Saturday, March 22, 2008

1737 Asked and answered

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Having read and reread my post about the woman whose actions I don't understand, I think I've finally figured it out. Knowing her the way I do it should have been obvious.

I have been the recipient of her accusations in the past. I know how nasty and unreasonable she can get, and how difficult it is for her to admit when she had been mistaken.

During the time that she thought the odor problem was caused by George, I have no doubt that she was extremely nasty to him. (I mean shrieking nasty things, biting and stabbing, constantly.) I'll bet she has totally destroyed their relationship. Now that she has discovered that it probably was not his fault, it is impossible for her to go to him and beg his forgiveness. Even though the odor was not his fault, in her mind he WAS at fault for for "causing" her to go off the beam. She can't apologise, she can't face her own fault, she feels bad every time she sees him, therefore she has to get rid of him. It's the only way to make it all go away.

Yeah, that's nuts. But that is very much her. And that's why, even though when everything is going her way and she's not freaking out she's a load of fun, I can't be in her line of fire any more. Just can't do it.


I went to the recycle center this morning, and it was the first time in at least a year that I wasn't ankle deep in mud.

I took five grocery bags of paper, three garbage bags of mixed glass, plastic, and metal, and an 18 inch stack of flattened corrugated cardboard. I can move in my kitchen again.

1736 Shall We Dance?

The election results:

You have to watch this twice - once for the video, and again for the banners across the bottom of the screen.

Friday, March 21, 2008

1735 Karaoke Cuddles

Friday, March 21, 2008

Last night I met my guy halfway again. We went to dinner and karaoke, at a place we'd been twice before. This time, the sound system was much better, there was a pretty big crowd, some very good singers, and most of the folks who got up weren't the "I want to be discovered" type - they were there to have fun with it, and it turned into almost a sing-along.

We ended up staying a lot longer than we'd planned, and probably would have stayed longer if a drunken man hadn't decided he wanted to do a duet with my guy, who has trouble telling people to bug off. The man wouldn't leave us alone, so we left. Which was a good idea anyway, because he had to go to work today.

Odd, the same thing happened two weeks ago at karaoke, the night he reluctantly won the contest, except that time it was a drunken woman, who, in addition to badgering him for a duet, invited him to go home with her. Right in front of me. Ho hum.

That sort of thing was unlikely to have happened last night. The woman making a pass, I mean. We were sitting (I was sitting, he was standing) at a short "L" at the end of the bar closest to the karaoke system, and as the place got more and more crowded, we got more and more squished. It was so loud we had to speak directly into each other's ear, and, well, we displayed a lot more affection than is usual for us in public. I don't think anyone would have mistaken us for anything less than intimate.

I'm a little selfconscious about that now.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

1734 I Don't Understand People

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm going to write about a friend here. I said I wasn't going to do that any more, but this thing has me reeling. I don't understand her logic. I don't understand why she is reacting the way she is, and I don't care if this gets back to her somehow, because maybe then she'll understand why I had to pull away from her a few months ago, and am resisting getting involved with her again.

Background facts: She's on disability, and works part time jobs, which means money is always an issue. About a year ago she almost lost her house because she was without housemate and couldn't make the mortgage payments. She rents the second bedroom, sharing the kitchen and bathroom, and has had some miserable tenants over the past few years.

Last spring, George, a newly-divorced construction worker, moved in, saving her from foreclosure, and George has proven to be an asset. He volunteers handyman work on the house, is quiet and sober, is a gourmet cook, often treating her to dinners, and always pays the rent on time. He's a nice and accommodating guy, and she needs the rent money. He even arranges to be out of the house when her boyfriend visits, without complaint. Perfection, right?

Over the past few weeks, an odor has appeared and grown, emanating from his bedroom, and spreading to her bedroom. She says he doesn't smell it, and isn't bothered by it, but it bothers her so much she has been sleeping on the couch downstairs. She said it smells "sort of like old gym socks". She accused him of being unclean, and freaked when she discovered that his comforter hadn't been laundered since he'd moved in. She took it to a commercial washer and washed it herself, but the odor didn't go away. In fact, it got worse.

She has been after George to figure it out and fix it. I know her well enough to feel sorry for George. She says that he is now avoiding her, and refuses to discuss the problem further. They have stopped speaking. She's furious about having to sleep on the couch because she can't stand the odor upstairs.

I suggested that it may not be George. It's an old house, and she's had some serious roof gutter problems. Perhaps melting ice had gotten into the walls and it was mold. From her description of the odor, it sounded to me like mold.

So, I got a call from her last night. She went into George's room after our last discussion, lifted the rug in one corner, and found mold, on the floor and on the underside of the carpet. She thinks George had left a pile of wet towels there. (I am not convinced it was George's fault - it could still be coming from the wall, but I didn't say anything.) She found some stuff in the hardware store to fix mold problems. She thinks she can get rid of the mold and the odor.

However, here's the part that has my head spinning. She is going to kick George out, give him his two month's notice, on Easter Sunday.

I asked why, and she said because she can't continue sleeping on the couch any longer. I asked why not just clean George's room, and let him stay. "You're between jobs, you need the rent, he's been a great housemate, it's not like he did anything on purpose, if it was towels, he'll never do that again, and if it turns out to be a problem in the wall and you can't get rid of the odor, you'll have great difficulty renting the room to anyone else, and the odor doesn't bother him, so why throw him out?"

Her answer, "Because I can't sleep on the couch any longer."


There's some kind of logical disconnect there.

I pointed out that to get her back into her bedroom, she'll have to treat his room. She says she can't do that while he's living there.
"Why not?"
"Because everything he owns is in that room. He's got so much stuff."
"Why can't you just move his stuff out into the hall or whatever?"
"There's too much. He has to be out."
"But if you wait until he's out, and he'll be there for two more months, you'll be on the couch for two more months, at least. And then there's no assurance that you'll be able to re-rent the room, depending on whether the treatment works. If you move his stuff out temporarily and treat the room, you'll be better off."
Her response? "He has to get out. I can't sleep on the couch any longer."

I do not understand. I just don't get it.


Maybe her paranoia is rubbing off on me. I told her last December that I didn't want to "be pals" with her any more because I was tired of her going off on me and mistreating me, and taking advantage of me. I told her I was not going to put myself in her line of fire any more. And so far, I've stuck with that. We are pleasant when we meet, and that's it.

Now, she KNOWS if she kicks George out, she's going to have big financial problems.

She also knows I have money.

Last Sunday, at Green Eggs and Ham, she mentioned to me that as she's job hunting with little success, she's currently living on her tiny savings. She's three years younger than I, and has no family. Her house is her retirement plan.

I have a feeling that in a month or two, I'm going to have to be very strong. Yes, I do donate to charities, and I can be very generous with my friends, but if she insists on digging this hole on purpose, I have to let her fall in it, even if she loses her house. It's her fate, and her lesson to learn.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

1733 Food Prices

As if we need something else to worry about.

Food prices are going up all over the world, because of shortages in (particularly) grain, and because of increased populations without the commensurate increase in farmland. There's an article about the bread shortage in Egypt at Links to further articles are on the right of that page.

1732 Lyrics - Name That Tune

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Anyone can recognize well-known songs when they read the lyrics, right? Maybe not. Depends on how they're arranged.

At and_great_lyrics_quiz_rock_roll_the.php, Matthew Baldwin has rearranged the words of lyrics into alphabetical order. Can you name that tune now?

I was a bit surprised that some of the songs I love had so few words.

Later: I got only 1, 9, 17, 18, 19, 23, 28, 33, and 50, and in almost every case it was on the basis of one unusual word.


A small annoyance - on one of the reality shows, the 20-somethings are misusing a phrase and it's driving me slowly crazy.

When they decide that one of the people is acting immaturely, they say "That's child's play."

That's not what it means! When you call something "child's play", that means it's EASY to do! It does not indicate immaturity. What they mean is "That's childish."

I guess that word is just too big for them.


1731 Crane Collapse

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A crane collapsed in NYC a few days ago, killing and injuring some people, and destroying some buildings. I was curious about the engineering aspects - how are cranes kept up? Seems like their natural tendency would be to fall, so there must be counterweights or something.

Bob Arihood has some good photos and an explanation I can understand over at "Neither More Nor Less". Quite interesting, actually.

Monday, March 17, 2008

1730 Cool! I Want a Horsefly Too!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wow! This is so cool! And amazing! I want one for my next camping trip. I wonder if one could ride it? Could something like this replace wheelchairs?

It's a walking cargo robot. Turn the sound down, though. It looks like a fly, so they've added a buzzing sound that's very annoying. Notice how it catches itself when it slips. At the end, when they have it leaping and kicking, it looks just like a young horse.


Jay was always fascinated by walking robots. He'd have loved this.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

1729 Green Eggs

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Today we celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday (which happens to fall conveniently close to St. Patrick's Day). We had the ceremonial reading of "Green Eggs and Ham", and ate green eggs (scrambled, with food coloring) and ham, and lots of other yummy things, and drank champagne.

This is the single most beloved and best attended of the local Mensa activities. It's been an annual event for almost 25 years, and the only years I've missed it were the year Jay died, and the year following.

In honor of the day, I wore a green sari. In honor of the past week, there were many prostitute jokes.

"How do you slow down a fast prostitute?"
"Put a governor on her."
And so on.