This week has been much better in comparison to last week. I will give it that much credit. I haven't had to deal too much with weather, we have a 3-day weekend coming up that should be mostly sunny, I have restocked my kitchen and have been making yummy, good smelling foods. The pets and I seem healthy enough except for my allergy Migraines. Bossman is home resting and feeling better, but still not 100%. There's a few irritating points at work. A client that I'm about to tell how many ways they can go and stick it, and no I won't give you any lube with that, but it is much calmer in the building than in the previous week.

My only major issue with this week was a huge fight with my mother on the phone last night. I say "HUGE." The call lasted maybe 15 minutes. The impact I allowed that call to have on me is the 'huge' bit. I need to STOP letting that woman live in my head for hours and hours after she goes away. I barely slept last night and I'm feeling that effect this morning.

For the record, do not start a conversation with me like this:

"You'll probably be upset with me but..."

Yeah, you think? How old are you, Mother, that you still can't resist the perverse urge to stab me in the back repeatedly by doing things that make me vulnerable to other abusive people and then have the unmitigated gall to lecture me when I get upset about it?!

A cousin on my dad's side is coming to visit SF next week. Originally we were going to go out and do a hearty foodie dinner at a swank post-Alice Waters type venue. That has now changed to a quick brunch in the city somewhere in the Castro. The change in the importance and priority of me in the context of my cousin's first visit back to San Francisco in 15 years is hardly a surprise to me. It's par for the course and really--understandable in the context of a gay man who misses his friends vs. his 11 years younger straight cousin who is always 'such a good sport' about things.

That's not my problem--it's just background for the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say. Dewey is the youngest of four children. They are my only first cousins on my Dad's side of the family. They're all decades older than I am because my Aunt is 8 years older than my dad; that and she eloped at age 15 and had her first child at age 16. In contrast my Dad was 24 when I was born. Do the math.

"You'll probably be upset with me but...your cousins asked how they could reach you. They're so excited you're going to visit with Dewey and..."

"Mother, you did NOT give out my email and phone number without asking me first, did you?"


Tammy, the oldest, has been a raging alcoholic since she was 20. She's been arrested twice and even served some time for providing alcohol to minors and buying prescription drugs. Cathy, the next oldest, was one of my favorites for a long time until she divorced her husband Charlie and moved in with a known felon who served time for rape and murder. But oh no, he'd found God, contracted to paint her house and moved in on her. Cathy's decline was sad and she's still with him. She lost custody of bother her kids, a girl and a boy, after she and the Felon were both charged with rape and abuse of minors. They are now both on the registered sex offender list. Bonnie, the youngest daughter, compulsive liar, kleptomaniac, embezzler and thief. The fact that Dewey is a drunk and gay, but has always managed to keep his cheery disposition, keep his job (mostly), and apparently has now been 8 years sober--is a miracle.

WHY IN ALL THE HELLS IMAGINED WOULD I WANT THESE CRAZY, ENERGY SUCKING VAMPIRES in my life? I don't. I don't talk with any of my Father's side of the family since my grandparents died. This is not by accident it is by choice. My parents know this, my sister knows this.

So, what possessed her? Who knows. When I demanded a reason, I got a lecture on the importance of family. I interrupted her

"And when is the last time YOU visited Aunt Bobbie (Dewey's mother) or allowed Dad to?!"

"Well that's different! Your aunt is insane and an alcoholic and.."

"YES! JUST LIKE HER KIDS! Some balls you have to send them to me, when you won't even be polite to my father's only sibling."

She went on and on about how you don't abandon family because they do things you don't understand. Yet she immediately followed that up with hateful words about Bobbie's life long struggle with severe depression and alcoholism and how she is sure I will wind up just like her if I'm not careful. I bit back on the urge to point out that her oldest brother is the same way.

There's no pointing out the contradictions between what she says and feels about people, even when they are family members, and what she thinks I need to say and feel about people, even when they're family members. She is still on this great campaign to re-make her public image into one of a beloved matriarch. She doesn't realize and can't admit even if she did realize that the only one taken in by this fraud is her.

So now I get to watch for unwanted contact from people whom I do not choose to share my life with in even the smallest fraction of a way because my mother, who has never been counted upon to protect me from anything, has violated my well-being once again in order to make herself look good to others.

Maybe this halloween I'll dress up as the sacrificial lamb.
Along with our cleaning lady...

It's funny how much I censor and edit what I would really like to say on Facebook. But last week was fraught with annoyance and pissiness.

I wish LJ had an easy way to do a keyword search through your own archives. I'd link to several stories over the past 5 years about Magpie--the woman who was our receptionist and then fired for incompetence. As a pity move Bossman hired her as a contractor to clean our office building. She's been playing at being Janitor lady now for five years in spite of numerous complains from tenants and from me. Remember the episode with Naked Guy!? The 'friend' she hired to help her clean who was found not once but TWICE naked and whacking off at a tenant's desk.

So finally, last week, Bossman called her in to let her go. This was long over due. Still, I've had to fire people and no matter how just the firing, it's a difficult thing to do. It's difficult to be fired and its difficult to sit there across the desk and fire someone. Especially when you know that they are virtually unemployable. Such is the case with Magpie. This was her last hope at a salary of any kind. She's kind, naive, not very bright, unable to focus or prioritize tasks. She sees herself as very very thorough. Our new, OCD janitor has spent the last 4 days on his hands and knees scrubbing five years of filth off the floors in the bathrooms in this building, nearly making himself retch.

Now, five years ago, when she was our receptionist and my direct report, I offered to be the one who let her go. At the time Bossman said no, he'd like to keep me as the 'good cop' in the situation and he would let her go. After all, he is the company owner. Last week, he tried to get ME to fire her. I said HELL NO. #1, I'm no longer an employee--I'm a contractor. #2, I do not work for the property management side of the business. #3, I gave you that out 5 years ago and you didn't take it. You're on your own now mister mister.

Imagine how surprised he was at how emphatically I drew THAT line!

Tuesday was 'doom day'. Magpie knew it was coming too, and that made all of us feel that much more miserable. Still, the meeting went as well as it could considering the news. He told her at 10am. They met for about 30 minutes. She asked for some time to gather up some personal effects she had here and then she'd turn in her key. Bossman agreed and offered her a 1/2 months worth of money as a sort of severance--something he did not have to do, but is entirely in keeping with the type of decent human being he is.

We have a tiny janitor's closet on the second floor and an only slightly larger one on the first floor. I am not exaggerating one bit when I say to you that from 10:30am to 4:30pm she carted arm load after dolly load of CRAP from those closets into her car, a Subaru wagon. Did she have a fucking HOUSE stored in those closets? Not really. It was all crap. Seriously, garbage. It was odds and broken ends she's scavenged from the trash bins. Any thing a tenant threw away that caught her eye she kept. I had always assumed she carried it home, but apparently she stored it here in every nook and cranny she could find.



I've worked her for seven years now. My desk area is filled with personal stuff. I could sort and clean and box my crap and be out of here in under an hour if it came to it.



Of her shuffling, and sniffling, and dropping things. I realize it was hard on her, but yi yi yi. FIVE hours??

Meanwhile, word spread through the building like wildfire and it can not have helped that I had a steady stream of tenants who came by my desk with words of joy and relief--many not realizing she wasn't gone yet.

Wednesday our Non-violent volunteers upstairs converged on us with a completely different reaction. How DARE we fire a downtrodden female and replace her with a man. They don't like him, they don't feel safe. They want Magpie back. Not only that but we KNOW they're chemically sensitive and he used Simple Green upstairs and they can't have that. Blah blah blah blah. How can people who work in non-violent communication make me so want to strangle them on sight? Last I checked Simple Green was very non toxic. It contains none of the chlorine and other chemicals that most products use. I use Simple Green and Vinegar to clean my house, so I know. As it turns out--he didn't even OPEN any chemicals. He opened the closet in which they were stored to inventory what supplies we had when three women descended on him demanding to know who he was and what he was doing. He introduced himself as the new janitor service and they went into a frenzy of questions about why Magpie wasn't there. When their bathroom upstairs and their kitchen is spotless clean for the first time in half a decade, I think they'll quiet down. I hope.

Thursday was a plumbing fiasco with an exploding toilet tank on the second floor. But at least that didn't involve whiny, crabby chemically sensitive women with a sense of entitlement about leaving our door wide open and the building vulnerable to robbers.

OH and speaking of THAT! We got cased again on Friday. Just to cap off a great week. I was on the phone with a client. I had our mail delivery in my hands, because Angela, our lovely mail person had just handed it to me. Meanwhile the phone rings and it's line 3, which is the front door line, when people need to be buzzed in. Punk Princess answered the line to hear a man say "Uh..mail man, let me in."

Fortunately, she was aware of the fact that Angela was already in the building. "I'll be right down!" She ran to the window to see a heavy set man running away from the building. I guarantee you its one of the guys who hit us in late November and again in December. And it just pisses me off.

On my task list this week is researching and pricing a digital camera for the front door to record commings an goings.

As I said

Last week is soooooooooooooooooooooo FIRED!
aamusedinatx: (welllies)
Dear Keen:

I own (counts on her fingers and toes) five pairs of Keens and just ordered my sixth pair, the wonderful Vernoa clog in Cigar. I'm purchasing the Verona to replace a pair of Keens I bought in June of 2008. Now, granted, I've worn these shoes probably 300 days a year since I bought them, I love them THAT much! (They are my most comfortable pair that aren't my Venice sandals.)

But that's also my problem. This is the first pair of Keen shoes that have reached a state where they are nearly falling off my feet. I bought these at Bill's shoes on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. I do not know the style name. The soles of the shoes are still in great shape, it's the fabric and foam upper which is falling apart. Stress splits from the bend and flex of my toes and the ball of my foot, rips along the arch, etc.

This isn't a complaint really, I am hard on my shoes. I am a walker. I walk every where. I do not own a car so I expect to wear out my shoes. It's just that the soles of these shoes are not nearly worn out and I hate the thought of throwing them away. Does Keen have a recycle program or retread program that I can donate these shoes to?

I'm enclosing photos of the shoes.

I'm a diehard Keen fan and I will continue to buy your shoes and sandals. I think, though, I will stick to leather and suede since those uppers seem far more durable. I treked Nepal for 10 days in my Portolas and they are STILL going strong with no rips, tears, split seams or uneven tread wear.

Meri L.

*peeks out*

Jan. 1st, 2010 11:36 am
Hello Twenty-Ten...what do you look like so far?

A pink, squally baby of a year. Let's hope you improve as you age please. Your predecessor didn't exactly age like fine wine. No, he aged more like unwrapped cheese that's been in the fridge too long.

I guess we shall see!
to put this year to bed.

Just sayin.
My friends
My family members who are also friends
For not having to suffer toxic and extended contact with family members who can never be friends
A roof over my head, food on my table, bills paid and a little bit left over to share with others
Gorgeous (if chilly) Northern California sunshiny days
Funny bus drivers from Nice, France by way of Ghana, West Africa
Maurice and my local crazies on the corner
Great neighbors
My Yemeni Mafia
A sense of humor
My Enigma
My fur kids
My balance of living both online and in the 'real world' and the unique diversity and bounty that brings to me.

Happy Thanksgiving folks!
Local quirks:

Nutty San Mateo lawyer San Francisco Airport.

SF Mayor in press tantrums.

Meanwhile all the Whos down in WhoOakville are wondering where their Christmas decorations are.

Open Carry supporters congregate at Cupertino Starbucks.

In Santa Rosa a bit of an Oops!

SoCal Interior Designer nabbed in disability scam after appearing on HGTV.

FBI and San Diego police on the hunt for Geezer Bank Robber.

And elsewhere:
Aussie bloke sets out to get the morning paper and drives nine hours.

Arrest of Squeegee attack in Arkansas.

Any left over Y2K folks can now have vegan condoms and hand-cranked vibrators.

Abandoned Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India opens as a tourist attraction.

The problem with urban sanitation is that talking about toilets is not cool.

Russian cannibals nabbed for selling remains to kebab house.

And to prove once again there is no end to imaginative business ideas:
LONDON (Reuters) - Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes might have thought twice about naming their daughter Suri if they'd known that it means "pickpocket" in Japanese, "turned sour" in French, and "horse mackerels" in Italian.

Today Translations, a London-based translation company, is offering parents-to-be -- particularly celebrities -- the chance to check the meaning of prospective baby names in other languages.

What's in an unusual name? More than you might think!

In another bah-humbug move, the US Post office pulls the plug on Santa. The letters to Santa program had been in use since the 50s.

The Vatican has decreed that Vampires don't make good role models. That bites.

Dead megastar droid zombie blueprints offered for $1m

Dirty PCs. The X-rated horrors of the computer age.

Quote of the day:
Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves.
- Carl Sagan

Travel day

Nov. 12th, 2009 08:52 am

One has to wonder if Gov. Perry and the great ovrblown Republic of Texas has in fact seceeded from the union.

I'm all checked in for my flight and had to walk down to United's International terminal to catch my flight.

Posted via

AA Gill shot baboon 'to see what it would be like to kill someone'

• Restaurant critic says he felt urge to be a primate killer
• Animal campaigners attack 'indefensible' action

I am not a PETA freak. I am an omnivore. I spent part of my growing up in Alaska. I've eaten venison of many, many stripes. I believe in careful and controlled hunting for the purpose of eating and I don't have a problem with first nations who hunt and make use of nearly 100% of the bodies they kill in the form of meat, skins for clothes and tents, oil for candles and grease, what have you.

That's not what has me upset about this. This wasn't hunting for sustenance, it was murder you could get away with. You can't just walk up to a human being and shoot them so you can know what it feels like--there are consequences. But this is his idea of the next best thing with no legal consequence, except that I hope that some PETA/GREENPEACE job in jackboots finds him staggering out of a pub or restaurant and beats him senseless as he arrogantly composes his next critique, and he dies bleeding on the pavement.
My little village in 1906.

details of the scene and location are found here
You can divorce an abusive spouse. You can call it quits if your lover mistreats you. But what can you do if the source of your misery is your own parent?

Granted, no parent is perfect. And whining about parental failure, real or not, is practically an American pastime that keeps the therapeutic community dutifully employed.

But just as there are ordinary good-enough parents who mysteriously produce a difficult child, there are some decent people who have the misfortune of having a truly toxic parent.

A patient of mine, a lovely woman in her 60s whom I treated for depression, recently asked my advice about how to deal with her aging mother.

“She’s always been extremely abusive of me and my siblings,” she said, as I recall. “Once, on my birthday, she left me a message wishing that I get a disease. Can you believe it?”

Over the years, she had tried to have a relationship with her mother, but the encounters were always painful and upsetting; her mother remained harshly critical and demeaning.

Full article here.

I read this early last week and then I got slammed with a migraine and forgot to make note of it. This article, for me at least, ties into the question posed yesterday:

If a friend or relative makes a racist or homophobic remark, do you tend to confront them or let it slide? Are you more likely to confront them if it offends you directly or someone else who seems reluctant to speak up?

My mother is highly toxic. It has taken me years to learn the self defense of not letting her toxic emotional acid spill all over me, corroding and eating away at my very soul and sense of self identity. She is cruel, spiteful, racist, homophobic, arrogant and proud in that way of false pride--she can only lift herself up in her own eyes by utterly destroying those whom she decides are less worthy than she is. Anyone and everyone is entitled to her opinion at any time, in any place regardless of whether or not the time and place is appropriate.

I do not tolerate this. At. All. It's taken me years. It's taken me a decade of therapy to draw this line in the dirt. My mother has no boundaries and I cannot expect her to suddenly, magically find some. I draw my own boundaries. I draw them firmly and I guard them against her toxic encroachment. I try do to so first with humor, then with caution, then a clear worded warning. After that I do not engage. I hang up. I get up and leave the breakfast table and I walk out the door. I leave the restaurant and I call a cab. I have done this time and time again. I do not tolerate racist and homophobic or any hateful behavior from total strangers. I will not tolerate it from her either. She does not get a 'get-out-of-jail' card for being my mother, or for being a 70 year old woman. "That's just how I was raised," is not an excuse I except from any one for any reason, no matter who they are.

In two and a half weeks, I go to Texas and into the family hornets nest once again. In an attempt to please my father, who has his own issues, but who generally is not spiteful, hateful, and viscous, I am going down to spend our birthdays together. My mother claims her joy in my coming to visit and has been pestering me about what do I want for my birthday. I told her all I want is peace. I want no discussion on any thing but the weather and food. If she turns on Fox News, or starts in on politics, race or sexual preference I will change my ticket and fly out on the next plane.

She hasn't responded. I'm sure she doesn't know how to respond. She still can't recognize a boundary when drawn for her. I used to measure my success or failure in drawing boundaries on whether or not my Mother modified her behavior. I can remember sitting in my Therapist's office working on that last chapter of "Understanding the Borderline Mother"

(It is still the single most important tool for my own recovery.) I remember almost yelling in frustration "I TRIED that, it didn't WORK!" Claudia let me get all of that out of my system and then asked me: "why do you say it didn't work? Did it not work because your mother's actions and reactions didn't change? They're not going to. What changes is your safety and security, your sense of control in drawing your own boundary."


To say this was a turning point in my life is a complete understatement.

The only reason I maintain any contact with my Mother is because she is the gatekeeper to my father. Once he is gone, I have no reason to maintain any facade. She will get attention or notice from me only for good behavior, not bad behavior. She won't like it. She doesn't like it now, but that is not my problem--it's hers.


Oct. 26th, 2009 06:50 am
Yet one more reason why I totally heart xkcd.

A screen shot in case you miss it. (It won't stay up long.) )
(notice they had to disable comments on this story. I can only IMAGINE the anti-immigration, pro-racist comments they were getting. Which do not reflect the entire population of the DFW metroplex, I must add, just the ones who feel hidebound to respond to articles like this one):

Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle said this afternoon that his officers have written at least 39 citations to people over the past three years for not speaking English.
Butthead gets 39 years. Bevis is still at large.

Excuse me, sir, but you are weaving on the road. Please step out of your recliner.

This woman is obviously unclear on the concept AND consequences.

Giving Cadillac Ranch a run for it's money is Carhenge.

19 year old Norwegian passes Go and wins the world Monopoly championship.

The Tipton Amateur Theater Society learns what's in a name.

Colorado paper seeks Marijuana critic.

English council issues a grave warning.

Japanese bloke bummed out about unnecessary surgery.

Magpies hold funerals for their fallen feathered friends.

Quote of the Day:
Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can't read them either.
- Gore Vidal
30 Republican senators voted against Al Franken's anti-rape amendment. Said amendment would hold defense personnel and contractors accountable to criminal prosecution for rape committed while in service to this country. John McCain is one of the thirty senators. 30 out of the 49 seats Republican's hold in the Senate voted against this key amendment. They do not believe in accountability. They believe only in immunity against punishment for any crime because a person wears a uniform or works for uniforms.

Apparently GOP stands for "Guaranteed Our Pussy!"

Way to go dirty old-white guys. Support our proud Republicans For Rape now!

Hattip to [ profile] robertainnc for the site link.
aamusedinatx: (kitchen witch)
This cake is GONE! History, the office and indeed half the building has demolished it with their coffee this morning. GOOD! That means I don't have eat any more of it than I have already, or I'd be big as a house!

1 box premium yellow cake mix
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tbls apple cider
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
lightly grease a small pyrex pan 7 x 11

Combine pumpkin puree with the yellow cake mix. Do NOT add any of the other stuff recommended on the back of the box. That's right. No eggs, no oil, no water. Just pumpkin and cake mix. Blend well and it will look like this in the pan:

Bake 25-30 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean from the center of the cake. Let it cool while you make the glaze with the remaining ingredients. Whisk together until smooth, thick and pourable:

Now, slice, plate, serve warm or room temperature and watch it FLY off the plates!

Seriously this recipe is SO SIMPLE a child can do it (with supervision) and it's so delicious for such little effort. Go forth and NOM!
Okay, what IS it with Texans and corpses? here and here.

I don't know about you but I think someone who runs Nookie Parties makes perfect sense as a political candidate!

Berlin Brothel offers green discount.

300 pound man tries to liberate a cuba libre.

Meanwhile, Air Canada diverted a flight after a 23 year old passenger stole a beer off the drinks trolley.

An entire Hungarian police force resigns after winning a 10 million lottery.

Please sir...can I have some more?

Oz driver prangs ute during 'amorous activities'
'I was not ****ing his ****', insists female passenger

Anthropologists tell us that modern man are wimps.

Quote of the day: The prospect of a long day at the beach makes me panic. There is no harder work I can think of than taking myself off to somewhere pleasant, where I am forced to stay for hours and 'have fun'.
- Phillip Lopate


Oct. 15th, 2009 02:35 pm
I'm not sure if this is 47 seconds of my life I need back or not...

OAKLAND — When Adarsha Shivakumar won the 2006 California Spelling Bee at age 13, he didn't spend his $600 prize on video games or the latest electronic gadget. He used it to buy seeds.

Learn more about Project Jatropha and how you can help at



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