Home sick today

Slept for six hours after calling in sick, but both the night and day’s sleep were punctuated by nightmares.

Visited Neil’s fantastic hotel room after dinner. It’s astonishingly comfortable with a lot of nice extras, like a French coffee press and a rather nice tea service and complimentary loose-leaf tea.

One day I will go stay in a nice hotel for the sole purpose of lounging around in the room and public spaces documenting my experiences, for ‘writing research’. Oh yes, yes I will.

Another dark thought

Another dark thought that haunts me, one I can barely stand to think about, but one that shapes a significant number of my actions is that each and every one of us, we’re all alone. That once you’re an adult, there’s nobody to take care of you any more, that if it hurts, nobody will fix it, that if you cry, you cry alone. All that happens if you try to avoid being alone is that people get angry at you for making them feel guilty, or send you away because they don’t have time for you right now.

Or at least, I’m alone. I spend most of my dark time alone with my thoughts, aware of how tired my friends are of my angst. Sometimes now I can think of Nathan’s frown when I feel randomly guilty about something and I feel better, but these times… I just feel alone. Everybody is busy. I’m not the center of the world after all. So I do what I do because it needs to be done and I try not to be upset that it never matters in the long run and is scarcely noticed in the short run. It’s a choice I make, right? To cook, to clean, to do all the things I do. To keep it all inside, to do as much as I can do to avoid making anybody else unhappy, especially people who love me and feel helpless and frustrated in the face of my despair.

I really miss when I was little and there was my mother, and everything in the world centered around me. There’s definitely something to be said for being precious and protected and without responsibilities. Spoil me! Pamper me! And sometimes people do so what am I bitching about?

I don’t know.

I just feel alone and I desperately don’t want that feeling but it’s unavoidable sometimes.

Optimism

It embarasses me that I’m an optimist.

Because what this really means I don’t, on some level, believe the world is a bad place, a randomly brutal, horrific place where everyday people are going through the kind of pain and suffering I can barely imagine, where other people are commiting deeply unpleasant abuses.

I’m ashamed of how I seem to believe that the only bad things that happen to good people are things that will make them stronger.

I argue with myself. I say to myself, “It’s hard to know just how bad the world is and I don’t want to find out first hand. Sure, it’s not all sweetness and light, but is it as bad as, for example, Quentin Tarantino seems to think it is? Or various other creative figures whose works I find unpleasant and grim?” It’s certainly hard to tell, hard to see outside myself and the media but I don’t think trusting other people’s imaginations is the answer either.

I live in a very self-centered little universe, really, and it’s easy to interpret almost everything as how it applies to me. I don’t like that, and I don’t ever want that terrible shock and experience that comes when this kind of illusion is shattered, but I also don’t want to walk around pretending that horrible things never happen… But any time I try to lower that illusion, I feel like I must go insane, that there’s no point in living any longer. That nothing I can do will ever be good enough to balance out all that, that everywhere in the world, people are suffering and nobody is saving them, and it’s a terrible terrible disservice to simply dismiss it as background noise.

But I do. I look at things that are undoubtedly true, they happen, and they make me uncomfortable, because I can’t be confident only uncommonly bad people do them, and I say, “I can’t live in a world where these things happen,” and I put it out of my head and I blissfully go on with my life.

I don’t know how people stand it. How people can surround themselves with these things, whether fictional or real, and go on with their lives.

So, anyhow, I’m an optimist, I guess. It’s the only way I can keep on going. By being a poor deluded fool, because I guess in the end my self-interest outweighs anything else.

These thoughts brought to you by 2 large heads of garlic and Kill Bill.

Bone Update

So, I gave Hannah the bone again after getting home with Kevin. She sat with it between her paws looking around warily. Finally, I picked it up and pretended to gnaw on it, and then gave it back.

She immediately started gnawing on the bone herself.

If Gollum had been a dog…

Last night, I gave Hannah a Nylabone dog treat. These are made by Nylabone, but rather than being indestructible chew toys, they’re similarly-sized edible hard-as-a-rock substitutes for rawhide treats. She’s had them occasionally before.

Last night, however, she didn’t seem interested in eating it. She carried it around in her mouth for a while, and I watched as she leaped on the couch and attempted to bury it under the cushions. When I interfered with this, she trotted down the hall to peer into the bedroom. Unfortunately for her plans, the bed had nothing but a sheet on it ’cause I’d just put the clean sheet on. No mounds of blankets and pillows– foiled!

So she came back to the living room and lay there with it between her paws, eyeing the cat down the hall nervously. Soon after this, I went to bed. Hannah came and joined me at the bottom of Kevin’s side of the bed. At one point when I got up to get some water, I noticed she’d brought the bone with her.

Later, I heard her growling very quietly, probably at a cat. Not allowed! But when I scolded her, she stopped.

This morning, I was woken up at 6:30 by a curious sound: sort of a thump-squeal-skitter-skitter noise. It wasn’t loud enough to be something the cats had knocked over. I tried blearily to figure out what it had been… and realized it sounded an awful lot like Hannah yelping and racing across the kitchen floor and losing her footing and skidding. Hmmm.

A few minutes later, there was unhappy whining. I thought about this for a while, and then got up to go see what was going on. Hannah was on the couch again, with both the original bone I’d given her and the other bone in its package (which I’d left somewhere only marginally out of reach), trying desperately to bury them under the couch cushions (but the couch was covered with a sheet so she had no gap to shove them into), whining all the while. She didn’t even stop when I approached her, so I got to see her nudging the bones into place, trying to get them out of view.

When I reached down to pick them up, her tongue lolled out happily. It was clearly an act of mercy. She almost seemed relieved when I patted her and went and put both bones way way out of her reach. I could just imagine her saying, “Oh, thank God, Boss! I couldn’t protect them! You should have seen those wicked cats! They wanted my treasure that you gave me!”

And I suspect she didn’t sleep all night, frantically trying to guard her treasure.

I’m very glad we’ve taught her that all her belongings are actually ours (or any human’s) and we can take them back when we want, because she did occasionally growl at Kevin or Kirby way back when if they approached her while she was gnawing on a yummy treat. She also happily shares her water with the cats and I’ve never seen her be protective of her food bowl with the cats. But any item we explicitly give to her… oh, it’s a treasure. While she doesn’t stay up all night protecting her puppy-doll, she has been known to watch nearby cats fiercely while cuddling it, or grumble when they get too close, and I’ve noticed the cats taking a wider course than usual around her when she’s in one of those moods.

But man, those bones. Her super-special treasures. Tricksy cats! Paranoid dog!

You get to burning

I was doing dishes and had just put in some Chinese leftovers to reheat for a snack, around 6:30, when the power went out. It was pouring out, and it was sunset, which meant it was basically dark in the house (but not quite dark outside).

I was pretty sure Kevin had used up all available sources of fire in the house, but I wandered around for a while using my Clie as a flashlight to make sure. Nope, no fire. And now it was dark.

I could go to bed, or… I could hop in the jeep and drive to the 7-11 and buy some lighters!

So, I put the dog in the car (why? It seemed like a good idea at the time. She was getting growly at neighbors) and off we went.

It hadn’t occurred to me that the power outage was larger than just my neighborhood, but oh, it was. I got to the edge of the neighborhood and there I got to make a left turn in the rain with no traffic signals and lots of traffic!

I drove and drove. The Safeway’s power was out. The 7-11’s power was out. Finally I drove towards work and as I approached Redmond, there were lights on. Though driving in the rain with my glasses on (thus poor vision) was still difficult. Oh, I’m in shoes and my ‘used to be a dress’ nightgown, by the way, just to make this image complete.

I got to the 7-11, I went inside, I bought one, two, three lighters. I paid, I went to the car. Oh no! I’d left the car lights on! I rushed into the car, shoved the dog into the back seat again, and started the car.

On the way home, I tested one of the lighters. Maybe the power would be back on when I got home? But nope, it wasn’t. So, at the house, I parked, I opened the door, I grabbed the lighters. One, two… two lighters. Where is the third one? My best guess is that it vanished during the scuffle with Hannah, but who really knows?

In the house, I lit an oil lamp, and then shattered its hood. I lit the next oil lamp, didn’t break its hood and blew out the first oil lamp. Then I lit a candle. Then I wandered around the house, lighting more candles. Then I went back to check on the lamp. One lighter. Where’s the second one? My best guess is that I put it in my pocket, which has a hole in it, and it fell out during one of my brief sojourns to Mars. Or maybe gremlins stole it. I have no idea. My remaining lighter is a scary semi-functional blowtorch thing that I can barely light a piece of paper with.

When the power came back on, I did locate a set of fireplace matches (but no lighters). I carefully put the scary blowtorch lighter with the car keys on the kitchen table, blew out all the candles, but left the oil lamp burning. Tomorrow I’ll go buy more fire sources but for now, I’m playing it safe.

Whee

Movable Type is FUN.

Old entries can be tracked down here, if anybody is interested.

Why the switch?

Well, I’m using movable type over on my Dreamhosted sites, and I like it. And I want something consistent, and I want to use nifty bookqueue plugins, which aren’t available for b2, as far as I know.

Also, the RSS feed for this is dead easy to set up. Though I don’t think I’ll be propagating the RSS feed anytime soon; Livejournal intimidated me into silence once before and I’d like to actually develop some writing skills before I get intimidated into silence a second time.