pruclearwar: (pru.clear.warfare)
2016-03-15 07:07 pm

Today I Learned

that renter's insurance does not cover the emotional damages caused by the death of twenty-year-old house plants.

my grandmother passed away last year and left me all of her houseplants. some of them she'd had almost as long as I've been alive. I also had a peace lily from her funeral. i was told the lily would be very hard to kill.
 
it died last night.
 
five years ago, my friend Pat passed away and left me a dieffenbachia. it was a stringy thing with a single leaf. i nursed it into a six-feet tall monster that took over my bathroom.
 
it died last night as well.
 
when the Gibs and i started dating, i began re-building my vinyl collection, starting with the albums he bought me in Los Angeles.
 
last night, my entire collection was exposed to temperatures above 145*F for over twenty-four hours.




i noticed the first bite on Christmas Day. I didn't realise what it was at the time because, c'mon. It was just a bug bite. it itched and i scratched.

a week later, i had several more bites that weren't clearing up.
 
i found the culprit almost three weeks after that initial bite and i was floored.
 
you see, i'd seen bed bugs before. for three years i worked at a care facility for low-income mentally and physically disabled persons. it wasn't a full care facility; it was a non-profit struggling to meet the needs of the community on a shoestring budget, and despite everyone's best efforts, things like bed bugs happened.
 
the facility was quick to treat them. all employees were educated in how to identify the bugs and the best means of eradicating them before they really took hold, and we never had a re-infestation. they were always over six months apart.
 
i informed my apartment manager right away about what i'd found. to my knowledge, nothing was done at that time.
i took steps on my own.
 
i tore apart my apartment, laundering everything, steaming and treating my furniture, along my baseboards, everything. i didn't see any more for a week or so.
 
then our maintenance woman found several bugs in the communal laundry area. she also informed my apartment manager. by this time, two months had passed and the bugs had found their way back into my apartment.
 
i dumped my bed. my dresser, my nightstand, the entertainment stand in my livingroom, one of my living room chairs and an ottoman. i found where they were coming into my apartment and attempted to seal it. but it was too late. i was infested.

all this time i complained to my apartment manager about the infestation until finally she said she'd have a 'bug guy' come look.

he said he didn't find anything in my apartment.

i took her a container with all the live bugs i'd caught. it was gross. it was unsettling. she had an exterminator come round. everyone in the building was advised to take their animals away while the building was treated.
 
i began staying with the Gibs because sleeping in the apartment was giving me anxiety attacks. whenever i fell asleep i'd have nightmares about the bugs and wake up in a panic. i was sleeping less than two or three hours a night for weeks.
 
this last weekend i stayed at the Gibs' house and slept and enjoyed not worrying about bugs.

when I tried going home to grab some clothes, i was turned away. i was told that we were all informed that the building was being sealed and they were using the most effective means of extermination possible, as the entire building was infested. they were going to pump superheated air into the apartment, killing everything.

i was not informed.




i was not allowed in until this morning at nine a.m.

my apartment was a mess. they'd gone in and removed the sprinkler heads, for obvious reasons, but had knocked things off walls, kicked over furniture, etc.

the heat caused my oil paints to explode. my bottles of shampoo, cleaners, soaps, all swole and leaked everywhere.
and my plants.

all shriveled.

and dead.




in other news, I'm moving in with the Gibs.
pruclearwar: (pru.clear.warfare)
2015-03-12 12:56 am

I've Been Taking

melatonin an hour before bed every night for the last two weeks and for the first time in my life, I'm responding to it. I'm starting to actually feel sleepy at night, and with the right amount of diphenhydramine, I'm actually falling asleep! still only sleeping about five hours a night, but man! sleep!

one side effect I didn't anticipate is the dreaming! every night is an adventure!

it's still hard, too, trying to be diurnal when one job still asks me to work two NOC shifts a week. all together, I'm working about sixty-six hours a week. haven't had a day off in over a month and I could really use one, let me tell you.

in other news, the program Code Monkey and I are writing is almost ready to release to beta. so that's exciting.

my life is a lot of busy nothing.

pruclearwar: (pru.clear.warfare)
2015-03-05 01:08 pm

Last Night...

...I met a family with five girls in their teens to early twenties. An amazing, educated family raised without television and primary public education. We talked about vaccination and the social and economic impact of The Mermaid's Lagoon, the new strip club that opened out by the airport.

I got to take a walking tour of San Francisco. Took a ferry and saw rainbows in two waterspouts that formed on the bay. Was almost killed and summarily saved from drowning by an attractive actor of some note.

There may have been some snogging.

Got to mock a movie producer in a ramen shop while trying to remain inconspicuous in the international district. No one noticed I said 'no mice' when I meant 'no onion.'

Ran into the same actor at an event there. Wanted to snog but there was a dirth a privacy. Instead, verbally destroyed an NBA player for some jackass ableist comments he made.

then I woke up, got dressed, and went to work.

pruclearwar: (pru.clear.warfare)
2015-02-17 05:24 am

Sometimes It's Actual Pain

that keeps me up at night. usually it's just existential angst.

but I have scars (a lot of scars) across my shoulders, and sometimes, for no reason whatever, they hurt. like needles jabbed into the softest part of my flesh, they hurt so much that parts of my body spasm and seize and make anything that is not balling up in misery a task unthinkable.

I've been at my bed for three hours and each time I get close to slipping off to sleep, I'm stabbed with pain.

*sigh*

pruclearwar: (pru.clear.warfare)
2015-02-16 08:41 pm

Maison Rouge

Evangeline walked by the ruins of her great-great-great-great-grandfather's home almost every day the year she turned ten. At the time, though, she had little idea what a great-grandfather was, nor that she'd ever had one and that hers in particular had been one of the most famous pirates in the history of pirates and had once owned the entire island on which she and her family now lived. All she knew then was that she was hot and miserable, hated walking, and missed her old town where the air was usually cool and her old school where no-one laughed at the way she made her vowels.

pruclearwar: (pru.clear.warfare)
2014-07-03 04:44 am

I've Been Watering My Houseplants

whenever I feel a bit down lately.

to say they are flourishing is an understatement.

it's miraculous, in that I was born with a black thumb. it's genetic. I inherited from my mother, who inherited it from her mother, just like my essential tremor and my various and varied neuroses.

but I look at my plants and I marvel. especially when I recall that all these plants I now own came to me through death.

the death of a co-worker. a neighbour. a friend.

he was older, but not old enough. he walked with a hitch in his stride, but always with shoulders back and head high. we talked music, and books, and anachronism, and we drank until we couldn't, then a few more.

when he died, his family gave me all his houseplants.

what was I supposed to do with houseplants? I was barely home. I worked all the time and slept (some) of the time. I ignored them until they were brown and brittle. then I'd water them a little and they'd have a quick growth, then go brown and brittle again.

but soon enough, I started actually caring for them. I watered them (almost) regularly. I fertilised them once or twice.

now my apartment is full of plants. half a dozen bushy pothos (all from one), some succulents.

the most surprising, though, was the dieffenbachia. because it was dead when it came to me. one little leaf, bent over and trailing the ground. now it's taken over my bath room. I can't figure how to prune it and I'm afraid of being struck dumb. I fear it wants my soul.

long story short, i'm sad and I want a garden so i'm making a jungle in my apartment.
pruclearwar: (pru.clear.warfare)
2014-06-24 12:01 pm

Waking Up

at the normative equivalent of four a.m. usually precipitates some kind of mental/emotional crisis for me.

what can I say? I'm predictable like that.

this morning's crisis was brought about by my sheer ineptitude, re: being an adult.

thirty-three this year and still haven't been able to crack into that zen-like state of personal/professional balance i see so many do with such seeming ease. and I say this after returning from a nine day vacation. what even is my life that i complain about anything after such a long holiday?

i admit that i am a whinging whinger who whinges, but--

this is what i do at four a.m., after v little sleep, whilst facing a steaming pile of obligations, and feeling run-down because I don't eat right, or exercise enough.

*grumble, grumble, grumble*

*sigh*
pruclearwar: (Default)
2012-06-26 04:29 pm

It's Maybe a Little Late

at thirty to be thinking about what one wants to be when one grows up, but that's been pretty much all that has occupied my mind since the beginning of this year.

when i was eleven i wanted to be a marine biologist. at fourteen, an english teacher. by seventeen, i wanted to be a librarian.

i never managed any of those things. i never felt good enough, or smart enough, to be those things. so i never tried. you see, i have no focus. i'm easily distracted, moving from pursuit to pursuit. so now...

now i'm good at a lot of different things, but i still don't feel good enough at any one thing to be successful at it.

i feel sometimes that i've lived my whole life just riding along with the current, and sometimes... sometimes instead of rowing, i poke holes in my own boat.

i'm poking holes right now. and i still can't figure out why.
pruclearwar: (under.my.umbrella)
2012-06-01 01:30 pm

It's Only Been

about thirty minutes since you got in your truck and drove away (this time maybe for good, for real, for keeps). i'm back in my apartment, staring at the pile of half-read books by my bed.

i remember a conversation we had once. you said i'd find things (you said books, but we both know you meant life) easier if i just focused on one thing at a time.

i'm not ready to admit that you might be right.
pruclearwar: (under.my.umbrella)
2012-01-17 01:28 pm

I've Been Thinking

a lot about the time i lived in mexico as a child. it's strange. although i remember hating it at the time, when i think about it...

i loved the colors of mexico. i remembered the marbled reds and browns in the dried riverbeds south of my family's villa. i remember the brilliant greens of the foliage at the plaza. i remember once, we were traveling by train from chihuahua to mexico city, and the train passed over a lake. small as i was, from where i sat near the window, i could not see the train tracks. the sun was setting the sky on fire, and the lake was a perfect reflection. it was like flying through a cold fire.

i remember the tastes of mexico. some were good--some, not so much. i remember the frozen fruit popsicles we'd walk to the plaza and buy from the vendors there. i remember the sweet breads, the spiced teas. i remember the first (and last) time i ate horse-flesh. i remember begging pesos from my tia bertha so i could buy an orange soda at the corner shop and sitting in the shade outside, drinking it slowly so i could return the bottle for a deposit, which i would use for a piece of cacahuate mazapan, or a piece of candied mango coated in cayenne powder.

i remember how cold and clear the mornings were in the desert. i remember freezing while i bathed in the courtyard because, even though our villa was large, it was old, and there was no indoor plumbing. because of this, i also remember all of the stars i saw during late night trips to the outhouse. the sky was always so open. there was just so much of it, all the time.

i remember playing with the girls in the village--they taught me how to walk on my hands. i remember learning children's songs in spanish. i remember drying and grinding corn. i remember the first time i burned my fingers making tortillas.

i remember... a lot.

but i can't remember why i hated it.
pruclearwar: (Default)
2012-01-16 10:29 am

It's a Hard Thing

to know that there are people out there than can care more about one than one's own family.

it's a hard thing for me, i should say.

i grew up with the line, "family is everything. in the end, they're all you've got."

but i was the only member of my family that toed that line. i'm the only one that ever went to the mat, cut and bleeding, for it. to say i've sacrificed for my family is a serious understatement. but-

have sacrified. a lot. for people whose only claim to my compassion is that, by an accident of fate, we are fruit of the same stricken tree.

since i was a child i have been taking care of my family. i've been the big sister, the foster-mother, the financier, the counselor, the all-around go-to girl for an three generations of my family.

and i'm tired of it.

(wait, sorry, four generations.)

i'm trying not to be bitter. i know no good can come of being bitter. but i have only one life here, kids. and for the last thirty years (oh, god, i'm thirty--i've been doing this for thirty years) i have not done a thing in pursuit of my own happiness.

i am changing that.

my youngest sibling, my baby sister, became an adult recently. she moved out on her own; has her own place, her own life, and i'm happy for her.

my turn.

now, i know this isn't going to be an overnight thing. i know i have an uphill battle before me. i'm so conditioned to put others' needs before my own, that sometimes i forget that i even have needs.

but, by the grace of a coalescing Higgs field, i have friends. friends who care about me more than my own family does. these friends are good at holding the mirror for me. they've got steady hands and compassionate voices. i hope they understand how much i appreciate those things.
pruclearwar: (j.ftw)
2012-01-13 01:04 pm

I Am Getting Closer

to crying for myself for once.
pruclearwar: (j.ftw)
2011-08-13 06:23 pm

I Will Be Going

on a long journey soon, and i've been thinking a lot about the things that i will miss. i think that, most of all, i will miss my niece. we've been spending a lot of time together, and one of the things i've been doing to remember those times is directly transcribing some of our conversations (i hope to one day share them with her, maybe when she's much older). i'm sharing some highlights here, so i can access them later when i'm very far away.

DIRECTLY TRANSCRIBED CONVERSATIONS WITH A FOUR-YEAR-OLD: HIGHLIGHT REEL.

6/30/2011

Me: "Nevaeh, what're you doing?"
Nevaeh: "Nothing."
*rattling from the bedroom*
Me: "Did you lock the cat in the closet?"
Nevaeh: (defensively) "No!"
Me: "If I check and the cat is in the closet, you know you're going to be punished, right? So tell me the truth."
Nevaeh: "ALRIGHT! I put Jesse in the closet! Why do you have to be right all the time?!"

7/13/2011

Me: (putting away groceries) "What are you doing, Nevaeh?"
Nevaeh: "Nothing."
Me: (turning to check. She has taken all my belts, hooked them together, tied the strung of them to the table and stretched them across the living room) "What are you doing, Nevaeh? Are you trying to tear my house down?"
Nevaeh: "I'm making a zipline."

8/12/2011

Nevaeh: *sneezes*
Me: "Bless you."
Nevaeh: "Thank you. Why do we say 'bless you'?"
Me: "A long time ago, people thought your soul was in your breath, because when you stopped breathing, you died. They thought when you sneezed, your soul left your body, and by saying 'bless you,' people were asking God to put your soul back."
Nevaeh: *thinks for a moment* "God must not have put my soul back yet."
pruclearwar: (Default)
2011-06-05 06:06 am

It's Physically Possible, You Know

being heartbroken. it's not just some childish notion we bandy about. hearts can break. and you can see them breaking. you can see the soft face of love harden over with death. the heart's surface becomes mantled with jagged peaks and interminable valleys. hearts break so deeply that they create scars on your soul. a broken heart is fabric cut not cleanly. it's torn across the warp and weft. and you can hear a heart breaking. even the silence screams with the pain of a broken heart. it's a folding in of all sound, an audible black hole. listen! did you hear that?

it was my heart.
pruclearwar: (eight.wheeler)
2010-06-24 02:42 am

When Am I Going to Be

the person i'd imagined i'd be when i grew up?
pruclearwar: (under.my.umbrella)
2010-05-25 03:24 am

Why Are the Birds

awake at this hour? they must tuck in awful early.

my insomnia has stages, like grief. right now, i'm in denial. but i'm also in a train, following a track that may not have an end, but all along it are signs, and on the signs, WORDS -

You take a deep breath, and you commit to it. You open your mouth and out it spills. And suddenly, when you see it hanging out there - it looks so abandoned. It wants some one to hold it and accept it, but all the arms in the room are cold and stiff, and the soft nest you thought was waiting to be its home becomes a briar patch of rejection. Oh, suck it back in! Can’t you see it’s dying? A poor fledgling, barely about its wings. Scoop it up, save it! But it is too late. Gravity in the form of scorn overtakes it, and by the time you realize that it is doomed, it has already fallen stone dead upon the floor.

Love is a dove that leaps too early.

- and though i don't always know what the words mean, and though they are sometimes in languages i cannot understand, they always give me this queer feeling that they were put there for me; that they were written only with my eyes in mind.

so i commit them to heart. there's plenty of empty space there.
pruclearwar: (eight.wheeler)
2010-04-08 01:33 pm

I Have A Music Box

that i cannot sleep in the same room as. i know that sounds strange. i find it very strange myself.

the box is not much to look at. it's made from unpolished wood and painted gold, with a very simplistic design on the top. as is said, plain. even the interior is lackluster. there is no spinning ballerina, and the felting is a cheap, bright red. no, the part of this music box that causes me worry is the melody.

i know it sounds crazy, but the tune is creepy. i picked the box up at a flea market. when i first heard the song, i didn't think much of it. then i listened again. the tune sounded so familiar, and i liked it, so i bought it. now, i can't get it out of my head. and it's kind of unsettling. i wound it all the way up last night and listened to it over and over while i folded laundry, but when i was getting ready to sleep, i found i couldn't sleep with it in the room with me. so i moved it out to the livingroom. how irrational is that?
pruclearwar: (Default)
2010-03-27 01:33 am

It Seems Like

the most interesting things that come out of my head do so after i've been unconscious. i fell asleep writing again (i've been pounding away mercilessly at a particular story), and when i woke up --

i found myself staring into the eyes of a monster. he had the face of a boy no more than seventeen, all angles, with half sunken eyes of the clearest blue in a field of pure white, but his body was that of a crow, feathered and black and shining at the edges with iridescent greens, blues and purples. his body was enormous, and barely fit across the bed, stretching from end to end alongside me. his talons were scaled, dead looking things that clutched and clawed at the bedsheets.

i gasped when i saw him and attempted to jerk myself away, but i found i couldn't move.

"be still, vessel," he said, and his voice was thick and warm like liquid amber or honeyed milk, so that if i had closed my eyes, i might have forgotten the horror of his visage. "thou hast no harm to fear from me, unless thou choose unwisely."

here he spread his wings, and tucked into the feathers was a scroll painted with the scenes of my life, and under the day marked march thirty-sixth was an image of a wall, and in that wall, two great doors.

"i am the harbinger of thy destiny, vessel. heed my words, and all thy heart's desires will come to thee, but heed them not and thy doom will stretch from this life until the lives of a hundred men are spent."

then he plucked from his wing a single feather and placed it in my hand, its tip dripping with dark red ink. "the key to choosing is in this; thou must -- "

and then i woke up again, but to the sensation of pirsig pile driving me. she's gotten into the habit of just flopping down on me in the mornings, if i take to long to get up.

*sigh*

now i'll never know the key to earthly bliss.
pruclearwar: (a.dandelion.wish)
2010-03-21 07:23 pm

I Felt the Desire

to sit down and write as soon as I got home today. spending time with friends does that to me. especially when those friends are so bleeding creative.

unfortunately, i had too much to do to let myself indulge. i had to fix the fence in the backyard, take the dogs for a walk, tear through the garage to get all the patio furniture set out, then clean my living room. i did the first two right away, started the second and third, and my will faded. i decided i didn't really want to do anything. just sit and write. so now i am, and i am no longer inspired.

i did have a wonderful weekend, though. not having to work on the weekends is a wonderful thing. i drove with some friends up to sandpoint for a little theater and good times, and boy, there were some good times. i'm amazed each and every time i see these people, both onstage and off. they are the most dynamic group of individuals you can imagine, all so completely unique but all so similarly committed to each production they stage.

but talks were the highlight of the trip. the talks in the car on the way to sandpoint, the talks in sandpoint, and the talks on the way home. it was such perfect time, i really am dreading the start of the week.

but the rain is starting to come down pretty hard now, and i've got work to do. maybe i'll try to write something up later. i'd like to start posting little bits of a story that i'm working on. i think it's going to start flowing a little easier now that i've had some feedback on it. i'll cross my toes.
pruclearwar: (leg.o.literati)
2010-03-12 09:37 pm

I Told Myself

that i was going to finish writing SOMETHING by sunday, because, well, a girl needs goals. but i just haven't found that spark, yet. maybe tonight. maybe tomorrow.

i think i'm going to get out of these stuffy clothes, call some friends, and go be social. i really miss the girls from my bookclub. we haven't met in three months, because we've all been busy with other things. well, they've been busy.

i'm spending tomorrow with sam, i think. i hope the weather is good. i'm also going to try driving to sandpoint to see "lion in winter". at least, i hope to. it's difficult getting out of town, but i'd feel terrible if i didn't see it, after [livejournal.com profile] geminiwench spent so much time and effort doing all the costuming.

i have other reasons, too. every actor in that play is phenomenal. i've seen so many of their productions, and i've been pretty impressed. for some reason, i find their shows much more accessible, too. i definitely enjoy it more than the theater i've seen here in town.

but, i think for tonight, i'm going to go have some coffee with some old friends.