Wednesday, March 24, 2010


It's been a while since I had a good outrage going. Don't get me wrong, the current political climate of bickering, back-biting, and outright lies and slander has made it difficult to even enjoy the antics of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, but that has me more sad and disillusioned than outraged. But then, two weeks ago, I got a letter in the mail. It was from the Census Bureau. I knew the census was nigh upon us, but it seemed awfully thin to be the census form. I opened it, and took out the letter that said, essentially, that in a week or so I'd receive my census form. Don't throw it away. The current US population is estimated to be somewhere in the vicinity of three-hundred-million people. Even if each letter cost a fraction of a penny to mail, and I'm reasonably sure it cost more than that, that's a shitload of money spent to tell me that something else is coming in the mail. Sure enough the form came in the next week, and I thanked my wonderful government for the warning because I nearly panicked when I saw that envelope in my mailbox. I mean, it was an envelope, in my mailbox! Fortunately, as I was getting ready to douse my mailbox in gasoline and set it ablaze, I remembered that I had, indeed, been warned that this form was coming, and I relaxed. It took all of five minutes to fill out and mail the form, and I went back to my daily life, secure in the knowledge that I had done my civic duty. But then, when I got home from work yesterday I found a surprise. A postcard from the fucking Census Bureau! 'You should have received your census form by now, blah, blah, blah'. Oh for fuck's sake!!! I know the census is important, and I know that people can be less than responsible about such things, but do we really need THREE MASS MAILINGS!? In this time of financial belt tightening, when schools and scientific research are being strangled by the ever-shorter purse strings, do we really need to waste this much time, money, and paper? I'm sure there is a tiny percentage of folks who this might make an impact on, but if someone is not going to fill out their census form, are they likely to read the first letter, or care about the follow-up postcard? Maybe I'm being naive, but it seems that maybe TV and radio ads would have been a better way to spend hundreds of millions to tell the American public that the census forms are not to be used to line bird cages. But what do I know about marketing?

Marius the Perplexed

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where I've Been

Yes, the Corner has been a dark, lonely place of late, and I do apologize, but as you're about to see sometimes the darkness and solitude are the best companions. Just to bring you up to speed Castle Marius is inhabited by myself, Mrs. Marius, Starbuck and Artemis (the two kitties-o-the-apocalypse) and the Child-o-the-Apocalypse(CoA). When Mrs. Marius and I met the CoA was 5, adorable, yet rather manic. It was early in our relationship that I asked if she had been tested for ADD, and later she was diagnosed with rather severe ADD, maybe even ADHD, with a touch of OCD thrown in for a good rounding out of the alphabet soup. We tried numerous medications, some worked, others didn't. Her current meds seem to help, or at least give us a fighting chance, for without them she is totally intransigent. Imagine living with a bipedal mule with a cat fetish. When her meds are in full function we still have trouble keeping her on task, but at least she is steerable. Once they wear off she becomes Kid Hyde. And to make matters far worse she is beginning puberty. She is seeing both a psychiatrist, and a psychologist, and lest you think we fall into that category of lazy parents who merely want their kids drugged into obedience til they turn 18 and can be kicked out of the party nest, both of her mental health caregivers fully endorse her seeing the other one. So this is the atmosphere here in the casa...oh, and one more thing. Due to Mrs. Marius's work schedule I do the lion's share of dealing with the CoA.

I'm not very good at it.

Without turning this into some Freudian couch surrogate let's just say that growing up my mother and two step-fathers seemed to consider us kids to be more of an irritant than anything else, and while I try my best to not be like that, as soon as she gets me angry, which is a daily occurrence lately, I transform into a screaming, door-slamming Hulk-version of my mother. Fortunately I've never allowed myself to beat her with a hairbrush, or wooden spoon, or any other implement, nor has she been slapped across the face, or had her mouth taped shut, or her hands tied to her waist, or any of the other fun times I had as a kid. But she gets me so furious that I will often say hurtful things, and then when I calm down not only am I enraged at her, I'm furious with myself as well. And on top of all this fun is the fact that she refuses to act her age. Her councilor, who is usually one to allow the CoA to come to her own conclusions and suggest better behavioral modalities, point blank told her that were she to guess how old CoA was based solely on her behavior she'd say 6 years old. And this is the crux of my absence. Imagine having to micromanage a teenaged 6 year old. She lies, she steals, we can't leave her alone for more than a few hours lest we find all sorts of things missing and later hidden in her room. A few weeks ago I had to hide all the tweezers in the house because she had stuck a pair in an electrical outlet. I am quite literally at my wits end, and so when I don't blog, or show up for online gatherings, it's usually because I had intended to, but by the time she is finally in bed I'm so enraged/exhausted that all I want to do is pop a Xanax and become a zombie. So that's where I've been. I welcome any advice y'all might have, but please, if you plan to tell me that it will 'only get worse from here' I heard that one before.