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A Day In The Life Of A Monkey Servant

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July 18th, 2008

10:35 am - Little Green Pills
I finally got an uninterrupted night's sleep last night, for which I am ridiculously grateful. If I spiked a temperature I managed to sleep through it. I think getting in the pool and exercising before bed last night was a really wise choice. I hadn't been in the pool since Monday and was overdue. The water was bathwater warm, but it was relaxing and I enjoyed watching the almost full moon peeking over the treetops while I worked out. My pain levels have dropped back to more normal as well, which indicates that the viral induced elevated temperatures have finally left the building.

I also decided on Wednesday to take about a dozen chlorella tablets instead of my standard 4. This slowed my rampaging gastrointestinal tract down. I repeated the mega dose of chlorella yesterday. I figured that the worst that could happen is that I would just have more expensive poop. I think it helped. I guess the virus could have just run its course at the point when I decided to take the extra chlorella and the chlorella itself had no part in my feeling so much better, but I have learned through personal experimentation that chlorella packs a pretty astonishing chelation punch. My best guess is that if my body is fighting something toxic or bad, Chlorella can only help. I honestly think this stuff is the most beneficial supplement I take, and I've seen the way it has worked for Dawn as well. I can't say enough good things about it as a way to offset the toxic environmental pollutants we all have to live with. It has kept the Methotrexate from killing me, that alone is enough to make me pretty loyal to chlorella.

I am feeling well enough this morning to toddle off to Scottsdale to pick up my paint. There will be painting this weekend if I am up to it, and I think I will be up to it. Puma and curry walls are in my immediate future. Or they will be if I get off my ass and drive to Scottsdale this afternoon.

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July 17th, 2008

07:37 pm - Raped by a gorilla and HGTV
We were watching Countdown tonight and Keith and Rachel Maddow were discussing McCain's abysmal track record not just on his votes that have anything to do with womens rights, but also the many horrifically misogynistic comments he has been caught making when there were people listening, sometimes even with cameras rolling. The latest to be dredged up is the joke he told years ago about an elderly woman being raped, beaten and left for dead by a gorilla. When the woman regained consciousness she asked her doctor "Where is that wonderful ape?" I wish I had the energy to be outraged by this, alas, as someone forced to share the state of Arizona with this idiot for two decades, I have heard so many things like this come out of his mouth that I can only cringe a bit. That kind of misogynistic crudeness wears a person down. It really does.

I then pondered out loud about how good Republicans are at getting people to vote against their own best interests, you know, convincing the working poor or immigrants to vote for them, or women, convincing people that because they might someday win the lotto they really need to support huge tax breaks for millionaires. I told Patrick it reminded me of the disconnect in home improvement shows that stage houses for sale, and how designers will almost always stage a living room with no TV. How many people in this country don't have a TV in their living room? And yet week after week on Designed to Sell, people walk through open houses with no TVs in sight and if anyone mentions the missing TV, then certainly never play those comments. I find this gap between who and what we really are and who and what we think we are sociologically fascinating.

People will cheerfully make an offer on a house with no TV maybe without even registering that the fireplace-centric arrangement they so admired in the open house just won't work if their own monster TV is added to the mix. These must be the same people who will consider voting for McCain, a man who has ridiculed and undercut their sex, their race, and their socioeconomic level time and time again because believing in the fantasy of who he is easier on their brain. It is more than just a lack of imagination, and it seems to permeate our society.

Patrick's response to this was to tell me, rather forcefully that I needed to get out of the house tomorrow. He may be considering deleting the HGTV shows in the DVR buffer and blocking my access to political web sites. To keep him from following through on this, I have agreed to go to a movie with him this weekend. So tell me, what have you seen lately that you can recommend to get my thoughts off of old women being raped by gorillas and living rooms with no TVs?

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07:38 am - Feeling like crap and losing at scabble.
I have been fighting some kind of a viral thing since Monday and yesterday I had to call the YMCA and tell them I couldn't teach Deep Water last night. I was just exhausted and in a lot of pain to boot cause my arthritis is always exacerbated by an elevated temperature, and my temperature has been elevated plenty. I have been feeling like a limp, completely wrung out dishrag. I spent most of yesterday in bed, accompanied by the fuzzy children. I tried watching TV for a while, but when I can't get or stay comfortable in my recliner, it is time to go to bed. Patrick took pity on me last night and came to bed early so we could play scrabble. Patrick is addicted to crossword puzzles so he always has an advantage when we play scrabble. I really enjoyed our game, and was touched that Patrick was willing to come play to distract me from being sick. Between the viral ravaging of my brain and my pain levels, it was an understatement to say I wasn't firing on all thrusters. Then I got what seemed to be every single i tile in existence. I even took a turn to get rid of vowels. I threw back four i tiles. In three turns I had drawn them again. It goes without saying that Patrick won by an embarrassing margin. It also goes without saying that my husband is a prince among men. He even crawled around on the floor to retrieve a tile that fell behind the bed. Just saying.

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July 12th, 2008

10:59 am - Viagra and Birth Control
So John McCain can't give a coherent response to the totally reasonable query about the insurance industry practice which won't cover birth control medications for women but will gladly pay for Viagra so old guys like McCain can have four hour erections? Google McCain Viagra and you can find the clip on You Tube. Being a techno gerbil I can't do the linky, but if I can find it, it can't be that difficult. Rachel Maddow cleaned his clock on Countdown over this one, and it is one of the most damaging clips I have ever seen of McCain. It leaves the viewer with only two rational explanations, that the guy is a sexist pig or he is totally fucking senile. It could actually be both. That is probably why it is nearly impossible not to be embarrassed for him as you watch him wiggle and squirm his way through the interview. Totally pathetic. Seriously, if you can watch this clip and still think that McCain has any business being a US Senator, much less a president, you really need a psych evaluation yourself.

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July 11th, 2008

02:15 pm - Monoon Weather and Home Improvement
I got up early today and cleaned out the pool, which was a total mess. I also hosed down the patio which was filthy. The temp roof of ripple plastic that Jeff managed to put up was worse than useless at protecting the wooden table. To be fair, it was a torrential downpour, but the failure was catastrophic enough that it has confirmed my decision to take the entire pergola down and have it rebuilt as a real honest to Goddess roof complete with a ceiling fan and a light. Since we have been deferring the re-plastering and re-tiling of the pool and the repair of the cool deck and we really can't put if off for more than another year at best, we may as well bite the bullet and get a home equity line of credit and just get it all done at once. I need to ask Patrick when he will make the last payment on the Element cause rolling that money into doing the necessary pool repair, hard-scape and porch stuff done by people who are professionals is probably a good idea even if it is going to cost us more than I want it to cost.

Meanwhile here in the pleasant confines of my air conditioned home, I am awaiting the arrival of the beautiful paint I have ordered. I need to get brushes, rollers pans, and some painting tape cause I am not a professional painter. When I am done with the walls I will paint the baseboards in the color I selected for the woodwork in the front bedroom. It is softer than the builder's white they used when they installed the baseboards after the tile installation and I was too exhausted to argue with them about it. It will look nicer and clean easier too. I will also do the linen closet doors and other interior doors as well. There is no rush. I want to get it done before the holidays. No pressure, just excitement that I am finally going to see the beginning of the end of these fucking vanilla walls.

Because of the weather I am awfully stiff and sore today and if we don't end up with lightning this evening I am saving myself for the TGIF water exercise class I am teaching tonight. It is an experiment and I haven't done a lot of promotion on it because of concerns about the weather, but my Monday - Wednesday class has been very well attended and some of my regulars have indicated they will be there tonight. Barring lightning or torrential rain, we will give it a try. I think Enya would give us the mood we are looking for so I will drag her out and see how it goes.

Patrick brought his new drafting table into the office this morning before he left for work and it fits very nicely in the newly cleared area over by the bookcases. He can wheel his desk chair between the drafting table and his desk. Walking into his office now is really a lovely experience. It is place that reflects his enthusiasms, his creativity and is filled with the ephemera of his life. That is what a great office is supposed to be. When we envisioned this room back before he even moved in with me, this was what we talked about, and because of many factors it never achieved the promise of our brainstorming sessions on it until now. And there are still some things thant need to be sorted, because I am not cool with the boxes in the hall. This weekend Patrick is going to assemble his new storage unit which will replace the old printer stand in the closet, and hopefully he can get some serious creative work done. He is overdue for a place where he can do that and no one deserves it more than he does.

Mr barometer is so not my friend. Time for a vicodin and a nap.

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July 10th, 2008

08:51 pm - Wrath of Thor
Boy, we are getting pounded here. Thunder, lightning, and a lot of rain. It is just pouring and has been for the better part of an hour. We had a couple of lightning strikes very close by, and it has poor Desi spooked. Trouble is asking Daddy to turn off the water at the top of his operatic tenor voice. Even our little happy wanderer, Hermione sees the wisdom of staying inside for a while.

It is a wonderful night to hit the sack early.

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03:07 am - Nest feathering, because it is too damn hot to go outside.
Wednesday was spent doing the final push on the sorting and clearing Patrick's office. It took the better part of the day to get it done, and there are four boxes of sorted items awaiting Patrick's final judgment call, but the office floor is finally clear. There are a couple of drawers to clear out and re-purpose, and Patrick has yet to assemble his new storage unit/printer stand, but it appears that my timing was perfect because Patrick connected with our friend Jean Palmer last night and bought a drafting table that she had decided she wasn't going to use. This is a win-win situation because Jean has hopes of someday getting a car in her garage again and getting rid of the table is part of that scenario for her. Patrick desperately needs a place to spread his calligraphy and cartooning artwork out a bit so he was delighted when his friend Dan mentioned that Jean had the table and was looking to unload it. I laughed when Patrick told me that the party with the table was in fact Jean. Fandom is a very small universe. The table is going to eat up most of the momentarily free floor space in the office, and it may intermittently spend quality time in our garage, a place where no car is ever going to go, but for now it is just what Patrick needs and the price was very reasonable for a quality piece of furniture. It is a far cry from the wobbly piece of crap we saw in Michaels a couple of weeks ago.

I also spent some time doing a second round of paint samples this morning and this selection of colors was even more satisfying that the first batch. Puma has won for our basic wall color. It is the color of Vicky's fur, a linen colored neutral that really looks fantastic on the living room and family room walls. Curry and Adobaca will be our accent walls, the Indian food inspired Curry in the entry way and along the long wall in the family room, which will eventually become the sacred feminine wall with artwork featuring Prosephine, the Virgin Mary and Quan Yin. I also finally got my hands on a Waterhouse print that will finish up the family room It just needs a mat because it will go into an old frame I have had for years. Adobaca is a deep rich red and we are going to use it as an accent wall in the kitchen. We will smear Puma everywhere else. That process should take me the rest of the summer. Because the paints are zero VOC I will have the luxury of doing just a bit every day, which is the only way I can do the work any way.

Our master closet is still a work in progress. Finally having the front bedroom closet as out-of-season overflow and renfair garb storage has been wonderful, and gives us breathing room for the stuff we wear on a daily basis. I am also storing a few items of clothing that will eventually either need to be altered in the front bedroom. I have a couple of my circus tent dresses in very high quality crinkled rayon fabric that I just couldn't send to Savers. One is th dress I wore to Larry and Tisa's wedding. It is absolutely huge, but the fabric is beautiful and I have fond memories of that special day, wearing that dress. We are either just going to use the fabric to cut out a new dress or make it into a skirt. Either way, it is the kind of recycling Frances is up to. Re-purposing those half-dozen or so pieces of clothing will save me a fortune in the long run. Thread is inexpensive and I can barter interior design services for the labor.

I did break down and order a few new items of clothing on Tuesday, taking advantage of the end of season sales, because summer clothing on clearance is always a good bargain here in Arizona where we can wear it about eight months out of the year. I splurged on two stunningly beautiful elastic waist skirts I have had my eye on for monyhs and bought three sleeveless cotton sweaters to go with them. I also ordered two long rayon dresses one in a red and white print and another in a black and white. They have a lattice back, but I finally found a bra that ought to work with that, so I am looking forward to adding them to my wardrobe. Right now I am wearing tank tops and crinkle skirts that have been taken in a couple of times or dresses that are just plain too damn big. I have some fairly nice winter things that I bought end of season last year that fit me well, but my summer stuff was pretty picked over and tired looking, so this will make a huge improvement in my wardrobe.

Tomorrow I need to clock some time on my novel, because I fell out of my routine over the holiday weekend and haven't worked on it for nearly a week. Putting a couple hours a day in on it is really necessary and an excellent way to spend the time when I am waiting for pain medication to kick in. Sometimes having my body tell me in no uncertain terms to stop moving about is a good thing. As Monk says, "It's a gift and a curse."


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July 6th, 2008

11:49 pm - Pools and Paints and Golden Age Mystery Authors
So our pool was overflowing this morning. It turns out that there is a little device that is like the thing on the back of a toilet that keeps the water at a constant level in the pool and ours was broke. Patrick took it apart and discovered that not only is the device like the thing from the toilet, it is actually the same thing. He made a trip to Lowes and fixed it for less than 13 dollars. My husband is a very clever monkey. A very clever monkey indeed. The cats will be pissed when the water level falls and they have to bend over to drink from the pool again, but sometimes these things happen.

And the holiday weekend is over.

I have been painting color swatches of the Green Planet clay paint samples in the living room and the family room. the past couple of days. Aztec would make a really stunning accent wall, and Oat has a soft sheen to it that is lovely both during the day and at night as well. It is a warmer neutral than the one we have been living with since we moved into the house. I ordered three more samples, but I already know that I will be buying at least a couple gallons of Oat. The paints are zero VOC and the quality is amazing. It is going to be a pleasure to put these paints on my poor neglected walls. I have high hopes for Curry, Puma and Adobada. Once I see them I will make my final choices.

We finally watched the Agatha Christie episode of Dr. Who this evening. I loved the actress they got to play her, and I thought that the way they worked her famous disappearance into the episode was just brilliant. Patrick and I got a kick out of them throwing all the titles of her future novels into the conversation, and I laughed out loud when Donna mentioned Miss Marple. This episode was a real treat for someone like me who has read all of Dame Agatha's novels, her biographies and her autobiography. She was an amazing woman and one of my own personal heroines. I think that they did her justice in this episode. Like Donna, I had tears in my eyes at the end. How is it possible that someone that brilliant and talented could have never known it herself? She was shy, and humble, and she went to her grave thinking herself not that great a writer. I was so delighted to see the admiration shining in the Doctor's eyes when he looked at her. The Doctor knows quality when he sees it.

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July 5th, 2008

10:33 am - Celebrating the 4th Swedish Style
We went to Chompies for brunch yesterday and then walked it off at Ikea. When I say walked it off, I mean walked it off. I was sweating like a horse by the time we finally got to the check-out and needed several refills of diet Pepsi to get a jump on replacing my fluids and electrolytes. I took calcium, magnesium, zinc and potassium in big doeses when we got home. Patrick didn't. He woke up with a cramp at 5am this morning. Next time instead of suggesting that he take some potassium I am just going to hand him the tablets.

There was something vaguely subversive about spending a good chunk of the 4th of July in a Swedish Big box store. But it's okay, cause we had good American hot dogs and an ice cream cone before leaving the area, which means we didn't eat the delightful meatballs. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for patriotism.

I have discovered that my husband's ADD brain assumes that if it isn't hanging in front of him in the closet, he does not own an object of clothing, and therefore it does not get worn. This is why Patrick wears heavy jeans in 114 degree heat, because the shorts are in the dresser drawer. So I got some Ikea clip hangers for his shorts. They are the same hangers I use for my elastic waist crinkle skirts. They are also good for pants.

The best score of the day was the dresser that was designed to hold large paper supplies, which is what Patrick needed to store his calligraphy and cartooning supplies. The unit we got is perfect for the job, and it will replace our current printer stand in the office closet so it won't eat up any of the very precious and very limited floor space in the office. There is the job of assembly, but the weekend is young.

We also got some more magazine files and four more of the little Kasset CD boxes that I just adore. They are the final word in CD storage. Adrian Monk has a whole bunch of them in his aparment so they are OCD approved too, which is a nice plus.

Inexpensive, attractive, manageable, functional and OCD friendly? These Swedes are fucking brilliant, I'm telling you!

We delightedly scored duplicates of the duvet covers we had the honor of using when we stayed in Wellington in daughter Eli's guest room. Two twin sized duvet covers in the hot red star pattern with matching shams are now ours. This should eliminate the ongoing problem of Patrick hogging the king sized duvet or the cats pinning me beneath it. Two humans, two duvets. It took the scary genius daughter to explain it to us, but we are on board now. What a relief. The actual duvets I can get when the temperatures here drop below triple digits. I've got some time.

I got a couple packages of napkins, a couple of rugs cause we always need rugs around here, especially inexpensive and durable ones that can stand being tossed in the wash, and Patrick got a really cool office lamp. He chose the stainless steel version and it looks terrific on his desk. He is refusing to give up the ugly little lamp that was a 3 dollar fix for the then guest room the week I moved in to this house, which was the entire point of getting the new lamp, but as he pointed out to me last night, the new lamp can be used on his drafting table once we get it up and running, and the hunt for the perfect desk lamp will continue. Sigh. I'm going to do the Snoopy Dance the day that old lamp finally makes the long walk of shame to Savers.

We came home, collapsed, and after I took a much needed nap, we ate leftover pizza and watched some West Wing episodes. We took a break at 9:30pm to go out in the back yard and watch the humans compete with Mother Nature in the pyrotechnic department and pretty much lose. That was fun. Because of the lightning there was no swimming. Ah monsoon, you gotta love it. The winds picked up at about 7pm and the clouds rolled in. Lots of thunder and lightning, lots of wind and the dust that goes with it. If there was any rain, it missed us. Sometimes we get just enough to make little dust spots on the cars.

And that is how we spent our 4th of July here in Glendale Arizona. I am even proud to be an American this year, which is a really nice change. Next year with President Obama running the show, I will be really thrilled. Of course that will only happen if more Americans overcome Baracknophobia, which is, as Jon Stewart tells us, the irrational fear of hope. Keep your fingers crossed for him. There is an awful lot at stake.

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July 2nd, 2008

10:40 pm - Order from Chaos
The second stage of the great office caper is complete. Since it looks like we won't be going to Sedona this weekend after all, it may be possible to get the office completely functional by Monday. Patrick was very pleased with what I accomplished today, and is happy that all the books in the office are finally sorted and shelved. We still have a bunch of stuff to sort, stuff that is harder than books and DVDs and CDs, like wires and little snippets of paper and weird shit. Patrick has to go through that stuff because I have no earthly idea if it is important or just crap.

Once the floor space is clear we can start thinking about acquiring a drafting table and bringing some boxes of books in from the garage to be sorted and added to the bookcases. The closet could benefit with rearranging and eventually being retrofitted for better storage of Patrick's instruments and other important stuff, but I am basking in the glow of the having accomplished something very good, and very overdue. The office is finally looking like a reflection of the man who inhabits it instead of a big ol' mess, which is a very good thing.

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