Sunday, November 23, 2014

Coming to the End (of 2014)

Samantha:  This has been one hell of a year, and the pendulum continues to swing wildly between good and bad.  We're getting settled in the new place, we have most of the boxes unpacked, and we have a roomie that we've known since forever, and that's all good.

We have a kitten, Moggie.  He'll be a year old in a few more months.  He's playful, energetic, likes to bat things around.  He picks on Malkin, and he's a bitey little kitten in that playful way that you know means he doesn't want to hurt you - though you have bite and scratch marks on your hands.  When we got him, he had ear mites and round worm.  We didn't know of course, so Malkin got ear mites and round worm.  That was an expensive pain in the ass to get treated, but they're both all better now.  Moggie just got fixed, and the difference in appearance is noticeable.  I didn't know how big cat balls were until we got Moggie.  Malkin was fixed before we got him, so to us his pair (even though he doesn't have a pair) looked 'normal' to us.  You would think, 'small animal, small pair'.  Moggie however, had this huge set of swingers, to the point where I'd joke 'a cat is all teeth, claws, and balls'.  Now that Moggie's fixed, it looks more like what we'd expect from a tiny animal.

Malkin's age is showing.  He's slowing down, he sleeps a lot, but he still plays and likes attention.  We figure he's got months left, maybe a year.  Kit's in that weird dual-head-space, where he doesn't want to think about Malkin dying, but he's eyeballing a playmate for Moggie for when Malkin does pass on.  It's got him kinda sad at the moment.  I hope Malkin can make it through the winter.

The new apartment's kinda nice.  It's warm.  Hella warm.  We keep the windows open even though there's snow outside, and the apartment is still warm.  We've been putting the fans in the house on, and letting them blow on us to keep us cool.  And this is on top of keeping the window open.  On the nice side, it means we're not needing to put on the thermostat.  But I bet summer's gonna fucking suck, so we'll need the air conditioner in when spring comes around.

Yeah.  There's an elephant in the room, and I'm trying to think of how to talk about it.  I could leave it to Shawn to talk about, or I could let Mark talk about it, but.. I dunno.  Mark's not really emotionally invested in it, and Shawn is being kinda weird about it.  It doesn't bother him as much as it bothers Kit and I.. but he feels if he has to address it.. well, it's kinda a 'don't dump this on me'.  He'd thought about writing about it earlier in the day, but right now, this seems to be my show.

So okay.  Cat and mom had a fight.  Yeah, they'll argue sometimes.. mom's been really critical of us, and Cat doesn't take that very well.  They both have dominating personalities, they're both stubborn, and because of that when they meet head-on, it gets ugly.  Mom's had a way of being critical when she comes over.. she will be upset about the state of the house, or the dishes, or the kitchen, or the bathroom, or whatever.  The thing is, she'll critique things while in the house being a houseguest, and Cat thinks it's kinda rude.  (Shawn:  Yes, it is "kind of rude".  Seriously, but continue.)  If we're visiting mom and dad's place, mom gets critical there, too.  And the thing is, this kinda attitude drives Cat nuts.

I kind of see it.  If you have someone over as a guest, they shouldn't crap on you.  If you're being a guest, they shouldn't crap on you.  If there's something up, you can bring it up later, I guess.  You know, perhaps in neutral territory, or in an e-mail, or a phone conversation.  And if you're not enjoying the visit, then either stop visiting, or stop inviting the person over, or whatever.  Dumping on someone is, I think, rude.. you don't do it.  But.. well.. I guess this has been a point of contention before with Kit and mom.  She's always had this kinda headspace that Kit's her son, and thus she's entitled to care for him, and thus she's entitled to give her thoughts on things where it concerns him, regardless of time and place.  And Cat doesn't like that.  She feels it's picking on him, it's picking on her, it causes frustration and anger and just adds a negative vibe to everything.  It's why Cat's parents don't feel comfortable hanging out with our parents - there's just too much negativity.

Well, Cat's been a bit more aggressive about this lately.  With the new apartment, mom's first visit was also a critique of how we're unpacking, where we're putting stuff, and so forth and so on.  And a 'I hope you keep this place in better condition than the last place'.  Cat was unhappy, and yeah, I don't blame her.  This led to Cat giving mom a smack upside the head when she was being critical and Cat wasn't taking it anymore.  Kit gave Cat the warning 'no, you don't get to hit my mom'.

But this.. this was a different beast entirely.

Shawn:  I guess I will take over here.  There's a few rules of hospitality that our mother doesn't seem to keep in mind.  One thing is that when you walk through the front door, you're a guest.  I don't care what you want to do, you're a guest, and as a guest, there are rules of hospitality.

Without putting too fine a point on it - you are polite.  You don't make demands.  You don't threaten to break someone else's property.  And you don't make a move to act on that threat.  If your host tells you to leave, you leave.  It doesn't matter if you think you're in the right or not.  You walk out that door.  If you have a thing to say, you can say it from outside.  Or in an e-mail.  Or a phone call.  Or a letter.  Or whatever the hell you want, but you don't do it inside the house.

Do I think Cat may have overreacted?  I'm not certain.  I think if I was in her shoes, I'd have thrown a punch.  If it was Samantha, I'm sure she'd have gone for a slap across the face.  Mark might have grabbed her wrist - and most likely would have broken it.  Cat did none of these - she has her own style of fighting.

Our mother however, didn't just cross a line, she decided the line was on the edge of a cliff, and decided to throw herself over it anyway.  Kit's trying to be understanding, but he's pissed off.  He's done an amazing job of keeping that flatlined however - his feeling about family is pretty damn strong, but he's frustrated with our mother, annoyed with our father, and he's said what he had to say to Cat and is being as supportive as he can for her.

We had a talk today with our mother, and it didn't go well.  She's got a habit of "being right".  She played the victim card today.  "What if I had a heart attack while I was fighting with Cat?"  The answer is "we'd have dealt with that if it had happened."  The point is, it was still mother's fault it got to this.  She broke so many rules of hospitality, I have to laugh thinking about it.  I laugh, because if I didn't, the alternative wouldn't be as pleasant.  Mother's completely unapologetic, and she's being her typical stubborn self.

Mother was in the wrong.  She's refusing to accept any responsibility for her actions.  I'm going to remind Kit of this each time she wants him to see her.  I think I'm not going to be letting him visit her place anymore.  From now on, visits are on neutral ground.  This is going to make things awkward when Cat has a kid, because mother won't be visiting the apartment to see it, and we're certainly not taking it to their place. If and when they want to see the kid, that means Cat's going to be there, until the kid's old enough for Kit to bring it someplace without Cat's supervision.  And you know, Cat's not going to want to be there if mother's there, and that means no visit then.

Mother fucked up.  Badly.  She won't own up to it.  That's two strikes.  Kit may be willing to bend a bit for family, but there's nothing saying I have to.  I'll be watching for the next little while.  But suffice to say, I'm really not pleased.

Samantha:  In other news, let's talk about something more pleasant, okay?  I've been helping out a DJ on Guild Wars 2, and I've enjoyed it.  He's convinced me to actually be a part of the show, and while it's kinda fun helping with the script, I fucking hate my voice.  I.. sound nothing like how I want to sound, and it just kinda makes me twitch to hear myself.

That being said.. yeah, it's still fun.  I like doing it, I just don't wanna listen to the results.  It started kinda out of the blue - a guy was supposed to be part of the show, dating an NPC that's a part of the program.  The DJ has a few characters for his show, and he does the voices of all of them.  Two of them are girls, and he's using a Text To Voice for them, which is kinda cool.  Anyway, the guy didn't show up, so he asked if I could fill in.  So, yeah, I wound up "in script", going on the date with one of the girls.  That was kinda fun.

And for his 2-year-anniversary, he got a bunch of friends to team up to do the script, so I was there, and I got to cut loose some and enjoy myself.  The voice part sucked for me, and I could have died of embarrassment every time I heard myself, but it was still fun.  I've been helping out in-game as well, creating quizzes for people to answer, and handing out prizes.  I kinda like that.. partly because it flatters my geek ego to be able to toss out questions.  A lot of the questions are trivia I know, though I've had to sometimes go hunt down the answer to make damn sure I'm right.. and I've goofed a few times, but overall it's just fun.

I've been talking with the guys about DJing.  I've considered going back to Second Life and doing my program there, though it doesn't have voice associated with it - it's just me spinning tunes and hanging out on the grid with everyone.  We've also talked about DJing in Guild Wars 2 though.. and it wouldn't be just me, it'd be me, and Kit.  Kit'd be the primary for the show, and we're kinda trying to think of a gimmick for me so I could be on the show and not sound like I do.  Though .. I think it was Shawn.. mentioned just owning it.  Make Legion be the DJ in all our glory, with each of us coming up to do what we do over the course of the show.  It's.. kind of a different idea.. I'd not have thought of that.. but it's also kinda cool.  And scary.  "Hey, here's a new DJ.  Our thing is.. well, there's a LOT of us!"

It's kinda cool, but I have to admit, everyone else's got an advantage there.. in that they're all guys, and I'm not.  So they don't care what they sound like.. I do.  But maybe.  We'll see.

And yeah, that's that.  It's 3 am.. and I think we've gotten this all out of our system.  The holidays are gonna be fucked up.. thankfully though we're gonna see my girlfriend when she comes to visit Ottawa around Christmas.  We're maybe going to Montreal to see her for her birthday too - that'd be nice.  She's gone through some hard times - so any chance to spend time with her is good.

G'night, everyone!

- S


  1. I'd like to note, in my own defence, that even when I lose my temper I almost always use my words -- they may be at top volume, and a lot of them will likely be cuss words, but still... a verbal response rather than a physical one. What makes dealing with your mother unusually frustrating for me is that trying to explain to her why her actions are wrong is useless: her response to any criticism is to deny, deflect, or disconnect. She can dish it out all day long, but she can't take it.

  2. ...Also, someone who's concerned about heart attacks should not be instigating shouty arguments, let alone instigating physical conflict. :P