Friday, July 31, 2009

F*ck yeah!

...... I'm a homeowner.

After the self-serve walk-through yesterday, I headed for the closing, again alone, because my realtor couldn't be bothered to show for that, either. It was me, my closing attorney, the seller, and the seller's closing attorney.

And let me just say this, the seller was a great big sweetie. Gave me all kinds of helpful advice on the house (it takes an hour to mow the lawn!), and was just a very nice guy.

So! We're signing paperwork, lalala, and the seller's attorney mentions the school taxes, and how they were paid through the end of August, so the seller would get a month's worth back, and then the September bill, for the next year's school taxes, would go to me.

And it was like at the end of a scary movie where the hand reaches out of the grave, that one last twist. Because I was SURE that the school taxes were supposed to be included in my monthly mortgage payment, and here was this dude, implying that nononono, I'D be getting a bill for, oh, a thousand bucks or so, in just a few weeks.

Of course, he was wrong. The school taxes ARE included in the mortgage payment, and it's my BANK that will be receiving the bill, not me, and hahahahaha just a little misunderstanding.

I think I died a little right there. I think my heart stopped for a brief period of time. Thanks for one last thrill, motherf*ckers!

Coming soon: The process server shows up at my apartment with an eviction notice! And then, while I'm on the phone with my sister ripping the realtor a new one, talking loudly, with all of my windows wide open ....... the realtor shows up at my apartment! Looking for a pat on the head, evidently, oh, and also to strongly ...... um ...... encourage me to get the hell out of my apartment ahead of schedule. News flash: No means no, amigo.

It's like the never-ending story around here, people!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Regrets .... I've seen a few .....

After looking at houses at the "top of the bottom" for several months, I can tell you one thing: I never want to see a set of train tracks again in my life.

Or garbage-filled lots:

Or warped walls:

Ummm... could somebody yell "Fire!"?:

Yeah, they really should've fixed that roof leak:

Let's not forget the Basements of Doom:

And remember all those great views?:

There were the crazy owners:

Although I have to give that woman props. She had to be pushing 70, yet she was still rocking the short-shorts, pantyhose, and hooker heels. Woot!

I will alway have a soft spot for the Lion King:

And now, today, six months later, the journey comes to an end. I'll kind of miss looking at all the crap houses; it kept me entertained all winter and spring. Good luck finding a buyer, all you poorly-constructed, poorly-maintained, poorly-located, poorly-decorated houses! Remember, everybody's gotta live somewhere!


The closing is scheduled for 4 p.m. today, with the final walk-through at 3. A few minutes ago, my realtor, who was supposed to accompany me on the walk-through, called and informed me that he had to be in Syracuse today, and I should do the walk-through by myself.


Then, then, he said, "The closing on your apartment building was yesterday. You're going to be out by the thirtieth, right?" Note: The thirtieth is TODAY.

And I said, "Yes, the thirtieth of August."

And he said, "Oh, well, I thought you were going to be out the end of this month."

And I said, "Well, nobody ever sent me an eviction notice, so, NO, I am staying through the end of August." Bastard.

Remember back when this dude sold me down the river? Pressured me into finding a house right away so he could get a deal done?

Yeah. Oddly enough, I never DID get an eviction notice, and not knowing when my closing was going to happen, I never gave my thirty-day notice on the apartment. The next month's rent is due in two days, and you'd better believe that I'm mailing in that last rent check tomorrow. The full fucking amount. I'm taking the whole damn month. Fuck the realtor, whom I have not heard from in a month in a half. Fuck the apartment building's new landlord, who never ONCE bothered to contact me about my moving plans.

Bitter much? Why yes, yes I am. This whole home-buying thing has been unbelievably stressful. And now you want me out of my apartment by, well, today?



Updated at 11:45 to add: The realtor's office just called and said that in addition to the realtor not being there for the walk-through, they hadn't unlocked the house yet, and would I mind stopping by their office to pick up the key?

Head exploding in three ....... two ........ one ..........

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bubble Yum

Because I could not, in all good conscience, leave a post about getting violently ill at the top of the page overnight, I give you this:

Do they still make Bubble Yum bubble gum? I got this lily plant from my sister Alabama. She had bought it, potted, at Lowe's one summer and put it on the picnic table on her camper's deck. When she got ready to go back south that fall, she asked me if I wanted it, and I said sure! and planted it in the side garden. Needless to say, this is one of the plants that will be coming with me when I move.

Because the flowers smell just like Bubble Yum.


Warning: This post is NOT for the squeamish. If you don't want to hear me talk about my most recent disgusting illness, go somewhere else today!

When you wake up in the middle of the night realizing you've got about .02 nanoseconds to make it to the toilet before disaster ensues, and you spend the rest of the night both pooping your brains out AND puking up evidently everything you've ever eaten in your entire life, at one point throwing up so violently that puke is coming OUT YOUR NOSE, it's a pretty good bet that you're getting a day off from work.

It just won't be an enjoyable day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

And I alone survived

Not really, but I DID manage to get through a family reunion without killing anybody or getting drunk. Good for me!

And no, I'm not in the pic, so don't bother looking!
This was my favorite pic of the day:

Young mom and her baybee, playing in the fountain.

Friday, July 24, 2009


The attorney's office just called - we have a new closing date. NEXT THURSDAY.

Dudes, I am actually going to own. a. home. This one, to be exact:

And yeah, I know I've put these pics up before, but tough. I am so excited! Look at the size of this yard:

I think I'm actually more excited about the yard than I am about the house itself. The cats are going to loooovvve that yard. I am going to garden my butt off in that yard. That's MY yard. Holy shit! New home, here we come!

Wave your paws in the air

"Like Jesus, I am coming to KICK. YOUR. ASS."

Sunday morning, the cats and I were dozing, when I looked down to see that Little Girl was sleeping on her back, with her paws up in the air.

And just as I thought, "awwwww, how cute!", she evidently started dreaming, because her paws started twitching and then pedaling, all while she was sound asleep, on her back, with those little paws now going like sixty in the air.

Cutest thing ever? Possibly.

Oh, and since The Runt's mystery illness, the vet advised me that I should keep food, both canned and dry, out for him at all times, until he gains some weight. Now, The Runt is not impressed by this; I'll put out some fresh canned stuff, and he'll wander over, sniff it, do a little *nom nom* and walk away. But Little Girl? She spies the fresh stuff, and it's like her eyes light up, like, "aahhhhhh! MORE FOOD!" and she'll go over, put her head down, and *NOMNOMNOM* *urp* *NOMNOMNOM* until all the food is gone. Which is just charming, because she's just a petite little thing. Obviously, I'm going to have to start feeding The Runt separately, before Little Girl turns into a whale. But for right now, I have to say, it's funny as hell watching her get! so! excited! over the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Oh, and I'm not even gonna show her this:

Appetizers. For CATS. Now they've gone too far, dammit.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's just the INTERNET, for chrissakes!

Evidently, some mommybloggers have got their tailfeathers all in a bustle about some other mommybloggers who get paid to endorse products and don't disclose the payments on their blogs. And the poor little mommybloggers got in such a twit that they are putting up buttons on their blogs stating that THEY, unlike certain other mommybloggers, "blog with integrity". There's evidently even a web site, blogwithintegrityDOTcom, which I refuse to link to, because I can't bring myself to click on it.

Seriously, peeps? I think these mommybloggers maybe have a leeeeetle too much time on their hands. Who gives a flying f*ck if somebody's getting paid to review a product? Who cares? It's the internet, for pete's sake! It's not like world peace is at stake.

Oh, and do not even get me started on the whole Blogher thing. Whoops, here I go: Blogher sounds like my worst nightmare. Several hundred women who can't hold their booze holed up in a hotel bitching about their PMS and showing off pictures of their ugly kids. You could not PAY me enough to attend that thing. And yet, some bloggers have been going on and on and on for MONTHS all about Blogher this and Blogher that and when I get to Blogher and blahblahblah ............ ummm, Blogher people? NOT EVERYONE IS GOING. You go, you have a mighty fine time, go ahead and puke in the hotel toilet because the last time you had more than one glass of wine was in 1997, but PLEASE give the rest of us a break. WE DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT. And if you come back from Blogher and post a bunch of pictures of hugging Blogher mommybloggers on your web site, I will never read your blog again.

There. I feel better now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Holy shit I've accidently hit the motherlode of entertainment

For whatever reason (don't ask), I was wandering around on ebay this morning and decided to do a search for "Christian art".

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA YOU GUYS!!!! This shit is un-be-liev-a-ble. My apologies to all you religious peeps out there, but seriously, check this shit out:

Watch out, kiddo! That GIANT BIRD is about to poop on your head!

And then there's this one:

All I could think of when I saw that image was that movie, that one with Sylvester Stallone in it, what the hell was it ......... Cliffhanger! Where he's out on the rope thingie trying to rescue a stranded climber and just as Stallone gets to him/her (don't remember), he/she slips off the damn rope and Stallone grabs his/her arm but he/she can't hang on and slips to his/her death and that's pretty much why I'm now terrified of heights. The end.

Oh but wait! There's more!

Yep, there's cool moe J, out for a little stroll ....... ON THE OCEAN! And look at the look on his face! He's all, like, "I am coming to KICK. YOUR. ASS."

Oh my Gah you guys, this is just too damn easy. I WILL NEVER HAVE TO STRUGGLE FOR BLOG FODDER AGAIN! I mean, not like I ever did in the first place, but still ..... easy pickins, rightcheer!

Oh, and I still want to know how much you pay for garbage service - do tell!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How much do you pay for garbage service?

I'm just curious, because for service at the new place, one local garbage company quoted me $18.90 a month, and a national company quoted me $15.30 a month, to put one 30-gallon can of garbage a week out to the curb. That's four bucks to put one lousy little can of garbage out to the curb.

What the *&%?!??

On the other hand, the city in which I work uses a by-the-bag system. You buy special city bags at the grocery store, fill them up, and put them out to the curb for collection by city workers. Each bag holds about twenty gallons.

Guess how much the city charges per bag?

Sixty-three cents.

It looks like I'll be buying the city bags, taking them home, filling them up, and bringing them to work to put out to the curb. Because I'm sure as shit not paying FOUR BUCKS A CAN to get rid of my garbage. But now I'm curious: How much do you pay for garbage service?

Basil, my ass

Some of you may remember my lovely fruit fly infestation. The vinegar trap that Listie suggested worked great, but I was worried that I was attracting fresh fruit flies with the bait. Plus, the sight of a bunch of drowned fruit flies was skeeving me out just a little. So I googled the problem (what the hell did we ever do without google?), and several sites suggested placing basil in the kitchen, as it repels fruit flies.

Not so much.

I got a big bunch of basil, broke off some sections, and scattered it around. Those little bastard fruit flies were hanging out on the basil, all, like, "Yay! A new place to party!"


I mean, at this point, there really aren't that many of them left, it's just the idea of the little buggers that's pissing me off.

Lucky for me, I'm moving soon. I hope the fruit flies don't decide to come along.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Upstate New York Sunday Night Weather Rule

The Upstate New York Sunday Night Weather Rule holds that the weather can be absolutely sucky all weekend long; cloudy, rainy, cold, whatever; but late on Sunday afternoon, around five o'clock or so, when everybody's given up the weekend for a lost cause and we're all mentally preparing to start another work week, the clouds will part and the sun will shine and the temp will rise about twenty degrees.

I remember my Dad teaching me this rule when I was a kid, and it still holds true.

It's especially true if you've been out of town someplace "fun" all weekend. The clouds part about the time you've got to pack up the car.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Teh babeez are all grown up!

Check out the ospreycam, guys! The babies are ready to fledge! Go, little ospreys!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A few minutes with Andy Rooney

How many people work on The Pioneer Woman's blog? Seriously, there is no way one home-schooling mother of four is putting that thing together. I want to know how many people it takes to put that sucker up.

What is up with the fruit flies in my kitchen? Holy mother of God, I made the mistake of bringing THREE bananas into the house last week, and now my kitchen looks like a biology lab. And the annoying thing is, they don't seem to actually EAT anything, they just, well ..... hover. How the hell do I get rid of the little bastards?

I think Dooce's fifteen minutes are over. Once your second book comes out and you've got your husband working full-time on your blog (paging Jon Gosselin!), I don't think you can pretend that you're just a cute little mommyblogger anymore. And this week she's cranking up the latest spawn's birth story, which ....... no. For the love of God, Dooce, no.

It's mid-July, and the high temp this weekend is supposed to be 73. I haven't turned on my AC once this year, and I am not happy about that.

Anybody have anything to add? Anything driving you crazy lately? Feel free to chime in!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What is a flood vent, you ask?

Okay, okay, so technically, nobody's asking. But I am doing this as a public service today, in case you have found yourself in the position I was in a few weeks ago, frantically googling "what is a flood vent" in a desperate attempt to get my flood insurance premiums down to an affordable level. Because my insurance agent was helpful enough to mention that "flood vents" would reduce my premium, but he was not helpful enough to know what a flood vent was or how to install one.

And I found a ton of information via google, but most of it was put up by manufacturers of flood vents. Which was helpful, but naturally, these companies are pushing their own products, which are not cheap.

Here is the good news: You don't have to spend a ton of money on flood vents! All a flood vent is, is a way for water to flow unimpeded into and out of areas of your home (foundation, garage, etc.) that are in the flood zone. You need to have one square inch of opening for each square foot of area to be covered, and there has to be at least two openings, on two different walls, not more than one foot above grade, for each area.

Here is a flood vent!:

In the picture below, see that hole in the bottom of the garage door? That's another flood vent!

All you have to do is cut openings of the proper size, frame them, and screen them! That's it!

For more information, you can refer to FEMA Technical Bulletin 1 dated August 2008, "Openings in Foundation Walls and Walls of Enclosures". I'd link to it here, but I'm too lazy, so go ahead and google that. This technical bulletin has illustrations of the different kinds of flood vents, the parameters for which flood vents are acceptable, etc. Your insurance underwriter will probably want a letter from you stating exactly what you intend to do, the size of the openings, etc., and they may also want some pictures showing the installation.

There! I have performed my public service for today. You're welcome!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


After weeks of wrangling with FEMA, the NFIP, and my insurance company, the flood vents have FINALLY been approved.

Hey, Fight Against Red Tape! Remember the big secret? This is it! Of course, it finally came to fruition TWO WEEKS after I thought the deal was done, but in the end all my painstaking flood vent research worked!

And instead of paying a thousand bucks a year *gulp* for flood insurance, I will be paying $429.00. For forty bucks worth of materials and a couple of hours of labor, I'm going to save almost $600.00 a year.


Folks, I can usually roll with the punches as well as the next person, but this whole home-buying thing? Is a whole nother game. I actually had to go home sick yesterday, as my body finally started to collapse under all the stress.

Wake me when it's over, would ya?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Resting comfortably

Friday night, I picked up The Runt at the vet's. The digital x-rays, while fascinating (you could even see the gas bubbles in his intestines) revealed no abnormalities, so he was good to go. The vet's best guess is that he ate something (bird, chipmunk, mouse) that was diseased, and the bad meat made him sick.

Friday night and Saturday morning, he was fine, and then Saturday afternoon he crashed again; I think he'd just had a little bit too much at that point. Yesterday and this morning he was doing well; now I've just got to get him fattened up. He was skinny to begin with, and this episode brought more weight loss. He won't touch the special prescription canned stuff the vet sent us home with (of course he won't; the damned stuff costs over a buck a can!), but he is eating his regular food, and he continues to snarf down cat treats like a champ.

Now if I can just get him to lay off the wildlife. The cats' latest playtime fun is catch-and-release with grackles; they'll catch them, carry them around for a while like a stuffed toy, and then drop them so they go flying off. I can't even imagine how these guys are getting ahold of full-sized grackles, but hopefully the birds will wise up soon.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Runt is coming home!

After two days in the vet hospital and every test known to man, the vets are basically stumped, but the Runt is doing better and he's coming home!

Early Wednesday morning, The Runt threw up. If you have cats, you know that's not unusual - cats are champeen thrower-uppers. But he also refused breakfast, and was acting really logy.

When I got home from work Wednesday night, he had thrown up again, and was laying on the bed not moving. I picked him up and he let out a pitiful little mew. I put him back down and called the vet's, because here's the thing about cats: By the time they are showing signs of being sick, they are almost always desperately ill. Cats hide their symptoms; it's a way of avoiding becoming prey in the wild. So when The Runt was acting sick, I knew there must be something really wrong.

We made a rushed trip to the vet's, where they determined that his vital signs were all stable and there were no obvious reasons for his distress. Oh, and there is a new vet at the practice: A newly minted Cornell grad! I think she's about half my age, which made me feel really, really old.

Anyway, The Runt was dehydrated, so they wanted to keep him overnight to get some fluids in him and run some blood tests. Oh, and if you're squeamish around needles, you DO NOT want to be in the room when they draw your cat's blood, because that needle is BIG. And it has a crook in it; I shit you not.

By this morning, I was heartsick. I hadn't heard anything in two days, and I was bracing for the worst. So when the phone rang and the caller ID revealed the vet's office, it was hard for me to pick up the phone. Keep in mind that I had been through this with another beloved cat not all that long ago, with heartbreaking results.

The vet must have known what I was going through, because his first words were, "The Runt can come home today". I think I went a little limp.

It turns out, as it sometimes does with cats, that they don't really know what happened. All they know is that he has his energy back and is eating, and seems to be past the crisis. They are going to do an x-ray before he comes home, just to make sure he didn't swallow something funky that got caught in his gut, but other than that, he's good to go.

Sometimes things turn out okay. The Runt is coming home.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


The Runt is ill.

He is currently at the vet's, receiving IV fluids and undergoing bloodwork.

If you could send a kind thought his way, it would be appreciated.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


So! Earlier today I got a call from my realtor's assistant, whom I have not heard from in, oh, forever, and she's all, "Do you have your insurance yet? Because the closing's supposed to be next Friday, but the seller drives truck and is only in town on Thursdays, and he wants to close a day early."


This is the same seller who took weeks to paint two flippin' doors (so the house would pass the bank's inspection), and who hemmed and hawed and stalled about allowing me access so I could install the flood vents. The same seller who STILL has not cleaned all his crap out of the house. (Although, honestly, I'd be GLAD to deal with the closets full of clothes, as long as he's willing to also leave the washer and dryer. But he's gotta take the Refrigerator of Death*. I have to draw the line somewhere.)

And seriously, this guy can't take ONE FREAKIN' DAY off of work in order to make $(insert large amount of money here)?

So now I'm supposed to hurryhurryHURRRRRRRY and get my insurance?

I'm .......... hurrying ............. so .............. fast ..............

*The Refrigerator of Death is in the garage. I made the mistake of opening it up the first time I looked at the house, and discovered that something had evidently crawled up inside it and gone to Jeezus quite some time ago. I'll not forget that smell anytime soon.

Dear Staples Office Supply Store:

Dear Staples:

Imagine my surprise when I stopped by after work last night to pick up some copy paper for the office and discovered that ...... well ....... you no longer sell copy paper.

It's true! After killing off the local competitors and outlasting Office Depot, you are now the ONLY office supply store in the area, and you have made the decision to STOP SELLING COPY PAPER.

The cashier advised me that she was taking a lot of sh*t for this decision that was made by corporate, and I believe her. She said they were still selling the "higher quality", i.e., more expensive, copy paper in the stores, just not the regular, everyday stuff. She told me that I would need to go online to order regular, everyday copy paper from now on, and there's just one little problem with that:

I'm sure that mine is not the only office where nobody realizes we're out of copy paper, until we're OUT OF COPY PAPER. You know how it goes: The copier starts flashing the "paper out" indicator, so you open up the cabinet to grab another ream, and ....... whoops! We're out of copy paper. Cue Staples run.

In other words, when I go to Staples for copy paper, I need copy paper right now. I do not have time to order online and wait two days for delivery.

So! Last night I ended up at Walmart. Where they sell copy paper. The cheap stuff. By the case. You know, the stuff my office uses. Thanks, Walmart!

Dear Staples: You suck.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Oh halp!

The library just called - three of the books that I had on reserve have come in.

This always happens! I put a bunch of books on reserve, books that have varying "wait" times, and they all come in at once, and then it's a mad scramble to try to get them all read before they're due back at the library, and they're usually non-renewable because they're in demand.


In other news, the Michael Jackson memorial service is today. Am I the only one wondering when they'll start selling off pieces of the body? I'm totally serious here. It would not surprise me at all.

Oh, and I'm still waiting to hear back from my insurance agent on the whole flood vent thing. I went ahead and had the vents installed (and you don't even want to know what a circus that was), and now, once again, I am having problems getting a person who is GOING TO MAKE MONEY OFF OF ME to get off of dead center and get their job done. I shit you not, every single person I've had to deal with in this whole house-buying carnival, from the realtor to his assistants to the seller to the mortgage people to the insurance agent, have dragged their feet every f*cking step of the way, regardless of the fact that NONE OF THEM ARE GETTING PAID until this deal is done.


Wow, I guess I'm just a wee bit cranky today. Sorry about that!

Monday, July 06, 2009

I can haz lawnmower?

Yes! I can haz!

Say hello to my little friend:

This is an Ariens, self-propelled, which I got off Craigslist for seventy-five bucks.

And I can even start it all by myself!

Now I just have to close on the house .....

Friday, July 03, 2009

Three Months

Number of cigarettes I would have smoked between April 3 and today, had I not stopped smoking: 2,700

Money saved to date: $481.50

Observation: People who never smoked do not think it's a big deal that you quit. People who used to smoke, and quit themselves, have evidently forgotten how blessed hard it is to quit, and do not think it's a big deal that you quit. Active smokers are threatened that you quit and stay away from you. In short, don't expect any kudos. From anybody. Which kind of sucks.

I sometimes dream that I'm smoking. In my dreams I'm driving in the car, and I look down and there's a lit cigarette in my hand, and the ashtray is full of butts. And in my dream, I'm all, "Oh nooooo! When did I start smoking again? Whyyyyyyyyy?"

And that's all I'm gonna say about dreams. Sorry about that brief lapse into dream analysis.

So! One-quarter of a year, smoke-free. Dear jeezus, I hope it gets easier.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Not in a billion years

From The Associated Press:

"Despite a fractured collarbone, a teenage girl clung to the wreckage of a plane for more than 13 hours before rescuers found her floating in the Indian Ocean, authorities said. The only known survivor of the crash, she was being flown back to Paris on Wednesday night."

Um, hello ....... flown back to Paris?

Peeps, if I was the only survivor of a plane crash that killed 152 other people, and then I had to cling to wreckage for 13 f*cking hours waiting for help, you had better believe that I would never, ever, ever get on a plane again. Don't talk to me about how it's safer than traveling by car, what are the odds it would happen twice, blah blah blah, I would never, ever fly again. I probably wouldn't even be able to look at a picture of a plane, let alone fly on one.



I was listening to an interview on the radio last night, and this guy was talking about Sarah Palin's credentials (!), and he mentioned her "bona fides". Except he pronounced it "bona fee-dees", and I was all, WHAT??? Hahahahahaha! It's "bona fydes", jerk, not "bona fee-dees"!

But then I remembered how, for the longest time, I thought that "impotent" was pronounced "im-PO-tent". Ooops. And honestly, I'm STILL not sure where the emphasis goes on "intestate".

So what say you? "Bona fee-dees"? or "Bona fydes"? And are there any words that you butchered for an embarrassingly long time (see impotent) before realizing you were saying it wrong?