Burnin' down the Love Shack

Trying to keep my mind off Ashcroft, I spent yesterday in a whirlwind of activity. That never-ending office project with 6 layers of Venetian plaster on the walls doesn't just happen, you know. I decided to replace the light fixture since all my furniture is conveniently still in the hall, which invariably led to a spontaneous decision to repaint the ceiling. Huge clumps of it fell off. Never again will I believe the claims on those aerosol cans for spot treatment of a textured ceiling either. Clever advertising makes you think you'll choose fine, medium or heavy splatter, but "messy" is the setting of the day. Of what relevance is the ability to go on purple and dry white?

I've learned, barely and at a ridiculously slow pace, that it's easiest to show what you're shopping for if you don't speak the language of mechanically-oriented men by pointing and grunting, and proceeded to remove the light fixture to take to Lowe's. Completing 8 rounds of "did I turn the breaker off? I think so..." while standing on tiptoes on a stepladder, looking into a dark hole, while being petrified of animals falling through isn't easy as you'd think. None of my assorted tools (hammer, wrench or screwdriver) did anything more than injure a cuticle. Frustrated, I cut the wires with scissors, then threw all the damn parts in a bag, only to be looked at like a complete moron when I got there because apparently the stupid assembly unclips. Oh.

Now the list of necessary equipment has gotten longer. Wing nuts and wire strippers to reconnect wires before attempting to shove spring-loaded clamps back into the ceiling, which unfortunately didn't help it all fit in the same precise manner the old one did, but nothing fell on my head. Hope springs eternal.

It worked, and I was proud, dare I say enamored, of my handyman self. Evening had a funny way of changing perspective, however, as I kept imagining I smelled smoke. A short-circuit in the ceiling might smolder for a few hours in the attic before taking over the whole house (reason #32 for my insomnia) so I packed a suitcase with my important documents, photos, external hard drive, and put all the cats outside. I resisted the urge to pack my car with all my favorite things - it might look like a well-planned arson attempt.


Ashcroft No More

I hoped, for his sake, he'd die quickly, as I rubbed his paralyzed body and listened to the soft cry accompanying each labored, gurgled last breath. His glassy eyes remained open, but saw nothing. He had slept on my pillow every night for the past three weeks, and this would be the final time.

It was rather serendipitous that I came home early on Friday, after all, and feel tempted to believe everything does happen for a reason. Ashcroft had contagious parasites, so mingling with the other cats wasn't an option - he would have spent his last day in the bathroom, alone. Instead, I carried him around as we watched movies and sat outside. He didn't seem hungry, though I offered all his favorite flavors of cat food. Eat, eat!

You never really know how alone you are until the day you lose a kitten. For a short time, I had a reason to go home.


Professional Grouch

I'm home at noon on a Friday because I have the kind of brain that doesn't filter out background noise. Loud mouths, excessive chatter and 6-year old kids running through the halls asking for candy and screeching over hand-held video games in our office irritates the hell out of me when I'm trying to focus.

So, sure, I should have told my supervisor that having her son hanging out in my office was the reason I was going home. But did I? Nope. Knowing it would be a complete waste of time to stay and pretend work was getting accomplished, I made up an excuse and left. Instead, I'll spend my Sunday afternoon making up the time. I don't bring my cats to the office or show up with a 6-pack of Bud Light. You shouldn't bring your children.


From Jury to Defendant

My trial date has been postponed, which is fantastic news for the procrastinator in me. The insomniac sharing my skin, however, doesn't seem to appreciate the ongoing emotional weight of fines and/or jail time. 

Coincidentally, one of the guys* my sister & I met in the bar that night called to check on me, because he'd been worried when one of our drinking buddies never showed up for work again. He was sober-ish that night, had a bad feeling, and wondered if he should've been more persuasive about letting us stay in his spare bedroom. He didn't want to come across as that creepy guy, though, which is honorable, but since when do men worry about that?

*Lance Armstrong. This may or may not actually have been his name, but that's what showed up in my phone.

Lance volunteered to be my character witness, if I needed one, which would be great if the judge agreed that buying rounds of shots made for a model citizen.


The Way You Move, Soft and Slippery

I find it particularly amusing to list my son's phone number/email address in lieu of my own, when obligated to fill the blanks. Surely, he's amused when the pharmacist calls to tell him my prescriptions are ready, or the mortgage payment is overdue.

His dad recently (and accidentally, yeah right) "discovered" Patrick's Facebook account by searching through 38 pages of same-named teenage boys, then threatened to stop paying tuition if the account wasn't cancelled or removed (proving the theory: once a control freak, always an asshole). It seems like part of acceptance involves, well, acceptance. Shouldn't he try focusing more on recording his new wife's phone conversations, instead? It's almost like some people refuse to learn life's lessons.

I'm actually Patrick's "friend" on Facebook, which is flattering, in a way, that he feels comfortable being his drunken, obnoxious self in front of me.

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Divorced fugitive with favorite parent status: 1