Tag Archives: dog

Team McUseless Again

[Important background information:  One of the Olds and I greet each other by shouting “HI” followed by the person’s name as LOUDLY AS POSSIBLE EVERY SINGLE TIME ONE OF US COMES INTO A ROOM. IT IS FUNNY. Ish. Was probably funnier when we had only been doing it for like two days instead of a month, but, whatever. The purpose of the game is to scare and/or annoy one another; anyone else [i.e., the other Old] in the general area who is annoyed is a bonus.]
Time: This morning
Place: Living room
Players: Olds,  me
Old #1: I need to speak to the two of you about something.

(Old #2 and I exchange glances of trepidation)

Me: What?  I’m sure it’s Dad’s fault, not mine.

Old #1: No, it is BOTH of you.  It is about your noise level.

Old #2 [shouting even tho is 5 feet away]: WHAT??  WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT NOISE??? WHAT???

Me: [laugh laugh laugh]

Old #2: [laugh laugh laugh]

Old #2 and me: [laugh laugh laugh] WHAT?? WHAT??  WHAT DO YOU MEAN?!?! [laughs]


Me: What yelling?

Old #2: We don’t yell. What are you talking about?

Me: Last night? I wasn’t even up here.

2: No, she wasn’t

Me: Except that one time

2: Oh right,when I asked you to put the dog out.

Me: Maybe that was the yelling?

2: I don’t think so. Why would I raise my voice? I was right in the same room.

Me: I know.  We’re not deaf. Maybe mom is just too sensitive. And the dog could hear us.

2: I have no idea what your mother is talking about.
Me: Me either. What were we even saying?

1: [can barely speak bc totally suffused with fury] when. you. say. HI. It is TOO. LOUD.

2, Me: [confused, innocent, wide eyed looks] What? Huh? We can’t say hi now?
1: [no words. pure anger. shoulders and ears level with one another]
Me: I just don’t know how us, speaking in normal voices, could bother you all the way upstairs! [nods from #2] I know! Did you have your c-pap on?

1: [barely forced out] nooooo. maybe not.

Me: Oh! Well then! See!!  No WONDER you woke up!

2: That isn’t OUR fault!


2: You weren’t sleeping soundly then! Actually, you weren’t even REALLY asleep yet!

Me: Right!!! Also, the noise of it wasn’t covering up other sounds; usually the machine running blocks out noise!

2: True! So, if the machine wasn’t running, and you weren’t even asleep, then, why are you making us feel so bad??
Me: Also, it isn’t my fault that you sleep with the door open!

2: No, why should we be punished for that?

[neglecting to remember that he doesn’t close it either]

Me: AND: did you turn the fan on? Sometimes you forget to turn the fan on, and then, with the door open and no c-pap on, well—I just can’t see how this can possibly be our fault!

2: You could have turned on the fan!  Yes!

Me: Also, you could have gotten the one from Laura’s room AND turned that one on, couldn’t you?
2: Exactly! Two fans would have solved this whole issue!
Me: Did you have the fan on or not???

1: no. i didn’t. [white with rage. no visible neck. hair seems floaty as though might be standing oddly away from scalp]


[continuing on in this manner shouting over each other in a fearsome crescendo]
Old #1: never. mind.
Me, Old 2 exchange satisfied looks, nod, praise dog for jumping on Old 1, and ask Old 1 when she’s going to make us some more damn coffee.

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Interior desolation

Sometimes, the Olds get an idea. Usually this happens because they are bored, or because they have suddenly realized a fact that the entire world has known for many years. Or both. Right now, this idea concerns redecorating the living room.

This is something that strikes a chord of horror deep in my soul.

It is not just the thought of the Olds with a new project, although that rarely means anything good for me. It is that it is a project which they are only slightly less equipped to deal with than I am. And, I am useless when it comes to redecorating, or decorating in the first place, at least when it comes to human sized living spaces.

I do not care about things like faux finishes and matching curtains and statement pieces or pretty much anything to do with any program ever shown on the DIY/HGTV networks. As someone who makes things for [an impoverished and poorly planned] living, one might think that I would be someone who loves sewing throw pillows and slipcovers and who has “theme” bathrooms. After all, I spend a huge amount of my life looking at colors, finishes, texture, composition, and designing. Choosing four* colors of beads for a project can take me hours. Not only do I choose the colors, I have to decide on size, finish, placement—all of this for things that can be as small as a millimeter across. Wouldn’t you think that, say, choosing a bedspread and curtains would be fun or satisfying for me in some way?

If you do, then you are wrong.

Here are my long cherished and practiced beliefs about interior design:

1. Get a house.
2. Put your books and art supplies in it.
3. Done.

There are other variations, like “Get an apartment” or “Put your books and DVDs” in it. But this is the general idea, and it has served me well, or at least adequately, so far. Yes, I do like to have a bed and other furniture, especially bookshelves. But this covers the essentials.

The Olds’ beliefs are similar, except that they have always had much larger living spaces than me, and their central focus is usually the kitchen and wherever a television can be placed. Quite often things like curtains and wallpaper and such look very nice in their homes, but that is either an accident or because someone else picked those things out.

Yesterday I came upstairs for my mid morning break and found both Olds dressed and flailing around looking for shoes, car keys, pants, and other things they can never find when leaving the house. Since it was barely noon, I was shocked. I asked “What’s wrong? Who is going to the ER? Or are you going to Ohio? Did someone die???”

One of them paused and glared at me. The other one was busy cursing because he’d just tripped over a pile of my shoes.

The Glaring One said (in a shirty, snippy tone) “WE are going to look at furniture!”

Me: “What?? For where? Here??”
Glaring: “Ha ha, very funny. For the living room, of course.”
Other Old: “Goddammit these fucking shoes why can’t you blah blah blah nonsense words angry sounds etc”
Me [ignoring him]: “Why? What’s wrong with the furniture we have?”
Me: “My my, we are all a little tense today! Maybe you should have a little wine before heading out! Wait, let me get you a bottle and a straw to take with you!”
[duck back downstairs ASAP]
Olds: [thumping, stomping, grumbling, possibly throwing things? back door opens and SLAMS shut]

Later, I was out, and when I got back, they were in their usual positions, accessorized with an empty wine bottle and mostly empty wineglasses. They have not found any furniture they like that also matches the dog. As I made for the stairs, I heard one of them say “Well, we have to find the furniture before we decide what color to paint the walls”.

I’m going to have to move.
*design note: almost never choose four of something; choose three or five. Odd numbers are always more pleasing to the eye. This is science. Or math. Maybe geometry? I read it somewhere once, realized I already do that, and made a note to refer to this source when teaching. Obviously I lost that note.

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Rules of the Universe and Roommates

Rule #1:

No matter how small the jar of capers looks on the shelf, after it falls and bounces off of your foot and smashes into pieces, it will contain an infinite amount of capers.

Rule #2:
Which you will never, ever be able to pick up completely because apparently they breed and multiply and form new prickly caper/glass shard hybrids.
Rule #3:
And, when you look for one of the seventeen different varieties of vacuum cleaners that have entered your house in the past month, you will find precisely ONE, which is as yet un-assembled and lying on various tables and chairs with no instruction booklet to be seen.Next, you will decide to write an informative note to your housemates, who are sleeping the peaceful and innocent sleep of the whiskey-sodden, because while you no longer particularly care if they injure themselves on stray razor-capers, you do still care about the dog.

Rule #4:

Except, of course, in the kind of home where caper bottles are balanced on mustard jars which are stacked on top of expired cans of tomato soup and where cleaning appliances serve primarily as paperweights for a weeks’ worth of newspapers, there is no such thing as paper.

There are, however, paper plates, of which it is necessary to use three in order to convey the needed information that:1. The jar broke
2. The contents have been cleaned up as well as can be expected with the vacuum cleaner in the state that it is not in
3. The dog should not be allowed to lick the delicious caper flavored floor due to the possibility of glass
4. But, the humans should feel free to do so
5. After which, they must vacuum the area and then
6. Remove all glass containers of food items from pantry and place them somewhere where they cannot be precariously balanced on stacks of things that are about to fall off of overstuffed shelves, and then,
7. They should also observe the kitchen counters and note the many glass items which are, as usual, located less than one inch from the edge.
8. They are then requested to ask themselves about the level of clumsiness that they possess, and how that and the laws of gravity could conspire together and cause more events that will necessitate more notes like this one.

By the time most people are my age, which is 46, they probably have a bad roommate story or two or five.

It’s just that usually, roommates like those are not also their 68 year old parents.

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