where it’s at


Oops. Well, I forget to post here for a bit. There was way too much life happening. Some of it had to do with the increasingly wayward child, some of it had to do with deadlines (most of them self-imposed), some of it had to do with other folks. During the last month or so, we’ve had to relocate for two days so that the complex could spray for bugs (seems to have worked), I’ve finalized the cover and contents of my book. somehow finagled renewing most of my web properties despite not having enough  money to do so (I spent the money on eating out during the two days we were in the hotel), and cooked a semi-gourmet meal damn near every night.

Did see the new pulmonologist. He spewed some hope, saying that there had to be some reason why the scarring in my lungs isn’t healing, and they’re not returning to full capacity. The last guy said that to, and tried to put me on the Atkins diet to fix it.

Wrong answer. I distrust fad diets, and, though I’m sure he had his reasons for recommending that (mostly having to do with my weight), I have my own reasons not to do it. We’ll talk about willful disobedience later. though, and in another context.

So I’m to do another round of X-Rays and Catscans, and we’ll see if the new doc can figure things out. Mind you, I’d love for him to actually do it. This existence is no fun whatsoever. I’d like to be able to run and jump and whatnot, or at least to get upstairs without panting. I wouldn’t mind losing a couple of pounds, but I’m not going to starve myself to do it. That would just make me overcompensate later.

Baby steps. I’ve lost 11 pounds in the last year. I’m trying to arrange to get to swim each day, and to have a ride back and forth, but I need now to wait for DES to return to full capacity and renew my benefits before I can submit the application.

The child needs to be added, and we’re all eligible for health insurance. Everyone needs physicals and general health maintenance, and my wife needs new teeth. We both need eye exams and glasses and who knows? maybe hearing aids.

One has to shout around here to be heard. We have fourteen parakeets, all of which are constantly talking back to the tv unless someone is playing music. They’re covered by a blanket 12 hours a day, but that only keeps them quiet in the late evening, when it’s dark.

Anyway, we’re awash in a sea of red ink, afloat on a bed of red tape, just trying to survive.

And we have the eight-year-old that acts like a female Damien, except for the parts involving the killing.Damien
The other night, she told my wife that she believes she is in a battle with us, and with a gleam in her eye, said “And I think I’ll win.”

Lovely. The child apparently thinks that she can persist in this behavior and either A) wear us down and get her way, which means doing what she wants, when she wants. She refuses to do this by actually following the rules we set down, which lead to the same thing. Or, B) she’ll get all the attention she wants because we’ll have to pay attention to her 24 hours a day.

I like C) Every time she acts up, she goes and stands in the corner. She’s quiet there and one doesn’t have to mind her. B) is operative when there’s homework, because she acts up principally because “I don’t like it.”

In other words, she’s a Tea Partier. She just wants disrupt, wihout a real endgame other than setting herself up as boss.

That she’s not capable of doing anything constructive when she gets to the top of the mountain is immaterial. It’s the climb that counts.

It must be frustrating, because she’s so transparent, and such a bad liar, that she gets caught before she’s even begun. We just wait for her to play her hand, and then hand out lectures and stuff. Cuz I like to lecture. I admit it. I start out mad, address the problem, and then segue into the “general bad behavior” mode.

This allows me to plant things in her head to think about. Thinking hard frustrates her. She doesn’t really know how to do it yet, how to solve a problem by connecting the dots, and I’m trying to teach her. It isn’t easy-she usually has to be led by the nose, and it’s a trip to watch her eyes light up when she “gets” the “Easter egg” that I’m hiding, when she figures out the trick.

I try to do this once a day. Just once. The child has no clue that this is a deliberate choice, a teaching tool. She hasn’t much abstract imagination. She cannot project herself into a situation, which is another thing we’re trying to teach her.

As a consequence, she has little or no empathy. She will unthinkingly be rude, or even nasty, offering cutting remarks as a matter of discourse, because those words don’t have any sting for her.

Two nights ago, she found a small bit of bread from some stuffing that the dishwasher had hurled, that had dried on the bottom of her favorite pink plastic drinking cup.

“This doesn’t look like it’s been washed at all,” she brays, brandishing the offending object, sticking it up under my nose.

I tell her she has no right to be so critical, and to go wash the cup herself if she isn’t happy with its condition. You know, want a job done right…

Everything is teaching.

Anyway, I have the book done. I ended up not using any beta readers at any point. I’m just waiting for a cash infusion to release it, and offer readers a fresh chance at Letters from Outside. It won’t be long. Here’s the cover:Crazytown Cover

Did/will send out a few ecopies for blurbs and impressions. Check your mailbox.
I have new tracks, both instrumentals waiting for vocals:Reverbnation. There’ll be more coming. Eventually I’ll get videos happening too.

Once the child has her guitar, and provided that the pain in my shoulder lessens some, we’ll start recording some of that stuff. I’ve also laid in a supply of percussion and wood instruments for us to embellish those creations with. I’m sure that’ll go a long way toward improving things, too, but it can’t be done before its time.

Everything involves cooperation. I hate having to force that lesson but we have to. The kid has just become defiant at every turn, and its become very unpleasant.

She’s on lockdown. It’s gotten that bad. No going out, no associating with her friends down the block that have fewer and different rules, at least until she can say “no” to things like that.

She will not do chores unless directed to. Anything she dislikes doing at all is ignored. She takes an hour to finish her food.

We’re not putting up with it any more.

It seems cruel, yeah. Drastic. Draconian.

But until we see extended cooperation, it stays this way. A little spirit is wonderful. Rebellious nihilism is to be discouraged.

Now if only we could put Ted Cruz in timeout, too.

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