below the radar
monday, july 10, 2006



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it seems like it's been a quiet few days, but there's been things going on, just not a lot of activity. we're not running around like crazy or anything, but we have been doing things. not huge things, but things none the less.

this lack of activity doesn't really bother me -- it's been too damn hot to do much of anything, and our a/c sucks badly. it's been so bad that this current a/c (which is "new" from the last 2 years . . . the old having apparently died sometime over the last fall) reminds me way too much of the swamp coolers we had in cali. thing is, it's not the cooler making it humid, it's the constant cloudy weather heading moving through the area. only a few major storms, so the humidity keeps building up. and this cooler, it freezes up after being on for so long and has to be shut down for several hours or so before it will work again. while it's off, the heat and humidity build up, especially in the evenings. in cali, the hottest part of the day was something like between noon and 3 pm, give or take. out here it really warms up around 4 or 5 pm and doesn't start cooling off until around 8 or 9 pm. the only reason it bothers me at all, really, other than saxy getting crankier in the heat and humidity, is that it eats into my writing time. the a/c/ is sucking, the heat is sapping my energy and creativity dry, and i'm pretty much not motivated to do anything.

speaking of cranky, saxy is on a long haul working schedule. he usually tries to get a day off a week -- working too much longer than that is very hard on him. however, he worked through the weekend (with good pay as a result -- his next check will be quite impressive and finally get us out of the hole, at least temporarily) and works all this weekend as well. he's already showing signs of crankiness. by friday, we'll be ready to move out . . . or move him out . . . or something. he's not only getting extra hours with this job (which was supposed to be finished this weekend, but will end up being finished today), he's getting paid more per hour. something about it being a commercial job. while he's going to be pretty wiped out by the time the week is over, he's pretty pleased with the way his next paycheck looks and has plans to pick up one little thing for himself -- a really inexpensive ipod someone told him about from wal-mart. i won't argue it -- not after at least a 10-12 day work stint and the size that he's estimating the paycheck will be. i wouldn't mind getting one too, but i'm going to pay off the last of our utilities before the new bills make it in. we are finally going to replace a dvd that we had picked up awhile back from amazon but was a real mess when we finally tried to play it (a very rare occurrence -- and we would have returned it except it was over a month since we had bought it). i'll probably pick myself up a much cheaper than an ipod book with the dvd. ;)

miss thang seems to be getting her act together a little. she's been working around the house a bit more, trying to keep more of her cash by working off her rent and stuff. she did a fantab job on the stove, which has been nasty because of baked on stuff around the burners. she spent several hours getting up what she could. this is not to say we're not having any problems -- she still has an "entitled" attitude (her idea of asking to use my comp: "i need to do so-and-so today." like it's a given she can use my pc whenever she chooses). but at least she's realizing that she needs to cover her rear since a) the job hours aren't as fantastic as she had hoped; b) she has things she needs to take care of and pay for herself that have nothing to do with rent, utilities, or food; and c) she wants extra money so she can pick up fun stuff on occasion. her goal right now is to take care of her georgia i.d. and get a bank account to make this whole cashing the check thing easier on everyone. the i.d. is about $20 and she needs at least $50 for the account. and then there's her phone. as long as it's on verizon, she's ok. i think as long as her friends call her instead of vice versa, and she calls primarily those on verizon, she should be able to manage her funds for the phone better and not be spending $15 every 3 or 4 days.

as an interesting side note to the whole miss thang thing, one of her friend's mother called us to ask about her. apparently miss thang needed a place to stay after the 4th of july party she went to since it was ending at 11:30 and we lock up at 10. and we've made it clear to her, she's not in at 10 pm (with the exception of work -- she can't help the schedule and needs all the hours she can get) then she needs to find a place to stay. she had plans that fell through, so had called said friend to get a place, and they were going to be busy. she ended up calling the mom to ask about it and she and the mom had a discussion about listening to the rules. when that was done, the mom called us to find out what was up. being a mom of 4 or 5 kids herself, she knows there are 2 sides of every story and wanted to know what was going on, because the story she was getting from miss thang wasn't making much sense to her, and, as she noted to us, she had been seeing some not so good changes in miss thang's attitude over the past 6 months or so.

it was so nice to know that we aren't nuts. anyway, we clarified what was going on, corrected the lies and near lies she's been telling people as she blames us for her problems. this is nothing unexpected -- she's been blaming us for her lack of responsibility and other issues all along. it was really nice, though, to finally have a parent call us and ask what's been going on. the only other parent to call was one asking if she could stay the night. this was not a girl friend's house but a boy friend's house. the woman asked, i told her we didn't approve but it was miss thang's decision. most parents i've had contact with in the past would have turned to her and said, "your mother isn't too happy about this." this particular parent said to me, "well, i wanted to let you know that we're going to be here so nothing untoward will happen." i wanted to ask if she was planning to sleep in the same bed with one or the other to make sure of that, but refrained.

the only other thing, beyond the usual, that's been a pain has been my son. i think he's both a) feeling his teenage oats (he's going to be 14!) and b) reacting to the issues with miss thang. on top of that, she has no set schedule about when she'll be home or not, and it's messing him up, i think. he's not as rigid as he once was, but he's definitely got an affinity for things being predictable, and she's far from it right now. i've been trying to keep him in practice with his writing and reading and math, but he gets quite . . . difficult about it at times because we're not letting him hum and spin. we've also started having him work with a camera. when kitten was up here, he took a couple of pictures with her camera, and when miss thang had a photo project to do, he took a few with hers as well. what we noticed was that his pictures were pretty clear. so, now i'm trying to see if he might be interested in doing photography. i may add some of the images to his journal or even make a site to sell them for him. we'll see. the big problem is getting him to do something other than people and animals. we'll work on it though. he went through one camera (disposable) in one day, and started on the next one. the thing is to see if he's going to be consistent with it enough to get him a digital -- which dad has said he'll do if kiddo is interested.

speaking of boys in the house, i think we've also figured out vagner's problem. he's not sick, he's just being male. i'm not completely sure why, but i think the squatting wherever is his way of marking territory -- for some reason he doesn't know to lift the tale and spray. he yowls a lot, wants out a lot. but he's not been sick, he's eating well, he plays, he gets his pets. i can't think of anything other than all that male stuff kicking in for him that could be the cause of his strange behavior. if he were sick, he'd definitely be in a lot more trouble by now, if not already in the urgent care for pets.

beyond all that, we're just trying to keep cool. i've been trying to write, it's just been too hot. so, see . . . quiet, but not really quiet. just . . . below the radar, i guess.



word of the moment: creativity

imaginative ability: the ability to use the imagination to develop new and original ideas or things, especially in an artistic context


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