Weebles learning the meaning of consent…

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Having been involved in animal rescue for most of my adult life there are a ridiculous number of animals in my life. I currently live with a dog, two cats, and a sorta cat. Everyone who knows me knows of the Weebster, but for those who don’t, I have a mentally handicapped cat. He has congenital hypothyroidism which is extremely rare in cats and we didn’t get the diagnosis in time to prevent significant mental impairment. Physically he has bounced back significantly, but he’s a bit “slow” mentally. Weebs has a good quality of life and is not in pain, so we get to muddle through life trying to figure out how to cope with an extremely unique cat.

 

Tiny baby weebles

Weebs gotcha day!

 

 

 

Bottle Fed Weebles

Learning how bottles work.

 

 

 

Hungry Weebs

Transitioning to solid foods with grace and style.

 

 

Blogging weebs

Starting to be mobile and look more like a cat and less like an Ewok.

Weebs was stuck in bottle-fed kitten status much longer than he should have been, so he didn’t become mobile and independent until I’d moved cross country for work.  Once mobile he only had my older dog for company. He never saw other animals and rarely saw other people for just over a year.

Chicklets

That is his normal expression. Not a result of catnip.

Now that we’ve come back to the east coast I have moved in with my friend boy. Friend boy was given many nicknames but the one that stuck was Mancandy. He already had two rescue cats who were unsure about my dog and absolutely hated my poor cat who doesn’t know how to cat.

Most cats communicate with their body language, vocalizations, and will use aggression tactics in many situations if boundaries are not respected. WBS (Wee Baby Seamus, Weebles, Weebs, etc) had never seen another cat much less interacted with one. He responds to stimuli in an extremely delayed fashion and is OCD. He doesn’t hear well so vocal cues are often completely ignored and if he does hear something he will respond several minutes later and often with the wrong response.

Amazed

We’ve only recently been able to let him mingle with the other cats. He took one look at Tsuki and fell in love. She took one look and wanted nothing to do with him. Weebs was not the least bit put off by her lack of affection. He follows her constantly. He gazes at her with a devotion bordering on obsession. Tsuki is his moon and the stars in his sky and he must be near her. He has been hissed at, growled at, smacked, rolled, and none of it has had any impact on his devotion. She was distracted by treats yesterday and he got to actually stand next to her without getting smacked down. He leaned over, sniffed like a total creep, and fluttered his eyes. Think silence of the lambs level disturbing. She finished her treats, noticed the lack of respect for her touch bubble, and let him have it.

 

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He so loves her. She’s so over it.

 

 

She figured out a while back that if she gets up on furniture it takes a while for him to find her. The above picture was him finding her after about 30 minutes of looking. His idea of searching for his beloved is wandering around talking to himself (cute little trilling noises), yelling for her (typical annoying loud cat ME-FREAKING-OW noises), spinning (it’s weird and he does it a lot), and making the same loop through our house repeatedly.

 

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Can I just touch near you?

 

Once found Tsuki tries to ignore him. But he just can’t stop himself! He must be closer. He annoys her to the point she starts talking trash as soon as he gets near. The Instagram account link on the sidebar has a video of her telling him off. And his completely baffled expression in response.

While the past 8 months have involved saving Weebles from the “big cats”, now my days involve saving the big cats from the cat who couldn’t figure out how to save himself when he got sucked into the couch cushions. No lie. Exhibit A:

 

Couch sucks

It’s cool. I’ll just lay here until I starve to death while you take pictures and laugh.

 

I hate that none of our animals want anything to do with him (the next animal that enters this house will do so under the requirement that they allow Weebs to stick his face in their mouth and smell them in an exceptionally creepy fashion whenever he wants), but in good news, he’s not smart enough to realize he’s the last kid picked for dodgeball. Happy Friday folks!

 

PS. If you are looking for a new best friend please consider rescue. There are so many really amazing animals just waiting for a chance. The rescue closest to my heart is Southern Cross Animal Rescue (SCAR) in Laurel MS. Another organization I’m incredibly fond of is The Humane Society of the White Mountains in Arizona. They do incredible work. Find your next best friend at a shelter instead of buying. You’ll save two lives and you will be part of the solution instead of the problem.

 

He doesn’t find this as funny as I do…

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Sleeping Mancandy is a jerkwad. He knows this, I know this, it is what it is. Yesterday I was pretty darn high on some sort of allergy concoction. After untold time staring into the distance my eyes dried out, my contacts revolted, and I decided sleep was a fine idea. I felt the bed move a bit and knew one of the cats had joined me, but I didn’t pay any attention before passing out. I woke up to notice a few things. Tsuki was my bed buddy, her snortles are really adorable, the dog also snores pretty darn cute, and something stunk like cat pee. Thankfully it wasn’t me. Unfortunately, it was Tsuki.

I would love to know how the cat ends up occasionally reeking of cat piss, but she’s not telling. My theory is that another cat pees on her face in a dominance thing. Mancandy thinks she’s just gross and rolls in it. Either way, it is her head that stinks. Not her backend (in case anyone thinks I’m just too stupid to notice the cat has a urinary tract infection).

I stripped the sheets and my comforter (of course she decided to lay on my blanket) and put them out to wash after I was through washing clothes. I went downstairs to do stuff and promptly forgot about the clothes in the wash much less the stinky bed stuff. When we made our way upstairs to get ready for bed last night, I realized I didn’t have a blanket. I had clean sheets that I had handily not bothered to fold and put away from the last time I did laundry, so I just popped those on and figured I’d share Mancandy’s blanket for one night.

Yes, we have separate blankets. Yes, I’d forgotten why we’d even started that. We started it because he’s a jerkface who accuses me of being a jerkface. He steals all the dang covers and then rolls his happy, covered up burrito self over until I’m barely hanging onto the edge of the bed and breathes in my face while I teeter, shivering, on the edge of death. And while awake Mancandy is generally a pretty sweet guy, sleeping Mancandy is a complete jerkwad. If I tell him to move over he grunts at me. Sometimes he tells me to hush. Sometimes he will try to smother me. It’s a mystery wrapped in murderous intent.

But he swears I’m the one who steals the covers and he’s an innocent victim. I’m just letting him be wrong. But anywho, all of that to say, last night I spent most of the night chilly and angry. And when he yanked those covers back right before dawn I drifted off with a lot of Italian anger bottled up. And I may or may not have dreamed I shot him in his smug blanket stealing face with a shotgun so that I could tell him what a big jerk he was without interruption. And I may or may not have enjoyed yanking the closet door open where he was innocently dressing for work and smugly announcing I dreamed I shot him in the face and woke up in a good mood before slamming the closet door shut in his face around 5:30 am. And I may have been the only one amused. And I regret nothing.

When talking to me is equivalent to surviving a bear attack…and also serious topics like depression…

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Yesterday was a bad day. I was filling out job applications (that in and of itself feels like a full-time craptastic job) and for those with in-depth applications, I have to go into details about that time when everything fell apart. And while it’s been years and I should be over it, writing about it for hours upon hours tears the Band-Aid off the wound and anger and a bone-deep grief comes seeping out. And if we’re being honest, before I’d even started on that soul-sucking task, I’d been off.

I have seriously messed up dreams. Not as often as I used to, but if I take a nap or fall back asleep after Mancandy has gone to work there’s a pretty good bet I’ll have one. This morning’s dream involved driving my mother and grandmother around in a Prius (which I don’t own) and stopping for BBQ (at a place where an abandoned gas station sits currently) and watching a gas truck slowly and methodically crush a Great Pyrenees (didn’t realize that’s how that was spelled) beneath it. After the initial crush, he backed up and went back to completely smash the bits left intact after the first run. Other dogs milling around (the deep south firmly believes in having at least one-yard dog that they refuse to vet so that there are quickly multiple yard dogs) kept grabbing bits of bloody meat and running around while the truck threatened to hit them. I was trying to keep my passenger’s eyes covered and my hands over my mom’s ears so she wouldn’t hear as much. The truck was directly behind me and I couldn’t get out, we were forced to just sit and wait for the show to be over. It was gruesome and makes zero sense. But that’s a fairly stress-free one compared to the normal stuff my brain throws at me.

The one yesterday was much, much worse. By today I’ve had some distance and I can keep myself from replaying the worst of it over and over. Yesterday I felt raw and nauseous all day. Having to explain things I’d rather not discuss repeatedly all day didn’t help. By late afternoon I was ready to start breathing fire and crying (which is an odd combination but exactly what I felt like doing).

By the time we were sitting down to a late dinner I could tell Mancandy was walking on egg shells around me. My first instinct was to blame him. I mean, I hadn’t done anything. I should be the one on egg shells! I had this horrible stuff in my mind, I was sad, I was feeling super-duper fat, my skin was broken out even though I’m in my stupid thirties, I was pretty sure I was melting into a puddle of Italian grease despite a shower, the weather was hot and sticky and I hated it, I wanted to eat everything in the kitchen (even the stuff I don’t like) until I puked and then go eat some more, and I was pretty sure I was a complete and utter failure and he’d probably notice that and cheat on me and it would be horribly painful so I should probably just plan to leave anyway…

And then the epiphany hit. I’m PMSing! The dream and the applications would normally have upset me, but they wouldn’t have pushed me so far. This surge of instability flowing through my veins would pass. I’d be fine. And somehow, just having that realization calmed me.

I blurted out, “Oh thank all the little brown potatoes, there’s a reason I’m going crazy!”

He looked like he was trying to avoid a bear attack by being very still. “I didn’t think you were going crazy.” He was using a very soothing voice and not moving. This annoyed me but I frantically shoved the crazy back down.

“I’m PMSing!” My tone was too bright and I was basically yelling it at him in my excitement. He tends to think of females as creatures who don’t have gas or bowel movements, so any discussions of menstruation tend to make him go pale and find an excuse to run away.

He nodded as if we were discussing strange weather. “Oh. Um. Good?”

I tried to save the situation. “I am just saying when you feel crazy all day you start to think maybe you are crazy but now that I know there’s a reason I’ve felt crazy I feel less crazy! It’s a good thing!”

He kept nodding. I took pity on us both and hushed.

My mentally handicapped cat decided that was the best moment to flop down on his back in the middle of the room and yowl/smack at the fan 12 feet above him. We both focused on that and he looked like a man who escaped a death sentence. It made me want to chew on his face and cry and then I had an intense craving for beef jerky and I thought going to bed might save us all from…well…me.

This morning, after waking up from a nap I only took because he gave me some sort of allergy medicine that sucked all the life out of me and made me a zombie, I started to straighten things up and get laundry/dishes going. I am much more centered today, despite the very detailed dream. I realized I am so incredibly lucky. I felt such relief when I realized the “crazy” was going to pass. It actually felt as if a cool, clean sensation rushing over my overheated brain. There was a reason I felt that way. I was not losing myself; I just had to hold on until my hormones quit being assholes.

One of the pieces I’ve written and erased many times is about being surrounded by people with various degrees/types of mental illness and the difficulties/gifts that imparts. I’ve not found a way to be both honest and unobtrusive (I’m learning so much, I really thought that word should be “unintrusive” but spellcheck swears it’s unobtrusive…) to family and friends, so I’ve yet to be able to write it.

While I can’t write that piece, I can say that I’ve been given just a tiny taste of knowing I’m being unreasonable and paranoid and depressed but unable to stop. How dark that must be for someone who doesn’t get a break from it. It’s a horrid feeling, to feel so angry and worthless and disgusting. And I’m quite sure I didn’t feel a fraction of what those with severe conditions face. And they don’t get the luxury of feeling that way for a day and then getting a break the rest of the month. I imagine for many it’s a constant. I’m grateful I don’t have that type of imbalance. I can barely hold it together for a few hours. I wanted to eat the man’s face off!

In all seriousness, if that were a constant state I could understand suicide being a valid option. That small taste of despair and sadness and hopelessness, just a little taste, was quite enough. My heart breaks for those who only feel that. And it infuriates me that our options for those with mental illness are absolutely inadequate. Without good insurance, there’s very little quality care available that’s also affordable. Even with good insurance, some plans do not cover much in the way of therapy. They’d much rather GP’s prescribe drugs than pay for an individual to go to therapy, and in a crisis that’s not always enough. And if you have good insurance and are able to access therapy with a therapist you trust, many people cannot afford for their family and friends to also go to therapy. Since there are few options for those of us who face handling a situation we are woefully unprepared and/or untrained to handle, many are unable to cope.

I am the first to admit I have struggled. Loving someone whole-heartedly does not mean there are not times you feel absolutely hatred, rage, fear, and sorrow when they behave in ways you cannot understand. The stigma associated with these conditions only serves to further isolate those who need support the most.

I’ve got no solutions to any of it. I try to make the right choices and say the right things, but I’m sure I fail quite often. And I’m going to try to remind myself of this perspective on things when those I love act out in their anger and grief. When emotions whose depth I can’t truly understand sweep family and friends away into a place I can’t go, I will do my best to still be there when they come up for air. I’ll try to have more patience, and take things less personally. Because I’m quite sure at some point about a month from now I’ll look at people around me with pure hatred because they breathe too freaking loud, or he’ll pick up the wrong texture of toilet paper, or a commercial will make me sad and I’ll be suddenly enraged at the fact I’m crying and I’ll have to try to have perspective through emotions so strong they have personalities all their own.

It’s easy to laugh at my own ridiculousness when my hormones decide my inner landscape is boring, but having that constant internal chaos must be one of the most difficult things to survive. For anyone reading who struggles against the inside of their own mind, keep struggling. It’s not fair to ask it, but the more you speak up about the struggles, the more we normalize mental illness rather than try to hide it, the more things change. Let’s make it completely normal and accepted to talk about how bad things get so that hopefully we come up with better ways to make help accessible and meaningful for everyone.

Adventures in Nature and Arm Noodles

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I received a message from Mancandy that goes as follows:  “I think I’m going to buy some workout equipment.  I’ll come up with a routine for us.”  That seemed pretty innocent, so I text back something along the lines of, “ok” and thought nothing else of it.  Mancandy is a man of action, but only for a few minutes.  His “love” of running lasted a few weeks at most.  His “love” of the gym lasted a few months at most, none of it during the time I’ve lived here.  On his way home he texted me that we were going to go pick up the equipment a little ways from the house.  I put on a bra and considered myself prepared.

We set off to pick up “equipment” without an address.  He knew a city name (which neither of us had ever been to) and the trip would take well over an hour.  Mancandy did not seem concerned about the lack of details, he went through an ATM lickety split and off we went.  I love a road trip, especially to an area I’ve never seen, so this was much more my barrel of monkeys than his.  The light was beautiful as the sun started to ease down behind the hills, and the rural countryside with pretty pastures and old barns was lovely.  I occasionally tried to hint that we might want more information before we committed too far to the drive, but I was waved off.  We were to just give him a call when we got close.  This made me nervous, but there was very much an air of “let it go”, so go I let it.

When my phone’s GPS announced we were within 5 miles of the tiny town Mancandy gave Muscleman a call.  No answer.  A voicemail was left and we sat in silence.  I very much wanted to say “I told you so”, but I decided to give Muscleman the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe he was pooping.

A few minutes later Mancandy’s phone beeped.  A text came through asking where we were.  Mancandy text that we were pulling into town.  We got a return text to go to a storage building right past a home improvement store.  Couldn’t miss it.

We missed it.  We plugged the storage company’s name into the GPS and we ended up at a Dollar General next to a feed store.  We drove back and forth a few times to see if we’d overlooked something.  We hadn’t.  Mancandy called Muscleman again.  No answer.  Tried again.  No answer.  I wanted to say something along the lines of “must be a really long, involved poop” but I didn’t.  Because I’m a lady.  He called again and left a voicemail.  He then decided we should go back toward the main part of town and look around.  As we pull out the phone rings.  Muscleman begins talking.  There are nods and yups and sounds goods.  I’m told we should go back the direction we came.  The storage buildings would be past a church, next to a hardware supply store, and were the only things around so we couldn’t miss it.

We didn’t miss it.  We’d been miles past it when he bothered texting us the first time.  By this time I’m a little irritated, but I’m alone in my frustration.  Muscleman told us to follow him up to an old storage unit off the beaten track.  When he opened the unit Mancandy let out a tiny squawk of excitement.  There were pieces of workout equipment all over.  There were a few odds and ends in the unit as well as a kayak and a motorcycle.

By this point, I had been holding my bladder for a long time and had hoped I could run to the hardware store, but it was closed for the evening and I was getting desperate.  Now I’m well aware that most of my stories involve my need to find a bathroom pronto, but that’s not on purpose.  It just seems to happen that way.  When I stood up and started moving my need to pee went from gotta go to GOT TO GO NOW, WOMAN!  I decided I’d take my chances with surveillance cameras and told the boys I was going around back to pee and they should stay up front unless they wanted a show.  They just blinked at me.  I took that for an affirmative response.

By this time twilight had fallen hard, edging toward night.  The storage buildings were well lit and far enough from the road that I had privacy.  We even had napkins in the truck so I was pleased with my luck. These buildings were long but squat, like chicken houses.  There were several in a row, side to side, and I decided walking behind to the last building was my best bet of covering up should someone new drive up.

As I’m walking around the side of the furthest building I came face to face with a pasture edged with woods.  A loud honking snort exploded in front of me and I let out a strangled yip and backpedaled.  Before I turned to try and escape from the honky monster I realized it was a small herd of deer.  I’d startled them and they were alerting and fleeing, white rumps flashing through the trees.  I had to stand still and breathe deeply for a moment to keep from laughing really hard and possibly wetting myself.  I snorted out a quiet chuckle and kept walking.

I found a small area that didn’t appear to be covered by cameras (none that I could see anyway) set beside the building in shadows.  I began the ungraceful task of trying to get undressed just far enough I didn’t dribble on myself but also not so far as to be unable to cover up quickly if needed.  I had my shoulders back against the building, my knees bent, and my body stretched back at an angle.  One hand kept me balanced, the other kept my clothes out of the way.  It was not graceful or stable, but it worked.  As I relaxed a loud, shrill shriek sounded right above me and a dark object flew at my face.  I was past the point of no return and my brain was torn between not getting pee on my clothes and not letting my face be torn off by the crazy shrieking thing hurtling at me.

I leaned my full weight on my shoulders and smacked out with my hand while gulping air to shriek back and pinwheeling with my other arm.  I wasn’t sure exactly going on, it was just loud and there was a lot of panicked movement on my part.  At the last moment, the creature swerved away and up, flying back up to the top of the building.  I had apparently interrupted the evening rest of a large bird (crow maybe?) and he was at the top of the building cursing at me.  I, due to my panic, had emptied my bladder to the point of negative and was smashed against the building.  I had no idea if I’d kept my clothes out of my own way, for all I could remember I might have sat down right in my puddle.  After using the napkins to clean up and standing up I reached down with great trepidation.  Fortunately, I was dry.  I considered it a minor miracle that I managed to not embarrass myself.

It felt as though I’d been gone 30 minutes but neither Mancandy nor Muscleman seemed fazed by my arrival.  Muscleman was telling Mancandy about his time in the Marines (which excited Mancandy who is also a former marine).  When there were attempts to tease me about my unladylike behavior I explained they ought to be impressed because mother nature tried to make me pee on myself or have a heart attack twice and neither had happened.  They didn’t seem to know what to say to that, so Muscleman started telling us stories.  He is a ladies man, old fashioned, believes marriage is forever (he’s been married four times but it just doesn’t seem to stick on him and the irony of that entire concept was lost on him), loves motorcycles, doesn’t drink much anymore, has internal damage from an ex-wife feeding him rat poison, has refused to run since he got out of the marines because” fun runs ain’t fun man”, doesn’t understand genetics because his son has more hair on his back than a gorilla but no other men in the family on either side have hairy backs, wants to sell his motorcycle for a steal since it doesn’t have a title, loves women but is pretty sure we’re all killers, and likes making fun of the young guys working out at the local gym.

He was so excited to have an audience we stood getting eaten by mosquitos while he rambled.  When I glared at Mancandy long enough he finally broke away and wished Muscleman well.  We started the long drive home with a ton of gym equipment in the back of the truck and a VERY excited Mancandy.  I heard all about squats, and racks, and lifts, and pull ups, and gains, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I was promised the ability to eat more carbs and be less strict with my diet.  I heard all about the proper way to stand, the best way to get a title for a boat (or motorcycle) that doesn’t have one, musings about how quickly we could build up our strength, and the need for caution since we have crappy backs.  It was decided that our schedule should be lifting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with cardio on other days.

On the days we lift I don’t make excuses.  No matter how crappy I feel I go out there and sweat and make unflattering noises.  I put off showers after working outside and sweating.  I don’t complain.  I’ve made some small improvements and while I don’t look forward to it, I also don’t dread it as much.

However, there has been a slight issue with his occasional need to patronize me.  For example, when I struggled to lift a particular weight Monday (my arms are noodles of weakness) he kept fussing over me and finally patted me saying “you know, at some point, you’re going to have to lift less than me, it’s inevitable”.  Up until now, I’ve done every single exercise at the exact same weight he lifts.  I’ve done every rep.  We’ve gone toe to toe, and while he may do certain things with more ease, I get it done.  Now I refuse to do less.  He can stick that tone up his rump.

Yesterday was Wednesday, we were supposed to work on legs.  I worked outside most of the day and was sweaty, itchy, and ready for a shower a couple hours before he got home.  I waited impatiently and pounced as soon as the door opened.  We needed to work out so I could stop itching.  I was told, casually, that we were going to skip working out.  He was worn out.  I thought briefly of punching him but refrained.  I stomped up to my long overdue shower.  I should have gone out and done it anyway.

I feel quite strongly that after the weirdness of getting the weights and having to listen to hours upon hours of Mancandy jabbering on the benefits and delights of working out, I should not be the only one ready to go no matter how tired or irritated I am.  If he has decided this is a passing fad I may injure him.  Also, I’m craving a banana concrete with Reece’s peanut butter cup chunks mixed in from Sonic (if you haven’t had one yet stop reading immediately and go get one).  Working out is supposed to allow me to have that occasionally.  And I NEED some freaking chocolate people.  So I’m just going to go out there whether he does or not.  I’ll make it my own thing.  And if he quits not only will I get to eat sugar or bread occasionally, I’ll get to pat him and say “sometimes you will just have to lift less than me, it’s inevitable”.

Electricity + Mancandy = Biscuits.

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“Do you care about dimmer switches?”  I found that an odd question so I simply stared at Mancandy.  He stared back.  Eventually, he got around to explaining that he meant the dimmer switch associated with the chandelier in the front entryway of our home.

“No.”  I continued to stare.

“Good.”  And he walked away.  I was okay with that if a bit puzzled (but too lazy to go demand answers).  I heard the door to the garage opening and closing multiple times and the dogs’ nails on the floor as she accompanied him.  I continued pouring my coffee and mixing in the creamer.  He began a conversation with Bella about electricity.  I don’t know enough about electricity to try and transcribe that conversation, but my dog is now ready for an entry level job as an electrician.

Realizing he’s getting into his project mode, I start planning outside projects, clean the kitchen (leaving the wash by hand stuff in the sink because I never ever wash it by hand.  Ever.  It rolls around from one side of the sink to the other picking up gross little bits.  The two coffee to-go mugs have been in there for weeks.), and wander out to the front of the house.  There are tools thrown around the hallway and the front plates of the light switches lay on the floor in generally the same area as the corresponding switch.  Little bits of plaster litter the hallway and some sort of dust has been tracked in and stomped all around.

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This kinda stuff was all over the front.  Along with a meter of some sort with cords everywhere.  That cord you see is to the vacuum.  That was not in any way used during this project or after it’s cleanup.  In fact, today I have to vacuum up the debris you see above as well as the stuff I didn’t get pictures of.  But I’m not bitter.

When I moved in it took me a few months to convince Mancandy I was right about moving things around.  The man is allergic to change.  He also automatically assumes the worst (when I mentioned I thought a green paint would be pretty in the powder room downstairs he immediately assumed I meant lime green and threw a hissy fit.  Frankly, lime would be better than the god-awful wallpaper in there now, but I digress.) so telling him I thought the furniture would make more sense swapped gave him the crazy eye.  I dropped it.  Sort of (just occasionally hinted that I may still be right).  Eventually, he gave up and helped me move stuff around.  He had to begrudgingly acknowledge that I was, indeed, correct.  His life is hard with me around.

I now love the front room of the house.  There’s still work to do, I have a passionate hate affair going with the border:

Border

I also hate that fan (I’m seriously sitting here alternating between glaring at the border in real life and glaring at the picture of the border.  I hate it so flipping much.).  But, again, I digress.  The area that was mostly storage and random junk between the first room and the kitchen (it’s an open floorplan so there’s very little to make it a separate room) is now an office (it still has too much junk…but small steps).  I love the tall bookshelves with their eclectic mix of our styles.  The sectional that took up this entire room is now in the back sunroom where it fits and the smaller couches are up front where they look homey.  We’ve got some stuff up on the walls now and I’m working on getting things coordinated and organized.  I may just get it done before we’re 80.

The area that was mostly storage and random junk between the first room and the kitchen (it’s an open floorplan so there’s very little to make it a separate room) is now an office (it still has too much junk…but small steps).  I love the tall bookshelves with their eclectic mix of our styles.  The sectional that took up this entire room is now in the back sunroom where it fits and the smaller couches are up front where they look homey.  We’ve got some stuff up on the walls now and I’m working on getting things coordinated and organized.  I may just get it done before we’re 80.

The sectional that took up this entire room is now in the back sunroom where it fits and the smaller couches are up front where they look homey.  We’ve got some stuff up on the walls now and I’m working on getting things coordinated and organized.  I may just get it done before we’re 80.

All that to say, I am beginning to love the front of the house and spend the vast majority of my down time on the couch I brought from AZ reading or writing or procrastinating.  There’s lovely light, it’s quiet, and even my dear sweet technology addicted boyfriend comes in here now to sit and read or talk.  I sat in my spot, with my coffee and book, and prepared to enjoy a story I know well and still enjoy (Patricia Briggs is one of my faves).

“AH!  Biscuit!  Mother humper!  This makes no SENSE!  The white is grounded, the black is running somewhere, where the…SUGAR that hurts!”  He is in rare form.  He isn’t even stopping to draw in breath, he’s just in tirade mode.  The words come pouring out.  The amusing part is he’s still in Dad mode and is trading most of the curse words out for non-scandalous phrasing.

He stomps through my lovely (sans border and fan), peaceful room to pull a book out of one of the bookshelves.  Of course he has a book dedicated to electrical wiring in a home.  Don’t we all?  Next, a notepad and a pen appear.  The entire time he’s in movement he’s talking to himself.  “This makes zero sense, these people boned this whole thing.  How do you even mess a circuit up?!  What the heck else did they mess up?!”

I watch him draw diagrams, consult with his textbook, and ramble to himself.  When I ask if I can help I am ignored, so I shrug and try to go back to my book. I can see him in my periphery and I notice him hop back as he makes a gack sound.

“Are you ok?”

“YES!  I’M FINE!  BUT THIS MAKES NO EVER LOVING SENSE!”  He yells this without looking up.  He is shaking his fingers in between doing whatever it is he’s doing.

“Oh.  Okay.  Did you get shocked or were you just surprised?”  I’m not entirely sure what exactly would be shocking in the wall, but I don’t want him to think I’m accusing him of doing a bad job.  I’m not.  It’s just a loud job.

“Just a little zip.  Where the fudge does this red wire loop to?  Why did they do everything so stupid?  This house is going to burn down!  This idiot had no clue what he was doing!  There’s a white that actually goes nowhere!  And these two must be crossed!  Right?  No, that makes no sense. What.  The.  Fudge.”  I realize my input is not needed (or wanted), so I stay quiet.

He goes back and forth between his diagrams and the book and the switches for hours.  He stands in the middle of the hallway arguing with himself.  He goes out into the garage to get tools (or plead with the electricity deity) and fusses about the ineptitude of whoever put in the wiring in the first place the entire time.  He talks to the dog about loops, circuits, and colors.  He yells at cats for wanting out and having to move his stuff.  He stomps and quasi-curses and rants.

Realizing he’s not going to be quiet and the project isn’t going to finish up anytime soon, I wander back to the kitchen to start supper.  I have no interest in trying to get his opinion so I survey my kingdoms offerings and decide on something easy to make with reheating potential (that’s misleading….everything I make is easy because I’m lazy).

Steak rolls are easy and I have green bean casserole I can reheat.  Perfect.  I have everything I need and once the rolls are actually put together there’s very little work left.  Perched on a low bench I am able to read and keep an eye on my pan of mushroom/onion topping.

“I can pause this whenever” he announces as he storms into the room.  My “ok” falls on deaf ears as he’s already leaving and has continued his monolog.  I glare at his back and feel marginally better.

When the rolls were crisped up and the sides/toppings were as ready as I could get them, I called to him to come on for dinner.  He didn’t bother to stop talking to himself to answer me.  I had the table set and everything on it when he swept in.  Our dinner conversation went as follows:

Him: “I just do not understand how someone who does this for a living could completely bone it up this way!  The wires are color coded for a reason.  And the whole wire that goes nowhere?!  What in the world!?  You know that light switch up front that we couldn’t figure out?  Yeah, there’s a reason it doesn’t do anything.  It’s not hooked up to a single blessed thing!  The wire just loops back on itself!  And I’m pretty sure the red and black are twisted or switched or something in the wall!!  How insanely stupid is that!  Wait.  Wait wait wait.  Wait a minute.  If they ARE switched then that would explain…would it?   It might.  I dunno.  Hold on.”

Mad scribbling on the notepad he’d brought to the table with him whilst shoveling food into his face.  There were multiple diagrams people.  Multiple.  Diagrams.

Still him:  “No, no that would just be insanity.  There’s absolutely no reason for that.  But if that isn’t the case why the hell does the breaker blow every effing time I touch the wires together?  It shouldn’t be flipping anything!  The light should just come on!  Who the hell designed this!?”

Me: Blink.

More Him: “Well they can just rot.  I think I might have an idea.  This was pretty good.  The meat was bland, not bad mind you, just bland.  Just so you know.”

Me: Another blink.

And he scrambled to collect his notepad and pen, he was muttering to himself in a vein congruous with the “conversation” we’d just had

While considering how best to tell him he could damn well get his ass up and get the salt if he was so inclined AND that the mushrooms and onions were seasoned and were supposed to go on top of the steak rolls so I didn’t want to over season but his jerkface self had put them by themselves and scooped them like a side dish and ruined the whole effect, I cleared the table, put the leftovers up, and got the dishwasher going (coffee to-go mugs were still sitting in their own filth in the sink…I’m not touching them).

As I walked into the hallway I saw him leap back again and let out a “gack”.  He shook his fingers and glared at the wiring.  Noticing me walking past him he grabbed his voltmeter and asked me to hold one of the attached wires against a particular wire coming out of the wall so he could hold the other attached wire against another wire on a different wall.  I silently complied.  The voltmeter itself was sitting on a stool between the two walls.  We were just short.  As he launched into the much anticipated fake cursing tirade I just picked the meter up and handed it to him so the slack gave us the room we needed.  His tirade flowed smoothly into new agitation at the readings he was receiving from his gadget.  I handed him my wire and let the dog out.

Coming back in I gathered up my book and my dog and got ready to climb the stairs for reading in bed away from the temptation to voice my annoyance.  He jumped and gacked again.  I paused.

“Are you okay?”  I begrudgingly asked.

“Yes, I am just fine!”  He responds with heat.  “If they….GACK…JUMPING JEHOSHAPHAT!”  He was quiet for an entire 4 seconds.

“That can’t be good for your heart.”  I felt obliged to warn him.

“It’s okay.  I only feel it up to my elbow.”  Trying my best not to grin I turned to continue up the stairs.  As long as they don’t actually die or have any serious injuries it’s okay to feel joy in little zips, right?

Pelican

Standard

I have no idea what I’m doing.  With anything.  That should be fairly evident to anyone who’s spent any time with me at all.  Relationships are no different.  I find little things to puzzle over, laugh at, get pissed at, etc., all the time.  For example, I’m in the process of trying to train Mancandy to not start a thought with a “huh” or “wow” or “hm” out loud as if more information is coming and then NOT SAY ANYTHING!  It makes me want to use a spoon to pop his eyeballs out and then shove them up his nose.  Don’t make me ask what EVERY TIME YOU WANT TO SAY SOMETHING.  JUST SAY IT.  For example, if I see a news article that resonates with me in a strong way, I may start with a “huh”.  However, I will then immediately follow that up with WHY I just verbalized the “huh”.  If you’re sitting in a room with Mancandy he will not.  You have to ask him.  If you had any idea how many times I’ve said “what?” to the man you would be sympathetic.  I know I sound crazy.  I don’t care.  If he doesn’t stop I will cause him bodily harm.  So I’m training him.  Slowly.  He’s resistant to training.

Anywho, that isn’t really what this was supposed to be about (although now I’m irritated all over again).  One of the things I’ve recently learned is how much being in a relationship will change your entire mindset about little things.  When Mancandy got up at his stupid early hour I got to roll over to face his side of the bed.  I did this with utmost pleasure.  I sprawled out, rearranged his pillows, smiled, sighed, and snoozed until I heard the shower turn off and decided I wanted to make coffee.  It felt sinfully delicious.

I can roll over that way at any point, there’s no rule keeping me from doing it, but I have this thing about not wanting to breathe in air that just came out of your face.  I assumed everyone was that way.  I am pretty darn happy with candy o’man, but I still don’t want to breathe in his used up air.  It creeps me out when people just lay there face to face comingling oxygen.  I always find that super awkward in movies, or watching people in real life.  In testosterone laden shows and movies where angry men are in each other’s faces talking trash pre-fight, my skin crawls. I know at any point he may be facing me, and then if I roll his way our faces will be close together.  I am not a fan.

I’ve tried to find ways to avoid this without being obvious.  I don’t know if it’s actually hurtful to other people to know I’m rejecting their lung waste, but I don’t want to hurt him if it is.  What if Hollywood made people think it’s romantic?  What if men think women actually WANT this!?  So I have figured out I can tilt my head back and breathe in the air over his head.  The fact he hasn’t commented on my odd position (I imagine I look like some sort of large water bird, a pelican maybe, that is throwing its head back creepily far to swallow a fish) makes me think he’s either oblivious or he’s not crazy about the breathing thing either.  As you can imagine, laying like that for long periods of time does not make for a happy experience when you try to move.  It’s also not conducive to sleep.

I try to flip only when I know he’s facing the other way (I have actually gotten really good at listening to his breathing to pinpoint his position ahead of time).  This also allows me to find the perfect position for my conch piercing.  Almost a year later and that sucker still screams when I try to lay on that side of my head.  I find that rude.  But I digress.  If his back is to me we’re both perfectly content.  Plenty of fresh air for all.  But after I fall asleep he’ll flip and I’ll wake up to our co-breathing and immediately have part of my brain melt.

So.  I tend to stay facing the wall on my side of the bed.  Which is perfectly comfortable.  But the times I can face whichever way I want are so sweet.  There are multiple examples of weird stuff I never thought about until now.  And I’m well aware this works both ways.  I have this weird thing about tapping my toothbrush exactly three times when I’m finished brushing my teeth.  I imagine there are nights he wants to yank it out of my hands and stab me for my Rain Man tendencies.  I, with few exceptions, must buy even numbers of items from grocery stores.  One jar of spaghetti sauce rather than two or four will cause me great distress.  I have to get up in the middle of the night to pee.  Every night without fail.  And I almost always trip over nothing, or knock into the door frame, or stub my toe and make noise.  I’m strange, make up rules that have no basis in logic, and I get irrationally irritated.

For example, waiting for him to turn on a show makes my head explode.  He will offer our favorite, Bob’s Burgers, while we eat.  Instead he’ll put on a few minutes of one of his favorite Youtube gamer personalities (this entire concept makes no sense to me), then about 5 minutes in he’ll stop it and flip through all the recommended items in Youtube, then flip back through things he already watched to tell me whether he liked it or not, eventually get around to opening Hulu where he also needs to look through everything recommended (commenting on its presence there and whether he agrees with it) before looking at EVERY AVAILABLE EPISODE before finally picking one and starting it.  By then I’ve eaten, gotten a drink refill, and am researching which poisons aren’t detected on the toxicology reports from an autopsy.  It makes him happy, it causes no harm, so it shouldn’t be a problem, but I hate it.

Another example.  There’s a clothes hamper in the closet.  The closet is inside of the master bath, across from the shower, and a max of 4 steps from any location in the bathroom.  I have asked 3513543513.35 times that dirty clothes and towels be put in the hamper.  I don’t even ask that clothes from the bedroom be carried in.  Just the stuff that comes off while you are in the bathroom.  However.  The side of the tub contains draped towels and underwear 99.9% of the time.  From that exact point, it is LESS than two full steps to the hamper.  I don’t like to nag, so I figured he’d understand if I asked a few times and then made a point of picking his stuff up in front of him to put it in the hamper RIGHT THERE.  Nope.  He’ll give me a distracted “thanks” if anything, and waltz away.

I realize they are small things.  And he more than makes up for it.  When I moved in the cats walking on my face and getting into territorial disputes on the bed while we were sleeping was super groovy.  I kicked them out of the bedroom.  They spent hours every single night for months yowling outside of the door and scratching the carpet and door.  They actually tore the carpet up.  He never told me to get over it and let them in.  And he didn’t get angry about the ruined carpet.  When my dog has a rough time with mobility and hurts, he is the best nurse and exceedingly patient.  When I’m cooking he offers to help and sits in the kitchen with me rather than disappearing into other parts of the house for more entertaining options.  When I can’t see the good in myself, he reminds me.  When we’re cleaning he’ll play goofy music much too loud and dance around with me until I’m laughing so hard I can’t breathe.  If I don’t have to get up early he’ll take my dog out, give out treats, and bring her back up to the bedroom before leaving for work.  He listens to me whine and complain and debate over my future and my past and all the backed up emotions in my head.  When I can’t figure out what to do with my life he supports me, even when I make mistakes or irresponsible decisions.  When he says he just wants me to be happy he means it. He’s one of the best guys I know.

But I swear on all that’s holy if he doesn’t give me control of the remote I will brutally beat him to death with his own arms.

Found. Dory.

Standard

I am awake.  But I have no idea why.  I glance over to the window.  Still dark.  So it’s probably not time to be awake yet.  I run quick internal diagnostics and realize I don’t have to pee (which is a pleasant surprise, but I’m not going to question it).

Do you ever just know someone is looking at you?  No noise or movement gives it away, but you just know someone, somewhere, is looking at you.  Well, this particular moment I have that feeling.  While it’s not light out yet, the neighbors have a spotlight shining at the corner of their house that also happens to shine through the window next to my bed.  When that spotlight is on you can see fairly well even when the lights in our room are off.  I glance around my side of the bed and don’t see anything.  I didn’t actually expect to, my dog would have alerted if someone was there and I’m a light sleeper so someone breaking in without notice is unlikely.  I’m annoyed that I can’t shake the feeling.  I tell myself I must have woken from a nightmare that I don’t remember now, and after checking my phone (3 am…still time to sleep!) I roll over toward the center of the bed to try and find a comfy spot to settle back into slumber.

I carefully arrange my pillow so it doesn’t mash against my cartilage piercing.  For being a small thing it causes me intense irritation at night.  As I find a comfortable position I glance over to find the person staring at me.  I blink.  Mancandy is not blinking.  Which is disconcerting.  He’s also not smiling.  Or moving at all.  Just staring at me with a slight frown.  It’s creepy.  I assume I’ve annoyed him by moving around and offer an apology.  He continues to stare without blinking.  I realize I’m dealing with Sleepy Mancandy.  He dislikes me intensely.

I stick my tongue out at him.  No reaction.  I tell him he should blink.  No reaction.  When I reach over and pat his arm he transitions to a full glare.  Now he’s blinking, but the expression is intimidating.  I decide this is silly and close my eyes.  I try to ignore the fact he may still be looking at me.  Eventually his eyeballs will dry out and he’ll shut his eyes.  I like to sleep.  I want to sleep.  I don’t care what he’s doing.

That’s a lie.  I do care what he’s doing.

I open my eyes.  And look straight into his wide open peepers.  He mumbles something.  It’s so faint and garbled I’m not sure it’s actually real words, but the cadence and quiet tone suggested it was meant to be.  I ask him to repeat himself.  The glare deepens.  More mumbling.  I apologize again, explain I can’t hear him and ask what he said.  The glare is outright hostile now.  More mumbling.  Once again, I apologize and ask him to repeat what he’s said.

FOUND DORY!

I blink.

He mumbles a bit more and flips over with a disgusted and angry air.  I stick my tongue out at him again and close my eyes.  Found Dory my patoot!  As I’m drifting toward sleep something slams into the top of my head.  My eyes pop open and I grab my head.  I hear slurred apologies, someone calling me “baby”, and see a large hand coming toward my face.  I turn away in time to avoid a face pat and just in time to enjoy an ear pat.  The patting continues as mumbled apologies and unfamiliar endearments flow.  I try to hold off the patting and say it’s okay but Sleepy Mancandy has decided I’m cold.

The weather of late has been sporadically muggy and hot.  I was not in any way cold.  I had no covers on but there was a small mountain of blankets between us.  I was holding the patting hand in midair and had to release it to try and catch the entire mountain of blankets his other hand was shoving into my face and shoulder region.  Now I’m being awkwardly patted about the head under a ton of blankets as Sleepy Mancandy simultaneously rearranges covers with his other hand to fully submerge my face and is continuously mumbling about being sorry.

I’m less and less amused and now I’m starting to sweat.  I sharply tell him I’m fine.  I try to swim my way out of the blankets and twisted up sheet.  I get annoyed with the patting and smack at his hands.  The patting just moves to my shoulder.   As soon as I start to get unraveled I feel him tuck me back in.  When I tell him to stop, that I’m hot, he starts patting my face again.

If you’ve never had someone pat you in the face, it’s both enraging and hilarious. I’m pissed and laughing at the same time and by now I’m speaking at a pretty loud volume to try and wake him up.  I’m also getting extremely hot and uncomfortable.  I don’t sweat cute.

I finally manage to shove my way out of the covers and shove them back between us.  I can tell by the lack of slurring in his apologies that he’s waking up, and as I get ready to tell him he’s a donkey for bonking my head and then drowning me in covers I hear “Ew” and his patting stops abruptly.

Ew?

He asks me why my face is wet.  When I snarkily tell him it’s sweat from him trying to smother me he mumbles “Ew.  Gross.” and rolls away from me.  I am now quickly rounding the emotional corner toward pissed.  His breathing gets heavier.

I scramble over right behind him and explain with much hand gesturing to his back that he assaulted me and then tried to overheat me and patting someone in the face does NOT calm them down and I’m not a dog to be patted in the first place and where in the hell does he get off saying I’m EW!?

He shrugs without turning to face me.

“Found. Dory.”  He says it with a wistful tone.

He starts snoring.

I glare at him for a while before shrugging and plopping my head down behind his on the pillow.  Maybe I can get a little more sleep before his stupid alarm goes off at stupid 5 am.  I wrap my arm around his waist and settle in to try and sleep.

Sleepy Mancandy shoves my arm off of him and with a thoroughly disgusted air moves away from me.

I roll back over to my side of the bed and hope he falls off the edge of the bed onto his stupid face.

He didn’t.  But not for lack of hoping on my part.