Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I was going to put the weeping cherry out in the far corner of the backyard. But right now it's only about six inches high; if the lawn mower doesn't get it, the deer/rabbits/whatever-else-is -roaming-around-back-there surely will.
I think I have a plan. I think I will plant that weeping cherry in a pot-with-drain-holes, and then plant the pot itself in the garden close to the house where the lawn mower and the deer can't get at it . In a couple of years, when the plant is hopefully bigger and more able to cope with the wild wild west of the far backyard, I'll dig up the plant, remove the pot, and re-plant the plant itself where it's supposed to go.
That's it - my Cruise-azy idea. Is genius! Or not? What do you think?
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
You know what that means? It means that I bought that bag of goldfish crackers sometime (presumably) before April 5, 2008 and stuck it in my cupboard. At the old place. And it sat there for over a year, until August of 2009, when I packed up and moved. And at some point in the packing process, I picked up that bag of goldfish that had expired OVER A YEAR AGO, took a look at it, evidently shrugged, and packed it up to move to the new place*.
Where it sat, for almost another year, until I rediscovered it the other night. I took a look at the expiration date, sighed, and took the bag to work to snack on. (I mean, I'm going to snack on the crackers inside, NOT on the bag itself, although at this point in time, there may not be a whole heck of a lot of a difference.)
I'll let you know how they taste.
Or, you know, not, depending on the outcome.
*And I can even tell what my thought process most likely was at the time: "Meh. It's only been expired for a year. It's still good - might as well pack it." I swear to God sometimes I think I'm a guy.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
So when I saw him in the tree the other night, I was relieved that at least it was a many-branched tree, one that he would have a good shot of getting out of all by himself. Unlike the no-branches-for-the-first-forty-feet pine trees he was so fond of at the old place.
And thankfully, within a half-hour he had made his way out of the tree. No neighbors with extension ladders and tuna-smeared-poles were involved.
Stay out of the trees, Runt. Trust me on this one.
I am not above using subterfuge and guilt to collect my due on special occasions.
This year, I was truly not expecting anything, especially as my boss has his foot in a cast and is, well, not doing so hot with the whole crutches concept. Actually, I almost took the day off, but decided at the last minute to come in.
Little did I know when he grabbed one of the guys from the office yesterday morning "to go to a job site" that he was actually going to the local garden center to get a flowering almond for my yard. He even got a card! And put money in it! Without me guilting him into it!
Oh! And the icing on the cake? The guy he took with him to schlep around the garden center and cart the plant around (because the boss is on crutches) was this guy. How do ya like me now, brudda?
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Dear CAD drafter:
When you said that the secretary (i.e., me) should take over some of your job responsibilities, implying that because I make less than you, it would save the company money?
What you didn't know is that I make MORE than you do, not less.
Get ready to do a bitchload of filing, asshat.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I am a bluebell thief.
Now, as far as I can tell, bluebells are not endangered in any way. This particular patch of bluebells possibly arrived via the recent floods, as they're in an area that got about three feet of water in January. And, the spot where they're located is very likely going to be overrun by Japanese bamboo in a few years, as it's already within about thirty feet of the bluebells.
Justification blah blah blah
I stole some bluebells.
And just the other day I noticed a bunch of ferns popping up where the new playing fields are going to be put in .......
Monday, April 19, 2010
Last year Mama Osprey hatched three - count 'em, three! - little ones, so be sure to check in and see how many baybies appear this year!
Click here. The link is also over on the left, there, under ..... wait a minute, let me find it ..... Okay, it's under "Interesting People" - click over there on Osprey Cam!
Or, you know, click here. Heh.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Also, the lawn-mowing-Mexican-standoff in my neighborhood has officially ended. Everybody was holding off on mowing their lawns, knowing that once they started, the lawn-mowing season would carry merrily on for the next SIX MONTHS. So everybody was waiting, waiting for a neighbor to mow first and shame them into mowing their own lawn.
I resisted the peer pressure when T. across the street had her lawn mowed, but when L. right next door to me mowed? I bowed.
Lawn-mowing season has begun. *sigh* On the plus side, that's a pretty good sign that snow-shoveling season has ended.
Okay, on with Freaky! Friday!
I picked up this book at a thrift store (where else?) - it's a Christian Science book. An inscription on one of the title pages is dated 1919, so it's at least that old.
The thing that kills me about this book is the seal on the cover:
In case you can't see it, it reads "Heal the sick - Raise the dead - Cleanse the lepers - Cast out demons."
Raise the dead? Sounds like zombie action to me. Count me out.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Thanks, former owner! It's bad enough that I had to clean out the place I was moving FROM; it just adds insult to injury that I had to ALSO clean out the place I was moving TO.
Sheesh. I don't get paid enough for this shit.
ANYhoo, I had myself a freezer. Unfortunately, I do not have a ton of kids or a husband who hunts, so I had no need for said freezer. And it was taking up valuable real estate, i.e., a corner of the garage that I would prefer to fill with crap of my very own.
First, I tried to barter it with the various people who were doing repairs on the house. No dice. Then I tried to GIVE it away. Nope. Finally, in desperation, I put an ad on craigslist.
And let me tell you, the squirrels come out of the woodwork when you put an ad on craigslist. Dear sweet lord, there are some ODD people out there. Along with the old deaf people who try to talk to you on the phone without actually being able to, you know, HEAR what you're saying, there's the scammers and the spammers, and there was ALSO one enterprising individual who actually HIGHJACKED my lowly listing in an attempt to sell some old Nissan. DUDE: Listings are FREE. Get your own.
But! The freezer is sold. Fifty bucks, in my pocket. And hallelujah, because that thousand-dollar timing belt job that I got talked down into three hundred bucks? Has morphed into a timing belt-water pump-tensioner EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLAR EXTRAVAGANZA* under the hood of my car.
Don't ever buy a Saturn. I am telling you right now, DO NOT EVER BUY A SATURN. I won't go into all the reasons right now, but a main one is that Saturn is proprietary with their parts, meaning that if something breaks on your car, you can't go to the local parts store and buy a replacement. You have to go directly through Saturn, which in this area means a warehouse an hour-and-a-half away, which means it takes AT LEAST a day to get parts.
Which means my car has now been in the garage, on a lift, for THREE DAYS, patiently waiting for various and sundry parts.
And the garage dude is all, "well, I'm having to rearrange the schedule here at the shop because your car's on one of the lifts", and I'm all, "YOUR schedule? I'M the one with no car, brudda!"
On the plus side, Little Girl was kind enough to bring me a mouse this morning. Thanks, Little Girl! Maybe I can trade it for some car repairs.
*Updated to add: Did I say eight hundred dollars? I just got off the phone with garage dude, and I MEANT to say eight-hundred-fifty-two-dollars-and-seventy-one-cents. SON OF A BITCH.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Okay, here's a weird thing. On Saturday morning, around six-fifteen, I had a dream. (I'll keep this brief; I promise.) And in the dream there was a radio playing really LOUD. I woke up, and I could still hear the radio. At first I thought that one of the cats had knocked over the radio in the bathroom and it somehow turned on, but as I listened, it sounded like, you know how when you're dialing around to find a station and you somehow get in between TWO stations and you can hear bits and snippets of both?
Except it was just, like, syllables. Like, "kay-do-me-by-ee-lan-ma-dee". Really LOUD.
And I laid there, wondering, what the heck IS this radio station? And where is it coming from? And I thought, well, maybe the paperboy's got a radio. But instead of sounding like it was coming from one specific place, it sounded like it was all around me, like I was in the middle of a stadium and all the speakers were going at once. LOUD. And I was pissed off, because THIS IS WHY I MOVED.
And then, just as I was about to get out of bed and find out what was happening, the sound started to fade. Over the course of about a minute, it went away completely.
Okay, the way I see it, there's two options here:
1. I was still dreaming. Waking up and still hearing the noise was all part of the dream, and I woke up for real some time later.
2. The mothership came back for the damn winged rabbit, and was hovering over my house beaming down instructions for return to the homeland.
The rabbit's still in the kitchen, so I guess I've gotta go with option 1.
But it was still weird.
Friday, April 09, 2010
The dude behind the sales counter was bullshitting with the customer ahead of me and I had to wait to buy Saint Jude, so I turned around to purvey the Table O'Crap, when what did I see but this:
(Note: Not actual antiques-store-Table-O'Crap. This is my own personal Table O'Crap, one of several at my place.)
What in the hell IS this? It's about ten inches tall. It seems to be made out of plaster. It's got rabbit ears and and a rabbit nose, but also wings. It also has a human body, with what looks like six-pack-abs, along with a freakin' belly button, evidence that it was not crafted to look fur-covered as a rabbit would be. Rabbit head; wings; human body. WTH?
Peeps, I don't find this stuff. It finds me.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
And I remembered how, this time last year, I drove past a different house with a magnolia, and I instantly wanted one, and even looked into the details of getting one, but then realized that the backyard where I was renting was already pretty shady, and did I really want another tree, and hey, I wasn't gonna live there forever anyway, RIGHT?
What a difference a year makes.
Now I am in my own house, with my great big backyard (photo taken last year; everything's still pretty brown right now):
Jeezus, I love that backyard. Even if it DOES get squishy this time of year.
And I can plant all the trees I want.
But not too many. I like sunlight, not shade.
Side note: According to my neighbor, that tree to the right of the willow is an elm. Evidently the neighborhood was once full of them, but then Dutch Elm Disease came along, and I've got one of the only ones left. Go, elm tree!
Back to the story: I went on line and bought a magnolia. I thought about buying a Catalpa, but you guys told me they were a pain in the ass, so I'm going to pass for now.
I don't know about you, but I find it impossible to go to a nursery website and buy just one thing. Plus, Michigan Bulb (I know. I KNOW.) is having a special where if you buy forty bucks worth of stuff, you get twenty bucks off the order. Who can resist?
So now I've got a magnolia on the way, and a weeping cherry tree, and a butterfly bush, and three hardy hibiscuses. Hibisci?
Oh! Oh! And then I was in Crapmart the other night, and there was a whole shelf full of peony plants, you know how they come, just the bare roots in dirt in a bag? And one of them was struggling to start growing, inside the bag, inside the store, under those crappy Crapmart lights.
I'm not made of STONE, people. I bought that peony. If it's trying THAT HARD to grow, against all odds, I'll give it a home. I know this photo is blurry, but check out those shoots poking up:
And then I had to stop at another store, and they had a display of starter lilacs for four bucks. Four bucks! I had two lilacs, a white and a purple, at the old place, but they had grown too big to move and I had to leave them behind. So I had to buy one of the four-dollar lilacs, natch.
Time to start digging some holes. C'mon over!
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
And OH MY GOD could they have dragged that show out any longer? Gah.
Too bad none of this year's contestants can actually, you know, SING. Oh, I know, a couple of them have passable voices, but really nothing terribly stand-out-ish.
So said the girl whose cats flee the room when she sings. Heh.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
1. The mechanic, with an estimate for replacing my timing belt. Okay, okay, the car's timing belt. I called him yesterday, and he said he'd call me "right back" with the price. Yeah.
2. The locksmith. I've been trying to get a doorlock situation at the house remedied since, oh, last August. (Dear robbers: All of the locks work. I just don't like the type of lock. Repeat: All of the locks work. Just so you know. You robbers.) This particular locksmith got involved about a week ago, and said he'd have someone give me a call and let me know when one of his guys would be stopping by. Still waiting.
3. The furnace guy. Jesus CHRIST what is with this guy? He finally showed up a while back to put in the new blower motor, but the furnace STILL isn't running right, and he was going to just pop by when he got a break in his schedule. That was ....... weeks ago? Maybe months? F*ck.
4. The plate-glass window guy, who was out to lunch when I called an hour ago and ...... oh wait! He's on the phone. Hallelujah. Be right back.
Okay, so the plate-glass window guy said come right over, bring your windows, and I did. And he said he could replace the broken glass in my storm windows, no problem, and he'd - uh oh - "give you a call when they're ready." Shit. F*ck me.
I know I've ranted about this before, but WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET SOMEONE TO FIX SOMETHING AROUND HERE? I am paying GOOD MONEY to get this shit fixed and WHY WILL NO ONE RETURN MY CALLS and HEY KIDS GET OFF OF MY LAWN.
Updated to add: The mechanic just called back. He wants a thousand dollars to replace the timing belt. A. thousand. dollars. Granted, that includes a new water pump (which the car does not need; it was replaced two years ago, thankyouverymuch) and a system flush, but still. It's a THIRTY-FIVE DOLLAR PART. Calling other garages in three ....... two ...... one......
Updated AGAIN to add: See the comments for the latest development!
Monday, April 05, 2010
Saturday, April 03, 2010
I quit smoking one year ago today.
Can I have an Amen?
For those of you who may be new here, I smoked a pack-and-a-half a day for almost thirty years. And then I quit. Cold turkey.
One last run of the numbers:
Number of cigarettes I would have smoked between April 3, 2009 and today, had I not stopped smoking on that date: 10,950.
Amount of money saved: $1,952.75. (Just to clarify: I smoked cheap cigs I bought on line. Had I been buying name-brand smokes at the 7-11, that number would have easily been double. I used a figure of $3.56 a pack, since that's what my cigs cost at the time I quit.)
I've owned cars that cost less than that. A LOT less.
I suppose I really should get all introspective up in this space right now, but I'll try to avoid it. I've been posting Nomoblowsmo updates one a month for the last year, so I think I've pretty much said it all by now.
I hope to shit that this is not gonna come off as pretentious, but I do think that if you've got a kid, you may want to print out some of those once-a-months (posted on the third of each month) and show them to him/her. You may want to black out the swear words, but show him/her some of those posts.
Because when I was a kid? I bought all that smoking-is-DEATH stuff they taught us in school - hook, line and sinker. I remember making up anti-smoking POSTERS and parading through the smoke-filled family room, BEGGING my father to quit.
A few years later, I was bumming smokes from him.
When you're young, you think you're invincible. Lung cancer happens to OTHER people; YOU, on the other hand, are going to live forever. And besides, you can quit any time you want. It's easy!
Um, no. It's not. And maybe if you show your kids some of these posts, and they see the way I've struggled for A YEAR to quit, they'll get the picture. Just a little. Probably not, but maybe.
And I just want to mention, real quick-like, The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allan Carr. You can get a used copy for less than ten bucks, including shipping, on Amazon. I'm not saying that I wouldn't have been able to quit smoking without it; I don't know that. One of the attractions was that you could smoke while reading the book; honestly, I probably wouldn't have bought it if not for that. I just know that I bought the book, smoked as I read it, put out a half-finished cigarette as I read the last words, and haven't smoked since. I was actually kind of afraid to read it, if you want to know the truth; it was kind of like, holy shit- what if it actually works? What if I actually quit? What will my life be like if I don't smoke? What will I DO without cigarettes?
It works, and I quit. And there was nothing to be afraid of. What do I do without cigarettes? Everything I did before, just without a cig in my hand.
I made it.
Friday, April 02, 2010
Okay, so I have been delegated to bring dessert to Easter family dinner. And because it's impossible to accurately predict how many people are going to attend beforehand, I thought I'd just make a sheet cake and be done with it.
Except I thought that a sheet cake was kind of boring, so I thought, well, I'll frost it in a pretty spring color. Like pink, or yellow, or green.
Hmmmm...... green......... If I frosted it green, it would look like grass, and I could go to the dollar store and get some little plastic bunnies to put on it. Festive! *cough*
So! I go to the dollar store, and what did I find but ...... bunny peeps! Cool, I thought, I can put the bunny peeps on the cake.
And my mind keeps churning, and I'm thinking, I can do a whole Easter scenario with the peeps! Like, "Christ is risen", with peeps! And I can put one peep on a straw to get him up above the cake, and I can make a little halo, and all the other bunny peeps can be looking up in amazement ....
See, here's the thing: I think that's funny. I'm pretty sure some other people who will be at Easter dinner will think that's funny. But there's some others, in particular the Catholic deacon ...... well, I'm not so sure.
What do you think? Christ in peep form, or play it straight?
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Sorry for the poor quality - I was trying to get some pics quickly, before he stabbed me to death with his bloody horn.
It's hard to tell from the pics, but that horn is definitely not after-market or what remained after something else was broken off. The red color is original, too, and not the work of some emo kid with a Sharpie. You can click those pics to embiggen.
Here's a pic of something similar I found on Flickr*:
Who is this dude?!
Right now he's on my kitchen windowsill beneath the Cabinet Wall O' Religion. (Whole other post, right there.) But I would not be surprised if I woke up some morning to find him on my nightstand, peering up at me. **
*When I went to look it up again so I could credit the photog, I could no longer find it. Spoooky.
** ha ha, not really. Because then I would die of fright.
DISCLAIMER: This totally counts as this week's Freaky Friday. Shut it, Rob.