I don't want to do Jack stuff
Sunday, January 31 2021
Ray and Nancy would be gone for a few days to attend the funeral of one of Ray's brothers, so this morning Nancy dropped off Jack to stay with us while they were gone. When Jack arrived, the dogs were off with Gretchen, and Jack whimpered with disappointment that they weren't immediately there.
I always forget what a pain Jack is to dogsit. For the rest of the day, as the only human in the house, I was the focus of his seemingly-undivided attention. He followed me from room to room and sat there staring at me whenever I was in any one place for a long time. It's unnerving to have someone staring at you constantly, and it didn't take long before I was completely fed up with Jack. Normally it's cats whose "stuff" I don't want to do. But Jack had driven all the cats into hiding and, when he wasn't creeping me out with his stare, was constantly underfoot or otherwise in my fucking way. "I don't want to do Jack stuff!" I'd say, but he didn't respond to my frustration by settling in or finding something to do.
Sundays are one of my busiest days every week. There's something about Gretchen being out of the house and my not having to work (which only happens on Sundays) that makes me get shit done, even when there's wound-up dog driving me crazy. Today I tackled two carpentry projects. One of these was the installation of a shelf about three feet above the floor along the north wall of the laundry room. This was to make an organized home for my three electrically-powered chainsaws, along with their chargers (and chargers for some other equipment).
I then used the lapping planks to make a surface for my new computer desk.
The today from my brother Don revealed yet another layer of the chaos onion my childhood home has become. Apparently the reason my mother Hoagie can't drive into town to get groceries is that she has lost the keys to her Subaru. It's not surprising, given her memory issues and extreme disorganization, that she's begun losing the things necessary to function in life. Unfortunately for Don, this is forcing him to go hungry or beg for help from friends. I told him that he had to stress the dire nature of his situation should he manage to contact his social worker. In the meantime, though, at least there is Josh Furr.
As always, Don also wanted to talk about the various oddball things that interest him. He was very happy to have taken delivery of Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee, which Gretchen had shipped to him. He also wanted to talk about Breath a book whose main thesis seemed to be that people should breathe through their noses and not their mouths.
I had zero interest in that subject and thought we'd moved on once Don started telling me about the latest tales of Hoagie's mental decline. But then he circled back and wanted to bludgeon me with with another non-stop monologue about what Breath had taught him. When I sighed quietly "Oh Jesus!" he apparently heard me and said that he could tell that I wasn't interested. This was the manifestation of a social skill I didn't think he had.
This evening I made a big pot of chili, which I finished not long after Gretchen got off work and Powerful returned from his adventure in the City.
This evening I began decommissioning my old computer desk. This will probably take awhile, since there are multiple surfaces on that desk, all of which have accumulated a chaotic assemblage of random bits and pieces from dozens of projects over the past 14 years. Most of this debris consists of jumper wires, small electronic components, and various screws and bolts (many of which are organized in beer bottlecaps so I could easily find them should I ever want to reassemble some thing I'd disassembled). But there are larger things as well: working Bic lighters, a dashcam, a pulse oximeter, various rings I have worn, spheres made of Oscar the Cat's hair, spheres made of epoxy, and a small scream-capable figurine of the protagonist in Edvard Munch's The Scream.
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