Radiogurl a la Carte

Thursday, Jul. 15, 2004

Things are better in some respects, though I am more glad by the day that 00 and Pipeboy are not living her any more. I got hit with a hum-dinger of an electric bill this month, thanks to their lovely habit of leaving all of the windows open in the master bedroom and bath. (In their infinite wisdom, they decided that would enable them to get high without my smelling it. This despite the fact that the place reeked constantly and they lived with every fan on in the house, 24/7 - bathroom fans, ceiling fans, air conditioner - and windows open.) All of those things added up to a whopper of a power bill. And that doesn't count them running the television and stereo day and night, all the extra cooking, lights, etc.

I'm guessing that all of my utility bills will fall dramatically over the next few weeks, with the exception of the telephone. I restricted long distance from the word go. Learned that lesson long, long ago, thank God.

I can't put the furniture on layaway this paycheck, not after getting socked with that nasty little surprise. So I will have a naked house a little longer. However, I am telling the kids that they can either get the queen bed to me this weekend or bring back mine. I loath the idea of either, to be honest, because they both now reek of pot and cigarette smoke. If I had the money to get another bed, I'd just tell them to forget it, because it will take eons for the smoke smell to go away.

Youngest Daughter IM'ed me yesterday to announce that she would be moving back in with me. I told her the Mommy Motel is officially and permanently closed. Much as I love her, I can't live with her. If she's living with me, she will not have a job, will not lift a finger to do anything at home, and will eat me out of house and home (last time she was here for a week and literally left me with NOTHING to eat until my next payday, which was another week and a half from then.) She called me a few unprintable names, informed me she'd been unable to find work, assured me that all the ills in her life were my fault, and the rest of her standard fare. Oh, and she pointed out how I never help her.

I patiently reminded her that she was the one who elected to drop out of school at the ripe old age twelve, even though I hauled her into court countless times over a period of years to try and get her there (ended up losing a job as a result, in fact); that since all the money I'd given her and things I'd bought for her and times I'd taken her in didn't constitute 'help' in her book, I saw no point in extending them any more; and that now she's 18, I no longer am obligated legally or morally to support her. I didn't remind her how, when her older sister moved back in with us at the same age because of serious health problems related to her pregnancy, Youngest Daughter threw a fit. At the time, little sis announced that I had better throw big sister out, as she was 18 and had no right to get anything from me. (The rationale was that 00's presence meant Youngest Daughter didn't get absolutely everything she wanted on demand.)

While the last reason isn't why I told her no, I remember thinking it was the first real taste of justice in what will likely be a very long and very rough life for her. And a first real taste of freedom for me.

I suggested that if she really was desperate for a place to live, she could call her grandparents. They even live here in town. I was smiling as I said this, and fully expecting her immediate refusal. I wasn't disappointed. She informed me that they were old and that she couldn't do that, as it would be a burden to them. The truth of it is, she couldn't do it because she couldn't get away with jack shit while living with them. My former mother-in-law and I don't see eye-to-eye on everything, but she won't put up with anything from that kid, and I admire her for that. I just asked Youngest Daughter how it is that she had no qualms about asking to be a burden to me. For once, she didn't have a snappy reply.

I am hoping friend from Quebec comes down here in the next couple of weeks. I've had it up to here with our current computer system at work. There are plenty of techs who will tell you that 98% of problems are caused by user errors. And 98% of them are. But there's that 2% that's either hardware or software problems, and since we changed computers and continue to encounter problems, I think Boss finally grasps that in this case, the problem is the software - NOT the folks running it. Which is pretty much what I've been saying all along. So we're now back to looking closely at the Linux-based systems. However, my knowledge on Linux is still fairly limited. I can use the system, but setting it up for our network is still beyond my capabilities. I will absolutely have to have help.

Boss put me off today, telling me he's looking at another provider. I have news for him - whether he goes with the open source or the other provider we discussed, it is STILL Linux based and I STILL have to have a clue what I'm doing before I can set us up. That's particularly true since I will need to link Linux/Unix and Windows computers in a single network and operate the VPN. My friend from Quebec is well acquainted with all of the above and has agreed to walk me through every step, long as boss pays his plane fare and for his food while here. That's a heck of a lot cheaper than it will be if we have to hire a tech from the other company to come set things up for us, plus if my friend comes, he'll make sure I understand how the thing works - and if I have a question, I can IM and get an anwer almost any day of the week, within a very short order.

I pointed out sweetly that said friend can't come to Arizona on a whim. He has to coordinate it with time he can take off from his current job. Hopefully Boss gets it together soon, because I am tired of dragging myself out of bed at all hours to take care of this stuff, again and again and again.

The other alternative is for me to get another job, in another city, in another state. And I'm already working on my resumé. I've known Boss for years and we are friends in addition to working together - but there are limits to my friendship, and my patience, and my health.

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )