* Our plumberful week/month/year continues: currently we have been without a working toilet for three days. Right now all of the plumbing fixtures are breaking one by one because MFA Landlord refuses to spend the money to put a filter in, and our well is putting out a lot of grit since they replaced the pump. What this means is that our kitchen faucet hasn't worked properly in over six months, our shower leaks, the pressure tank under the house is starting to go, and given the amount of sand and grit in the top tank of the toilet I'm going to go way out on a limb and say that that's what's wrong with it, too. I have HAD IT and told MFA Landlord that I will be deducting the days we spend without a working toilet from next month's rent. Being without an oven for two weeks over Thanksgiving was bad, but this is unlivable (do you even KNOW how many buckets five people adds up to? And they take a while to fill, because pressure tank).
* To add to my enjoyment of the situation, I am STILL sick and wheezing and coughing stuff up. It's MUCH better than it was, but today marks the end of two weeks of antibiotics and steroids, and I would like to be feeling a little better than this so that I could at least lie to myself and say withdrawing the last of the steroids won't cause the whole damn house of cards to fall down (again). Not nearly as important as my breathing but also inconvenient is the fact that the bursitis that has lain dormant in my left hip for the past eight years is currently flaring (I think maybe the steroids mask the everyday aches and pains in such as way as to make me overdo it in tiny ways that add up?) to the point of abject misery, and also for the hell of it another blood vessel blew, this time in my left foot, and that is painful as well plus my stomach is still a wreck.
* Hotter continues to be mysteriously unwell from the GI/general health stuff as well as the neurological things. The neurological things...I feel like I say that and it's vague and y'all are like "so basically that's code for he is acting like an asshole?" So I'll try to quantify it somewhat. It's kind of like all of the residual effects of Hotter's stroke are magnified...like he's MORE forgetful and processes things LESS quickly and gets more words stuck on the tip of his tongue (a fun little dance, because he will get equally annoyed with me for jumping in with word suggestions too quickly or if I'm too slow to speak up) and he becomes incapable of doing anything with any speed. If I'm in a balls-to-the-wall hurry to get out the door and yell for him to toss me a clean white undershirt he's still going to reach into the dryer, pull out the first white thing, meticulously unfold it all the way to examine it, maybe notice a stain that has thwarted Oxyclean and want to remark on that and question its origins, and tell me something it reminds him of, and he CAN'T SKIP STEPS. Yesterday he helped me sink the final two fenceposts around the garden and hang the deer netting, and also build a chicken tractor, and I very nearly murdered him because I needed a second set of hands but he wanted to fully understand my plans before helping with any of the construction, and that meant that he HAD to tell me what he was picturing and how it might be different from what I was picturing, and any attempts I made to cut him off or shorten the processing time infuriated him but GOD DAMN IT JUST HOLD THIS RIGHT HERE FOR A SECOND AND WE WILL BE DONE AND IT IS ALREADY GETTING DARK OH MY SWEET LORD SHUT UP AND HOLD THE POST. I feel like an asshole, because I know that he can't help this and the confusion and frustration are real, and it is not such a big thing to want to ask a few questions and understand what we are doing before moving forward, but doing that dance at every decision-point of a complex project is like living with a belligerent toddler who doesn't have to do as you say and is too big to pick up under your arm and move out of the way/to safety. I've started to develop Resting Crazy Eye and fall back on phrases like "let's talk about that step when we get to it," but brain damage or not Hotter isn't an idiot and he can tell when I'm attempting to manage him and that pisses him off (understandably--that has to be a terrible feeling), not to mention that being forced to do everything slowly and explain each step and justify each decision in real-time is pretty much my exact definition of hell on Earth. The alternative is to keep to myself and not ask him to help with anything, but that doesn't make me feel any less alone against the world and resentful about it in the context of my marriage. I'm trying to look at it as a lesson in mindful actions and patient words and convince myself it's making me a better person, but with mixed results.
* Trashcan Neighbor is no longer laboring under the delusion that I think she is okay in any way. I got the entirety of the past seven years' annoyance with that woman off my chest in the course of a magnificent five minutes', um...discourse. Yeah. In other words I made several coherent, reasonable points and THEN I called her a nasty old whore. At the top of my lungs. On the front lawn. I...look, SOMEthing had to give, okay? It felt so glorious I wish I'd done it years ago.
* One thing that has changed is that while I was out of work sick I had a particularly heartbreaking exchange with Only Living Relative (who only intermittently knows who I am) and decided to dye a discreet hunk of my hair (namely the underlayer in the back) purple for Alzheimer's awareness. It just felt like a cool thing to do, and when people see it and remark on it I tell them about Only Living Relative and it reminds me of all the good in the situation (he may not reliably know who I am but he is ALWAYS happy to hear from me, and whenever he does know me he makes sure to tell me he loves me and is proud of me, and addled or not Only Living Relative is the happiest person I know). It did not occur to me that this would be an issue with my job, because we have a number of servers and bartenders with blood-red, hot-pink, and purple hair, as well as an assortment of facial piercings, ear gauges, and other non-standard appearance-related things going on on a daily basis. Eclecstasy is officially against that stuff, but has a progressive vibe and a pretty cool guy running the place, so given the low level of enforcement going on and the fact that I'm a good employee otherwise I didn't think it would be an issue. BOY WAS I EVER WRONG! Apparently I have something of a reputation as a goody two-shoes, and everybody and their dog saw my little purple streak (which doesn't even really show when my hair is up) and wanted to know what Management was going to do about it. I had a sit-down with them and said hey, look, I love and need my job and if you tell me I have to get rid of this I will, but how about if I style my hair so that it's really hard to see and use headbands and hair accessories to cover the tiny bit that does show? They said that was okay, and were generally very nice about the whole thing, so that's where we left it, but geeeeez. I pride myself on being one of the better servers on-staff, get customer compliments galore, work like a dog, and this whole pneumonia clusterfuck is the ONLY time I've ever called out sick, but suddenly I was afraid for my job over the color of my damn hair! I know that's a very first-world problem to have, and am not complaining (YOU HEAR THAT, CORPORATE OVERLORDS?), I mean we do cater to mainstream 'Murrica and therefore nothing about my appearance should be offensive to them, I've just never had the way I look be such a big deal to my overall success, and it was an eye-opener. For the record, the only customers to even notice my hair so far has been a table of four little old ladies who zeroed right in and said "what a lovely shade of purple! Is it for Alzheimer's awareness? That's so great!" and wanted to know where I'd gotten the dye.
* How are all of YOU?