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Vacation Stories [Aug. 17th, 2009|10:47 am]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |home]
[mood |wistful]
[music |Sweet's Song - Once more with feeling]

I have a four year old niece, who is named Molly, but who I refer to as "The Cutest Niece In the World", or TCNITW, for short.  I was able to spend a great deal of time with her on my last vacation, and like anyone that old, the things that come out of her mouth are both amazing and amusing, so I thought I'd share a couple.

Scenario One: Everyone is in the living room; I am being antisocial in the bedroom, playing my DS (because they are talking about farming techniques or something else that would bore the crap out of me). TCNITW comes in and after asking me a few intelligent questions about my DS and the game I'm playing says I should come into the living room with her.  I tell her to go ahead, and save my game, shut down my DS and enter the living room

TCNITW (taking my hand): C'mon, we need to have a private talk.  (takes me down a flight of stairs, and sits me on the landing).  Now, we need to talk.  Why didn't you come into the living room when I wanted you to come into the living room?

(At this point, someone makes to come downstairs)  TCNITW: Excuse me, we're having a private conversation here.  (person withdraws, chuckling)

Me: Well, I had to save my game, and turn off my DS to save the battery.

TCNITW: Well, you could've done that in the living room.  I wanted you to come into the living room WITH me!

Me: Well, that's not what you said, I'm not a mind reader, you know.

She's four, folks!  I hadn't anticipated needing to have the "I'm not a mind reader"  conversation with her for at least another decade.

Scenario Two: TCNITW is playing in her pool while I supervise.  Her friend from next door comes over, a charming little 7 year old girl with an unfortunate name (which, not being family I don't really feel it would be ok to repeat, so she will be referred to as NDN) who I had met the previous year on vacation.

Me: Hello, NDN, remember me?

NDN: Uh-huh. How are you?

Me: I'm fine, thanks.

TCNITW: Do you remember Jessie? She's inside.  (She turns to me) What's Jessie doing?

Me: Well, honey, Jessie is balancing our checkbook

TCNITW (turns back to NDN): She's balancing on a checkbook!

Two of my vacation highlights.  She really is an amazing little girl.  I wish I could be more involved in her life.
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Single Payer Health Care now! [Jun. 4th, 2009|11:40 pm]
[Current Location |home]
[mood |angryangry]

Dear DentalWorks-

  While I appreciate the wonderful work you did on my wife a year ago, the reason you have not been paid is that your billing department apparently consists of a bunch of monkeys at typewriters.

I have repeatedly given you both the correct group and ID #'s for the policy my wife is on; I have verified that the procedures she underwent are covered (something the nurse who performed said procedure did with a simple phone call, but your billing department has been unable to do for nearly a year); Hell, I've even gotten a fax number for you to directly fax the claims to the insurance company -a number which you refused by the way.  And yet, my insurance company has no record of a correctly filed claim by you. Ever.

Now, you have the  nerve to tell my my bill is overdue and if you do not receive payment in full within 15 days, you will send my account to collections?  When the sole reason you haven't been paid is because of your own monumental incompetence? MASSIVE FAIL.

I will not be paying you a dime until the bill gets properly processed through my insurance company, and frankly, I think you should eat whatever my insurance doesn't cover for the effort I've put in attempting to do your job for you in the 11 months since my wife had her teeth fixed.  And the only reason it took 11 months seems to be because you choose to hire idiots.


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I haz a sad. [Mar. 30th, 2009|10:36 am]
[Current Location |Old Apartment]
[mood |irateirate]
[music |Superman-Eminem]

Quick Summary: moving to a new apartment. Must be out of old place by today (despite having paid til April 1 *grr*), yet cable at new place cannot be hooked up till Thursday.

So, I will be off the grid for the next two days.  Will peek in from work, but comments will be limited.  Big Brother is watching, after all.

More details later.

Pray for me.

P.S.  Monsters vs Aliens is pretty good. Thumbs up!
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Etiquette Question [Dec. 28th, 2008|04:22 pm]
[Current Location |Home]
[mood |irritatedirritated]
[music |Not Another Teen Movie]

Here's the situation: I got a bunch of 'puter upgrades for Christmas that I have NO idea how to install (I'm a software guy, not a hardware guy).  A friend offered to come over 'sometime this afternoon' and help me install them.  When it hit 2pm and he hadn't showed, I called his cell and was told 'Oh, yeah, I just gotta pick up the baby from the grandparents and get some lunch and I'll be right over.".

That was 2 hours ago, and still no sign of him.  At what point can I call and ream him out without looking like an asshat?

Keep in mind that it is our anniversary, and while our plans are flexible, we do in fact, have plans.

ETA: Naturally, he shows up about 30 seconds after I post this, and all upgrades are installed and all is well.
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Because it can't be said often enough [Oct. 30th, 2008|01:20 am]
[Current Location |Home]
[mood |aggravatedaggravated]
[music |Pushing Daisies theme]

Copy this sentence into your LiveJournal if you're in a heterosexual marriage, and you don't want it "protected" by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.

You want to see a wingnut's head explode? Ask them to provide concrete, specific examples of how the loving marriage of two people they don't know in a state they'll never get to hurts their marriage. Not society in general, not with biblical quotes, but concrete evidence of how THEIR marriage is hurt.  You won't get an actual answer (because there isn't one) but the show alone is worth asking the question for.
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Music meme [Sep. 22nd, 2008|11:11 pm]
[Current Location |Home]
[mood |sleepysleepy]
[music |"Duel Duet" - Shock Treatment]

Nicked from bzzinglikeneon 
- Put your music player on random.
- Post the first line from the first 32 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing the song.
- Let everyone guess what song and artist the lines come from.
- Bold the songs when someone guesses correctly.
- Looking them up on Google or any other search engine is CHEATING!

1. I'm on my second drink
2. Try not to get worried, try not to turn on to
3. I only want to say, if there is a way
4. This world will never be what I expected
5. Meet you downstairs in the bar and heard
6. I used to rule the world
7. If I were a mockingbird
8. The little things you do to me
9. Well I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday
10. Cinderella's on her bedroom floor
11. It's been, it's been, it's been, it's been
12. Take time to realize
13. Anything's hard to change
14. Hello world, hope you're listening
15. When I find myself in times of trouble
16. They tried to make me go to rehab
17. Closed off from love, I didn't need the pain
18. Each day through my window
19. I closed both blinds below the window
20. Everybody's brother, everybody's lover
21. Her hair is hollow gold
22. Hey now don't make a sound
23. There'll be girls across the nation who will eat this up
24. I love you, but I gotta stay true
25. Your fingertips across my skin
26. Born Helena Jane, with a restless soul
27. This was a triumph
28. In the light of the sun
29. I've made up my mind, don't need to think it over
30. It's been one week since we got to see
31. Joan was quizzical, studied metaphysical
32. The strangled smile fell from your face.

Sorry for the repeated artists - the majority of my mp3 player is currently filled with audio dramas, so I only had about 105 songs to pick from.
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Me me me me me me meme! [Sep. 11th, 2008|11:10 pm]
[mood |sleepysleepy]
[music |Damn crickets- some of us have to sleep.]

Nicked from redqueenmeg 

Post 10 random things about yourself.

1. When I was 9, I read an old Tales from the Crypt comic that featured cannibal butterflies, and to this day, butterflies freak me the hell out.
2. As political as I can get, Democracy? Not a fan. I think we, as a nation, have gotten so stupid that we can no longer be trusted to rule ourselves. 
3. I threatened the first woman to ever spend the night with me with bodily harm.  In my defense, I'm not a morning person, and she was flinging the curtains open at 6:30 a.m.
4. I truly believe that my innate laziness is the only thing that has kept me from going Tyler Durden at all the injustices in this world.
5. The internet increased my typing speed but fractured my attention span. I consider this a fair trade.
6. I adore the Muppets. There is nothing that cannot be made better by their inclusion.
7. I am a talented (albeit enthusiastic) amateur hypnotist.  No, I have not always used my powers for good.
8. I just figured out that I see around 275 movies a year. I thought the figure would be higher.
9. I stopped buying DVD's when I realized I would rather see something I've never seen before, even if it turns out to be crap, than rewatch something I know to be excellent.
10. It's time for me to go to bed.

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Hadron Collider question [Sep. 11th, 2008|12:01 am]
[mood |curiouscurious]
[music |"Agony"- Sondheim]

Ok, so if I understand this correctly, the objection to the Hadron Collider is that in attempting to re-create the big bang by smashing protons together, there is a chance that a black-hole will form, y/y?

It occurred to me this evening that the black hole would be atom sized, and as such would have to pull in the Earth atom by atom.  And then I wondered how long such a process would take.

Assuming they form a black hole on October 21, which is when I believe they're attempting this experiment, I'd bet that sucking the earth, atom by atom through a black hole would take 4 years, I month and 21 days.

Lets see who guesses why.
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Middlememe! [Sep. 5th, 2008|08:21 pm]
[Current Location |Home]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |"I'm no Superman" - Who sings this anyway?]

Nicked from jigglykat :

Peter Piping weirdos.

when you see this, post a random quicky "Middleman" exclamation in your lj.

(and if you haven't been watching the show, START!)

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Am I Crazy? [Sep. 3rd, 2008|10:08 pm]
[mood |worriedworried]

Alright, first a quick recap to refresh those of you that do know me, and fill in those of you that don't: I've been married for almost 6 years, and for most of the time, I'd say it's been really great. In fact, most of the time, I'd say it was the best thing I've ever done.  We met on the net, and she agreed to move here after we got married.  There are the normal bumps and brusies that every couple has, but there's one (well, two, but I'm not gonna talk about the second one here. Not yet, anyway) big thing that has been coming up over and over and over.

And I'm sure you can guess what that top thing we fight over constantly is: She wants to move back closer to her family, specifically her sister.  This is a position that I strenulously rejected for a number of years: First, because her sister's first husband was a consumate ass, and I simply refused to put myself into a position where I would be forced to deal with him on a more than once-a-year basis.

My resolve was weakened somewhat when my niece was born; she's an amazing little girl, and I fell for her hard.  But I still wasn't about to deal with her father on a regular basis, especially given 

Reason two: They lived in a podunk little town in the middle of f'ing nowhere.  Not quite as bad as her hometown, but definitley not a place I could ever see me spending a chunk of my life in.  I'm not asking to live in someplace like New York City (as anyone who knows me can tell you, I hate NYC with a passion) but I'd like to have a little urban in my metropolis, and not have to travel for half an hour to find a movie-theater that doesn't look (and smell) like a converted gymnasium. Not to mention a DECENT mall.

Well, over the past few years, a lot of holes have been knocked in that particular wall: My sister-in-law realized what an ass she'd married, divorced him, and got involved with (and is now engaged to) a really great (albeit slightly over-intense) guy who treats her and my niece just as good as they deserve.  And just this past year, they actually moved to a real, honest to goodness city! With real movie theaters and shops and the whole nine yards.

And as things would have it, this corresponded with a growing sense of dissastisfaction in my current employment.  While I started as a secretary, due to the fact that I work 12 -8, and the other secretaries grabbing all the secretarial type stuff before I get in (or simply farting around on the 'Net) I have essentially become a glorified file clerk; and I hate filing - it ranks only slightly above data entry on my 'When they said cubicle hell, I didn't realize they were being literal' lists of tasks I despise. And please don't advise me to tell my boss; I gurantee that that would only result in losing Internet acess from work, and some days the peeks I can sneak at Meg's journal and Daily Kos are all that keeps me sane.

My boss' attitude has always annoyed me, but at first I chalked that up to her age, as one of the older women I work with behaves the exact same way.  They both seem to have the attitude of "Well, you gave me a job and I'm so grateful just to have a job that I'll let you stomp all over me in anyway you like."  Needless to say, this doesn't work for me; never has, never will.  And until about a year ago I was content to let that be their attitude and agree to disagree as it were.

Now, I'm not entirely sure what happened a year ago, but my boss really started adopting the flip side of that attitude. She became much more :"Well, I gave YOU a job so you better shut up and let me cover my ass by stomping all over you."  And that just grew gradually more and more irritating, but still not really enough to galvanize me to action.

Until about a month ago.  Long story short: I started feeling ill on a Thursday morning about 40 minutes before I had to be at work; rather than call in that close to shift time, I tried to go in anyway. 10 minutes into the drive there, I knew I'd made a serious mistake, and was pretty much going to have to get there and then turn around and go home.  I get there, and rather than scare the kids in our waiting room (cause I'm loud and they'd certainly be able to hear me retching) I opt to try and make it to the staff bathroom.  I fail, and lose my breakfast in the garbage can in the front office (which is soundproofed from the waiting room so no little kids were scarred).

(Next day I wind up puking again, and eventually going to the ER for being unable to stop puking, but not really relevant to the story).

The next week, my boss calls me into her office and has the NERVE to give me a verbal reprimand for being <i>ill</i>. Honestly, the fact that it was only a verbal and not a written one is the only thing that stopped me from quitting right then and there.

So you'd think it'd be a no brainer, y/y? Go home, tell the wife she's gotten her dearest wish and start packing boxes.

Not so fast.  My job has a nice benefits package: paid lunch hours, 3 weeks vacation, 9 sick days, 10 holidays, 2 personal days.  The insurance sucks, but at least I have insurance that I don't have to shell out for, a lot of people don't even get to say that.  The salary is, well, acceptible, if not great, and I'm pretty much guaranteed a cost of living (or at least what the federal government considers the cost of living) raise every year, which again, a lot of people don't get.

My wife has a shit job, but she's never shown any motivation to get out of it in the 5.5 years she's been working there (she says no, but I still maintain it was her way of punishing me for not being willing to move back closer to her family, but that's water under the bridge.); at least until the last supervisor she liked got transferred to another store around the same time the rest of this mess went down.

And both of us have jobs that we can do with our eyes closed, meaning we would pretty much have to try to deliberately screw up in order to lose them.  Given how bad the economy is, and how bad I suspect its going to get before it gets better, that seems to me to be very important.

So I go home, and cautiously raise the subject that I might be willing to finally move. I throw in what, to me, is a highly necessary qualifier- we need jobs. More to the point, we need jobs that are as good as or better than the ones we currently have. Otherwise, what's the point?  I mean, I'm no fan of the standard of living we maintain now- we barely scrape by, and only do that because we do stupid shit like forego medical care and retirement planning (And you can just forget about having a kid or saving for a house!). And hell, her sister's fiancee said last time we visited that it would be easy-peasy for us to be pulling down $50k a year out there as a couple, which was a big bump from where we are now and thus a big factor in the decision.

But, apparently she stopped listening after hearing I might be willing to move. She's ready to jump on the first job that comes along; hell, she'd sweep floors for 20 cents an hour if it meant she could live near her family.  And any time I try to inject a note of fiscal sanity or responsibility back into the discussion I just get brushed off with "Well, if you were close to your family while you were growing up, you'd understand."   And while I admit that I was (and indeed am) not particularly close to my blood family;in many ways I consider all y'all far more my family than anyone I am related to; I still find that response, dismissive, patronizing, and irritating as fuck.

Honestly, at this point I am ready to snap my fingers and call the whole thing off; the only thing that stops me is that it might be the straw that broke the camel's back and she would leave me.

So I toss the question to you, flist: who's crazy?  Me, for wanting to use this move to better our lives, even if it means we wait for a while to move.  Or her, for wanting to be with her family right away, regardless of the financial and consequently emotional costs?
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