Coffee heat rising

Busted, Disgusted, and….

…and at least clean now!

Managed to get in the shower all by myself this afternoon…AND washed my hair. It’s a miracle!

I can’t believe it’s been SIXTEEN DAYS since I did this to myself! Feels like it happened just a day or two ago. 😮

But… Well, but it is beginning to feel noticeably better. Far from functional, but a fair amount less painful.With any luck, in another two or three weeks I can get out of the accursed sling.

{chortle!}  Take another look at this thing:

Is that or is that not the business? I never have gotten around to schlepping to PetSmart and waypoints in search of one for sale locally. Though I can drive one-handed, it doesn’t seem well-advised. So if I’m going to get any such thing, it’ll have to come from Amazon.

Ruby the Corgi is too small to get on the Queen’s bed by herself. I’m too crippled to lift her up, and apparently will be for several more weeks. So the poor miserable beast has been spending the nights on the floor, in her favorite nest under the toilet, or on a big ole’ doggy-cushion next to my bed. And Hevvin only knows how long it’ll be before I can lift her up on the throne again.

The thing looks like it’ll take up an awful lot of space — and won’t Wonder Cleaning-Lady be pleased to find THAT contraption lurking in her way! 😀

ooohhh well…






…a-a-a-n-d… The lingering aftermath

Believe it or not, the Wounded Dragon-Lady is actually up moving around!

Believe it or not, the old bat is stumbling around the cave and even over the badlands of the backyard. It’s a spectacularly beautiful morning, and here we are loafing away the balmy morning on the lovely little side porch in the shade of the huge trees on the west side if the Funny Farm.

Come to think of it, though, hold the metaphorical phone….

**** Much later ****

Another not-very metaphorical Day from Hell. Pain followed by frustration followed by pain followed by…so on to infinity. Felt better for a couple hours this morning, but it didn’t last.

Things could be worse, though. One could still be dwelling in Saudi Arabia, on the shore of the Persian Gulf. The Middle East: what a horror show.

My son just showed up. Wandered off to the living room to unwind from a day of work. Me, I’m too sick to get out of bed. or to be anything like decent company.


Mijito’ showing up after work is awfully nice. I’m in no shape to entertain him, being sick as a dawg just now. Think the aspirin I’ve been gulping for the shoulder pain is not agreeing.



But now another night and half a day have passed. This a.m the pain was much diminished — why, I do not know.

And just now? Crippled again!

Ugh!! Goin’ back to bed…



Stop the World!

…I wanna get off!

Dammit, it’s not even 6:30 in the accursed morning and I wanna get off the world. WHAT. A. DAY!


Ruby has demanded to get up twice in the wee hours of an already insomniac night. This shouldn’t matter, because I was already awake both times…but wishing I could please please PUHLEEZE, dear Gawd, get back to sleep.

Something is making Ruby’s stomach growl. Hunger? She was fed last night. I think. Did I forget to feed her? Since I can’t even remember my name these days, that’s not outside the realm of possibility.

So she just comes in from this latest excursion and we stumble back to the bedroom, where we hear, coming from the sidewalk outside the east wall… thumpada thumpada thumpada THUMPADA

What the fuck IS that?

It’s not a kid, not at this hour. No car is out there. Bicycles don’t thump. So…what?

Probably a coyote.

And that’s why Ruby can’t be left alone in the backyard to do her thing — certainly not at this hour, and more generally, not at any hour. Coyotes around here will come right over a six-foot wall to grab your cat or your dog.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard that noise. In the past I’ve thought it was some idiot on a bicycle, maybe hauling a kiddie cart, somehow thumping on the sidewalk. Anything’s possible, I suppose…but it doesn’t sound like bicycle wheels. It sounds like something four-legged, running along at a fast clip. Whatever it is, it’s gone by the time I get outside.

Shee-ut. Speaking of random noises in the wee hours, here comes a cop helicopter. Or…maybe a traffic-yakking copter — it’s quarter to seven, approaching High Rush Hour.

Quarter to seven means I’ve been awake half the night. Ruby’s stomach is still growling and squealing. I do KNOW that I fed her last night. So what the heck brought that on?

{moan} Gotta get up, feed the dog, and start stumbling around…

Post-Hallowe’en in Arizona

WHAT a gorgeous day! It’s cool and clear and quiet and lovely. Already took the dog for a mile-plus walk. We may go out again, whenever I get off my duff. If I do.

Last night was ridiculously fun. Hallowe’en is my favorite holiday! So much fun, ogling the kids’ cute costumes and the grown-ups’ silly costumes, handing out candy and admiring the show.

The Wonder-Accountants, who live across the street, set up camp in their driveway. I brought a bag or three of candy and joined them.

The central part of Lovely Uptown Phoenix has several middle- to upper-middle-class neighborhoods that are surrounded by…uhm, lower-income districts (not to say “blight and poverty”). Residents of these garden spots dress up the kiddies for Hallowe’en and bring them into the fancier areas, there to collect much richer trick-or-treat pickin’s.

This makes for LOADS of fun — pickup-loads, as a matter of fact — because

a) they have LOTS of kids; and
b) those kids are beyond cute and adorable.


So we locals got to spend several hours socializing and watching the Legions of Cuteness marching around the’Hood. Ruby the Corgi, speaking of Cuteness with a Capital C, came along.

Ruby is particularly useful at this time of year because she’s highly seductive. Kids and teenagers just dote on her. And she returns the favor. So the whole evening out on the driveway is a nonstop love-fest.

The little kids are beyond cute. The teenagers are invariably hilarious. And truth to tell, it’s one of the few times you can spend several hours hanging out in the front yard after dark and feel safe about it.


and now it’s the middle of the afternoon. I do need to get off my duff and do SOMETHING constructive. So far, I’ve diddled away most of the day.

Got it into my little pea brain to look up our old house in the beautiful Encanto district of central Phoenix. Where I live now is sometimes termed “the new Encanto”: aging homes of the type favored by the young and the upwardly mobile, places that buyers love to fix up, live in for awhile, and then sell for a handsome profit.

So I googled our house, a place that was just beautiful when we bought it from some ambitious fixer-uppers. It’s still there. And apparently later fixer-uppers have had at it.

IMHO, it’s a gawdawful mess. They’ve screwed up the office and kid’s bedroom we added on. Enclosed and effed up the lovely front patio that made such a spectacular entry. Dorked up the kitchen by removing the wall between it and the laundry room, installed stupidly designed (but no doubt stylish) kitchen cabinets of questionable utility, laid down THE most bizarre tile on the kitchen floor; turned the TV room into what appears to be a sitting room or guest room; installed a large set of French doors in the second bedroom; installed a wall along the east side of the building (an improvement over the neighbor’s gawdawful oleander jungle!); installed a mysterious new bathroom, very elegant; apparently moved the laundry into a new closet or room; paved most or all of the backyard (another improvement, to tell the truth); run an iron gate across the driveway into the carport (major improvement); fancified the front yard; on and on.

Some of the stuff IS very nice. Some of it is questionable. But gosh I miss that house. It was so beautiful!

Wonder what became of our neighbor Fran… She must be dead by now. She was an old lady when we lived there; she’d be a post-centenarian today.

Same would be true of the two ladies who babysat our son, neighbors who lived a street to the south of us. And of the big Catholic family across the street — mom and dad were into middle age by the time we lived there, and some of the kids were grown adults or nearly so. And of the low-income family at the end of the block, who must have lived there forever by the time we showed up.

My former best friend in the old neighborhood seems to have fallen off the edge of the earth. Her (ex-, I believe) husband is still practicing law…at the age of 87!  LOL! She must have cleaned out his bank account!

This exploration was inspired by the present Worry: Should I try to stay here in my house through my dotage? Or should I move into a handsome high-rise apartment on North Central? If so, when? How? Why? Am I indeed going to be forced to move into a “life-care” horror…uhm, “community” within the next five to ten years? Or will I be able to find ways to hire help to keep me in my own home and out of the clutches of any such “providers”? And is suicide painless?

Seriously: the question of where and how to spend the last couple decades (give or take) of my life is beginning to loom. Sometime in the not-so-far future, I’m going to have to decide when and where to relocate…if I must.

Ohhh well. Later!

Ohhh Gawd! It’s too, TOO good…

The Deity has been amusing Him/Her/Itself with practical jokes today. Apparently it’s very, very funny to watch this particular wuthless human going nuts at every turn!

😀   The current gambit: clogged plumbing.

The kitchen sink will drain…eventually. But it’ll be a long event…. Looks like there’s a clog on the far side of the sink, on the way out of the house toward the sewer. The washer (in the garage!!) drains through that same line. So when the washer attempts to drain, water backs up into the (HUGE) garage sink. And backs up. And backs up. And backs up. And…  Water is seeping through juuuusst enough to keep the garage sink from overflowing. But it’s close.

Very close.

Mad plunging doesn’t do a whit of good.

So…we have the plumber coming over at tomorrow’s crack of dawn. Ohhhhh goodie! Something else to spend money on!

LOL! This has been one of those days…and I haven’t managed to get out of the house. No kidding: the poor li’l pooch hasn’t had her morning doggy-walk, so preoccupied have I been with one bullsh!t attack after another bullsh!t attack after the next bullsh!t attack.

So much crapola is lurking to attend to that I haven’t even washed the dishes.

Well. That would be because I can’t wash the dishes without taking them out of the washer and sudsing them up in the sink and rinsing them by hand and draining them in the dish drainer.

And y’know what?


I don’t wanna.

Meanwhile, I’ve GOT to do the laundry…uhm…nope: ain’t happening, unless I take it outside and pound it on the rocks.

I’ve GOT to run down to AJ’s and pick up a bunch of stuff.

Will that one entail another fender bender with another entitled bastard flying up the parking-lot aisle like the thought he was on the I-17?

Waddaya bet?

Weather, at least, is relatively cool: only 86. Smog is so thick it looks like overcast. But it’s not. Wunderground advises that we have 0% chance of rain today. Nice… /eyeroll/


Well, that was quite the whine-fest, eh? 😀

It’s now a couple days later, and here’s where we’re at:

The plumbing will have to be completely reamed out, to the tune of about three thousand dollars.

Needless to say, I’m seeking a second opinion just now.

The DIY repair job on the car’s fender, where one of my fellow AJ’s parking-lot residents bashed me, went well. There’s a small slit in the plastic, but otherwise the new paint covers all the rest of the damage and matches original perfectly. I could probably fill the slit, but since it’s not gonna rust and it’s almost unnoticeable…prob’ly not.

The plumber was able to get the system working well enough that I can probably do the laundry.

The homeowner’s insurance may (or may not) cover the plumbing cost.

Meanwhile, in other precincts: Tony the Romanian Landlord seems to have moved the tribe of delinquents out of the house across the street. One of the neighbors said other neighbors had complained repeatedly to the police about the li’l darlin’s throwing trash into swimming pools and other such antics. Tony having already met my killer lawyer, he seems to have restrained them from those frolics where my house is concerned.

But…we shall see what new mischief he gets up to.

Went back to choir the other day. But fear that isn’t gonna work: the new choir director has very sophisticated taste in music, and his choices are way, WAY over my head. I’ve never had any formal music training…so I guess that’s an activity I won’t be doing anymore. {sigh}


Strolling w/ Ruby this ayem. Ran into a couple of other neighbors. The say Tony seems to have moved his present Delinquent Care Enterprise out of the house across the street, and that the place is now vacant. They also say the neighbors were complaining about the li’l darlin’s throwing food and other debris into their pools.

Hm. Knowing that pool vandalism is one of Tony’s MO’s, I hafta wonder if it’s the brats who are doing that. Complain about him, and you get garbage and motor oil in your pool.

Unstuck in Time: No question of it!

Tired, cranky, mad as the proverbial cat, and…yep. Unstuck in time.

        Remember these?

I sweartagawd! Life is one long frustration here in the endlessly annoying 21st Century. Stuff that used to be part of everyday life…well…it’s GONE. If you want it, you can’t have it!

By “part of everyday life,” I really do mean the most ordinary everyday stuff.

Like a trash can. Do you realize you can’t buy an ordinary stupid little steel kitchen trash can with a separate lid that you set on it? Not a gigantic one for raking up all the leaves and dogsh!t in the yard. Just a little fella about  three feet tall, one that fits in the kitchen or the garage and holds the day’s cooking and cleaning debris.

The things are almost impossible to find, and when you do find one, it costs upwards of fifty bucks. For a fukkin’ TRASH CAN!

I need a non-chewable (read: metal) kitchen garbage can to replace my open plastic trash can in the garage. A metal garbage can with a firmly fitting lid that Rattie can’t tip over, can’t pull apart, and can’t climb into.

Otherwise, every single scrap of delectable-tasting and -smelling trash is going to have to be walked outside to the alley garbage bins, every time I need to throw something — ANYTHING — away.

What’s calling Rattie into the garage is, unsurprisingly, the trash can. Yum! Sooooo… NO LONGER can I put the garbage out there.

For the nonce, I’ve enlisted the refrigerator’s fruit and veggie bins as garbage bins. But…

a) They’re too small for the purpose; and
b) WTF am I supposed to do with the fruits and veggies when those bins are holding garbage?

Today I’m going to sally forth to a couple of my favorite Ace Hardware stores, which I hope MAY carry a real garbage can. Don’t hold out much hope, though.

What the HECK do people do with their daily garbage mounds? To take out every single plastic grocery-bag full of trash would entail trip after trip after trip into the alley.

This means…

* Either dig up a padlock key and unlock not one but two gates going out to the alley, and do this several times a day, each time remembering to put the padlock key back where you found it; or…
* Hike all the away around the end of the block and back up the alley, hauling bags of garbage after every single meal or cook-fest; then,
* Hike back into the house.

And believe me: you do NOT want to be strolling around that alley any more often that absolutely necessary. It’s just not safe.

There’s a reason the back fence has two padlocked gates going out of the yard…

Matter of fact, often I’ll pile the garbage cans into the back of the car and drive them up the alley. That way I can see whether anyone is around, and I’ll have a quick getaway if need be.

This accursed rat situation is beyond the pale. Roof rats started to invade Phoenix several years ago, and now they’ve pretty well spread across the city.

Yeah: I know: Get a cat.

In the first place, I don’t want another cat! We weren’t allowed to have dogs in Arabia (they would fight with the jackals that came into camp, pick up rabies from them, and then spread the disease to the local humans). So we had cats.

And cats…

And cats…

I never want to clean out another cat box as long as I live….

In the second place, Other Daughter’s herd of cats owns the neighborhood. If cats could get rid of roof rats, we would not have any rats here.

And in the third place, Ruby thinks cats are FAR more fun to chase than rats.

She may be right…

Well anyhow, back to the point at hand: The Invasion of The Rat Hordes means every speck of garbage has got to be sealed inside a tightly lidded container or else kept in the refrigerator until trash pickup day.



Speaking of 21st-century joys, there I am tapping away on the accursed keyboard when


Off the goddamn thing goes. Dead. Black. Kaput.

Out of juice.

Does it matter that the goddamn thing has been plugged in for the past 45 minutes?


Bang around bang around bang around bang around

Drag the computer to a cord. Be sure the fukkin’ cord is plugged in to the wall outlet. Plug it in. Fire it up.

Yup. It loads right up. And forthwith goes CLONK!

Dead. AGAIN.

Or is that STILL?

Bang around charge around bang around charge around bang around charge around finally find another charger cord. Plug it in to a different extension cord.

Cuss, swear, cuss, swear, cuss some more… At last the goddamn thing fires up.

It’s working. Supposedly the battery is all of 3% charged.

And THAT means now I’ll have to sit here twiddling my thumbs half the day waiting for it to get charged enough to be dragged in to Best Buy to get…

to get…

to get…

…ohhh hell! to get whatever it was fixed that needed to be fixed THIS time. I’m so upset and frustrated, I’ve FORGOTTEN the issue for which I needed to drag the damn thing in today.

Oh, I know: the fukkin backup issue.

It won’t back up data.

We’re told this computer has had no backups for 553 days.

That, of course, is ridiculous, because Best Buy had the back-up function working the last time I had to traipse back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth to their store. That was one helluva lot more recently than 18 months ago. And the external hard drive is plugged in most of the time.


Now, to add another distraction: In comes a nuisance email telling me, oooooh JOY! Medicare Enrollment is here, wheeeeeeeeeee!

So it looks like I have to jump through that set of frustrating hoops again, lhudly sing goddam!

Whenever I can draw a deep breath, I’ll have to call the Medigap insurance lady and find out whether I can just let this go, or whether this is yet another brain-banging hassle to kill time with. This means I’ll have to dig up her name and phone number, which quite frankly is the last thing I feel like screwing with just this moment.

See what I mean about Life in the Twenty-First Century?