Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Well, I Did It

Despite all the crap that’s been flushed our way, I managed to get to 50k words on my NaNoWriMo project. I’m still not done, and I didn’t win by much, but I got it there, and I’m pleased that I managed it.

All things considered. Personally, I’m seriously thinking about taking a gun to November. I might even go after December, as it’s looking like it will start out with a mighty “fuck off and die” kind of weekend.


Anyway, the big crunch is over and now I can take my time finishing the damn story, although right now my heart just isn’t in it.

Tam’s new place of work isn’t going well. Someone told the department manager a bald faced lie about her, which got her in trouble before her second day of work even started. She’s being railroaded and she’s only on her first week.

Fortunately, she has a lot of people watching her back for her, so I doubt the trouble maker will find much success in the defamatory statements department, but it has done personal damage to my partner, and that damage is spreading. I fear our dream may come to an abrupt and ugly halt, and the little shop we long to own will have to find someone else to tend it. It hurts my heart to think about it right now.

Words. While I would like to make a living writing them, when I think of the power they wield, it makes me think twice.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Well, That Was… Fun

This week sucked like a brand new vacuum cleaner. A brand new, high-powered, deluxe-o-matic, high-falutin’, no-nonsense, death-to-dust-bunnies kind of vacuum cleaner.

Gods, I hated this week. The worst part of it? THE DAMN THING IS A SHORT WORK WEEK, YET IT STILL SUCKED. It sucked like someone trying really hard to get that last drop of soda from the bottom of the glass.


Oh, the suckage; it knows no bounds, it refuses no misery. This week was a sucking spectacular black hole of a week, and man, those things really suck.

Ok, technically, black holes DON’T suck, because with no air in space, there’s no suckage, there’s just gravity going around ACTING like suckage, and that kind of sucks, so I guess they do suck in a non-sucking kind of way.

It’s Wednesday and my week has sucked.

It started on Sunday when I called my folks and my mother was in a mood. Let me tell you, that woman can share a foul mood better than a toddler shares stickiness. Nothing was sacred from her annoyance. Nothing. Our usual calls last around an hour. This one? 20 minutes. One minute of “Hi, Mom! How are you?” followed by 19 minutes of pure sucking hell.

Monday wandered in with some awesome gifts: migraines for everyone, stormy weather (hence the migraines), difficulties with a student at school (for me), and notification that Tam will no longer be acting manager of her kitchen because the REAL manager has been released from L&I and is returning to work. This comes after almost a year, and the director hinting that she may be getting the kitchen.

She was heartbroken, because now she has to go to a different school, take a pay cut, and go back to being an assistant. She’s been at her old school for five years and has watched a lot of those kids go from tender little kindergartners to boisterous 5th graders. The shock and heartache have been very difficult for both of us, and there have been some long, heart wrenching discussions. It was not a fun time. In fact, it sucked.

One of my students wasn’t feeling well and instead of being allowed to stay home, he was sent to school where he beat the living hell out of everyone (namely me because I get to work with him the most). It got so bad, I just had to walk away from him and let someone else do my job. Suck, suck, and more suck.

Then, because there wasn’t quite enough suckage, enter the County. Door-to-door making sure all the pets in the household are licensed. We have indoor-only cats, but that doesn’t matter. They must be licensed or we face a huge fine. Goodbye $35 dollars (and that was a savings of $25, too!). Suck. (We suspect it was the bitch behind us giving us crap, but we can’t prove it, which, you know, sucks).

Don’t get me started on the internet/phone thing, because it’s still not working and I’m to the point where I don’t give a shit. Suckiness squared.

Then, after another evening of difficult discussions, we cuddled under the covers, her cold feet attempting to find a warm spot on my body, and I realized right after I got comfortable, that I’d forgotten my nighttime meds. Not wanting to disturb our cozy nest, I asked if she minded that I skip the doses that night, and the good woman said she did not mind. I said, “So, I’ll snore like a mule and kick like one too.” “And spit like a llama,” she replied. “Did I just spit on you?” “Yes,” she said, and the giggles commenced. We laughed for several minutes, which eased a lot of tension. Not so sucky, actually.

The NaNoWriMo project is coming along; I’m ahead of schedule, although not for long. I’ve missed a couple nights, thanks to all the massive sucking that’s been going on, but I plan on making up for it over the long weekend. We’re planning a little trip to the beach to winterize the cabin and check in with the shop owner, so there will be time. That shouldn’t suck much at all.

I do hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and can spend it with people whose company you enjoy. And I really hope nothing sucks… unless you want it to.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I got an email Monday morning notifying me that my school had been broken into over the weekend. They had entered the hall where my classroom is located, and went through every room.

Every. Single. Room.

Even mine.

When I received notice of this, I hurried through my morning routine, slammed down a couple more aspirins (I was working on a nasty migraine already) and got there early. I was worried that there would be an horrific mess to deal with and I didn’t want the kids to see it.

Fortunately, the mess had been taken care of, mostly by the police as they had collected everything for evidence. This left the custodian and maintenance folks to clean up the broken glass (every door has a window in it, and they broke those to unlock the classroom doors). But, there were things that had been rifled through (including our personal drawer space where we keep our stuff, snacks, lunches, sweaters, etc) and we all felt violated. Thoroughly violated.

I suppose our room received less damage because when they got in there they looked around and realized this wasn’t an ordinary classroom. There wouldn’t be any fancy computers or gadgets sitting around. There are beginning reader books, pre-school type toys, art supplies more suited for a kindergarten classroom, and a pile of chocolate in one of the cupboards.

The chocolate is there because they frown on us keeping vodka on the premises.

Out of all of this there was some good news. They caught the little bastards red-handed. Minors, all of them, their parents will be forced to pay damages while their little darlings wile away the days in juvenile detention.

Meanwhile, we’re cleaning the room. I’ve thrown out my jar of peanuts because I do not want to eat something that might have been touched by those filthy buggars. We will scrub down all scrubable surfaces, vacuum the floor again, and do what we can to erase the evil that sent us reeling.

And we’ll keep on going because that’s what we do. Our students do not know what happened, and we want to keep it that way. It’s important to us that they feel safe at school. It’s important that they feel they can count on us to keep them that way.

Tuesday will be better.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Certifiably Me!

Someone said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

I don’t know who said it first. If you ask Snopes, you’ll get Ben Franklin, Rita Mae Brown, or Albert Einstein. No matter who said it, I've pretty much done the same thing over and over and hoped for different results, but no such luck.

That means, I must be certifiably insane. I know this to be true, because every day for the past four or five days, I’ve been on the phone attempting to sort out my internet issues with Not-Qwest-Anymore, a.k.a. Century Link, a.k.a. those fucking idiots.

They hate me. Even their pre-recorded guy who gets to answer the call first and make me jump through all those hoops of “If you are calling about your internet, say ‘internet fo’ shizzle, my bizzle of the jabberwocky underwear head.’ or press 1940938509w8493xb3.”

Then comes the long wait on hold, or as I’ve renamed it, the incessant droning about their wonderfulness while he calls me ass cow over and over. “Do you want great internet and excellent phone service? Ass cow, you can have it all!” Yes, I know he’s really saying “ask how” but after the 50 billionth time of hearing it, it has become Ass Cow, which is what I want to dress up for next Halloween.

But I digress.

After the endurance test of being on hold, they get serious. The recording guy has “run a test” on my line to see if everything is working. It takes him mere seconds to do what the live technicians take 3 – 5 minutes to do. Personally, I think they’re taking the time to trundle down the hall to take a piss or get some coffee, or whatever it is they drink in Jakarta or whichever country the customer service people live in.

Which is why they get so frustrated when YOU STOP FOLLOWING THE GODDAMN SCRIPT. See, they all say the EXACT same thing every stinking time I call them.

Every. Time.

Every time I call, I get to jump through the EXACT same hoops. Yesterday I started yelling. The tech on the other end yelled back, but had to back down because I really didn’t care for that. I’M not the one fucking with her life, her company has pretty much bent me over and screwed me instead, but I can cancel my service and still pay my bills. She cannot. HA! Take that, Bitch!


Ok, so they say “try unplugging the modem, count to fifteen, then plug it back in.” My favorite part of that is while I’m doing what they want and counting to fifteen, they get impatient and say, “I’m still here, have you unplugged the modem and plugged it back in?” Jeebuz, dude, gimme a minute, ok?

They have me unplug this or that, “can you plug the phone into a different jack?”
“No,” I tell them for the fifth time, “this is the only one that is currently working.”
The online tech said, “We show that you have other phone jacks in your home.”
I said, “They don’t work, and even if they did, I don’t want the phone plugged into them, because I want the phone in the living room. The modem must also be in the living room because that’s where the outlet is and it’s a central location in the house.”
“But,” she insisted, “you have other jacks--”
She got quiet after that. She finally said, “We can send out another technician –”
“Oh no you don’t,” I said, “I will not have any more technicians come out to my house.” “But ma’am, the technician can repair-”
“No! No technicians. The last one who came out here busted my computer when he dropped it. I will not allow any more of your bumble-footed nincompoops to cross my threshold, got it?”

She finally got it. She promised a technician would come out and they wouldn’t even have to come into the house. They would just fix the phone box on the outside of the house, but they just ask that there not be any dogs.
“No problem,” I said.

I called them again tonight, because when I called my parents, I was suddenly no longer online. I jumped through the same hoops, yelled at the same people, and got the same results.

Although I may have come up with a solution. I will buy a line splitter, attach a fucking filter to it, and hope for the best. Perhaps I’m not quite so crazy after all.

Naw, just kidding. I’m still crazy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

When Monday Strikes Twice

I had a bit of a Monday today, which is not the best way to survive a Tuesday. The whole day wasn’t exactly shot to hell, at least not until I got home.

Even though part of it started on the actual Monday.

We’re trying to cut costs, which means we need to look at everything in the budget and decide what has to go, what can stay, and what needs to change. After careful study, I found out I could save money by bundling phone and internet with one company. While it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, it was definitely for the best so we could pare down the expenses to save for the shop.

Last month, I called, set everything up, and waited for the arrival of our new modem. I said I wanted everything to start on the first of November. I was told that would be fine. Then the guy asked if I wanted someone to come out and install it for me and I asked if it was complicated. He said it wasn’t difficult at all, but if I wasn’t confident in my abilities, I could have one of their tech guys come out for a fee.

I told him I’d do it myself.

And it would have worked, but we were having issues with the router and things weren’t going well, and I couldn’t get a signal, and oh, the pain and misery. So on Sunday, I scheduled an appointment to have a technician come out and take a look. The gal on the phone said they could have one out first thing Monday morning. I said that wouldn’t work, was there anything for the afternoon? “Sure,” she said, and set up the appointment for 2:30. I did my best to impress upon her that I REALLY needed them to show up AFTER 2:30.

Imagine my chagrin when I found the note on my door saying he’d arrived around 1:55 and left at 2:05. I got on the phone with the ISP folks and ranted for a while, getting the appointment rescheduled for the next afternoon. I was on the phone for a long time again. It sucked. There were long periods of being on hold. The hold portion of that company is not lovely. Everything was rescheduled and we were ready to rock.

This time, the guy showed up at 2:35 and got right to work. He fiddled here, swore there, babbled about this and that and even went so far as to insinuate that I didn’t know how to purchase computer equipment and peripherals. Really.

But that wasn’t the worst of it. No, the worst of it happened when he stood up and with the power cord to my laptop wrapped around his foot, stepped away from the desk and literally crashed my computer, right onto the hardwood floor. Face down. Open and face down.

Imagine my chagrin.

I kept my cool as he “checked it” to make sure it still worked (parts of it do, I will freely admit that much). Then he wandered outside to do something and I had to follow him because he left the damn back door open and our indoor cats can be a pain in the ass to catch when they get out.

When all was said and done, he came back into the house and proceeded to tell Tam that “HP’s are practically indestructible” and that he had knocked his laptop off a counter and the whole thing just “blew into a thousand pieces!” But he just “snapped them all back together and it worked beautifully.”

That’s all kind of groovy and everything, but my Baby Beast (my netbook) ISN’T an HP and I’m sure it really didn’t need to be dropped. I take gentle care of my computers. I don’t set them down hard, and I sure as hell don’t drop the damn things. I sweat bullets when I am not sure I’ve padded the padded carrying case when I take it along on trips.

He dropped my netbook, did not apologize, insulted me, and acted for all the world like a dimwitted bull in a china shop filled with matador figurines.

The other icing on the cake: We were finally online when I decided to make a phone call to the ISP in question. Suddenly, we were no longer online. Not only that, but I could barely hear the almost-English-speaking operator asking me if I needed to include my cell phone in the bundle. After a long chat with another ELL person, it turns out that the modem they supplied me with is faulty and will need to be replaced.

Did I mention the ass cow? No? Well, whenever you’re put on hold for this company, you are treated to a series of advertisements for services offered by said company. These advertisements, if you listen to them long enough, begin to take on new meanings. Every time he said, “Ask how you can save more” I heard “ass cow, you can save more.”

I hate being called an ass cow. Ass cow, you can go fug yourself, m’kay?

So, that sums up my day. NaNo has been going well, but the bump to the floor has done some damage to the Baby Beast so it looks like I’ll be without it for a while. Did I mention that I’m doing all my writing on said Beast? It is more comfortable writing on it than the Big Beast, plus the portability is nice, which is one of the reasons I bought it in the first place.

I’m rambling. I’m upset, but I’m NOT an ass cow.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sweetie

Today is Tam’s birthday and we spent it just messing around. Funds being what they are, we didn’t do much in the way of celebrating, but we did do some shopping.

Our first stop was a not-so-local mall where we were bombarded with too damn much noise and waaaaay too much perfume. We had a quest, but it was beginning to look like we would need to reconsider. However, we pressed on, and enjoyed a few distractions as well.

The object of this particular quest was a stone (“the treasure is a rock!”). But not just any stone, it had to be a double-sided whet stone. In a box. Because my love has knives and they need to be sharpened, I guess.

After that, we sauntered back the way we came in and stopped at a See’s Candy store. I headed to the bathroom while Tam went to check out the chocolates. The woman behind the counter gave her a dirty look, and then offered everyone else in the store a free sample, pointedly ignoring my girlfriend.

Oh, yes she did!

Tam tracked me down in the ladies room and told me of the transgression and I said, “Nu-uh! We’re going back there.” We were both ignored, so as we were leaving I said, “We don’t get greeted, we don’t buy candy… especially from that BITCH.”

Oh, yes I did! (and I felt much better, too.)

We went to a local organic grocery store for lunch and after that, we hit the nearest Goodwill. We were on another quest, this time for whatever we could find that we couldn’t live without. Turns out, they had several items that just had to come home with us: a new coat for Tam, curtains for the living room, a popcorn kettle, some fabric, a book, and a new sweater.

We were on the way home when I managed to take a different exit from the freeway and we found ourselves near a book store that I’ve only been to once, but never forgot it. While it’s nowhere as big as Powell’s, it is not a shirker in the amount of books and places to store them. The place is a maze of tall book shelves and narrow passages. Tacoma Book Center is a hard to find treasure and definitely worth the effort.

After that, we headed to her mom’s place where she visited with family and my youngest showed up so I got to see him. He’s in a bit of a state right now, but things will be fine. He’ll probably be coming over for made-from-scratch banana cream pie tomorrow.

That’s the other thing that has been going on over here. While I’ve been busy writing and working on my NaNoWriMo project, she’s been in the kitchen, baking, cooking, and doing her best to keep busy and make me gain more weight. Cookies, baked macaroni and cheese, pie… This better be a best seller, or we’re going to go broke just buying ingredients.

But I’m not complaining.

Happy birthday, my love. Here’s hoping we win the lottery and can take early retirement to enjoy ourselves for a long time to come.

I love you.