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Mr. Dad Worthy

Don't be fooled by my stunned look. This was my brain forming my very first Evil Spawn thought.

Don’t be fooled by my stunned look. This was my brain forming my very first Evil Spawn thought.

Picture it–(Sicily, 1947)–just kidding, it was probably around 1980-1981. I was roughly three or four years old. I lived in a tiny place in the frozen tundras of Alberta, a province in the great forested wilds of a country named Canada. The town was called Tin Town. Tin town was basically rows upon rows, huddled up to the street, of small mobile homes with some geniuses idea to use metal sheets on the roof and outside. Metal sheets, guys–I don’t know if any of you have stuck your head inside an oil drum while someone cranks out a drum-beat from Pantera upon it, but it’s pretty much what it sounds like whenever it rained, sleeted or hailed.

These were the “lower ranked” military housing, set below the much more majestic actual houses on a far off hill where I assume the higher ranking Canadian military families all drank expensive water and had expensive parties or something.

It is night. (Remember: you’re picturing this with me.) Our tiny little tin coffin is darkened and silent as the night cloaks all in stillness. My father–a long time sufferer of a horrible back and gout-ridden feet, often slept on the couch at night as it was more solid and more supportive than the bed. In our tiny little metal box, my room was at the very end of a short hallway that looked right out through the kitchen and into the living room; facing the living room’s large picture window. Below the picture window was the couch. And on that couch was my father, arms crossed over his chest, feet crossed at the ankles and grey-wool sock covered feet peeking out from under a blanket. I knew he was fast a sleep because it seemed as if he were sawing the winter’s worth of aspen trees for kindling. AKA: Holy mother of Odin, my father could out-snore a drunk bear.

And so, like most three-to-four year olds, I had gone through my list of Things I Could Do To Avoid Going To Sleep such as the number one hit: I Have To Pee, and, I Have to Pee Again, as well as, Read Me Another Story! and my favorite, I’m Hungry! as well as the other not-as-well-known usual night time favorites.  Having annoyed the living fuck out of my parental units so much that they fell asleep, exhausted, obviously ignoring my needs–I felt rather betrayed. And upset. And so, I began:

“Dad!” I called quietly at first. Because everyone was asleep and I learned at an early age startling your father from a deep sleep often meant he was up on his feet looking for danger before realizing where he was.

No response. Just snoring.

“Dad!” I try again, a little more volume than the first time.
Again, no response. But…his snoring had stopped. That lit a fire of hope within me that I had woken him up. And so I got really excited!

“Dad. Dad? Dad. Dad. Dad. Daddy! Dad. Dada. Daddy! Dad?? DAD!! Dad! DAAAD! DAAAAADEEEEEEEEEEEEE.”
Silence. But no snoring. So I thought I better but some real meaning behind it.

Deep breath: “Daddy!
I heard my father groan as he began rubbing his socked feet back and forth (they pained him so much even then, that he’d often–and still does–last I saw him–rub them together desperately as if that would help.)  Then the snoring recommenced.

I, in my toddler persistence and stubborn glory could feel my will rising in the scrunchy-frowny-face I began to make. I was obviously fucking dying okay, and nobody was responding to me and that was very frustrating. So I took a huge lungful and sharply cried:

Daddy!”
The snoring stopped. It ended on a snurrzzle-cough of surprise as I could see via a night-light my father twitching to awareness.
What?” he curtly replied. And before you feel the need to call him out for being short with me then, remember: I had been annoying them all god damn night asking for things and not settling in bed, and I got up balls early in the morning and was a horrible, horrible handful of a child. The kind of child that you need at least 8 hours of sleep and four pots of coffee to handle.

“I’m thirsty!” I say, as if I were proclaiming myself wounded and in the desert obviously on my last legs.
“You just had a drink an hour ago. Go to sleep.” And my father–who is the most talented of Being Able To Sleep ANYWHERE At The Drop Of A Hat, started snoring again.

Well, I thought. That’s horrible. This is horrible. Here I am, about to cross over into the great unknown after death, and my father wouldn’t even let me have a drink of water! This wouldn’t sit well. No sir, not with me, let me tell you. And like any evil possessed toddler, I waited a good five or so minutes to let him get back to the good sleep while I gathered my powers of Satan and then–

“DADDY!” In my most piercing little girl voice.
–I don’t know if you have kids, or have been around kids, but children have this secret Dune inspired voice power where they can take their sweet, sweet little voices and make them a weapon of mass ear drum fracturing. I watched as my father twitched so hard he nearly fell off the couch.

“Go to sleep!” He said in his I’m about to lose my shit with you, spawn, voice.
“I’M THIRSTY!”
“I said: go to sleep.”
“I’M THIRSTY!” 
As if saying it twice and with more emphasis would transfer to him just how important my need for a glass of water was. Life and death, old man–he was standing in my way. I would never grow up at this point. I would die in this bed. Thirsty. So, so thirsty.
“I. Said. Go. To. Sleep, Melissa Middle Name Lastname, and if you call out Dad one more time—”

Listen. When parents use your Full given name at any time in your life as a kid (assuming you had the joy of having them) you knew shit was about to go down. And by shit, I mean Big Trouble, okay? It was a warning code for parents everywhere to give to their offspring to let them know they should probably stop pushing the Explode button before mom and dad actually went Super Nova out of being sleep deprived, hungry, frustrated, and on the verge of becoming monks. The use of my Full Given Name was much like using the power of any Demon’s name–I was silent.

For a while. 

I began to think about what he said. Again, like any demon in a contract with a summoner, I rolled over everything that was written in my Full Given Name contract bid to shut the hell up and go to sleep. I began searching for that one loophole in my toddler mind that would free me again and….I got it. I got it! 

I took a deep breath and cried out with all my power: “MISTER NOSEWORTHY CAN I PLEASE HAVE A GLASS OF WATER!”

Silence for a heartbeat from the couch. And  then I heard a strange sort of sound. A soft snuffling, muffled by a hand. The snuffling soon grew to what I thought might be my father choking down his rage when I at last realized he was laughing. He was chortling madly.

“G-g-go get your glass of water,” was all he said. For you see, my friends–he had said, “and if you call out DAD one more time–” and my terrible mind had worked out how to skip pass the ass whoppin’ and get to the water drinking.

I’m 36 now.  My father lives in Calgary, Alberta, and I live in Florida. There’s a lot of time and mileage between us, but ask my father to tell the Water Story and he never forgets. He gets this big, big grin on his face as he tells everyone how I wheedled out of getting in trouble and actually made him laugh while getting the drink of water I wanted.

I miss him.

This blog post was sponsored by a Go Fund Me donation given by Cindy.

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Consumer BEWARE: Brian Davis Septic Company

Consumer BEWARE: Brian Davis Septic Company

 

 If you live in the Palm Bay/Viera/Melbourne area in Florida, USA and you  own or have an aerobic septic system in  your home? Consumer BEWARE of the Brian Davis Septic Company! Read this! 

I contracted with Brian Davis Septic in December 13 after finding them in BBB with a A+ Rating. It took multiple calls to get them to fax over the paper work. Since that time I’ve experienced the problems listed below. While reading these, please note that this company is licensed by the State heath department to service it’s constituents for required services:

1. Initial inspection stated all was well, however both tanks badly in need of pump out. Several calls required to schedule the pump out, all by me, in January (around the 10th) 2014.

2. In January 10, during pump out, service techs stated that the “inspectors don’t really look for that sort of thing.” However tanks were open and inspected.

3. During this service call, asked about leakage into yard from what was eventually determined to be a bad emitter. “Yeah, hmm, weird.” However no further information given, nor the need to fix as eventually determined. Techs at this time stated “everything else looks good and in working order.”

4. After the pump out in January, 10, pump began making strange noise, as though water in pump. Communicated to office, attempting to schedule visit to inspect. Promised callback twice, none returned by office staff.

5. In May 2014 as pump sounds began to increase, contacted office again to schedule visit, took several calls, again from me, never called back, to schedule visit.

6. During visit, aerator pump was determined to be bad, and screw covers for vegetation covers/tank cover not screwed down properly, and would have been an inspection violation… last service was by this company, so error was theirs.

7. During same visit in May, previously mentioned emitter determined to be issue needing repair.

8. After calling office, informed that the pump issue was noted in January, however this was not ever explained as an issue needing replacement. Issue was slight in January, continued operation and a failure to respond to my initial concerns 4 months prior while in need of repair was likely cause of eventual failure, or at the very least accelerated it.

9. When trying to get a price quote for replacement/repair work required 7 calls between 5/28 and 5/30, nearly all of them ending with a promise of a callback that never occurred. Each time I had to follow up. During this time, the aerator has been off leaving me out of code.

10. After several calls, was finally able to schedule a time for the repair, Wednesday, 6/4 between 8 and 10 AM. I took time off work to be here to pay and monitor the service. At 9:40, with no one yet hear and no call, I called to confirm. I was told by the office person (Rosa, who has been the person I’ve dealt with consistently and had such terrible response) said that they would need to reschedule for 6/6 because one of their “people had a, um, problem.” I strongly feel I was simply forgotten, and previous experiences do nothing to dissuade this. I asked how I was supposed to know if no one called and that I took time off work for this, I was placed on hold, and told that someone would be by this after noon, now requiring me to miss an entire day of work.

This is absolutely the most terrible customer service experience I have ever experienced or witnessed, and I manage a customer service call center, and makes the BBB A+ rating meaningless.

Resolution:

Because of the many servicing issues, service mishaps, incomplete work, failure to respond, advise and/or notice existing issues for a service I have paid for, the only way this can be reasonably accommodated is with a free (or, at the very least, discount in excess of 75%) pump replacement and official apology from the business itself, acknowledging their failures and admitting fault.

Call Timeline, gathered from phone call history, text message logs and our experience:

5/28

7:14 AM – Called to report pump worsening after January Reporting of same issue. Was told that the person answering (I believe it to be Rosa) was on way to work, and that she would call back in 15 minutes

8:38 AM – I called back to schedule visit, told would be coming out between 10 and noon. During this call also mentioned I had previously informed them of the pump noises following pump out in January. Was told this was noted on prior report. However I nor my wife were never informed of this, and the sound didn’t occur until after the pump out.

1:05 PM – 2 Service Techs showed, disconnected air pump, told my wife that it was shot and needed replacement. Service Tech got on ground, dug out previously mentioned emitter (again, mentioned in January) and informed that it, as well as the alarm light, needed to be repaired/replaced. Also unclogged pump inside tank which was clogged with hair, according to the service tech. During this time my wife overheard one of the techs could be overheard speaking on the phone with office “No it doesn’t need a pump out, I’m not going to lie to her.” This same tech also told my wife, when she mentioned issues with contacting the office that he “could tell {us} horror stories about the office.”

5/29

10:01 AM – Called and was told she didn’t have notes yet, but would get them and call back.

3:02 PM, 4:25 PM – I called to get information. Each time was told she would call back very shortly (15 minutes first time, 5 minutes second

5/30

9:30 AM – Called back to get information, was given price to replace pump, fix emitter and repair/replace alarm light. Due to the difficulties I’d experienced, arranged with office to split payment. Rosa agreed to do so. During this was asked to provide post-dated check, which is not actually legal. I refused this and an arrangement for me to call back was arranged. Essentially NET 30. Listing this information in the interest of a full accounting of the situation, as it was one of the few bright spots of the service. Date for install was set for 6/4 at between 8 and 10 AM

6/4

9:40 AM – called when no one had arrived. Was told had to do Friday (notes on this in complaint). When I expressed concern at the lack of notification or callback, told would call back.

10:14 AM – Was (miraculously) called back to set second appointment today from 2 PM to 4 PM

4 PM – No show or call at this time. (Called Christie @Brevard Health to let her know)

4:03 PM – Called to check on status – Was told will be 45 minutes to one hour.

4:32 PM – Received call from Emily and told will be here in approximately 25 minutes.

4:50 PM – 2 Service techs arrived (Emily seemed to be one of them). After investigating the pump, she stated that she wished that someone had told her that the pump needed an adapter.

5:09 PM – The tech didn’t have one with her and they left with our pump to get the appropriate adapter at the local Home Depot or their shop (not sure which). Also overheard the 2nd tech mentioning that the cover screws were stripped and needed to be rethreaded. In the past year, the only service has only been by techs of Brian Davis Septic.

6:26 PM – The techs returned, with a third gentleman. The problem with the pump hook up was not apparently as difficult to remove as the 3rd tech was able to remove it. The pump was then hooked up and the emitter line repaired. I again mentioned a second potential emitter issue, which a prior tech had mentioned didn’t look like a problem; however it was not investigated at this time any further. The new pump seems to be working, however they positioned it such that the cover for the pump will not close properly. Alarm light on due to high water levels in second tank. That brings me to a new complaint…

During this time, they inspected the second tank, and determined the water level to be too high. It should be noted at this point that during the prior visit on 5/28 after cleaning out the pump filter, that the pump was in working order and providing 45 pounds (I’m assuming) of pressure. The water level visibly dropped and things were proceeding, according to the first techs, just fine.  Again, no pump out was recommended by the techs on Site 5/28. During this visit, however, they noted there was a problem with the pump, directly contradicting their previous inspection, including low pressure and no return pressure. She expressed credulity that we had had both tanks pumped out as recently as January which we had. In addition, the tech today noted that this may have been due to back flow from the broken emitter, again, an issue we reported in January. She suggested a second pump out, and possible 2nd tank pump replacement. She stated the office staff would contact me with quotes/details.

7:26 PM – gathered up their things and prepared to leave, closing the vegetation and access covers, but not completing the closure of the air pump cover due to the issue noted above. As they were leaving, they said that the office person (Rosa) said I would give them two checks. This was, as previously stated, not the agreement and that they would have a card reader with them. These techs stated that is not the case. I advised them to have Rosa contact me and I would work out details at that point.

 

 

Stock image provided by: http://ahrum-stock.deviantart.com/
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April Fools

mother-and-baby-isolated-871294248560rUxApril 2nd, huh. You missed out on the really fun shenanigans that often happen during April fools by only a day. That means that, depending on how you felt and how dad felt, April fools jokes were still going to be played whether you wanted them or not. I don’t remember all the April’s Fools the two of you played with me and with each other. The only one that really stuck out in my mind was when, in my early teens, my mother pulled me aside with stillness in her features. She bade me sit down and said, “I have something important to tell you,” with low words. I couldn’t read her face. I couldn’t figure out if I had gotten into trouble of it I’d done something–all I knew is that burbling, wordless fear started crawling around in my brain trying to find anything that I’d done wrong recently.

“Uh. Okay,” I said.

She was in her favorite rocking chair. She leaned in close and put her hand over mine. And then the stoic mask she’s worn earlier slipped with her one-corner-of-mouth  smile as she said: “You’re going to have a little brother or sister!”

And of course I start flapping my arms around lik they were made of two week old celery that’s not dried out enough to be bad, but certainly rubbery. “REALLY?” I asked, in that sub-sonic woman’s voice reserved for newborns, puppies, kittens, and those moments that happen in your favorite move.  It’s at this point that I notice my mother’s smile turning to smirk. It happened slow; along the left hand side of her mouth it would begin to curl a little downward, showing laugh-line creases. Then her eyes, once steady, became glittering with the laughter she withheld .

She came clean to me and reminded me of the date: April 1st. I was disappointed, but not mad. It was, for me and for her, a trifling little April fools between us that meant no hard.

April is coming.
April fools and then
My mother’s birthday.

I have dreamed of her so much at night that no matter how weird and awful or utterly mundane  it is–she’s there. Sometimes a big focal part. Somethings I see her passing by me like I’ve been dawdling and I should hurry. Sometimes it’s just a flash of her favorite purse, hair and blue jeans before it’s gone.

These dreams are the worst. I don’t want to wake up. I want to lay in bed for days on end so that I can see her again. So that she’s there. But when I wake up, I realize it was just a dream and it’s not really her and will never be as good as her and I feel like I am starting to mourn her all over again.

What I want is an april fools. I want it to be a horrible, giant April Fool’s joke.
I want her to call me tomorrow and say, “April Fools!”
And I want yell at her about how awful that April Fools was and did she honestly know how broken our entire family is and didn’t she know I had so much more to say to here and show her. I have a house. I have a beautiful backyard. A husband you’ve never met. I have cats. Four cats. And I now you love cats. And birds. And Ma, we take such good care of each other. He really loves me. He’s the one, he’ll always be the one, so you don’t have to worry about who I am dating. Just don’t this April fools again!
‘Kay, mom?

Okay–Mom?

 

Mom.

 

Darlene Mae Noseworthy
April 2nd, 1956 – December 11th, 2011
Good bye, Mum.

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To my Husband in the New Year.

You are my little planet, my earth. Hard packed from the way my feet pace back and forth in your heart–worrying about the things you’d never think of. Because really, they aren’t things that were meant to be worried about. Do you think I will die first? What will happen if you do? You know, I cannot live without you. I would have to go right after. You watch as I say these things and wring my hands as old women in markets haggling over the price of life. Your earth is soft and cool;  never too hot or baked from Floridian sunrises. I like to bury my toes deep into you, because I know that through you…I will grow.

You are not a rock.  I hope you will  never be a rock.  Rocks are too hard, too tough. They feel stress fractures and before you know it they’ve split and grown harsh edges to cut with.

You are the grass covered hill waiting in the shadow of a sunny day to cool me. So I can lay down in long plants, watch the clouds of your mind take the shapes and forms of  love for me. And I feel nothing but peace. If it rains, I’ll just roll down the hill a little bit, until the worst of it hits the side.

I would have marked you a Knight. But there are problems with Knights, too. So bound up in rigid codes or behaviors. So wrapped up in their armor that sometimes they forget there’s more to see of the world outside the slit of a visor.

You are my little planet. My cool grass. My soft hill. My reason. My husband.

I love you.

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The prettiest damn elf at the party – FFXIV

The prettiest damn elf at the party – FFXIV

In my life, there’s been a lot of games that I’ve beta tested for that had a lot of great focus in the first few levels and then…nothing later. There have been even more games that started well and turned into a festival of sad poop because of expectations. (Not naming any names.)

But one MMORPG that I have been beta testing the stuffing out of and eye-humping it since I’ve started has been Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. I managed to get myself into Beta 2 and have been gleefully screaming down the fan-girl slide since. Oh–yes; there are issues they need to fix. There is balancing that will need to be done and this game is certainly not a very easy MMORPG. Hell, just figuring out how to do anything in your Square Enix account is a challenge and a half and I don’t even want to talk about the company’s idea of sharing information on the beta forums and in emails.

They screwed up with the last game and they know it. And they set out to fix it. And boy-oh-boy, have they did. Not only have they fixed it, they’ve given us a completely different game. It’s good. It’s very good. I recommend trying it when it goes open beta.

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