Friday, September 30, 2011
CODG: "You know, those are ash trees in your front yard. We used to have some in OUR front yard. You oughta get some of those purple bug traps, before the beetles take them over."
a. They are not ash trees. They are locust trees.
b. The "beetles" he is referring to are emerald ash borers, which are infesting ash trees. Just not in our neck of the woods yet. And the "purple bug traps" are specialized devices being set out by the DEC, in an attempt to track the borers' progress. It's not like you can go to Agway and buy one. I think he had the ash borer traps confused with Japanese beetle traps.
c. The emerald ASH borers are infesting ASH trees. I do not have ash trees. I have locust trees.
Okay! Back to the conversation:
Me: "I'm pretty sure they're locust trees, not ash trees."
CODG: "Nope, they're ash trees. We had some in our yard."
Aside: After I bought the house, I got a tree book out of the library to identify the trees in my yard. The willow was obvious, but I did not know what the trees in the front were. As I found out from the book, they are locust trees. They are not ash trees. One difference between ash trees and locust trees is the amount of individual leaves in each ... cluster or whatever the hell you call it ... and these are locust trees. LOCUSTLOCUSTLOCUST.
Me: "Oh, well, I guess I'd better go get some of those purple traps, then! For my ash trees! Thanks for the advice!"
I think I've finally got this dude sussed. He has to be right ALL THE TIME. And if he is NOT right (see the driveway saga), he will just keep blustering through, until you finally agree with him, just to be nice, and to avoid watching him stroke out from the thought that he might be wrong.
Look. Dude's eighty years old. He knows nobody's gonna contradict his crazy-ass ideas. He knows he can say whatever the hell he wants to, and nobody's gonna tell him he's wrong. And I'M not gonna be the one to push him over the brink. As much as I might like to, I am not going to be the one to say, "Hey, look, gramps, you're full of shit. Jeezus Christ, what a f*cking MORON." He's basically a good guy. So I just nod and smile and go along.
His plan is working.
He's a damn genius.
They're f*cking LOCUST trees, dammit.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
What's that? Why no, no, I DIDN'T share them with my co-workers. What are you, high or something?
Actually, that would explain the box of mini-donuts, but I have not engaged in THAT particular vice for lo these many years now.
Usually, the reward for a trip to the dentist is lunch at McDonald's (I KNOW), but evidently times are a changin'. Today, nothing but powdered mini-donuts would do. Lots and lots of powdered mini-donuts. (and no, I was not at the dentist's because of the powdered mini-donuts. I like to eat, but I also like to brush my damn TEETH, thankyouverymuch.)
And to those of you who say you should not use food as a reward, I say, "huh"?
What else is there?
I mean, and still keep it legal. Ha. Hell, I can go buy myself a bracelet or a new pair of shoes or go to the movies any time I want to. When I have just voluntarily plunked myself in the dentist's chair for a nice long session with the drill?
GIVE ME FOOD. LOTS OF IT.
and pass the donuts.
I spent some quality time at the dentist this morning, undergoing some exploratory drilling. Yeah. And you know, it's not the needles that bother me, or the drills, or even the indignity of having my mouth propped open for way too long.
It's the smell. That smell of burnt ... bone. Burnt ... tooth. Just ... ick.
Oh! And in other news, there is - wait for it - a FLOOD WATCH in effect for this area through tomorrow.
Holy Mary Mother of God, haven't we had ENOUGH, here? What are we, JOB or something? Jeez.
And! Yesterday I was filling out an application on line, and I proofread it carefully, and then printed it out to proof it again, because I'm a hard copy kind of gal, and I finally said okay and hit send, and then I noticed that ... I spelled my name wrong.
hahahahaha I am not even kidding you I SPELLED MY OWN NAME WRONG.
Bonehead, that's me. Burnt bonehead, this morning.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Here's what I got:
Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World (awwww)
Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story
The Grail Bird
I Will Not Be Broken (self-help - yikes! Hey, it's just in case.)
So Late, So Soon
Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story
The Ice Master: The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk (nothin' like a good, depressing tale)
It Takes a Village Idiot
The Hour I First Believed
Fanny and Sue
2gether 4ever: Notes of a Junior High School Heartthrob
Black Mountain Breakdown
Long Past Stopping
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint
All About Lulu
Amy and Isabelle
Scared Santa: Scenes of Terror in Toyland (how could I resist?)
Land of a Hundred Wonders
Requiem for a Paper Bag
The Dollmaker (I love this book. But it's SO SAD.)
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
When Angels Rest
Sorry I did not include authors - time is limited around here.
But! I got - let's see - 27 books for ... drum roll please ... $54.55! Normally, spending fifty bucks on anything not absolutely need-related would send me into palpitations, but ... it's books! Books! And not just random 25-cent books from the library book sale, but books I actually want to read! Two bucks a pop!
And that poor mailman is gonna shit when he sees the size of the box he's gotta deliver to my house.
Go! Go to the book sale! Today only!
Holy SHIT I'm excited.
Better World Books is having a blowout sale, today only! Fifty percent off ALL bargain books! FREE shipping! Go! Go! Go!
Needless to say, I am not being compensated for this post. Better World Books, along with the rest of the universe, has never heard of me. Regardless, as someone who loves to read, I felt compelled to pass this news on.
Now go buy some books!
I'll be back later to tell you what I got.
Monday, September 26, 2011
I have followed the Bills, for, well, forEVER, or at least it feels that way. When you back a perpetually losing team, the seasons tend to drag on. Every year they break my heart, sooner or later. Usually by mid-season they've got more guys on injured reserve than they do actually playing, and they have a nasty habit of falling apart in the second half.
But! It is a new season, and yesterday they actually managed to beat the insufferable Patriots. I did a leeetle dance as the game ended. Holy shit - three in a row!
How about you? Who's your favorite team? Who's your LEAST favorite team?
Oh! Speaking of least-favorites, I cannot even watch Tiger Woods any more. Just ... ick. And I mean, what he did/does in his personal life is his own personal business and blahblahblah, but just ... ick.
Friday, September 23, 2011
After the water receded, I picked the left-behind flood detritus off the plants. I rinsed the leaves off with buckets of (clean) water to clear off the creek crud, propped them up from where they had gotten beaten against the ground, and hoped they would come back next year.
The deer won't even eat the fruit.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I explained that I was having problems with an extremely bothersome client (read: asshole) whom I was about to kill, and she said, "You know what amazes me? Is when patients are rude to ME. Here I am, with a tray full of extremely sharp instruments, and I get people in that chair giving me a bunch of attitude. I feel like telling them, don't you know what I could DO to you if I wanted to?"
Um ... wow.
So the moral of the story is, be nice to your hygienist, OR ELSE.
Oh! And in other dental news, I have heard that my long-ex-husband is getting false teeth. HA! I don't know why that pleases me. BUT IT DOES. Stock up on the Poligrip, buddy-boy.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Yesterday morning, I was showering away, when I looked down and saw ... blue. Splotches of blue, like blue paint, on the floor of tub. Splotches that had not been there when I got in the shower.
Bright blue. I actually looked up, to see if bright blue paint was somehow leaking through the ceiling above the tub.
I touched one of the splotches with my toe, and it smeared, just the way paint would.
I'm estimating there were thirty splotches, bright blue splotches, ranging in size from the eraser on the end of a pencil to dime-sized. They just appeared, while I was showering. I always, always do a quick scan of the tub and the tub surround before I get in, because spiders love my bathroom, and there were no blue splotches before I got in the tub.
I do not use any type of product in the shower that is blue. No blue shampoo, no blue body wash, no blue nothing.
I used my buffy-puff-body-wash-sponge thing to scrub at the splotches. They smeared and faded, but they're still there, faintly.
Ideas? Back when the mysterious o-ring appeared, I thought it was funny. And I think I finally figured that out - the o-ring had a hairline crack that allowed it to fall off the showerhead. But bright blue splotches? Out of nowhere? Appearing on a tub floor while I am showering?
Okay, this is kind of weird.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Here is a confession that will come as a surprise to absolutely none of you: I buy some weird shit. On ebay. My saved searches include the following:
"1977 New York State Field Band Championship"
"full size carousel horse"
"why don't I fit in"
Ah, Trailside. Many, many years ago, PBS aired a series by that name. It was all about trail hiking, obv. And they filmed an episode about eighty miles away from where I live, at a not-very-well-known hiking area where I had actually been many times before, because it was close to the family cottage.
What's that? Why yes, yes, I DO HAVE A POINT. I'M GETTING THERE.
So! On the Saturday afternoon when that episode was going to air, I was not going to be home, but I set my VCR to record the show. (I TOLD you it was a long time ago, OKAY?) (I still have the VCR. I still have tapes. I still play them. I am old.)
I get home later that afternoon, and I'm all excited to watch the Trailside people hike in an area where I had been, and I rewind, and I start watching the show, and it's almost to the part where they're going to be at the place where I had hiked, and
you guessed it.
The VCR had stopped recording RIGHT. THERE.
Agh! The wailing and the moaning and the gnashing of teeth. All over a stupid TV show, I know. I was inordinately upset over the whole thing. And my local PBS station soon stopped airing Trailside, so I never DID get to watch the end of the show.
Flash-forward many years later, to the internet and ebay and the saved search. And people were selling many, many copies of many, many episodes of Trailside, but never the one that I wanted. One person even listed what she said was a "complete set" of Trailside, and it did not include my episode, which made me wonder if I was going crazy or something. Maybe I dreamed it?
Until I got back from my time off, going through a week of email, and there it was, in my inbox, a saved search notification that MY EPISODE of Trailside was up for bid.
And the auction had ended several days before.
Poor me. Last night, I'm at home, stewing over my almost-found-but-once-again-lost episode of Trailside, wondering how many years it will be this time before someone puts one up for bid.
And then. I had an idea.
I got into work this morning, pulled up that ended-auction notification, and emailed the lister. I asked her if the tape had sold, and if not, did she still have it, and if so, could I possibly buy it?
Readers, SHE STILL HAD THE TAPE. And she re-listed it, just for me, and you know what she charged for it?
She had me over a barrel, and she knew it, and she STILL let me have the tape for a buck.
It restores my faith in humanity. It truly does. And now, very soon, I will get to see my long-ago episode of Trailside.
I CAN'T WAIT.
6,000 - Structures impacted.
2,365 - Structures damaged.
43 - Structures destroyed.
8.7 - Inches of rain that fell in a 24-hour period at the airport. I got 10.4 inches at my house before the rain gauge overflowed.
39 - Square miles flooded.
$25,000.00 - Amount of money Petco donated to local animal shelters in a desperate attempt at damage control. (They evacuated their employees but left the animals behind.)
Thursday, September 15, 2011
My house where I live now, which IS in a flood zone, did not flood.
Oh! And in other news, when the local utility company was working to get gas service restored to the neighborhood, they were going door-to-door explaining that when they were able to turn the gas back on, they'd have to come back and check everyone's gas appliances for flooding before they could turn the service on to individual houses. I asked one of the guys what would happen if I wasn't home when they came back, and he said, "Well, we'll put a tag on your door with a phone number on it, and you can call to schedule another appointment, but honestly? With the situation in this area, it might take quite a while to get somebody back out here. If you feel comfortable doing it, it would be a lot quicker to just leave a note on your door explaining how to access the appliances, and then we can go ahead and check them when you're not here."
Ha! And that's what I did. I left a note on my door explaining which door was unlocked, and go on in, guys!
But seriously? That's some pretty shit advice, if you ask me. All it takes is one enterprising criminal to go door-to-door, looking for notes on doors to see which houses are begging to be robbed. I never would have left the note, except I don't have anything worth stealing. Oh, and plus, my neighbors watch my house like a damn hawk, so there's that.
Then again, if they stole my nineteen year old TV, at least I'd have an excuse to go buy a new one.
Oh! And in OTHER other news, a protest is being organized for tomorrow in front of the local Petco, where they evacuated the employees but left the animals behind. The CEO of Petco paid a visit the other day, doing damage control. Evidently there were no cats or dogs in the store, but there were rodents, reptiles, birds, and lots and lots of fish. People on local message boards are all, "fish have rights, too!" Um ... yes ... they have a right to be on my plate with some tartar sauce and fries on the side. Sorry. I just ... isn't a flood kind of like the best-case scenario for a bunch of fish in tanks? "Here we go, guys - the water's rising - FREEDOM!"
Man, I'm going to hell for sure. If I believed in that kind of thing.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
And some PC douchecanoe promptly reprimanded her via email, reminding her that she didn't even CONSIDER that the kid might be special-needs, and HOW DARE SHE stare, and everybody needs to STOP MAKING FUN of the differently-abled, and ...
... oh holy Christ on a crutch.
LOOK. If some kid throws a screaming meemie fit on the playground, people are going to stare. At least at first, if only to try and locate where the uproar is coming from before seeing that it's just a kid having a meltdown and turning away. And, depending on the onlooker's age and social skills level, they may CONTINUE to stare. IT HAPPENS.
Let's see - how can I put this? If I go tearing through Walmart with underwear on my head screaming "booga booga booga", I am going to be treated differently than if I am quietly picking out apples. It has nothing to do with whether I am special-needs, full-on schizophrenic, or just took an extra strong hit of acid, people are going to stare at me. And comment. And tweet.
But to suggest that those people are not ALLOWED to stare or comment or tweet, because it's NOT NICE? It's being INSENSITIVE to my needs?
Oh BULLSHIT. Cry me a f*cking river.
And that's all I've got to say about that.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
And it seems weird to be all back to normal, when all around me people have lost everything. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people are still out of their homes; hell, some of the homes around here are still full of water, five days after the flood. Local code officials have condemned a lot of homes due to foundation blowouts. Home Depot, which got four feet of water, has the entire contents of its store out in the parking lot this morning; I can't imagine that very much will be salvageable. Oh! And there is a furor over the Petco store; when the waters started to rise, they evacuated their employees, but left the animals behind. Nice one, guys.
And while watching interviews with the flood victims on the news will break your heart, what mystifies me is how person after person says something along the lines of, "We didn't have any warning. We just had to grab some clothes and go."
Didn't have any warning? HELLO. We had days and DAYS of warning. Granted, the rains were heavier than any of the meteorologists had predicted, because the system stalled directly over us, but STILL. They had flood watches for the region posted for at least three days before the rains hit. Unless these people were living in caves, they had PLENTY of warning.
But! I am not going to kick someone while they are down. They should have some volunteer efforts organized by weekend (there are already church groups, the Red Cross, and the National Guard helping out), so I may be shoveling mud out of basements soon. Although God knows I am STILL sore from ripping out T's carpeting and helping L clean out her shed, so it may be a couple of days before I am able to help again.
And peeps? Two words: Flood insurance. I have it. My neighbor T did not. Many of the people who flooded did not. "Too expensive", they said. Oh boy, how expensive is it to replace a house? Sheesh.
Oh! And my lawn is finally starting to dry out, so I may be mowing soon. Rats.
And you know what? I'm still all nervous and jerky, like it's right before the flood instead of right after. I wonder why that is?
Monday, September 12, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
If that doesn't work, just type "Binghamton NY newspaper" into your search engine.
Obviously, I haven't been straying into dangerous territory to get pics, but here's a few I was able to snap. This is a bridge over the Choconut Creek (the creek that runs by my house):
The water was all the way up to the top of the twenty-foot-high floodwall and across the bridge. The Susquehanna River was actually backing UP the creek at that point.
Idiot. People drive like MORONS when there's an emergency. I've seen more crazy-ass driving in the last two days than I have in the past - forever.
Thursday, September 08, 2011
You guys, it's like a miracle. We got AT LEAST ten and a half inches of rain (my rain gauge overflowed after that), but my house is dry.
Do I feel lucky? Yes. Yes I do. I feel like the luckiest person in the world right now.
Talk to you soon.
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Is that crazy, that I wouldn't go back right now, even if I could? If my house is underwater, I can deal with that, but I don't want to SEE it while it's happening. Things are going to get - God, I hate to say it - but things are actually going to get worse before they get better - another 2 to 4 inches tonight. I can deal with the loss of the house, I can deal with losing all my possessions, but the thing that I'm afraid of is having to deal with going through all the bullshit with the insurance company and FEMA and uh-oh I'm crying again so I'd better stop going down that path right now.
Thanks to everybody who commented on the last post, especially Becs - my goodness, I hope I somehow find a little bit of the inner fortitude you've displayed through your own loss.
I'll post again as soon as I can - probably sometime tomorrow. And hey! My house hasn't been on the local news yet, so there's always that, right? Talk to you soon.,
Now, at 1:40, we are getting ready to close the office and get back to his house while we still can. Roads are becoming impassable and it doesn't look good.
I checked the rain gauge in my garden at 7:30 this morning and we had gotten 1.9". I emptied it. I checked it again at eleven and we had gotten an additional 2.5". And it's still raining.
The weatherman on the noon news said it's not going to be as bad as 2006 (when the area received historic flooding), but all you have to do is look out the window to know that he's probably full of shit.
Look. Little Girl and I are okay. What happens to the house, happens to the house. I do have flood insurance, on the house itself at least.
It's just the idea of having to go back home and start shoveling mud and ripping up carpets and ... oh Christ.
I guess I'd better buck up.
2. Remembrances of 9/11. Call me a curmudgeon, but you know what? I remember that day. Clearly. I'm not going to forget any time soon. I do not need a week's worth of "special programming", rehashing it over and over and over again. Please.
On the bright side, I got a lovely card in the mail from Heather last night. Thanks, Heather. You always know when I need cheering up.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
2. Work-related: People who use up a roll of toilet paper or paper towels and don't replace it, even though they know exactly where the replacement rolls are. People who leave time on the microwave. People who drink the last of the pot of coffee and don't ask if they should make more. People who don't flush. I work with a bunch of Philistines.
3. Crossword clues using Roman numerals. "Half of MXIV". Look, the last time anybody studied Roman numerals was in sixth grade, OKAY? Knock it off already.
4. While we're on the subject of crossword puzzles, you know what annoys the shit out of me? When I come across an answer word that I've never even heard of before. Example: Crossword clue - "gladly". Answer - "lief". Whhaaaaaa? So I look it up, and sure enough, "lief" is a word. People, I am forty-eight years old. How is it that I am STILL discovering new words? It makes me look like a damn idiot.
5. Screaming children in grocery stores. Kids, what the hell do you have to CRY about? Your life is golden right now. Free housing, free food, people who love you to pieces, and a mom to wipe your butt when you crap your pants. Your life will never again be this good. QUIT CRYING, OKAY?
6. Hyperbole and a Half. She was always a sporadic post-er, but she announced her book deal in May and then disappeared. Jeez. She could have written War and Peace by now, instead of some picture book featuring crude MS Paint drawings. And the book still isn't out. Or else it came out and landed with a thud. I think the blog-to-book thing is about done. Except for PW, of course, who could sell shit-on-a-stick and make a fortune.
7. The "A.N.A." clothing line from J.C. Penney. Surely by now, someone MUST have told the head schmucks at Penney's that "ana" is a code word for anorexia. Google "pro-ana" if you don't believe me.
Yeah, so here it is September and I am NOT happy about it. Can you tell?
Friday, September 02, 2011
We are now on Day - let's see - Day Ten of Blacktop Watch.
For those of you who are new here, let me recap. Last summer, my elderly next-door neighbor had his driveway redone. He asked me if he and his wife could park in my driveway while the work was being done, and I said sure, figuring it would only be a day or two.
Five weeks later, he finally decided that his driveway was "set" enough to park on again. By that point in time I was ready to blacktop HIM.
So imagine my dismay when his wife came over last Tuesday, said they were having their driveway "sealed", and wanted to know if they could park in my driveway. Again.
"Sure", I sighed. "Go ahead".
It's gonna be a long September.
And it's bad enough that he thinks blacktop has to set for weeks, but evidently he also cannot figure out how to apply a registration sticker:
Not sure this dude should be driving.
Oh! But his wife did bring me over a plate of corned beef and cabbage last night. That makes up for a lot.
And! I had to do a mouse! rescue! this morning. I'm wondering if Little Girl's just bringing in the same mouse, over and over.
Thursday, September 01, 2011
- from Garden Spells by Sarah Allen
Okay, what does that even mean?
Oh, and while I'm bitching, can someone tell me how it got to be September already?
Where the hell did summer go?