Thursday, November 29, 2007

Go Elf Yourself!

Office Max has this really fun thing for you to put your picture on and be a dancing elf. I discovered it through Jeanette (Thanks!) and I get a really big kick out of it. You can call in and sing along and your mouth will move, but I can't sing, so I didn't do that (That's something Scarlet should do). That's my best friend Lolo an the left followed by Josie, myself and Jazz. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and have a goof good laugh!

Happy Friday!!

Stupid is as Stupid Does

Man did I wake up on the stupid side of the bed today! Part of it was I stayed up too late. I knew I was going to be a bit off, but gee wits! I got to the church on time to pick up the food, but they had changed our routes again. Everyone was talking about it. I got some guys back I used to have more than a year ago, and of course they left Myriam on my route (I had to complain when they took her off last year). They actually added a route so we all had fewer people. But I had different people. I stack the meals in two stacks in the ice chest in the order that I need to take them out, so I was trying to wrap my fuzzy brain around the new route. I was the last person packing up. These two guys kept coming back into the church - and I had never seen them. Finally I asked, "Do you need something?" This young chap says, "I work for Meals on Wheels and I want to make sure there is no food left here." I just stopped what I was doing and looked at him like he had 4 breasts and said, "I've been doing this for seven years. I would never leave food here." What a freaktard! Oh okay, back to being stupid.

The lady who is way out of the way and on the other side of a 20 mph school zone is now my first stop. Then I went to Myriam's. As soon as I got there I realized I had forgotten to give the first lady her breakfast (for the next day). I gave Myriam her breakfast and called the first lady to tell her I would run it by after my route, but she didn't answer. I decided to call again later. So I deliver to 5 more people, (that's 7 now of a total of 10) when I realize that I didn't give anyone after Myriam their breakfasts! How stupid is that?!? After realizing I had forgotten the first lady's breakfast, I then went on to also forget the next 5 breakfasts! I was in awe of my own stupidity! It was so big and bright, this stupidity. I was at person #8's house when I realized this. I gave her all her stuff, drove around the corner and gave #9 her stuff and then proceeded to backtrack. My first stop is a guy I've never had. My first day with this guy and here I was knocking on the door 10 minutes later, saying sheepishly, "Uhm, oops, I woke up on the stupid side of the bed today and I forgot your breakfast!" Then I go back to Richard's house. He came outside and said, "I was wondering why we didn't get breakfast today." HE remembered and he was on morphine! So now it's getting late, I call the first lady and her daughter answered and told me to forget about it and give it away. Whew! I called #10 guy to tell them I was "running slow" and I would be there as soon as I could. When I hung up the phone I was all, "Running slow? What the hell is that? Is that even an expression? What am I? A cheap watch?" Does anyone say, "I'm running slow today?" Ha - maybe I was referring to my brain. That makes a lot more sense.

Fortunately, after my route ended I didn't do anything stupid. I actually did a little fun shopping. I was relieved when I got home because I kept expecting the big stupid to come back but it never did. I guess.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Glad I Checked My Facts

Well I was all fired up to post about Oprah Winfrey doing something crazy when, in fact, it was a case of mistaken identity.

Her show today was about the movie The Great Debaters. Denzel Washington directs and stars in it and it was produced by Oprah. I saw a clip and the part of some sort of sheriff was being played by the guy on the right, Eric Kelly McFarland. I thought I was looking at the guy on the left, John Heard. John Heard has a bad history when it comes to how he treats women. So all I could think was WHY would Oprah put this guy on a payroll with her name at the top? Well she didn't and now I have nothing to post about. But I am glad it wasn't John Heard.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ratings are Weird!

I was talking to my Mom on Friday, and we were talking about various writerly things and computer programs and she told me something very odd. She said information for the general public should be written on an eighth grade level. I had never heard that and although it jarred me a bit, it slowly began to make sense. So I felt bad when I got this:

cash advance

I figured I must not be writing in a general public way, but I found that hard to believe. In general, though, I was happy with my High School rating and decided to try it out on every blog I read and man was I surprised! The only one that didn't shock me was Josie's. One was so shocking I involuntarily laughed out loud. I did not test Jeanette's because her blog is private. Don't shoot the messenger here if you do not like this rating thing. I found it on someone's blog and thought it would be funny. What's your opinion of how it rated your blog?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I never wanted to "teach the world to sing"

As I was replacing the roll of paper towels, I began to muse about brand loyalty. For years, I would only use Scott paper towels. They were so ingrained in my family that we did not even call paper towels "paper towels," we called them "Scott Towels." My Mom still calls them that. I think what happened was My Sweetie kept showing up with Bounty paper towels and I got tired of complaining, because who is going to nag when someone else is going to the grocery store? Then one day I went to the grocery store, bought the Scott brand and found I did not like them as well. Who knew? I don't even remember what toilet tissue I used to use (probably Scott! - I just know it wasn't Charmin. I HATE Charmin) but now I must have Kleenex Cottonelle. And speaking of branding, I still call facial tissue "kleenex," and I only buy Kleenex brand "kleenex." The funny thing about that is, I only buy Kleenex brand because I like their artwork better than the other people. My Kleenex has to match my stuff.
On the other hand, some brand loyalty is permanent. I will ALWAYS be a Pepsi girl. Coke is too fizzy, has a funky texture and doesn't taste quite right. I LOVE my Pepsi, although my intake has changed drastically over the years. I went from gallons of regular Pepsi to gallons of Diet Pepsi, to just one decaf Diet Pepsi a day, although sometimes I have two. But it still has to be Pepsi. I will drink diet Coke if I absolutely have to (like in a hotel room), but I do not want to give them my money. I even make sure not to buy their bottled water. Coke people are so overly righteous, I have to be that way too. My own best friend will order a Coke at a restaurant and if they say, "We have Pepsi," she will say, "Make it a tea." Of course this is also the girl who buys Chevy and is anti-Ford, so she's obviously just clueless. But she is very young. Everyone knows Ford is better than Chevy.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened

The oddest thing happened today: I had a really good time. The food was great, the company was pleasant and then I had a blast playing with my 4-year-old nephew. We were on a love seat together and I taught him MATH. I used my fingers or his potato chips and did a lot of 1 + 1, 1 + 2, and 1 + 3. I also made a silly singing game out of counting on my fingers. When I'd do the voice for "five," he would erupt in a fit of giggles and say, "Do that AGAIN!" I also taught him how to be creative. I had him sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," for me then I started making up words like, "Twinkle, twinkle little frog, you are smaller than a dog." He thought that was the funniest thing ever and wanted to do it all day except his second line never rhymed and always had the word "brain" in it. One of his was really good and I said, "Hey, that's a good one!" A few minutes later when I did one he said, "Hey, that's a good one!" I thought it was interesting that he used the word brain so much. I somehow never mentioned it here, but my brother-in-law had his FOURTH brain surgery on the 9th. They installed a $14,000+ programmable pump so they can have exact control over how fast (or slow) the fluid drains out through his stint. He seemed in really good spirits and they were able to go in exactly on the scar so he doesn't have a new scar to deal with. Wait I forgot to tell you the really oddest thing that happened today. It sleeted and snowed. Yes. You read that right. It sleeted and snowed. It was 85 degrees two days ago, and today it sleeted and snowed. Of course we were all going crazy over it. We were all "Whaaaaaa???" And I made some jokes about our blogger buddy JR being in Houston from Michigan during this funky cold snap - because My Sweetie's family is from Michigan. I tried to take some pictures but I think the flash messed it up. I'll check them later. It really was a fun day. I hope everyone else had a great day, too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom

Today was my Mom's 69th birthday. She was born in 1938 to a domineering bible-thumping mother, a weak dad, a cold and strange big brother and an unhealthy big sister. Before she was 2 she had another sister and a few years later a third sister. The older sister had all sorts of ailments and got a lot of attention as did the one boy and then the baby. Mom and Rose were sort of lost in the shuffle. She always hated being poor and dreamed of being a princess or of living in a faraway land. She loved to play make-believe. She wanted to wear pretty dresses to school instead of the denim overalls that were a staple in the family. She had to pick cotton to help put food on the table and would go for long periods without seeing meat on her dinner plate. When she was 14, her family moved again and she decided to try out for the basketball team. My Dad and one of his friends spotted her and both proclaimed her as their prize. My Dad won. His family was wealthy by the standards of that small North Carolina town and I'm sure he swept her off her feet. He was 16.
A few years later her family moved yet again to a city that was 86 miles away. I have a whole notebook of the letters she wrote to my Dad. They are so cute. He took every opportunity to make the trip to visit her there. When he was 19 and she was 17, he gave her a ring. They were married the following December. It was 1955. She was so happy to be out from under her mother's thumb. She tried to finish high school but being married was too distracting. She ended up getting her GED a few years later. She still regrets that. My brother was born in July of 1957. Mom and Dad had been living in South Carolina, but my Dad insisted his child be born in the same town and state that he had been, so they moved back to North Carolina. Right around my brother's third birthday I was conceived.
We had an unusual family dynamic. My Dad made every decision for everyone. When my girlfriends would ask me to ask my Mom if I could spend the night, I was confused. Dad was who you asked. I didn't see him be really mean to my Mom until I was 8 or 9. It wasn't pretty. This was the time of women being liberated and as Mom grew stronger, Dad got meaner. It all finally reached a boiling point after my brother left to join the air force in 1975. In the early spring of 1976, my Mom finally left for good. This was before all the standardized child custody stuff so I chose to stay with my Dad. Mom was hurt for years until I explained to her that I knew she would never get a clean break if I were with her. Dad would have used me for an excuse to visit. I wanted Mom to be free and clear to start her life over.
She ended up falling in love with a co-worker who was also in a bad marriage. They were tired of all the trauma of small town divorce talk and wanted a fresh start and moved to Texas. When I came out several months later to finish my senior year here, Mom was like a new person. We got to know each other all over again and cried over things from the past. I love the person my Mom has become and she's one of my best friends. I hope her birthday was great and that she has many more.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Stupid Shoulder

(Ahhh, to sleep, perchance to purr)

Although I was all in agreement with my friend Kim that my crabbiness was all about Thanksgiving, I think the real reason is: I have not been sleeping well. This is very unusual because I am normally one sleeping fool. What happened was, is the tendonitis in my shoulder will just not go away. And guess what irks it more than vacuuming? Yep. Sleeping. I think everyone here knows I have breast implants. Since I got those in early 1999, I have only slept on my right side, my left side or my back. And that has been fine. After a few years I got over missing the stomach sleeping. (Yeah, I know, lots of implanted women sleep on their stomachs, but why flirt with disaster?) Well, now I can only sleep on either side. When I roll onto my back, which happens, I wake up in AGONY. I'm not sure of the mechanics, because although I self diagnose A LOT, I am not really a doctor. But my shoulder, the bad one, does NOT LIKE the sleeping on the back. Maybe it does not like the snoring which comes with the back sleeping. Maybe my husband hates the snoring and injects my shoulder with pain. I don't know. All I know is for a while now I have been waking up in terrible pain when I am on my back. So some part of my brain sometimes wakes me up if I roll onto my back as a reminder to NOT DO THAT. Because then we will pay. So between the waking up in pain or the waking up because I moved, I wake up a lot. A lot. Sheesh. How many beers do I need to drink to sleep more than two hours at a time?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Why do I hate Thanksgiving?

I was talking to Kim the other day and we were both talking about how we were both super crabby lately and she wisely figured it out. We hate Thanksgiving. Then we were trying to figure out why we hate Thanksgiving. Since then I have been really trying to analyze it. Here's all I've come up with so far:

  • It's a whole day based on food. And not partucularly great food. Just regular food.
  • The day starts with everyone saying "Something smells so good!" and ends with "Oh my, I ate way too much."
  • Football is on TV in the background
  • Everyone just sits around waiting for the food to start
  • Then everyone sits around waiting for their energy to return so they can drive home

It just seems like a waste of time. And you can't really socialize with everyone because half the people are scurrying around doing food things and the other half are watching football. Maybe I am just bitter because it used to be my favorite travel time and My Sweetie always has to work on that Friday. I usually try to get out of Thanksgiving but I caved this year for MY Sweetie and offered to bring a salad. Christmas has words for anti-Christmas people like Scrooge and Grinch, but there is not a word for anti-Thanksgiving people. I was playing with some and came up with:

  • gobbler grouser
  • gobbler grumbler
  • fowlcontent (yeah, ouch!)
  • pilgriminator
  • turkey crab
  • turkey grump

All I know is I'll be glad when it's over and I can get on with the business of Christmas because it's the most wonderful time of the year!

What? Too early for that?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Homefront Happenings

This was one of the holes the plumbers cut out. It's behind a bank of drawers in the kitchen. I don't know how that guy did that because it was quite a challenge for me to get my arm in there to patch that up.

In this next one you can see the hole, the new pipe and the piece of wall there on the left:
This was after I put it back in. It's not pretty, but it's behind drawers and no one will ever see it, and it is nicely sealed. I was getting all kinds of cramps trying to work in those drawer openings. How did that guy saw that out and drill that hole in the stud for the pipe?

Saturday we finally finished draining the spa and I pulled off all the loose tiles and prepped the areas to put the tiles back. There were sections like that on all four sides. I didn't finish that until yesterday. And by finish, I don't mean finish. I mean I got all the tiles put back on. Tomorrow I have to grout all of that. I am not a big fan of grouting but it has to be done. When My Sweetie saw me in my awful work get-up (it was quite warm out) he started singing "Let's get physical, physical." That's really an insult to Olivia Newton John. Anyway after working on the tiles until dark, I took a shower and we went to Carraba's again because after I told my Mom that we had gone to Carraba's last week, she said, "Oh. I love that place. They have one here, it's near the college." I figured a gift certificate would be a good idea for her birthday. They love restaurant gift cards because they eat out 95 nights out of 100. Plus I wanted some more of the garlicky goodness that is Carraba's. The funny part was I didn't even know it was a chain. I thought that was the only one. I am silly.

Sunday morning I woke up with a giant swollen lump under my left eye. Then later I noticed I had the same rash on my face that I had just before Jazz came to visit. I don't know if it was from the adhesive I was using on the tile, or from nuzzling Barney. And the eye lump was quite odd because I usually only get eye lumps after I eat shrimp. There happened to be a nurse at one of my Meals on Wheels lady's house today and she looked at it and was just as stumped as I am. But I think it is slightly smaller today. Speaking of Meals on Wheels:
I don't know if anyone remembers but I was supposed to train a lady named Kim today. I was a little late getting to the church to meet her, but the food had not even arrived, so I wasn't really late. Anyway, I walked in and there were two women sitting there and my brain said, "I bet it's the Asian lady." Well the other lady said, "Are you [Geewits]?" and I said yes and she said, "I'm Kim and this is Kim. We're the two Kims and we'll be riding with you today!" Which was really way too chipper for a morning exchange. So I said, "Yeah, I don't think so. I have a small two-seater truck. What do you drive?" Well the Asian Kim said she drove a Ford Expedition. My face apparently registered no response because she added, "It's huge!" So I said, "Good. You get to drive." It was great. The only thing I did was pack the one ice chest. I had them do everything else. Basically I sat in the passenger seat, gave directions and told them what to put on the tray for each person. Then we all went into each house and I made introductions. This worked out very well because I woke up with a really bad shoulder today. I was glad I did not have to drive so much. I couldn't wait to get home to take an etodolac. I should have taken one before I left. So I got home and scooped up Barney to put in the cat carrier to take him to the vet for his last round of shots. He decided that he was ABSOLUTLEY NOT going to go into that thing. And who can blame him? The last time he went in there he had his man parts taken off. Finally, I sat it up lengthwise and put him down into it that way. After all that, and my poor shoulder, I got there and they told me they messed up. "He has all his shots" and we had no reason to be there. That was pretty stupid. Barney didn't mind. He was just glad he wasn't getting poked, stabbed or cut.
That's what's been going on on the homefront. Tomorrow I have to grout all the tiles I replaced in the spa. It should be better weather for it, only in the 60's. I hope my shoulder can take it. I bought some ace heating bandage things today (I'm wearing one now) so I'll be sure to put one on tomorrow. And I'll take some pictures. Everybody loves fresh grout.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Bette Midler Story

Bette Midler with her daughter Sophie

This is such a dorky story and is a perfect illustration of how truly freaking goofy I am. Except for the Andre Agassi thing, I had never had a negative experience meeting a celebrity. I need to post about meeting Aerosmith, and I have posted about meeting Rodney Dangerfield (it was one of my earliest posts so please excuse the language and typos). And the soap stars are very nice. Peter Bergman, who has 3 Daytime Emmys, even held my baby - hah! she is 23 now, so that was a LONG time ago. Oh, okay, back to Bette Midler.
Eight or nine years ago, My Sweetie and I went to New Orleans for Thanksgiving, which is a great time to go, by the way, if you are lucky enough to NOT be married to someone who no longer gets the Friday after Thanksgiving off. Anyway, we went and had a grand old time and left on Sunday. As I stepped onto the plane, I was just inside the doorway by a closet and on the floor of the closet was a violin case and written down the side in big block letters was: B. MIDLER. I stared at it and thought, "Really?" And sure enough as I finally rounded the corner to head up the aisle, there she was on my right, big as life, except tiny, sitting next to her daughter in the first row of first class. I spent the whole flight (it's only about 90 minutes) thinking, "I'm on a plane with Bette Midler. How cool is THAT!?!?" I didn't expect to see her again.
It was always my habit after a flight to find my baggage carousel and then find the nearest exit to smoke a cigarette before coming back inside to collect my luggage. As I was approaching the exit doors, I saw Bette Midler and her daughter standing inside the area between the two sets of doors (the vestibule?). As I walked throught the first set of automatic doors, I turned to my left and I believe I blurted out "I can't tell you how thrilled I was just to be on the same plane with you." But what happened was, as I opened my mouth to speak, Bette Midler grabbed her daughter, threw both arms around her and took a giant step back and was looking at me with crazy giant scared eyes as if I were an attacking rabid bear. Her extreme fearful reaction freaked ME out and I hurried outside and sat on a bench that was as far away from the door as possible. I was shaking like a leaf. I smoked a cigarette and my thoughts were racing. I thought, "I can't go back in now, what if she's still there? She'll think I left the airport and then came back! And My Sweetie will think I am SO RUDE if I do not go back in to help with the luggage. He must be wondering what is taking me so long!" I couldn't figure out what to do, so I smoked another cigarette.
Finally, I realized I had to go back in. I imagined a million different scenarios, and I was so dreading having to walk past her again, but when I went through the first set of doors, she was no longer there. I was SO RELIEVED! I went over to the carousel, we retrieved our suitcases and I told MY Sweetie my crazy story. I think I decided that day to never speak to a celebrity ever again. It scared the hell out of me!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Things That Never Happened

bridesmaid dresses from hell

I don't know why I was thinking about this the other day, but I was thinking about things that I have not experienced that I consider to be normal things that most people experience. And who knows, maybe I am wrong about that. I have experienced some things that most people have not, like:
  • Been to a Super Bowl
  • Did the Times Square on New Year's Eve thing
  • Been interviewed on TV and radio
  • Performed the baby Heimlich manuever
  • Danced a ballet on a public stage with my daughter
  • Smoked a joint in the Statue of Liberty (I was young)
  • Did Halloween on Bourbon Street (it's AWESOME!)
  • Airplane MHC (if you don't know what this is, don't ask)
  • Had an anxiety attack in a public place which resulted in my not being able to move
  • Fainted at a funeral
  • Told someone their father was someone else
  • Jumped off the roof of a house
  • Scared Bette Midler

I imagine a small percentage have done the things that I listed above. On the other hand, there are things I have not experienced that I think a good majority of people have. These are some of them:

  • Been married in a formal wedding with the big white dress (and I've been married THREE times!)
  • Been a bridesmaid (although I've heard this can be a good thing)
  • Been "stream struck" while changing a baby boy's diaper
  • Traveled to Europe - but I expect it WILL happen
  • Touched a dead person. (I not only don't go near caskets, I didn't even touch my Dad when he was on "life support.")
  • Ran a marathon of any sort (although I did do a walkathon when I was 12)
  • Been to summer camp
  • Had swimming lessons
  • Had braces

So am I wrong? Has everyone else done the things on the bottom list? Has anyone done the stuff on the top list?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Day One (Yeah, there will be a day two)

I had set my clock for 8:35, but I didn't actually get up until 9:15. I gathered up the broom, dustpan, mop, bucket,and rubber gloves and headed for the cat room. The cats were very surprised to see me so early in the day. I took the two litter boxes out of the closet, swept and mopped and then thought, well, heck, since I have all this, I might as well do the rest of the floor. It really is something I should do more often, but not so early in the morning. I finished that room, did some general picking up and watched a little TV, then around 10:15, I started work on my Stroganoff. I finally had everything in the crockpot by 11:00. The plumber called while I was doing all that to say they had a little job and then they would head over. I said, "Call me when you are about to head over." (I really emphasize that and get seriously furious when people show up at my door. I can't help it. It's part of my anxiety disorder. If someone just shows up at my door I get an adrenaline rush and go into "fight or flight." Usually it's fight and I am quite the ass for the first few minutes. Sometimes, if it's not someone I HAVE to let in, I just hide in another room until they go away. I would be very easy to murder. Someone could just throw me a surprise party and I'd probably keel right over dead. I even get nervous when I see surprise parties on TV!)
Okay so back to the day. At 11:30 I fell asleep on the couch and woke up at 12:30. The phone rang just a few minutes later and he said they would be there in about 30 minutes. It was more like 45 minutes. So it's three guys and they are all running around with weird equipment that sounds kinda like whale song. It's like an electronic divining rod that locates the water. The first bad news is the line goes to the kitchen sink and THEN the bathroom. The second bad news is the connection into the bathroom is not in the cat room closet but the wall next to the closet behind the door. Now the job is more complicated because they have to take out some wall in the kitchen. The one guy is trying to talk me into making it easy for them - meaning they cut into the big blank open wall that is in my living room and the guy I LIKE is saying they can do it under the kitchen sink. Remember, these guys don't do any wall repair, just plumbing. Although I can tape and bed, I can not match the texture so I say, "NIX!" to the idea of cutting into my living room wall.
All of this took place in less than an hour. They call me into the kitchen to discuss everything and tell me they will have to come back on Friday. I take few minutes to stare at the clock and say, "That's fine, but I'm not going to be charged for two full days work." He (the guy I don't like, who happens to be the owner) kinda stammers, "Uhm, yeah okay, we can work with you on that. We'll count the hours and if it's just 8 we'll just charge for one day." I said, "Well that's good. So I won't have to slip outside to remove your distributor cap so you have to finish today?" They laughed and said, "Well I guess a woman that can replace all her own faucets knows about that stuff too." The funny thing was I never laughed or even said it like a joke, I was just smiling my evil smile. And the other funny thing is I have no idea what a distributor cap is, I just know they do that in the movies. Oh and a little before that, the guy I like walks up and hands me a piece of crumpled paper. He says, "You know that fan up there (he means in the attic)?" I said, "Yeah I need to get that fixed." He says "It's fixed. The instructions were jammed inside." I thought that was hilarious. Now I don't have to remember that I keep forgetting to call an electrician about that.
I told them they could leave but they HAD to cap off the leak. They stayed another hour. They capped the leak, put the hot water heater back, taped up the hole in the wall in the cat room and checked for leaks. There is not hot water in the guest bathroom tonight, so My Sweetie has to shower in my bathroom in the morning. Also I could not find Lilly and was afraid she had gotten taped up in the wall, but as usual, The Mysterious Vanishing Cat eventually turned up. The best part was taking a long hot shower tonight. Wednesday morning before Meals on Wheels, the hot water ran out right after I washed my hair. That's the FIRST thing I do. It was NOT pleasant. And speaking of Meals on Wheels, they called this morning and I thought they were going to ask me to sub when I saw the name on my caller ID and was thinking how ironic it was that I was actually awake, yet I was waiting for plumbers. But, no, they want me to train someone on Wednesday. I think this is my third one. I got really lucky last time, so I don't expect this person to be as cool as that person, but maybe I will get lucky again. I think I will make them drive and do most of the work. That's how you learn, right?
So anyway these plumbers will be back around 10:00. Hopefully they will get everything done with no more SNAFUs, and not charge me more than $1700. And they did save me the price of an electrician!

UPDATE: As of 12:15 my time, they were out of the house. Everything works. They didn't charge the $200 for insulation and knocked off another $50 because I am a magical being. Grand total $1400.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Hot Spot

Just before the weekend we started noticing how warm the tile was in the entryway. At first it was interesting, but then our actual brains kicked in and we both realized it couldn't possibly be a good thing. I called the city Monday morning and asked them if the water meter would be running if everything was turned off and they said no and told me what to look for. Sure enough, I went out there and the thing was turning and everything was off. The only thing that made sense was that the hot water pipe between the hot water heater and the guest bathroom was leaking. This wouldn't be so horrible in a pier and beam house, but we have a slab foundation (my first - my first two houses were pier and beam). So I called the plumber guy that my shower guy had recommended a while back to replace my shut-off valves when I was replacing the faucets in the master bathroom. As soon as I said, "Hot spot," he said "Oh no!" He also said:

  1. That meant the hot water was leaking into the slab

  2. Insurance companies only cover water damage and floor replacement

  3. They charge $1,450 per day for this work

  4. If I called my insurance on this after the shower and the roof damage this year I might lose my homeowners insurance.

After all my initial freaking out I have, as usual decided to look at the bright side. The bright side things are:

  1. They will not have to dig all through our floors to find and fix this leak because,

  2. They can cap that pipe off and reroute that water through our attic, and

  3. Although they have to tear out the wall behind the water heater and behind the bathroom sinks,

  4. The one wall is in the garage and the other wall is in the cat room closet.

  5. They don't do any wall repair work, but that is something I can do myself

For some reason I did not address the shower with the guy, but the wall behind the shower is in a large storage cabinet, so that should not be a giant problem. I guess the main part I am dreading is having to get up early and have all these people in my house although I really like the main plumber guy named David. I may have posted about him when he was here before but I don't remember. The cat room closet is where we keep two of the litter boxes so we will have to move everything out of there Wednesday night.

David said it should be done in 4 to 8 hours. I have a plan to make sure they fix everything in one day. I am going to make a crockpot stroganoff that morning. The smell of cooking food all day will make them want to hurry to get home to eat and will make them want to do a good job because it will feel all homey. I hope.

Because I do Meals on Wheels on Wednesdays, this will all be done on Thursday. I'm okay about it now. Although it's going to cost around $1700. THAT part sucks. At least on Wednesday I will have my catfish. I like to have things to look forward to.


I was going to post about the fact that my house will have strangers in here and I will have to get up EARLY and it will cost close to $2000 and it's not a fun thing like a new bathroom or whatever, but it's still too raw and I'm grumpy and I'll get to it later. But all that will happen on Thursday. Frgrrrmrfrrgrbjmmrkkrp.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Shoe Story (including good food)

One thing I've discovered over the years is everybody is different about money. What I mean by that is every single person has a list in their head of what to throw money at and what to hold tightly to their cash about. And it is different for everyone, like fingerprints. I can only describe myself here, but I would love to hear some of your examples. I spare no expense when it comes to hotels, food and entertainment and yet I am excessively miserly when it comes to decor, clothes and shoes. There are probably millions of people who are just the opposite. I've been wearing the same shoes, winter and summer for YEARS. It actually makes me laugh to see an old picture and see the shoes and think, "I had these shoes WAY BACK THEN?" So on Saturday I decided it was time for new winter shoes. I have two pair of Sketchers, one brown and one black, that I've been wearing for forever and although I am neither a podiatrist, nor do I play one on TV, I imagine that's not a good thing and if you've been reading my blog long enough you may remember my horrible aching foot trouble from my San Diego trip last January. So when My Sweetie came home that day and said we were going to go to San Diego again in January, my VERY FIRST thought was, "I will have to get new winter shoes." But being a total discredit to my sex, I absolutely hate to shop for shoes. I hate everything about shoe shopping. I hate having to take my shoes off. I hate thinking that some weird strangers have stuck their feet in these same shoes. (That's probably why I have my own bowling shoes although I haven't bowled in years.) But it was time to buy shoes. So I ventured out of my cubby hole. Well I got lucky and bought two pair of Rocket Dogs. In brown and black, because that's how I do things. They are the type of shoe that are so ugly they are cute, which you will see later.
Well when we left the shoe store, My Sweetie wanted to go to the big pet store, but I was all stored out so I waited in the car. We were at the "Giant Shops by The Mall" or whatever it's called and I was looking over at Carraba's. I had only been there once one afternoon with my daughter and had always wanted to go back, but it was at the mall. It's not IN the mall, it's just in the mall parking lot. So when he came back, we decided to head over there. That was GOOD food. Whatever they mix into the olive oil for the bread is so garlicky delicious! And the wine I picked out went perfectly with the garlic. It was an Ecco Domani merlot and it was yummy. And the crabcakes! YUM city!

That's the olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette, my wine and My Sweetie's Appletini (We watch a lot of "Scrubs").

These were the crabcakes I had. They were so yummy and on the side I had zucchini fries.

When we got home I decided to take some pictures of my new shoes and Barney wanted to know what the fuss was all about.

And then today, Jake took a nap in one of the shoe boxes. When he does that I call it a Jake-in-the -box. He's the 18-year-old cat. Pretty limber, eh? Lilly slept in this same box later, but I didn't get a picture. I love my new shoes but I hated shopping for them and paying for them. I hope these last as long as the Sketchers did.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pop Psychology & Dr. Phil

I heard something the other day, and it may have been on "Dr. Phil", and I so wish I could remember the exact words, but it went something like this: A question is just an accusation you didn't have the nerve to make. I'm pretty sure that is not the exact quote because if I remembered the exact quote I would probably remember that I was remembering the exact quote. I DO remember that it struck a nerve with me because I am the questioning type of person. But sometimes can't a question just be a question (I mean if cigars can just be cigars, why not questions)?
So here's the thing. My husband for some reason has stored a pile of shorts on the dryer. I haven't said anything because I don't want it to sound like an accusation. I mean I can see that if the question went like this: So you thought the top of the dryer would be a good place to store your shorts? then it would pretty much sound like an accusation. But can't I just ask, "Why are all of your shorts on the dryer?" without it sounding like an accusation?
Don't get me wrong. I love Dr. Phil. I think most of what he says is dead on. I have some favorite "Philisms." One of them is "If Mama ain't happy, nobody's happy." This is so true, but like every other piece of advice in the universe, it's not perfect. Sometimes "Mama" is an immature selfish bitch that needs to get her act together. And my personal favorite: You teach people how to treat you, is really a peachy slice of wisdom. On the other hand, there's that certain percentage that has to be included, the percentage that this does not apply to. If the person you are trying to "teach how to treat you" is a sociopath or psychopath, well, then you're just screwed.
My husband is not a sociopath or a psychopath and he is very sweet, but I wonder why he is storing his shorts on top of the dryer. I suppose I should just ask him.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Questions for The Man

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn's
Portrait of an Old Man in Red
Oil on canvas, 108 x 86 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
I'm from the old (read: not too bright) school of thought on art. That means I have a hard time explaining why I like something, i.e. "I just know what I like." But I think I can explain why I like this painting. I think it appeals to me on the same level that some photographs do - I feel like I have felt like this guy is feeling. Maybe he doesn't want to be there, or maybe he is just tired. Maybe he is listening to a couple fight across the way or wondering if his grandaughter has chosen a suitable husband. There is something universal about his posture and expression. I can picture myself sitting across from him in a similar chair and we are having a discussion about the news of the day. Or maybe he is thinking, "I have better things to do today than sit here to pose for this picture." I wonder if he knew he was being immortalized? Probably not. I really like this. I just wish I could ask this man some questions.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween Fun

I realized you don't get much of the effect of this stuff in daylight, but here's a before and after picture:

This is our cool gargoyle. Last year I put it on a pedestal covered with black cloth. I got the idea to use a black wig for the "table cover." I thought it looked cool:
This one was taken after it started to get dark. I wrapped the porch light in orange crepe paper and it caused an eerie orange glow:

This is the flying bat monkey thing I bought a few months ago:

And it looks a lot cooler in the dark:

This is the best I could do to get the full effect:

We didn't have a big turnout. Some kids were creeped out by the ghoul though, which was the whole point. When I was putting it out this afternoon, some kid across the street yelled out, "Oh, awesome. That's so cool!" When we were getting ready to "close up shop," I asked My Sweetie, "If we leave this out here, do you think some teenagers will come in the middle of the night and steal it?" He said, "Oh yeah." So I took everything down.
When I went to pick up the food for Meals on Wheels this morning, I had 13 people. Thirteen, how Halloweeny is that? And when I got home there was a dead squirrel floating in our spa. That was too Halloweeny. I took a picture but decided not to post it. I mean, Eeeew, ick. The good news is we have some leftover candy, particularly some dark chocolate because I am not big on sweets, but I do like the dark chocolate. And now Halloween is over and November is here which means only one thing: It's Christmas!