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Well, I done done it

LJI entry up and posted.  NOT what I had originally started sketching out, but proof that that job never will let me be.

Would y'all believe they called and asked me if I would come in today?  I ignored the first call, took the second, and Kent told me there was a third after I'd left the house.

At least I got that rare second chance to use a great line that I'd come up with after the fact "Like yesterday, today I have plans.  UNLIKE yesterday, y'all can't fuck them up."

Angel (caller number 2) laughed and repeated what I'd said to Nikki (caller number 1).  Then she told me "Roll on, girlfriend.  Enjoy your day."

Apparently, after I left Big Boss J called and tried AGAIN.

Job security.  I haz it.

I'm just happy I said no.  My brainweasels have been at it, telling me I'm too uppity for being proud that I made it through six days with my sanity left relatively intact.  I'm sure some of y'all know how those voices are:

"A lot of people work harder than you do"

"It was only six days.  Why aren't you doing more?"

"You think you deserve a reward for holding a job like a normal human being?"

"The house is a mess.  What makes you think you can just leave it and go do what you want?"

"If they call you have to go.  You need the money and the residents need you.  You can't abandon them."

It helped that Angel and Nikki didn't get bitchy and treated it more along the lines of "Well, it was worth a shot..."

Take that, brainweasels!

I went to get groceries, got all the way through my shopping...and realized Kent still had the debit card.  Cue frantic call, hoping to catch him at home, another bus trip home, then a bus trip back.  I decided to reward myself by peeking into Goodwill to see what they had and.....YES!  Yes, yes, yes!

A terracotta onion roaster.  Also suitable for garlic, and probably smaller pieces of fish.  I've wanted the big one like mom had (she used it for whole chickens), but this is a start.  And there was a new-to-me Philippa (sp?) Gregory novel and a book on writing creative non-fiction.

Get home, grab some lunch (since the nearest Subway is at Timberlyne, I used the gift card Marianne gave Kent for Christmas to buy us both subs for supper.  A footlong sub will last me three meals, easy), head out to Carrboro for more thrifty goodness.

The entire set of Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cooking, circa 1968, for three bucks.  A St. Patty's Day themed scrub top and matching pants (also three bucks).  And the first two seasons of True Blood!!!!!

i've recently started reading the books (thank you, Little Free Library), and have wanted to see the series.  How is that for a gift from the Universe?

And the guy who manages the DVD/CD/media counter at PTA Thrift threw in a new, still wrapped copy of Julie and Julia for free.  <3 <3 <3  Now to just get my hands on a copy of Mama Mia! and my Meryl Streep "comfy blanket" movie collection will be complete.

Yeah, when I feel the need to retreat to my blanket fort, I only want to watch Meryl.  I wanna be her when I grow up.

As luck would have it, I also ran into cute bartender dude from Krave (the kava bar).  He wanted to dish about his current walk of shame (is there anything cuter than a gay guy in a rumpled Hogwarts uniform?  Not in my book) and treated me.  So I am one happy girl right now.

A happy girl who is about to go get ice cream.

The last six days were SOOOO worth this.

LJI: The Trolley Problem

They are hurtling towards certain death.

They know it.

You can see it in the blank eyes, or the ones full of fear.  Or the ones, rheumy and unfocused, looking to some point just past the present, or just in the past.

They see the Big Sleep.  They see the feather soft wings of an imaginary savior warm around them.  They see nothing. Some see the worst, and those are the ones who wake screaming at invisible demons in the dark.

They hurtle onward.

Onward through the screech of metal on metal.  On broken wheelchairs and faulty walkers.  On the blood and shit and piss on the tracks.  On the screams of the demented and lost; on the soft, monotonous whistling that is the only thing that will soothe.

They know.

They hear it in the voices pitched just a little too high, ringing a little too cheerful...yet hollow at the same time.  They hear it in discussions of DNRs and "no heroic measures" and "just call the priest" right in front of them, like they ARE the geri-chair they're trapped in 8 hours a day.

They taste it in the cloying sweetness of goopy milkshakes meant to hide the taste of ground up pills.  In the monotonous day after day of the same meal, mixed together by uncaring hands and shoveled in, because "they're on mechanical soft and can't taste it anyway."

They hurtle onward, picking up speed, but no one can scream.  Except the ones who can, and that does no good.

They see it in the endless parade of loved ones.  The ones who look at their watches and wonder "have I been here long enough?"  The ones who bring new wives, new husbands, new lovers along on visits, trying to pass them off as unknown relatives.  The ones who cry, then curse them for not getting better.

(The ones who just want Mommy back.  The ones who wish Daddy would just die already)

"It's okay.  She won't remember.  She's not there anymore."

"He can't hear you.  Don't bother."

They hurtle onward, all on separate journeys with the same endpoint.

I have no doubt that if one, just one, could reach the lever, it would be a different story.  The end would come just the same, but there would be a moment of triumph.  One final moment of control.

Some days I just want to step out on the tracks and save them the trouble.

(Dedicated to my residents.  i can't save you, but I would if I could)

Can't sleep, LJI will eat me

This LJI prompt is *killing* me.

I Googled it because, somehow, I'd never heard of it before.  The Muse is stalling HARD and throwing out random, seductively unhelpful ideas like "Well, there's the word 'trolley,' right?  Write about the problem that Trolley Stop TOOK FRIED PICKLES OFF THE FUCKING MENU!"

Did I mention that my Muse seems to exist in a constant state of barely contained, borderline psychotic, PMS rage?  No?  Well, she does.  Especially when it comes to LJI, which may be why so many of my pieces end up so stabby.

The last two days, all I can do is frame it in terms of coworkers and residents.  Screw innocent bystander vs. people who know they're doomed.  In my version, coworker(s) are TOAST.

Maybe I should take a bye this week.

well, THAT didn't go as planned

* clocked out 1 and 43 minutes after my scheduled leave time

Now, I DID get to vent my spleen when I filled out my "missed punch" form (yes, we even have to fill out one if we punch out after our scheduled leave time.  I fill out a lot of these.  Under reason, I wrote:

2nd shift's inability to show up for relief in a timely fashion, if at all. Flagrant disregard for employees' time and lives outside of work. Massive breakdown of communication on all levels, particularly management.

Yeah.  'Bout covers it.

* ended up using the brown ballpoint pen.  Twice.  And that's all I have to say about THAT.

* belatedly realized that I should have been more specific about in-fighting among Deity to include the fact that all it takes is one paranoid schizophrenic with dementia to turn that in to a one woman show (thank you, Mz. Edith & Co.)

* didn't mention "no fights between residents.  Especially one where the agressor thinks the agressee (?) is sleeping with her husband."

*To the above, should have added "Never want to hear my sweet Miz C--who gives me peppermints like I'm a kid and calls me shug--scream at the top of her lungs 'You touch my husband again, and I'll kill you, you piss drinking cunt slut!'"

And, to add insult to injury, our visiting shrink brought lunch for the entire staff from Panera.  Strangely enough, none of that food ever made it back to MC.

To make a bad day worse, I found out that a resident's potassium and sodium levels are seriously borked, and her (ex) husband (who brings his new wife to visit with him.  Which explains why he gave me that look when I said I thought it was really sweet of him to bring their daughter to visit.  I didn't know they were divorced, let alone that he'd remarried) said don't take her to the hospital and just call a priest.  If those are her wishes, so be it...but dude can't even be bothered to call the priest to arrange Last Rites?

I told my supervisor that I would like to know when they have the priest in, because SOMEONE should be there, and I'm betting family won't be.

In the end, I did get my chili dogs and beer, but no fried pickle chips.  THEY TOOK THAT ITEM OFF THE MENU LAST WEEK!

*sob*  I just can't win.

But I am off for the next three days.  And I am not answering that fucking phone.
Today marks my sixth day straight working the memory care unit at Happy Acres, which is a record for MC (another coworker holds the record for most days in a row, period, at 9, but freely admits that I "win" because 5 of those were in assisted living and two were driving residents to doctor's appointments).

As such, here are today's work goals:

^nobody falls
*nobody fakes a fall because they don't feel like they're getting enough attention (yes, we have one who will scream from his room that he has fallen...and he'll be sitting in his wheelchair and can't reach the remote)
^no "events of note" that have to be recorded in the urine/bowel log
*if there are, I manage to sucessfully rein in my inner 15 year old boy and NOT use my brown ball point pen, as corporate does not find this funny
*no one talking out loud to God in the dining room
*no one thinking they're God anywhere, period, unless they can keep their Deity-ness to themselves
*no screaming matches between various incarnations of the aforementioned Deity
*no impromptu exorcisms in the dining room (unless Dr. B is around, because that's comedy gold right there)
*no nonagenarians making a grab for my boobs.  Or my ass.  Or making suggestions that would get a younger man knocked sideways
*not having another coworker telling me how easy I have it because I "only work weekends, and weekends are so chill"  (of course, this is the same dipshit who let a diabetic have Froot Loops AND IS STUDYING TO BE A NURSE!)
*keeping any and all opinions of other coworkers to myself
*clock out at 3:01 and proceed immediately to Trolley Stop for chili dogs, fried pickles, and beer with my sweetie.

Wish me luck.  Here I go!!!!!

Well, I haven't done that since college.

This afternoon, i slammed open the door, yanked off my bra and threw it in a corner, stalked to the fridge, and grabbed a 3/4ths empty screwtop bottle of wine, and drank straight from the bottle.

How has work been, you ask?   BWHAHAHAHAH!!!!!  Let's see:  it started by getting called in on Wednesday (remember, I was supposed to be off T-Th, and probably Friday) and ended up with my relief coming in 45 minutes late and, when I called him on it, he simply said "Well, you still have plenty of time to get home and make dinner for your husband."

And I have three more days of this.  *thud*

People are gonna owe me bigtime, though.  I worked on my 7th wedding anniversary.  Kent's early day.  My scheduled day off.

We ended up having a nice, if low key evening.  We met at Bub's, as per our tradition.  Kent was already there, nursing a Yeungling.  I went to place my order, telling Kent I thought Yeungling was a little heavy on a mostly empty stomach...and ended up ordering a chocolate stout from a local craft brewery called Sexy Chocolate.  Road tar.  Meal in a pint glass, y'all.  And so very, very good.

Kent took a tiny sip, shuddered, and declared if anything proves I am Irish, it is the way I drink.  ;)

We got our pics out in front of the sign, and the nice barfly who happened by got a picture of us together, which is a first.  Yay!

Kent was hungry and had been wanting a chili dog.  I wasn't hungry, but said I'd go with him to the new location of Trolley Stop if he wanted.

It's funny how 2 dogs for $1 and $1 beers (Yeungling, ironically) changed my stomach's mind.  We ended up getting 4 dogs, an order of fries, 2 beers, and a scoop of ice cream to split for $8.75 before tip.

And they're running this special through the end of February.  I see many, many Trolley Stops in my future...which is even more ironic, considering this week's LJI prompt.  ;)

Okay, I fell asleep writing this last night.  It's now 5-ish Saturday morning.  Off to work, and hoping I can deal with three days of my loudest coworker.

Happy Saturday for those of y'all for whom Saturday means something.  And for the rest of us, may work be swift and painless.
I survived two days on the assisted living unit!  This was good for a couple of reasons:

1)  I pretty much only see those residents on my way coming and going to memory care.  I've been working at Happy Acres for two and a half months now, and I think I've done maaaaaybeee 3 full shifts in AL.  Two whole days gave me a chance to get to know them better, and learn how things work there.  Especially Day 2, where I was mostly left ALL BY MYSELF.  Ah, the curse of competence.  Thanks, y'all.    Enjoy those 2 hour smoke breaks while I deal with the explosive aftermath of a dinner of barbecue, collard greens, and chocolate pudding.  (I have since told Kent that he WILL run menus by me when I work the next day, or he will never get laid again.  NOT JOKING.  I'm a grown ass woman making good money and can order myself a Hitachi Magic wand if need be.  Or call Lance)

2)  Walking back into memory care yesterday morning was WONDERFUL.  You'd think I'd been gone for a year.  :)  I know I shouldn't play favorites, but I have the best residents.  <3  The look on Bev's face when she saw me made the early hours, long days, and bruises totally worth it.  She spent most of the day following me around, pointing at the door between AL and MC and shaking her head "no."

Yeah, I get collateral damage on my body on a fairly regular basis but...DAMN!  Crone energy (most of the residents in MC are women) + full moon = OW!  I should get combat pay.  They were still riding it yesterday and, of course, it was shower day for some of our more combative patients.  Bit, kicked, pinched, AND my shoes pissed on.  And this was someone who requested a shower then changed her mind halfway through.  I was trying to get her out and dried off, then she changed her mind again.

Of course, by the time she was dressed and having snack in the common room, she loved me again.

You know...come to think of it...it's kind of like dealing with my birth family.  No wonder I roll so well with this group.

Kent actually came in yesterday (he's usually off Mondays) because he had a professional knife sharpening guy come in and remedy the fact that apparently some of the past employees in the kitchen thought a knife is a handy substitute for a can opener (I am sure anyone who has worked in food service knows that there is one in every kitchen).  He also arranged that the staff could bring in knives and scissors to be sharpened for $3 a pop.

This guy's rig is COOL.  Not only does it have all the stuff to sharpen knives, there's a trailer with professional kitchen goodies (yes, when you have the combined number of years in food service that Kent and I have and are looking at stuff like that, they become goodies, not tools) and WORK SHOES.  Kent's tiny little Hobbit feet are difficult to fit, and he actually found a pair that fit and feel good.  That's well nigh impossible. I really hope this helps with his back pain.

I also like the fact that this guy is under a contract for 3 months.  Guess who is going to get all of her sewing/needlework/crafting scissors sharpened?

Proof that I married a good egg: he paid out of his own pocket for two of the PCAs who cut hair on the side to have their shears sharpened, and is putting up flyers for next Monday for any staff member who needs scissors sharpened.  And "Happy Acres is paying for it."

Which is a total lie.  He made an arrangement with the knife guy.  Kent's paying for it.  I'm keeping my mouth shut at work, so I have to tell y'all.  It's not much in the grand scheme of things, but...damn.  I married a prince.



A prince whose only Valentine's Day request was that I be wearing my KISS Destroyer tank top and boy shorts when he gets home.  *ahem*  I should probably go change.
"Welcome to Happy Acres, home of the surprise Sunday afternoon pop-up biker bar."

COULD THIS JOB GET ANY WEIRDER!?!?!?!?

Kathy (the head line cook)'s son's motorcycle club brought the residents cupcakes and presents for Valentine's Day.  Which was very sweet.  It would have been sweeter had she told us this more than half an hour in advance.  And didn't plan it right before shift change.  And picked a day other than Sunday, when the place is *crawling* with conservative family members and clergy types.

I'd also say even better on a day when we weren't grossly understaffed and I was the only one who was working assisted living (which I really don't know that well, because even when I AM assigned to AL, I get pulled to the back.  I think I've worked three full AL shifts in 2 and a half months), but...yeah.  Fully staffed?  That only happens on paydays.

Contrast this to yesterday, when the youth group at St. Thomas More's brought everyone carnations and cards (even the staff!).

Both very sweet, but...jeez.  Talk about irony.

It's been a weird few days, even by full moon standards.

I ran into Lance Friday.  The last time I saw him, he was still in a wheelchair (for the new people: he's...Lance.  We worked together at my first job here in Chapel Hill and the rest of it...is complicated.  He was in a really bad accident last year--he fell off a roof while working construction--and it fucked his shit up.  There were worries about his ability to walk unassisted ever again).  So I'm cozy in my seat on an SRO bus home, spot a familiar face and hear "Could one of y'all give up your seat, please?"

It was Lance...and he's graduated to crutches.  I jumped up and yelled his name (thank the gods I was in the front).

The guy sitting next to me actually gave up his seat so we could sit together.  <3    (He was also probably thinking "These people look *way* too happy to see each other.  Maybe I'll just stand over here and stare at my iPhone in case any old people PDAs take place")

The bus ride was way too short, but we caught up a bit.  He promised to not disappear off the face of the earth again for months, and I promised to not give him so much space he potentially drowns in it.  We're going to get together week after this coming one, because we both agree that it's a bit tacky to meet up with your paramour during her wedding anniversary/Valentine's week

I need to finish up writing about the weekend, but a certain spousebeast made homemade pizza for supper and....I've had a carton of yogurt, half a chicken biscuit (supervisors who reward people who show up with food from Hardees FTW!  Even if they forget them in their car until well into the day because exploding toilet in memory care), and 3 pieces of a Whitman's sampler today,  Food is necessary.

I just have to make it through tomorrow, and I have 4 days off.  In theory.

Feb. 7th, 2017

Had a nightmare last night that I had "infiltrated" this huge pro-Trump rally/campout/thingie (it was literally like Woodstock for Rethuglicans) and was sexually assaulted by the man himself.

Yeah, no watching the news for Alicia today.  Today's activism is radical self care in the form of watching many hours of The French Chef with Julia Child and Glee Season One (have I mentioned recently that the only thing I love more than the $1-2 scrubs at PTA Thrift are their $6 dvd box sets?) and playing with yarn.  It took me years to realize activism burnout actually is A Thing, and can get you in the most insidious ways.

Of course, Kent oh-so-helpfully pointed out that I'm at extra risk for burnout given the nature of my job.  He was trying to be sympathetic and encourage me to take care of myself...but, jeez, dude!  The phrasing was not good.

Yesterday was rough.  I had to help Ms. Stella B pack up her stuff to move because her daughter ran through all her money.  The poor woman was in tears; she didn't want to go.  And she didn't want her daughter or son to help her pack because "I have my wedding jewelry and if they find it they will take it."

And she's having to move in with her daughter?  Not good.  :(

I went to M's office (she handles all of the residents' financial affairs), and she's already on it.  She's contacted the appropriate authorities to look into financial elder abuse, and it looks like I may have to make a statement.  She didn't have any personal toiletries, so I got her some out of my own pocket (not looking for praise here.  What would you do if it were your own grandma and she needed lotion for dry, fragile skin?).  Human Services is also getting involved.

We don't have assigned seats in the dining room, but Ms. Stella always had "her" chair.  No one sat in it at lunch yesterday, and it's a prime bit of real estate (close to the television, so it's easier to see/hear).  That's a real sign of respect.

She always had a hankie on her.  She had a whole collection of old fashioned ones.  She gave one to me and said she'd miss me.  She told me to be good, and that she loves me.  I'm going to miss her.  <3

Why can't the difficult patients go somewhere else instead?  Like, starting with the one you can't get within arm's reach of because he goes to the Trump school of how you treat women?  (Although he's an equal opportunity offender.  Gender does not matter.  Even our visiting doc had to tell him he's a happily married man and HANDS OFF)

I think this new schedule will be good for me.  4 days on, three off.  Hell, with the chronic lateness of second shift, I could still possibly end up with overtime.  And this means I can stop looking for a second job, guilt free!

*sigh*  Really don't want to leave the house today, but I have to send our Christmas present back to The Patriarch.  He got us a sous vide thingie which has remained in the box because we don't have time for 18 hour bacon (no, seriously. The recipe calls to sous vide it for 18 hours--or maybe it was 8?--and then CRISP IT IN A HOT SKILLET FOR FIVE MINUTES.  Ummm....no).  Cue the panicked call to not use it because it can explode or catch fire or summon demons or something.  SO I'm sending it to him (unlike past in-laws of mine, he doesn't send invoice material or leave a price tag on it or anything like that) so he can send it back along with his.

And he's just going to send us a check for what he spent, which means we're going to get the Insta-Pot that we'd been hoping for when he'd hinted that we were getting a cool, expensive kitchen gadget that was going to change our lives.

I think he forgets that we're not retired, and live more like grad students than "real" adults.  Speed is a big consideration when we make food during the week, as is making *huge* quantities so it can be used for lunches or when we work separate shifts.  I want to further reduce the amount of ordering in that we do.  We do it once a month/every six weeks or so (we did last night, but that was a blessing, because I was exhausted), but I'd like to cut it back even further.  I'd rather money spent on food we don't make for ourselves go towards nice meals out, rather than ordering in because it's easier on a given day.

That said, I should probably get my ass in gear and get this done.

LJI: No Comment

I was born with what my grannies called a snaggletooth.

When they said "Bite your tongue, girl," I did.

I tasted copper.  Sometimes the blood would fill my mouth as I tried to swallow, swallow the words.

I never knew it was just an old saying.  You didn't actually have to bite your tongue.

But I learned that it meant silence.  That is the important part.

The questions were pointed, just like my tooth.  I learned it hurts less to shake your head than to open your mouth and show the blood and the paragraphs of accusations unspokened.

I'm older now.

And they come to ask me.  Now it's all the shows and the questions and the innuendo.

I chew my lip in my sleep.  I don't mean to.  But I wake up to a pillow with blood and tears.

They ask me questions.

I can still feel the hand clapped over my mouth, my tooth drawing blood as it killed my words.

I smile.  I give my offering, my only words.  "No comment."

That. Was. Amazing.

The spousebeast and I went to see the matinee performance of 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' today.  It was our early anniversary present to us.  Hard to believe it is going to be SEVEN YEARS on the 16th.  Harder still to believe this was mostly his idea.

When we first met, he'd never seen a play live, let alone a Broadway musical.  I dragged him to see the tour of 'Rent' with Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp...largely because my gay boyfriends SUCK, and none of them would take me up on the extra ticket (I have never heard a bigger bunch of whining that "it's just not relevant anymore"  IN MY LIFE.  Yeah, still pissed at Kinsey and Cameron over that).  So I cried about going alone and Kent grudgingly went and was surprised by the experience.  Then we went to see 'Wicked'  and his whole attitude has changed.

(Although not so much that when I noticed that the farewell tour of 'Mama Mia!' is playing on Liam's birthday/right before Mother's Day that it kept him from saying "Hope you work enough hours to get yourself a ticket.")

I was lucky enough to see the film when it make its NC debut at the NCGLFF.  I went with Kinsey and the bois from Casa del Fag (this was pre-Kent), and...it was not what we had expected.  Rolling Stone reviews had led us to believe that it was the next 'Rocky Horror Picture Show,' so we were expecting a lighthearted, campy romp.

Er, no.

Kinsey and I were volunteers and were planning on going to the big after party.  Instead, we just sat in our seats until the theatre cleared out, looked at each other in a sort of shell shocked way, and said "Let's go home."  We decided that donuts and wine were a better way to process things.

The film and the show are two totally different experiences (I can hear the "well, duh!" from here).  There is no intermission.  It is more or less a one person show the majority of the time.  It is...immersive.  It was fucking amazing.

The funny thing is that we were CLEARLY in an audience that was comprised largely of season ticket holders who had NO idea what they were in for.  We're talking they came straight from church and brunch and said "Well, we have the tickets; might as well."

(And a smattering of queers who came for the cheap seats so they could see Lady Gaga at halftime.  Uh....kinda like us)

Kent loved it.  I am so pleased.

What a wonderful, wonderful day.  We also had garlic fries and pulled pork nachos at Tylers and mixed drinks at the show courtesy of my stealth minibar skills (protip:  no one searches your purse too thoroughly if you have a collection of tampons, tissues, a bottle of ibuprofen, and a couple of lip glosses on the top.  No one is willing to dig around in that for 6 mini bottles of Stoli).

And now we're watching the Superbowl, waiting for Lady Gaga.  i don't know if we are incredibly well rounded or incredibly fucked up.
Of course, I joke about getting in sick and wake up in hot flash hell.  Dizzy, throwing up, the whole nine yards.

Be careful what you wish for.  Luckily, the supervisor I get has the same issues (AND migraines, bless her heart)

We're still under a water ban.  Probably until late tonight at least.  They're doing a press conference at three today, which I'm betting is going to essentially be "We're screwed until Monday."

Bleh.  I was REALLY hoping to get a shower before Kent and I go see 'Hedwig' tomorrow (DPAC and Tyler's, being in Durham, aren't affected by the water ban).  There's still a faint glimmer of hope, but I may send him to Walgreens for dry shampoo.  We have an extra gallon of water thanks to Lily and Olivia (DHS brought them water, and Lily *insisted* on sharing with us.  And a little child....) which means a quick wash up will be an option, but...damnit...I want to be all sparkly clean (emphasis on sparkly) for our big anniversary date.

And, as I typed this...WE HAZ WATER!  If it is safe for restaurants to use, I can throw my scroungy butt in the shower!  Yay!

After a day of hot flashes, I seriously need it.  It always amazes me that even your wrists can sweat.  Ick.

Kent brought me home an orange Vitamin water and a fistful of Saltines, so I am feeling tons better.  I know Vitamin Water is just glorified Kool-Aid, but I always feel tons better on days like this when I have some.  I'm sure it is purely psychological, but if it works, it works.
I feel a catastrophic 24 hour illness coming on.

We had a water main break; ergo, no water.  It's contaminated.  Probably won't be fixed until tomorrow at the earliest.

Ya know how much fun that's made work this afternoon?  And add in the fact that the genius who does our ordering hasn't ordered wipes IN TWO WEEKS and....yeah.

This is gonna get worse before it gets better, I fear.

Well, THAT was unexpected

Phone rang shortly after 8.  It was mother.  Kent decided it was an excellent time to flee to the shower.  (Coward)

I was fully expecting a dressing down for being mean to my sister after Hairgate 2017.  Instead, she was calling to say that she will be incommunicado while she moves house this week.  She FINALLY got that pos she's married to to evict his stepmother from the house that his father put *in my mother's name* before he died.

Only took 6 years.

So, yay!  She will no longer be living in a place falling down her ears (and she's married to a contractor.  Of course, Grandpa was a body/fender man and a mechanic, and we never had a car that worked as it should) and coated in black mold.  I'm happy for her.

THEN she mentioned Hairgate 2017.  She prefaced it with "You girls are grown.  I wish you wouldn't bicker."

Bicker!?!?!?  I posted a silly meme on FB, and my sister had to proclaim I don't know my own haircolor.  So I got fed up and called her out on it.  Yeah, I'm the mean sister.

Ummmm....mother took my side.  Hauled out the photo album and showed her that, while my hair was a darker shade, we're both redheads by birth.  Boom.

I don't know why this is so important my sister.  I don't know why half of the shit that my sister tries to gaslight me about is important to her.  I know I should take the high road and shake it off, but I have finally reached the point where I can't for my own mental safety.  Mother says I'm crazy and make shit up about my sexual abuse.  My ex swears I'm bipolar and I only ever said he hit me to get sympathy (he also implied that the bruises and marks were self harming behavior, which is so far beyond bullshit.  Do I self harm?  Yes.  It drink too much and fall asleep and chew my lower lip bloody in my sleep. If that's self harm, guilty as charged.  And this accusation comes from a shrink WHO IS ALSO A CUTTER).  I'm tired of when I speak my truth, someone is waiting in the sidelines to say I got it wrong.

Fucking haircolor?  Really?

It was nice for mother to take my side for once.

And, apparently, I have my halo back.  I'm the good daughter again.  Apparently, mom's "we have to take care of Steffy because she's sickly and has a genius IQ and is 'heavy' and the world just doesn't understand her" has done worn out.

"All she does is sit on the sofa, drink beer, and smoke cigarettes.  Sometimes she makes a meal if she wants it.  And she is just RUDE to me.  I don't need to be talked to like I'm a [r word redacted]."

So...not crazy.  My sister really is an evil, entitled bitch.  And my family made her that way, so that's another knot to untangle.

My circus, my monkeys...but I can let them throw feces at each other for a while while I decide if/when to intervene, right?

The most damning thing?  And it is not fair, because Stef's narritive is way worse than mine (I have no idea about mother's.  I thought her story was finanicial slavery and cheating. Although I now know he hit her.  I don't know what all else went down).  Mother said "You know, I was in an abusive relationship.  YOU were in an abusive relationship.  YOU NEVER tried to hurt the people who were trying to help you."

Apparently, if you give my sister a couple of vodka tonics, she goes from sneering condescention to physical violence.  And my sister is not a tiny person.  She's  5'10" and has spent the last 30some years building and tearing down sets.  Mother barely tops five feet and her main activities are watching HGTV and petting the dog.

I should go to Bristol and stage an intervention.  I should stay here and pretend I don't know these people.

I don't know.

But the sick thing out of all of this is...I have mother's approval again.  And I am happy about it.  How immensely fucked up is it tat I can look at all of this and smile because I'm "the good daughter" again?

LJI: Where I'm From

I am from her worst mistake.

I am from a marriage too early.

I am from dreams stifled and abandoned, the ashes shoved in an imaginary box in the linen closet, behind notebooks of poetry and pictures of a smiling girl in white go-go boots.

I am from his temper.

I am from the Iowa farm boy who watched his teddy bear burn in a trash pile when he was too old for such things.

I am from the "Don't cry."  From hers, from his.  Never cry.  I am from my own "Don't cry."

I am from his hands where they shouldn't be.  I am from his friends' hands.  I am from screwing my eyes shut and still seeing those perfect one inch ocean blue tiles behind my eyes.  (The grout was black)

I am from waffles on Saturday and games of Monopoly and pretending this never happened.

I am from denial.

I am from the perfect parish portrait on Sunday.

I am from knowing that melmac dishes don't break when you throw them, but spaghetti squash throws vegetal shrapnel that you will be finding for weeks.

I am from celebrations that he's gone on deployment.  From moments where there is frozen yogurt for dinner and re-runs of The Monkees and you can buy whatever you want.

I am from Bobby Vinton records and Twinkies and her crying and not knowing what to do for her.

I am from calling overseas and having a woman answer and understanding suddenly and far too early.

I am from denial.

I am from her temper.

I am from her hand across my cheek.  I am from the mark that fades, but burns still.

I am from the truth.  I am from learning the truth is always punished.

I am from...

I am...

I...

...
I've not been at Happy Acres even two months yet (that will be February 1)...and I was the senior member on the floor today.  Our med tech has worked solely on the assisted living side, which means she's trained in the mechanics of the job, but got ZERO training on the individual residents (we just changed med systems, too, and apparently there isn't any indication of who swallows pills whole, who has to have them crushed, what vehicle is used to get them their meds if crushed.  Boy, it's a good thing I pay attention to weird, minute details).  The other long-term aid had to go over to AL because they were short staffed, leaving me with the new hire.

We got it done, but I.  Am. Tired.

I really like the new hire.  She's a student at UNC, and this is what she wants to do.  So she's passionate about it.  She wants to learn.  She wants to work.

Okay, the fact that she lives two blocks away from me and I may have a carpool buddy (saving me an hour wait for the bus on Saturday and two cab rides on Sunday in exchange for my boundless wisdom (hah!) and giving her gas money) doesn't hurt.  Also, she doesn't smoke cigarettes, so smoke breaks aren't a thing for either of us.  We agreed that we'll take the residents who smoke on their scheduled breaks in turns (she's allergic, too), but extras are up to anyone on the floor who actually smokes.

B and K are about to get REALLY annoying.  I can feel it.

In other  work-related news, 3rd Shift Alicia (I'm First Shift Alicia.  This confuses some people) was the ONLY person who noticed my new hair!  *pout*  She pointed out that my hair went with my scrubs, my necklace, and the pen I was writing with while waiting to be able to clock in.

I pointed out that I had coordinated socks, too.

"Oh, but what about your underwear?"

I pulled out my waistband and checked. "Yup.  That too."

WHY is it that I could never get this coordinated if I tried, but I can do it half asleep at 4:30 in the morning?

At least my bra didn't match.  Small victories.  That means I am much less likely to be the target of a serial killer, if what L&O tellls me is true.

Time to stop babbling.  If I fall asleep in the next four minutes, I can get 6 and a half hours sleep.  Total score!
Had an interview for Potential Job No. 2 earlier today.  I applied for day prep at a new restaurant, and I think it went really well.  *crosses fingers*  We'll just ignore the fact that I would be making more to chop veggies in a steakhouse than I make to care for peoples' loved ones.

I think it would be a good balance:  a job where I can cuss and play with pointy objects during the week, professional granddaughter on the weekends.

And, let's be honest:  I miss being in a professional kitchen.

(Oh, and so help me Bob, if I get this and the spousebeast feels compelled to remind me that the last time I helped open a restaurant, I got screwed three months in in favor of the less experienced, less costly people *that I trained*...I will feed him all raw vegetarian meals FOR A MONTH.  Washed down with Michelob Ultra)

Of course, all of the excitement of the potential thrill of helping open another restaurant kind of dulled when I came home and fired up my OnDemand on watched the "Restaurant Wars" episode of this season's Top Chef.  Why do I DO this to myself?

For the same reason I come home early on a day when I have supper in the crockpot and have to smell it cooking all day:  I don't think things through, and I clearly like to torture myself.

This was one of my favorite no-brainer meals:  massive, bone-in chicken boob with the skin removed (I swear, this thing came from Frankenchicken), can of fire roasted tomatoes, couple of shots of hot sauce, can of green chiles, a little bay leaf,, a little cumin, half a beer, garlic, onion, bell pepper if I have it (I didn't today).  Cover, secure lid with bungee cord because I lost the actual big rubber-band thingie that's supposed to do the job, and make like Elsa and let it go.

We'll eat some tonight, save the rest for tomorrow.  I'm reserving the liquid, soaking some of the gorgeous heirloom beans the Patriarch got us (ya know, back when he gave USEFUL gifts.  Unlike the sous vide thingie that is still in the box)  overnight, and then chucking THEM in the pot tomorrow with  the cooking liquid from the chicken, some homemade chicken stock, and let them do their thang while we're at work.  Ta-dah!  Meals for the weekend and probably a couple for next week, too, if I use up some of the rice in the freezer.

I also made cheesecake swirl brownies.  This is part of the "try all those recipes on boxes/cans/bags that you swear you are going to make and never do" personal challenge.  I'm keeping notes as to which ones are successful, and then copying them so I don't have to assume that the recipe will be on the back of the package forever.

And I tease Kent about his notebooks of Hearthstone deck stats....
Gotta love a guy who brings you home a mini bottle of chardonnay becuse he--gasp!--made an impulse purchase.

The profligate bastard bought a single serve Stouffer's lasagne to have for lunch.  The shock!  The horror!  The fact that I can now have a PB&J for lunch like I wanted!

I hate frozen lasagne.  He thinks peanut butter is the sandwich spread of Satan (again, I did NOT know this before I married him).  So we both won this afternoon.

I find it funny that we both have the same approach to self-centered impulse purchases:  "Hi, sweetheart!  I just spent three dollars on myself, but something I don't like for myself for you, too!  Here!"

(Cashews are my go-to for Kent.  I don't *dislike* them; I just prefer them as an ingredient, not a snack)

D'oh!

Spousebeast:  I need a new book for the bus ride.  Would you grab me something out of the linen closet?

Me:  Oh, I just grabbed one at the Little Free Library that I thought you might like.

Spousebeast:  *heavy sigh*  Sweetheart, I just put that there YESTERDAY MORNING because it is utter rubbish.

I picked it up yesterday afternoon, thinking Kent would like it.  *cringe*  Clearly, we need to get more coordinated about this.

Oh, and the whole linen closet thing:  we could have four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a formal dining room for the size of the closet (especially if I actually folded anything other than towels).  As it is, it is just the two of us and our rather minimalist linens, so I have commandeered two of the shelves (soon to be three, once I start actually folding stuff.  Book storage is a powerful motivator) for books.  The ones we brought when we moved in together live in the spare bedroom.  The cookbooks (well, some of them.  The really cool ones that make us look like the edgy foodie couple a lot of people think we are) live on a shelf between the living room and kitchen.

All new purchases and finds live in the linen closet.  Except for my SARK/Jen Louden/Natalie Goldberg/Alicia Bay Laurel...oh, hell, we just call it "Alicia's books" which live on shelves around my side of the sofa.  Always nice to have inspiration within reach.

Speaking of Natalie Goldberg, she's coming back to Flyleaf in March!!!!!  I may have to break out my old copy of Writing Down the Bones (I bought it the summer after I graduated high school.  And SHE SIGNED IT the last time she came through!) and work my way through it again.  I've gotten stuck on The Jillie Project AGAIN, and I need a kick in the ass.  Or, more realistically, I need a different approach, even if I end up throwing out most of it.

Shameful (but probably not unfamiliar to some) confession:  I REALLY miss the days when I believed everything I wrote was genius, and that the rest of the world just needed to get a clue and catch up.

In some ways, I'm glad THOSE notebooks and stories and novels got demolished with Granma and Grandpa's house.  I mean, yes, it is a huge loss to future generations (akin to the Library at Alexandria, to be honest), but they'll soldier on.  ;)

I might be a bit loopy.  I've actually been getting SLEEP!  Three days in a row when one or both of us didn't have to get up before 5!  And I've been sleeping in!  Holy crap...not running on a constant sleep deficit is a RUSH!  Is this what normal people feel like?

Don't worry.  I don't expect any of y'all to answer that.  ;)

It is weird, though.  Waking up, feeling rested, having actual energy to do things.

Sometimes bad, bad things.

We've got a 6' shelf in the kitchen that is our pantry.  (Yes, there is a theme here.  Our decor is all shelves scavenged from the wonder that is when the students move out, concert posters, and nerdy toys)  It's black, and I have SO wanted to paint at least one side with chalkboard paint.  Kent's objected.  The paint is too expensive, blah, blah, blah...

Guess who just traded some of my old school glitter (remember the big shakers they had in the 70s? Those) with Olivia (the next door neighbor) for a pint of chalkboard paint?  Heh.  She even gave me a box of chalk that was a leftover from Lily's birthday party.

THEY MADE CHALKBOARD EVERYTHING AT LILY'S PARTY!  I think that is an amazingly cool idea for a kids party.  Olivia bought all sorts of stuff that could be painted at Dollar Tree, and provided the paint.  There were birdhouses and picture frames and little boxes.  Such a neat idea.

Anyway, she's offered to come over and help paint the pantry while Lily is at preschool.  It's a ninja operation: "Let's do it on a day when Kent opens and you're off.  Come knock on the back door when he gets in the cab, and we'll get rolling.  We can have it dry and back in place before he gets home.  And you can blame it on me because, sister...THAT is a perfect canvas.  You can keep an inventory of what's in there, or a grocery list, or write the dinner menu...or just a note that says "Off with my girls!  The fridge is that way!"

I never thought I would like Olivia.  And Goddess knows she gave me myriad reasons not to.  This is nice, though.

And...chalkboard pantry!  This is gonna be so cool!

See?  Adequate sleep makes me get all crafty.  I'm starting to wonder if Kent wants me to take three million extra jobs from a financial aspect....or if he is just afraid that extra rest = DIY hell home decor.

Arrrrgh!

Stop it, stop it, stop it!

Yesterday, I found out that Big R died.  He was a past owner/current beloved barfly at Bub O'Malley's.  Hell, the man danced with me at my wedding reception (yes, it was held at a dive bar.  As was my 40th birthday party.  And countless other events, big and small, in my life in Chapel Hill) and slipped me $100 even though he hadn't known/remembered we were coming.  I can't (and probably shouldn't) count the hours I've spent sitting next to him at the bar while waiting for Kent to get off work, sipping our beers and discussing Law & Order SVU.

The place is not going to be the same without him.  :(

Then, I found out Chapel Hill Comics is closing in March.  *sob*  Where am I going to get my copies of Dr. Strange and Scarlet Witch now?  And Cute Lumberjanes Girl will be gone!  *double sob*

Add into that that The Bookstore is closing (bye, bye, window cat!  Even though I will be forever pissed that they never hired me and used the weak excuse that they found someone more qualified.  Um, English degree here!) as well as Linda's, which has been on Franklin St. FOREVER.

The face of Franklin St. is changing.  Do.  Not.  Want.

Okay, I consider myself a free spirit.  That all changes in the face of stuff like this.  I want to throw a full-on temper tantrum right now.

Now, on the subject of GOOD change, I finally got around to "touchin' up mah roots."  Hello, Vidal Sassoon Vivid Velvet Violet!  I'll have to go out in the sun to get a good bead on the final color, but all of my silver looks like violet tinsel.  Love it!

Speaking of hair, over on FB, my sister actually corrected me about my haircolor at birth.  Jesus, woman!  We were both redheads.  There are pictures to prove it.

She does this shit all the time (giving me the "correct" version of our growing up).  And in the ost condescending way possible.  Well, guess what, little sister?  Big sis is mad, and is calling you out publically.  I will not be gaslit by anyone, and that is EXACTLY what she's doing.  I don't put up with it from partners, and I will no longer put up with it from family.

(And I'll probably get a phone call from mother, screaming at how I'm being mean to her.  Note to self: buy a bottle of wine and save it for that inevitability)

In better news, I haz prezzies coming home!  They're cleaning out the big storage closet at work, and Kent got to go through a massive bunch of cds (our office manager, M, commandeered all the yard, but left me the knitting needles.  Cheeky, since we BOTH don't knit.  She told Kent to pass along to me that there wasn't a single crochet hook in the bunch.  Which I believe, because you NEVER find cast off crochet hooks.  It's weird).  He culled what he thought I'd like, and I have lots of shiny new-to-me stuff to listen to.  Everything from opera (he DOES love me!)  to Emmylou Harris to Indigo Girls to Pagan Hellcats (a local band.  I'm curious how THAT got in the mix.  i'm sure there's a story there).  I have lots of good stuff to listen to while I fill out applications for the second job.

Is it wrong that part of me really wants the cashier position at Whole Foods?  I would have potential characters walking through my line all day, every day.

I'm weird.  i know.

How's y'all's Tuesday going?