Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The most beautiful laundry tub in all the land
We have successfully installed the laundry tub.

It looks much better than the old one which was all weird and stained from paint and chemicals.

Plus the new one has a spray handle. And I installed that part – with plumber’s putty. It’s like Play-Doh with a purpose.

I also got to buy a hole saw which was fun. I didn’t make many of the pipe connections – but I am the chief drill wielder and hammer user in the family. I do my job well. I’m thinking of investing in a tool belt.

When I got home tonight Deeps excitedly motioned for me to come downstairs.

“Look at it, isn’t it beautiful?” he said.

He’s really very pleased with himself. And I am proud of him. I totally pretended not to notice the red ACE bucket under the sink where something is dripping.

Couldn’t ruin the moment for him.
I sleep the sleep of the well-shopped
So I’m just about done with the Christmas shopping.

Don’t be alarmed – I’ll have to go to a store to pick up one last thing.

I’m not sure why people freak out about it so much. I mean, you have the Internet and FedEx – how hard can it be? Throw in some free holiday shipping and you’re golden. You don’t even have to wrap things. In fact, I made an executive decision not to wrap the stuff for the twins because they are 1 and don’t care.

The 10-year-old is another story – but her stuff is easier to wrap thanks to the Amazon.

I did do something a little unusual and got some stuff for the kids that I have to wrap and ship separately this weekend. Not a huge deal – and I did it because I got such a great deal and they’ll get tons of little packages. Everybody wins.

Until they ask me for an X-Box or something. Ask Cuddles for that stuff –she’s got more money than me. You can come to me when you’re in love or decide to become a vegetarian or paint your room black or something. I’m good for that stuff…

Deeps is just about all-set as well. I think I’m going to get him a gift certificate to a nearby spa – he’s game for the “Gentleman’s Facial.”

When men get all twitchy about stuff like that – I just don’t understand it. You get naked, wrapped up in a warm blanket that smells good and makes you feel like a giant man burrito. And then all the women at the spa coo over how interesting you are and then slather your face with stuff that smells nice and generally make you all pretty and shiny. Sounds like a good deal to me.
Things you learn at the office
Guy at work: Did you get your hair cut?
Me: Oh yeah, like a couple of weeks ago.
Guy at work: Oh wow it looks nice. Sorry I didn’t notice sooner.
Me: Thanks. And that’s cool…we’re not married or anything, so you’re okay.
Guy at work: Heh….
Confessions of a sad mind
I check in on the baby panda every morning before I go to work.

I used to blog or check my bank account. Now I just watch the Butterstick roll around in the morning.

Then I try to get Deeps to watch. Which he won’t – jerk.

I watch Nip/Tuck with him – and the Butterstick cam doesn’t feature any face transplants or anything.

He could probably use a little lipo – but whatever. He’s a panda.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Making a list and checking it twice
I don’t have a “Christmas” list per se – I’ve got a single item.

Deeps: I think we should draw a picture of it and put one those fundraiser thermometers next to it to see how you’re doing on your goal.

This is in regards to my “wish” – I wish Santa would bring me a laptop.

I have it all picked out. It’s at Costco – it’s powerful and small and shiny and sleek. I think I could move the International Space Station with it.

And then I could merge all my loves into one space. Laptop surfing while watching TV – isn’t that the American dream?

Plus I could turn into one of those crazy LOST fans who pauses screens and Googles stuff in the middle of the episode. I’m sure that would make me much more pleasant to be around and I’d be a good time at parties.

Or not.

But I keep wishing for the laptop. I was kind of wishing that my fancy-pants husband would just buy it. But he’s all “I need to buy CDs for myself and shoes.” Him, him, him.

In the meantime, I’ve finished up my Christmas shopping. I didn’t actually buy anything on “Cyber Monday” (you lose 10 Internet cool points if you refer to anything as “cyber” in an unironic way). That’s for suckers.

Also – if your store can’t give me free shipping during the holidays, we’re through.

Happy Merry!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

And I was that close to buying a blowtorch
I just wanted to report that the great faucet replacement project is going badly.

I took the camera downstairs to “document” the event. I didn’t think I’d be down there for hours.

We spent about 6 hours (we did take some breaks and we ate some pizza) to try to disconnect the faucet from the water supply. We eventually got that done (about 4 hours) and I had to intervene and yank on some copper tubing to accomplish that task (Deeps is afraid of breaking stuff – me? Not so much). Then we yanked the utility sink off the wall and flipped it over to remove the flangey-thing from the bottom.

One came off without a problem.

The other one? Yeah – it’s day two and it’s still there. We got out all the wrenches, pliers, WD40 and even the drill. We pulled and turned and twisted and sprayed and soaked and said nice things. I think I wrenched my shoulder. Deeps’ hand has a big blister.

We know when we’ve been whipped. We went to the hardware store to buy a special wrench (I like to add to my collection) that the book suggested we use for plumbing. That’s when Deeps revealed he hadn’t actually measured the nut/bolt thingey and couldn’t tell me what size wrench we’d need.

I was fed up and I turned to him and said if he ever dragged me out to a hardware store on a cold morning again without measuring, I’d slit his throat and leave him for dead in the parking lot. Harsh? Yes. Necessary – absolutely.

Anyway, nothing has worked. I discussed using a propane torch – except that the tub is fiberglass and we thought that might be a bad idea. Plus the torch costs $40. How much does a new utility tub cost? $50.

I think you can guess what the solution is….

Sadly, all the creepy box stores are sold out of the tub we want – so we had to special-order one. It won’t be in until next week. (Sidebar – the threat about slitting his throat was harsh but in the end didn’t change his behavior. I had to get him to go back to the car and get the tape measure on three separate occasions to check to see if any of the tubs would fit in our small space. Who doesn’t learn after the first time? What about the second time?)

This is a long way to get to the morale of the story: don’t try to do on-the-fly plumbing without reading a book first, taking measurements second, and being prepared to spend 3x what you thought it would cost.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The entry that may result in me being kicked out of the family
I talked to my sister Peepers yesterday.
Me: So what do the kids want?
Peepers: I don’t know – they might like some Baby Einstein stuff.
Me: Okay.
Peepers: Oh – they really like those four gay guys….
Me: Uh…
Peepers: They’re called The Wiggles.
Me: They’re not gay, they’re from Australia.
Peepers: Whatever. My kids really like them.
Big deal about Black Friday or How to make me crazy every damn year
I was fully prepared to sack out on the couch all day. I found some extremely crappy fare OnDemand! and I had some coffee cake.

My husband had other ideas.

He had a list.

Holiday shopping? No – he has his regular weekend shopping list. So we hit the stores to run his errands. I was bracing for the worst but surprised by how uneventful the day was.

Target was pretty empty – we moved through quickly, picked up some stuff and had no wait in line. Then we went to Costco because … I think we went because it was there.

I’ve never seen the place so dead. There were no lines, lots of people ready to help and we got coupons. Sadly, I wasn’t allowed to by a 32” HD LCD television – but whatever. My birthday is in a few weeks. Around these parts we call that a hint.

I did buy 11 sticks of deodorant, a 4 foot tall Christmas ornament (for the ornament exchange this year), 14 pounds of Extra chewing gum, 3 gallons of saline solution (no rub!) and half a cubic ton of Cetaphil – all for about $50.

Then we went to Home Depot – because my husband hates me. I mean, because he really wants a new faucet for the sink in the laundry room. What? Why? What? Those were my questions.

I expected chaos and pandemonium – which I found at the HD. But what surprised me was that all the chaos and pandemonium was caused by the HD employees. They were everywhere all at once – yelling questions at me, offering assistance, and pushing products. I didn’t need help but figured I’d ask where the faucets were to save 30 seconds. Nine guys fought over the right to show us where we could find faucets.

That was nice. My question is – where are these people every other damn day of the year? Because in August or September or October, I could have used an actual knowledgeable human being who didn’t ask me stupid questions or assume that because I have lady parts I don’t know what I’m talking about. Oh yes, I’m still bitter. Sue me.

We made it out of the store unscathed and with a swanky new faucet for the sink. I don’t know who is going to install it – but I’ll be sure to document the event thoroughly.

On the way home I called my mother to discuss her holiday shopping. She got up early and braved the crowds at Wal-Mart to look for some deals. I can’t speak in any kind of specifics about these things because members of the family (big and small) read the blog and I don’t want to ruin the surprise for them.

So in the most abstract terms I’ll talk about what my mother did wrong. See, one of my sisters asked for something pretty specific – let’s call it a pony. She really wants a pony and my mother agreed that maybe she is responsible and mature enough to have a pony. Responsible, mature, 28 and the mother of three – god I hope she’s old enough to have a pony. Otherwise, we’re all in trouble.


Mom mentioned the pony, I said – great idea, let’s go halfsies. Fantastic. Everyone is happy. I surf the Interweb and send off links to several good pony options. Amazon has all of their ponies on sale and I found a good one with a good… uhm… teeth and free shipping and on sale. My mother says cool but she think she can find a better pony at the stores during the “door buster” sales – for less money. I said go forth and get that pony. Tell me how much I need to send the check for.

I called this afternoon and found out that the pony has been purchased – but it isn’t the pony we talked about. We’d talked about uhm… appaloosas and palominos and black beauty. My mother bought a quarter horse. Quarter horses are fine, but I’m not a fan and I had one once – it needed a lot of batteries, I mean hay. Oh and that lame pony, it cost about twice as much as the other ponies we talked about.

Why is this pony so good? I guess her friend said she bought a pony just like it and it’s the best pony ever. Except I don’t think this lady knows anything about horses. But whatever. I’ve owned like 10 ponies and I couldn’t possibly be right.

I tried to explain this all to Deeps in the car as we drove home. He laughed and laughed.

Why? I am stupid and never learn. I complain every time I offer to split something with my family. Nobody listens to me. This is why my father has a video camera that doesn’t have steady-cam even though the man has Parkinson’s disease. And this is why my sister will have a clunky, overpriced… pony.

No more halfsies for me. From now on, everyone is getting books and they will like it.

The end.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanks a million
This year I’m thankful for a lot of things:
My husband
I haven’t had to shovel snow in like 3 weeks
That the cat doesn’t have the cancer
For snow tires
For the townhouse
For the mortgage interest deduction (while it lasts)
For TiFaux
That my family is happy, healthy and sufficiently medicated
For my swanky new office
That I read so many books I lost count sometime in May
For a sweet trip to Italy
For a good layered haircut
That low-rider jeans are not my only jean option
That people who know me well still claim me as their sibling/friend/spouse
That butterstick – so cute and delicious
For this I put on my best yoga pants
Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I cooked some turkey, made a cake, and ate way too much food. I also managed to take a nap while watching a movie.

It may have been the best Thanksgiving ever.

It started early – well, I thought it was early. I guess those blackout shades can trick you.

The furry alarm clock – aka The Poopus – started knocking on the door. I told her to go away. She persisted. Then she jumped on the bed and landed in my immediate bladder region. A surefire way to get me up out of bed – after a quick trip to the loo I checked the clock: 10:24.

Wow. Having the day off is totally awesome.

I sauntered out of the room as my husband snored contentedly. That man knows how to sleep. He’s like the Black Widow of sleeping.

I made a cinnamon swirl coffee cake, turned up the heat and flipped on the parade. That was boring so I checked out the news. Nick and Jessica split? Holy cow – way to make a slow news day less slow. Someone over at Gawker is probably really PO’d.

Deeps eventually rolled downstairs around 11. The cat sacked out for her “I’ve only recently gotten up but boy am I tired” nap. I started planning my meal – taquitos or turkey?

Being a traditionalist, I opted to make my decision in the shower. After getting a bit of soap in my eye (why can’t adults have a “no tears” formula?) I figured I should just make the turkey and call it a day. I threw on my Stinky’s Tavern T-shirt and my best yoga pants.

This is the best way to celebrate all the holidays.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I heart the Butterstick
Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and I am thankful for many things, but especially for the baby panda-cam. God bless the ‘stick.

Tai Shan, aka Butterstick, is the little panda cub born at the National Zoo. He’s got his own Web cam and you can watch him frolic with his mother, roll around, find his feet and groom himself. Sometimes his mom shows up and gives him a panda bath. They play a bit. There’s a lot of sleeping. Yesterday I watched as he awoke – a bit woozy for a nap – and then rolled around for a bit (sideways somersault!) before taking a break to snack on some bamboo.

Sounds boring – but it is totally adorable and compelling.

Long live the ‘stick.

Monday, November 21, 2005

You’ll eat it and you’ll like it
I was reading about the first settlers in Jamestown and how they may have resorted to cannibalism to make it through “the starving” time – that reminded me that I needed to hit the grocery story.

I made a list, checked it twice and hit the road a few minutes after getting home from work. I made it through the store quickly, got lots of delicious items and returned home – totally triumphant.

We will not need to resort to eating our pets or cannibalism. Alleged cannibalism.

Me: I have returned – we have lots of food.
Deeps: Did you buy taquitos?
Me: Yes. Yes I did.
Deeps: Really?
Me: And I bought turkey too.
Deeps: Huh.
Me: So I can go either way on this.

Deeps inspected the large bags I’d carried inside the house.

Deeps: Looks like you got a lot of stuff.
Me: Yeah – I’m treating Thanksgiving like a blizzard – I’ve got supplies to hold us over until the end of the month.
Deeps: And how many taquitos does that require?
Me: At least two dozen.
Deeps: Will there be stuffing?
Me: It is under consideration.
Deeps: And yams?
Me: I’m taking it under advisement. I can guarantee that there will be peas. There was a sale. I got the last bag.

I hold them up over my head.
Me: Behold the peas.
Deeps: Family size.
Me: I keep telling you – this is what the pilgrims fought for.
Deeps: I still think that’s not quite right.
Me: Nobody cares what you think.
Barking Mad
I walk by a fair number of panhandlers on a daily basis.

Most just ask for money; a few are more creative. There’s a guy in Boston Common who tells you sports scores and gives you a weather report. There’s the “spare a dollar” guy. He can stretch one and two syllable words out to about 30. And there’s the lady who kind of barks.

I pass her on my way to the office to the Copley T station at night. She sits in front of the bagel place and shakes a little cup of change at passers by – and she makes this “Chut!” sound.

One day one of the guys who works the other side of the street was trying to explain to her that she might get more money if she was just “nice to people.” She seemed to shake her head – chutting away. I’m not sure she was buying what he was selling.
Fun things to do with a four day weekend
1. Re-enact the flu pandemic of 1918
2. Give the cat a bath
3. Clean out all the drain traps
4. Review your 401k – dump the losers and reinvest in the winners
5. Spend 15 minutes reading through two months of your EW backlog
6. Figure out what Kate did
7. Build your own model of Joliet
8. Re-caulk the bathtub
9. Watch that 30 minute special on all the fun stuff you can do with vinegar
10. Discuss the events leading up to the Crimean war

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Holiday wish list
I’d like a June birthday. Having my birthday so close to Christmas (just two weeks) is tough. I have a hard enough time thinking of holiday gifts – and I have to come up with birthday stuff too….

I’ve tried the whole “don’t bother – I don’t need anything” but no one goes for it. And if you leave my family to their own devices – well… I end up with a chili pepper platter or something. Everyone will be happier if I make a list.

Deeps: Did you make your birthday list?
Me: Maybe.
Deeps: What do you want?
Me: A kitten.
Deeps: Did you put it on your list?
Me: Maybe.
Deeps: Is there anything else on your list?
Me: No.
Deeps: Lists with one item only are not accepted by the committee.
Me: Fine. I’ll add puppy under kitten.
Deeps: You need at least three things.
Me: Okay. Little kitty, puppy, big kitty.
Deeps: I’m buying you socks.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Don’t read this book
I hit a used book store a few weeks ago and stocked up on some light train reading. I got this book called “Ordinary Horror” which sounded very interesting. An old man who loves his rose garden plants a shrub that will drive away the gophers that are destroying his plants. Then bad things happen…

I thought this would be along the lines of The House Next Door – kind of Henry James intellectual horror. And I kind of enjoyed the claustrophobic feeling the book created for the first 50 or so pages: a lonely widower with a very dull existence. It’s existential horror – what is worse than to be old and alone?

This book is worse.

I kept going – thinking, hoping, expecting something to happen. By the time I got to the end I felt totally cheated. What a waste of time. I’d learned about this man’s empty existence – detailed accounts of his meals and sleeping habits. His weekly shopping trip and his inability to move on with his life after the death of his wife. And then maybe something kind of happened at the end but it didn’t really make any sense and I didn’t understand and I thought – seriously, what just happened?

I did a little Amazon research – I’m not in the minority on this issue. Everyone was like “So what happened?” I went to college. I can read a book. I understand how to process a complex text. This book falls apart under its own weighty pretense. There is no payoff and I was so infuriated at the (few) positive reviews that this book got I felt compelled to add my voice. Don’t bother.
Shut up and like it
Slim and Big Al are not making their annual trek to Massachusetts for Thanksgiving. This year, everyone is going to be in Chicago – everyone except us.

We’ve been invited – but we politely declined. I don’t have any vacation and frankly, the budget doesn’t allow for a quickie visit on Thanksgiving. So Deeps and I will be celebrating alone, which suits us fine. I foresee a casual weekend of movie viewing and lounging.

Deeps: What are going to have for Thanksgiving?
Me: What are you cooking?
Deeps: The pizza place will be closed, so I can’t cook.
Me: Sounds like you need to start thinking.

A few days later he raised the issue again.

Deeps: Thanksgiving dinner?
Me: Taquitos.
Deeps: Really?
Me: Yep.
Deeps: I guess that’s okay.
Me: They are chicken taquitos.
Deeps: Which is poultry.
Me: Just like turkey.
Deeps: I see.
Me: That’s what the pilgrims died for – so that you had the right to eat some taquitos on Thanksgiving.
Deeps: I’m pretty sure that’s now how it went down.
Me: That’s how I say it went down.
Deeps: Well, alright then.

Friday, November 18, 2005

For the love of weather stripping
We’re about to officially move into a “cold snap” – after a hot slap in the face yesterday (it was 70). So I’m grabbing an extra blanket and checking to make sure all the windows are shut tight.

I’ve been reading a lot about energy costs and anytime I come across a good article about how to make your house more energy efficient, I try to share it. I thought this one was pretty good – more comprehensive than “turn down your heat” – which I think a lot of people already know.

For example, I didn’t know the thing about the dishwasher and just last week I found a great deal on super energy efficient light bulbs. I got some for the front and back porch lights which I tend to leave on all day (night) so that I don’t have to come home in the dark. They last longer (up to 5 years), are cheaper to operate and I found some on sale last week for a buck a bulb.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you how to get an extra roll of TP out of a two-ply roll!

That’s an old family joke.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The good, the bad and the sleepy
I have one of those white noise machines. Deeps gave it to me several years ago when we lived in Chicago. When I got it, we were in the middle of what I like to call “Thunderstorm summer”. About three times a week some big loud thunderstorm would blow in and wake me up.

Deeps – sleeper of the dead – would miss the whole thing. I wasn’t sleeping and he was sleeping like a baby. I hated him.

To get me to stop hating him he suggested that I try to train myself to fall asleep to a white noise machine that played thunderstorm sounds. I know – crazy – but it worked.

A little too well.

Flash forward about five years and I get a little drowsy when it rains. I’m like Pavlov’s dogs when I hear the first drops splash against the window.

I’ve tried switching to the ocean or the loons on the lake. The ocean works pretty well, but the loons are spooky – they remind me of a baby crying or my friend Lori’s Siamese cats. Then I have nightmares that the cats are trying to eat my face.

And then I never go back to sleep. It’s a vicious cycle.
Trading Spaces
A big TV production is in town to film an episode of a once popular home-makeover show. Not Extreme anything.

You know – you trade keys with your neighbor and go paint their hallway or something. It is very cutting edge. After my encounter with “reality” TV a few months ago I’m underwhelmed.

But the tiny town is all atwitter because some neighbors are being cagey about the location. I don’t know where the location is – I don’t care. But seriously, Encyclopedia Brown, how hard can it be to find? The town is small, the lips are loose and the production company erects tents in the yard.
That one day at Ikea
There’s a new Ikea store in the greater Boston-metro area. If ever a town cried out – seriously, all the time with the crying – for an Ikea store, it was this one. With half a million college students milling around ever September, there’s a big demand for cheap, flat-pack furniture.

Ikea is a big hit. Apparently the traffic jam to get into the parking lot exceeds an hour. People are ready for their Swedish meatballs and a good time.

I won’t be going to the Ikea for a while. I don’t really need anything, so I’m good on that front. And I don’t have any desire to fight the crowds. So I’ll wait like six months.

When we lived in Chicago I spent a fair amount of time Ikea – I ended up there on the grand opening day by accident. I’d tagged along with my friend to have drinks, and then his girlfriend picked us up and drove us to Ikea. There’s nothing like Ikea with a bit of a buzz. My brain was totally overloaded.

I guess for me, the defining Ikea experience I had was with my friend Bea. She and her partner had split after years together. Bea was living in a lovely little garden apartment with her dog and some very beautiful furniture. One night, a thoughtless neighbor left a candle burning. Bea’s building caught fire and while she didn’t suffer much actual fire damage she lost most of her stuff to the smoke and water damage.

Bea called us early one Sunday morning to tell us what happened. We rushed over to pick her up and take her home with us. Her place smelled like an old wet campfire. It was pretty terrible. Mold arrived shortly after.

After a few days and some talks with her insurance agent (thankfully she had renters) we formulated a plan of action. We had to re-furnish Bea’s apartment with little money (she was rather under-insured) and little time.

So Bea and I made a big list and we hit the Ikea. I spent about 12 hours there with her – helping her pick out everything from plates to a new sofa. We arranged for purchase and delivery. I think we ate two meals there. I was sweaty and exhausted by the time the day was through.

When you eat two meals of Swedish meatballs at Ikea, you’ve probably been there for too long. In the end we accomplished our goals, got her back on her feet pretty quickly and still allowed for her to have some money left over (I think we spent about $5000 at Ikea and furnished her entire apartment rather nicely) to rebuild her nest-egg or pick up a sexy little laptop (I believe she did both).

And I learned a lot about Ikea, about my friend Bea, and Swedish meatballs.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Kingdom of the Spiders

I guess I've solved the mystery about where all the spiders come from. They're coming from inside the house!
Horrifying discoveries
I got some Halloween pictures from my sister.

As you can see - my nephews are perfecting that look that men achieve after watching far too many hours of football.
Guilt of a misguided pet owner
I’ve been feeling guilty about the Poopus.

That’s why I took her to the vet – I didn’t really think there was anything wrong with her (aside from being fat). I did think, it’s been three years and most responsible pet owners take their pet to the vet more regularly.

So I did. And it cost me an arm and a leg. But I was relieved because nothing is wrong with Madame Poopus (she’s so old now that she automatically is promoted to Madame status). In addition to trips to the vet, I’ve been buying her stuff.

So maybe the basement “family room” is more like a cat playroom. And maybe I installed one of those ugly window seats for the cat to lie on so it is easier to look out of the office window.


That cat better remember my birthday this year.
Masters of very spooky stuff
I’m a big fan of horror. I like the scary, I like the creepy, and I like the gross.

I like the Bava, the Fulci, the Argento, the Hooper, the Landis, the Coscarelli, the Craven, and the Carpenter.

Just last week I snuggled in for a delicious double feature of Dracula and Dracula’s Daughter as part of the new Universal monster box set (I picked up Frankenstein too).

I like old stuff, I like new stuff, and I like the crazy stuff from Korea and Japan. So I am probably part of the target demographic for the new “Masters of Horror” series on Showtime.

I can’t remember ever watching anything on Showtime, so I’m glad there’s something I’m trying to tune in for – that helps justify the expense.

We are three (or four if you have On Demand and accidentally watched the latest) episodes into the 13 episode series. Overall I give them high marks for a good opening sequence – it makes you a little queasy. The first episode was pretty strong; it had a good sense of humor, of pacing, of horror and sly misdirection. Episode two was campy and gross – unafraid to go to a very dark place. Also, gross – did I mention gross?

The third episode was interesting but a little slow and the ending was telegraphed from about a millions miles away. Still – good use of Robert Englund. He must be a hoot on parent-teacher nights. And lastly, there was the fourth installment. It technically hasn’t aired yet but through some slip-up I found it on my “On Demand” when I missed Ti’fauxing episode two.

Episode four is chock full of hot sex and gross stuff and a plot that makes very little sense. Again – the ending is telegraphed from three weeks ago. But I hold out hope for the future episodes. I like the idea of the series: that these people came together to do something fast and cheap and exactly on their own terms. They aren’t compromising on their effects either – they’re showing the kind of old school grossness that would make Herschell Gordon Lewis proud.

Good thing I didn’t cancel that Showtime subscription.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Attack of the leaf monster
We have a tree.

It is in front of our house.

In our backyard we are tree free – however all of our adjacent neighbors have trees – big ones. And those trees have leaves. Big ones.

The time had come to rake the leaves.

I don’t know why we rake the leaves. I just know we do it. Seriously – why do we rake the leaves?

All the other houses on our street had dealt with their leaf issues a few weeks ago. The yards looked neat and tidy. Our house – my comparison – looked abandoned.

Deeps brought up the topic first. I didn’t expect him to break before I did – but I think being a homeowner has worn him down.

We discussed various options: raking vs. a blower. We don’t own a blower but really, any excuse to go to the hardware store at this point is welcomed.

In the end we opted to rake.

And rake. And rake. And rake some more. I had no idea one tree could have so many leaves. I think we had about eight yard bags worth.

Then we hit the backyard. Deeps raked with a vengeance. We made a dent but I pointed out that the large (at least 60 ft.) maple tree in our neighbor’s yard hangs mostly into our yard and it hasn’t finished shedding yet.

Deeps looked at our yard and then at our neighbor Fred’s. Despite an unfortunate incident with grubs a few months back, his lawn is back – lush and green. And totally free of leaves.

“How do they get lawns with no leaves? I don’t understand,” Deeps was muttering.

That’s when I raised the blower issue again. “You know, they have blowers that are also vacuums.”


“Oh yes. Technology is a marvelous thing.”

I suspect there might be more raking in our future. Or if I’m lucky – one of those swanky blower things.

But for now, I'll settle for a nap. Raking is hard on the back.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Deeps Day Out
I had to work on Friday abut Deeps had the day off – so he went down to visit his parents in Jersey.

He’s good like that. What did I do with my night sans husband?

I parked on the couch, ate some leftovers and then took some Tylenol Cold and sacked out.

I did manage to watch a movie about ravers and a cannibal family in the desert (where hilarity ensues) before nodding off around 9:30.

Then this morning I cleaned the first floor, washed the sheets and duvet and went to lunch with my friend. Then we came back to the house where we watched more TV (Arrested Development – may it rest in peace) and discussed how to merge your money when you’re married.

I know how to party like a rock star. While the cat is away…

And what did my husband do? He said he read three magazines and ate dinner with his parents and later watched television (very loudly) with them.

So there you have it – boring together. Boring apart.

Friday, November 11, 2005

How to please the birthday boy
I called my dad last night – he was all excited by the little gadget I sent him for his birthday

Deeps and I tried to come up with good ideas. Golf shirts or anything golf-related is out of the question. My father recently professed that he had well over 100 golf shirts and that was after he’d cleaned out his closet. They are impressive to look at – he’s got them all grouped by color.

Of course – that still doesn’t help us come up with gifts. Then we spent some time at Costco where I was easily distracted by shiny objects. Then I mentioned that I think I got the gadget thing from my Dad. So a gadget seemed appropriate.

I’m not sure if he’ll use it much – he’s not ready to retire yet but he does travel a bit. He might get a little use out of it. But if nothing else- he’s enjoying the shiny and new factor a great deal. When I called him last night he shared his delight and exclaimed “it even has a remote control!”
Held for spoilers
I didn’t write about the last episode of Lost until today because – you know – maybe you hadn’t seen it yet.

So Shannon is gone – well, I’m not surprised. Sayid has a bad streak of declaring his love and then finding his honey all shot up. That’s probably not going to end well for Ana-Lucia.

I’m not sure what is on that island or what it is all about – but I have to say that I don’t mind the slow pace at which information is being revealed. Maybe it is from years of watching the X-Files (where they didn’t ever reveal anything and then when they did it didn’t mean anything) or because I’m more mature.

I think it’s probably the NyQuil. It gives reality some fuzzy edges.

One of these days my mutant cold will be gone.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Poopus Shall Lead Them
I called the vet yesterday to get the results of the Poopus’ blood work. The nice receptionist lady put me on hold and the actual vet gave me the results.

When I realized it was him, I thought – oh God, she’s got the cat cancer.

Turns out – she doesn’t. She’s fine. No problems. He’s all about doctor/cat confidentiality and he wanted to talk to me directly. That’s quality service.

So in the end I spent a chunk of my laptop fund to confirm that there’s nothing wrong with the Poopus physically, she just enjoys waging psychological warfare on me.

Well played, Poopus. Well played.
I have functionally lost my voice. I feel fine. I’m a little stuffy – but nothing unusual. But the voice – she’s pretty much gone.

When she does linger, I have heard that I alternately sound like: Demi Moore, Kathleen Turner, a creepy old man.

I’ll be renting myself out for children’s parties later this week.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The angriest cat in the world
I spent the whole weekend in bed, except for the 90 minutes we spent at the vets.

I took the cat in for a check-up since she hasn’t had one in a while. I figured since she’s now “middle-aged” she might have some issues.

So far, so good – although the results from the bloodwork don’t come in until Tuesday. I spent more on my cat than I did on my last three winter coats combined – but whatever. She’s worth it or something.

She was so honked off at the clinic – she was like the you’ve-killed-my-whole-family-and-now-I-must-avenge-them angry. Bad. Frankly, I was surprised she didn’t come after me in the middle of the night. Or crap on the bed.

But she’s holed up in the basement in the Fortress of Poopitude – I figure we’ll see her tomorrow. And then we’ll find out if she has any problems. The vet seemed to indicate that she seemed pretty healthy and “well fed.”

Aren’t you glad you went to the trouble of turning on the computer to read about this stuff?

I have the Ick
It isn’t the flu – it’s like a lame cold. I’ve lost my voice and I’m a little stuffy – but otherwise, okay.

Despite my steady diet of Halloween candy and horror films, I haven’t recovered yet. I guess I might have to cave and take some Robitussin.



Thursday, November 03, 2005

I'm not stupid
I was inspired by recent posts from Nabbalicious and Mike Pope wherein they wrote about their experiences in the retail spaces.

I must chime in.

I too avoid the place with the body and the bath stuff because - people, leave me alone for a second! Can’t a woman think? And I must add that I hate the following things: the people at the cash register who tell me how to operate the damn debit card machine. I am not stupid - I know how it works. Maybe if someone decided to make them consistent and not different at EACH AND EVERY store it would go faster for us, the customer.

Also - I haven't been to your restaurant before, but how complicated can it be to order from a menu? Seriously. Shut up and bring me a Diet Pepsi. Meanwhile, don't crouch down and talk to me like I'm 7. I have a mortgage and I'm probably angry about said mortgage - if you crouch to talk to me, I will take it out on you.

Why are you paying with Rocks? Seriously - they will not accept your magic beans and your goat at the Stop'n'Shop. I don't care how many coupons you have. Have your money ready and just get on with it. God! Do I have to do everything around here?
Tri-annual visit
Wait – is that three times a year or once every three years? I’m terrible with that.

Anyway, in honor of the many Inter-pets I’ve read about: Chester, Tina (RIP), Nabby and Rufus and Jasper and Chloe and all of Wil Wheaton’s dead pets (he's had a very rough year) – I’ve scheduled an appointment to have the Poopus get a 50,000 mile tune-up.

She last went to the vet in 2002 – before we moved from Chicago. She was less than thrilled. I was less than thrilled too because we had to wait for well over an hour – then the vet tech was a little rough and clearly freaked out by a fat, grumpy cat.

I had to stage an impromptu intervention with the guy and the cat - luckily I worked in a vet's office in high school. So I have a few tricks.

What does this all mean? I’m not sure – but my throat hurts and I can’t get into my regular doctor’s office until December – so I might have the vet give me the once-over while I’m there.

I’m sure he’ll tell me my coat is shiny and my teeth look okay, but that I could stand to lose a few pounds.

I wonder what the co-pay is for that.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Things to do with leftovers
If you're a bad planner - or if you're a total paranoid person (see my husband) you might have some (or a lot) of leftover candy.

I've done a little Google research for you.

You can bake it into stuff.

Or you can do uhm, other things - like pile it on top of other candy.

I've also been considering conducting some science experiments because I'm kind of hard up for entries. For example, what happens if I microwave some Laffy Taffy? I'm pretty sure the answer is: my husband files for divorce.

But I have no scientific evidence.....
So we have a lot of leftover candy. I gave away fists full - but we still have about... 7 bags worth left.

People (okay, parents) were very enthusiastic about the Willy Wonka candies we bought: Runts, Nerds, Laffy Taffy, Bottle Caps, etc. Kids wanted Reese's Pieces and Cups. I ate too many Kit Kats.

We had a lot of princesses, a couple of fairies, and a fireman (apparently he was wearing a very sparkly outfit). I spotted a Darth Vader and a guy dressed as a pirate.

A few older "weenies" showed up - a lady who was a full-blown adult, dressed up like a witch came by. I didn't see any kids or anything - but my husband gave her candy. Because seriously, people will cut you if you don't.

And just for the future, if you're not sure if you're too old to go trick-or-treating - if you're pregnant you're too old. If you can vote, you're too old; if you pay a mortgage, you're too old.