chaotic household

With changes going on at work, it’s really no surprise that something like this has happened at home::

I got up yesterday morning, after Jamie had already left for work, and did the normal “before work” stuff (brushing hair, brushing teeth, scooping up cats and shoving them into the craft/cat room so I can let the dogs out) as well as starting on the handful of dishes Jamie found. Let dogs out to pee/play, got ready for work, etc.

Recieved a handful of texts about work (there’s no one in your department, one of your machines is broken, etc) to prepare me for the madness I was going to walk into (on top of the whole “oh yeah, there’s going to be like 20 managers, including the district manager, all up in your business for gods know how long” for some manager-training class). Mentally prepared.

Left the dogs in their room (we have a new door! Fred and Jamie installed a new, solid wood door over the weekend), but did not crate them. Felt they’d been Good Dogs and deserved some “out” time while Jamie and I were at work. The door could be secured, I figured things would go ok. Let the cats out of the room, grabbed my stuff, and left.

Work Happened.

Jamie got home and I got a string of texts that boiled down to: there is shit everywhere.

The dogs had gotten out of their room somehow (my guess is Carrot probably headbutted the door and Firefly or Hobbes pulled from the bottom on their side) and wrecked havoc on the house. The cat boxes were flipped over and litter was strewn everywhere, there was poop in all the rooms (cat/craft room included), the box of clean litter was knocked over and spread all over the kitchen floor, the clean dishes were on the floor, the box of water flavorers were destroyed, the dirty laundry that was in the bathroom was everywhere (Jamie’s dirty laundry from when he showered Monday night), the pantry door was open and stuff was everywhere.

But

The basement door was shut so no one got out and no one went to doggie-jail (thank gods because today is Payday and we wouldn’t have had the funds to bail them out yesterday).

Jamie spent his afternoon cleaning up the house while I was at work and a coworker and I were trying to figure out the best time to shut down the department so we could clean and have everything done by the time I was scheduled to be off.

This is my life. I have elderbulls who have apparently decided that life is now “no rules” and work is going to be chaotic due to restructuring and we’re all going to be dumped into this new extravaganza on Saturday, when my department will go from having 6 people to 4 and the new DM gets to figure out how we’re going to manage and stay open during the times corporate wants us to stay open. It’s going to be a fun two weeks of madness, that’s for sure (and then hopefully everything will be streamlined/better)

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Somewhere, something is going on

My unwritten goal for the blog was to update it more frequently than I had. Not like Scalzi level updating because I don’t think I could do that (in fact, I’m fairly sure I haven’t been able to do that since high school). But more on a “at least one to two times a week” kind of updating rota.

Yeah. This isn’t happening.

It’s like the whole “gonna update my comic tumblr twice a week.” Ha. I haven’t touched it in…a couple months or so. I don’t even know anymore.

So. Things. Things are happening.

My dad is still in the hospital, however he has been recently moved into a “normal” room so that’s a huge plus. He has physical therapy to help him re-learn how to use his left side, he’ll probably have to see a psychologist in order to help with the forced detox from addicting behaviors (smoking/drinking), but that probably won’t be until after he gets some speech therapy or something. I don’t know.

But, the staples are out of his head, he’s medicated, his boss is worried about him so that’s a plus. I have no idea how long he’ll be in the hospital, I have no idea if we’ll be rearranging the house in order for my parents to live with us. It’s an underlying stress that’s been going on for the past almost-month.

Jamie’s dad and step-mom came by yesterday to help with the house. They insisted and it helped because they brought a new door for the dog room (because of course I have dogs who will destroy a door), and while Jenny and I worked on doing inside cleaning, Jamie and Fred worked on fixing the part of our fence that was slowly falling down.

After they left, I went out in search of my glasses (because I lost them this past tuesday) and found them under the car after I’d been laying partially under the car and seeing a wall crab I’d never seen before (small wall crab with spindly black legs and a red body). I’d sighed and went “Anasazi, if you’re around, could you point me in the direction of my glasses? Because I’ve never seen one like that one before” (the wall crab) and sure enough, that little red-with-black legs wall crab walked over to where my glasses were.

I left out fruit in thanks.

I try to not bother gods because I like how Granny Weatherwax thinks of it: you acknowledge that they’re there, but there’s really no need to bring attention to yourself. I think it’s a good way to see it as: they’re there, sometimes they like to hear people say their names, and sometimes they like to be talked to or thanked. But, there’s really no reason to go out of your way to grab their attention because then you never know what’ll happen.

With my phobia, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Anasazi took a shine to me because he seems like the kind of person who likes to fuck with people for shits and giggles. It’s like dealing with Mercury/Hermes, who I think likes to remind people to stop taking life so seriously.

In a sense, it seems hilarious that jokester gods and story teller gods are my kind of gods. But hey, whatever works I guess.

I’ve been trying to work on writing a bit. I saw a submission call for a Halloween story, but there wasn’t any deadline at the time and I thought it’d be fun. While I doubt that I meet the deadline or anything like that, I think it’d be a lot of fun to write a Halloween story. It’s helping me stay away from the one story I was working on before my dad had his seizure/stroke/whatever it was. I’m not in the correct headspace for it.

I’ve got about 7 pages written in a notebook for the Halloween story and I’m just now getting my characters parked at the setting they need to be in for things to start going and out of the car. Hey, not bad. I mean, I could have probably prolonged it but that would’ve made it boring as hell. And, it’s only the first draft so who knows what’ll happen.

So it’s really weird knowing that I’m working on a horror Halloween story and now I’m getting smacked in the head with an idea for a pseudo folktale kind of thing. I guess maybe it’s a sign to take a break from horror and see where this idea goes before going back to horror and working on the Halloween story along with the one I had a dream about the other day (complete with watching myself write the story title down in the dream. super weird)

And lastly:

Still working on knitting. Woo. I like it. I’m enjoying making the shawls and I’m thinking that if I have another 500+ yd skein (not necessarily lace weight, but something between it and the “sport” weight I normally use. I have half a skein of what it is somewhere in my stash), I’m going to go for another idea and see how it works out.

I finished Super Hideous Texture shawl and, now that I’ve used it up, finished it, etc, it doesn’t feel as awful as it did when I was making it. The textures striped naturally and Jamie said that it would look so much cooler if there were more sparkly yarn interspersed throughout the yarn besides the just 2 or 3 spots that it was.

Now, I’m on a new shawl, using a pseudo chunky style yarn that I pulled apart 3 times and now I’m on tryout number 4 and the 4th try has come out pretty well and I’m happy with it. It’s not as tight as it was, and as I continue, it’s kinda fat so it’s fun to work with. I’m hoping I have enough yarn to get it done, but if I don’t then that’s ok too. I think I have another partial skein somewhere in the basement, so we’ll see what happens.

Stressss

Life is stressful, more so than normal. So a quick phone post.

Firefly has a busted lip from trying to break out of her crate because my neighbors decided that Friday night was perfect to start setting off fireworks.

Hobbes has an upset stomach

Bug has learned how to break out of her crate.

Halloween Story has gotten to where I’ve gotten my characters out of the car! And to the main setting they need to be! Success.

I haven’t touched it in like two days.

Some stuff has happened and I don’t want to go into detail. Let’s just say stresssssssss

Drawing has not happened

I am at like 60ish rows left for the Hideous Purple Shawl so woo.

Dogs are fine for the most part. Cats are still a pain. Faustus is extra lovey.

I am tired.

Getting angry

Yesterday, I’d decided that I’d work my way through Tales from the Lake, vol 4 (because it’s on my kindle and, since I currently can’t afford to buy it, I’m reading it through Kindle Unlimited) during my bus trip to work. I’d left earlier than my normal time so I could use that time to pick up a few things and shove them in Jamie’s car before I clocked in. However, by the time we’d reached one stop, I’d looked at the time and realized that we were not going to make the transfer time.

I put my kindle  in my backpack and just stared out the window, hoping I could make my transfer without having to have to wait for an hour. I didn’t think that I’d had enough money anyway for a new bus ticket (but I’d later find a quarter in my pocket, which is what I needed, so there’s that) and I didn’t have service on my phone because we were waiting for payday to buy a new phone cart.

I’d be stuck.

But, I held out hope and thought maybe we could make it. And then a train came though. The driver drove to the next street (why? I don’t know. the cross bars go down at like the same time) and then went up and around, to find that the train was still going. I resigned myself to my fate of being stuck, and the driver turned down another street and…almost hit a guy who was laying part way in the street.

Someone on the bus yelled “He’s drunk, just ignore him.” And I watched pedestrians just stare at the situation while the driver is using that phone thing they have to contact the supervisors to report this individual who looks to be dead asleep on the side of the road.

We got to the transfer area in time to watch the last handful of busses leave. The one I needed was gone and I just got super frustrated and walked into the waiting area to sit down. I found the quarter in my pocket, and realized I had enough money, tried to find an unlocked wifi signal to text Jamie that I’d be later than 11 like I’d initially planned, and pulled out a story I’d been working on in one of my notebooks.

I was so frustrated and angry, I ended up writing about 6.5 pages before my hand decided to swell up and go “nope.”

I managed to weird out a handful of people in the waiting area (because apparently people writing is never heard of or something). Got on the bus, used up the last bit of money and change cards I had, plopped my butt down, and mostly stared out into space before I realized the pen I’d stolen from Jamie was red and I’d been angrily writing part of a horror story in red ink and I got a kick out of it.

Got to work to find Jamie super concerned and that he’d been told to clock out and go home because he had too much overtime, so he got to leave early.

Life with dogs can be…I dunno, weird? Hectic? Make you resigned to a weird fate of life where you love these damn animals but also don’t want to yell at them for being stupid and trying to drink the mop water.

Hobbes broke out of his crate, probably spurned I’m by the girls escaping the dog room in order to lounge in the living room. And this resulted in him busting his nose up.

He’s fine, don’t let him fool you.

It was also probably Hobbes (because Bug only has evidence on her tail and back legs) who found that I am an idiot and left a can of cocoa powder on the counter. That cocoa powder is on his face, his paws, the back half of Bug, and smeared all over the dog room floor so it looks like someone had a really terrible accident.

Hobbes won’t let me wipe his face off so I can neosporin the scrape on his muzzle and has been doing nothing but giving me his Sad Dog look.

I love you, stupid dog. I wish you weren’t so hard headed sometimes.

Book Review: Alphabet Soup

I got to about “C” before I realized I should take down notes to do a quick book review for Alphabet Soup, but then decided I wasn’t going to go into detail like I did with Will Dalphin’s book (Don’t Look Away) and thought that a quick-n-dirty review would be fun.

Wow. Has it really been like a week since I posted? Bummer.

Anywho. Let’s have a quick-n-dirty review.

Alphabet Soup: Horror Stories for the Tormented Soul

This is a book collected/put together by Tobias Wade (Tobias Wade did 51 Sleepless Nights, which is a great collection)/P F McGrail (who writes the forward) and the art is by Taylor Tate. I love the art in this book. The entire collection is by different authors playing in roughly the same world.

A is for Addiction, by David Maloney – A guy meets an addict, becomes an addict, and winds up getting a dose of something he wasn’t after. I like how it goes from typical “dude winds up an addict” to something you’d find on an early season of NoSleep Podcast.

B is for Barnacle, by Mr Michael Squid – Northeastern town is hit with a hell of a storm when this old captain collapses in a sub shop, much to the dismay of the employees. Really fucked up The Thing kind of stuff happening throughout the story while you realize that the person who wrote it loves marine biology.

C is for Clairvoyance, by Ryan Cook – A person has a gift for seeing peoples’ past/future. He’s told to not do anything about it, but does it anyway, and, eventually, has to make a terrible decision. Fun story!

D is for Daniel, by DoverHawk – Alien Hand Syndrome mixed with Phantom Limb Syndrome. A terrifying concept that made me think of another story kind of like this one (instead of Phantom Limb Syndrome, the character with Alien Hand Syndrome ends up being taken over by it). It’s a quick gut punch of a story.

E is for Echo, by Tobias Wade – A teenager hears the last thoughts of people who have died in any given location. Unfortunately, they go to a nearby lake with classmates for ditch-day and get consumed by the noise. It’s a really neat story.

F is for Formaldehyde, by Kyle Alexander – A guy gets revenge on his neighbors for managing to kill his friendly neighbor upstairs with cigarette smoke. This is a fun story and I highly enjoyed it. It gives off that sweet, sweet revenge feeling.

G is for Gang, by Grant Butler – Weird shit’s going down in Pine Grove Mall and a young officer winds up witnessing it. At first, the story seems a bit lackluster, and then the farther you go into the book, the more you realize that everything’s connected and this story was the introductory build-up to more twisted shit.

H is for Hegemonic, by Rafael Marmol – Religious cult! Sacrifice to a Dead God! Creepy ass priest. Did I mention religious cult? This story is so close to what we know of religious cults in our real-world that the only thing that’s different is the fact that this one has some sort of god living in a sarcophagus. But, really, who’s to say that hasn’t happened in meat-space yet?

I is for Ideation, by Jack T Anderson – A stone tablet falls to Earth, causing a scientific study of it. The downside is, once they’re able to translate it, they can’t get it out of their heads. This was a really awesome story.

J is for Jackass, by Saint Entropy – A person is remembering their college roommate, Jeff, who was your typical self-righteous asshole. Until he disappeared after making a poorly timed joke to the wrong guy. It’s a good story and I like the simplicity of it.

K is for Kinky Serial Killers, by Bak Hayong – Pretty much what it says on the tin: a group of serial killers go out, kill evil bastards, and have an orgy afterwards. The leader of the murderers realizes that for every one they kill, three more pop up, and he’s decided who the last victim will be. Despite the name, it’s a pretty good story and I enjoyed it.

L is for Lunacy, by Chris Thompson – A person has landed on the moon (with a group) in order to colonize it while firmly believing they are the only sentient beings there. After the description of something akin to Geiger and The Thing, I Noped the fuck right out of the story.

M is for Mirror, by Jacob Mandeville – A cursed mirror turns a man’s world upside down. I enjoy mirror stories, despite not being much of a fan of them in real-life. It’s like if Through the Looking Glass and American McGee’s Alice were to meet and manipulate people into murder.

N is for Necrosis, by J Y – A kid is forced to grow up with their obese mother and, while trying to get away as fast as possible, winds up having to come home from college in order to care for her. Her back has started to necrotize and, well…let’s just say if you’ve ever read or listened to any of the narrations for William Dalphin’s Hunger, it’s…a bit like that. I was super grossed out. (but it was so well written!)

O is for Olivia, by Marni Sue – A woman goes from a terrible near-death experience to being able to murder people with psychokinesis! It’s super awesome.

P is for Prey, by Kaitlynn Cooney – A “step by step” guide in how to lure and kill people and frame the coworker you absolutely hate. This story cracked me up.

Q is for Quota, by Kelly Childress – A woman leaves a note for her former bosses, thanking them for their hospitality before telling them who she is and what she’d done. She found that while her family was cursed, she also got screwed with the cure for the curse. I don’t want to give it away, but it was really enjoyable.

R is for Romance, by Mikey Knutson – A woman hooks up with a guy and changes his life. Again, I don’t want to give the story away, but it was well done.

S is for Sable, by Noah Rex – A homeless man, trying to find somewhere to crash for the night, winds up on Sable Lane and regrets it instantly. Horror ensues, the artwork for the story helps you imagine the climax, and it was fun. I was kind of hoping for an Adam Nevill style ending, but it works out for later on in the book.

T is for Time Travel, by John Buffalo – A kid shows off his parents’ time machine to his new friends and learns why you don’t leave people in there. This reminded me of a story I read years ago in the Darkness Creeping anthology, so I highly enjoyed it.

U is for Undelivered, by Harrison Prince – Killer Klowns for Outer Space meets Christmas is the best description you’re going to get from me. And now I have a reason to find snowglobes creepy as fuck. It’s a great story though!

V is for Venom, by P F McGrail – A woman gets conned into using her psychic abilities to take him to where he needs to go by using a synthetic poison. It’s a fun story that reminds me of like an old movie or something.

W is for West Bale Path, by P F McGrail – A recurring character meets another past character and shows him all the sights at West Bale Path. Terrible things are shown, memories of previous stories are brought up, and it’s a fun little story.

X is for Xenophobia, by Claudia Winters – A teenager is in charge of their town’s militia until one of her team mates winds up killing a stranger. Terrible things ensue and we get a glimpse of a character previously mentioned, which I thought was pretty cool.

Y is for Your Match, by Kyle Burton – A woman is recounting her terrible date with a guy to her best friend. It reads exactly how it would if someone were recounting their evening. Bosch is mentioned, which was neat, and I like the breif mention of something else (but, if I say it, then it’s going to take from the story itself, which I don’t want to do). I liked the brief mention of the thing, but also kind of hated the narration style. I understand why it was written like that, and I think that’s great. Just not my thing overall.

& is for Ampersand, by Christopher Maxim – Also known as “If You See This Building,” which MCP narrated a few weeks back. I started reading it and realized “hey! I know this story!” and that’s why (I’d listened to the narration). Quantum Physics in a building sent out to destroy worlds/timelines. It’s pretty great.

Z is for Zodiac, by Alex Baran – The thrilling conclusion to the book that leaves us with more questions than answers and the fear of world domination. It’s wonderful.

Overall, it’s a great anthology and I’m glad to have gotten the experience of reading it. It is available on Amazon for kindle (currently available for free if you have kindle unlimited) as well as paperback ($9.99).

If you’re into horror, then you will probably enjoy this read. It’s also fairly quick.

Story Time: Fantasy

Very little editing and mostly word-for-word from the notebook it was written in. Editing be damned, coherency be damned, etc. This was brought on by an article I read recently.

Word count is 599 words (lol). I’m pleased with it, so let’s share it!

~*~

Title: Fantasy

 

I like watching them squirm in the first few moments of waking up in my care. Every single person wakes up differently. Some come to on their own, groaning a bit from the chemical-induced hangover, and slowly move their head. Some jerk awake, as if from a nightmare. Some only start to wake up after a soft knock on their head.

Normally, it takes them a few before they realize they’re taped to a chair, and this new one was no different.

“I hear you like fantasies.”

He can’t respond to me. I made sure the ball gag was tightly wedged in before wrapping the bright, hi-lighter pink duct tape around his head. Having his eyes widen, in fear or surprise, makes me want to do a happy little jig, but all I can do is smile. I can’t let him see me being too excited—that would ruin the fun.

“Y’know,” I started. “You’re a lot heavier than you look.”

He looks around, no doubt taking in the setting, and looks like he’s trying to keep his mounting panic in check. I’m not sure if he’s realized he’s only clad in a t-shirt and boxers.

The area’s not much to look at, built and kept sparse enough to look like an old work space. The floor was mostly dirt and the walls of the building look like they could collapse at any moment. A few lights are scattered around and here I am, sitting on an old metal stool beside a scarred, old table with a handful of things scattered on the surface that he can just barely make out.

“Only thing that can hear you is animals.”

His head shot back and he glares at me while my grin just gets bigger.

“Ok, I lie.”

His look of disbelief is enough.

“Anyone who hears your pathetic cries here won’t help you.”

I crack my knuckles, to give a few moments to let what I said sink in. there’s really no reason to give this guy any hope of help like I normally do.

“If anything, the only person who is probably going to hear you is Mike,” I pointing a thumb behind me.

“Keep me out of your villain talk, Maggie,” my brother grumbles and the glare from the guy I’ve brought is something I will cherish.

“I’m not the villain,” I purposefully turn away from my guest. “Think of me as The Punisher. A sort of vigilante justice.”

Mike snort-laughs, ruining my description.

“Frank Castle doesn’t need help dragging a pudgy Nazi into a car.”

I poke at my guest’s knee with a hammer, “you should feel bad about that comment. Not the Nazi part, though.”

I grabbed the hammer, damn. That’s the wrong tool. Where’s my boning knife?

Ah, there it is.

“You,” I point the tip of the knife towards his mid-section, “are a scourge.”

He makes a snort-grunt noise, as if to deny this.

“You have happily, and eagerly, stated your views on how women should be property,” I kneel to the left side of the chair. “You’ve stated your feelings and beliefs towards incest and rape.”

I think I’ll start with the top of the shoulder.

“You justify your actions by claiming women have rape fantasies,” the first cut is always the nicest. I get the best surprise noises.

“We’ll work on fantasies.”

I stop as I reach the elbow and stare at his face.

“My fantasy is to remove people life you.”

I don’t tell him Mike’s only here for his skin. His client is a huge fan of pasty flesh.