Monday, August 31, 2009

Whyyyyy ....... WHHYYYYYYY?????

..... picture Nancy Kerrigan, clutching her knee and rocking back and forth.

Hahahahaha, it's really not that bad, I swear, but imagine my surprise on Saturday morning when I got ready to take my first shower in the new place, turned on the water, got it set to the right temp, flipped the lever to activate the showerhead, and ........


The shower does not work, people. Woe is me! I am NOT a bath person, I am a SHOWER person, and the fact that I somehow did not check the showerhead when I did the walk-through is just stupidity on my part.

So! I showered back at the apartment over the weekend (oh, and the awful new landlord called me SEVERAL TIMES on Sunday morning to find out when, exactly, I would be out of the place - thank God that the new landlord will not be MY landlord .......), and a plumber is coming out tomorrow afternoon to check out the shower. Between now and then, guess I'll have to grit my teeth and take a bath. or two. *shudder*

But! I am all moved in. I was going to wait on Friday and take the cats after everything else had been moved, but The Runt was acting all hinky Friday morning, jumping in and out of the car and generally freaking out, so I packed up him and Little Girl and they went to the new place with the first load. Little Girl even got to ride in a pickup truck! She was not amused.

We got the first load to the house, only to discover that the roofers were there to finish the ventilation work. Nice timing, guys! And apropos of nothing, I smoked a LOT, back when I smoked, but those roofers put me to shame. They were there for several hours, and I swear, they both chainsmoked the entire time. Maybe it's some kind of roofing rule or something.

Anyhow, I got the cats set up in the spare room and we proceeded to unpack the truck/trailer. The cat door was installed, the windows were repaired (did I mention that some of the bedroom windows and the bathroom window had been screwed shut? and somehow set up so that if you did manage to open the bottom part, the top part would slam down on your fingers like a guillotine? I guess the previous owner had been making preparations against the coming zombie invasion.), and my moving help (thanks guys!) left around two. I made one more trip to the apartment to gather up odds and ends (which turned out to be a FULL WAGON LOAD, why do I own so much CRAP?) and then I went back to the new place and ..............

oh holy cow this is running on way too long. More later.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I guess this is it.

Lord willing and the creek don't rise, tomorrow I finally, officially move to the new house. And in honor of the occasion, I thought I'd make some lists. Lame, I know. Sorry.

Things I will not miss about the old apartment:

1. The kitchen sink faucet, which delivers either freezing cold or boiling hot water, but nothing in between.

2. The bathtub drain, which does not (drain, that is).

3. The flippin' street festival held on the street in front of the building every year, blocking my access to my apartment for two days.

4. The lamp-stealing thief downstairs.

5. The Pakistani terrorist tenant in the apartment next to mine, who hoots at the most disconcerting times. (Did I ever tell you guys about that? If not, remind me. Kthx.)

6. The lack of covered parking - I've got a garage now, bitches!

7. Hearing other tenants loudly fight/have loud make-up sex.

8. The goddam f*cking bass from loud stereos. I swear, there were times I thought I would lose my mind if I had to listen to THUMPA THUMPA THUMPA for one more minute.

9. The plumber (and I use that term loosely) who ripped up my bathroom floor last October and never returned to fix it.

10. The tree fort, side-slider windows which let the wind blow freely through the frames.

11. Hearing traffic from the two nearby highways.

12. The moronic tenants who were too f*cking lazy to put their garbage bags in the garbage cans, instead leaving the bags next to their doors or on the ground next to the cans for days at a time, thus ensuring that every creature in the neighborhood got a shot at ripping the bags open and strewing the garbage around.

Okay, okay, let's be fair here ...... now for a list of Things I WILL Miss About the Old Aparment:

1. The tiled bathroom with a window right in the shower.

2. Hans across the street, who would come to my rescue and plow the driveway when the landlord's hired guy didn't show, which was most of the time.

3. The flippin' street festival. Yeah, I guess I'll kind of miss it after all.

4. The back deck, and the view of my neighbor's enormous pine tree.

I can't tell you how many hours I spent on that deck, reading the paper and listening to the radio and looking at that tree.

So! Onward and upward. See you next week, after the cats and I have gotten settled in to the new place.

Two and a half hours

That's how long it took the *&^%$ cable guy to hook up my cable last night.


I knew I was in trouble when he said he couldn't find my house. My house, which is one turn from a major roadway and is numbered both on the mailbox and on the front door.

Then he didn't want to go into the crawlspace (where the cable had been originally run), so he decided to rewire everything, from the pole out at the street back to the house, through the garage, and through the wall into the living room.

That's two and a half hours of my life that I'll never get back, buddy. Thanks a bunch.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

About that broccoli salad ......

...... so far I have identified (raw) broccoli, raisins, red onions, walnuts, celery, some things that look like raisins but are green and ohmygod I don't know WHAT THEY ARE ........ I do not like eating stuff I can't identify.

What is green, and looks like a raisin, but is not a raisin? Hmmmm....

Oh and there's some kind of binder holding it all together - not sure if it's mayo or possibly ranch dressing, but I'm leaning toward mayo right now.

And here is my dilemma. I cannot be sure that some of my new neighbors won't someday find my blog. And I don't want to say anything unkind, especially about someone who is being so nice to me. But this salad ........... why? Why would anyone make this? I guess it just has to go into that category of "dubious recipes from the 50s". Or the 70s. Either one.

And I mean, it's not like I'm one to talk. I have leftover jello crown jewel dessert in my fridge right now.

So dear neighbor, if you ever read this, just remind me about the jello. We're even.

Delay of Game

Due to scheduling conflicts, the move will now be taking place on Friday morning.


In the meantime, I'm busier than a one-armed paperhanger, trying to make sure that everything's ready to go. The roofer is coming today to put in a ridge vent and vented soffits - the attic had no ventilation at all, which isn't good. The cable guy comes tomorrow afternoon, the phone gets switched on Thursday, and the mailman FINALLY started delivering mail to the new place, after several phone calls and a visit to the post office.

And lists? Ay yi yi have I got some lists. Stuff to do, stuff to take, stuff to fix. Looking back, I really should have taken this week off from work. Note to self: Next time, do not try to move an entire household on evenings and weekends. Gah.

But! I really do think I won the neighbor sweepstakes. Last night while I was mowing the lawn, my new neighbor came over with tomatoes and lettuce and basil and parsley from her garden, and then came back over with broccoli salad, which looks kind of ... umm ..... dubious, but I'll give it a try at lunch today. Thanks, neighbor! I just need to figure out something I can give her/do for her in return.

Monday, August 24, 2009


So, I worked the registration booth at the picnic on Saturday and got to meet a ton of people. I was surprised at how many people showed up - the weather wasn't that great. Then again, free food ......

At one point, a little boy, maybe five or six, came up to the booth, obviously upset, and cried, "I can't find my MOMMMMMMYYYYY!!!!!" then melted down. Poor kid! Don't worry - we found his mommy in short order.

Oh, and the organizers inadvertently ended up with the Dunk Tank of Doom when the fire department filled the tank with extremely rusty water. Bleeccchhhhh.

Sunday was spent moving - what else is new? I'm down to odds and ends now - I guess I'm ready to go. I just wish I could stop worrying about the cats adjusting to their new neighborhood - does anybody have any ideas on getting them settled in? That butter-on-the-paws thing is just an old wives' tale, right? Or not?

It was just weird, is all I'm sayin'

As some of you may know, I quit smoking back in April. And I vowed that I would never, ever, turn into one of those nasty, judgmental non-smokers who ripped into people who still smoke.

And I haven't.

But I went to a funeral on Friday (in an Armenian church, which was very interesting), and all the smokers were out front, puffing away, before the service started.

The service was for a fifty-nine year old woman (my boss's sister) who died of heart failure.

Now, I don't know if this woman ever smoked or not. I don't recall her ever smoking, but that's not to say that she never did. But she was fifty-nine, and she died of heart problems.

I just thought it was weird that people would smoke out front.

Maybe it's just me.

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Million-Dollar Idea .....

..... mini-bananas!

Seriously, I can't eat a whole banana at one sitting. That's just too much banana; it makes me feel queasy. And once you break the seal on a banana, the rest of it goes brown and yucky at warp speed.

So there should be mini-bananas, maybe a third of the size of a regular banana.

Is brilliant! Get on that, would ya?

Oh! And here's another great idea! Gas-grill propane tanks that have a gauge showing how much propane is left in the tank.

You're welcome!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Whether I go or not ......

...... the phone and cable service are being fired up at the new place (and disconnected at the apartment) next Wednesday. So if I want to watch TV or make a call, I guess I'm moving.

Next Wednesday.


Dear new neighbor:

Thank you for coming over to chat when you saw me in the backyard on Sunday. Thank you for pointing out the poison ivy in the lot behind mine. Thank you for showing me your flowers, and telling me about the plans for your upcoming 50th wedding anniversary*, and chatting about your kids.

Thank you for helping me feel at home in my new neighborhood.

*They're going to Hawaii. I am SO JEALOUS.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I've got your better place

I may be evil for writing this down, but here goes.

I work for a small company. My boss's private office, where he takes all his calls, is directly behind my desk. Which means that unless he shuts his door, I hear all of his conversations.

My boss's sister died last weekend. Very sad. But now my boss is telling the story of his sister's death (from heart failure) to every. single. person. who calls. Every client. Every vendor. Every supplier. Every single f*cking person who calls.

I have now heard the boss's sister's death story approximately a kabillion times. And frankly, if I hear "She's in a better place now" ONE MORE TIME, I am going to put my BOSS in a better place.

Shut it, boss. Or close the damn door. Or get sent to "a better place". Your choice.

You can't make this shit up

I had to go to the dentist this morning to get my teeth cleaned, and there was a woman sitting in the dentist's waiting area eating oreo cookies and drinking a Yoo-Hoo.

I shit you not.

Who DOES That?! WTF?! Did they call her name, and did she plop down in the dentist's chair and give them a great big oreo-and-Yoo-Hoo-filled smile?

I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.

I mean, I guess if you HATED the hygienist, you'd want to make her job harder. But the hygienist's the one with the pointy instruments, for Pete's sake!

Oh, and it was nine in the morning. Nice breakfast!

The only way I can even comprehend this is that maybe she was waiting for someone else who was seeing the dentist. Even so, you think she'd at least go out to her car to eat her oreos and drink her Yoo-Hoo.


.... because I don't want my legs to stay on the top of the page .....

....... I'd better put something else up here.

So, guess what I did?

I volunteered to help out at the community picnic for my new neighborhood, being held this Saturday.

Why, yes, yes I am out of my mind. Thanks for asking.

When I first found the flyer, asking for volunteers, stuck in the door of the new house, I thought about volunteering, and then I chickened out. And then I got mad at myself, because I always chicken out when it comes to stuff like this, dammit, and I fired off an e-mail and volunteered myself.

So I have to show up at the rec hall at 11 a.m. this Saturday, and do ...... something. Something volunteer-y, I'm guessing.

At least I'll get to meet more of my new neighbors, right? I hope I like them.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

She's got legs

I understand that a lot of women have problems with body image. And honestly, I think I've got the opposite problem - I think I'm better looking than I actually am. But, come on, look at these legs!

Granted, the angle of the photo makes my thighs look huge and my feet look like tiny Barbie feet, but still! There's some fine lookin' gams!

I like my shoulders, too. And my upper back. Granted, there's lots of scars from where moles were removed, but still, my shoulders are pretty cool. I like my hands, too, even if they are starting to get that vein-y, old lady look.

I've never liked my nose or my chin, but what can you do? And maybe I could be a little more endowed, boob-wise, but naw. Big boobs just garner the wrong kind of attention.

Fess up - what do you like about your body?

Friday, August 14, 2009

How the other half moves

Via pickup truck:

And one carload at a time:

Boxes? We don't need no stinkin' boxes! Just wing all the crap in the back of the car.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Moving the gardens

I took the day off from work yesterday, as my brother and his wife were coming in to town to help me move the gardens from the apartment building to the new house.

Over the course of several hours, the three of us moved several tiger lilies, a bunch of Oriental lilies, some Turk's Cap lilies, a hydrangea, a peony bush, some bleeding hearts and lilies-of-the-valley, and two Rose of Sharons. I know it's the worst time of year to try to move plants, but I was afraid if I waited until the fall or next spring, the new owners of the apartment building would have mowed everything over.

Some of this stuff isn't going to make it. The peony, especially, is not happy about the move. And it's supposed to be hot and sunny for the next few days (for the first damn time this summer, thankyouverymuch), which means I'll be up there every night watering.

I just had to try, you know? I couldn't leave it all behind.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oh, and I almost forgot ....

..... I cleaned up the Refrigerator of Death this weekend!

The seller had left a refrigerator in the garage, and when I opened it up, it smelled like something had crawled up in it and died. Seriously, within a minute of opening it, the entire garage stank like an abandoned abattoir.

I thought I was going to have to have it hauled out of there, but I went after it with some almost-straight bleach and elbow grease over the weekend, and after leaving it propped open for a couple of days, it smells fresh as a daisy. And it even works! I plugged it in, and it works just fine.

I really don't have any need for an extra refrigerator, but goodness knows I've got the room for it, and who knows? Maybe it'll come in handy some time, like if I decide to throw a big dinner party (HA!) or something.

The Refrigerator of Death gets a reprieve.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekend Update

Internet service is spotty this morning, so I'll try to do a quick update before everything goes kerflooey again.

This weekend, I ..........

.... met my new next-door neighbors! Who turned out to be the parents of a guy I went to high school with. Small world.

.... finished mowing the lawn. FINALLY. It turns out the key to the pull-cord thingie is to not pull it out all the way. Guess I don't know my own strength. Heh.

.... convinced a buddy to come dig out the giant bushes on either side of the front door. After several hours of (his) sweating and swearing and finally sawing the bastards off at the base, ended up at Home Depot looking at "Stump Killer". Directions on the container of "Stump Killer" are basically as follows: Drill a bunch of holes in the stump. Fill holes with Stump Killer and wait four to six weeks. After four to six weeks, fill drilled holes with kerosene and light the stump on fire. Did I mention that these bushes are right next to my front door? Looks like I'll live with the stumps.

.... gave away the other "staging" shrubbery to the neighbors. Thanks for taking those off my hands, guys!

.... figured out the attic stairs, which pull down from the garage ceiling and are really too tall for me to manage. Turns out a stepladder is necessary to access the attic ladder. Success!

.... discovered that the seller left a shitload of junk in the attic. Thanks, pal!

.... fixed the overhead fluorescent light in the bathroom. Bad ballast, my butt. It just needed some new bulbs. Go figure! But it's still awful dark in there. More thinking is needed on this one.

.... cleaned out the shed. And managed to bean myself, as in the drop-to-your-knees variety of beaning, on the overhead roof support, twice. I'm a slow learner. With a sore head.

.... planted brown-eyed Susans by the mailbox. Purty!

.... bought and learned how to use a weedwhacker.

.... hauled five wagonloads to the new house. And hauled one wagonload of new-house-attic crap back to my place, to be taken to the thrift store.

Whew! This moving is hard work! Who knew?!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

News from the home front

My lawnmower hates me. This is not surprising, since gas-powered appliances have never taken a shine to me, for some reason. So far the lawn mower has:

1. Refused to start. (Out of gas.)
2. Refused to keep running. (Blade got jammed with grass.)
3. Refused to release the pull-cord gizmo (See jammed with grass, above.)
4. Refused to accept the pull-cord gizmo back into the wind-y thingie. (no idea.)

Yeah. Me and the lawnmower need to come to an understanding, pronto. My neighbors are probably already sighing and saying, "there goes the neighborhood. She can't even mow the freakin' lawn, for Pete's sake."

I debated removing the "WTFWJD" bumpersticker from my car before moving into the new place, so as not to possibly offend any of my new neighbors, then decided against it. I yam what I yam. If their kids want to know what the letters stand for, they can make something up.

The overhead garage door is not working properly. I can either (a) have it repaired, for $115.00, or (b) have it replaced, for upwards of five hundred bucks. Hmmmm, I wonder which option I'll choose? The suspense is killing me.

The lighting in the bathroom is woefully inadequate. I was calling it the bat cave; now it's referred to as the bat bathroom.

All the offers of help you receive when you first talk about your move will dry up at an amazing pace once the move actually becomes imminent. People lose their enthusiasm as the date draws nigh.

The perennials I am planning on moving are mostly done blooming. Which means it will look like I'm filling the front garden areas with a bunch of odd weeds. There goes the neighborhood, indeed.

But! Progress is being made. The shed is getting cleaned. The lawn WILL be mowed this weekend, if I have to do it with a damn weed whacker. Stuff is getting moved, one wagon-load at a time. One way or another, this thing is gonna get done. Soon.

Moving is not for the faint of heart.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Awwww, Lucinda, why?

I've always been kind of ambivalent about Lucinda Williams. I first heard of her when "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" came out, and the critics were falling all over her, so I got the CD and had a listen. The music, to me, was kind of meh, but I could see what she was aiming for (an alterna-country kind of vibe).

When I saw there was going to be an Austin City Limits rerun on TV the other night, featuring her, I decided to watch it. When the show first started, I thought, wow, she looks kind of out of it, and then I was like, "why does she keep looking down?" When the camera pulled back, I saw why. It was because she was using a cheat sheet. She had a binder with the lyrics in it on a stand in front of her, and she was reading the lyrics as she sang. And when each song finished up, she'd rip that lyrics page out of the binder and throw it on the floor, evidently so that she didn't, you know, accidentally sing the same song twice in a row. Although I kind of think her backup musicians would not have let that happen.

I don't know how common this is these days, but, well ....... I am NOT A FAN. Come ON, you WROTE the damn songs, you recorded them, you (presumably) made some money off of them, and now you're getting PAID to perform them, and yet those songs mean so little to you, these songs that you wrote, that you can't be bother to remember the words?

And it's not like she's got a huge back catalog to remember. She's put out, maybe, six or seven CDs, max, and yet she can't be bothered to remember the words to the songs from which she's making a living. Sheesh.

Monday, August 03, 2009

A third of a year

Number of cigarettes I would have smoked between April 3 and today, had I not stopped smoking then: Three thousand, six hundred (I know! Can you even believe that shit?!)

Amount of money saved: $642.00

I sometimes can't believe that I actually made it all the way through the home-buying process without lighting up. This has been one of the most stressful periods of my life, without a doubt. And yet, I feel like I never really came close to actually starting smoking again. Because I know there's no way I can have just one. If I were to smoke "just one", I'd be back to a pack-and-a-half a day within a week. Come on, I know me. I mean, I'll think about it in passing, but just as quickly, I'll think, "you don't DO that anymore", and the moment is over. And sometimes that happens several times a day, or even several times an hour, but whatever.

So! I'm at four months now. They (ah yes, the mythical "they") say that for the first six months, you're still an "active" quitter, meaning you're spending effort to not smoke. After six months, you go into "passive" mode, meaning you just have to watch out for special occasions and other "triggers" for smoking.

All I know is, I'm not smoking. I smoked for almost thirty flippin' years. That's long enough.

Already with the questions

So! The living room in the new house has a hardwood floor. Whenever somebody talks about hardwood floors, I always wonder, as opposed to what? Soft wood? Like, balsa or something?

But anyway, how do you clean a hardwood floor? Mr. Clean? Seriously, I have no idea.

Also, the floor in the kitchen is what the seller described as "pergo". Got me. Looks like some kind of fake wood. Any cleaning ideas for "pergo"?

In other exciting (to me) house news, I bought a new (to me) couch over the weekend! I was bound and determined not to move the ratty old vintage-1974 couch from the old place, so when I saw a good used couch for a hundred and fifty bucks this weekend, I grabbed it. Now I've just gotta rope the guys from the office into moving it for me ...... I was going to bribe them with donuts, but with this crew, I actually think beer will work quite a bit better.

Okay! Floors! How to clean! Any ideas?