Wednesday, September 17, 2014

well, THAT was a real cob job

So, I got home yesterday, and the tree trimmers  were gone.  They cut out a sh*t-ton of branches, mostly right in the middle of the trees, so it kind of looks like a narrow tornado came through. 

Like this:


(That's not my trees, btw.  Just a VERY ACCURATE representation.)

They also bashed a big dent in the top of my mailbox and flattened the mailbox garden.  I tried to fluff the black-eyed susans back up, but they're not having it. Hopefully they'll rebound.

Oh, and they left nine million branchlets all over the damn front yard.  AND left a bunch of widowmaker branches hanging.

Sheesh.  So basically, the utility company, to which I pay some of the highest energy costs in the country, did a job that would get a regular company fired.

On the plus side, the front yard gets a bunch more sun now.  So ... yay?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cool or ghoul

So, I was paging through the weekly CVS flyer this morning, when I came across this:

AWESOME, right?   It's a plastic cat skeleton Halloween decoration.

As soon as I saw it, I was all, waaaaaaaaaaant.

I needed it to add to my House of Strange!

I went to the nearest CVS on my lunch and sure enough, there it was ... Skeleton Cat!  And on sale for sixteen bucks!

I almost ... almooooossssst bought it.

But then I got to thinking.  Is it ... too much?  Too strange for the House of Strange?

Because frankly, it wasn't gonna be just a Halloween decoration.  It would be a permanent addition, like Angel Rabbit Man or the flamingo or the Infant of Prague statues.  

See ... I like bones.  I like their permanence.  I like their structure.  I have lots of deer antlers and skulls and bones.  Stuff that I've picked up on my hikes.  But is a skeleton of a cat, even if fake, is it ... over the line?

What do you think?  Enquiring minds want to know.

There goes the neighborhood. (Trees, that is.)

A couple of months ago, I came home to arcing electrical wires in the front yard.  I called the utility company, and they sent a guy right out to cut back some branches from the locust trees out front.  At the time, I jokingly suggested that he cut 'em right down.

Yeah.  Well.  This morning, bright and early, there was a gigantic utility company tree-cutting-and-chipping truck out front.  By the time I left for work, a dude with a chainsaw in a cherry picker was busy at work.

I walked over to a guy on the ground.  "Are you gonna take 'em out, or just trim them?," I asked.

"Well, our orders are just to trim, so that's what we're gonna do today," the guy said.

It should be noted that the word "trim" has a substantially different meaning to the utility company than it does to you or me, so we'll see how much of those trees is left by the time I get home.

Eh.  I don't know which Einstein planted locust trees under power lines in the first place, so it's just as well that they go.  And let's hope that the utility company applies their "trim" judiciously.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Holy SH*T you guys, why did no one ever tell me about H&M?!

Dudes.  Duuuuuudes.  I've seen the H&M ads on line, but there isn't a store in my area.  The other day, I decided to check them out at their on-line store.  Holy CRAP.

Dress #1.   Your basic cotton Little Black Dress, with lace around the neckline and hem, plus a tie waist.  Ten dollars.:

Dress  #2:  Another Little Black Dress, this one a little shorter and  more dressy, with a shirred waist.  Ten dollars:

Dress #3: Cotton sundress, with a scoop back with criss/cross back accents.  Yeah, I'll have to put it away until next summer, but it was SEVEN DOLLARS:

Dress #4:  Oh my god I LOVE this dress.  Retro pattern/style.  Twelve dollars:

Am I too old to wear knee-length dresses?  Ask me if I give a sh*t.  These dresses all look great on me.  I can pair them with tights/patterned hose and cardigans or blazers for the cooler months. (Except for the sundress.  That's gonna have to wait.)

I read a lot of reviews saying that H&M's shipping sucks, but I ordered these on Tuesday and they were on my doorstep today.   Flat-rate shipping is $5.95, tax was $1.80, and my grand total for FOUR DRESSES, all of which I LOVE, was $46.75.

Oh H&M, I love you.  Wanna get married?

Oh, and Tinks has already got to work adding his own,  personal accents (i.e, shedded fur) to my new dresses:


Friday, September 12, 2014

Freaky Friday: Bus Stop

From (bottom) left:  Wheel Cat, mermaid, Angel Rabbit Man, and the awesome flamingo I bought at the fair.  Oh, and Grinning Cat, there on the shelf.  He's not waiting for the bus, though.  He's just hanging out.

Oh, and speaking of angels, there was a photo caption on the front page of the local paper this morning:  "New York State Police Maj. Donald Faughnan stands in front of the Angle of Hope in Port Dickinson Park ..." Um. No. No, that statue of a winged woman is not an "angle".  Christ.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Lots of random in my life lately.

Okay, so, first off, this post mentions a spider, so if that will squick you out, please to avoid. I will mention it when I get to the spider part so you can avert your eyes if necessary.

I bought a dress at Kohl's the other weekend that cost me ... zero.  Originally forty-eight bucks, marked down to $9.60, and I had a ten dollar gift postcard from Kohl's, so ... zero.

I have a couple of thoughts on this (because God knows I have thoughts on everything):

1.  Does anybody actually ever buy anything at full retail?  Especially at stores like Kohl's, where everything is on sale all the damn time?  Was that dress EVER offered at forty-eight bucks?  Somehow I doubt it.

2.  I have no idea why Kohl's keeps sending me these ten-dollar gift cards.  I mean, I'm not complaining or anything, but every few weeks, they send me a card (there was another one in my mailbox yesterday), I take it to the store, I pick out something that costs less than ten bucks, and I'm good.  They must have figured out by now that I'm not a typical shopper, and I'm not going to take that card and go spend, like, fifty bucks or something.  (and yes, you can absolutely find stuff for less than ten bucks at Kohl's.  Like the dress I just bought.  Clearance jewelry is also a sure thing, as is hosiery (early this spring I set myself up with tights for life by combining an 80% off sale with ten-dollar gift cards).  Towels are also on sale for less than ten bucks all the time.  I will never need to buy a beach towel again.  Thanks, Kohl's!  I don't know why you keep sending me these cards, but don't stop!

Okay, moving on.  Do you ever dream about bloggers?  Like, dream that you're a relative to a blogger or a neighbor or something?  Do you ever feel kind of ... creepy, afterward?  Like you've somehow invaded their personal life or something?  No?  Just me?  Okay, then , forget I asked.

I've been trying to eat fewer processed foods lately, just because it seems like a good idea, so I bought some real sliced cheese, as opposed to the processed cheese product pre-wrapped slices I usually buy.  And ... I like the fake stuff better.  Like, a LOT better.  Who let me out of the trailer park?

Is anybody besides me watching "Chrisley Knows Best"?  It's this reality TV show about a guy who is as gay as the day is long, his wife (a female)(!), and their five kids.  They're really, really rich, but he's really involved in his kids' lives, and it's pretty interesting to watch him keep his teen kids in line as they try to work around him.  He says he's spent over a million bucks on drug rehab for his oldest son, who has an out-of-wedlock daughter, and he and his wife are open about all the plastic surgery they've had, and it's just ... interesting. 

Utopia?  Anyone watching that one?  I haven't, yet, because it looks too much like Big Brother to me, but I was just wondering if it was any good.

Okay, here comes the spider part.  YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.  I was cleaning the foster room the other weekend, moving things from side to side so I could vacuum underneath everything, when I turned around and saw ... the biggest goddam spider I've ever seen in my LIFE, outside of a tarantula.  Thank GOD it was dead, because I think *I* would be dead of fright right now if it wasn't.  Thing was HUGE.  aaaggggh. The gigantic corpse was where a throw rug had been, before I picked it up to clean.  I must have picked up the rug and turned around with it before I saw the spider.  It must have crawled under there and died.  I'm surprised I didn't hear its DEATH THROES, it was so flippin' big.  Before I could even let myself process the fact that a spider that big was in MY F*CKING HOUSE, I just vacuumed up the corpse.  And now I'm trying to forget that the whole thing ever happened.  Maybe it was just ... a big wad of yarn or something.  Black yarn. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Spider?  What spider?  *shudder*

Tuesday, September 09, 2014


 I usually buy gas at a station downtown.  I run over there at lunch or after work; it's always a few cents cheaper at this one particular station.

In order to get there, I have to cut through a pretty sh*tty neighborhood; delapidated, low-income, high-density housing.  The crap side of town, if you will.

I've never had any problems over there, until yesterday afternoon after work.  I was a block or two from the gas station when I saw a clot of kids in the road up ahead.  There were a lot of them, probably thirty or forty, pre-teens and young teens,  cutting up and running around, and they were clustered in the street in front of two multi-family houses.  I was too far down the street to turn around by the time I saw them, and frankly, I was a little ticked off that they would just block the entire road.  Where the hell were their parents?

I drew closer in my car, and the kids on the fringe started moving out of the street, although a couple of them actually rode their bikes right in front of my car, like they didn't understand what a car could do to a kid on a bike.  Oh, who am I kidding, of COURSE they understood; they were just jerking my chain.  One or two kids ambled in front of me, close enough to touch the hood before they turned and strolled the other direction.  As I slowly drove forward, I could hear catcalls, most of which included the word "white".  Yep, I am.  I am that.

I wasn't scared.  This was a busy street in broad daylight, and I wasn't the only one trying to maneuver a car through the crowd.  I did kind of wonder where the cops were; we were only a block or two from the main station. 

I wasn't angry, particularly.  Just inconvenienced.  I just wanted to get my gas and head home without having to run a gauntlet of kids.

What I was, was sad.

It was four-thirty in the afternoon on a weekday, and here's a bunch of punks harassing cars on the street.  They weren't in an after-school program, they weren't playing sports, they weren't doing homework, they weren't in the park a block away, and they weren't being supervised by their parents.  They were just running wild, acting up, acting ... aimless.

Where will these kids be in five years?  Dealing drugs, some of them.  Doing drugs, some of them.  Some of the girls will be knocked up, and some of the boys will be in jail.  Some of them will be working in fast food, and a lot of them will be on welfare, because that's what they know. 

Very few of them will be in college.  Very few of them will go on to a career as a teacher or a doctor or a cop, with a home and a spouse and a couple of kids and a couple of cars in the garage.

Grim view?

Yep.  It's just a sad fact that very few get out of the hood.  Very few even try.  Kids model what they see, and what they see is welfare and unemployment and drugs and violence and broken homes and taunting the people who pass through their neighborhood.

It's sad, is what it is.  Is what I was, yesterday.