One of the things that is imperative for a happy, healthy dog and, as a result, a happy, healthy dog parent, is establishing a routine. In fact, it is probably the most important thing about a dog/human relationship in our modern times.
That is the one thing I did not have in San Diego. As a result, I had a dog who was utterly confused as to what was expected of him, and seemed hellbent on pissing in the house at every given opportunity. His habits degenerated from going out when he wished and doing his business outside, to going outside and just waiting to come back in, at which time he would then relieve himself. I had to invest in puppy pads every single month, and keep them all over the bedroom floor. It was a disgusting situation for everyone involved.
There were a number of factors as to why this was the case. First, the area in which we lived in San Diego was at the bottom of a series of canyons. With my health issues, walking in the neighbourhood was exceedingly difficult on the best of days. On top of that, with my depression out of control, I had zero motivation to step out of my room, much less the house. Matt had set up a very long leash system that allowed Toby access to the entire front yard, where he even had enough room to run to play fetch, which he did a lot of with Matt. (One thing I can say about Matt is, he is very good with animals for the most part. I don't agree with his hard-on for César Milan, but Matt has a huge heart when it comes to animals, and he and Toby were best buds for four years. I really believe there was a chance Toby would not have survived our time out there, had it not been for Matt.) If no one was out there with him, though, Toby would do nothing but sit by the door, waiting to come back inside. Matt would let him in and play with him out in the living room but, instead of letting him back out to use the bathroom before sending him back to me, he'd just put him in my room, where Toby would then relieve himself, since he hadn't been out in a while. Thanks to the humans around him, Toby developed horrible habits and appeared to delight in doing the exact opposite of what was expected of him at any given time. At some point, I just gave up and kept a puppy pad carpet on the bedroom floor, and let the unruly boys do whatever the fuck they wanted. None of it really mattered.
During the move, Toby was thrown into even more upheaval, and his behaviour got worse. Whenever critters are thrown into uncertain situations and unfamiliar environments, they do exactly what small children do - they act out. With dogs, their acting out often comes in the form of reprehensible bathroom behaviour. Toby was marking anything and everything, both outside and indoors. Nothing I did seemed to stop him, no matter how often I took him outside. When we were staying with Janice, I thought she was going to have to be committed there a couple of times, especially when Elvis - Blake's little Chihuahua - and Toby were together. Elvis wouldn't stop humping everyone, and Toby wouldn't stop marking to show his ownership of and dominance over all which he surveyed. Truly, it has been a nightmare.
The first day were were in the new pad, Toby had a couple of mishaps in the apartment. Thankfully, he chose the side of Smidgen's litter box. I cleaned it up easily, and thanked the Mighties that Toby didn't choose to soil the carpet! That very day, I started him on a schedule, taking him out every two hours the first couple of days. The landscape here at Stonesthrow is relatively level and a 100% improvement when it comes to being walkable. Plus, there's a dog park that allows Toby to freely roam as he chooses, instead of always being tethered to his crippled companion. By the time the first week was up, we had established a set schedule that works for us both. In the morning, we go out around 6:30 am, then 10:15, 2 PM, 6 PM, and sometime between 9 and 10 PM. Toby swiftly embraced the schedule, and has readily adopted it to his internal clock.
After four years of excremental horror, there have been no more bathroom incidences since we have settled into the new place. Plus, I'm getting more exercise than I have in ages, as well. The ability to move more without excessive pain, or the threat of blacking out from over-exertion in a landscape hostile to the mobility-challenged. I downloaded an exercise app the other day, because I was curious to see how much I'm walking with Toby each day. After using it these past few days, I'm pleased to report that I'm averaging between 2 and 3 miles each day. After storm season is over with, and there's not a threat of being drenched only moments after you were strolling under the sun, I intend to expand our wandering out to the main roads like Pleasantburg Drive. I don't really need to lose weight, but I do need to build back my muscle, and Toby definitely could slim down a little, after spending years being fed gobs of people food and living a sedentary lifestyle.
I am amazed that it took basically just a week to turn Toby around. His breakthroughs have also been my breakthroughs, because the increased activity has helped me manage my depression which, in turn, allowed me to stick to the new routine, and actually look forward to mine and Toby's times out of doors.
Coming back to the Southeast has been the wisest and healthiest decision I could have made for myself, Toby, and Smidgen. No regrets!
One of the things that is imperative for a happy, healthy dog and, as a result, a happy, healthy dog parent, is establishing a routine. In fact, it is probably the most important thing about a dog/human relationship in our modern times.
Yesterday, as the Mother Unit was walking out of the house, Pinky took a wild hair and flew out along with her, and up into the canyon. Mama fell apart. I rushed outside and was helping her call for him, and set out to try to find him further up the canyon, walking so fast, I almost passed out! Before I headed out, though, Matt rushed out to see what the commotion was about. When the Unit told him Pinky got out, he turned and screamed at me, "WHAT DID YOU DO?" Mama was quick to inform him that I had nothing to do with it, that I came after the fact and was trying to help.
This is how I've been treated the entire time I've been here in Southern California. Everything has always been automatically my fault.
We never found Pinky...
When Matt got up this morning, I asked, and he said that the temp got so low last night, there is no way the poor bird could have survived.
Pinky was my favourite of all the birds. He was a precocious little sonofabitch and was pretty much affection in flight. It hurts me that he is gone, and I can only take comfort in thinking that his last few hours were filled with a freedom he had never before experienced and that he died as happy as he could be, given the circumstances.
Matt seems to have had his spirit stepped on by the stiletto heel of karma. I'm grieved that it manifested in such a manner that a life was forfeit, and I sincerely feel bad for him, despite his jumping to conclusions about my involvement in the situation, as usual. It was my profound hope that this chapter in all our lives would conclude without much upheaval. The last thing I wanted or expected was for some of us not to make it out alive, least of all one of the true innocents in this whole mess.
Fly free and joyfully, little man.
Stay safe, cradled in the arms of Nathor.
May it someday be we cross one another's paths again, in one form or another.
I had been waiting to make an official announcement about our moving to Longview, Washington when I better knew more concrete details, such as when we were actually moving. I'm certain this is the first time 99% of you have gotten an inkling that we were leaving San Diego. The following account is extremely abridged, as I'm going to wait until the dust settles and make as full and accurate document as is possible.
The long and short of the reason for the move is that Matt's parents followed through on their ultimatum to Matt to clean up his hoard or get out. Everyone's lives are in an upheaval, yet Matt refuses even to admit he has a problem. You can't be a narcissist and successfully get treated for hoarding, because you can't take the necessary first step of confessing that you aren't fucking perfect. But I digress.
About a week ago, the Mother Unit informed me that I would have to pay more rent, but she would make no guarantees that I'd get any more than what I'm getting for my money now, like a bit more room in their refrigerator (I'm currently using one small produce drawer, which makes for more trips to the store, which exasperates the Unit. All that said, one of the reasons I've lost so much weight is that I would go hungry rather than bear the guilt of inconveniencing the Mother Unit to take me to the store.).
Anyway, my other option is to move back East. ...if I can afford it.
So, about a week ago, and a day after I was essentially invited not to move with the Mother Unit and Matt, I was informed that Matt's parents want us all out of the house by Bealtainne, the 1st of May. I had previously been given the vague impression that the move was going to happen in the late Summer. SURPRISE! Needless to say, I've been scrambling to figure out what I'm going to do and how I'm going to do it. If things go as hoped, planned, and ritualised, I'll be selling the Duncan house back to Aunt Janice and using the money to make the move, not back to Duncan, but home, to Asheville. If things don't go as hoped, Smidgen, Toby, and I could end up homeless and stranded in San Diego.
I am simultaneously elated and petrified, because I don't know on which side the coin will eventually rest. The thought of finally returning home brings tears of joy to my eyes, but the idea of being alone in a what is still to me a strange city, with no way to provide even shelter for my bebbies, freezes my heart with terror. At least I won't have to wait for very long to find out our fate. In the meantime, I'm composing a formal request for the GoFundMe account I'm going to set up. If the sale of the house is successful, I'll refund whatever money is given to me via that method. If it's not, then I can use whatever people give me to subsist until something more decisive is in place. Honestly, though, I think this is going to turn out remarkably well, and perhaps even better than I am dreaming. Since I'm usually steadfast in my assertion that the glass is always half empty, I'm taking this optimism as a very good omen indeed.
About an hour ago, Matt reminded me of the drum circle that's happening tonight. A short while after that, the Mother Unit also reminded me, asking if I was going with them.
I am not.
When it was mentioned at the Rainbow drumming circle on Sunday, I didn't get the chance to tell the Unit and Matt that I wouldn't participate. Later, I forgot to bring it up. They just assumed I'd be up for any drum circle, and that's totally understandable. I don't think they understood why I won't be going with them, though, despite my best efforts to explain.
Honestly, I didn't try very hard to explain my reason to Matt, because his understanding others - at least me, at any rate - is as selective as his hearing and attention span, and it would have led to nothing more but another avoidable conflict. But I did try to clarify my position to the Unit.
If there is something I despise more than anything else in the world, I would have to say it is hypocrisy, religious hypocrisy to be exact.
Since 2011, I have had issues with my spirituality that, today, sees me on the threshold of unapologetic atheism. I have not participated in Esbats or Sabbats, nor will I until I can say without reservation that I still believe. This is a full moon drum circle. Engaging in connecting with Earth's heartbeat by creating rhythms beneath a full moon is too close to participating in ritual for my comfort.
The Unit's argument to mine was that she was not Pagan, nor is Matt, and they're still attending. In fact, she said, there were probably few, if any, Witches present, that it was more about the drumming than anything. And she's right. I can't deny she doesn't have a point. She also fails to understand that, because I'm an initiate, because I take spirituality extremely seriously, I don't feel comfortable going to an event that even hints at ritual. I would feel like a hypocrite, and that's an untenable position in which to find oneself.
I would love to go drumming tonight. Since this one is on the beach, I would particularly love going, as I have been wanting to return to the ocean for quite a few months now. (I think I may be past the used condom incident to the point I could brave the water again.) Immersing into the Pacific beneath a full moon as the attendees drum out our collective heartbeat sounds wonderful to me right now. In all good conscience, however, I can't do it. Even though the Unit and Matt don't see a problem with my participation, neither of them have undergone an initiation into a spiritual path. They don't see the conflict because, for them, there is none. And that's okay. That's the way it's supposed to be.
In completely unrelated news, my back has been about to kill me today. As I went up the stairs earlier, I felt like the G-force was tripled. It then occurred to me that the excess skin I could never get removed may be a major factor in keeping my back in a fix. So I decided to see what my health insurance might cover, given it changed when I moved to California. I couldn't find anything on Aetna's secure members' page, but that didn't stop me. I wrote Aetna. About thirty minutes later, I got this back:
Your provider will need to request precertification for the procedure.
If approved you may be responsible $264 out patient procedure co-payment.
I'm flabbergasted by this. It just doesn't even seem real to me, that this procedure, considered strictly cosmetic by all insurers in South Carolina, would cost me less than $300, if I got approval. Based on the experience I've so far had with the medical maze in California, I'm pretty confident I'd get approval, especially if it means the procedure would help with my back, knees, and my skin in general.
I go see my PCP next week, and will definitely be broaching the subject to her at that time. I will also be mentioning it to the pain doctor later on this month, considering he's been treating my pain issues in regard to my spine, knees, and fibro. So, we'll see.
I'm probably screwing myself over royally for feeling this way, but I'm actually kind of hopeful about the prospects of this. Anyone who reads this needs to keep your digits crossed for me, 'cos this would be monumental.
dprescott just reminded me of something that happened yesterday. He had posted a picture of his dinner, captioning it as "Grilled Cobia." I read it as "grilled cobra," because I am fucking blind. With his unintentional PS on Facebook, I'm almost certain the story I'm about to tell would easily earn me the money I need for glasses, if I decided to tell it on a site like GoFundMe.com. Here's the skinny. Try not to laugh too hard at me. I got enough of that from the Mother Unit and Matt.
Mid-morning, yesterday, I began to develop a migraine headache. With the aid of darkness and Simpson oil, it subsided enough to where I thought I could go to the drum circle in Balboa Park, get a little fresh air, and hope it went away altogether.
Taking Toby, we headed out around 3:30. As soon as we arrived, Toby took a huge dump right on the edge of the circle. As I was trying to pick up the mess, the plastic bag broke, and I ended up with shit all over my hand, even under my fingernails. Channeling the cursed spirit of Sal Vulcano, I freaked the fuck out, and had to go into a park restroom that looked more like an unlit stone prison cell used by the Spanish Inquisition, to scrub the flesh off my fingers.
After that, I went back to the circle, but the drums seemed to just echo in my skull. It was excruciating, so I took Toby, who was threatening to mark people's drums, and wandered away to try to drain his pipes and quiet the brain ache. About an hour later, I was seeing auras again, and couldn't bring myself to go back to the circle, so I settled in near where we parked, and apologised to passersby at whom Toby thought it was his sworn duty to bark.
On occasion, I would gaze longingly up at the drum circle and, honestly, I was nursing a pretty sour "poor me" attitude, until I saw something really odd. On the edge of the circle, I saw what looked like two dogs getting it on, in time with the drummers. To me, it looked like a dark brown boy dog with lighter fur on his inner thighs, just going at with his girl, legs off the ground and everything, and no one seemed to notice what was going on! If they did, they just didn't care. Now, I wasn't scandalized by the public boning; I was more amazed that they were doing it to the beat.
I kept staring at this, agog at how no one was witnessing this awesome moment of natural symmetry, until...the boy dog lifted his head a little, and I saw that it was actually a long-haired Hippie (this was the Rainbow Family drum circle, after all), who had been bent over his drum. What I thought were the boy dog's back legs were actually the guy's arms as he kept time with everyone else.
See, this is what happens when a half-blind fucktard with a migraine headache decides it's a good idea to take an asshole dog to a drum circle. I'll inform everyone when I have my GoFundMe page ready to accept merciful donations for my prescription glasses.
Dear god, dear god...
In the very early morning hours of Monday, around 3 AM, I was jolted awake by PAIN. I immediately knew it was a Fibromyalgia flare-up, but it was the absolute worst one I've ever had. Yesterday was spent "enjoying" a full-body sensation that could only be described as the bastard child of an abscessed tooth and childhood growing pains, magnified a hundredfold. Misery was the word of the day.
Thankfully, today, I had an appointment with the pain management doctor. She checked me out, focusing on typical hot spots on the body that Fibromyalgia just loves to ravage with pain. When she saw tears pooling in my eyes, she ordered me an industrial sized shot of anti-inflammatory steroids. She also called me in a prescription for another kind of anti-inflammatory that I'm not supposed to begin until Thursday, so I'm going to wait to pick that up, considering I can't seem to blink my eyes without excruciating effort.
Since Matt had mentioned he needed to use the car this morning, I took an Orange Cab to and from the docs. The cab driver who brought me back home was a lady who had driven me somewhere once before. On the way, we struck up a conversation about family, work, illness, and grieving. I asked her if she was a native San Diegan. That's when she told me she was Ethiopian. I remarked that I'd always wanted to visit Ethiopia and even wrote an Ethiopian Vampire into my books (the dashing Mephistopheles, Rebekah's immortal mate). When we got to the house, I decided to pay the fare with my debit card, and give her a cash tip that was half of what the fare was. Since cabbies are usually only tipped at 10-20% of the fare, this kind of shocked her, I could tell. Female cabbies have to deal with a lot of potential danger, and probably don't earn as much as male cab drivers, so I wanted to make her bringing me home worth her while. We thanked one another and parted ways.
About twenty minutes later, Matt saw an Orange Cab car pull in front of the house, and asked me if I'd called for another ride. Since I hadn't, I went out to see if something was wrong. It turned out that my phone had slipped out of my purse while I was paying the fare. The lady discovered it when she attempted to call me to give me her direct number for any future transportation needs, and the phone began to ring in her back seat. I was just dumbfounded by her kindness in, in all probability, going out of her way to bring it back to me. I thanked her again and off she went into the uncharacteristic mist. I immediately programmed her number into the phone, but texted her to ask if I could have her name. Even though it has a certain ring to it, "Nice Ethiopian Lady from Orange" isn't very functional in the contacts list. I also thanked her again in the text, and assured her that I would reach out next time I need a ride. Hopefully, she'll text me back, when she has a chance.
In between the above incidences, I inched painfully into my room as I was talking to Matt. When I walked in, I noticed that my lamp, which is on the floor, for lack of having a table that could handle its massive size and weight, had been moved to one side. I asked him if Toby had knocked it down, since that had happened just a couple of days ago. He told me that the Mother Unit must have moved it when she was in my room. I asked him if he knew why, and he suggested I look up. Since I tend to look down when walking because, if I don't, I invariably end up tripping and busting my face, I had not taken notice of the wall. I turned my head in the direction to which Matt was pointing and saw this.
I have never been afraid of Darth Maul. I'm too caught up in a dense fog of lust to be scared. This time, though, I was more than a little startled not because it was Maul, but because it was giant and unexpected. It turns out that The Unit and Matt had ordered the laminate from Fathead, and devised a way they could get me out of the house so they could affix it to my bedroom wall, since the job takes at least two people. Matt needing the car was all a ruse. I thanked them both with as much enthusiasm and glee a person who feels like she's being strip-mined by demons can express. Now, I'm dividing my time between writing this, attempting to eat something for the first time since yesterday morning, and giving an image of Darth Maul that's taller than Ray Park the hairy eyeball.
And there you have it. I'm spending the rest of the day trying not to move very much and waiting for the shot to begin taking effect, ogling my smexxy smexxy Sith, and watching Impractical Jokers reruns online.
A few minutes ago, I went out to get something more to drink. For some reason, today, I can't seem to get enough liquid. As usual, Matt policed what I was taking in, commenting that I never drank water, it was always just soda. This is patently untrue. I was actually throwing out my Mountain Dew bottle and going back to the kitchen for my cold bottle of water.
I don't know what led to this point but, for some reason, Matt felt it wise to comment that I should throw the Mother Unit out along with the Mountain Dew bottle, then warned me not to get a hernia. Even though I already knew what he was implying, I played dumb and asked him what he meant. He made some offhand remark about the Unit's weight.
I fucking went cold as ice from there. I told him that we could joke about pretty much anything and, even though we did seriously bicker at times, I was usually cool with our incessant ragging on one another, except for this particular subject.
Flustered, Matt said, "I'm just, I'm just sayin'..."
"You're just saying you're a fucking bully," I responded. "You realise that most people, when fat-shamed, often gain more weight, rather than losing. And, not only that, like everything else in the world, a person's weight is influenced by genetics."
"No," he said. "I'm the reason your mom gained weight." I'm assuming this was a way of saying he is a fabulous cook, and people can't resist eating more than they should because it's so tasty. Right.
I then said: "I'm still trying to figure out which one of your parents is the massive asshole, because that's genetic, too, and you're a major one."
I wasn't kidding. I don't kid about this particular subject. It's been one of my number one rants since my time here on The Cliffs of Insanity.
When I was a kid being tormented by others who grew up to be just like Matt, I would just withdraw, hoping that the "sticks and stones" myth would actually fucking work. It doesn't. It never has, and it never will. The only way to confront a situation like this is to do so aggressively and without hesitation.
I will not tolerate this kind of behaviour in regards to myself, but especially when it comes to my mother. This has long been my stance on my tribe and myself. You can diss on me, but expect me to diss right back. But, if you diss on my Tribe, those I love and am grateful for their presence in my life, expect a merciless response over a long period of time, because I fucking hold grudges and am always on the lookout for ways to repay your unkindness threefold.
I notice things about people, and I carry these observations until I might be able to make use of them in some way. My observations have brought me to several conclusions that would probably make for unpleasant conversations if the weight subject is brought up again. I hope it isn't, mainly for the Unit's sake. She doesn't deserve the discord Matt and I generate. But I can't not defend her.
We went to EC Tattoo at the corner of Midway and Rosecrans. This is where the Mother Unit got her wolf, and she had already told Eric they'd be back with her daughter to get a tat for her birthday the next day. He had to shrink my picture down in order for it to fit on my foot, and I also asked him to change the pink hues to green. Yeah. If pink ever ends up being permanently attached to me in any way, shape, or form, I'll just have to steal and army tank and drive into the condom-infested ocean to end it, then and there.
Eric's translation of the image into what he would be putting on my foot was nothing short of spectacular. I even love the placement of it, where the tail seems to be curving around my ankle bone. It took him a little over two hours, but it was well worth the time!
( Reptile! )
There were a few instances during the tattooing, I thought I was gonna pass out from holding my breath. I had always heard that foot tattoos were exceedingly painful, so I was as prepared as I could be. Eric's music helped a great deal. He had a Spotify mix inhabiting every atom in the shop, serving up an eclectic collection of Rap, Hip Hop, Funk, Pop, R & B, and Soul. Music always makes things better, unless it's Justin Bieber... About halfway through the inking, Eric sprayed something cool on my foot and began to rub it in. Then he began inking again. This time, though, I didn't feel anything. Anything. I figured I'd either achieved a Zen state from the first 45 minutes or so, and was now channeling the Tattoo Buddha, or I had had a stroke. It was neither. That spray Eric had used could probably be used to help women, or Brian Quinn, in labour!
Here's a picture of the tat without my fish-white foot and rotated for a better look.
( skin ink )
Why did I want a lizard? Not for the reason some might think. My first experience with a wild animal was with a garter snake at the age of five. I was walking in the woods next to our house with the Mother Unit, when we came upon a green garter snake. It was young, around a foot long. Mama picked it up and let me hold it for a few minutes before we placed it back down and carried on. I fell in love with the feel of cool, soft, reptilian skin on that day. That experience was what set me on the road to respecting, honouring, and adoring the natural world around us. As I got older, I began to feel a particular kinship to reptiles, because of their typical relationship with humans. They are unfairly judged as ugly, dangerous, slimy and, in some cases like the story of Genesis, downright demonic. Given my lifetime experience with humans, I've often felt like I was playing the role of the reptile - outcast and misunderstood, based mainly on my appearance. When I decided on getting five tattoos in 2000, I was determined to make the lizard on the foot happen as soon as I could.
Matt didn't get his tat yesterday, because he didn't have the image he was keen on getting. I helped him this morning collect a variety of African Greys in different shades and position for Eric to reference in creating the image Matt wants. He went over to EC Tattoos about an hour ago. As for me, I have to go to the dentist at 3 o'clock, wearing the Mother Unit's pink bedslippers, since I was instructed not to wear shoes for at least five days. It's kind of ironic that the only shoes I can safely wear are the colour to which I strongly objected in the original lizard image.
So yeah, the 47th birthday was full of surprises and an overall atmosphere of camaraderie I would never have expected in a million years. At the end of the day, I hugged both Mama and Matt, and thanked them for the good company, good food, and awesome gifts.
I also spent the rest of my night thanking everyone online who had sent me birthday wishes. Sometimes acknowledgement is the only thing a person needs to feel good. Everyone made me feel like a ridiculously special person yesterday and, for that, I'm grateful beyond my capacity to accurately verbalise.
When I was a kid, when my birthday rolled around, I was usually thrown a party with all adults, 'cos that's kind of what happens when you're an unpopular only child. But I loved them all the same, and was always thrilled and grateful for any presents. I was pretty low maintenance. When the family would ask me what I wanted for my birthday, as I got older, the answer was usually music, first in the forms of 45s and 33.3 RPMs, then later in CD format. But I was never one to really expect anything.
So yesterday happened. It got to a kind of shitty start with a visit to the doctor to find out I have some sort of mystery mass on my liver, and more tests need to be taken to discern if it's a danger. After that, though, the Mother Unit and Matt went into full-on "Let's surprise the flying fuck out of Tin for her birthday!" mode.
We got home from the doctor, and Matt came from upstairs to meet us, carrying a box wrapped in tinfoil. When I opened it, this was inside.
( imagery, and more imagery! )
So I got a lot of learnin' to do, Lucy!
It wasn't over yet, though. They then took me to D.Z. Akin's so I could wallow around in the best omelette I've ever eaten - a three-egg lox and cream cheese omelette, with extra cream cheese. Holy fuck, that is so good! Of course, I couldn't eat all of it then. I still have about half of it, so it should all be gone by tonight. Seriously, if you ever get a chance to have a lox and cream cheese omelette, don't pass it up. It could be a mortal sin.
A couple of hours later, we got back to the house and I figured the rest of the day would be pretty mellow. I reached out to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, and began to play around with an upcoming scene from the Work In Progress.
I was wrong.
Matt informed me that they were going out again in an hour or so, as he was going to get his tattoo. He and the Mother Unit insisted I go along, because I was going to get a tattoo as well. What? The Mother Unit had gone the day before and gotten a howling wolf tat on her shoulder (pictures will be forthcoming, when she'll let me take one and share it). They knew about my Living Tree idea, and that I wanted a lizard on one foot and an Ankh on the other, for a final total of five tattoos. I decided to go with the lizard on my right foot, and began hunting for pictures to give the artist an idea of what I wanted. This was the lizard I decided on.
( David Icke's worst nightmare )
Matt fell ill yesterday, and he's still hacking and wheezing. And he's more subdued that I've ever before seen him! Honestly, it's rather disturbing. The Mother Unit started getting sick today. I think it's just a cold but, these days, who the fuck knows? So far, I'm okay. I went through Matt's vitamin/herb bag for him, and found his olive leaf and zinc pills. Also, I offered to go get him and Mama some food. He said they had soup for tonight, so I'll see what I can do to help tomorrow. I'm wondering if Costco carries hazmat suits...
In other news, I went back to the dentist today for another exam and to get my possibly last gum impression before I get my permanent teeth. On 11 September, I go back to get an adjustment on the final shape and placement of the actual teeth. After that, it won't be long until I get the finished product. Score! One crummy aspect about all this, though, is I seem to have extra bone protrusions that are essentially gum bunions. Until I build up some callouses in the affected parts, the dentures are gonna be painful. They aren't excruciating or anything like that; they're just really touchy, and get more so, the longer I wear them. I'm taking it in stride, thinking of it as the oral equivalent of breaking in a new pair of shoes.
Have a bubonic "totallylooksalike" piccie. missautopsy may get a kick out of this, since she collects these kinds of surreal comparisons.
"Hi, is Matt here?"
"Is he okay?"
"He's at his parents' house."
"Oh, are they okay?"
"That's in University, right?"
"I have no idea, I'm new to this area."
"Oh, okay. Well, please tell him Roy was here."
Matt asked that I be polite to these people if I happened to answer the door. I told the Mother Unit that I was as polite as I could be, to please let Matt know that.
They show up every fucking weekend. I'm going to ask Matt why he doesn't just go to church, instead of having a stupidity fest in the front yard at MY WINDOW every fucking weekend. Take that shit elsewhere. It's not needed, wanted, or welcome in my circle of being. He could always just bring them into the house, but I doubt he wants his religious pals to see the state of the house. Cleanliness is, after all, next to godliness, or so they say. He probably doesn't want his buddies to see how godly he really is.
But this made Toby insecure, so he started pee all the places in the house where the duo had done their deed.
At one point, Jeannie was in the kitchen and happened to see Toby squeeze a few drops on the planter nearby.
She started yelling and heading toward Toby. Understandably, Toby ran to me, jumping up in my arms. He was trembling. Jeannie stood in front of me, screaming that he needed to be reprimaned for wetting in the house. Her friend tried to explain that he was just being a dog, an insecure one at that, and he didn't mind. It wasn't a big deal. Of course, I cleaned up the mess.
Toby didn't like her from the time they came to pick us up to the time I hustled him into the new digs. The trip was pretty much unimpressive because of the rift, and because I will always side with my asshole dog. So, that said, I hope you accept my apology. So I'm ranting about all of it yesterday on Facebook.
My current short-tern dream is to to find that card-carrying bitch (yes, she has a card that permits her to be a bitch) jz drop her into a condom-infested area of the Pacific Ocean, where tons of dogs suddenly deside to join her, nipping at her prophylactic scrawny-ass body.
Yes, I'm still a Sith. I will always be a Sith.
Behold the horror.
So now I have a walking area, and lots of it, and Toby loves walking. Even though some people seem to alarm him, he's invariably always friendly with those he encounters, and he's just soaking up all the love.
I've actually walked so much, so far, that I've walked a godawful blister on the ball of my right foot. It hurts, but I've padded it nicely and I'm keeping on with the walking, despite the wonky knee on top of all that. If I keep this up, with the dinky amount of food I'm taking in, I'm going to be a freakin' bone by January. A muscular bone. With no knees. And callouses.
But it feels good to be able to walk, and to have a place to walk, and to have a dog that loves doing it. This neighbourhood reminds me of the quintessential Steven Spielberg movie 'hood. I expect a herd of kids on bikes with ET to round the corner when I'm out walking. It's all just so...Californian.
The Mother Unit has been gone for the majority of the day, off swimming I'm assuming with Jeanne, so I've spent the day chit-chatting with Matt, who seems to be a diehard conspiracy theorist. I do appreciate that! After a day of conspiracy, the Unit topped it off by coming home holding a gigantic cherry Slurpee, all for me. That was pretty damned spiffy of her.
Matt has built Toby a dog house. It's gorgeous. I think he was expecting the Tobes to stay out at night, too, but that's not gonna happen anytime soon, if I can help it. Once my room is set up, he'll definitely be in with me at night. Right now, though, the poor pooch is still too traumatised to be separate from me 24/7, so he's going to be in with me at least at night. I explained to Matt that Toby is a problem child who just went through a seriously horrid experience getting across country. So I think we have that settled for now. And it'll all be good, once the room is ready.
Anyway, when I haven't been walking, I've been zoned out in a like this half-sleep state. I called it Road Lag over on Facebook. I'm sure, once I've gotten used to the difference in time, I'll be back to my old insomniac self. Oh joy.
But I'm not complaining, not even about the inevitable insomnia. I'm just glad to have some company. I'm glad to have noise around me that isn't produced by me. I'm glad to not be haunted.
I haven't had a moment of homesickness. But you have to have had a feeling of home in order to experience homesickness, but I've essentially been homeless for two years, so the transition has been seamless. Hopefully, I'll have my room ready this week, and can stop feeling like a barnacle on the household's arse. I am not fond of being in the way and, even though the Mother Unit says that's not the case, I can't help but feel like a bit of a transient, sacked out on the living room floor with my cat in a pen next to me, and my dog hiding underneath the covers.
If I heard correctly, Matt is making pasta for supper. That sounds munchalicious. He is an excellent chef.
We’re right at 200 miles away from San Diego.
It’s been one hell of a trip. More fucked up than I would have hoped for, but there were some good bits, like beginning some good bonding with the Mother Unit, and the tourist-y part where we detoured to Tombstone.
And I made a new friend ~ Doug. I failed to get his Internet contact information, though. Crapola. I’ll have to ask the Unit if she could give that to me, with his permission of course. And I’ll definitely share my info with him. He’s a good guy.
The Moon is huge tonight. It’s as if she’s hovering a mere six feet above the ground, her partial body a rich orange. Being able to see heavenly bodies without trees as the usual obstacles they are in the East. (I refuse to start saying “back East.” That’s such a Western expression, and I’m still way too much of an Easterner to go there yet. Maybe in a year…and a day. HA) Don’t get me wrong; I am going to desperately miss the lush forests of the Southeast, but I’d be a fool not to appreciate the opportunity to commune with the stellar symphony the desert affords. It seems like an extremely Cadmusian pastime, considering I have him galaxy-gazing more often than not in so many written scenarios.
Like son, like mother.
After some serious hardships, dealing with Facebook not wanting to share Barry’s video file, to my initial uploading of “JUJU GRID (GO LIVE)” having a seriously skewed ratio, I finally resorted to sucking off a private Internet access port ~ yes, I kinda hacked into it ~ in order to achieve what I aimed, and finally got the video onto You Tube to Barry’s satisfaction. I told him what I’d done, and that I was probably going to prison. He found that amusing, but was glad I did it. If I end up in Virtual Prison, just rename me Anonymous, the Shriekback Agent. I’ve never done anything like that before, and I doubt I ever will again, unless I have to, and Shriekback is the only reason I’d be driven down that nefarious path again. Muahahaha!
Thanks to paisley_daze, with her brilliant idea of posting the video to Reddit, I am hoping I reached a lot more Shriek/Barry Andrews fans that I otherwise would not have. Why I never thought about Reddit earlier is one of those mysteries I may never solve. Oh wait, it’s because I’m a dink! Nevermind. And thank you again, Sweet Sophie.
Speaking of Shriekback, after I got my shower at Doug’s, I put on my last clean outfit that I’d kept out for the trip. I’d been saving it for last. I’m wearing one of the last good-fitting pairs of pants I own, so I won’t end up mooning San Diego trying to carry my booty into the new digs. And I’m also wearing the white Shriekback tee, with the multi-coloured logo on the front. It’s a small-cut large shirt that I bought on eBay aeons ago. When I got it, it was way too small for me, but I held on it with the thought of some day…some day. Well, that some day came just a handful of months ago after I lost all this weight, thanks to the grief and the ulcer. It’s now relatively loose on me.
So I’m rolling into the new town, sporting the Shriek logo on my torso. I can’t think of a more fitting way to announce my arrival, being Darth Shriek and all. I have no idea why I’ve always held some odd superstitions about clothes and what they may mean at certain times of wearing them, but there you go ~ that’s me. I intend to wear the ELO shirt that booraven22 sent me sometime in the first week of my abiding in San Diego. It’s a kind of unwritten rule that I must obey.
“Cry of the Celts” by Ronan Hardiman just came on iTunes. The last time I heard that song at night, on the road, was on Midsummer’s Eve in 1997, as I followed the Harpist out into the South Carolina wilds to stargaze after having ritual at Lord Ariel’s on Parris Mountain. It was one of the most Magickal, romantic moments in my life, and I will never forget it or stop treasuring it, even though I carry with the memory some amount of pain, because of all that happened afterward.
I don’t believe in many things in this world anymore, but I will always believe in the existence of love at first sight, because it happened to me on Bealtainne of that same year, and the Celtic night of Magick a month and half later, only confirmed for me that even someone as cynical as I was capable of experiencing something so profound and devastating as such a love.
And I will always be grateful to Lord Ariel for his match-making attempts, which were above and beyond the call of duty on his part. If I didn’t love him for anything else, and I do ~ for many things, I will always love him for that.
We just crossed over into California, and iTunes switched over to “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour. Pretty kickass! :D
After spending a day and a half under a bed at Doug’s, not eating or drinking, or going to the bathroom, Smidgen is feeling her oats here in the back seat of the truck. The night is a cat’s time, anyway, and her self-imposed exile because of her trepidation of Doug’s gigantic dogs, have left her acting like a wild woman. She’s calm right now, lying beside me just outside her travel case, looking around with giant eyes. At any moment, though, she could spazz out again and try to roam the cab, and that’s why I keep the leash on her at all times when we’re on the road. I can’t have her acting the fool and getting in Jeanne’s way of driving. That’s the last bloody thing I need, but especially Smidgen. It’s bad enough I had to wrestle her from under the bed to get her in her case – it was the first time ever that I’d ever had to be rough with her. And it’ll be the last time. And no one else will be rough with her. That would be like someone taking my infant child and punching her. Just…NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.
I got about two hours of fitful sleep last night, and finally gave up and got up a little before 6 AM. So I was already running on empty, and now I’ve been awake for almost 24 hours puttering about on the empty tank. By the time we reach our destination, I’m going to be a zombie. Brains!
“The River Sings” by Enya is now on. The iTunes is choosing odd and compelling music to score the last leg of this journey. I haven’t listened to Enya or anything Celt-related, except for Janet Russell and Talitha MacKenzie, in ages. Do I take it as a sign? I’m not certain I’m comfortable with that route just yet, if ever. We’ll see. I know that b_bopper55 is hoping that I recapture that flame. It’s too soon to even explore that possibility, though. If I’m able to, I did bring all my tools, so I’m not ruling out such a thing. Again, we’ll see.
I just took iTunes off shuffle, ‘cos it lighted on a Peter Gabriel song, and I want to hear more than one of his at the moment. “Come Talk to Me” is currently on. Next up is “Mercy Street,” which is my favourite song by him. When I first started fashioning the bones of what would eventually become The Chalice, a lot of music by Peter Gabriel was instrumental in creating the needed atmosphere. “Mercy Street” in particular is a deeply Vampiric song for me. So many of my Vampires having the inclination to be spiritual and religious creatures can be traced right back to this song. I always thought the harmonies had a particularly eerie church choir feel to them, and I still do. There’s a live performance of this song on You Tube that starts out with the chorus of the song being sung a capella by Peter and his singers. It’s a religious experience unto itself. If I can remember to hunt for it when I have Internet access again, I’ll be sure to post it here on The Cliffs. It’s one of those performances that, once you’ve seen it, you realise your life was pretty incomplete for having not witnessed it sooner. At least, that’s how I felt.
The time is now 3:10. I’ll write more later, if given the chance.
San Diego, California
The time is now 7:30. The Mother Unit and I are spending the day at one of the local Motel 6’s in order to give Matt some extra time to clear up more space for my intrusive butt. It’s good, though, to finally be reunited with my Bald Boy Club-members. That’s a club Matt created a few years back, which is pretty much composed of anyone who owns one of his shirts. That would be four of us ~ haha. So yeah, he’s one of the roommates, and a pretty spiff dude, IMHO. Here’s pics of the new digs, one of the Mother Unit at the front door, and one of the founding member of the Bald Boy Club, resplendent in his members only tee.
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Before we parted ways, Jeanne apologised for being an ass. I decided to be amenable about it because, really, I don't need to start new in a city with bad blood from the get-go. I'll definitely watch my fur-babies around her, but I'm not going to turn all rancid immediately. Biting back like I did Monday night seemed to put a different perspective in our relationship, so we'll see how it goes.
And so ends the week-long account of El Move, at least the journey section of it. In the next few days, I’ll be writing more about getting things rebooted in this new world. Today, though, will more than likely consist of getting some rest, getting my bearings, and making a couple of calls to settle some business in SC, like where my gas refund check from Freeman is ~ ‘cos I could really freakin’ use that money right now…