SO THIS IS WHAT SHELLSHOCK FEELS LIKE.

I now have a phone and internet access at work. I also spent over 2 hours today watching the video from the focus group–my main goal was to pull relevant quotes out, which I accomplished, so now tomorrow I can draft the report, maybe. It also looks like I may be accompanying BossMan to Nebraska City a couple of evenings over the next few weeks to help out with focus groups there, too. We’ll see about that. If so, though, that means comp time for Natalie.

Our across-the-hall neighbor got yet another package that was left with us; I took it over a little while ago, and he opened it up and said there was a little something in there for us, in appreciation. I’m assuming he meant in appreciation of us holding his packages for him, which is no big deal at all. At any rate, he bought us a cat toy–specifically, one of those laser pointer things. Peaby, so far, is not impressed. He’s much happier with his new cat brush. With the amount of hair coming off him, it’s amazing that there is any cat under there.

Messed around with Access at lot today–that is one evil, evil, evil program. God. It shouldn’t be so difficult to create a report that pulls two fields of data from two tables. As it is, it’s like I have to create ten bazillion queries, and all sorts of other things just so I can have a report with four pieces of data on it. [insert picture of Natalie banging head against wall or desk here]

Prufrock is off teaching right now; I’ve decided that I’m going to change my Weight Watchers meeting to Saturday mornings for the duration of him teaching Wednesday nights–I think I will have to switch to the center on the south side of town, though. I just cannot deal with the woman who does the Saturday morning meetings at my regular center.

AN HOUR OR SO LATER…

Just got off the phone with various family members. My father left my stepmother on Tuesday, leaving her a note saying he wanted out of the marriage and that he would contact her via email in a month. Upon further investigation, I find out from my cousin Kristine that he has gone to Russia. To visit one of his Internet chippies who is younger than I am, but who he sees as daughters, I presume. Right. Kristine has instruction to hit him upside the head when he gets back. She said he appeared sane, but preoccupied. My stepmother seems to be holding up well,a nd indicated to me that things had been deteriorating since about last June, which was basically the last time he worked. He left the dog behind, and she’s 12 years old. I told Chris that I would drive out there to get the dog if no one else was able to take her because I would be damned if she was going to be put down because no one would want her. I can have a dog here, and while it’s not really fair to a dog to confine one to an apartment, if that is what I have to do, that’s what I have to do.

My father is a fucking lunatic.

And with that, I’m done for the moment. I’m feeling rather shellshocked and I can’t seem to stop shaking. And I feel like I’m going to cry at any moment.

MY FATHER, THE FUCKWIT

So, there is no news in the ongoing soap opera that my life seems to have become, but I have been thinking a lot.

My father must have been really unhappy with his life to throw it away like he did. I don’t think his “friendships” with these women are the problem, I suspect they are merely a symptom of the problem. And what that is, I don’t know. I do know that he hasn’t really worked since last June; not sure if that is because of not being able to get anything, or not wanting to get anything (the last few years he’s been a consultant type person). But all this seems to have come to a head since then. First the Romania thing, and now this.

You don’t deal with a problem in a relationship by running away. Marriage is a partnership, and if your’e unhappy or dissatisfied, it’s hardly fair to your partner to just up and run away. It’s downright cowardly, in fact. But it’s also very much a Luhrs trait–we don’t talk about anything. Just sweep it under the rug until it’s forgotten.

And the last thing I’ve been thinking about is rather selfish: there is nothing I can do now that would ever cause my father to get on my case ever again. This is a million times worse than anything my sister did, during her rebellious phase. I feel like I have the moral high ground. My life and my relationships aren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but at least I can communicate with the people in my life, and feel secure enough in myself and in the relationship(s).

STORM AND SKATING

Well, we’re in the midst of a lovely storm that has caused the state patrol to close the interstate (we only have one interstate here, by the way) and power/cable outages all evening. Cut out while I was using the computer a number of hours ago, and when I went to turn it back on a while ago, it wouldn’t. We ended up having to totally unplug everything from it, unplug it from the power strip and hook everything up again. And then we accidentally put the speakers into the wrong port (microphone instead of sound in), so I was worried we’d friend our sound card. But we didn’t, and I am listening to Ani right now. And it appears that we have an ethernet card (there is a dataport below the modem), so if we ever can afford DSL or cable modem, we won’t have to buy that.

Watched the Olympics tonight–the skating coverage was horrible. They only showed about 10 couples–the top ones, of course, and all the Americans, and two token other teams: a really bad team from Uzbekistan (because the woman was skating on a broken foot and was a great example of the Olympic Spirit ™), and a somewhat promising team from China who had great throw jumps, but their unison and spins were off, and their artistry needs a lot of work, too. And we won’t talk about the woman’s hair. I have a schedule of the rest of the skating, and I’ll proibably watch it, but if it’s all as sucky as tonight’s was, I’m going to be very unhappy. At least there was no Dick Button ragging on ugly layback positions or bitching about skaters who aren’t as graceful or as flexible as he wants them to be. I don’t care how old he is, or how scrambled his brains are from that fall last year, there is no reason to flat out insult the skaters.

I can hear the wind howling outside. Blahsuck.

SURPRISINGLY PRODUCTIVE

I have an inexplicable headache, so this will be rather short.

I finished The Eyre Affair this evening–it was utterly fabulous. Everyone needs to go get this book.

Watches some Olympics, and I’ll probably watch some more later–saw Kelly Clark win the women’s halfpipe, and it was great to see someone so normal looking win a gold medal. Ever notice that there are no ugly female figure skaters? I wonder why that is…

Ventured out over a sheet of ice to the grocery store, where I successfully captured the wild hot dog, paczki, chips, and roll of quarters.

My other task today was to tackle my personal Mount Laundry, which went smoothly until I went to put the last load into the drier–the washer had somehow managed to break itself and it was still full of rinse water. I had to fish out the towels, wring them so they weren’t dripping, and it took three hours to dry two bath towels, a hand towel, and a microfiber turban thing that I use for my hair (like one of those Turbie Twist things, but not from TV–got it at BAth & Body Works for way too much money).

And as for tomorrow, I work a full day and then I think I’m going to go with BossMan to Nebraska City to help him out with a couple of focus groups–and then I’ll be able to take half a day on Friday.

Ani tickets go on sale tomorrow! Noon via the website, and 11 am at the venue. Woohoo!

BUMMER

First things first: Sale and Pelletier were fucking ROBBED. They were so much better than Berezhnaya and whatever the fuck her partner’s name were. S&P skated cleanly, artistically, and with emotion. B&S just kind of ran through their program without any emotion and made FOUR mistakes. Stupid fucking crackhead judges. I don’t care that Berezhnaya got her fucking head sliced open 5 years ago by her old partner and almost died. I don’t care that the judges seem to think that Russians have to always win. Can’t they TRY to be a little objective for once in their lives?

Oh, I forgot. This is figure skating.

In other news, that headache I went to bed with last night got worse over the course of the night and was damnnear unbearable this morning, so I used my lone sick day and spent all morning in bed. I was really bummed, because I really wanted to go help with the focus groups in Nebraska City. I do know that if I had gone in this morning, with a headache, even if I was medicated, it wouldn’t have gotten better in time to do the focus groups. So I know in the grand scheme of things, staying home was the right thing to do, but I still feel bummed out about it.

I did get the Ani tickets bought, though.

souljacker

I walked twice tonight; once during the last light of day, when the sky was grey and spitting the first rain on my skin, and the wind whipped my long coat around me.
I swung back home at the behest of the body, emptied salts and Saturnic oils into the bathtub – along with scalding hot water – and relaxed in t-T for a while, with the bathroom window open to let me hear the motion of the storm outside. When it had whipped itself back up again, and the trees were definitely threatening to host rain along with the wind, I tossed the Exalted ‘Lunars’ sourcebook well clear of the tub and raised myself up, streaming water, to shiver in the short wind coming through the window.
I went for this second walk, pulled my hair loose in the spirit of drama, and once again my wind threw the coat around me, drew my hair up in a cloud, as I tried to get to the highway quickly enough to see a clear path to the west for the last aspect of the setting sun. [I lost that race. But won others.]

too rich or too poor

In the middle of labouriously flaming Trudeau’s government for the flq crisis, let me take this opportunity to point you to the most inane piece of legislation our government has seen fit to enact since a headtax on the Chinese, or the wholesale extermination of the First Nations [and you may already know how I feel about that]: gun registration

What lobotomized jackass came up with this in committee? No, really? Who sat around a table and thought, you know, I bet criminals are just dying to register their guns…?

You know, I try not to think about potential crime any more than I have to, but I’m willing to bet the pot on the fact that most violent criminals probably aren’t going to register their weapons. Just a hunch, just a theory, just a thought, but could it possibly be that criminals are marginally more intelligent than the people who made this legislation, and therefore will not go out and tell you that they own a deadly weapon before they use it on someone else? Or are Canadian criminals even of a higher order of morality, all secretly dying to be upright citizens about the brutal murders they commit?

Speak to your drug dealers, your pimps, your psychopaths today, women and men of Canada – convince their gentle souls that gun registration is really working for them by taking up a billion dollars of federal money which could be better used in some pursuit of justice. Convince them to register that submachine gun, that 9mm sitting out on the kitchen table – let not that Uzi go untagged! The effectiveness of this in entirety depends on your efforts.

won’t you come

Though despite my best intentions, I also support heavy gun restriction – though you’d really have to look at where the weapons are coming from for violent criminals in Canada. Are they buying today’s stylish assault rifle at Wal-Mart, or smuggling them in from the international market? If most guns used in crimes are purchased from within the country – legally purchased, at least originally – then it follows that restricting the sale of those weapons would assist in reducing the number of guns available to the general criminal population, and also fulfills the basic function of law in democratic society; a free society needs a reason to make something illegal, instead of a reason to make something legal. [Presumably fewer submachine guns in the hands of the disenfranchised is a good reason. That depends on whether or not you're one of them.]
But it fights against my intrinsic principles of minimal government intervention in our lives. After all, it’s an arbitrary line – between gun control and seatbelts and gay marriage and civil rights…

I’m not convinced that the benefits of gun control entirely outweigh the detrimental effect of trusting the government to know what’s best for us. That implication makes me twitch every time.

a snake’s sense of boredom

I look over towards ‘Gana, I see she’s stretched out full-length across her cage with her head perfectly tilted towards me –

And she is yawning as only snakes yawn, with the top jaw and the bottom jaw becoming one straight line, and she holds that there for a moment, and then snaps her jaw shut with a glare. She’s hungry, she says. I know, I say, but I’m not defrosting that rat for you right now.

Which reminds me. I dreamed of an amethystine viper with wide, intelligent eyes, which tried to bite me repeatedly until I broke its neck with my bare hands.

my god, I’m finally done

On October 5, 1970, the Front de Liberation Quebecois threw Canada into chaos with the expedient furthering of their agenda via the kidnap of the British trade commissioner, James Cross; with that one blow, a provincial terrorist movement tore a hole in the centre of Canada’s internal security and intrinsic self-assurance with the eventual result of the invocation of the War Measures Act by Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Like fictional occult invocations, this too was a long and complex piece of law, ill-understood by any except its authors; also like those fictional invocations, the Act had ramifications which lasted past the endurance of the FLQ crisis, and posed profound questions about the foundation of the country which it allegedly was called upon to protect. Could Canada truly be called any form of democracy with this fascist shadow lurking deep within the most codified law in the nation? Was Trudeau justified in bringing the Act to bear in order to quickly suppress these “terrorists” – and where would the line have been drawn then? Now? We must look to the history of the situation first, in order to better draw experience as the participants must have done.