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Been working from home for about two full weeks now and I am loving it.  There have been some adjustments and likely will be a few more, but nothing major.  The biggest thing right now is training Bossman so that I don't have to meet up with him daily (in the beginning it was twice a day).  He's coming around.  It makes a huge difference that I no longer have a parking pass to park downtown. Parking can be a nightmare at different times during the day, especially if there's a baseball game scheduled.  DH and my son have respected work boundaries and left me to get things done.  The cat however, is a different story.  She loves my desk and all the paperwork that goes with it.  I have to shake things out before I take them to Bossman to make sure there isn't cat hair all over it.  She's going into heat this week too, which is making it worse.  We really need to get her fixed.  There's a ton more freedom at home to come and go as I please and run the occasional errand here and there.

Our basement leeches moved out as planned and it has been wonderfully peaceful around here.  Stuff has stopped going missing - I know she pawned a bunch of our stuff like a DVD player and an old stereo that we didn't use - and there's just been no chaos and drama.  Her son moved out as well.  One too many times getting caught with weed in the house.  He was warned.  Multiple times.  It wasn't even so much about the weed, but about the disrespect of the rules we have and our authority.  When we told him that we needed to discuss what had happened at dinner that evening, he never came home for dinner.  I haven't seen or heard from him since.  I know he's okay - living with a friend at least temporarily - but the idea that he wouldn't even face us says a lot and is a bit hurtful to be honest.  He spent three years with us.  You would think he'd have the balls to face the consequences.  He might have even been able to plead his case and change our minds, but he didn't even care to make that effort.

I actually got some writing done on The Insignificants last night.  Finished 5 character sheets, discovered their last names, and have a few ideas for how they're introduced into the story and a few other scenes.  I have a childhood friend who published her first YA novel and she's kind of inspired me to try harder to pull this stuff together.

I've also been in a bit of a tailspin regarding my son's schooling for next year.  He's fallen through cracks once again.  The program he's in is a short term solution and he's been there for two years.  His IEP is hindering him from getting into the option schools in the area, and I won't allow him to go to his home school because his accusers go there and he doesn't need to combat that and struggle through classes.  He's never been in a traditional high school environment, so expecting him to go right back to a regular high school seems like setting him up for failure.  He'll be 18 in September, and even though the law states that he can get services until he's 21, I feel like the school district is pushing him out because they just don't want to be bothered dealing with him anymore.  Their "solution" is to recommend that he apply to Job Corps, which is run by the federal government.  While the program sounds like a great deal, there are some drawbacks and I'm not sure he'll qualify because we make too much money.  He may have to wait until he's 18 to apply so he can do it independent of us.  We have one more option school to look into that supposedly works with kids in similar situations to my son, but that isn't until July and there's no guarantee that he'll be accepted for the school year that starts in the fall.  I hate to have him "drop out", but we're out of options, and I'm just getting tired of fighting when he shows minimal effort and the schools have shitty suggestions or pump his head full of unrealistic dreams and goals.  In the meantime, I've been pushing him to get a job.  He's had a few good prospects, but hasn't had many call backs.

Things with my step-daughter have deteriorated to my husband being a "sperm donor" and me a "big fake".  Keep in mind that she's almost 21.  We haven't heard from her at all except for two weeks ago when she wanted my husband to watch her son until her mother could pick him up.  (I was out of town.)  She didn't even confirm with DH that he could, just had our grandson's father drop him off.  It was pure luck that DH happened to be home at the time.  I doubt it will happen again though because she recently figured out that we haven't been making her car payment for her.  Because, you know, she's entitled to having us do that for her.  We're just awful, evil people for not taking care of all her bills.  I'm going to end up taking a hit to my credit when they repo the car because I co-signed for the loan, but it's a lesson learned for both her and me.  It's a horrible thing to have to distance yourself from a child, and a decision I've asked forgiveness for almost daily, but I can't let her caustic, vidictive personality rule our lives any more.  We've all begged her to get help but she refuses.  She doesn't think she needs it.

I've still been playing Sims 2 in the evenings.  Not really documenting a whole lot though.  I've been building, refreshing my memory on how to build on sloped lots and re-acquainting myself with the different decorating options available.  I haven't downloaded an abundance of custom content this time - just some "necessities" - and it's been fun to see what can be done with what the game gives me and my limited recoloring skills.  I have a neighborhood that I play strictly on rotation, and we're getting to the third generation, so it's been fun.

OMG! Is that the Sims?

A long, long time ago, I played The Sims 2.  A lot.  I've been playing agian lately.  My F-list has changed a bit, so many of my friends are not familiar with the Sims community and the stories that have been created using them as a vehicle.  Feel free to skip this post.  I won't be offended. :)

For those who remember, look what I've got!

It's just a brief update to the Geebiv's for anyone who used to read.  I'm hoping to have additional posts in the next few weeks.

Still hosted on the Imprismed page on Dreamwidth.  Click here.

How Fucking Cool is This?!

I was visiting my father this weekend - he had a mini-stroke a few weeks ago and I've been trekking to the other side of the state every other weekend to check up on him - and we got to talking about my ancestry, explaining family folklore to DH.  I Googled for some back-up info and came across this:


Geo. A. Schastey is my great, great grandfather.  He was a furniture maker in New York in the mid-late 1800's.  The furniture on display was built for the Rockefeller's.  Although I don't think it was built directly for them.  I think it was built for another individual and the Rockefeller's bought a furnished home from them.  He did go on to make additional furniture for them too.  It was eventually donated to a museum by one of the Rockefeller descendants.  The furniture will be on display in The Metropolitan Museum of Art next spring.  I think I'll be making another trip east next year. :)

Here's a picture of the smoking room:

Rockefeller’s smoking room on display in the Brooklyn Museum

And of the bedroom:

The Rockefeller bedroom created by George A Schastey. Photograph courtesy of The Museum of the City of New York.

He also did the cabinet work on The Liberty Piano (www.libertypiano.com) which is amazing.  I guess he was a pretty well respected cabinet maker in his day.

On the other side of the family, we discussed this:

http://<iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="border:0px" src="https://books.google.com/books?id=0WNXqyCwVjMC&lpg=PA31&ots=aVNAyKYXd1&dq=major%20andre's%20toe%20bone&pg=PA31&output=embed" width=500 height=500></iframe>

Apparently, my great, great, great grandfather was also a cabinet maker/carpenter and in 1821 when Major John Andre (Benedict Arnold's British contact during the Revolutionary War) was exhumed to be returned to England, he was one of the people who helped construct a coffin.  After packing up the remains and getting them shipped off, he realized that the Major's toe bone had not made it into the new coffin.  He built a small coffin to house the bones and they have been passed down from family member to family member (not my line though) for years.  I think they are now in the possession of a local musem but I'm not sure.

Hopefully the links work.  All very interesting stuff. :)


Checking In

Hi! *waves*

It's been a while.  I kind of put myself on a self-imposed hiatus from LJ and am slowly coming back into the swing of things with a comment here an there.

Life has been life for the past while.  Busy, crazy, chaotic.  I'm not going to dump it all in one post because I don't want this post to be one gigantic complain-fest.  :)  Not that it's been all bad, either.  We had a few fabulous trips.  Winter always seem to be a downer though (and we didn't even get that much snow).

I really need to get back into the practice of writing, be it journaling or fiction, so my goal is to start up again on a regular basis.  We'll see what actually happens though.

Hope everyone has been well!


We're trying to make plans for a short vacation at the end of December.  It's been a toss up between South Padre Island (TX), San Diego (CA), and Laguna Beach (CA).

The kiddo's were consulted, as was our budget, and I think we've decided on Laguna Beach.

So, I'm here to hit up my friends list and find out the dirt on Laguna Beach.  Anyone from the area?  Any recommendations?  What are the must do's and must see's in the area?  From what I can see, it seems almost equi-distant from major attractions in Los Angeles and San Diego, plus has a quieter feel in case we'd like to just relax.

I'd appreciate any feedback, and if anyone wants to try to connect for coffee (or ice cream, because, you know...ice cream!), I'd love to try to meet up.



His black hair fell into his eyes for the umpteenth time that morning and he brushed it away without a conscious thought.  This was punishment, not work intended for someone of his station.  He paused, using the muck rake as a rest, and thought about what had got him in this position.  It really wasn’t fair, and it really wasn’t his fault, he thought.  Of course, his Master, Xenocrates, thought differently or he wouldn’t be here, dealing with the stench and foulness of the stable.

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This is my entry for therealljidol Season 9, Week 23.  The prompt is "The Fiction of the Fix", which I twisted into "The Fiction of the Fixx".  I'm going back to my 80's roots here, which probably deserves some explanation.  The Fixx was (still is?) a band that had several hits during the 80's, of which were "One Thing Leads to Another", "Saved by Zero", and "Red Skies".  This entry is loosly inspired by those songs.  It's a bit of backstory for Jalon, who I've been writing about on and off this season, and was sparked by a comment by uncawes on last weeks entry, who I owe a big "Thank You" to for the idea of exploring his background.  It should stand alone.  I hope you like it, and if you do, you can vote for me. :)  I'll edit in a link when the time comes.  You can do that voting thing here.  In the meantime, please enjoy the other entries that can be found here.

LJ Idol Season 9 Week 22 - Sweep The Leg

And Her Name Shall Be

Jalon was pleased with Mara’s progress so far.  It had taken the girl a while to recognize her powers, and there was the brief period where she had run, thinking that she could escape her fate.  Her return was to both of their advantages and had been accomplished easily enough with the fortuitous placement of a few of his most talented associates.  She had skulked back to the protection of the castle, jittery and looking over her shoulder.  Not only had his minions forced her return, but they had given him the added boon in that Mara actually felt a sense of safety and belonging while inside the walls.

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This is my entry for therealljidol Season 9, Week 22.  It's a return to Mara and Jalon's story, but should stand alone.  Constructive criticism is welcome.  Please read the many other fine entries that can be found here.  If you're interested in joining this LJ Idol thing-a-ma-jig, Last Chance Idol has been posted.  It's the last full season to participate in, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to work on their writing.  I know i've learned a lot, both about my own writing and about creative writing in general. That said, I could really use votes.  I don't like begging for them, it just doesn't feel right, but if you have an inclination, please vote for my entry. I'll post a link as soon as it's available. Alas, it is a contestant only vote this week.  However, if you sign up for Last Chance Idol and post your first entry before the voting deadline on Monday, you can submit votes.  So, SIGN UP!  :)

Beethoven’s 5th

Dun dun dun dunnnnn
Ten fingers poised above
Poking like a velvet glove
A wiggle here
A wiggle there
A giggle from a face so fair

A breath of air
Dun dun dun dunnnn
The second stanza
No hesitation

The fingers wiggle
The baby’s giggle
Dee dee da dee
Da dee da dee
Da dee da deet deet deeeee

Begin again?
Perhaps once more
Then dance our way
Toward the door

Fresh diaper
Clean clothes
Playpen of toys
Tickle time is done
Time for other fun

When my son first came to live with us (he's adopted, he was almost one), he didn't know how to respond to tickling.  No one had ever tickled him.  It took a while to teach him what it was, and to gain a response.  I used to "sing" Beethoven's 5th as I tickled his tummy, and eventually, I wouldn't even have to touch him to get him to giggle those marvelous baby giggles.  Occasionally, I still catch him unawares and can get a stanza in. :)

This is my entry for therealljidol Season 9, Week 21.  You can read the other entries for the week here.  I will be on vacation this week (L
as Vegas, here we come!), so will not be able to respond immediately to comments.  I'm hoping I'll be able to vote this week, but if not, please excuse my lack of commenting.  I've been trying to be better at it, but I know I won't be able to this week.

Lj Idol Season 9 - Week 20 - Shibusa

Adair Whelan, Actor

The bright lights surrounding the mirror of the dressing table hid nothing as he removed his thick stage make-up.  His natural skin was a bit paler than the make-up and somewhat pasty in color.  His eyes, bright beneath heavy, dark brows, were deep blue, set almost too far back in his head, and the rake of lines at the corners were noticeable now.  His forehead had a natural furrow even as his muscles relaxed.  His nose was not large, nor was it small.  It wasn’t perfect either thanks to a small bump on the bridge, a souvenir from a childhood hockey game.  The mouth was a little pinched and wrinkles cupped it like a duplicate set of parentheses.  Laugh lines or frown lines, it didn’t matter; both looked the same.  He wasn’t enamored of his own looks, nor did he dislike them.  Some called him beautiful.  He could see it, but he also knew the flaws.

Stage make-up removed, he donned the black, tattered, long-coat that had become his trademark.  The media tabloids had dubbed it “thrift store chic” and he hadn’t bothered to correct them.  The truth of his Grandfather, the original owner of the coat, was too personal and dear a memory to be tainted by public adoration.  He wound a red wool scarf around his neck and exited the Theater to the alley.  He turned the corner onto the street, snowflakes glistening as they fell in the pool of light from the street lamp, silently melting into the tam that covered his head.  He hunched his shoulders against the cold and disappeared into the darkness that claimed the night.

This is my entry for therealljidol Week 20.  It is an intersection with mezzominty, whose entry can be found here. I will link as soon as it is posted.  The entries can be read in any order, but chronologically his comes first.  Shibusa is a term that is new to me.  If this is the case for you as well, you can read more about it here.  This is my interpretation and is also a tribute to the great Robin Williams, who tragically passed away a few weeks ago.  I'm not a "squee! Fan Girl!" of his, but his body of work was ever present in my lifetime and it was sad to lose him.  There will be many other entries this week, posted here if you would like to read them.

LJ Idol Season 9 - Week 19: Kindling

A Day In The Life

Perhaps I shouldn’t have procrastinated writing an entry.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have given in to the FOUR DAYS of fighting with my son – who I could refer to at this exact moment with several nasty, uncomplimentary, hateful adjectives that no parent should think to call their child – to clean his fucking bedroom before it qualifies for an episode of Hoarders.

Kindling.  The concept is perfect to develop the next episode in the serial I’ve been writing about Mara and Jalon.  But it’s too perfect.  It would be trite and clichéd, predictable even.  I could come up with something, but I’m not feeling it.

The recesses of my brain keep singing the chorus of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, and while it seems quite apropos, I can’t bring myself to write about current political events and weather possible drama and comments of differing opinion.  I don’t have it in me.

That fucking bedroom.

Fucking mental illness.

That’s what it always comes back to.  I start out with a calm request, “Oh, by the way, you need to get your room cleaned today.”  Suggest methods to make it easier, “Just get around your bed and the TV stand today.  You can work on other parts tomorrow.”

By day three, with absolutely no response, the request becomes more impassioned.  “You HAVE to clean that room today.  It’s a pigsty.”  Day four brings the threat of consequences, “If your room isn’t cleaned by the time I get home from work this evening, I’m taking away your TV.”

All this is laid in anticipation and with fervent hope of NOT starting a conflagration.  It never works.  It is kindling, no matter how hard I try to avoid the outcome.  It is exhausting.  He plays with his phone, it is taken away.  He hollers, screams, and tells me that he’s not going to do anything until he gets his television back.  I tell him it doesn’t work that way.  He doesn’t get to make demands of me.  I am the parent, he is the child.  He bangs his head against the wall, throws more trash and junk on the floor, tears papers and drops them; all the while looking at me like it will hurt me.  Next come the swear words and name calling – words that no child should call their parent, let alone say in front of them.

Tempers are both extremely high at this point.  He gets a drink.  He goes to the bathroom.  He tries to get a snack.  He smokes a cigarette.  He flashes white suburbia gang signs and pretends he's smoking a joint - trying to push my buttons.  He puts a plastic bag on his head, puts his finger to his temple mimicking a gun, and tries to choke himself with his own hands; thus letting me know that death would be better than cleaning his room.

Then comes realization that his behavior is only making things worse and his half-hearted, seemingly insincere attempts at apologizing still contain the ultimate outcome of not cleaning his room.  The bi-polar switches come so fast I know he didn’t take his medication today.  He denies it, but later admits it.  He’s coming down, calmer, resigned, working on the room.  I’m still at Defcon 5.  He tries to joke, it doesn’t fly.  I’m not ready.

It takes him two hours, and constant re-direction, to finish.  He's calm, I'm calm.  The flames have been doused before the entire house explodes in fiery ball of rage and hatred...until next week.

This is my entry for therealljidol Season 9, Week 19.  Something a little different this week: my attempt at a meta that has morphed into a non-fiction piece, completely inspired by the events of my evening.  Not pretty, but reality seldom is.  There are other entries here, if you would like to read them.  Concrit is welcome, as long as it addresses my writing, not my parenting.


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