Back to hamsterwheeling. Lately it's more or less on the subject of how long it's been since I've managed to knuckle down and write a coherent next installment of Trevor and Jason's story, whilst still not really having a damn thing to show for other distractions, and while I do have to keep reminding myself that one whole year of that inactivity was basically 2016 fucking us over with something or other every fifteen minutes, even the excuse that that hasn't actually stopped being the case does begin to wear a bit thin by, oh, around August or so. So. New Year's Resolution for... um... let's call it "calling a mulligan on 2016" is to try to get back to any sort of head-space where I can just let myself dance write like no one's watching (because it's probably true anyway at this point) and bloody well do something with myself.

Watch the computer finally break now.
robling_t: (Default)
( Jun. 5th, 2017 05:56 pm)
I had thought that Cheratussin was the most unutterably disgusting substance I would ever be expected to stick in my mouth.

And then the pharmacy refilled the prescription with generic guaiatussin, and I discovered what true misery was.
robling_t: (Default)
( May. 23rd, 2017 03:21 pm)
Apropos of... nothingtoseehereguv, I've been thinking that there are basically three possible societal responses to variance:

  1. Society tries to help you be the best you that you can be, with accommodations intended to bring your individual functioning in line with where you want it to be

  2. Society tries to "help" you to be in line with the functional level that it expects... or demands... of any other of its citizens

  3. Society says to hell with it, if you can't keep up with the implied rest of us it's Not Our Problem


Thoughts? Thinly veiled screeds against the bureaucratic system of your choice...?
robling_t: (Default)
( May. 5th, 2017 04:16 pm)
Rolled a critical fumble on breakfast that involved two rolls of paper towels, bleach-spray, the house and my hands now smelling like bleach-spray, a load of laundry, and breaking a bowl, the good scissors, and my pants. I have really missed my calling as some sort of "finding the impossibly-worst-case scenario" troubleshooter-slash-doomsayer. But at least there was cereal to eat instead, and in that spirit, I shall enumerate some of the other bright sides that I've managed to look on lately:


  • Reported the hole I sprained my ankle on to the appropriate alderthing's office
  • Thyroid function will not be repossessed for another month despite the ongoing state of higgledy-piggledy after the pharmacy updated its systems
  • Didn't actually lose library holds after library system update regardless of what the self-check terminal may believe about it
  • New-new Upstairs has no sex-life that I need concern myself about so far, knock wood
  • I can turn the heat up to flash-fry in May if I have to
  • Flat is small enough that there are a limited number of places that a cat who still doesn't understand that he has a name can disappear into
  • Uterus still ticking over in good order
  • Lilacs. Just lilacs.


...I'm not very good at this optimism thing, am I.
robling_t: (Default)
( Mar. 24th, 2017 06:13 pm)
After about eight months plus an extra week's detour into "the problem is that the original contractors were doofii", we once again have a proper source of hot water. New Tank is actually smart enough to sort-of explain when it doesn't like something, moreover, hence the detour when the meaning of an intermittent error light turned out to be that some bright spark appears to have connected up the exhaust pipes inside the walls in such a way that the furnace was occasionally blowing into New Tank's metaphorical ear. Not an imminent danger, just very very dim of someone.

At some point during those eight months of spot-cleaning and dry shampoos, some other bright spark changed the formula of my favourite proper-shampoo, and now I have to go find another brand. Bother.

In happier news, the cats have just about arrived at a state of detente, or at least denial. What did that take, about two years?
robling_t: (Default)
( Mar. 3rd, 2017 06:04 pm)
It occurred to me the other night that this is actually the longest stretch of my life that I've ever lived in one place.

Still never had that housewarming party...
Well, dammit, I finally get a chance at something resembling a vacation and y'all go and let the final sign of the Apocalypse happen while I was out of town. Just don't say I didn't warn you.
I appear to have thrown myself wholeheartedly into worldbuilding for New Sekrit Project. Have to balance that with not neglecting Previous Sekrit Project, assuming anyone's still following that...

What I'm hung up at right now is the part where Muse, in-her-infinite-wisdom, seems to have mentally cast the Bernard Marx-y role in her Brave New World homage as Idris Elba. I suspect that it's Relevant, bordering on plot-Relevant, that he's both A, an Englishman, and B, not a white Englishman, but it would be nice for once to be able to dredge up some of the stuff that goes on at the level of subconscious intuition to where I can interrogate the crap out of it before I'm elbows deep in things and have to work back to see how I can reinforce ideas I'd half(-assedly) worked out here and there already. Because compared to that, I suspect that genderswapping most of the rest of the cast is fairly small potatoes, relatively speaking...

(Have also learned that Shaw's original ending for Pygmalion was basically going to be "Eliza punches Henry in the face and goes off to work for universal suffrage" -- I may have interpreted it in my own unique idiom. Feeling rather vindicated in my displeasure at Billy Elliot right about now.)
Shoe #I-forget-what: the sump-pump died. Not that I can blame it, it came with the unit and our Alleged Guy was kind of impressed that it lived as long as it had, but dammit, we were going to use the rest of the tax refund to catch up with fixing the last total disaster...
robling_t: (Default)
( May. 10th, 2016 02:54 pm)
Going to go Do A Thing, that is not any of the Things that desperately need doing, to distract myself from my continued inability to knuckle down to doing any of the Things-that-desperately-need-doing.

If spring would ever frickin' come, maybe I could break out of this...
It isn't every day you find out which crack your life slipped down twenty years ago.

A change-of-address form. Which either didn't get sent, or wasn't noticed if it did, who knows at this remove. But it turns out that that was why my college never contacted me to explain What Happens Now after I took some time off to regroup; no exit interview, no here's where you could go from here, and no by the way this is the paperwork for a $500 loan you may not have been told that you actually received that you'll have to settle at this point Because The Reasons.

You may be getting an inkling of where this story is going.

Contact was reestablished at least one intervening move later, by which point said forgotten loan was in collection and we wrote to ask College why we were getting letters about that when neither of us could recall seeing paperwork to the effect it had actually gone through in the first place. Oh, College said, we can't lay hands on your file, it might have been for this? (But I never did the this.)

We went into the office. College still couldn't find the file to sort out whether this was even my loan. So the question sort of... got left there, Eh, well, paperwork, what can you do. And there matters stood for a couple more moves, and twenty-two years, and $1200 in penalties-and-interest, until I finally got annoyed enough at having to explain this in response to the periodic collection letters that I went all the way into Mum's files and combed through the actual College paperwork such as we had myself.

And found the loan. Or at least something resembling it in the right amount on one obscure printout. And we went into College's office again, and they produced my file at long last, and in the file was the original unopened undelivered this is due now please letter that anyone could have shown us at any time since we started asking about this in 1994.

Some days it just does not pay to chew through the straps.

I'm not sure where this goes from here; we're talking to College about how to resolve this, starting with why didn't (several-finance-officers-ago) actually explain HOW to clear this as a disability case, which is where I'm currently hung up trying to figure out who my medical chain-of-command to prove any of that even is. (To sum up: Plan dropped $DOCTOR, I dropped Plan, New Plan said 'sure, have $DOCTOR', and then assigned me someone who's not $DOCTOR. Cue phone-tag hell...) I'd just go ahead and pay it off if I was remotely in any position to; College does seem willing enough to shoulder some blame for the part of the fees that have accrued since we originally tried to resolve this 20-odd years ago (the most recent offer from Collection is in the neighbourhood of $1200 instead of $1800 -- do other people's lives get so wrecked over amounts a CEO wouldn't even wipe their arse with? Or is that a stupid question these days?). But right now I'm at a spoonless ebb just trying to think about which thread of this to start unpicking first...
The car is home. Final damages to the Other Guy's insurance: about $4500, and another grand for the rental. Not to mention that I have my fingers crossed that it's really going to be as nice out this weekend as has been promised, since apparently they washed it inside as well as out and it stinks so bad that Mum had to roll the windows down from it. But, the car is home, and that's a thing.
robling_t: No, seriously, bollocks (bollocks)
( Jan. 29th, 2016 03:13 pm)
...More than $5k damage estimated to the car, not to mention several days of work lost already because it's taking forever to sort a rental. As I've seen people saying, could somebody turn 2016 off and back on again to see if that would help...?
On today's episode of "Mum's Adventures In Driving", she parked the car, went inside to pick up the delivery-job, and came back out to find that a guy from the company she was picking up at had backed the sticky-out-bit of the back of the company's truck through her back window.

They are allegedly going to pay for this.

I think that if they don't SHE WILL FIND THEM, ifyouknowwhatImean. She's a bit stressed.
robling_t: (Default)
( Dec. 14th, 2015 05:00 pm)
And then there was the part where Mum bumped the lightswitch that's been on notice for Suspicious Behaviour for a couple of years and it made sizzly noises and smelled like melting plastic; we've declared that circuit off-limits for realsies until we can get an electrician in to assess the situation, because clearly that is not normal or reasonable by any stretch, but now we're sitting here mostly in the dark because it's one of the 3-way switches for the hallway and god only knows what it might be cross-connected to given that nothing in this place seems to have been wired up correctly in the first place. More money we do not have, more resentments we did not need.

(My suspicion, for what it might be worth, is that since this particular switch sits roughly across the line where the two halves of the building are settling unevenly, "somebody" never left enough slack in the wires for this eventuality and something's pulled loose. We shall see.)

Here, have a picture of Festive Ren to compensate. I note that he's just about stopped speaking to me at all at this point, but I'm sure that this has nothing to do with that...
robling_t: (Default)
( Nov. 16th, 2015 07:37 pm)
Following on from other recent expenses and disasters, last week was bookended by serious DNW:

First, on Monday I was woken up by a call saying that Mum had had a fall at work. Fortunately she remembered to grab her phone as the Nice People were helping to sort her out and get her to hospital. Nine hours later she turned up home with a spectacular black eye but otherwise surprisingly little damage for a 75YO, IE no broken bones or serious trauma besides being kind of pissed off about the general situation. Apparently while she was checking into a building for a delivery the drone behind her in line set down his box and when she turned around she tripped straight over it and went down flat on a marble floor. Supposedly, someone, somewhere within this chain of events in insured for something, so. She still looks impressively horrible.


And then, the week's other episode of "What Fresh Hell: Medical" started when I woke up Wednesday to discover that Snip had pooped on the bathmat. She's done a lot of questionable things, but that's never been one of them. And she hadn't eaten her breakfast, which was even more suspicious for this cat. Over the course of the day it became apparent that she wasn't feeling so great, horking up blobs of spit and depositing looser and looser poops in the box. So I kept her under observation, fingers crossed that the episode would pass once she'd emptied herself out, because hey, cats do get the occasional attack of Angry!Colon like anybody.

But it didn't seem to be clearing up.

By Friday the "fuck you I'm busy" face had devolved into the "I don't have the energy to tell you to fuck off" face, which is the point where it seemed like a really really good idea to say we'll figure out how to pay for it later we are calling the vet now. And, nearly $900 later, that turned out to have been the right call: Snip was so dehydrated that she'd lost three pounds -- 1/4 of her body-weight, for those keeping score -- and in addition to various stop-oozing-out-both-ends meds had to be re-inflated with subdermal fluid like a camel's hump.

If we'd waited even until Saturday morning to bring her in she might not have made it.

Snip's on the mend now after a worrying weekend of further refusal to eat; she started begging for food again by Sunday morning, although for the first few hours she only stared at her plate like gooshyfood was some sort of cruel joke, and now she's back to something like her old patterns of demanding to be fed again every time the monkeys go even vaguely in the direction of the kitchen. And she pissed on Mum's chair, which is annoying but since it means she's back to her usual self we just cleaned it up... again... and wrote it off as a good-enough sign.

This is the second time I've been in the position with this cat, and the second time with a cat this year, that I've had to look at them suffering and try to figure out "how bad" it is, is it time to say hang the expense yet, how compassionate can I "afford" to be. And it really, really, sucks.

So that was my week. You guys?
I keep thinking "I should post more and get some of these hamsterwheeling thoughts out", but so far nothing's really cohered into more than a vague ball of rants that mostly come down to 'other people having veto power over my existence'. Never entirely sure whether the reflex that nobody wants to hear that is Brainweasels or just realism.

Did have the tangentially related thought that Billy Elliot actually has a horrible underlying message when you get thinking about it: Thatcher wins, the miners go to hell, but at least this one special snowflake got out. Getting very tired of 'feel-good' entertainment where nobody actually stops to deconstruct the idea of society as a bucket of crabs...
robling_t: (Default)
( Oct. 27th, 2015 12:22 am)
Still dogpaddling in Suck, today's having been a flat tire -- A) expensive, B) a missed day's pay on top of expensive, and C) Mum underfoot and on edge all day which didn't do a damn thing for either of our dispositions. But looking on the bright side, at least I've requalified for something at least vaguely resembling health insurance for another year, which fear had been hanging over my head since, oh, April or so. I had had a half-formed notion to spend today sorting out what's next on the health to-do list, but, um, see above about "Mum underfoot etc". Spoons, I do not haz...
The last couple of months have been one of those "Someday, we'll look back on this and laugh... right...?" sort of experiences. The biggest inflection-point of Suck was the part where the condo board finally got fed-up enough about the past-due assessments to demand that Mum come up with a concrete plan for catching up, which meant weeks of stressing out about which bones we could actually disjoint from the budget to address the situation. Still not sure that this has resulted in a plan that's A), viable RE her always-variable income-situation, and that B) they've actually bought, because, as I have complained here many many times, nobody ever bothers to tell us anything. So, um, yeah. Direct stress, because Threat To Living Situation, and indirect stress, because In Living Situation With Someone Worrying About Budget, and if you don't think that's a major stressor, you've never lived with anyone who remembers when bread was a nickel. *ahem* Still Least-Bad Option, but I do find myself wishing I'd ever been in a position to exert any sort of control over the outcome of my life what-so-ever.


Another lesser but still wearying point of Suck is that the cats still hate each other, 3/4 of which now seems to be conditioning on Ren's part. (He has developed an unfortunate tendency to roll over and scream in a high-pitched voice whenever he can't get away from Snip fast enough for his liking.) He's still camped out in Mum's bedroom, and since he appears to have maxed out at a weight of 7.8 pounds he may well have to stay in there until Snip starts slowing down with age, which at 12 1/2 she's as yet showing no real signs of. (We joke that her probable cause of death will be "shootout with police".)

Ren is also a bit weird cognitively, in that he seems to have missed the developmental window where "monkeys making noises" = "I am being addressed" got handed out, because not only hasn't he learned his name yet, he's pretty much completely indifferent to most of our efforts to get his attention in any way at all, including "kitty, kitty" or "NO GET OUT OF THAT YOU LITTLE", and most cats will at least startle at that. We know his senses work perfectly well, because he can hear Snip coming from another room; he just doesn't give a rat's ass about either of his humans. (Is this why people think that "oh, cats can't learn their names"? We've certainly never had this problem before in 30 years of having them around...)


There's also been some "what fresh hell is this" medical Suck that hoooopefully was mostly just an ear infection, but is still troubling me enough that next up on the diagnostic checklist is an MRI, which I've been dragging my feet about scheduling because my Alleged Insurance comes up with a new way to keep me metaphorically off-balance about being covered every couple of months and the latest shoe-to-drop would probably be coming home from the MRI to find a letter in the mailbox saying I've been dropped as of the day before the Expensive Procedure. Because this is how my life goes.

(It also does not do anything for my ongoing Self-Esteem Issues that Mum's reaction to I need an MRI was, quoted verbatim, "That sounds expensive". Yes, Budget Woes, but seriously.)


There's been other Suck as well, but it's not my Suck to tell. In conclusion, I need a hug. And breakfast, because stupid thyroid-meds and empty-stomach rules, but mostly a hug.
Things the kitten will not eat:
  • Bacon
  • Tuna
  • Chicken shwarma
  • Gooshyfood

Things the kitten will eat:
  • Gyros
  • The acini de pepe in my chicken soup
  • Cottage cheese
  • Bugs


On the strength of that last entry we have decided that his really-seriously-we-mean-it-this-time-even-though-we-have-to-buy-a-new-tag name shall be Renfield, Ren for short.

These things occasionally take time to work out.


Snip is still camping his spawn sites and generally being a griefer about the entire thing. Given that she's a 12lb tuxedo-cat and he's an 8lb silvery-grey type, if you're picturing an orca cruising a beach waiting to take out a seal right about here then you have the general idea.
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