Sunday, December 29, 2013

The awkwardness of guilt

Several years ago, my partner's brother did something that caused my partner to act in a way that I found abhorrent and still have trouble thinking about. That's about as specific as I'll get here, okay? During the ensuing fight between me and partner...I said some things about his brother that while justified at the time...I feel really bad about now.

I was right to be angry. It was pretty bad, all this stuff. I look back on it as objectively as I can and feel that any reasonable person would have experienced similar emotional responses to my own - anger, fear, disgust, mistrust, unhappiness, woe. It depends on previous experiences in life and world-view and all that. But in general, I still believe I was not wrong.

That said, the degree to which I was angry, not at my partner, but at his brother, was...inappropriate and ugly.

Partner does not remember the fight thanks to the special foibles of his memory. I remember everything right down to where I rested my hands on the counter-top of his apartment kitchen. Such is my memory.

His brother has no idea about any of this, except that partner did not repeat the set of behaviors involved because...I don't know...because he knew intrinsically that he might lose me otherwise. Makes me sound like a bitch, but trust me, we're all better off here.

So awkward guilt. His brother isn't the guy I thought he was back then. Or if he is, he's also someone else quite different too. Is anyone really only one person?

All through the holidays the things I said keep coming back to me and I feel so weirdly guilty about them, not because I shouldn't have been angry, not exactly because I should have focused on the more immediate problem - partner, not his brother - but because I can't reconcile the good feelings I have toward him now with the anger that I probably unwittingly carried with me from that incident forward. Plus I'm the only one who knows.

And the more I try not to think about it, the more I actually do, which is so unnecessary.

It's kind of a nice lesson regarding not letting myself get angry beyond a certain point or at least about keeping my damn mouth shut when I'm mad.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Post-Christmas Post

So partner and I spent yesterday with my family, his family, and the dog. That sounds great, right?

Actually, for the most part, it was fun. We ate some good food, listened to stories, played with the dog, went for a walk, opened presents, ate even more food, listened to music, etc. All of that was terrific stuff. It's a very different Christmas than what I've always had before.

This year, sadly, my partner and his siblings lost their mother to a short battle with pancreatic cancer. This is the first holiday season that partner and his younger brother have spent without her. In fact, they usually go to Florida while I stay here with a complicated work schedule and a stress-free, drama-free Christmas with my very low-key and quiet family.

These season was different. For the record, as much as their politics frighten me, I really like partner's friends and his brother, who is actually a lot different than my first impressions of him. That said, it's tough making the drive and partner is not a nice man when he drinks. No, not at all.

We had a great time, but when we got home, our neighbor, who once called the police on partner for asking them to keep the noise down on a Sunday night, was just pulling into his driveway. In our haste to get us and Gracie into the house, partner bashed his head on the rear door of the Jeep. He was angry, belligerent, and vile to me for the next four to five hours.

Happy Christmas.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dog meet horse

So we took Gracie down to Lake Horton this afternoon, so she could burn off some energy and basically get out of the house.

There's place along the park fence where two horses are occasionally feed carrots or apples by passersby. It's cute, but usually the horses aren't up for a treat when we visit. The cold weather and holidays have been keeping people away, though, so the horses trotted out of the barn to meet us at the fence.

I haven't touched a horse since I was eleven or twelve. Gracie was well-behaved around them, although she briefly entertained the idea of taking one of the carrots for herself. They were really sweet critters.

I wish I had a picture of Gracie sniffing the bigger one nose-to-nose through the chain-link. Alas, too busy squeeing my little heart out for that.

What can I say? I love animals.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Yes, I'm being eaten alive by the holidays. And you?

Tonight, my partner and I ventured northward-ho to see his friends again. I like these people. They treat me with respect and friendliness. I'm really introverted (duh, right?) so I have trouble with social gatherings and stuff like that.

Plus partner's brother was there. I always wanted a brother. You know, how it is. I was an only child, but never lonely. I just wanted someone on my side when I had horrific school issues. I always imagined that a brother, preferably older, would have done the trick.

Also...his friends have dogs. What beats that?

Well...watching two grown men shoot craps in the rain.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Today begins my holiday use-it-or-lose-it days off. I'm not back at work until the day after Christmas, mid-afternoon. What can I say? I take very little time off. I have school stuff that I occasionally take a day for, but otherwise, not so much. No where to go, nothing to do.

This week, I'm having a cavity filled and getting my retinas checked.

And doing Christmas shopping...if the money doesn't run out.

I also want to take the dog walking a couple days and do some cooking, probably slow-cooker chili.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


My family got a lot bigger this year - a stepmother, two stepsisters, three (step) uncles complete with aunts, etc.

My own mother does not seem to be speaking to me, possibly because my partner and I did not see her for Thanksgiving. Mileage may vary.

My stepmother is actually quite cool. I could list some of her best traits, but...hey, what the heck, I might as well: she treats my dad as her equal, I can make her laugh, she is a dog-person, and she's nice to me.

My stepsisters are a, but with good brains. Seriously, they tower over everyone in my family. Gorgeous stepsisters. Intimidating stepsisters. Twin stepsisters. Um...they're nice? You know? They're going to be successful in life. I just...don't have any frame of reference for relating to them. They're only ten years my junior.

Christmas should be very exciting this year. Certainly bigger.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Slackeritis

School ended Friday. I made my first B as an MLIS student. Kind of depressing.

I'm mostly not answering emails, on Facebook, or tweeting right now, not so much because of that, but just these holiday doldrums infused with a vague sense of failure, ennui, and fight-or-flight. Not a pretty mix.

I remember loving the holidays. Now, I'm like my partner - the boy who hates Christmas - almost.

What to do about it. Hmm...don't know.

I think once Christmas shopping and cards are done, I'll feel better. Definitely will after I get my next semester registration out of the way.

And who knows what next year could bring? Right?

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Several years ago, desperate for grocery money and possessing few skills unrelated to my full time job, I signed up as an author with After completing the necessary set up stuff, I was able to bring in about $250 for a couple consecutive months, until things got better. The site saved my bacon. Or at least my ramen.

Off and on since then, I've written a few things for them, but with school being so writing intensive, it was never very much.

This weekend I had a lot of indoor time due to inclement weather and the partner having the flu - yes, seriously, the flu - so I decided to take up writing for them again.

I love it so much.

Mostly, it's about that impossible dream - being paid for my writing - but I also dig learning about really weird, off-the-wall topics people put in requests for, like how to choose ski goggles or conduct surveillance unruly teens.

I know I won't be able to continue once school starts again, but that's weeks from now. Carpe diem, right?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Signs of the season

The weather was cold and dreary today, but Gracie and I walked a lap around the local park nevertheless. Just over a mile, but the wind was pretty wicked out there. The leaves are really coming down right now, and last night's rain only helped them fall. 

Same with the pine straw. The path was barely visible in some places. No idea when it was last blown or swept or whatever they do to maintain it.

Could certainly use a brushing off. The damp leaves were pretty treacherous. I was sure the dog was going to send me sliding a few times, but we managed.

We also got some looks from the few park joggers, as always.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Oh...automotive mayhem, for the loss

My partner's van just lost its transmission. Happy Christmas!

Seriously, though, he knew it was going to go soon, and at least I'm off most of today to try and help him sort out a rental minivan (a yummy black Dodge) to get him through the week. All things considered, it could have been much worse. He was actually pretty calm about the whole thing.

Also, just so this doesn't sound to silver-lining-y, it is drizzling outside...and the transmission will cost somewhere just over $2k. Ouch.

Monday, December 2, 2013


I don't know when crane season in Georgia is, but I saw a very nice one on my walk yesterday - 3.75 miles with dog, in case anyone wants to know. The crane was perched in the water just to the south of the Highway 54 bridge over the lake. I couldn't get a great picture because of the light and bridge traffic, but an armada of quacking ducks was approaching the crane, which seemed to ignore them. I did not stick around to see how that played out. They're all fish-eating omnivores, right? So I doubt anything exciting happened. Part of me wonders if this is the same crane that is occasionally spotted at Luther Glass Park, about two and a half miles to the south.

This is a shot from the north side of the bridge, or rather, under the bridge, of the swampier part of the lake. I thought it was very pretty, especially the rocks and lake grasses. I would imagine that if it rains more, the rocks would almost entirely disappear from view, but the little islands look pretty stable. I had Gracie with me, so we did not try to cross the rocks. That would not doubt have ended in an unhappy splash.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Library Annie out in the world

These things really do happen...especially around the holidays.