26 February 2024

A WHOLE LOT of shit has gone down since I last wrote.

First off, Dad didn’t really quit drinking. I admit I wondered, because usually when he quits he dumps it down the sink. He did not do that this time. I got home Friday and the bottle was back on the counter because, after all, there was still booze in it and it had only been resting at the top of the can. Minimal risk. I think that shit kills germs anyway.

Secondly, before that, I had written that last post in the library and then went out to the car and tried to start it and…

one hour later, give or take, FINALLY, it started. I had even tried to reach Carrie after at least half an hour of that, but she told me later she’d been at the casino with her phone turned off.

This was the second time my car had scared me in less than a week. It was the last time.

Yesterday I meant to take Dad to Knights of Columbus to pick up some pork dinners. We got into the car and apparently, the Jennings-to-home run was its last hurrah.

So Dad gets out of the car and… toddles over to Brandon’s next door.

Turns out Brandon is an auto mechanic.

I have been struggling with this fucking car since winter fucking solstice.

It worked out. Brandon found there was a mechanical issue with the starter, which is why it tested OK at Advance Auto because they were only checking the electrical side. I had been really starting to wonder. A whole lot of other things could have been going wrong, but the electrical still seemed so solid. Even with the battery being old, Brandon noted that it holds a charge okay, but advised me that at some point in the near future I should think about replacing it. Not a big deal now. He even knew some guys who would transport my car to his shop for $75(!), because the starter had given up the ghost. I literally drained the battery down trying to start it that last time. As in the clock lost its setting and reverted to 1:00.

Along with replacing the starter, Brandon also got the bad brake light working. We will want to replace both “lenses” (the light fixtures) and probably wiring harnesses because the lenses are warped, the right far worse than the left, but he enlarged the bulb holes for now and it turns out the socket for the right (passenger) brake light still works even if it’s a little crumbly around the edges. We’ll get to that when we can get to that.

I don’t think Brandon charged for labor. I think he just charged for parts and the tow. I know Dad’s done a lot of nice things for him over the years and maybe that’s why. I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. I am just going to give him more work, including labor if he’ll let me, as I need it. I’m sure he won’t object.

Best part? I have now fully passed inspection. So my car is FULLY FUCKING LEGAL. WOOHOO!

Have applied for work again. Carrie’s granddaughter Chloe works at this place and we’ll see how that goes. I never count on these things happening. I have no idea how it will go even if it does happen. All I know is it’ll be a while, if ever, before I’m earning under my own power without dicking up my car. I need something until then.

Carrie says Dad’s giving me $500 soon. He’s said nothing, so I’m not counting on that either. I’ve got enough for my phone bill tomorrow but if this site goes dark in a few days, Dad didn’t give me the money. We’ll just have to see how that goes.

Ironically? I AM earning. It’s not enough to cover my baseline expenses yet. But I am. No one around here knows that because I don’t feel like explaining it. I cannot get simple concepts across verbally without confusing people, so how the hell are they going to get any of this? And with Dad’s hearing problems too. So I just pretend to be a complete bum and get on with things.

(I had that approach with Elizabeth too, which was probably what soured her on me. I don’t feel like having someone tell me all my ideas are shit, okay? It’s not like everyone says it to me, or even most people, but to have the people closest to you shooting you down over EVERYTHING is a real buzzkill. I’m supposed to be supportive of and unquestioning of everyone I know but no one has to back me up. Fuck that. If you’re just gonna shit on me, I’m shutting you out.)

For the record, I need 50 paying subscribers on my Substack to cover my baseline expenses. 75 paying subscribers and I’d have gas and the occasional domain name also covered. It’s going to take time, of course. 150 paying subscribers if I want to transition this into more than a hobby that sometimes pays because I have to account for taxes. I feel very mercenary talking about it this way. It’s more to me than an earning thing. But right now I have to think about money. The only time in my adult life I didn’t think about money a whole lot, I was wasting years on Matt. That ended badly. I have to think about money. You’ll just have to understand.

Okay. I need to git. I wonder if Dad will ask me to take those Knights of Columbus dinners to Kathy. I really should have offered when I took off but I had no idea how this day was going to turn out. Tomorrow for sure if I don’t do it today.

23 February 2024

HI COLUMBUS

At least I know that’s not me. No, I get tagged with IP addresses that are nowhere near me. Today it’s New Iberia. I’m in fucking Jennings.

I finally got a library card. The Jennings library has much better hours than the Iota library does. I will probably get an Iota card too, though. I just won’t count on using it very often.

I feel so stupid about the inspection sticker. It was so easy. I still failed it, but the only bit I failed was the brake lights. TWO of them were out today. No idea why. I was expecting to be dinged for the passenger-side one. Having two out was scary though. So after I got out of there, I stopped by Walmart and shopped for a bulb, realized the bulb number I needed was the same one I had a bulb for in my glovebox, bought a few other things, and went back to my car. So there’s a new bulb on the driver side now (I can see where the old one burned out). I’m hoping it’s working, since I couldn’t see any way to check. I need a mechanic appointment for the other plus the starting issue anyway. I’ll get there. I guess. If I get back to the inspection station within that 30 days they’ll have my sticker waiting in the desk. They have a record and there’s even a note on the Failed sticker. It’s okay. I’m legal for thirty days either way.

Dad decided to quit drinking again. I mentioned he took up drinking this week, right? Okay. Today when I got up I saw the whiskey bottle in the trash and it still had Early Times in it. I don’t know what that’s about. For all I know he fished it out of the fucking trash after he got up today. I’m not going to obsess about it. I am just going to avoid having conversations about my fucking employment status as much as humanly possible. I’m tired, okay? I swear I do not think I am too good to work. I know that’s been some people’s impression. What you think is snobbery is my anxiety. My whole life, and my dad has been THE biggest offender, it’s been “you’re too slow” and “you’re too stupid.” Not those exact words but those exact sentiments. Often coming from the same people claiming I was intelligent. It was a major mindfuck. And then I’d have problems at work. Too slow. Too stupid. Over and over again.

The problem with the shit I don’t want to do for a living now is that those are the exact employment situations where people will say I’m too slow and too stupid and then they will fire me. THERE IS NO POINT GETTING HIRED IF THEY ARE JUST GOING TO FIRE ME. NONE. ZIP. ZILCH. NADA.

So that’s why. It isn’t thinking I’m too good. It’s what’s the fucking point when I’ll just be back at square one within a month.

So that’s a big reason I got the library card. Dad usually can’t be arsed about what I do on the weekends but I think it would be better for both of us if I were not home on weekdays most of the time. And having the library card will mean I don’t have to be in Stanford’s (Carrie’s husband’s) hair either. I’m not 100% sure he doesn’t like me being there, but he bitches about everyone else so it’s a fair bet he bitches about me too. And PLUS, it ALSO means I can do worky stuff at a proper table in a proper chair. Although it’s not that proper a chair. It SQUEAKS if I sit down in it too fast. It’s like a built-in whoopie cushion. It’s awesome. One of these days I might try to get video of it.

I could draw here, too. Easily.

Well, we’ll see. And I’ll also be able to check out books, OBVIOUSLY. And possibly also DVDs. I saw they had some kid ones. You never know.

Did I mention here that I have a doctor’s appointment coming up on Wednesday? I’m a little bit excited because at least this will get the ball rolling to figuring out the uterine fibroid problem, and possibly also get me a free glucose meter and a prescription for strips. Those are positive steps forward.

Shit, I should get a dental appointment Monday too. Might as well.

Don’t get too excited. It’s always the most optimistic before shit goes to shit.

I’m so fucking eloquent today. (Do not even get me started about MY mental lapses lately. They haven’t been major yet, but they’re pissing me off.)

22 February 2024

Who the hell’s in Fostoria, Ohio? I’m also getting visitors from Arizona and New Mexico. Weird. But Fostoria has got me particularly curious. It’s nowhere near where I used to live. It’s closer to Akron. Closest thing I can think is someone I knew at the shelter, but no one had my last name there. Could just be a random.

I won’t get an answer, so consider that rhetorical questioning.

I cannot quite say that Dad’s on the warpath, but like that, about me getting the car inspected. I’ve been putting it off out of fear. I just knew that if I went to get it done, they’d fail me. It’s not rational, just one of my anxiety things, because even if they do fail me I will get a Failed Inspection sticker, so I’ll have a sticker and wouldn’t get ticketed for missing one. I’ll also have thirty days to fix whatever the deficiency is, and of course they will tell me what it is. I won’t have to guess. So me worrying was silly. Didn’t stop me, of course.

But I looked at a website about vehicle inspections in this state and I have a feeling I might be okay. I was worried they would fail me over the brake lights because one is out, but the other two work last I looked, and brake lights weren’t even in the list on the web page. Headlights yes, brake lights no. Last I looked both my headlight bulbs work but I have that cockeyed one because I changed it myself. Worst case, they fuss at me over that but that fix should be less than fifty bucks if it’s an issue.

So I’m probably okay. Dad already gave me the cash so it’s be fussed at one more evening because I didn’t go today (they close at 4 and it’s after 2; I’d rather go earlier in the day when most people will definitely be at work) and then tomorrow I will go to Eunice and get that done. I will pay for a two-year sticker. No more bullshit til I have to renew the registration anyway.

AND THEN, apparently a legislator at the statehouse is introducing a new bill to eliminate the inspection sticker requirement. Scuttlebutt is that it has a better chance of passing now because the state introduced some kind of vaping tax that would replace the funding this sticker requires. Ah, state politics. I’ll be a bit annoyed if it passes and I’ve paid for a two-year sticker, but it’s only $20 and it saves me any related tickets until July, which is when this thing’s expected to pass if at all, so I’ll just count my blessings.

(Assuming I’m not caught and ticketed on the way to Eunice. AVERT.)

Carrie wants to ask Dad about getting her off his checking account and putting me on it. Confidentially, I’m against the idea. The only reason I am even entertaining it is Carrie doesn’t feel safe staying on it because she feels it puts a target on her back with Aunt Matilda. What Carrie doesn’t seem to realize is that changing the account will actually paint a target on me. The fact that if anything happens to him I’ll be fucked never seems to cross anyone’s mind in this sad equation. I might be able to stay with Doug for a while but I am under no illusions. It’s likely to go wrong and then my ass would be stuck in Oregon. I might have a couple more escape hatches if that happens but I can’t guarantee it. So it’s in my best interests if that man stays healthy, or as close as he ever gets anyway, for at least the next five years. I don’t know what I did to deserve living in this dilemma, but here we are. Will anyone care? No.

He seems about as reluctant as I am because Carrie was all fired up to go make the account change today, but she texted him and he read it and he never replied. I can’t tell whether he’s already gotten through that bottle of Early Times or if he did his usual hide it from me like it makes any difference, and I didn’t hear him walking the way he does when he’s well into his cups (which is why he falls), but whatever, he was definitely in grumpy mode if I know my father at all. So this is likely to be stalled if it ever happens. I’m fine with “never.” This wasn’t my idea.

Updated bracelet photos today here. I have more pics and I need to take pics I missed. At least everything will pretty much match.

I need to do more mini drawings.

Okay. My train of thought derailed a while back. ‘Later.

21 February 2024

Insurance paid. Got that done yesterday.

I had to ask Dad for sixty bucks because I had some money but I was mainly tapped. But I had enough to cover $52 of the $112 bill. Hence requesting the $60. I know you were about to go “WTF, insurance is never that cheap” and you’d be right. Sorry. Haha

I don’t know if it was a coincidence, but we went out and ran errands after that and Dad got whiskey again. Doug says I shouldn’t blame myself and honestly, he drank like a fish before I ever got here, which is how he fucked himself up last fall. But it always does my head in a bit.

Now I’m at Carrie’s catching up with stuff and Stanford got home first. He’s complaining about Brenda, who visits every day, so I’m betting he complains about me when he gets the chance. Brenda at least contributes to the electric bill. If I even had the money to try that, Carrie would probably tell me not to, but still. I don’t get what she sees in Lala (his nickname… why, I have no fucking idea). They had split two years ago, though not divorced. Whatever. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Let me upload my other shit because I should probably leave soon.

A note: I started filling out an application for a grocery store in Crowley and then… just stopped. Because you know what? This is all bullshit. If I had recent work history worth speaking of besides deliveries, it’d be one thing but most of what I put on applications is old and it’s a long list. I already know they’re going to say no. I’m working for nothing. I make more money writing the damn Substack. And even that’s not a lot, but it’s more than I do applying for employment.

I don’t know if that means I am on the right track or what. It probably doesn’t actually have any inherent meaning.

Lots of that going around anymore.

19 February 2024

Okay, I want to know who put the fucking bunny ears on the lion for that Cadbury Eggs commercial

You know the one. All the animals “auditioning” for the role of Cadbury Bunny. I swear to fucking God it’s the same ad I used to see back in the nineties. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I guess.

Probably the closest we are going to get to any sort of Easter celebration is picking up some pork-steak dinners from the Knights of Columbus this coming Sunday. Dad’s a fully confirmed Catholic but never bothered with it much as an adult except when he was trying to impress Carrie. I was baptized as an infant but was never confirmed later, and nothing I’ve learned about the Church in the time since has convinced me I should do anything about that.

(Sorry, Thea. Afraid you were a liar on that one. Especially since I know for a fact I explained that to you.)

I haven’t asked Dad yet about the insurance money but I will. I don’t see another option. The GoFundMe is dead in the water and I might have a bracelet sale coming up soon but it hasn’t happened yet. I got enough signal today going into town that if there were a sale in the pipeline on the Etsy Seller app, it would have popped up once I got to town. No such luck. And it wouldn’t have covered the insurance in any case. Need to sell Sandor for that.

I’m going to spend some time this evening, when I am done writing this, designing some more bumper stickers and mugs and such. That’s not necessarily going to get anywhere but I want it up in case. I do have some funny ideas. Some funnier than others, but can’t be any worse than some of the tripe I see out there.

SyFy (what a dumb rebranding) is running all the Harry Potter films, which I play when Dad’s napping. I’m always so torn when I watch these. I had to sell my book set to keep my room sometime in ’22 (and cried about it; one more link with my daughter gone), so the films are what I’ve got left. But they’re so badly done. So much got left out that made the stories so much richer. And don’t even get me started on the abysmal acting by those fucking brats. I’ll never forgive them for betraying Jo Rowling. I’m so glad HBO is doing a series. I hope they’re just scrapping the movies and starting all over again. It really needed the TV treatment anyway, that way they can fit more in. MORE HOUSE-ELVES. More Phineas! To list just two examples.

I don’t think I mentioned yesterday what my fasting sugar was. I think it was around 190 mg/dl and I’m too lazy to go pull out the meter just to get a perfect number in a blog post. And then I checked it today and it was in the 160s, I think 165. (I also learned, yesterday, that the tip of my left ring finger is a terrible place to stick for a sugar. Ow. Made a nice little bruise, though it’s gone now.) I’m glad it’s not 200-something anymore, but it’s still far too high. Experts say you shouldn’t go over 140 mg/dl postprandial, and even that is too high, and it’s not fasting, which is even worse.

I’m learning. Had fried fish and French fries for supper. Dad had a hankering. I’m often given to eating more than I’m hungry for rather than make leftovers Dad will just throw away. Didn’t do that this time. And I feel a LOT better than when it went over 200. Still don’t feel normal, and all sorts of other shit’s going wrong, but I’ll take the minor win.

I wonder if doing intermittent fasting but still eating the same food might stave off the worst damage for now. I seem to have read something in that vein at some point. It’s worth a shot. I just worry that with all the fucking carbs I’m going to be shorted sufficient protein. Already am being. Bad time for it. I haven’t been building enough bone in a long time now.

Oh well. Let me get some design time in. ‘Later.