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I called my mom earlier to talk menial bullshit, because I am the emotional benchmark in my family. This is sad, I think. My sister varies between a whitebread normalcy and what can only be described as pathological selfishness and rudeness. My mother told me in passing (I don't think she meant to say it) that she cried on the phone some short while ago while talking to my aunt who wouldn't let her children stay at my mom's house, basically because she didn't trust my mother. My aunt is a paranoid zealot, and is so 'yankee' that she makes me dislike anyone from the midwest. Her oldest boy is 9 now, and still she doesn't think he's old enough to visit his aunt. I've already noticed that the children have become warped in the way that happens when children are too sheltered by their parents, and I weep for when life hits them dead-on. It takes a lot to make my mother cry anymore, but I think the denial of trust was enough. My uncle, who I idolized in my youth (he was both artist and musician, an all-around 'cool' guy) has been pussy-whipped by the woman. She's managed to step on everyone's toes at one point or another; I've forgiven her for when she stepped on mine (she asked me bluntly when I was a guest in her home, over dinner, how to keep her children from turning out like me..) I feel, and hope, that her failure as a mother will present itself to her one day when the rest of us have shed our scabs and the scars have faded. I will take that time to do what I can for my cousins, deviant as they will be.

I've replaced the caked air filter with an expensive 3M one, which will hopefully keep the dust level down in here and help both my and my dog's allergies down. I think I should return my uncle's phone call tomorrow and go eat dinner with him or something. I just hope my cousin doesn't wan't me to go to an all-night party-fest with her again. I wonder what my high-school aged me would say of the me now that would think up excuses to avoid that opportunity.