Sunday, May 31, 2015

SIMS CREATION: The Brisbane Family Saga, Part One

Newton Brisbane moved to Willow Creek just after turning 18, occupying one of those quaint but cheap little shotgun-style single-bedroom houses down over in Daisy Hovel. He was young and ambitious. An artistic, bookish-type but with lots of social flair. He styled himself a bit Ashram groupie al la 1968 meets Prince al la 1984. In a nutshell, his look was a cherry-red moptop, Captain Morgan Van Dyke, gold-rimmed granny specs, and layering his slightly paunchy midsection was a mod/hippy ruffly, gold-chain-y purplish trench coat thing. He thought he was tres all that.

He got a job in the writing field working for some two-bit rag as a copy boy or something low pay like that. And he was living honest. No motherlode shit here, folks. Bought one of the cheapest furnished homes he could find with his 20 Gs and dealt with the constant nuisances of cheap shit breaking down and poor repair skills to get the shit working again. Lets just say there were many a night in those early years when he wanted to just crumble up and fall asleep dead exhausted on the grungy bathroom floor in a sickly pool of the leaky toilet's dank effluence.

He met several of the local girls running along the trail behind his house. Several more at the park and even went out to the night club in the town center. But despite what he thought were some pretty slick moves none of the chicks he hit up were buying. Katrina Caliente was one of the few that gave him the time of day and he tried earnestly to woo her. She was nice but I think she saw something in Newton that he hadn't noticed yet himself. Plus she was a tad old for him.

It was at that club that night he met and became friends with Katrina's housemate Don Lothario. Don was there with Katrina's two hottie daughters Nina and Dina and none-other than the darkly-vampish Bella Goth. Yes, the club was hoppin' that night with some of the IT CROWD's most-prestigious ol' familiar legacy families representin'. Oddly, despite the gaggle of super-fine foxes literally crowding him at the main bar, Don seemed only interested in chatting up Newton. Newton, a romantic type dude was polite but he was getting a little irritated with Don cause he was trying to make his moves on the ladies and rather than help a buddy out and act as wingman, Don was practically pawin' the girls away from him and Newton in order to get to know him better.

And the same thing the next night even though Newton had traveled to the the fitness center with Katrina. When Katrina, finally walked off on her own since Don wasn't letting her get a word in edgewise between the three of them, Newton was 'bout ready to throw a fit. But instead, he looked into Don's eyes and saw what he wanted. And something inside him started to stir. Things got so hot so fast they almost started to get down to WooHooin' right there in the locker room of the gym but discretion got the better of them and they went off on their separate ways.

That night, Newton couldn't sleep well at all, of course. "Was he gay?" he wondered? He'd never remembered being attracted to guys before but whenever he thought of Don, the situation got out of hand fast. Well, it actually got "in hand" if you know what I hem.

The next afternoon Newton called Don and asked if he wanted to go on a date. Don agreed without a second's hesitation and before long they were together in one of the main galleries at the town museum making out beneath the Van Goughs and Renoirs. Good thing it was a slow night at the museum.

Back at Newton's place they quickly got down to business. And though this all happened so quickly and could well have ended up just becoming an impromptu and soon to be discarded fling, their attraction for each other as people, aside from the lust, was growing in leaps and bounds.

Don left to go back to Oasis Springs in the morning, but only to pick up his toothbrush. One night was all it took. He agreed to move in with Newton and a few days later they were engaged. Before their mutual Young Adult to Adult-stage birthday's they'd impatiently eloped and said their vows to one another under the cheap light of the tiny, little kitchen in their tiny, little home. They didn't need any fancy fuss, they knew they were destined to be with each other until the end.

Sometime between the engagement and the ersatz wedding, Newton decided to go in for a drastic makeover. Now he sported a close-cropped head of dark brown hair with a neatly manicured five o'clock and traded up his grannies for some trendy 21st century specs. As he was trying on new outfits in the dressing room he saw in the mirror that his romantic bliss had obviously translated into some good eats as well since he was looking a smidgen more than paunchy now. He chose a dark grey and black vest combo to mask the growing flab. But Don didn't mind. He loved Newton no matter how he looked.

Those early years were filled with love, and lots (and I do mean LOTS) of WooHoos but not a lot of money. Newton got the occasional raise and promotion in the literary field, and once the skills got better, even some small royalties from self-published books that helped out. He even took up painting in hopes of selling a few pictures here and there.

But Don had fallen into the crime field. And I don't mean law enforcement. He was titled a "Mob Boss" but really he wasn't anything more than a two-bit punk petty thief, hangin' out with some decidedly moronic bozos. He didn't make squat and the risks were too great so he quit that job, worked on his musical skills practicing on his (well, actually Newton's) guitar and got a job in the entertainment line.

Things got slowly better with the money situation and soon they could replace some of the cheap appliances that kept breaking down for more expensive ones that...yup, also kept breaking down. They built an addition on the house and it gave them the room for another room. Though Don is shy about commitments and had a reputation as a love 'em and leave 'em guy in many people's minds, he and Newton mulled it carefully over and they decided to turn the new space into a children's room. Their child's room.

Some of the other kids at the foster home kinda snickered when they heard that Rodney was being adopted by "two dads." But Rodney has thought nothing but the most positive things of it since from the first day he'd arrived at his new home, his new dads were the most loving and caring people to him he'd ever known.

And so, this is where we are right now.

Rodney's been enrolled in the Willow Creek Elementary School and adjusting well.

Don is a part-time open-mic performer at the club but he devotes most of his time to Rodney and Newton. He's become quite the handyman and tends to those persistent breakdowns as quick as can be. He even built a beautiful deck on the side of the house complete with BBQ, umbrella tables, lounge chairs and a small swimming pool right in the middle of the deck.

Newton is nervous about being a parent and even though he loves Rodney so much, he finds that his rapid rise in both the literary and art lines of work are very time consuming. But it is pulling in the money. At this rate he'll likely give the Goths and perhaps even the Laandgraabs a run for their, well, their money actually. Or more accurately, the boasting rights of who has the most of it in this town. It's what Newton hopes at least.

But is this blind ambition too much for this young family to put up with? Will Don's notorious reputation start to become reality once Newton becomes too old, or too fat to stomach anymore? And what about Rodney? He does play a lot with that robot and says it talks to him. And he has been known to go for an evening swim after supper while Newton is busy writing and Don is strummin' out his sexy Latin tunes at the nightclub...where all the ladies still hit on him relentlessly. All those ladies....and perhaps a few of the dudes as well?

Friday, May 22, 2015

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere

Usually my sardonic quip when imbibing at unconventional hours like early in the morning, this time refers to the hour of this post. But, of course, it's 5 AM, not the typical tea dance time.

Does this mean I'm posting from the Caregivers' Office on my fourth consecutive hour of "downtime" leaning back lazily in my comfy chair listening to Mookie constantly curse at her DOTA 2 homies as they battle for the billionth Crystal of Zahrdoom or whatever the fuck those geeks battle for? No. I'm still on days doing the Terror Job. But today Suzy, Traci and I are special guests at the early morning monthly Meet and Greet with the night staff.

Traci's on her last leg (figuratively regarding her job and perhaps literally regarding her health) and Suzy, living in the far-away land of Kissimmee will likely be late, again, for the 5th consecutive day of her 5 days on the job. Gulp.

And yes, Suzy has gotten the low-down on the solid titanium company rule regarding tardiness. Frankly though, I think she won't even last long enough to feel the pain of any timeliness/attendance discipline since she'll likely be out well before they get 'round to slapping that rap on her.

Like I said in the last post, she's inheriting a holy cluster fuck of a shit storm.

Suzy has pharmacy experience so the idiotic rules and regulations that often smack totally counter to logic and common sense in this job aren't as much of a problem for her as they've been for me. But she is young. And though she does come with some knowledge, she isn't that familiar with medications overall. I doubt she has managerial experience, so she'll be looking for someone else to make tough decisions and to grab the reigns of the bull she's riding when it bucks too roughly. But will that assist be there? 'Cause we know that bull will try and throw her.

I'll be in my night staff role with some support duties for her but from her perspective, and truthfully so, I'll be no more effective than the rodeo clown who tries to distract the bull when she goes down. Sad thing is, she will go down. And hard. And I don't think she has the fortitude or will to climb back on the beast more than one or two times at most.

We'll see. Of course I hope she can excel, it'd make my continued stay there easier and less finger-pointing riddled since you know when she's bucked off that bronco the powers that be will blame me. Ah, the old "trainer's fault" syndrome. Welcome to shades of Sears Home Improvement al la 2002. Just before the Koyo years.

So yes Virginia, they do shoot the rodeo clowns. But, as I've warned my would-be foes before, and, in as run-on sentence-y, mixed metaphoric as I can possibly muster...this is definitely NOT my first time at the rodeo.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Apres Moi Le Deluge

So with Helen and Susan having passed on the first applicant to be reviewed for the Med Manager position I wondered how long it would take them to find another. Well, it turns out there is another. Her name is Suzy and she is my replacement. That's the mantra I keep reciting in my head.

I just gotta hold it together, with spit and gum, 'till she officially takes over and I'm safely back in my cloistered position on the night shift.

What a cluster fuck shit storm she'll be inheriting though.

Marie, the Med Manager before me obviously placated her superiors and equals by being able to provide quick solutions to things like med outages by illegally stealing surplus meds from some residents to supply deficits for others. She also kept information from reaching Susan by building a friendly "keep it quiet" network among the black staff. It's not a racist observation. There's definitely a protection network among the black staff to shield their own from harm, to the point of being preferential to "their own." So would you call that racist?

Sarah, the nurse we used to employ has recently passed the torch to a new nurse, Felicity, a government-trained, by-the-book nurse who seems to be more of a witch-hunter than a solver of issues. She seems like she'd rather take down the med manager than work with them in a tete-a-tete battle. Lordy, good luck Suzy!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Hubris Of Man

As I was scanning the front page of reddit this morning I came across a TIL post where someone shared that they recently learned about a bizarre historical fact. Early in the 20th century when Prussia instituted bans of nationalistic displays by native Danes in the Southern Schleswig province near the Danish border, pig farmers decided to stage a subtle protest. They selectively cross-bred pigs that had certain traits for reddish or white skin coloring on various body parts. This resulted in animals that were genetically manipulated to produce offspring which would have an overall reddish skin coloration with wide vertical white bands and a trace of a horizontal white belt.

So for generations, pigs were produced to be living, breathing flags of Denmark!

Well I'm sure the pigs were used for other reasons, of course, but how arrogant are we as a species that we feel we have the right to do whatever we want to other animals and, as in this example, sometimes for the most fucked up reasons?

Listen up humanity! Let me point out a few facts as I see them. Oh, this'll rankle many idiots but hear me out and then go do your own research and come back and tell me I'm wrong...I dare you.

Humans are animals. No, really. We are as "animal" by definition as ANY OTHER ORGANISM classified as such. That is, we are all multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia.

Since all life on Earth (that currently exists) stems from a "last universal ancestor," we are thus essentially all related. Your mother, your pet dog, the flea on your dog, and the parasitic bacterium inside the flea. We are family.

Ownership of other organisms, though not defined technically as "slavery" since that is human-on-human ownership specifically, is essentially the same thing. No judgement on the morality of the practice here, just stating a fact. I acknowledge that by being human I am an omnivore and not only is my body able to devour and utilize the energy stored in animal flesh, I like it. And it's far easier and efficient as a species to own our food stock than to rely on hunting or tracking of game. What's more, ownership of another species of animal isn't restricted only to humankind. For example, ants herd aphids much like humans herd sheep.

But mammals are quite highly-developed organisms and creatures such as pigs and dolphins and dogs seem to exhibit behavior akin to what we would define as intelligence. Based on the study of our own mammalian brain, we can assume that there may be biochemical or electrical triggers for emotions such as fear, pain, pleasure and love in other organisms like us.

Is it right to keep pets that have emotions in "kennels?" Are we kidding ourselves by calling cages kennels? How are they not cages?

Should we, simply because we have the technological know-how, genetically manipulate animals to grow human ears on their backs? Glow in the dark? Make for a docile yet defenseless pet to sit in our lap?

What if our "beloved" owned animals are enjoyed in our homes yet they have unrefined, undesirable biological traits like sharp claws, droopy ears, and sexual reproductive systems?

Declaw them?

Crop their ears?

Neuter them?

I googled "Is pet ownership slavery?" and found a recent general debate forum thread where a poster asked this question. Man, were they ever torn to shreds by an incredibly over-the-top defensive pet "lover" community. You can't tell them that they're oppressing their beloved cat or dog. They love them! And he/she loves them back! They protect them!


Neck collars, torso harnesses and muzzles made out of the chemically-tanned dead flesh skinned off of other mammals' carcasses. Animals that also were bred and raised by man with the sole intent of being slaughtered.

Invisible fences defining a locked in, escape-deterred area for a pet. If the pet ignores audio cues, an electric shock is delivered into it's skin from an electronic collar.

What if Fido or Pussy gets loose? Why on Earth would they want to "get loose?" Don't they know they can't fend for themselves? Their life would be far worse off if they went wild or feral. A night or two of hunger should find them at the doorstep again.

Better put up those Wanted Posters, er, I mean Lost Posters just in case. Other "massas" in the neighborhood will find Pussy, capture her and return her to the plantation, er, I mean home.

Oh, oh, Pussy done got herself knocked up during her night on the loose and now she's birthin' a litter of twelve! Oh well, gotta do the "humane" thing. We can't keep the kittens and no one wants them.

Hi Pussy, just gatherin' up your little ones into this canvas bag. Don't look at me like that. It's gotta be done. I'll make it quick and painless.

Meow, meow, meow....gurgle, gurgle.....MEOW!! SCREECH!! MEOW!!.. .gurgle, splash, gurgle.

Swing low, sweet chariot...

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Poked, Pinched And Prodded

So early Sunday morning I go to the LabCorp inside Walmart on 436 and, yet again, the promised rec that Dr. Gohill's assistant said would be available in their system wasn't, so it would have been a waste of my time except that, luckily, the rec that Ben's office had sent was on file so I used that with the instruction that Gohill's peeps could get it via LabCorp Customer Service. But the tech who drew my blood was a bit too gung ho and her nonchalant jab into my right arm left an absolutely grotesque bruise. The size of a half dollar, it's a nasty-looking blotch of dark violet to burnt umber.

The gal who was the best (er, likely ONLY) candidate to relieve me from my grunt-work job came down from New York and met with Helen, Susan, Debbie and Jessica. They weren't too horribly impressed. Too rough around the edges they say. I met her, she seemed okay. But what do I know. In any event, it looks like they're going to keep looking, putting me in a pinch. How many more weeks is this going to add to my sentence? Yes, it's getting a bit easier as I gain more and more experience and find little loopholes to exploit but man, it's still more work than I've done in decades! It is hit the ground running at morning clock-in and just ramps up and up throughout the exhausting and sweaty day.

But maybe things will look like a piece of cake once I fill my brand-new little gift from the doctor that I got as a result of my visit with her this morning. That's right, by tomorrow I'll be back on the Rainbow Magic! Happy happy, joy joy! And to think it only cost me a half hour of simpleton instructions on how I should eat, drink and generally be un-merry. Oh, and since this was a physical, I got to have her critique my pube shaving technique while fondling my balls and, for my happy ending, a surgical gloved, overly-lubed finger was jammed unceremoniously up my ass.

Gee, last time that happened at least the guy bought me dinner first.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Almost There

I'm coming back my dark minions. I shall be Queen of the Night again soon!

A replacement Med Manager is slated to be put in place in a couple more weeks so I'm still trudging along in this position but, as Susan said in a recent email "there's light at the end of the tunnel." Of course I replied tongue-in-cheek pessimistically, "Yeah...that's the train's headlight."

It's getting easier though and I'm actually not as freaked out about the job as I was in the beginning. Dare I say I'm actually liking it and regretting my decision to return to the night shift? Um, no. It's still way too much work and worry for the pay. And my life's goals have never been about the pay.

It's all about the retention of sanity and the perpetuation of "namaste."

According to Helen, my return to the night will be with some modifications which I agree would be good...mainly, a continuation of some of the organizational upkeep in regards to medication administration (which I love to do) and will garner a larger pay rate than when I left the nights. Hmm, that's nice. How much larger? That wasn't discussed but I'd assume about a 50 cent per hour raise. I mean, it'd still be the overnight hours. Still lots of downtime and far less chaos than days. So it works out, in the end, I would think, a lot better overall than had I done nothing in the beginning of April when the Med Manager position became available.

I like when things fall into place like that. Makes it seem like it was my master plan all along.

*Twirls handlebar mustache...."Muuuuuhhaaaa!"

EDIT: By the way, for your information, and all of that....this is the one thousandth post of this blog!!