Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My White Trash Weekend

Okay, okay, so actually only one part of my weekend was white-trashy, but it was a doozy:

On Saturday, the repair guy came over to fix my malfuntioning toilet. I had successfully repaired it with a twist tie earlier in the summer, but this time it refused my efforts, and just ran and ran and ran. And the shut-off valve was stuck, so I couldn't even turn it off.

So! Grumpy McGrumpAss came over Saturday afternoon, and monkeyed and monkeyed, and finally said, "I'm going to have to replace this toilet".

Yay! So he went and got a new toilet, almost gave himself a heart attack lugging it up the stairs, and decided that rather than try and lug the old toilet back down the stairs, he would simply pitch it over the second-floor deck railing.

And so he did. Which is how briefly, on Saturday afternoon, I had a broken toilet in my back yard, with kittens crawling in and out of it. White trash, indeed.*

On Saturday night, the Boy Toy made one of his periodic phone calls. I haven't been screening my calls lately, so I actually picked up the phone. And I was polite, and spoke with him nicely, seeing as how he was calling at 9:30 p.m. instead of three in the morning like he usually does.

So! Guess who showed up on my doorstep Sunday afternoon? AAARRRGGGGGHHH. Time to start screening calls again.

And in kitten news, they're still doing the "bunny hop" down the stairs. Their front legs go right, left, right, left, down the stairs, but their back legs go hop hop hop together. It's the cutest thing.

Oh, and on Sunday morning, I don't know who was worse: Me, or my Mom. Me, for waking up twenty minutes before I was supposed to pick her up to go to lunch, or her, for being pantsless when I arrived.

But! The Bills won their fourth game in a row, giving them their best start in sixteen years, so all is well with the world.

Oh! And I just did the math, and it turns out that the Boy Toy is now ......... thirty-six years old. ** Which means that I really should come up with another name for him. "Man Toy" just sounds ...... skeevy. Any ideas?

*And let me tell you, that toilet left one helluva divot in the backyard.

** I first became "involved" (blleerrrch - I hate that word) with the Boy Toy when he was twenty-one. Which means I've been taking his three a.m. drunken phone calls for ........ fifteen years!?!?!. Oh my gaawwdd.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, Texas!

Today is my sister Texas's birthday! I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for always being there for me. Texas, if you're reading this, you have no idea how glad I am that you're not just my sister, you're also my friend. My best friend.

Time for an old photo!

From left: Texas, my Mom, Ditzy and TIB. If Mom doesn't look too happy, that's probably because she was schlepping a bunch of kids around a Florida theme park. And yes, Texas has a cast on her leg. It's from a terrible car accident that almost killed her.

So, Texas, I'm so glad you're still around! And golfing up a storm! Happy, happy birthday!

P.S. Oh, and Texas? Push the button.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Adventures in Kittenhood

"Hey! HEY! Check it out! There's a hole! In the ground!"

"OMFG! There IS a hole! In the GROUND!"

"Hey! Let's check it out! Me first!"

*sigh*. Little boneheads.

Should Be An Interesting Day ......

The hillbillies who live in the house next door to our office building have been trying to live-trap a woodchuck who lives in their yard.

When I pulled into the parking lot this morning, there was a full-sized skunk caught in the trap.

Updated to Add: I should point out that the fine folks next door are idiots. None of them are employed, and if you put all of them together, you'd come up with someone who had the intellect of a moron. Their previous attempts at woodchuck eradication included blocking off one of the woodchuck's holes with a cinderblock and waiting around the other hole with sticks, so they could ......... hell, I don't know ......... jab it to death?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Name Game

I got married in 1984, two weeks before I turned twenty-two.

(Go ahead ......... do the math. I'll wait. La la la la la ............ All done? Yes, I am officially that old.)

I left my husband in 1989. I'm not going to go into details; I packed my stuff and left. I think that the last time I saw him was maybe ...... 1990? I'm not sure; I don't remember.

I did not ask for alimony; hell, I'm lucky that he didn't ask for alimony from me. (I made more money than he did, which is almost laughable, considering the piddly amount I was making at the time.) As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, we never even officially divorced until 2000, due mainly to the fact that he refused to pony up his half of the divorce fee, which he had agreed to when I left. So, in 2000, eleven years after I left him, I finally went ahead and paid for the divorce.

ANYWAY, when I married him, I took his last name. And after I left him, people kept asking me if I was going to take back my maiden name. And I would always say, "I don't know", because really, I didn't care very much either way. My maiden name was a very common one; my married name was a very common one.

But lo these many years later, people STILL sometimes ask me if I'm going to take back my maiden name. And I'm kind of like, why bother? I've had my married name now longer than I had my maiden name. What's the dif? Who cares?

But I've gotta ask, are you SUPPOSED to take back your maiden name when you divorce? I mean, I always thought it was optional, but I didn't think it was a necessity. But some people seem to think it ....... well ...... odd that I still use my married name.

Oh well. It's no odder than lots of other stuff I do on a daily basis, I guess. Heh.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Freak Out!

Awww.... le freak ...... c'est chic!

(Anybody besides me remember that song? Anybody?)

So, the cats had to go to the vet's last night for a check-up and more vaccinations (rabies, feline leukemia, distemper). And all was well throughout the exam, until it was time for the actual shots themselves.

And those cats went insane.

Little Girl spat and snarled and hissed and shot halfway across the room when the first shot was attempted. So they tried again. They wrapped her in a towel, the vet tech gripped her firmly, the vet went in with the needle, and ......... FAIL.

And The Runt wasn't much better, when it was his turn. It took several attempts to get those shots into those cats.

The vet reassured me that it was okay, they saw this every day, it was part of their job, the cats were frightened, blah blah blah, but I have to say, I have never seen a cat react that badly to getting shots. And we have to do it all again in three weeks. *sigh*.

But! The Runt is up from four pounds to six (!), and Little Girl is up from three pounds to four. All in less than a month. And I swear, there's not an ounce of fat on these guys. They're lean, mean, kitten machines ........

And I got sent home with a ton of swag, courtesy of Purina.

Oh! And there's a technical name for googly eyes! I asked the vet why their eyes sometimes seemed to wander off in different directions (yes, it's as disconcerting as it sounds), and she explained that it was due to the muscles around their eyes, which may strengthen as they get older. The technical term is divergent strabismus. I prefer "googly eyes".

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Don't Make Me Break Out The Whistle

One of my jobs here at work is to answer the phones. And yes, it sucks just about as much as you would imagine that it does.

But the thing that sucks the worst about answering the phones is the telemarketers. They call, and call, and call and call and call, and nothing I say or do seems to deter them. Oops, wait a minute, the phone's ringing ........

Okay, I'm back. And that was an ACTUAL CLIENT. Thank God.

Here's the thing: There are ways to tell when it is a telemarketer calling. The "000-000-0000" on the Caller ID is a dead giveaway. For those, I just pick up the handset and hang it back up again. "Unavailable" is usually a pretty sure bet, but not always; some of our clients have programmed "Unavailable" as their Caller ID. (Which makes me wonder if they're in the Witness Protection Program or something, but whatever ........)

A "state", such as "Massachusetts" or "California", on the Caller ID is a pretty sure tipoff, but again, not always, as we do business with some state agencies, and you don't want to piss off the guy reviewing your project by picking up the phone and hanging it right back up on him.

Dead silence on the line when you first pick up is a pretty sure Telemarketer indicator. However, we have some ..... erm ........ older clients who take a minute to get their shit together when they dial a number and somebody actually answers their call, so I can't rely on the dead silence thing.

So, inevitably, sometimes my screening fails, and I end up actually talking to a telemarketer. For as long as it takes to discern that they ARE a telemarketer, anyway, and then I tell them we are not interested, and hang up the phone.

And then they call back. Again. And again. I once evidently pissed off this telemarketer in New Jersey, because she told all her co-workers in their little dungeon to CALL MY NUMBER, and the phone rang off the hook for two days. Seriously, like every twenty seconds, FOR TWO DAYS, the phone rang and rang and rang and rang. And you can't just, you know, switch off the phone, in case an actual client calls.

Oh, and you know what kills me? When you politely (through clenched teeth) tell them you are not interested, and as you are hanging up the phone, you can hear them yelling, "Well, F*ck you, bitch". Charming. Often it is ME who would like to be swearing at THEM, but I'm not sure how well that would go down in an office environment. Although judging by the amount of profanity my co-workers and MY BOSS use, I'm pretty sure they'd be okay with it.

And what totally slays me is when they claim to be legit. Telemarketers call ALL THE TIME claiming to be an account rep from the phone company we use. When I ask them which account number they are calling regarding, they stutter and stammer and say, "Oh, well, I'm not actually FROM the phone company ............" Grrrrrr. I want to KILLLLLLLL them.

So! What I really want to do is get a whistle, and blow their little eardrums out. But I know that some of them are just trying to make a buck the best way they can, as opposed to the telemarketers who are truly evil (i.e., F*ck you, bitch). I need to figure out how to differentiate between the two .....

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Way You Curl Your Tail .......

Both kittens can curl their tails into little circles, which cracks me up. And they're multi-taskers - this is Little Girl simultaneously planning her assault on the finch feeder and curling her tail at the same time.

(And yes, that is a deck railing she is perched upon. A second-story deck railing. *Sigh*.)

Weekend Pics

On Saturday, I went to a local nature preserve, where the deer are very friendly:

I could have reached out and petted that deer, which does not bode well for her future come hunting season. The deer are safe in the preserve, but if they go off the property, they're fair game. And believe me, the adjoining property owners have put up tree stands mere feet from the property line. Which hardly seems sporting, somehow: Wait for the deer to step over the line and KA-BLAM!!

This is a fall crocus that one of my former neighbors planted several years ago. The neighbor is long gone, but the crocus keeps blooming:

On Sunday, I went to a nearby state park. The turtles were busy soaking up the last of the summer sun.

"Grandpa, what was it like when you were a little turtle?"

Finally, a butterfly. Because it's pretty.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Quick Question

I need to send some long-distance flowers next week. I used FTD the last time and got hosed. Can anybody recommend a good long-distance florist? Is Teleflora any good? How about 1-800-flowers?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Better Late Than Never

A while ago, I promised an exciting tale of flip-flops and Aldi's bags! And then I got busy and I may have forgotten and ....... um ......... erm .......... Here it is!

I went up to Watkins Glen this past summer and took a guided tour of the gorge. The first day I went, we met up with the tour guide at the bottom of the park just as the clouds started to darken and it started to sprinkle and thunder started to rumble. And still, people were walking past our group and starting up the gorge trail.

Our tour guide (whom I may have had just a little bit of a girl crush on; she was adorable and cute and looked JUST like Reese Witherspoon, except without the alarming chin) said that we should wait to see if the weather cleared before we started up. Someone asked her if it was safe to be in the gorge when it was storming, and she was like, "well, no, the rocks get really slippery, and when lightening enters the gorge it tends to ricochet around, and, well, actually, it's REALLY REALLY DANGEROUS ......", and all the while people were walking past us and starting up.

So! Our tour was postponed until the following day. I had just started out of the park when the skies opened up and it was lightening-ing like crazy and the rains were pouring down ........ and I wondered how all those poor idiots people made out who decided to go up the gorge in the storm.

The next day I went back, and took the tour. There were about fifteen people in our group, but of course there were lots and lots of other people there too, just enjoying the gorge. I had on hiking boots, as did a lot of other people, and some people had on sneakers, and ........... some people had on flip-flops. To hike a total of three miles round trip, on a trail that included eight hundred shale steps which get extremely slippery when wet (which is basically all of the time; spray from the falls keeps them that way.)

And! There were women wearing heels! And people with babies in strollers! Yeah, I want to haul a flippin' stroller up eight hundred steps. And I guess I'm being judgmental, but jayzus, show some common sense here, people. Especially since there were signs ALL OVER THE PLACE alerting people to the fact that they were about to climb up a gorge.

Lots of people had day packs to carry their water and stuff. But this one couple really took the cake. Flip-flops? Check. Baby in stroller? Check. Day pack? Oh, nooooo. These guys just crammed a bunch of crap into a plastic Aldi's grocery bag for their little trip up the gorge. I was gonna take a picture, but I didn't want to be, you know, rude or anything. (ha!)

But! I did take a picture of this little guy:

He was just hanging out on the cliff wall, right on the main trail, watching hundreds of people walk by. And nobody noticed, except this one guy who stopped to take a picture of the seemingly-not-particularly-interesting side of the gorge wall, which alerted me.

I wonder why his momma picked that particular spot for the nest - talk about life in the public eye!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Look at Me; I'm as Helpless as ...........

........... a kitten up a tree?


Last week, it was Little Girl; last night, it was The Runt.

I need some meds.

I Need a Bailout

Dear Federal Government:

Unlike all those predatory lending agencies and related firms who are discovering that maybe giving out all those NINA (no income, no assets) mortgages wasn't the best idea in the world and are now crying bailout, I have actually been very fiscally responsible. However, rising fuel and heating prices mean that soon I may be having trouble making ends meet.

Unlike AIG, I do not find myself $85 billion in debt. I am not in debt at all, but I may be in the future, so just send me a couple mil and we'll call it good, okay?


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Movie Review - "Into The Wild"

Caution, there are MAJOR spoilers ahead! Do not read further if you don't want to know how this movie ends!

Okay, you've been warned.

I really liked this one. The soundtrack (Eddie Vedder, I believe) and cinematography were excellent. As far as the (true) story goes, well, in one way this guy was doing what we all dream of doing from time to time - ditching it all to go exploring.

Unfortunately, he headed into the Alaskan wilderness with basically just a parka and a knife, and he starved to death. Ooooops.

In a way, this guy really pissed me off. I mean, at least take some food or something, will ya?! But then again, I guess his "point" was to see if he could make it with no supplies. And it wasn't clear (to me, anyway) if this guy had all his marbles or not. By the end it seemed like he was pretty much off his rocker, but that might have been the starvation talking.

So! This was basically a movie about a guy who did what he wanted to do, and died doing it. But really, it wasn't sad at all. You just felt bad for the poor kid. You really wish he'd made it, just to see what he would become.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Need Some Coordination Here, Please

On Saturday, I was playing with the kittens in the kitchen. I made a grab for one of them just as the other one squirted between my feet, making me lose my balance, and the next thing I knew, I had CLONKED my head so hard against the corner of the stovetop that I saw stars, and a giant goose egg instantly rose on my forehead.

And my poor forehead was SO SORE that I couldn't even put ice on it. I can't even TOUCH my forehead, at all, without extreme pain.

Oh yeah, and I've got a REALLY ATTRACTIVE giant bruise on my forehead. Thank God for bangs; at least I don't have to try to explain to anyone how I almost KNOCKED MYSELF OUT playing with kittens.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Worst Job Ever?

I worked for a few (okay, okay, several) years in fast food. And really, I enjoyed it. It was not a bad job. If it didn't pay so piss-poor, who knows? I might still be working there. God forbid.

But there used to be a guy who would come to the restaurant a couple of times a year. We called him "the etcher". Because his job was to come in at night just before we closed. He would spend the night cleaning the grout in the tile floors with muriatic acid. Which will eat your flesh down to the bone in a heartbeat if you are not careful.

And I always thought that had to be the worst job ever. You're there, all by yourself, in a closed restaurant, in the middle of the night, using highly corrosive stuff to clean several hundred square feet of tile grout. And then you move on to another restaurant and do the exact same thing the next night. And the next.

So I got to thinking about what my "worst job ever" was, and I have to say it was working for my Dad when I was right out of high school. He owned a machine shop named, I shit you not - Progressive Tool. Hahahahahahaha!

I started out at the bottom, in the deburring room. Basically, deburring involves taking a more-or-less flat piece of metal which had lots of holes punched in it and was usually about the size of your hand or a little bigger, and using a grinding wheel to take the sharp edges off. It took a while to get the hang of it, but once you did, it was absolutely mindless work.

And here's the thing: You would get in a new order, and you'd grind the first piece, and each piece took a set amount of time - maybe fifteen seconds, maybe five minutes, depending upon the complexity of the part. And each order would be for thousands of the exact same part. You could sit there for weeks doing the exact same thing, over and over and over again, for eight hours a day. And at the end of the day, you would have tiny little metal shavings in your clothes, in your hair, in your nose ....... you get the picture.

And the people in the deburring room had worked there for years. The woman who trained me, Doris, worked there basically her entire adult life. I have no idea how she stayed sane. I lasted just a few months before I couldn't take it anymore and quit. (Sorry, Dad.)

I know that there are worse jobs than that, but that's my personal "worst job ever". What's yours?

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I was at work, at the exact same place, same desk, same chair, where I am right now. It was a beautiful morning; bright and sunny.

I turned on the radio around quarter to nine, and they were saying something about a sight-seeing plane flying into the World Trade Center. I knew that one of my co-workers listened to a different station (me: news/talk; him: RAWK), so I walked back to his desk to find out what he'd heard, which was basically the same thing (small plane; possibly sight-seers). We were the first two people in the office that morning.

There was a TV in the boss's personal office, so my co-worker and I hooked it up and turned it on. And we sat down and stayed there for the rest of the day. As the rest of the co-workers and the boss trickled in, we all sat down together and watched. Nobody went home until quitting time.

At the time we had a couple of projects under review by the Port Authority, who had offices in the trade center. We wondered if any of our reviewers were killed.

We could only get one channel on the TV, and their coverage had kind of a bad angle of the buildings, and the commentary was spotty and confusing. So when the second tower came down, we were all, "but wait - Where's the first tower?" We couldn't see that it had already fallen until the second one came down.

After the news came on about the Pentagon, I wondered how many more targets would be hit. At the time, I had two sisters living in or near major metropolitan areas, and I wondered if their cities would be attacked. And if so, how. By planes? By bombs?

Morbidly, I remember wondering how many more people would have been killed if the hijackers had waited another half-hour or so. Lots of people don't go into work until nine.

But the thing I remember most clearly was how damn nice people were to each other in the days to follow. You'd try to merge into traffic and someone would wave you in, instead of flip you off. Cashiers would smile when handing you your change. A weak, wavery smile, but a smile nonetheless. People said, "excuse me", and "thank you". That I remember.

Oh, I remember it all. Or at least I think I do. Memories are tricky things.

DVD/VCR - The Saga Goes On

So! I wrote earlier about my purchase of a DVD/VCR that turned out to be defective, as opposed to me being too stupid to figure out how to use it.

I returned that one to Crapmart, and then went to Target and picked up one made by another manufacturer. I got that one home, opened up the box, and started looking at the instructions before I took the unit out of the box. (I may be a slow learner, but I do learn.) Nowhere in the instructions could I find any info about VCR timer recording, so I called customer service (and once more got someone who spoke English - it's amazing!), and sure enough, this unit did not timer record. SIGH. And at this point I'm starting to think, "Oh, for Christ's sake, just cough up the money for a DVR and crawl out of the Stone Age, already." Yet! I resisted.

Oh! And while all this DVD/VCR shuffling was going on, there was a movie I wanted to watch. So I hooked up my old DVD player to watch the movie. Which got STUCK in the DVD player. Seriously. When I went to eject it after watching the movie, the little shelf would not come out of the player. I ended up having to disassemble the DVD player to get the damn DVD out. And all the while, I'm panicking, because it was a Netflix DVD, and OMG they would send the DVD police after me if I couldn't get it out of the player. Waaaaaaaah!

And I also managed to kill two alarm clocks during this period. I think I'm emitting some kind of weird electronics-destroying force field.

But! Back to the story! So I took DVD/VCR #2 back to Target, and picked up yet another model by yet another manufacturer. This time I had a salesperson open up the box in the store, so I could look through the instructions and see if it would timer record. (See? SEE? I am LEARNING!)

Yippee! This unit did offer timer recording, so I bought it, took it home, hooked it up, did a timer recording, and ............ yeeesssssss!! It works! I'm so excited! Now I can once again tape those pesky Austin City Limits shows that don't come on until eleven!

Oh, and by the way, right now I have a TV, a cable converter box, an RF modulator, and a DVD/VCR combo all hooked up happily together. And I am pretty sure that there is more wiring in my living room than there is in the nose cone of the space shuttle.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Recently Read

As usual, feel free to skip. But make sure to scroll down below to view the tale of Texas beeeeeees!

Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates - Novel about a serial killer, from his point of view. Creepy, but interesting.

The Motel Life by Willy Vlautin - Novel about two guys in trouble - This one was good, but not as good as Northline (another book by Vlautin).

All the Fishes Come Home to Roost by Rachel Brown - Memoir about growing up in an ashram in India - okay.

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan - Nonfiction - About the Dust Bowl in the thirties - This one was very good. I have no idea how some of those farmers hung on in an absolutely barren land, year after year. And I keep wondering, why didn't they move away? Their crops died year after year, their babies were dying of dust pneumonia ..... yet they stayed put. Most of them cited their "connection" with the land, but come on! Go connect with some land somewhere else, for Pete's sake! (I know this is a gross oversimplification - it just frustrated me.)

Fall On Your Knees by Ann Marie MacDonald - A great big ol' fat family saga. This woman's not afraid to tell a great big story, and that's super.

Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell - I talked about this one in another post. Interesting, but odd.

Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler. She is a stand-up comedian, and it seems like these essays would have been funnier in that format (stand-up) than as a book. I have the same problem with her as I do with David Sedaris - I have no idea which of their stories are true (the books are, after all, classified as non-fiction) and which are made up. It drives me crazy. (Oh! And speaking of driving, Ms. Handler writes about her dad driving her to school in a '67 Yugo, when in fact Yugo did not start selling cars in the U.S. until 1985. I can't believe I fact-checked that. NERD.)

Duma Key by Stephen King - I haven't liked most of his recent work, but this one was pretty good. The spooky woo-woo stuff didn't kick in until page 350 or so, which is good, because I like King best when he's just writing about ordinary people, not about haunted china dolls or whatever. But his recent stuff seems to show an author whose editor has long since stopped actually editing his work. And once the scary woo-woo stuff gets started, things get really confusing in a big hurry.

Driving to Detroit by Lesley Hazleton. Essays about cars and car culture. Meh.


My sister Texas, who lives you-know-where, had a nest of ground bees by her front door. She stuck a garden hose down the hole and turned on the water, thinking she could drown them. When she went back and pulled the hose out of the hole, the bees swarmed the hose, and a couple of them started after her! One of them stung her on the ear (ow ow ow ow), which promptly swelled up like a balloon.

So! She called her pest control company and they sent a guy out. He took one look at the hole, asked to be let in, and informed her that she had (dun dun DUNNN) killer bees.

That's right, folks; my sister got stung by a killer bee and lived to tell the tale. The scary thing is, the pest control guy was telling her that if the bees had swarmed her instead of the hose, she could have died.

But! She is fine (except for a sore ear), and the pest control guy killed the bees, and all is well.

And now she's got a great story to tell at cocktail parties. Waaaayy better than my cat-up-a-tree tale. Big sis wins again. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

And I Can Only Imagine What The Neighbors Were Thinking .........

.......... when I was out in their backyard in the dark last night, shining a flashlight up one of their pine trees, calling out, "Little Girl! Little Girl!"

Mmmmmmm ....... pine scented .........

Yesterday when I got home from work I let the kittens out to play. They played for a while, then came in and ate, then went back out and played, and then The Runt came back in, but no Little Girl. After a while I went out to check on her. I could hear her meowing, but I couldn't see her.

As it turns out, the reason that I couldn't see her is because she was about sixty feet up a neighbor's pine tree.

I went to the base of the tree and called to her, and she would meow piteously, but she wouldn't budge. The tree is huge and it has a ton of closely-spaced branches, so I knew she could get down if she tried.

I kept going out to the tree, and calling, and she'd meow, but she wouldn't come down. It was awful - she was meowing so loud I could hear her from inside the apartment, but still she wouldn't move.

Finally, after a couple of hours and after it had been dark out for a while, she showed up at my door, covered with pine sap but none the worse for wear.

At least now I know she can get down. But I swear these cats are gonna give me heart failure.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Maybe He Was Headed For The Pet Cemetery

I was out on the back deck yesterday when a squirrel crossed my backyard carrying a dead chipmunk in its mouth.

I shit you not. What the hell?!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Click Right Here

I have been staying out of the political fray, mostly because just thinking about the Republicans possibly winning this election makes me angry. How anyone with a modicum of intelligence could vote for John f*cking McCain is beyond me. (Sorry, Exador. Can we still be friends? Agree to disagree, and all that?)

But today, Chez at Deus Ex Malcontent has encapsulated my feelings perfectly. Please head over there and read this post. And after that, if you still want to vote for McCain/Palin, I am well and truly baffled.

The thing that gets me about this current crop of Republicans is that they would have you believe that being smart is bad. That being smart is somehow wrong. WTF?

Thanks, Chez, for saying it better than I ever could.


HA!! Teh Human is lying!! We are gooooood kitties:

Calm kitties:

Nice kitties!

Do not listen to Teh Human!

Rust Never Sleeps

Lately, the kittens have eschewed their evening naps.

And I'm exhausted.

Until recently, the routine went like this: I would get home in the evening, the kittens and I would playplayplay, I would give them their dinner (nom nom nom), we would playplayplay some more, and then, around seven o'clock, the kittens would conk out until around, say, nine-thirty or so. Which would give me a couple of hours to rest up, until they woke up again, and it was time to playplayplay until bedtime.

But for the last week or so, the kittens have decided they don't WANT a nap time. They want to playplayplay(eat)playplayplayPLAYPLAY from the time I get home until the time I go to bed. And then they KEEP playing, on and off, all night long.

What's the problem, you ask? Just let the kittens play with each other, and do your own thing?

HAH. You obviously do not have kittens. Because if you did, you would know that if you don't voluntarily play with them, they will MAKE you play with them.

Which goes something like this: You're sitting there, watching TV, minding your own business, when you look down and notice a tiny paw reaching up through the space between the chair and the coffee table. Said paw will be waving back and forth, like some kind of underwater plant, right next to you. I DEFY you not to grab said paw, with mayhem ensuing.

Another patented kitten move is the aerial maneuver. Again, you're sitting there, minding your own business, when you notice a blur out of the corner of your eye. And before you even know what's happening, a kitten has launched itself at you, spun itself around IN THE AIR above your lap, and gone flying off in another direction. YOU try not chasing after the little acrobat (after you're done laughing, of course).

Parents of actual children, I have NO IDEA how you do it. Because these two kittens are wearing me out.

And last night, in my exhaustion, the one thing that kept popping into my head was that Madeline Kahn song from Blazing Saddles, "I'm So Tired."

"I'm tired ....... tired of pwaying the game ........ ain't it a cwyin' shame ....... I'm ....... so ........ tired."

I really need some sleep.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Movie Review - "Life After Tomorrow"

Oh, I really enjoyed this one. It's a documentary about women who were in the cast of "Annie" when they were kids.

It was just really sweet. And it was amazing how these women could still remember the choreography.

It Ain't Me, Babe

Last night I monkeyed and monkeyed and MONKEYED with that damn DVD/VCR, and finally realized it was time to call - dun dun DUNNNNN - the dreaded "customer service".

So I grabbed a beer and some food and settled in, 'cause you know how that goes - first you spend an hour on hold, then you try to explain your problem to someone who does not speak English. Good times!

I dialed Magnavox customer service, got put on hold, held for about five minutes - and then the call was disconnected. Oh no, Magnavox, you're not gonna get rid of me that easy.

I called back, got put on hold, and after about ten minutes, I got a real live person. Yay! And - get ready for this - he spoke English. A flippin' miracle!

So we went through the way I had everything all hooked up, and the way I was programming the unit to timer record, and the L1/L2 option, and the RF modulator hookup, and blah-di-blah-di-blah, and finally he said, "You've got a defective unit."

And I actually laughed, did a fist pump, and said, "Yessssssss!" Because, for once, it wasn't ME screwing shit up. It was the machine!

So I asked Carlos what my options were, and he explained that the easiest thing for me would probably be to just take it back to the store, but if that would be an inconvenience, they would SEND SOMEONE TO MY HOUSE to pick up the unit (all sixty bucks worth, mind you) and arrange to ship me a new one.

Oh Magnavox, I love you. Truly. Your electronics suck, but your customer service is aces.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Goddam *?!@*ing VCR

I got the DVD/VCR hooked up over the weekend.

I can watch DVDs. I can watch VCR tapes. I can timer record programs on VCR tapes.

I cannot, however, watch the programs that I have timer recorded. They will play; I can hear the machinery working. The TV just won't show the tape that is playing. And no; it's not a "Channel 3" thing; I just can't figure out what it is. Grrrrrrrrr.

I know it's time to call the 1-800 number. Unfortunately, I really don't feel like talking to someone in Bangladesh with extremely poor English language skills right now.

How was your weekend?