31 January 2024

I think I have hit upon an accidental solution to always having to wear those annoying reading glasses when I am writing on my computer. I don’t have a desk anymore (haven’t in ages; even in Elizabeth’s apartment I had no additional furniture to what was already there) and so my laptop usually lives up to its name. Well, if I’m on my bed or in one of Dad’s recliners, the screen’s farther away from me than when I used to sit in “my” chair at Matt’s house

(I wonder what happened to that chair? I suppose he might have moved his furniture to Colorado, but it’s equally likely he got rid of it and started over)

and so it falls within my field of Reasonably Good Vision and suddenly I can see what I’m doing again without strain.

It won’t last, of course.

(Nobody tell me I can set my monitor for large text. I don’t want to be old yet.)

I’m not on the internet as I write this but I’m pretty sure I mentioned already that my phone’s back on but if I didn’t, it is. I need to transfer some money to my Credit Builder card again for the hosting service and then after that I have to fret about the auto insurance but after that, things cool down for a while. Shan’t be resting on my laurels. People have been incredibly kind versus what any of them owe me, which is precisely nothing, but I only sold something on Etsy because I cried about my brokeness and a friend came through for me. I need to treat that more like a job. It’s hard to do without the constant internet connection. I will have to figure it out. I can draw and that’s awesome, but each work is one and done. I need to do some things that can repeat on auto-pilot. That’s why I also set up the Cafe Press site. I always wanted to have a little tshirt and bumper sticker shop anyhow. I’ve dipped my toe into that possibility several times over the years but it never took off. Maybe now it will. I have to be persistent.

I wish I could do delivery to fill in until I can work out the rest, and if I get really desperate I will probably try it for the next couple weeks once I get the car sorted, but it’d be taking a huge chance since minimum coverage is so expensive for me here and Uber only insures if I have comprehensive and collision. I dunno. I could probably fudge it for a little bit. Not an ideal situation. I probably won’t try it. I would if Lafayette were closer.

Speaking of insurance, Liberty Mutual was one of the companies that rejected me when I was searching for coverage here. I got a letter from them recently. Know why they ixnayed? I’m not enough into debt and I’m not making payments on a car. I hope Limu Emu eats Doug. Fuck that guy.

Oh you know what though? If I get the car sorted enough I might go over to Major Pizza Chain in Redacted Town. I keep pondering that and I keep forgetting again. That might not be so bad. I know it would be with my car instead of a company car, and that’s not ideal, but a pizza restaurant also usually has a territory, unlike Uber. So I wouldn’t be doing a hundred miles and more per day. They also pay an hourly rate before tips, unlike Uber. And if shit was really slow I’d probably be helping in the kitchen, and that’s food service experience. Not a bad thing to have.

This is idle speculation. If I do it it’ll be out of desperation to show Dad I’m trying, also out of desperation to keep my few bills paid and put some money aside. If I don’t have to do this specific thing I will not do it. It’s not my first choice.

A Facebook friend, who I think is Irish, upon seeing some of my work recently, asked me why I don’t quit fannying about (her words) and just be an artist for a living. My mind had already been going in those circles pretty hard given everything I’ve gone through in the past couple years. People think I’m a fucking joke and not worth the respect there ought to be between an employer and an employee. It’s not a special vendetta; they are like this with everyone. They are just worse with older people, I suspect. It’s too late for me to build any sort of Muggle career anyway. Whatever skills I pick up from here will have to be used unconventionally. It is what it is. If they’re just going to fuck me about and I’ll be poor even with a job then I might as well be poor without one as long as I’m still earning income. It is easier to fire a bad customer than it is to fire a bad boss, in terms of outcomes.

We’ll see what happens. It’ll be as much a surprise to me as it will be to all of you.

I can’t remember every item in my complaint litany about my health but right now, it seems like my left knee has improved and that weird pain in my shin is gone. Considering the weird swelling in my left ankle I had had before that, I am more than a little concerned about traveling blood clots but I’m waiting for my primary care provider to change in Humana’s system before I go trying to chase all that shit down. And the heart palpitations come and go and sometimes I wake up feeling like shit, and I did this morning. Period is still going too. Not heavy but just has never quit this month. It has literally been going for almost a month now. The one mercy in all this is I’m not getting severe headaches. In the first year after I moved out of Matt’s place I got those from time to time. Based on circumstances I suspect it was more magnesium deficiency than stress, though the stress didn’t help. I have been very consistent in my supplementation since I got back here and I swear it’s helping. I don’t care if it’s placebo effect. It works. I need magnesium anyway so really it’s a win-win situation.

Now if I could sort the rest of it out. Another reason to make more money, job or not. I could feed myself and stop with this junk nonsense. Some of it I could quit right now but there would still be junk in my main meals and that I can’t control so much. Maybe if I show Dad my horrible lab numbers when I get back to the doctor, that will drive the point home. “Yes I’m buying my food. Here’s why. Quit bugging me.” He will be so confused, because healthy isn’t what everyone’s telling him it is, or he’s got entirely the wrong idea about it. I don’t know which and I do not care.

I wish I could figure out what the fuck is up with this O key. (Letter, not zero.) It has not broken off. I can tell. Or else something is broken that I am unfamiliar with, but I see nothing indicating a break. I can snap it back on. Problem is it keeps coming loose again. None of the other keys do this. It has been a longstanding problem. I thought at first I’d gotten food caught in there. This was back at Matt’s. THAT far back. I’m curious whether I can replace the keyboard and it would actually work. I have my doubts, but I’ll look into it. I tried that with my last computer and it was a dismal failure. That was a cheap piece of shit, though, not a Dell.


Lake Charles tomorrow. I was supposed to come up with someplace I wanted to go and eat for a belated birthday lunch. I have no idea what is in Lake Charles. I guess they mean pick a chain restaurant? Apparently Dad usually wants Golden Corral when Carrie takes him there, and I’ll probably just ask for that. Everybody can get something they like and no fuss.

I had hoped to go to Bridge Park for my birthday. That is just a leetle out of our way.

Maybe I should make a list of stuff I wish I could do. It’d be something to aim for.

29 January 2024

Phone is back on.

Stuff is still coming through and I should be able to rescue my hosting service as well. Looking forward to it.

I should be able to get a whole lot of bracelets photographed tomorrow. Dad will think I’ve lost my mind. The weather this week is pretty though and I’m a moron if I don’t take advantage.

Okay. Need to update WordPress. Then got to git. This was a little bit of a weird day but at least I’m not completely cut off from the world.

28 January 2024

You’ve probably seen updates by now. I’m being more productive with writing in general, actually. Which still isn’t very productive, but it’s a lot more than I was doing. I’ll take it.

Anyway, some of the updates were here in the blog and some were elsewhere on the site. I’ve started telling ex stories. Not “story” like “making it all up,” but you know what I mean. Unless you are an ex reading this who is in severe denial. That’s fine. You just sit in your wrongness and be wrong. Not for the first time.

I’ll get around to Matt eventually but I’m dreading it because anyone who’s wasted twenty years of your life is also going to hand you metric fucktons of material. I’m thinking I may just go with major highlights, but I know my tendency to run away with myself when complaining about something so I’m just going to have to tinker with that one for a while. See what I come up with. See if it’s enough. The others should be pretty easy though. Even Eddy was, and he fucking died.

At this point, actually, we’re up to two extinguished old flames that I know of, one an ex-boyfriend. I wonder why I refuse to label Eddy as a boyfriend? I wasn’t any closer to Wayne than I was to him. Well, it also matters what the guy thinks, and Eddy never even told me he loved me. I’m not sure Wayne did either, but I know I was meant to think of us as An Item. I don’t remember how I know, but I know. So there it is.

And hell, I’m getting older. The actual body count, not just me joking about body counts, is only going to grow. I’m kind of stunned Marc is still alive, now that I mention it. That likely won’t last much longer.

Some people may be curious why I’m writing about any of them. I just want to. It really doesn’t go any deeper than that.

I suppose on some level maybe I hope that if some Prospective Dude comes along and sees I’m a tattletale (grasser), and he’s an asshole LARPing as a decent guy, my blabbing might be enough to scare him off. Maybe not for the really psychotic ones, but everyone else in that category probably. Fine by me.

It’s probably also going to scare off the good guys who are very private, though. I suppose that’s a mixed blessing. I don’t want something like this to be why a relationship lands on the rocks. Why do I have to accept a guy who’s bad with money or drinks way too much or has no social skills or fucks around but he doesn’t have to accept me writing about my life? Who comes up with these bullshit rules anyway?

Seriously, men need to develop some basic self-awareness. You’re not fucking prizes either. I once was eating at a McDonald’s where Jennifer Hudson was singing on the flatscreens and this greasy-haired guy in a trucker cap who was sitting closer to the TV yells “LOSE SOME WEIGHT!” and stood up and turned… and I swear to fucking god he looked like he was carrying twins. And she did lose weight later. And I guarantee you he’s still a fucking troll. “Oh, Dana talks too much.” You watch furry porn at 3am and turn your undershorts inside-out for another wear, Brentley. You studmuffin, you.

(Matt, for that matter, looks like a haggis on an upside-down muffin cup when he’s in a kilt. After years of not wearing his, he suddenly took an interest in it again after I got obsessed with Rory McCann. Yeah, absolutely no one can tell what’s going on there, sport. God only knows why. He didn’t even really like me.)

Heard from Doug today. I don’t know if he told Dad my phone’s off, and I don’t know how much he’s followed on social media, but he definitely tried to call my number and failed to get through for obvious reasons. We commiserated about living being too fucking expensive (did you know it’s more “convenient” to drive 45 minutes to the nearest Cricket store to pay your bill than it is to just get the fuck online and pay your bill? Me neither, but Cricket charges a $5 convenience fee for that 45-minute trip) and basically shot the shit. I have no idea how either of us ever got this far. He probably doesn’t know either.

I’ve had weird shit going on. I don’t get the left lower quadrant abdominal pain as often now as I did there for a while, but I got it yesterday. I don’t know if it really is diverticulitis, but I’m pretty sure constipation plays a role. And then I had this weird pain in my left shin yesterday and it still twinges off and on. And last night I actually had trouble standing upright and ambulating. I don’t think it was bad enough for Dad to notice. I finally decided I was probably just sleepy. I think I was right? I have no idea, but the dizziness or whatever was gone this morning. I don’t know if I mentioned the odd swelling in my left outer ankle several days ago (a couple weeks?) but the itchy bit I scratched isn’t all the way healed. It’s also not infected, so I’m counting my blessings. Endless left-ear problem that’s probably mild psoriasis, given my luck. Random persistent itchiness in random other places that’s probably fungal. I fight it when it pops up. Thank you, Lotrimin. And then there are my weak-ass hips, almost literally. Last time I was here Dad was all about blaming that on my obesity. No, but my lack of exercise is definitely the central problem unless I’ve got some unrelated disease process going on. My hip hinges are out of shape, and being fat and being out of shape are not quite the same thing. My hips would have wound up just as weak had I never gone fat but had been inactive like I have. I don’t know what it’s going to take to beat this into people’s thick skulls, but I find most people don’t want to think in any great detail and I can think of better ways to exercise my HIPS than to wear out my RIGHT ARM administering corrective IQ points. I’m so fucking tired of people.

(No, sex is not a good way to exercise them. But exercising them might safeguard any future sex life I might ever have. A very good reason to sort this shit out once and for all.)

I have to remember I have bracelets to mail. Things are kind of messed up insofar as my Etsy pay because I remembered, belatedly, that if I let it deposit to my Chime account then it would go into my overdraft black hole. So I switched it to my PayPal, which also functions as a bank account now, but that’s going to take a hot minute for the account to verify with Etsy. (Or Stripe actually. Confused yet? Just smile and nod along.) So that’s not going to be available for postage even though payday is Monday. But I still have postage stamps. It will probably still mail at first-class rate. I figure I will go into the post office, ask them whether they can weigh it for me (unless there is already a scale in the lobby, in which case I will skip that second step), and then stick on enough stamps to cover the postage. Not difficult. I wasn’t using those things anyway. This is a Facebook friend so as long as she tells me if it does NOT get to her, I figure we will be okay. This friend goes way back. She actually started following blogs of people I knew in Ohio when those people were in North Carolina — so, about 2000 I guess? — and then somehow followed things around and found me in that first couple years. We’ve been friendly ever since. I suppose it helps she wasn’t caught up in that fractured and fucked up community, just a spectator of it. Lucky.

Another Facebook friend paid for an annual subscription to my Substack. That runs five bucks a month if you go month-to-month and $50 a year if you pay ahead for a year, which is two free months. The problem is that last I looked, yesterday (Saturday), the payment hadn’t hit and isn’t even in my account over there. Substack just has her listed as an annual paid subscriber in my subscriber list. I don’t know what will happen or what’s going on. I guess I will just have to wait and see. Depending on what’s going on with Etsy payments, if that hits my Chime account tomorrow then at least I’ll be halfway out of my hole and maybe, since a payment will have hit, Chime won’t shut me down. Stranger things have happened. Even if it hits PayPal instead, I’ll send it over to my Chime because I will have paid for postage for my Etsy sale and that won’t be a problem. If everything hits at once — Substack and Etsy — I’ll be happier than a pig in shit, obviously.

I have to go to Carrie’s more often in any case because I need to check to see if I’ve heard from anyone. Even if I can’t get my phone turned back on right now, I’ve started using my Google Voice number on applications. I need to see if there are any important messages. Even after I get my phone turned back on (or new service started — I have some options), I need to apply more often for work anyway.

But I can only do that for just so long in a day. I need to do a portrait, too. If I can get a portrait knocked out, I can do a listing on my Etsy shop for pencil portraits. Could you imagine if I started bringing in income for that? Oh hey, guess I don’t need a job then. I could get set up as a proper business and then just do self-employment and income taxes quarterly. With not having to make a car payment, not using my car as my primary income tool, and not having to pay rent (for now), I would have time to get earning.

Not just with portraits. Which reminds me. I need to design some bumper stickers and a mug or two for my Cafe Press. Heh heh heh.

26 January 2024

I posted on Instagram the other day about my letter-O key cap falling off my keyboard. It’s been going loose for ages and it finally popped off. I saved it because I was at Carrie’s and honestly could not tell if it had broken off or merely come loose. Well, today I finally took a close look at it and it looks to me like it has just come loose. So I popped it back on and we’ll see how things go. If it falls off again I will likely attempt to glue it on. I’m afraid to do that because if I fiddle where I should have faddled, it may stick on too well and then I won’t be able to use the fucking key. A new laptop computer is not remotely in the budget at this time. I’ll be typing all my O’s with zeroes. It’ll be nice and humiliating.

(It’ll also be funny. So I’ll do it anyway. It’ll be a laugh. The only real problem I can potentially see is if I have to type in a password somewhere. There are at least two workarounds for that.)

(By the way, it is grammatically correct to pluralize single letters using an apostrophe and an S. That is the only time it is grammatically correct to pluralize using apostrophe-S. Bet you can’t guess why.)

So as I write this, we are in the final hours of my phone connectivity. I actually do not know when it’ll be shut down. It could be tomorrow morning. It could be tomorrow evening. Both have occurred in the past. Obviously, I’m hoping for evening, but I have no control over this.

But a visit to Carrie’s is hardcore on the agenda because her husband Stanford came home the other day while I was there and out and out offered to fix my problem with the license plate. He’d already looked at it and had an idea how to proceed. I have tools and I’m not afraid to use them but I don’t have enough tools and haven’t encountered this problem before, and it touches on a legal issue — proper identification of my vehicle — so this is not something I want to dick around with and risk the plate falling off. I also do not want to find myself back in the exact same fucking place in a year with more bolts falling apart or out or whatever. So I’m of a mind to get it the fuck right the first time. If Stanford can help me with that, fantastic.

And also because I need to check up on what’s going on. I found out I have an annual subscriber on my Substack all of a sudden. She’s on my Facebook friends list and so she saw me talking about my fiscal issues the other day. Problem is the money is not coming through. It won’t be enough to pay the phone bill because I am nearly thirty dollars overdrawn, but even after fees I think it’ll get me out of the hole. But I need to see if it’s actually coming through. If my phone’s cut off first thing in the morning then I’ll only be able to answer that question on a wifi connection. Woo fucking hoo.

I have a GoFundMe up also but I doubt that’ll go anywhere. I had a marvelous stroke of luck when I set one up a year ago due to my car problems: I had a $300 donation almost immediately, and then I think a $20 or $25 donation a day or two later. I did a second one to try to keep my apartment late last year (August or so? Maybe later? Not sure?) and was utterly ignored. This could go either way. It’s only for three hundred anyhow so I can make sure my car insurance won’t lapse early in February. If the Substack subscription comes through, though, even if someone only drops me fifty bucks on GoFundMe then that’s my phone bill probably sorted. I need that for job-hunting, so that is not a bad thing.

Unless my hosting bill hits. And that went from almost $20 to almost $25 to almost $35 a month in two fucking years. There’s no fucking reason for that. I don’t think they even sent me notice they would do it and I haven’t exactly been a problem customer. I’m trying very hard not to bail, but if it goes up again in the next five years they’re going to lose me. The other irritating thing they do is bill my credit card several days before the actual due date, hence my having to worry about this hitting tomorrow. At least if I get the phone paid before the hosting hits, they can sit and stew for a few more days and hopefully I will have something figured out by then. Or I’ll lose my hosting in a few more days. Either way.

In other news: I’m about to build a FUCKING ARK. Fuck this rain. FUCK IT. I am DONE. HOW MANY FUCKING WEEKS OF HEAVY RAIN NOW. Two? Three? It’s fucking pouring again RIGHT FUCKING NOW.

It was too much of a drought in Ohio last year. It wasn’t much better the year before. So I am not used to this shit in Louisiana at all, and the ground’s too flat with too high a water table. I suspect the only reason this fucking shitbox hasn’t fucking floated the fuck away already is because the drought left the ground with some capacity to soak some of that rain up. It’s not happening fast enough, but it’s better than nothing.

The trailer annoys me because it’s $575 a month for two bedrooms, one bathroom, everything old and superficially “renovated” — not really, it’s all old as hell and shabby as hell and the one clever thing I can see is the living-room/kitchen flooring, which was salvaged from a basketball court — and no central A/C in goddamn USDA agricultural zone fucking nine. Roaches. Mice. Now probably mold. And $575 a month, did I mention. Utilities NOT included. What the fucking hell.

And Dad’s letting things be damaged and not reporting them. I am unclear on whether he glitched and forgot about the leak near the bathroom or whether he doesn’t give a shit or whether he’s scared to say anything. I mention the latter because he just got done telling me the other day that he would rent from Carrie’s son Corey, who is becoming quite the young property owner around here, except Jodi (his landlady) has been a real friend to him especially following his brain event. So it’s like he likes staying here, I guess, so doesn’t that mean he actually cares? And surely he isn’t missing that the floor’s fucked up, so the only option that leaves is “scared to say anything because what if he has to move suddenly.” It’s not like he can’t get into a different place. He’s got the savings for deposit and first month. I don’t know what the fuck’s going on there. He might not even have to leave the trailer park. Corey owns a trailer here now and will be leasing it. Assuming someone hasn’t snapped it up already.

I will say something after the rain lets up, as no one’s going to want to go under this shitbox until all the mini-lakes and baby swamps recede anyway. I realize I’m taking a huge risk if the floor damage is severe enough that we have to vacate. If worse comes to worst I will see if Doug’s okay with me selling the fucking car, getting a small U-Haul (maybe a van), driving cross-country, and moving in with him. He already invited me to come stay with him, with Dad along of course. Even if that car is only $3k I should be able to keep up with my bills for at least a little bit. It should give me time to build up income of my own somehow, too. It’s a risky idea, and I fucking hate what Oregon has become, but it’ll be my Hail Mary if something goes horribly wrong. But it beats Jodi suing Dad’s estate or something. Dad has a place to go even if the trailer park’s a no-go; he’s reserved a spot at the veterans’ retirement home not ten miles from here. Dad is just too stubborn to go there, but he could if he had to. I’m the one who’d be fucked.

In the meantime I am way too warm because he wants it 74 to 80 degrees F inside when it’s sixty degrees F and up outside. There’s a wall A/C unit in the living room but it’s unplugged. There’s another wall A/C in Dad’s bedroom — what was my bedroom last time I was here — but hell will freeze over before he turns that thing on, and then HE WILL TURN ON THE HEAT because hell’s too cold. I am going to be one suffering motherfucker by the time June gets here. Probably not even that long. I already find myself on the back porch being eaten alive because the air’s fresh but the mosquitoes like all the free food I take out there.

And Dad chain-smokes and watches TV way too loud. The TV I can sort of deal with. Maybe. The smoke tends to drive me outside in the daytime. At night there’s really nowhere to go. Nighttimes here are unpleasant, and that’s being kind.

There were a few reasons I wept when I realized I’d have to come back here.

But unless a Hail Mary situation comes up I cannot make any more relocation decisions off-the-cuff. I need to get my ass to a doctor and get some things sorted out or at least Officially Diagnosed. I need to work harder at establishing independent income. If I can get that car fixed appropriate to its mileage and amount of wear, I’ll be in a better position to sell it if need be. I could probably stand to get that fucking proofreading course done too, but given my track record so far (four years since enrollment! no time limit, at least), I don’t hold out much hope for that one.

I probably should start chatting up local relatives about building our family tree, too. I took the first step last time I was at Carrie’s. I finally installed Family Tree Maker again. Booyah.

Wish all my problems were that easy to sort out.

24 January 2024

I’ve got three days left of phone service unless something changes for the better very quickly.

I do have the option of asking Dad for money. I don’t know that he would go for it but it is an option. I’m trying very hard not to do that. I am already causing greater expense in his budget just by being here.

I’ve been realizing lately just how fucked this whole situation is. I feel like maybe some employers won’t bother with me because I have an Ohio phone number. I can’t see why they can’t just write off phone bills on their taxes, but who knows. But even if I apply for a specific job through Indeed and not through an employer site, which means they could contact me through the Indeed app, that app does not work even when I have a connection (apparently the connection is too weak) and I’ll only know I heard from anyone when I get email notifications. I don’t get those very often at Dad’s house because the signal is so bad. Trying to do anything else by phone is iffy too. If I can’t pick up cell signal I can’t get phone calls.

Landline is not an option. That rotted a long time ago and the phone company did not bother replacing it. I hate this fucking country. Throw everything away, throw people away, then complain no one wants to buy into this shit anymore. Why should we? We’re just thrown away.

I need to draw a sample portrait and advertise for drawing portraits but (1) Dad will probably get on my case about it and (2) probably no one will bite. I’ve been showing off stuff I’ve done and made for fucking months, and no one cares. I’m supposed to follow everyone’s Facebook pages, join everyone’s fucking groups, buy everyone’s stuff, and almost no one will so much as share my shit. But they’ll sit there and tell me they like it. Sometimes. When they’re even paying attention.

I’m going to do it anyway, but I’m fully prepared for my efforts to be for nothing. As they so often are.

I’m so tired.

Aha. Here’s one for ya. If any of you were offended by my Shit Laundry story from a while back, I’ll humiliate myself now. So I woke up this morning with a headache and having to pee, and then realized I had to fart, and you know how you can usually tell whether it’s a dangerous fart and should be held in til you get to a toilet? This one did not feel like that. Until I was already in the middle of it and then thought, Actually, I dunno… It ended without incident… and then I leaked. It wasn’t even a wet fart, it was a dry fart and then a leak.

Air serving as an asshole cork. Who knew?

My period’s been going for two fucking weeks and good thing, too. The pad caught most of my fart aftershock and the little bit that escaped did not soak through. Luckily because I’m on my last pair of clean indoor pants. (Not underwear. American pants.)

I am not sure what’s going on with any of this. I’m going to go with: I have been eating like shit — not eating shit, eating LIKE shit — for two fucking years now. I already wasn’t in the greatest shape from a health standpoint. I’m actively surprised I don’t have twice-weekly migraines, it’s been THAT bad. I suspect I missed out on that only because I started supplementing magnesium. I started supplementing magnesium more than two years ago because after I moved in with Dad in late ’21, I started getting insane muscle cramps. It isn’t the water. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t use water softener since the trailer park went to city water. (That happened back in 2000, another time I was living with him.) It’s all the fucking junk depleting my magnesium. Which I already wasn’t eating enough of in my food. And I’ve got gut stuff going on. I suspect my gallbladder has given up the ghost, just going on symptoms. I also fit the profile. Not that fair, but white and definitely fat and well over forty. My core muscles are fucking trashed. I probably have rosacea. And my knee has been acting up since I fell on concrete at Elizabeth’s place. I can sit on my knees and be no more uncomfortable than usual, I can walk okay, but trying to straighten my left leg from a seated position makes that knee crackle, and sometimes it hurts when I walk. I don’t dare check my blood sugar — the strips are expired anyway but I know I won’t like what I see and I can’t do anything about it. Mister Multiple Decade Diabetic In Kidney Failure refuses to clean up his diet, opting only to eat less of it, and his doctors mislead him on what cleaning it up means in any case. Like, this isn’t 1980 anymore. The science does not agree with you. Quit feeding us bullshit. But him making bad choices means I have to eat bad choices. I’m not the one buying the food. I could be working full-time right now and he’d still fuss at me if I bought the food. I’m supposed to be saving all my money. For retirement, apparently. In something like seventeen years. On shit wages.

I said I was tired, right

Confirmed something I have suspected since I came back here. Deborah is here doing her biweekly cleaning, and she asked me if Dad had ever told Jodi about the leak. Leak? Either the washing machine or the toilet, she says. She can tell it’s been soaking into the floor. I knew the floor was different from when I was last here, but it never occurred to me Dad might not have reported it. Dad had told Deborah a while back when she first alerted him that he would let Jodi know about it and from what it sounds like, the floor’s gotten worse even since then. So I get to go talk with Jodi. Dad isn’t exactly demented, but his thinking’s gone a little funny around the edges (even for Dad) since October, and he will forget things you wouldn’t expect to forget. I’m concerned. I don’t know if Jodi will need us to vacate while this is getting fixed. If the floor still seems solid enough, and it kind of does, maybe she’ll just need to get the leak fixed for now. If she decides to redo the floor too, who knows what’s going to happen.

Won’t fucking happen this week probably. It’s raining to beat the band. There’s some standing water in the trailer park already, and this is just day one. We’re in for at least two or three more days of this nonsense. If it were normal rain, we have skirting and it’d still be dry under the trailer but that’s probably not the case right now.

One thing I absolutely hate about Louisiana or anywhere in the Deep South is the everfucking tree roaches. They at least do not normally take up residence. They just sneak in from outside to look for snacks. But they’re big and they’re horrifying and they give me the heebie-jeebies every time I see one. Well, I’ve seen three in this place since I got here. First one was ON MY BEDROOM WALL. To be fair, I had just moved into the room not a week before, and either it had been in there a bit with no one bothering it and then freaked out when it realized I was there, or it just happened to sneak into the house and that’s where it ended up. Dad keeps roach spray around. The stuff works. I almost feel bad because they don’t die quickly, but I can’t have that running over me when I’m sleeping or crawling onto me in the living room or whatever. It’s irrational but there it is.

We also have mice. I haven’t seen them, but at the same time I was freaking out over Roach One, I could hear movement in my room in the closet area that really couldn’t have been anything else. I think I’ve scared them out of there, but now there are mouseturds in the oven drawer. You know, the one below the actual oven where you keep baking sheets and like that? Yeah. Dad keeps some pots and pans down there and Mousie has taken several dumps in one of the skillets. I have to take everything out of that fucking drawer and set traps if I want this to stop. I have to wash pots now before I use them just to be on the safe side. If they’re pooping, they’re peeing. Unsanitary all around.

I’ve been in sort of a mode of wanting to cry about my general economic situation again. You’ve seen some of that in this post. I know some things I can do to maybe move in the right direction but have been dragging my feet. Here are two things I definitely need to do:

1. Get the goddamn car in to a mechanic. I have the number, Carrie has helped me confirm it is the right one (she’s got his wife in her contact list), and so now I just need to get the ball rolling.

2. Get on a reliable internet connection a lot more often than I do. Whether that is at the Iota library or whether it is at Carrie’s place. Either way. I need to apply to jobs regularly, and I need to hype up my stuff for sale regularly.

I just feel like this is all going to be for nothing.

It’s like I stopped existing and no one’s ever going to see me again.

As a weird postscript, yesterday Dad and I did some running around. We stopped at Walmart for some groceries and Dad’s Social Security has already come in, so he did the thing he does sometimes near payday and got a bit generous, and asked me if I still like to read. We were passing the media section. He pointed at the books and suggested I find one or two. At first I wasn’t sure I’d see anything I wanted but as I was walking back to the end of the aisle I had started on, I noticed a new Stephen King novel, Holly (meaning part of the same series and universe as Mr. Mercedes), and Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck. Oh, what the hell. I’m still peeved at King for capitulating to the genderdorks but Dad was paying for it, not me, and I’d gotten Manson’s book at the library ages ago and thought it looked interesting but had never gotten around to finishing it. It seems to contain some useful (and realistic) pointers for reconfiguring my stinkin’ thinkin’, so I picked it up.

King’s an ethical wuss (also probably eating-disordered with some weird prejudices toward meat-eating people, which is odd as I’m pretty sure he’s not vegetarian) but has always been a good storyteller, and I got through Holly in an evening. In one chapter, the wife of a man Holly is interviewing is reading the same Manson book I had just acquired. In another chapter, it is mentioned that Holly owns a Columbus Clippers hat. Columbus as in Ohio. The story does not take place in Ohio. Pretty sure it’s in Illinois. (I’ll look that up one of these days if I’m online and remember.)

So, like, what the fuck was that about. I don’t know why stuff like this happens. It’s not often, but it’s always weird when it does.

I still think my time here’s temporary.

I have no idea what that means yet.

19 January 2024

Finally got to Carrie’s today. If you spend much time here you may or may not have noticed some changes. I revamped the “ex files” section. I will add more to it, obviously, or else it will look stupid sitting there without much content. I just can’t guarantee how fast that will happen.

I’m debating with myself whether to include photos. No decision I make about it will be a done deal, of course. If I add pics now, I can remove them later and vice versa.

I didn’t apply for any jobs today but I did message an employer in Eunice through the Indeed website to see if they’re still hiring for housekeeper and what level of experience they want. I need to make a special point to get connected at least a few times Monday. Connectivity here has been horrible lately and I can’t let it screw my chances. I will have trouble getting phone calls for the same reason, but at least through Indeed I’m likely to be contacted through the site and app.

I also need to get my ass moving on Etsy listings. I’m running out of time and I’ll be losing my phone in about eight days if I don’t get that sorted. Mind you, me making the listings doesn’t mean anyone will actually buy. Same old frustration.

Carrie insists I am welcome to come over any time she’s home, so that’s something. Weather starts warming up next week, at least for a bit. It’s also supposed to rain, so it’ll still be iffy, but we’ll see.

Dad’s on his third bottle since I got back. He bought this one yesterday and he is already more than halfway through it. His general demeanor today was what I’d call less than sober. It is the nature of an addict that they will come up with any excuse to continue, and I know that. Dad is also known to lie about his drinking status, and so it’s very possible he had not actually quit for a month and a half like he told everyone before I got here. I still think I drive him to drink somehow. It is just a thing I will have to live with because there’s no way to get an honest answer I would trust.

Still general health weirdness. This month it’s the period that never ends (what is this, going into week three? I need to look) and some fuckery with my left ankle. That’s bound to be a bad vein. I have been coping with weird edema issues with my feet and ankles since I was eighteen — I wasn’t even overweight then — and it’s only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. This is a relatively new wrinkle, though. I’m keeping an eye on it.

I’ve said a few times that I was accepted on Louisiana Medicaid but I’m still waiting for the goddamn cards. Hopefully soon.

I have this favorite Scottish comedian I follow on Facebook and he likes to respond to his fans fairly often. Today it was bullshitting about how he got his eyebrow scar. We longer-term fans already know the story, but this not only wasn’t true but was a wondrously creative tall tale involving a dolphin in which he joked about which other animals look like a shark. Just the dolphin, he said. I said well, last I heard from him that’s also women with big noses. He got a kick out of that. “You’ve been watching my old stuff.” Yessir. You funny. You cute too. Always helps.

He does look a bit uncomfortably like an ex-boyfriend of mine. Definitely not the same guy — comedian dude has a better sense of humor, for one thing, and the ex is Irish-American, not Scottish. It’s just strange. I must be really into Celts.

(Still quite fond of Rory. Rory is unavailable. Too bad.)

I still miss Columbus. I don’t see that changing. I cannot even consider going back there if I haven’t got my ducks a little closer to in a row.

Okay. Tired. ‘Later.

18 January 2024

Well, we got through that stupid polar vortex. My luck is so weird. Most of the time it just seems shit, but then something major will come up and I start wondering if someone’s looking out for me. If my car had not developed a fault last month, I might have been caught out in the vortex weather. Bad for me, even with the hand warmers I still have stashed in my car.

That, plus now Dad is making noises about helping me pay for repairs. He benefits from that too, so it’s not like I’m taking and not giving back but if I hadn’t actually been here living with him, that might not have even been on the table. Well, it really wouldn’t have because likely we still wouldn’t be speaking.

It drives me nuts how much better things would have gotten if he’d had more patience and I’d been better at managing my time the last time I was here. I had an entire year of Matt paying support in 2022 and I had time to figure things out. It just goes to show it is a mistake to depend on people, and the only reason I am doing that again is because I have to. I never should have let my life go this far to shit. The problem is that once it gets past a certain percentage of shittiness it is extremely difficult to climb back out again. And when you let your life hang from people who have no patience or who have no self-control (or not enough) or who have ulterior motives that will harm you, one wrong move and you’re fucked.

Too late now. I’ll just have to make do.

Absolutely no one has called me about a job. I have a theory about that. The fact that I still have a 614 area code is likely a problem. Most homes don’t have landlines anymore, but nearly all businesses do. Do landlines still have long-distance calling rates?

It can’t be the only reason I wouldn’t get called. They also all have my email address and that’s a viable alternative to calling. But for some hiring managers it could be a big deal. I don’t know.

It doesn’t look like the place a mile away is hiring anymore. Sign’s come down.

I’m thinking about switching to Mint Mobile because what I’ve got on Twigby for around $45 a month I could get with Mint for $15 a month. I’d still pay $45, but only four times a year. I need to find out what network they use and we’ll see.

I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET TO CARRIE’S ALL FUCKING WEEK. Hopefully tomorrow. Stuff has been going on literally every damn day. If you get to read this, that means I made it there. Haha.

I finally had someone on my Facebook scold me that I should be pursuing an art career instead of “fannying about.” Thank you. No one else tells me that. Closest they get is when someone rarely wants me to do a portrait for them. And I mean, like, at a rate of once every decade or two. I am so shit at literally everything else. If it isn’t being too slow it’s being intimidated by dealing with irrational people, either coworkers or customers. I need to do what I can do. Period.

I’ll still job-hunt, but just so that when no one calls I can say I tried. But if someone does call, that’s the other reason. It’ll likely be part-time, and that works for my purposes right now.

I’m having a hard time lately with the polluted air in the trailer. Half the reason I go out on the porch is to catch a better cellular connection. The other half is wanting out of the smoke.

Okay. Need sleep.

15 January 2024

I was supposed to go over to Carrie’s today.

I put my wet clothes, which I would have finished last night had Dad not dropped shitty rags into them, in the dryer. Figured when that got done I would take a shower. My towels were in the wash and I hadn’t washed in days. Stood to reason.

One dryer cycle. Clothes still wet.

I thought at first Dad had set the dryer temp funny. Realized later on that the temp setting and the timer are on the same dial. Never mind. It’s an old fucking dryer is all.

It worked the second time but by then I was a few hours into this. Then the power company was supposed to show up and change all our meters, which required shutting off the power. At the same time, I had to keep an eye on the clock for Dad because his physical therapist was supposed to come by today and Dad wanted me to wake him from his nap at 11am so he could get ready. He woke early, but then the power company showed up. They only had the power off a couple minutes and we thought that was it, and it should have been, but there was some complication so our power wound up off again for probably an hour or so. All this time I am not showering because our water heater is electric and also small and I wasn’t sure how well it would hold heat. It already runs out of hot water on a short shower. So it was wait for that to be done, wait for the water heater to do its thing, wait and wait and wait. During all this, the PT called Dad and said he couldn’t make it due to the weather. PT is from Indiana and ought to know better, but either his employer got nervous or he’s gone native.

Also during this, I was still having weird lower GI symptoms. Definitely better than yesterday, but no fucking picnic. Culminating in blood on the paper and blood in my shit the last time I went to the toilet feeling any significant discomfort. What the actual hell.

It was bright enough I’m not going to panic because bright means lower in the GI tract and it was probably a result of the constipation. I had that weird hybrid constipation/diarrhea thing going on, and sometimes that caused a kind of reflexive straining, and I think my poor butt was just worn out from all the drama. That’s probably where it came from. Whatever opened up has sealed up in the hours since, and I feel a lot better now.

But at the time I thought, That’s all I need. To get over to Carrie’s feeling all fucked up and who even knows whether this nonsense is contagious.

So I let Carrie know I was staying home after all. At this point I’m tentatively going to go over there tomorrow, but I don’t actually know if the weather conditions will allow me to do so. We’ll just have to play it by ear.

Anyway, I may have provisionally figured out what caused my grief. I don’t like it, but it seems the most likely possibility. Yesterday I had some of Dad’s potato salad and also the precooked boiled eggs he got from the store which both were in the potato salad and also were added to my bowl of gumbo. I’m gonna go with “those eggs were off” and not touch either from this batch again. And I hate to say that, because I like boiled eggs and I also like Dad’s potato salad. But he was having difficulty yesterday at the same time I was, obviously, and we both ate the same thing. And he had gumbo again later yesterday with no eggs added and was apparently fine after that. I feel like I’ve probably done the math here.

I would say something to him, but he always thinks I’m stupid and that he’s got all the answers, even when he is blatantly wrong, so even if he believed me about those foods possibly being contaminated, he’d make some stupid comment about some old-fashioned “solution” to the problem that doesn’t actually work. If someone else intervenes and says the same thing I did then sometimes he will listen, but he almost never changes his mind about things on my word alone. I don’t understand why every adult in my life went on and on about how smart I was as a kid and why that meant I should be making straight A’s when they all went on to not give a shit about my opinion on anything or my possible knowledge of the issue, but here we fucking are. So he’ll just have to learn from his own fuckups. I wash my hands of it. If you fucking people want me to use my brain to help you, you’re going to have to actually let me use my fucking brain. If you won’t, that’s on you. I’m done. Too much effort for zero fucking payoff. I can’t even feel good about helping people, because those people act like I was no help, even when I can see I was. Sort your shit out. Over there. Way the fuck away from me. Thanks.

He’s also making noises about jobs again. This is understandable. I also would like for me to have some regular fucking income. At least at this point I’m not under any pressure to be paying rent on my own, so I don’t have to hold out for a certain minimum pay rate as long as my bills are covered. So I will let him grouse and I will nod along and agree with him. But at least it sounds like he will help with car repairs so I can stop dealing with this car-starting fuckery and I can get the inspection done.

I just wish he would stop going “it works better looking for a job if you go in and talk to the employer in person.” That works for the sorts of jobs YOU had, m’man. I have worked in completely different sectors from you, and you haven’t looked for a job in well over a decade, and nearly EVERYONE does things by computer and internet now, and they even use computers and AI to sort through applications and résumés. I literally could go in and ask about jobs most places and they would go, “Did you fill out an application online?” and then I would never hear from them again. I can’t make them change how they do shit just because my father is old-fashioned (his words, not mine). Holy fucking shit.

But I know one place I can go in and be all friendly-like and “d’you still need help? I saw your sign on the door,” and I can stop by there if I go to Carrie’s tomorrow because it is on the way. Dad would shit if that works. Then I will have breathing room for a while.

I have other backup stuff too, I just am not sure if it will work. People don’t give a shit about my creative side any more than they do about my brain. Or anything else about me. It’s like I’m a great big fat blank nothing. It’s been like that all my life. I don’t know how people expect me to survive like this. I suppose they don’t really care one way or the other.

Sigh. I wish my fucking Medicaid cards would get here. I did get the physical approval letter, though I already knew I was accepted, and could be if I needed urgent medical care they would accept that as proof of coverage — at least, if they had enough info to submit my visit to the state, eventually it would get paid. But I would feel a lot better if I had a proper insurance card on me. I’ve hit a milestone this year and I am due for some things and slightly late on some things and way the fuck late on others and I need to just fucking get ON with it already. Hopefully soon.

Two more thinkythoughts:

1. Yes, I still think about and miss my daughter. Every single day. (I also miss my son. But it’s two entirely different kinds of estrangement and his has gone on much longer than hers. Eventually the pain is not so fresh.)

2. Most days I am still perfectly okay with the fact I am single. But I am not always okay with it.

Whatever. I’m human. Like it or not.

14 January 2024

Okay. I’m warning you, this one isn’t pleasant. I’m writing about it anyway because I need to grouse about it somewhere, and if I put it on Facebook I’m gonna have a hard time. I am already having a hard time, so why add to it.

I haven’t been doing great anyway. I am probably diabetic, and I can’t keep up with a supply of test strips because quite frankly, I’m broke. (That final payment for the phone went through. I’mm down to… two bucks and some change? I think?) I’m still eating crap and I never feel good as a result. I am sleeping with my feet elevated every single night for the first time in my life because I have had intermittent problems with swollen feet and ankles since age 18 and that has progressed to regular problems, and my previous method of coping — propping feet up on a coffee table during the day — is not available to me here. I’ve noticed that my also intermittent problem of heart palpitations gets worse if I am leaning back in one of Dad’s recliners, which is fucking weird, but that and other little issues have now got me wondering if I have atrial fibrillation (Afib). And of course there are the uterine fibroids and the ongoing hormonal fuckery of perimenopause.

So on top of all that, I had a large late lunch or early supper of gumbo and potato salad… and not long after that I had to shit, and turns out I’m constipated. I am attempting to manage it, involving a decent dose of magnesium oxide and then a laxative I happened to still have in my personal stash, but it is slow going and involves multiple toilet trips, apparently.

During my second one I heard Dad shuffle back to the hallway just outside the bathroom and move around and pause and move around and at one point I heard him open what I thought at the time was the dryer door (more on that in a minute… you won’t like it) and shuffle around some more and I thought, Here we go, he needs the toilet too, I better hurry and turned out I was right and he asked if I could get done soon and I did and he went in. Problem solved.

I thought then.

I went back into the bathroom maybe half an hour to an hour later because I needed a run on the porcelain throne again. At least every time I go in there I’m productive, but it’s never everything that needs to get out. I’m in constant low-level pain at the moment and very not happy about it. But I got done — well, for some value of “done,” as I’m still not emptied out properly — and then approached the washer and dryer because, well.

Well. Since I moved back in here I have been circulating my clothes out of my clothes hamper, where I had packed them the night I was evicted, then wearing them and then washing them and putting them into the dresser properly, with the intent that when I got the hamper emptied — it is not a large hamper — I would use it to corral the car-related stuff I still keep in the trunk of my car. Today I realized that what was left in the clean hamper and what was in the dirty clothes hamper in my room (that one came with the room) pretty much made up a laundry load. So I washed it all.

Dad has recently done laundry and had left it in the dryer. I had thought when I heard him open what I thought was the dryer today that he was taking that stuff out finally, because surely he had noticed I was running the washer. When I opened the dryer I saw that was not the case. So I took his sheets out and put them away in the bottom drawer of his dresser. Then I turned my attention to the washer to change my load over.

First thing I see is this towel that looked oddly out of place. It also looked strangely dirty. I went to take it out and it unfolded halfway. It had two wadded washcloths in it. Stained in some brown substance. There was more of the brown substance in solid bits all balled up in there.


I attempted to get as much of the shit as possible down the toilet and then took the rest of the bundle out of the washer and it’s sitting on the bathroom floor. I am washing my clothes again. I am not even attempting that towel and two washcloths. He’s got plenty of both. He can buy more if he wants.

I mean. I get it. He’s seventy-two. That’s a difficult age for things like personal sphincters. Nobody likes being in a situation like that. But we usually leave the washer open between loads and it didn’t even occur to him that it might be closed for good reason. He didn’t even look. He just chucked his crap, literally, into the midst of my clean clothes. I’m lucky it didn’t fucking leak.

Probably it didn’t fucking leak.

I can’t know for sure. Also there’s the psychological effect of this on me. Hence the rewash.

This pretty much answers one question about me, though. I’ve gone back and forth on whether I would want to do personal care for an elderly person as my paid employment? No. Nope. Really not. Am not fucking doing that. It’s enough that I will have changed two children’s diapers, and cleaned up two children’s puke that as often as not also wound up on me, and cleaned up after this one old man. He gets an in. No one else does. Especially not for free. I’m done.

No one’s going to be my personal care anything when I get that old. This culture does not give a single fuck about old women. It’s going to be some shitty publicly-underfunded old-people home where they leave me in my dirty Depends all damn day. Certainly no man would ever go that extra mile for me. (You’ve seen what old men do with wives who need personal care. They rope the eldest daughter in — no wonder my daughter wants to be a man — or they hire a care attendant or they chuck wifey into a nursing home.) Why the fuck should I for anyone else? On so little pay? Or none? Dad only gets the in because I have free housing here. That’s it. That’s all. He squeaked by. And even then, only up to a point. I’ll throw out his shitty towels. If he wants any more involved than that, he needs to get a permanent home carer or move into the veterans home.

So there you go. I just hope I get his literal crap into the trash before he notices I’ve noticed. I’ve had an unpleasant enough day.

Oh, and he’s drinking. I told Doug about the first bottle but have not yet mentioned the second. Dad bought this one two days ago and he’s already more than halfway through. I fully expect to be abused by one or more people if he kills himself on that shit. That’s all anyone seems to know how to do, shit on me and never ask questions then or later. I should care more about the effect on my dad than about people’s opinions, but no one has declared Dad legally incompetent. My hands are tied. Worst case scenario he kicks me out of this house and then what do I do? Mom has a spare room, apparently, but I don’t want to live with Mom’s husband. Man gives me the creeps. He’s ten years younger than her and ten years older than me and that really is not what you’d call a situation devoid of potential for fuckery. The bad kind. And I have no other options. MAYBE Doug’s house. He’s in Oregon. I’m surprised my car got here. It wouldn’t get there. There’d be no fucking jobs even if I did. That wouldn’t last long.

Oh, hey. My guts hurt less now. So that’s a win, I guess.

Okay. I need to get some pieces written for Substack. My thought is to write enough material to post two or three times a week (I can schedule them) for another month or so. I also want to set my homepage back up with a WordPress install. Text doesn’t parse correctly on self-coded pages and I don’t have the patience or savvy to play with htaccess. I also need to think about how to set up more bracelet listings and also my Sandor Clegane drawing on Etsy. At least two of those might bring some decent income. Might. If I’m very, very fortunate.

Shaddup. I know.


13 January 2024

My birthday three days ago was a fucking joke. They are every year — the one good thing in all that time was the way Matt kept buying me art supplies*, and now I’ve lost most of those — but this was my half-century and I had half-hoped to mark it with something memorable. In a fun sense, I mean. Nope. Shit out of luck. Again. But Carrie bought me an iced latte at a Jennings coffee shop the next day, and has promised to take me to a Chinese buffet soon. Not my favorite place to eat but they usually have some good dishes there which I enjoy, and I don’t dare ask about the Japanese habachi and sushi buffet. It might be good. But it might be a nightmare! And Japanese food’s always more expensive than Chinese and I don’t want to be a moocher. Oh well.

Also, I fucking love Carrie and I wish she and Dad had worked out. But maybe this is better, because they got to keep being friends and he’s needed that support from time to time. He used to rescue her all the time when they were younger so it’s really you have scratched my back and now it’s my turn to scratch yours. That’s so awesome, though.

I have gotten my driver’s license changed over from Ohio to Louisiana. Ohio’s DLs are good for a four-year period and mine was nearly up. Also, vehicle registration is due for renewal once a year unless you specifically ask for two-year renewal periods, which of course cost more, and are due on the vehicle owner’s birthday. Unfortunately, my arriving in Louisiana on the 21st was really bad timing because I’ve had too many customer-facing jobs and that specific part of December would have coincided with everyone panicking about getting their vehicular shit done before holiday hours and closures kicked in. I knew that, so I put it off. I shouldn’t have. I knew I had time to get it done before my birthday, which is on the 10th, but I didn’t know we were going to get an awful rainstorm on both the Friday and the Monday prior. I wanted to get it done BEFORE my birthday, not ON it. Just felt like that was wiser.

No harm done. Probably by sheer dumb luck. I should have put in my change of address as soon as I got here, but when I first tried to get it done I was stymied by a shitty cellular connection, which is my only internet access anymore. I hadn’t been wanting to drive much due to the car’s starting issues or I could have gone over to Carrie’s or else sat in Walmart’s parking lot in Jennings or something. Anyway, I’m not randomly changing the subject: the change of address notice they send you is adequate proof of address at the OMV. (Ohio calls theirs a BMV. Louisiana’s is the OMV. It’s what the rest of you call a DMV.) But I finally got it sorted and the notice arrived in the mail that Monday before my birthday. I just didn’t retrive it til the fucking rain stopped. Holy cow it was bad. We had schools closed. Usually we just shrug off rain. Not this time.

I could rant about shitty website design and shitty phone app design that don’t account for one-bar cellular signal, but you’re bored already. Just know that if you go into web design or app design, that’s a definite issue and y’all all know the government’s not going to bother sorting it out the way they did electrification of rural areas a century ago. Uncle Sam does not have remotely the same priorities now. So we’ll just have to adjust. Knock it off with the bells and whistles and just go for functionality. Thanks in advance.

Anyway. I’ve applied for a few jobs (Carrie told Dad I’ve “applied for all kinds of jobs” — not anything I told her, but apparently a conclusion she has drawn — which has mollified him, and I haven’t had the heart to clarify the situation for either of them) and heard absolutely nothing back, which didn’t really surprise me. It was the same in Ohio for two years straight, or else I’d get some temp thing and the client would drop the hours. Or I’d blow an interview. Or something stupid like that. Quantum was sheer dumb luck and turned out to be bullshit in disguise. I mean, clearly not bullshit enough as they are still in business and gaining more clients all the time, but give it another couple of years. As it is they keep having to hold more new-hire training classes, and that’s not all owing to the new clients. Some of it is the poor management. Well rid. So they didn’t hire me because I was somehow compelling. They hired me out of desperation. The pay rate and benefits reflect that too. Particularly when you consider THEY provide some of those benefits. In-house bells and whistles. Lots cheaper. So I’m not counting on anything like that happening again. It will be a matter of grabbing something that will pay my bills without driving me straight loony, and I don’t have a lot of bills at this point. And then it will be a matter of taking my time to train into something. I half want to go whole hog into proofreading (please do not look at my grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills here as evidence of anything; this is an informal blog, and I don’t fucking give a shit) as self-employment, and half want to train into something that translates into in-person employment from which I can then segue into self-employment somewhere down the line, but just have the latter as a side gig for now. I’m thinking option two may be better. I can’t tell for sure yet. Even if it isn’t the better option, probably best to go with it at first and then if the in-person work turns sour, I’m already more than halfway to the other goal.

Failing that I suppose I could do portraits for pay. That’s not guaranteed. If I were a shoo-in with that, though, I wouldn’t bother with an in-person job. My car is on its last legs (wheels?) unless I come up with the money to do what needs to be done at this stage to keep it in good shape, so being able to work without commuting is basically my Holy Grail. Dad may be a possible source for repair funds, though. He indicated as such yesterday. He benefits from my car running too, so we’ll see how that works out in practice.

But it isn’t just the balky starting — and I’m thinking now that it never needed jumping, but that it starting after a jump was coincidental, considering that most of the time it wasn’t even immediate but put me through a few more half-assed non-starts before finally, grudgingly getting going, at which point it functioned fine. I think the initial assessment of battery, starter, and alternator was correct and something else is going on. My thought is “old battery cable,” or something else along that circuit which has suddenly worn out and only half works. I cannot prove it, of course. I dread finding out how much finding the problem and fixing it will cost.

ASIDE FROM THAT, though: I had been looking for the power steering fluid tank the other day. I had gotten mixed information online about Hyundai Sonatas and where the power steering fluid is, and it turns out that some years and possibly trims have fluid-based power steering and some don’t. Apparently mine is one of the years/trims that does not. So whatever’s going on with my power steering is likely wholly mechanical. That won’t be good. If I don’t need it to continue steering safely, I won’t bother with it yet. We’ll see.

Also, while I was discovering that little quirk, I noticed the coolant tank. On this make and model, and possibly on a lot of the more modern cars, you don’t dump coolant straight into the radiator. You fill a reservoir tank instead. I actually really like this feature, because if you’re dangerously close to running out of coolant then you’re panicking and you don’t want to have to wait for the radiator to cool down. It’s just a little plastic tank with a pop-off non-locking hinged lid (helpfully marked Coolant) to one side of the engine block, right next to where the power steering fluid tank would have been if I’d had one. And the coolant level was down to the needs-a-refill line.


So I resolved to get more the next time I was at Walmart with Dad. Well, the next time we went I started the car before he came outside to go to town so I wouldn’t feel like a gigantic fanny trying to start the stupid thing while he sat there wondering what in the ever fucking fuck now. Got it started without too much trouble and sat there letting it run for a bit, and I noticed white smoke coming out the exhaust. It was not cold enough for my exhaust to be visible. I remembered the coolant tank being low and remembered a smell I’d started noticing in the past couple weeks sometimes when I’d just started the engine and had thought, Oh, shit. The coolant is leaking and somehow I am burning it. Quick Google. Vast majority of the time when this happens, including the white exhaust, it is a blown head gasket. However, when that happens the coolant gets in somewhere where it mucks up some sensors, and then your Check Engine light comes on. Mine hasn’t yet. So I’m thinking we’re still early days if it is the head gasket. But one more thing to panic about.

Did refill the coolant though. And so far, maybe a week later, I’ve had a little loss but nothing to write home about. It’s barely below the top-limit fill line. I’ll keep an eye on it.

I still have to fix that stupid tail light, too, because I am not out of the woods with legal shit for my car until I get the vehicle inspection done, which they give you a month to do. I am out of money thanks to paying for the taxes on the car title transfer AND having to make that last payment for my phone, which I had absolutely had to replace because the battery was swollen on the old one. I need to look up, next time I’m at Carrie’s, how to replace my car’s entire tail light fixture because love ya to bits Haynes, but YouTube videos are more helpful. Whatever fucked up that brake light’s socket (I can no longer install a bulb in it — it’s fried) also melted the opening the bulb’s supposed to go through on the install, and it’s warped and it breaks bulbs. No good. Everything else on that wiring harness still works, but it’s all going to have to come out. My one sticking point aside from price is whether I will need any special extras to get the job done. Adhesive, for instance. I need to find out.

And. AND! I’m not a hundred percent sure the brakes will pass muster. They work. But they’re getting mushy, which indicates something with the fluid level and/or cylinder (the one time I’ve had an outright brake failure, the cylinder had ruptured, and they got good and mushy before that happened — that was more than twenty years ago and I have never forgotten Poplar Avenue in Memphis in the rain), which is going to be more money out my pocket that I don’t fucking have. But I’m going to let that slide just a little bit longer. If they are the reason I fail inspection, they should be the only reason I fail, and I’ll get a sticker saying I failed inspection which should keep the cops off my ass for a little while longer. They don’t exactly give an A for effort, but they won’t ticket you for not even making the attempt, either. I think it also buys me additional time.

Are you bored again? Let me tell you what being poor is. Being poor is boredom and wasted time. So much wasted time. Oh my GOD the wasted time. Am I bitter? I’ve earned it. Fucking deal.

I do have one possible out, though I’m not sure yet how realistic it is or whether it will even happen. My aunt Matilda’s ex-husband, the father of all my cousins by her, passed away last November. They divorced at least a couple decades ago, and neither of them ever remarried. Far as Social Security is concerned, that makes her his widow. So she’s now gone from well less than a thousand a month in benefits to $3000-plus. She is now talking about replacing her Honda. Cool bit is it’s two years older than my car but about four thousand miles less in mileage, and I wouldn’t be doing much more with it than commuting and errands here.

State of Louisiana tells me my car’s worth six grand. Not sure how, and I surely would not be able to sell it for that much, but okay. If I could get at least three grand off it I bet she would take that as a down payment, and we could work out payment terms on top of that. We’ll see. My first impulse is to just keep up with my present car as there’s no expiration date for repairs — whereas there would be for a car payment — and no potential for misunderstandings between relatives. But if I like the terms I may take that risk. She swears it gives her absolutely no problems. I mean… it’s a Honda. Poor woman’s Toyota, basically. They’re decent cars.

(I can’t help thinking she’d be willing to sell it for its Blue Book value. If she is, I’d be home free because it wouldn’t even be $10k. Probably not worth much more than mine, in fact. We’ll see.)

I at least have an idea for employment for some amount of time, and the place is a mile away from my house. I will make plans to visit Carrie on Monday and will stop by there on the way. (Cold or not — we’re catching the edge of the vortex here early this next week — my car’s got a fucking heater and it, thank fuck, still fucking works.) They seem to have had poor luck finding someone. I’ve never operated gas-station pumps, but these are the old-fashioned kind and likely will be simple to learn. (There are two pumps: 87 octane and diesel. That’s it. You need rocket fuel, you outta luck, boo.) And, hey. If I can figure it out there, that’s experience in a gas station later if need be. I think the owner kind of knows my dad, which will also help. So we’ll try that, and we’ll see. Even if the fucking car breaks down, it’s a mile one way. My fat ass needs exercise anyhow.

Speaking of. I have had problems with random heart palpitations for a long time now. I thought for a while it was stevia setting them off. Then I thought maybe it was one of the “natural ingredients” in a particular root beer I had been drinking when that shit all started. But they never completely went away. And these days I find they pop up when I’m stressed, and they like to pop up when I’m using one of Dad’s recliners, especially when I am leaning back. I’m starting to wonder if this might be atrial fibrillation. I just have a feeling.

I did get notification a few days ago that I have been accepted on Louisiana Medicaid, which I already knew from the Healthcare.gov website but now I have paper documentation, so it’s wait again (SEE WHAT I SAID ABOVE ABOUT FUCKING WAITING) to get my card. Then it’s start investigating all this shit. Afib is a major risk factor for stroke, and too many people have already had those in my family, especially on Mom’s side. I have other risk factors for stroke too. I am not going to go in for any pharmaceutical cocktail but if they tell me I need to do a blood thinner, I could get on baby aspirin and/or garlic tablets. Not a big deal. I already knew I need to lose weight. Maybe if a doctor is fussing at me, Dad might start taking that seriously. The big battle there is that he thinks I only have to cut fat and calories. No, Dad. That never works for anybody, Dad. Even if they lose the weight, they lose too much lean mass and the problems remain and their stupid doctors go Well, I Guess This Must Be Hereditary, Here Are Some Prescriptions and next thing you know you’re taking pills to offset the effects of the pills you are already on and you feel sick all the fucking time. Nope. Not doing that. Next fucking question. But it’s going to make things interesting in terms of eating healthier. I’m so fucking tired of people always judging and sabotaging me about that. It’s hard enough pushing myself. I shouldn’t have to push other people away at the same fucking time.

(Is ANYONE who is close to me ever going to be genuinely supportive of my self-improvement efforts? Ever? Am I doomed to be alone? It’s really starting to look like it. Fuck all y’all.)

[looks back at blog entry]

…Holy shit, I don’t think I meant to be this verbose.

I have more shit I want to talk about, but I’ve written enough, I guess. I will try to remember to do this more often or else there’s no point. Also, if I’m consistent in my updates, I will have more time and space in which to write about all that other stuff too. Sounds like a wiener to me.

*Ah ha, you’re saying. Matt bought you art supplies every year. Surely this means he wanted to be supportive of your artistic inclinations. Well, sure. If he hadn’t dicked up the entire house and left me no room to work. I had been sorting that out the last couple years I was there, in fact — and then he decided to go off the rails. OH NOES HOW DARE I TRY TO IMPROVE MY LIFE WITHOUT RUNNING OUT THE DOOR. CLEARLY I AM NASTY AND UNREASONABLE. Asshole.