Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Kingdom for a Pensieve

Thoughts.  Too many.  Once again, I find myself wishing for a Pensieve, à la Dumbledore.

It was only a few days ago that I learned "dumbledore" was not just the name of Hogwart's best ever headmaster, but also designates a bumblebee.  One day, this will pay off in a fierce game of Scabble. Or maybe Scrabble.

"Scabble" has the sound of a promising game, but more of a physical one, involving grabbing, slinging, or incessant itching, than a sanitized board game.

Or it could all be more fodder for the Pensieve.

I wonder if geniuses (of whom we are aware) -- who always seem to have a little extra cranium working for them -- have less need of a Pensieve than those of us with normal sized heads.  Ah, but sometimes their lop-sidedness makes them tip over, endangering their expertise in areas like... Scabble.

Yeah, so the big news in the smallest hectare of Twitter is that I confessed to bullying a person.  She made the mistake of being a prissy-panted smart-aleck who is more passive-aggressive than even... Fred.  She's mean.  And I'm a bully!  I love algebra, and mathematics, in general, and I am pretty sure that together, she and I are Low Common Denominators, as well as, on occasion, rational and irrational -- but above all, in algebraic language, she is a constant and I, a variable.

What I haven't confessed to are my feelings of real friendship, and even kinship, for the person she fearlessly picks on -- not to elevate things too suddenly (Word: They say that applying a cold spoon to your upper back will help to stop sudden nosebleeds brought on by incredibly ridiculous unexpected ascensions... Where the hell is that Pensieve?).  Where was I?  Ah.  Not to elevate things too suddenly, but I, like Saint Peter, denied -- and a good deal more than three times, always out to fool that triune-obsessed crowing cock -- my friendship.  Did my friend suffer for it?  I don't really know.  Because we are a lot alike, it may actually have helped her, as anger is an unparalleled fuel for some of us.  Just think of Mitt Romney's clenched jaw and alien, half-choke of a laugh in interviews when he's p.o.ed at the small-minded, repetitive questioning, and I think it will become clear to you that he is running for President because he is so intensely pissed off, he just can't stand it anymore.  I await Chris Matthews call -- put me in, coach, I'm ready to play Hardball.

Right, so, summing up:  There is a passive-aggressive bully that I have bullied, and a woman that I would like to befriend but don't really have the required strength necessary to be her friend.  She is high-maintenance, and since I am, in Fred's lexicon, "overwhelming," this looks like another case, Batman, of a Gordian Knot.

Okay, since truth-telling is the order of the day, the Milanese Nightingale jiust jabbed her knife pointy nails into my thigh -- her favorite acrylic nail style, with glitter and artful white patterns over a black base coat of shellac so brilliant and intense that her nails cease to grow out at all, but do, in fact, retract.  The truth is that Gordian Knots are a breeze to undo and I have simply chosen to stay all tied up.  It's easier that way.  "You want me to do what?  Sorry, can't, I'm all tied up..."

The appearance of complication, in other words.  The last refuge of the boring.

Aw,. I'm depressing myself and that might mean a trip to the helpful and uplifting Dr. Phil's Depression and Grief "Support" message board, where I'd undoubtedly run into that paranoiac, who would both anger and make me bust a gut laughing, and then where would I be?

But I might also find news from the almost-friend, whose husband is dying of lung cancer.  They are all still smoking, but even that doesn't arouse enough rage to stop my caring.  I mean, a good deal of my bone issues were brought on by corticosteroids, and were they forced down my gullet?  No, I took them, I took them eagerly, even, at times, as sometimes they were the only workable solution against pain.  I figure that cigarettes have the same function for some.

Shoot, I remember sitting on the back steps at our Mathews Avenue back yard (which you had to see to believe... we could have supplied a panda clan with bamboo), smoking one short, fat fag after another -- Gauloises, back when they were still a French cigarette.  Now, I'd have to boycott them, because they use Syrian tobacco.  (Pensieve!)  I'd be armed, as well, with high-octane italian roast or a Diet Coke.  And the pain that brought me to perch on those warped wooden steps was rapidly subsumed -- or sublimated -- by the better feelings of nausea and dizziness.   Then, as soon as I was able, I'd jump up, refreshed, ready to go impart knowledge of French nineteenth century literature to young minds, or wash the dirty clothes of homeless men, or maybe cook Fred a real American breakfast, or prepare a revelatory reading lesson for my literacy tutoree. You get my self-sacrificial drift.

The better thing woulda been to grab our well-maintained kaiser blade and sling blade the hell out of the bamboo, and haul it to the panda exhibit at the zoo, coughing and puking all the while.

I don't *feel* any different for having confessed to bullying this delusional and nasty woman.  I am so far from an apology, at the moment, that images of what form my Citizenship Award will take is far more interesting a train of thought.

Ah well.

It's a quiet Saturday morning here in Marlinspike Hall -- at least, once I escaped the moral rectitude of The Castafiore.  Sven came in for some refreshment -- he's trimming some of the Labyrinth that tends to get a bit wild in the final days of ManorFest -- and the two of them promptly disappeared into her private apartment.
Fred is fast asleep, having been up all night playing his new ukulele and tending a sick cat.  The Genetically Indentured Domestic Staff has the morning off, and almost everyone, it seemed, headed for the underground tunnels, the straightest distance between The Manor and Tête de Hergé's best West Lone Alp pub.

I haven't been able to bathe -- not even take a thorough sponge bath -- in two days, so that is on my mind.  Oh, I used medicated wipes around incisions and what my dear StepMom called the "hot spots," plus I did do a half-hearted treatment with hibiclens here, and with acetic acid solution there -- but all in all, I feel gross.  But as I have again begun to do headers into the walls, getting in the shower hasn't seemed wise.

Ah, but cut the Gordian Knot, eh?  I am going to take both cane and grabber with me into the torture chamber and darned if I will climb out before every bit of not-me detritus is washed away.

That's the attitude!

I also need to clean a bookcase, and somehow, the paperbacks that were stored there.  As I was culling offerings to the Militant Lesbian Existential Feminists' annual book sale, I arrived at one of the old Mission book cases that is rarely visited, and stuck in a corner.  It seems that this must have been one of Sam-I-Am's favorite spots to mark, that dear dead feline, and it has dried to a gummy and thoroughly gross consistency.  The bookcase I can clean, easily.  But what to do with the books?!  It feels a sin (more sinful even than bullying that Dr. Phil Fanatic) but I may have to throw them away.  By which I mean, of course, carting them to the paper recycling bin.  The books Sammy so loved seem to be an odd mix of Maeve Binchy (bless her dear departed soul), Dean Koontz, and, sadly, some Dennis Lehane.

Today's mail may bring something I've been dreading.  Brother-Unit Grader Boob informed me recently that my stepmother intended to write me a thank you note for the card and the boxwood I sent her when my father died in early July.  As I told him, receiving a thank you note for *that* may well break my heart.  But it is Her Way, and therefore I will take the nasty tasting medicine in one quick gulp.

I kind of hope it rains.  The Cistercian's orchard needs it badly, and maybe the drone drone drone of it will keep the household either asleep or happy to remain perched on a bar stool.  After I clean me, the bookcase, and any salvageable novels, I think another cup of coffee and a chapter of the book I just started reading will be lovely.

Bully and Pseudo-Friend, signing off.

Uploaded by  on Nov 16, 2011

the phoctor dill moderators strike again... j'accuse!

Continuing the tradition here at elle est belle la seine la seine elle est belle of journalistic integrity, I am reproducing below two posts that were removed, without explanation, by the fascist moderators over at the phoctor dill show.  Just kidding, they aren't fascists.  They're Republicans.

Yes, I am referring to the same journalistic and personal integrity that has inspired, for example the OCHOA series.  The fire in the belly feels roughly the same, though a little omeprazole might also be in order.

To  adequately set the scene for you, Dear Readers. is impossible.  This is your chance to fly by the seat of your pants -- an experience no one should miss.
I can tell you that this first post was composed, and is here reproduced unchanged, by one "yeahyoucan," aka pixikuku, C-angels14, maroonmimosabloom. recycledpap, -- she apparently switches from one moniker to another in an attempt to escape me and my sinister stalking, not understanding that she was just one of over a hundred RSS feeds in my Reader, and that the feed automatically made the switch to her lovely new names with no interference or direction from me.
The second post is my very moderate response, which she has already reduced to a self-serving mangle on her Twit Account.  She wins the Woe-Is-Me-But-Most-Of-All-I'm-Right Award and gets to bear the trinkets of her office:  a gilded plunger and and an empty amphitheater.
Grrrrrrrrrrrr.  Well, we'll just add this to the growing pile of I-hate-Phoctor-Dill posts.  Yes, thank you, I said I was done with this crowd, and clearly am not.  I went back because... a friend was in difficulty. Unfortunately, the Crazy Lady, in her own obsession, thought it had something to do with her.

Replied ByX on Aug 17, 2012, 5:59PM
Please do not continue to obsess about me and since you have over a year I'd suggest you seek professional help.  You've been bullying me and stalking me for over a year and stalked me here immediately after I blocked you another place you stalk me after you attacked me again.  You even stated THE DAY you stalked me here that your presence would likely distress others and to not worry as you weren't going to stay then you stayed anyway.  Yes, being bullied and stalked by you is distressing.

You have said to me and others that you do case studies on us.  You do not have permission to document and use information about me and as a courtesy to Dr. Phil Website members should secure permission before doing so.  Lots of things not right to do can be done anyway to exploit others as your bullying, stalking and taunting Dr. Phil Website members that you are doing case studies on Dr. Phil Website members as you taunted me too.

You have said to Dr. Phil Website members that since a public forum you can collect information on Dr. Phil Website members yet that's not what Dr. Phil made these message boards for.  Dr. Phil is TOTALLY against bullying and stalking.  You have a disconnect if you'd exploit the misfortune of another to stalk someone here right after blocked you, as you did me, disrespecting both my and Dr. Phil's philosophical anti-bully boundaries.  When I blocked you you were stating to me, as you once did another Dr. Phil Website member you stalked, that you could follow RSS feed even if we changed profile name to avoid your bullying & stalking.  I and other Dr. Phil Website members aren't here for you to entertain yourself bullying and stalking us.

That's why I kindly suggested y'all chatting on board y'all said met on since mostly chatting with each other since YOU KNOW you've been bullying and stalking me and may or may not be person hacking into my computer as well.  Only hacker knows that and I've only suspected you are hacker as well since I KNOW you bully and stalk me.  I was shocked to see mean remarks to me by you on a birthday video I made because once before when you were attacking me you said you realized I was a good person and stopped.  I am a good person.  It is okay to not like me yet not okay to stalk and bully me and, in fact, it is illegal to bully and stalk as you do me.  The polite thing, when you have other ways to communicate with someone, is to not exploit that person, to stalk me here putting us all in an uncomfortable position.

That you stated your presence here could distress others when you stalked me here, right after I blocked you for being mean to me elsewhere:  The polite thing when you tell person(s) you've distressed stalking and bullying to not worry because you don't plan to stay is to not stay.  That you knew/stated here that your presence would distress others, as did me, when you popped in here... on some level you must know not right to do since isn't right to bully and stalk me then exploit someone else here, and Dr. Phil, to achieve stalking me here, too.  Since you seem unable to stop stalking, bullying & obsessing about me I hope that you will seek professional help.  That's meant sincerely and not to be insulting...

Replied By: profderien on Aug 17, 2012, 7:04PM - In reply to x
Instead of speaking in what I assume is supposed to be legalese, why not just address me as me, prof, or,if you prefer, Evil One, Mistress of the Interwebs..

I wouldn't begin to know how to hack into a computer.

I don't stalk people.  You, I have kept an eye on, and yes, found interesting.  You've angered me more than anything, and I have said some things to get your considerable goat.  So, I was raised in a barn, perhaps, or maybe I never learned that sweet southern way of insulting people right and left with my many supposed suggestions and judgments.  I kept an eye on everyone who was involved in the incident that made me leave drphil com to begin with -- involving unfounded accusations of child abuse and threats flying back and forth -- all coming from people in *this* forum.  at the time, i was close to joyce and what i saw happening among you all, well, yes, if you like, it made you "case studies."

RSS feeds are available to everyone on the internet and I follow over 100 different feeds, so I wouldn't get overly excited about being included in that group, though it is a group of writers that I find interesting and that have all made themselves available to the technology.  There's not one iota of weirdness or illegality about it -- it is just technology.

My anger did evolve into bullying -- and since, at the moment, I am extraordinarily angry, I can only say that I'm dedicated to working on that.  "Better to say nothing..." is wise advice and I've spent my life trying to adhere to it.

You are, however, suffering from paranoia.  Or the belief that if you wish others and the world to be a certain way, that others and the world ought to straighten up and follow your orders.  I think, at times, some tendencies toward paranoia make you feel targeted when really... no one is paying you any attention, or wouldn't, if you could control yourself.

For God's sake, I tweeted something to you -- it was straightforward, a link to something or other, and you started reporting me to the Dallas police.

It's not normal behavior and I think your friends and the moderators and Dr. Phil, himself, have done you no favors by not assisting you.  It has been easier for them to put up with delusional and paranoid behavior, almost using you as a mascot -- a role that you perceive, apparently, as an appointed cheerleader.  

Sure, I could use professional help and have sought it when I needed it.  I wish everyone would.  There's no shame in it.

In short -- hacking, no;  stalking, no (but congratulations on your healthy ego!)  bullying, sadly, yes, I think I have bullied you.  When I can honestly apologize, I'll do so.  (You would never guess how you've angered me -- a hint: a good part of it involves remarks you've made to the First Family of the United States. and a rather evil xenophobia)  Hmmm, maybe I do need help...)

Most sincerely yours,


Friday, August 17, 2012

Memorial Repost: Nepeta Cataria [originally published 8.17.2010]

Retired educator, here. I'm in severe pain and managing to piece together a few consecutive hours of sleep could only help. To that end, I took a Lunesta last night, and almost enjoyed falling asleep. Looking back with fondness at those moments, when I woke 45 minutes later, I knew I was... screwed again! So it was another up-and-down night. Still, it was fun cavorting with the huge fuzzy-green lunar moth that flitted around my head, leaving trails of questionable, slightly oily, vapor.

When the felines convinced me it was time to get up this morning, I stretched out my arm, feeling for my glasses. You know, the $379 glasses that I just got last month? Guess who likes to steal spectacles? Yes, our little idiot, the Dobster. I took the bedroom apart – then expanded the search. By the time Fred got up, I had a headache (probably from having to wear an old pair of glasses) and a slight, ummm, attitude. He was immediately drafted for the cause and seemed very eager to help, as he stood there mumbling and scratching himself, inquiring as to the date and time.

So he’s crawling around and under things, armed with one of his best flashlights (one day, I will do 100 words on Fred and the flashlights). Butt in the air, crawling right behind him, sweet and chipper, was... Dobby. Were he not a cat, I would have sworn he was mocking us.

Please note that breakfast had not been served to the feline contingent. To that end, Sam-I-Am felt that he might inspire me by eating a few pages out of the John Grisham novel I’m reading. Chomp, rip! Chomp, rip!

For her part, Marmy peed on the sofa, and -- in the name of parity, I guess, on one of Fred’s pillows.  God forbid she should feel left out.

She did what she does best.

Very crafty, very crafty. My attention thus divided by these wily cats, I believe they used these moments of frenzied confusion to transfer the purloined glasses to a new location.

But then, that would sound paranoid, bordering on psychotic. So, of course, I did not see Marmy actually sporting them as she sauntered past me toward my office, her fluffy tail swirling eddies of air. (She handed them off to Dobby, who absentmindedly squirreled them away in an Izod eye case, as he sat talking on the phone to their Grand Kitty PoohBah, evidently the mastermind behind this heist.)

Cough. Ummm. Did *I* write that?

Did I mention that I took a sleeping pill? One, I think.

Sammy said, “Girl, would you get your opposable thumbs together, open those kibble containers, and serve up some breakfast? And, you know, Fred looks like he could use a stiff cup of coffee. C’mon! Move it, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” So I fed and watered everyone, ground some beans, washed a few dishes, and finally brewed a pot. “That’s better,” cooed Sam-I-Am, my beloved boy.

It’s hours later, now. They have me pinned in the bed. Dobby is draped over my left thigh, Marmy is nestled between my legs, and Sammy is curled up next to me, eyeing me over his paws. There’s no way out. I managed to snag my laptop. This is my only hope. Maybe someone out there will notify the authorities that there is a woman, poiseless and glasses-less, a pitiful physical specimen, a whiny gimp, being held hostage by one domestic long hair known for her “*ack*:*ack*” rap, one domestic short hair (whose head is alarmingly small in proportion to his body), and by one large male who is not a Russian Blue but believes that he really, really ought to be.

Fred seems to have left the premises. If, indeed, the world has gone as topsy-turvy as I suspect, he is finishing the mowing job he promised The Cistercians back when Spring was young, in advance of the resurrection.

{What am I, delusionalDrugged?  Wait.  Oh, yeah!}

It is my belief that Fred has been successfully co opted by the cats. I heard snippets of a conversation between Fred and a cooing Marmy – something about fresh tuna, whole cream, and – sadly – a demand for more better nip, with fewer stems and more buds... God forbid that the cops stop him.

I wonder how much bail might be for possession of nepeta cataria.

Bianca Castafiore never has these kind of problems.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mirë se vjen, Welkom, Bienvenue, Welcome!

I know none of them are surfing the web, hungry for word of The Manor, Tête de Hergé, la Bonne et Belle Bianca Castafiore, Fred, or even the humble profderien...

But a big, warm welcome to the 500 new residents of the International House at UC Berkeley, best known world over as "the I-House." Students from 58 countries, cells any monk would envy, and the best Sunday Brunch in existence.

Their backs are sore from lugging luggage, their eyes are gritty from long flights, their stomachs are talking from hunger... and excitement.  All these faces, all the colors of these skins, the shy eyes, the laughing, outgoing eyes, all these faces.

You are in for an adventure -- and you've chosen to live in it!

Clarifying, confusing, challenging, and never-ending discussions in every nook and cranny, at any hour of the day.  Smiles ranging from new-found to ruthless, friends to the right and to the left of you, homesickness all around (and understanding comfort, teas, tisanes, beer, wine, and shared packages from home).

You'll either have a view of stucco and a red-tiled roof, or one of the best vistas in town of the hills and the bay.  Either way, you're going to love your time at the I-House.

A warm and jealous welcome from an old alum,

P.S.  Sunday mornings, wear an old oversized shirt with big pockets (line several with plastic baggies) and bring your own mug.  Catch up with your friends, eat your fill.  Then wrap the bagels in napkins, stash them in your pockets, and fill your mug with frozen yogurt.  Be sure to saunter on your way out.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Beware the chasmic gap

Strange, but I've not felt like writing in quite a while.  Not even emails to people I love, a quick note to people I like, not even, and this is worrisome, when communication was required to take care of Manor business.  I'm not lazy, I swear I am not.

It's Stephen King's fault.

When my Dad died in early July, I needed a new "main" book to read, as I usually keep several going at once, but concentrate on one in particular -- the one that goes with my midnight yogurt and the hope of sleep.  Don't laugh at my choice, please.

Tolkien's trilogy.  I'm mid-way through The Two Towers, as reading slow, and slowly, seemed important.  I had the collection stacked at the highest point of the hutch over my desk and needed one of the handy grabbers to get it down.  Even at the most familiar parts of the story, I did not skip a word, and The Fellowship of the Ring was a joy to reread.

Who knows what was going on between my ears.  Clear good, clear evil.  Honor.  Loyalty. World wars.  Treachery.  "Fly, you fools."

I got the series as Christmas gifts when I was 9, and immersed myself in them, escaped.  And that's all there is to say about that.

There came an opening in the book rotation, and in the pile of options was Stephen King's Rose Madder. The pile was a donation pile -- the Militant Lesbian Existential Feminists will soon be holding their annual book sale, and I hate to donate something I haven't even read.  Snort. Let's just say I'm over that.

Confronted with my weird choices, the area of my brain in charge of rhetoric and composition just gave up the ghost, and there went my writing, such as it was.

Beware the chasmic gap between J. R. R. Tolkien and Stephen King.  I saved myself from a forced reading of a compendium of Henri Nouwen quotes by a swift sleight of hand that landed its uncracked spine about two-thirds of a way down in the charity stack.