Coffee heat rising

Wednesday, October 4, 2023…Stop the fukkin world, already….

De bonne heure  (which is a way of saying “at the crack of dawn”)…

Well, the cop cars have moved on from Tony’s Home for Juvenile Delinquents. 😀

When Ruby and I went out along about 6 or 6:30 this a.m., TWO cop cars were parked over there. Must’ve been quite the little dust-up under way. It’s quiescent now. A car is parked at the curb along my house’s east wall…presumably a vehicle belonging to one of the keepers. The policia were gone when we got back from this morning’s doggy-walk, about an hour later. With any luck, maybe they will have found something new the County can use to bop Tony about the head and shoulders.
hmmmmmm…….  Y’know….if I were a parent and I learned that a school bus my kid was riding — for the Glendale Union High School District(!) — was detouring off its route to pick up one or more urchins from a home for juvenile delinquents in the Phoenix Union High School District, I would NOT be happy.
* Which brings up another little irregularity: We’re in the Sunnyslope High School district, not in the Glendale Union district. Or the Phoenix Union High School District.
Ever entertaining!
Gorgeous morning…actually COOL out as dawn cracked.
time marches on
4:00 p.m.
Late Afternoon 
Irrigation Dude is here. Has been all afternoon…speaking of jobs one is happy one does not have. He’s dug up the back side yard, rebuilt the underground irrigation on the west side of the house, got most of it working. Arrgha!
Now his son just showed up, a grown young man evidently intended to inherit the business.
I yam starved, having done without lunchoid. Even though it’s only a little after 4, I’m about to expire. Soooo….
What we have on the menu is shrimp sautéed in garlic, tossed with boxed tomato sauce over pasta.
Yay! Was delighted to find the shrimp in the freezer, and even more delighted to find a box of “canned” tomatoes in the cupboard. To say nothing of a bottle of white wine.
Just watching Irrigation Dude dig and haul and gadgetize all afternoon — in the heat — has left me exhausted.
Yea verily: So exhausted I can’t think clearly. As in WHY THE FUCK WON’T THE GODDAMN OVEN TIMER SHUT THE FUCK UP! 
Nothing that I do makes it stop. It’s not showing a count-down. As far as I can see, it’s not on. But every five minutes or so, it starts in again with beep…beep…beep…beep…   Damned if I can figure out why, and therefore damned if I can shut it off. Tonight I’ll have to go to bed behind  a closed door… 
Oh…now whatever it thinks it’s doing is done: BEEEP BEEEP BEEP BEE…
Run over there and shut it off. But don’t see how to shut it completely off once and for all because I don’t see HOW to shut it off, period. Before I go to bed tonight, forgodsake, I’ll have to go outside and shut off the damn breaker switch to the kitchen!
Stop the world, Lord. I wanna get offf!
5:15 P.M.
Tired. Spectacularly tired.
Moderately hungry, but not very… Read: “too tired to eat.” Pasta is boiling. Unclear what I’m gonna do if I can’t shut off the fuckin oven clock’s dingy-bonger.
Fuckaroonies!!!!. Let’s see if we can shut it off at the breaker box.
Yes. That shut it up.
Dump the raw pasta into the pan of boiling water. (The stove runs on gas, so is exempt from the goddamn breaker box’s present set of antics.)
Walk into the family room. Sit down. Pick up computer, Proceed to…to…
God DAMN it. 
Traipse to the kitchen. Glare at the oven. Click off. 
 Off, godammit! Off off OFF!
Quiescent for the moment,. Dunno how long that will last. And have NO idea how I’m gonna get any sleep tonight if the fucker doesn’t QUIT IT!!!!!
Only Quarter to Six…
Soooo exhausted that all I wanna do is GO TO BED!
But it’s too fiukkin hot to go to bed, despite the air-conditioner pounding away…and pounding away…and pounding away nonstop. Expensively nonstop!
Finally get the goddamned oven timer to shut up.
Noooooo idea!
6:03 p.m.
The fukkin oven timer has stayed shut up. WHY, I cannot imagine. But it this point, I figure discretion is the better part… The fewer questions asked, the better.
Ya know what?
I HATE living in the 21st century! 
It’s seven fukkin’ types of Purgatory….
What a time. 
What a place.
What a people.
Every line in that little graphic I’ve had to do three times. AT LEAST. 
Stop the fukkin world. I wanna get off!

Another Fine Day y-Cumin’ In….

Boyoboy, I can hardly wait. /s/

That’s /s/ with a vengeance. You know it’s time to go when you realize you’re unstuck in time: I’m a creature of the 20th century that most surely does NOT belong in the 21st century.

This afternoon I have to drive to a huge mid-town hospital complex to meet a new doctor. This, because I decided to go in search of a new GP, one that is not part of the Mayo bureaucracuy. Not that MayoDoc isn’t wonderful — she’s very good. The problem is that the Mayo is halfway to freaking Payson, over a huge main drag that is always under construction

No overstatement: I cannot remember when I haven’t had to weave and trudge and stop-and-start through mile after mile of roadwork on Shea Boulevard, the only way out there from here. This was worth it when my great old doc was out there. But the woman onto whom they foisted me when he retired has made it very clear she doesn’t like older female patients and she especially doesn’t like me.

No kidding. Last time I was out there, she actually grimaced when I walked in her office door.

I’ll keep my place in line out there by visiting once a year, but meanwhile, I need to get a doctor in town for routine stuff. So…today we’ll see if this woman at Good Samaritan will be a decent fit.

Good Sam is where my son was born. It was adequate…I guess. The main thing I remember about it…heh….this is soooo stupid:

When the kid arrived on this earth, I didn’t know I was in labor until he was about to pop out. Why? Because labor does not hurt as much as your period.

I’d been told ooooohhh dear ooooohhhh dear, giving birth would be SOOOOO hideously painful, eek awk be ready for serious torture.


At no time, not from beginning to end, did delivering that nine-pound boy hurt anywhere much as a routine menstrual period.

Down at Good Sam, which was the closest hospital to where we lived at the time, I overhear some broad simpering — no kidding, these were her words — “How can she stand it?” 

Idiot. How do you think I could stand it every fuckin’ 28 days? 😀

This: the result of doctors not believing what women say. Many times I’d told doctors that my periods could drive me to the brink of suicide. And just as many times I got the pat on my pretty little noggin and the there there, little girl, it’s all in your head.

You wonder why I stay away from doctors as much as possible? Some of these folks do make Christian Science look good…

Oh well. I figure it’ll take about an hour to get downtown through the traffic, find the parking garage, navigate to the fifth floor of their office building…and how CAN i count the ways i’m not lookin’ forward to that?

In other sylvan realms:

Ordered up some rat repellent from Amazon. These finally arrived yesterday. Whenever I get off the computer and then have some breakfast, I’ll have to climb into the attic and toss a few of these things around — they come in the form of bags — and then place the rest of them in strategic places around the garage, where Ruby can’t get at them.

This appears to be truly nasty stuff. After I’d picked up the box to read the instructions this morning, I rubbed an itchy eye with my left hand. Understand: I hadn’t even opened the damn box!

The microscopic amount on my hands made my eye BURN AND BURN AND BURN. I thought I was gonna have to go to the ER! Finally, after I scrubbed my face twice with soap and water, it stopped. Thank the heavens for small favors!

Now we know, anyway, not to even touch the package without wearing disposable gloves.


11 ayem…

Yes. Ever have one of those days? You know…where everything you touch goes



Yeah.Well….this is turning into one of those days. Whatever I’ve tried to do and had to do has tangled itself up, unraveled itself, fallen apart. jammed together, whatEVER. 

Finally got the supposedly rat-repellent bags of aromatic mint deposited here, there, and everywhere around the garage. Yeah. Uh huh.

Frankly, I think have about a snowball’s chance of this stuff working. Or doing anything other than emitting a stink that probably annoys humans as much as it annoys rats. If it annoys rats, that is.

There are those who believe it does repel our furry little friends,. But apparently it’s a short-term solution.

Some have suggested we might as well give up the endless war on rats and learn to live with the li’l fellas. This would be fine if they didn’t chew up the wiring, rip out the insulation, feast on the citrus harvest, and carry one disease or another. Or another. And another….

At this point, I’m up in the air. From what I can tell after talking to a couple of exterminators, for a small fortune those guys don’t do anything more than you can do yourself.

The most effective tactic would be to put out poison. But I surely can’t do that with Ruby around. If she didn’t eat the stuff herself, she’d almost certainly take a taste of any dead livestock she found out there. And that would be the end of her.

The fallback tactic: Cat.

Not just any cat, but a Manx cat.

These critters, in addition to being very smart and highly active, are big enough to take on a damned rat.

Yes. But.

Heh. They’re big enough to take on Ruby, too.

Over the years, Ruby has learned that the Human is highly entertained when she chases Other Daughter’s goddamn cats out of the backyard.

(Other Daughter is Tony the Romanian Landlord’s less-favored adult daughter. Apparently she doesn’t conform to his expectations well enough to be in line to inherit the Romanian Empire. But he does care for her, so much so that he has bought her a house two lots to the west of the Funny Farm. She’s a cat lady. There have been times when she’s probably had six or eight cats down there. She doesn’t run the AC: she leaves the windows and doors open, so the critters roam in and out. And if you have a bird feeder, your yard is the first place the little kitties roam…)

Anyway, the result is that Ruby delights in chasing furry things around the yard.

Unlike cats, though, rats are unfazed. They shoot up a tree or over a wall and then shortly come right back.

*more to come*

Another NOT a Disaster…waiting to be proven…

LORDIE what a day!

Driving from pillar to post, chasing after the truth, bathing in nostalgia, getting…essentially nowhere.\


In comes a notice from American Express. They think I owe them something well in excess of $2,000, and I haven’t paid it. This alleged bill is said to be massively overdue.

My records say that yea verily, I certainly DID pay them, and did so electronically.

But…but…FIRST we learn of some other snafu at the credit union. Frankly, at this very moment I’m so tired I’m well beyond describing it. Just be assured: it was silly.

Get into the Dog Chariot and drive out to the credit union on the ASU West campus. Drive and drive and drive. It’s a bitch of a drive out there. They examine the evidence and agree that yep: the whole thing is silly. It’s declared fixed.

Stop by the upscale Sprouts near the university on the way home. Grab food.

Drive home: driving driving driving…

There I find the bizarre notice from AMEX.

Call AMEX. Reach a CSR who hasn’t a clue. She doesn’t get it that I indeed paid the bill and nothing should be owing. Finally she seems to figure it out, but…this li’l lady, I do not trust.

Pile all the AMEX paper into the car.

Drive to the downtown credit union, where they have CSRs who work with business executives, not with retirees and ASU faculty. Drive and drive and drive and drive and drive and drive and…

Finally make it down there.

Show their teller the paperwork. Explain that AMEX thinks they haven’t been paid.

She pulls up the month’s records of payments and income.

“They certainly have,” says she. And she pulls out the paperwork to prove it.

Gather the incomprehensible paper trail. Stumble back out to the car.

So tired I can hardly see.

Drive homeward homeward homeward…this time through the heart of Phoenix’s Willo district, where DXH and I lived for ten years or so.

Such a beautiful area.

How I miss it!

Drive past the street where both our beloved babysitters lived: two women who had raised their kids handsomely and set out to raise other people’s kids, for a fee. Miss those two wonderful ladies.

Past the street where my dear friend and editor at Phoenix Magazine lived. Miss him and his wife a lot.

Northward through haunts and shops that we used to patronize. Miss the Willo neighborhood. Miss it very much.

Still…as the years go by, driving in Phoenix gets more and more like driving in Southern California. In some places, I’d’ve sworn I was driving around (un)lovely Long Beach. Never having been fond of SoCal, said state of affairs does not speak well for my mood about this place. Driving driving driving driving…finally get back into the’Hood.

Spot WonderAccountant just heading out as I pull into my driveway. Waylay her and let her know I’d like some dibs on her time tomorrow, by way of figuring out…WTF happened with American Express and how to handle it.

Tomorrow, then, I’ll have to get on the phone to AMEX again and do battle again. This time I have evidence that the bill was paid. But just now I’m to tired to even contemplate that upcoming squabble. Besides, by then with any luck I’ll have WonderAccountant on my side…and she’s still young enough to have a functioning brain.

Cry, the Beloved Weather…

Picture these at 105 degrees…

Holee mackerel, the weather is yucky. Not very hot: about 95° in the shade of the back porch. But humid: stuffy humid. Feels like it wants to rain, but there’s not enough cloud cover to make that happen.

Very glad I don’t have to work outdoors here in lovely Arizona. Though many days are balmy, my guess is that more days than not fail to lend themselves to laboring comfortably.

This morning I had a couple of termite exterminators puttering around. And you do hafta say: that looks like a nasty job, under the best of circumstances.

These guys quoted a reasonable price — unlike some of their competitors, who wanted amounts in the four figures. For $400, they not only sprayed the obvious spots, but also got into the attic and puttered around up there. One of those outfits wanted ten times that much.

Now o’course that doesn’t mean they did a great job. But with any luck, they squirted enough of the stuff around to slow our little buggy friends’ progress.

I hope.

Some of this stuff is very toxic. I had a friend who was working in her home office, her dog loafing under the desk when an exterminator visited. They sprayed all around the foundation. The stuff seeped under the slab and outgassed into the house. (Concrete foundations here typically develop cracks over time.)

It killed the dog and made her very, very sick. As in damaged her health long-term.

Downtown, our beautiful old 1929 house was built over a wooden crawl space. The folks before us had arranged regular termite treatments, which we continued after we moved into the place. You pretty much had to, if you were going to live mid-town: that area was infested with termites.

The cats would barf for three days after the place was sprayed. I shudder to think of what that stuff must have done to the guys who crawled under the house(!!) to spray that stuff around.

So…I really don’t like to spray for termites. But there’s a point at which you have to. Otherwise, you’re gonna enjoy some serious damage.

In other pricey realms: The irrigation system that I installed at the time I moved in here — 12 or 15 years ago — has about given up the plastic ghost.

Plastic is what the pipes are made of, and the stuff is about shot. Major leaks…plants that don’t get watered at all, puddles out in the middle of the yard…on and on.

So earlier today I called Gerardo, who claims to be an irrigation dude. (R-i-i-g-h-t!) He’s going to come over and inspect by way of making a Plan. And…I think most of the plumbing will have to be redone. That won’t be cheap.

Tho’ he should be able to avoid having to actually dig up most of the existing array of water lines, he’ll have to disconnect those, dig new trenches, and install new pipes, bubblers, drippers, and sprinklers. Front and back, I’m afraid: the whole system is quietly going kerplooie.

So that’ll be an expensive venture.

Our honored Republican leaders, if we believe the news, are merrily shutting down the government. And that is going to create quite the little catastrophe. The logical outcome will be a stock market crash.

When that happens, I’ll lose my shirt: most of my savings are in the market.

So on a personal level, this little antic of theirs is gonna come at the worst of all possible times.

LOL! Can you believe I used to be a dyed-in-the-wool Republican?

Yeah. Active in the party. Even a bit of a John Bircher.

It was chip-off-the-old-blockerie: my parents were extremely conservative. I fell astray after I married a wild-eyed liberal who was active in the ACLU — he was on the national board. And alas, I’ve never returned to the fold. 😀

To this day, one of the funniest things I can remember my mother saying — it must have been in the early or mid-1960s — was that (her words!) “if gasoline gets to a dollar a gallon, we’ll have sooooshalism!”

LOL! Well, by now you’d think we’d have officially linked up with the Soviet Union, eh?

Whatever can go wrong…

WILL go wrong!

Somehow, WordPress deleted the post I was writing, when I took time out to clean up another puddle of dog barf. I can’t …remember what I was saying, presumably because the constant interruptions disrupt what little cognition I have left.

Oh, sh!t… Now he’s getting ready to barf again.

Poor old dog!

Yes. Out to lunch with my friend VickyC. She’s very concerned about the memory/cognition issue, and urges me to hire someone to come in to my home and ride herd.

It may come to that. Honestly, sometimes I can’t recall things that happened a few minutes ago.

Have an appointment on the 13th at the Mayo with a new doc whom I think they intend to be my new GP. I hope so…happy to give someone new a try. I never have much cared for the doctor they foisted on me after the beloved Dr. Daley retired — he whom I followed to the Mayo the instant they opened.

Charley the Golden Retriever is very much off his feed…he seems to be getting sicker and sicker. If he still won’t eat tomorrow, I’ll have to try to get him to a vet. Problem is…he weighs 80 pounds! I can’t even begin to lift him into the car.

There are some mobile vets here in town…but by and large they’re executioners. Not feeling very comfortable at the prospect of inviting one of those over here.


Shortly after sunset…

Poor old fella is obviously in pain. He huffs and puffs and huffs and puffs… Finally got him to lay down on a thickly padded doggy bed here in the bedroom. Now he seems more comfortable. He’s quieted a bit, anyway.

Not one chance in Hell that the human is going to get much sleep.

Lordie! Make it stop!!!

4:00 a.m.

Charley, my son’s crippled, superannuated dog who is staying here while his human bucket(-list)s around the country with his terminally ill buddy, is up and stumbling around.

His nest has been in the family room, which is a sunken room (very stylish when this house was built) down two steps. Problem is, he can’t negotiate even two steps.

He woke up barking, rousted me out of bed about 20 minutes ago. Needed to go out, apparently.

This entails my having to haul him up off the floor, because he can no longer stand up by himself.

Understand: he weighs 80 pounds.

Poor old fella!

Now he was stuck on the floor. He couldn’t get himself upright.

I began to think I was going to have to call the fire department by way of getting some strong men over here.

FINALLY he managed to get enough traction to stand up.

Out into the backyard.

… ohhhh gawd, what am i gunna do if he gets stuck out there?
… ohhhh gawd, what if a coyote comes over that wall?
… ohhhh gawd, how’m i gunna get enough water to him and, if he can’t stand up,
into him to keep him alive until I can get someone over here to help?

Back into the house. Back on the slippery tile floors.

Can’t let him go back into the family room…I’ll never get him outta there.

Grab the dining-room chairs, tip them on their sides, and barricade the ledge between the family room and the dining room/kitchen area.

Holeeee shee-ut!

Move his stuff into the dining room.

Now he’s in here (so am I, tapping away on the computer) and laying on his bed but partly off the bed…yeah, the part that presumably hurts is laying on the hard tile floor… I’m so upset I can’t even think about going back to sleep.

All of this drama in about 25 minutes…wheee!

This is what happens when you outlive your life.

Say a prayer, my friends:

God, please let me go
When it’s time for me to go…

My great-grandmother and her daughter, my great-aunt, each lived far beyond their time. Gree — great-grandmother — was well into her 90s when she passed…in the night after she had prepared a Christmas feast for 15 people and then cleaned up after it and mopped the kitchen floor. Her daughter Gertrude, who held onto her job as executive secretary to the president of a large international bank in San Francisco until they had to order her to retire, was similarly superannuated when she died. Around a hundred years old…her son having to take care of her for several years before the end.

Understand: they were Christian Scientists. They never, ever saw a doctor!

My mother smoked herself to death. Murdered by the tobacco companies. No telling how long she would have lived if it hadn’t been for the profit-making cancer sticks. She turned 65 on the day she died.

Ohh my gawd. Now Charley is back up. He wants to get back into the sunken family room, whence he can’t get out…. Now he’s standing there, panting miserably. It’s 4:30 a.m. sharp. And…he’s headed for the back door, meaning ANOTHER wrestling match to get him back in the house.


Back into the house HUFFA HUFFA HUFFA HUFFA steam-engine serenade.

The switch to the light in the side yard is busted. I can’t turn the goddamn light off.

Guess that’s better than not being able to turn it on. But now I’ll have to shell out another $75 or $100 (plus parts) to get the electrician over here to fix it.


Finally ensconced back on his bed.

Human stumbles toward her bed.

Ruby, who has been cowering under the toilet, emerges from her hideaway.

{sigh} Now it’s quarter to five. Wonder if I could get another half-hour of sleep in?

oh HELL!

I hear his claws clicking on the tile out there. He must be up again.

Welp. I guess that’s the end of sleeping tonight. Good thing I crashed in exhaustion around 8 or 9 last night….


Now he’s ensconced on his bed back here next to my bed.

When he breathes, he goes HUFFA PUFFA PUFFA HUFFA, a lovely lullaby.

ohhhhhh shit!!!!

He’s just settled down and now he’s up again HUFFA PUFFA PUFFA HUFFA…. Circle around circle around circle around doggy-dance…now he’s back down on his bed. Will he PUHLEEZE settle down enough for me to get another 20 minutes of z’s in?

Poor beast…

Settle down? Not a chance in Hell!

Up. Traipse up the hall into the kitchen. Guzzle water. Stumble around stumble around stumble around stumble around. Decide to go back to nest in living room.

Human loses patience.

Dog ensconced in living-room nest. Lights out.