I was trying to do a quick scan of the messages and why I received a notification and who it was from…  And was about to give up the search as dinner was about to be served, when my mother’s husband starts asking how big a piece of pork.

It’s the same question week to week to week…  How big do you want?  And unless I’m ill, ate really big for lunch or queasy, I have settled for the same amount and the same size of any cut of meat — be it meatloaf, pork, beef roast — it’s bigger than my mother’s but smaller than his.  So I just said, “use your best judgment..  You know how big I usually have…”

He asked again, I said the same thing…

Then he gave me a sliver of a slice from the end of the roast as I was putting the phone to the side.   He had a smug look on his face like, ‘this is what you get for not answering the question I asked.’

I looked at him, then my mother and instead of allowing myself to be ruffled by it because he had the scowl going when I didn’t react the way he wanted, and said something about being an asshole and having my nose in my phone.  So with a little drama and putting my hands in the air said I was going home and would be by the next day.

I remember hearing noise about it, and the next thing I know the serving fork and then the carving knife came at me.  They both hit the chair at the table and fortunately for me: they both missed.

He followed me to the door, and while I’m now hazy as to what happened at that point, remember saying I didn’t want to hit him, but he hit me.  At the back door he hit me…

He hit like a girl.  Or rather not like someone with so many years of military experience in the Marines.  But that didn’t mean I was just going to stand there and take it either.  So, I struck back.  It was damned sloppy though…  I was in sandals and couldn’t get a good stand or counter, but at least self-defensive.  I pushed him to the garbage bin, with a light choke hold and as there was another sloppy scuffle where he was holding me by the collar for a long time, but after my mother intervention and my warning him that I was left-handed and that hand was free to strike, he let me go and I left the house.

 


 

In hindsight, my attitude in this — with or without ADD — was bound to happen.  If I’m asked the same thing over and over for course of at least two years and my patterns are clearly defined, I get tired of answering the same question or saying the same thing ad nausea.  In the past I would have really had an explosive moment because such painstaking banality used to drive me to utter distraction.  After all how many times can you ask, “how big a piece do you want?” and not catch a pattern to it without the normal cues (to the exception)?  Now, I simply ignore it or brush it off.

I told my mother the next day I would give him a week’s time to apologize for his act of violence.  I went on to tell her that if he simply screamed at me, I probably would’ve apologized for me actions; but the instant he hit me and threw things at me — he wouldn’t get any respect from me until that action was apologized for.  My mother told me that it would be a cold day (in hell) before he would ever apologize for what he did.  That convinced me right then and there and confirmed it at a week’s time when he didn’t seek me out to apologize for this act of violence he was a bully (at best) or an abuser (at worst).

Since then, my mother has done her best to keep the two of us apart.  She’s pretty much told me that dinners with her and her husband are a thing of the past.  When it came to laundry up until this week she and I would be going instead of putting me in the car with him (and doing it alone at the laundromat).

She’s told me that the reason why she’s holding off is that she wants it to be at the “right time”.  She’s told me that she’s afraid that he might hit her if I confronts him.  She has put me in the right difficult position of trying to make me promise I won’t confront him while she’s currently in the hospital.  While I didn’t actually promise, I did say that I would do my best not to confront him during this time.

The problem with me is that this has gone on for too long.  I’m not about to let go of it.  It’s built up rancour and more anger than what I’ve dealt with dealing with the two ex-douche nozzles I used to deal with in Olneyville.  I’ve been in one too many abusive relationships and I refuse to sit idly by while a bully thinks he can get away with hitting me Scot-free without repercussion or apology.  And it’s only a matter of time before our paths cross, and it’s not going to be pretty;  particularly when I happened to have perused his coupon for Cialis…  Yeah, excuse me…  you have anger and violence issues, the last thing anyone would be worrying about is whether or not they can keep their penis erect…  But that’s just me, right?

Anyway, that’s what’s really set me off…  Because between my mother might be coming home Sunday (and having to watch the dog), coupled with my pussy-footing around my mother’s husband, coupled with the difficulties that will crop up next week with the laundry and everything else…  I just think it would be easier for everyone (or perhaps needs to come to a head) by confronting it, instead of ignoring it like the Pink Elephant in the room.

Well, I’m going to wander for the time being.  Mail to check, dog to walk, and listening to something that should sooth the savage nerves.  Until the next time.