The Hellhole

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Preparatory to the first round of Christmas gift wrapping, I am scrabbling about in various boxes, bags and bindles inventorying the supplies on hand and evaluating what might need to be purchased.

Mumbling half to myself, half to Alan:  I don't understand this.  I thought I had wrapping paper left over from last year but I'm not finding any of it.

Alan comes in and says:  Here it is. [lifting an unopened roll out of this fantastic, wonderful golf-bag size/style contraption he bought me to store rolls of wrapping paper, with compartments for bows, ribbons, tissue and labels.  I love that thing.]

Me:  No, that's from year before last.  Last year's was black too but it had turquoise blue swirls and silver snowflakes.  I'm certain we had some left over.

Alan:  Maybe it's in the craft closet.

Me [with my arms full of other necessities]:  Would you mind going to look, please?

Alan [re-entering the den]:  Damn, sweetie, how much of this crap did you buy???

Me:  Quite a lot, apparently.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mister Fusspot had his cataract surgery and it was a great success.  He still has to have drops several times a day and wear his cone of shame until his sutures are removed on December 1, but we are very relieved. 

Things have been rough at The Hellhole lately.  Alan's father passed away on Sunday, the 16th.  Alan is handling it about as well as can be expected.  Luckily, we have an amazing support structure of friends and family.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Well, I learned something yesterday.  Evidently, in the care and feeding of a seven-year-old, you can't just order a medium cheese pizza from Domino's, plate it and call it good.

You have to cut it in halvsies first.

(Child is still alive and not bleeding.  I'm calling that a win.  Oh, also, now she knows the words to "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay".  I'm so going to hell.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

There are two questions that I ask one or another of the dogs nearly every day.  I don't know why, because I am reasonably certain that I don't want to know the answer to either, but I ask:

What is that in your mouth?


Why are you moist???

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I've been pretty bummed out lately.  Around my birthday, I had three minor disappointments - trivial pleasures I hoped we could do which didn't work out for one reason or another, but now three major things to which I've been greatly looking forward for months and months aren't going to happen.

Last year, for our anniversary in May we spent a long weekend at the Ritz Carlton downtown. It was so relaxing and luxurious, and the food on club level is simply amazing.  We spent a day at the Georgia Aquarium and had a wonderful time.  We talked several times about wanting to repeat this activity every year for our anniversary (even if not on the actual date) and kinda have the Ritz/Aquarium be our "thing".  This May, however, we weren't able to go: the month was crazy busy, we both had car repairs (mine majorly upsetting and disruptive) and the weekend obligations continued such that we weren't able to reschedule for anytime in the near future.

At some point we decided to do the mini-trip toward the end of September, ostensibly for my birthday present, which falls in mid-September but it is much easier and less stressful for me to be away from work at the very end or beginning of a month instead of midway through; too many reports and billing and whatnot due then.  I consoled myself with putting off the break by thinking things like, "Oh, the weather will be cooler at the end of September, much better for walking around downtown,", "The kids will all be back in school; maybe it will be less crowded."

Last November, we went to Upstate Steampunk in South Carolina and had a blast. This year, my brother is one of the organizers, it's going to be in Greenville instead of Anderson and it has been renamed "Gaslight Fantasia" which I think is a lovely, lyrical name.  It is going to be November 7 - 8 and I was so very excited about going.  I hoped to stay a couple of days after the con to spend time with Bo and Sarah.

Now we're not going to get to do either.

A year ago or so, I thought Mister Fusspot was getting a cataract in one eye.  Dr. Mike confirmed this and we were instructed to monitor it closely, especially if one started in the other;  he could get by with vision in one eye so he might not need surgery, but it would be better, if he has to have surgery, to do both eyes at once instead of two separate operations/recoveries.  Things were getting worse and after his annual checkup, we took him to a veterinary ophthalmologist for a consult and tests.  His surgery is set for mid-November, but he needs pre-surgery treatment in the meantime. We have friends nearby with whom we reciprocate pet care when one or the other of us goes out of town, but it's one thing to have them check on the pups for a couple days, monitor their food and water supply, change pee pads if needed, but giving him a pill every day and drops in his eyes three times a day? That's too much to ask, and even if it weren't, they couldn't do it as both work outside the home.

Don't get me wrong:  I will be the first to say, and truly honestly mean from the bottom of my heart, that that little fellow and his health are far, far more important than my weekend jaunts.  Making sure he has the best care and the best chance of a successful surgery outweigh my social life and I would never make a different choice. But the thing is, that doesn't mean I'm not still disappointed that those trips aren't going to happen.

His appointment with the specialist was on September 8, and for little while I tried to bolster my spirits with the thought that the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra season would soon be starting.  My mom and I have season tickets; we arrive early to have wine and a light dinner at this cozy little bistro attached to the Woodruff Arts Center prior to the performance.  We usually share a fruit, cheese and cracker plate but sometimes split a sandwich or other appetizers, have a glass of wine and chat.  It's so nice to have some time to do "just the two of us" outings, and we both enjoy the symphony so.

Yeah, not so much.  The orchestra players and management are in a contract dispute and the musicians have been locked out.  Opening night was supposed to be September 24, but concerts have been cancelled through mid-November (at least - more will be cancelled if they can't reach an accord soon).  The President and CEO resigned yesterday, so who knows if or when they'll be able to resume any of the season? Aaaand, to rub a little salt and lemon juice into the wound, when I looked at the schedule to see which performances we'd be missing, among them are Beethoven 9 and Debussy's La Mer - two of my absolute favorites.


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

I hold Alan accountable for not only the things he does in reality, but the things he does in my dreams.  I can't afford to make exceptions; once word leaks out that a pirate has gone soft, people begin to disobey you and then it's nothing but work, work, work all the time.

Last Friday night, among other things in the midst of a strange and disjointed dream, I dreamt that I wanted a snack and so ate some Pringles potato chips.  When I woke up, I had a serious craving for Pringles.  We didn't have any in the house; that's not something I usually keep on hand and generally try to aim for healthier snacks, but once the idea was implanted, I could not rid myself of the craving.  It had to be Pringles, too - Lay's or Ruffles need not apply.

When Alan came home from Tai Chi, I had already started the grocery list.  Besides our normal staples like Syfo, apples and yogurt, I had written "PRINGLES" in all caps at the top of the list.

"Pringles, eh?" Alan queried.  I explained about the dream and the resulting craving.

"But you know the weird part?"  I added.  "When I went to the kitchen to get the Pringles in my dream, they were in the refrigerator."

"What?  Why would they be in the refrigerator?"

"I don't know - why did you put them there?"

"What makes you think it was me who put them there?"

"Because I'd never put potato chips in the refrigerator.  It's a mad thing to do."

Every now and then since, I've asked him why he put the Pringles in the refrigerator.  He has yet to provide a satisfactory explanation for himself.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We sometimes go literally years without going out to hear live music, but starting with X last Monday (the 18th) at Center Stage, we have one concert a month until November - even longer if you count going to the Atlanta Symphony with my mom (I have season tickets).  We hadn't seen X since 2008 at House of Blues in Las Vegas so it was great to hear them again.  They were in great form and did many of my favorites.

There was an opening act of which I'd not previously heard, Not In The Face out of Austin, TX.  Many times at concerts, I'm just sitting there waiting for the opening band to STFU so I can hear the band I paid for, but these guys were great - straightforward rock and roll.  We enjoyed their set immensely and stopped by the swag table after the show to buy their CDs.  They have two and we purchased both.  I was listening to the latest one on my morning commute, in fact.

This weekend is DragonCon but it looks like we won't be attending any Con events.  I still get to see my brother and his wife, though - they're staying an extra day and everyone is hanging out at my mom's house on Tuesday.  I have that day off in addition to Labor Day (and 14 more vacation days I have to use before year-end - where did the summer go???) so that will be fun.

The other upcoming shows:

Jeff Tweedy, Georgia Theatre, 09/19/14 - I'm a little disappointed by this one - not the concert, I'm sure that will be great and I'm excited to hear Jeff's new material.  But I'd wanted to stay in Athens overnight, at this nice hotel downtown within walking distance, have a nice breakfast, hit Wuxtry and maybe a couple of other stores, then meet up with Mark and Nancy for lunch.  UGA Football had other ideas, however, and there are no hotel vacancies anywhere for miles.  The concert will still be fun, though.

Gaslight Anthem, Buckhead Theatre, 10/07/14 - Really looking forward to hearing them live for the first time.

The New Pornographers, Buckhead Theatre, 11/06/14 - I need to familiarize myself with their stuff.  Alan is a fan of Nico Case, who plays with The New Pornographers when she's not busy with solo material, so we want to check them out.

I really need to find something awesome to attend in December, so we can have a concert a month until year-end...not a Christmas concert, though - not a big fan of Christmas music. 

It's not a concert, but I'm also looking forward to the Atlanta Cheese Festival on October 3, 2014.  I love me some cheese!  In addition to samples, they sell the products (over 100 vendors!) so I'm gonna need a bigger backpack - a much bigger backpack.  I paid extra for VIP tickets so I could attend a wine tasting/cheese pairing event during the show.  Drooling on keyboard...

So, lots of fun things coming up!