Archive for August, 2009


Another post about the joys of home ownership. 

The paint along our eaves and soffits has been chipping away, no longer the pristine creamy colour we picked out when we moved in. And the City says that we have to paint it.

Our back door needs replacing. We bought the replacement door ages ago, and it’s still hanging on its frame in the dining room, where we shove it aside and back again in front of the music room.

Our kitchen floor needs replacing. Our kitchen cabinets need replacing.

We need a storm door with a doggie door so Scout will let his beleaguered parents sleep through the night without having to get up and let him out every time his fancy dictates. There have been nights when his whimpering wakes me up, and I’ve begged him to just go pee somewhere and let me sleep. But will he? Oh, no, not he!  And this is the dog who pees EVERYWHERE! I swear I think he’s hopped up onto  my cedar chest to pee on the clothes I had piled up there to get put away that now have to be rewashed.

So $750 plus the cost of materials is getting us some handyman work from a friend of a neighbour. He’ll replace the wood that’s rotted along the eaves. He’ll paint the outside of the house. He’ll put on the back door and the storm door.

Of course, that still leaves the fence that needs to be moved closer to the house, along with the kitchen stuff, but one step at a time, right? At least when the City comes out they will have to find something besides the exterior of the house and the appearance of the yard to complain about.

I frequently reminisce about different apartments in which I’ve lived. If the toilet broke, I called them and they came and fixed it. And when the bathtub faucet decided it would no longer consent to being turned off, I called them and they fixed it. No lawns, no worries about having to replace rotting wood on the eaves, no having to move fences.

Okay, neighbours, and I can’t play the piano at 2 a.m. if I want to, so I guess it probably balances out.  But there are days, aren’t there?

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No, scratch that. It was Saturday at the mall. And as lame and pathetic as that might sound, it was actually a great day.

After being up so late last night, I slept in this morning and my sweet honey let me. I feel really bad about missing Saturday breakfast with the parental units, but if they called me I did not hear the phone ring, or at least if I did I was asleep when I talked to them. Lolo came over about 11, and we headed for Grapevine Mills. And we walked and walked and walked. Okay, so we stopped for lunch at Chili’s (their southwestern veggie soup is seriously good), and watched a movie (A Perfect Getaway, which we both liked but we didn’t like the fact that the people who were behind us kept kicking our seats), but except for that we walked.

Did I mention we walked?

We found some really cute shirts for Lolo, and we found a doggie bed for Brownie (her new dog) for just $10. And then we stopped at Schlotzky’s on the way home. I recommend the vegetarian special pizza, without the cheese.  It is really fantastic.  When we got back here, we found that Joe and Kyle (THANK YOU!!) had moved my piano back into the living room. So I made Lolo listen to me play a song, and then we stood outside and talked. Joe got home and wowed us with his mad guitar skillz.

I’m so out of practice on the piano, and I couldn’t find an eighth of my music books. But it was so lovely to just sit and play.  We were worried it would be unbearably out of tune–it’s been years since we had it tuned last–but there are only a couple of seriously jarring notes. It will be all right until we can get someone out to tune it. And I forgot how much Joe and I loved making music together–he sits by me with his 12-string acoustic, and we play and sing.  Of course, he both plays and sings far better than I do, but it’s not really about who’s better. It’s about creating something beautiful together.

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An Apology

Tonight after dinner (mmmm, pei-wei), we went by Pat & Clover’s. Joe had some guitars he wanted to show off, and Tater Tot had an invention he wanted to show off. It was a mutual thing, and much showing-off was done. At one point, I dashed out for candy and came home loaded with all kinds of yummy stuff. Tater Tot’s still a little guy, in some ways, and after a handful of fun-sized kit kats, he was wired.  I got goofy and picked him up and threw him over the back of the couch. Only I let go too soon, and let’s just say that I dropped him on the back of the couch with only one of his legs cleared. The look on his face was classic as he doubled up in pain, clutched his jewels, and had to listen to my apologies through hysterical laughter. I’m sorry, kiddo, I can imagine, but based on your reaction probably not nearly well enough, what that felt like, and I definitely owe you one. One what I’m not sure, but one. Maybe a trip to the candy store and then a movie with popcorn & coke. Then I’ll take you back home and let Clover deal with you. 🙂 mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha

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Honest!  Like tonight. Tonight was the big shopping night. It went kinda like this:

  • Izzybella arrives at the house, meets Lolo, loves on the dogs for a few moments, and then we walk out the door.
  • Lolo heads for her car and goes home while Izzy and I head for her car.
  • We arrive at the nail salon. What? I said I had my priorities straight! We’re used to the Saturday morning express 35-minute pedicures. We figured we’d be in and out by 6:30.  But there wasn’t a wait, and they were perhaps a little bored, because we got Thursday evening great calf & foot massage pedicures and it ended up taking just over an hour. Oops! But Izzy has cute red toenails and I have emo black toenails.
  • We’re headed for Ross when we see the spectacular lightning show taking place. Detour! Turn right to go to the mall where they have covered parking.
  • Penney’s had some nice pants for Patrick, but we didn’t want to buy them until we knew what Kellee would be wearing.  Penney’s had some nice dresses, but nothing that was quite right.
  • Macy’s had a couple of cuteish items, but again, nothing that was quite right.
  • We were sweating. Maybe that’s why the cute guy at the expensive hand lotion kiosk was rather enthusiastic in offering the free samples that we rejected not just because we were in a hurry.  And our hair was frizzing, which might be why the cute girl at the hair straightening kiosk offered to fix our frizz, and demo her fantastic flatiron, but we rejected that only because we were in a hurry.
  • Lane Bryant was on the way to Dillard’s, so we stopped in but, yep, you guessed it, nothing was quite right.
  • We got to Dillard’s, read the store map wrong, and took the scenic route to the third floor. We found the perfect dress twenty or thirty times, but apparently each dress wasn’t perfect because it wasn’t in her size or was something that Izzy or I might like but Kellee might not.
  • I said a fervent prayer and kept looking.
  • Izzy kept looking, too, and she found a lovely top.  Then we found the perfect skirt to go with it. And then we had to find someone who would take our money. The girl at one designer counter told us she wasn’t allowed to ring up our purchases, and sent us to a different counter. But not only did someone eventually take our money in exchange for the clothes, they ended up being on even deeper sale than we realized. Woot!
  • Stop at Claires to get jewelry. Pay for it. Realize that Claires was exhorbitantly overpriced, but we got cute stuff and Kellee’s worth it.
  • In the home stretch, but wait–Godiva was pulling us in with its chocolately goodness powered tractor beam. Wrrrrrt, and we were suddenly at the counter, powerless to resist. Three truffles to provide immediate sustenance and two candy bars to get us each through tomorrow later, and we were truckin’. Upon editing, I realize that sounds like we each got 3 truffles and two candy bars. That’s not what happened. We each got one truffle, and a free one that we were going to share but Izzy doesn’t like champagne truffles so I ate it all by myself. And we each got one candy bar to have tomorrow, or whenever we need a dose of rich creamy chocolately goodness.
  • Think suddenly that Earthbound Trading Company has cool jewelry and maybe we’d find something we liked better there. We found great earrings, but we decided what we got at the other place just fit right.
  • Stop at Payless to buy shoes. Found seriously cute shoes, paid, and we’re there, back where we started.
  • Penney’s again. We find a pair of pants for the bro that will coordinate nicely with Kellee’s outfit, and find a nice shirt.  We pay, and do a mental high-five because we were done.
  • Did I mention that we were done? We were so done that we couldn’t decide where to have some dinner. We ended up at Red Robin (I eat there or at Genghis Grille once a week). I got my second wind and a serious laugh attack that rivaled the infamous pithy grapefruit incident, but Izzy was just done. She’s had a long, long week. (If you want to know what caused the serious laugh attack, think of a Mad-libs game where every word provided is a variation of one particular four-letter word. It was funny. Seriously. I’m not sure Izzy saw the humour, but when she looks at the coaster that I filled in with her word choice tomorrow, she’ll laugh. Maybe.) (Oh, and referring to the priorities being straight, my dinner was fried zucchini. I ate one piece with the fried stuff, and another piece and a half without the fried stuff. It was better without.) (do you think maybe when I go next time I can ask for the fried zucchini, only not fried? that would make a pleasant addition to my now-standard wrap with avocado and salad, because everything has egg or cheese or milk in it.)
  • Then it was home, and now I’m here blogging and wondering if the caffeinated soda I had two of at dinner would counter the effects of my nightly meds that make me sleep. So far the caffeine’s winning out.

There you have it. Cute toes, caffeine & chocolate, and a wedding outfit for the bride and groom. Could you do any better? (Hint: if you’re smart, no matter what the truth is, you will answer brzzzzzzt NO!) (I’ve never had black toenails before. Maybe it’s not emo. Maybe it’s just dorky, but that’s okay. I think we have established that I am a dork.) (Hi Kellee!)

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Sisters! There were never such devoted sisters!

First and foremost, there is the Incomparable Izzybella, she who has been the sister the longest, she who nearly snatched me baldheaded when she was a baby, she whom I made every effort to spoil and yet has remained unspoiled.

Then there is the redhead. She’s not around anymore, but she’s never very far from my thoughts. Especially this week, for some reason, I keep thinking about my redheaded sister and wishing I could give her a big hug and tell her I love her.

And now there’s the new sister, FreakyAngel. She’s a freak because she’s in love with my redneck brother, and she’s an angel because she’s in love with my redneck brother.  They’re getting married on Sunday, and since she’s not here and we’re not there to do the sisters traditional pre-wedding shopathon, Izzy and I are doing the pre-wedding shopathon tomorrow night and express mailing everything to Illinois so it will be there in time for the wedding.

Those are the legal official sisters. But my list of sisters doesn’t stop there.

There’s the Sunshiney Jehara sister, whom we adore madly and still complain that such a sunny place as Phoenix did NOT need to take our Sunshine away.  She’s getting married in November, and we’re planning fun pre-wedding things, but I guess it probably won’t be a shopahon. Unless she wants one. Does she want one? Hmmmm? There will be a pre-wedding slumber party, and it will be really fun. And then there will be a post-wedding masquerade party, and in honour of Jehara and PastaMan the normally intractable Izzybella has agreed to dress up! Woot!

We also have a lovely purply amethesty sister who doesn’t often keep in touch (HINT! HINT!) but whom we love all the time.

There is a beautiful ornery pain-in-the-butt sister who was one of my sisters and then she wasn’t. She is still Izzy’s sister, because Izzy is a saint and hasn’t managed to piss her off too much yet. And she is sort of Jehara’s sister, but it’s odd. It’s all very odd. I’m still really pissed at her, but when I found my Rember book this week and saw some pages she wrote in it, I thought that it would be sweet to remember that even if she hates me now, she loved me once.

And there are really good friends who are moving into a sisterly slot, like Lolo whom Izzy has not yet, but I foresee that it will be an auspicious occassion. There will be good food (Spiral Diner, we love you); there will be laughter; and there may be a post-prandial shopathon.

So tonight I’m really grateful for all my sisters, the ones who are here and the ones who aren’t, and I love you all, even the one I sometimes would like to kick in the bum. and the redhead. always the redhead. Love you.

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Maybe I’m Amazed

I don’t know what that song has to do with this blog post. I know only that it’s my current earworm. Joe saw Paul McCartney last week, and he’s been reading and listening and playing which means I’ve been hearing and playing. I  would have loved to have seen him, but I have such a paralyzing fear of being in large crowds that I cannot make myself go to concerts.

Anyway, tonight I went to see Harry Potter again. The sixth time, yeah. They’re down to two showings a day, which makes me think it’s the last week it’ll be at Rave. All-time best movie line? “Not to mention the pincers. click-click click-click click-click.” and the way Hagrid looked at him.  I totally love the mechanical Umbridge in the twins’ joke shop riding the tightrope and balancing buckets of liquid that are constantly threatening to slop out as she screams that she must have order!

There was a little time before the movie, so I stopped in at Earthbound Trading Company.  I picked out 3 thumb rings and a peace bracelet. And I bought some incense. And a really beautiful hand-made paper photo album. While I was waiting for the movie to start, I put one thumb ring on one thumb, and another on the other. I have a thing for thumb rings, even though I sometimes have difficulty getting ones that fit just right. And one of the ones I got today apparently didn’t fit right, because it landed in the toilet when I leaned over to flush. I need not remark that I did not make any attempt to retrieve it, just bought another one at Earthbound on my way back to the car after the movie. So I literally flushed my $2.99 down the toilet.

I’ve been feeling lonely lately, and I’m not sure why. It’s just a feeling that won’t go away.   My mood ring was greyish-black, and that was before I flushed it down the toilet.

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thank you!!!!

Joe read my post the other day about perfumes, and was actually quite upset to realize that I was lusting over a perfume that he hadn’t yet purchased for me. I told him that it was fine–seriously, any time I’ve wanted one and told him bout it, he’s gotten it for me, even if he didn’t like it.

So when I got home today, he handed me a bag that contained the one I’ve been craving for over a year, but hadn’t mentioned to him because hello, expensive. A lovely bit bottle of Un Jardin sur le Nil, by Hermes. 

Sweetheart, if you’re reading this—thank you!!!  It was a very pleasant and unexpected surprise, and you know how good I’m smelling right now.

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book blogging

Last year I faithfully kept track of every book I read.  And then it turned into a crazy goal to average at least one book per day. Hey, I’m a fast reader, I could do it. And I did. But the last few weeks turned out to be more about the goal than about the books. So this year when I started keeping my list of books read, I stopped fairly early on because I didn’t want to end up doing the same thing. The net result is that I’ve read far fewer books, and amused myself with other time wasters (facebook, anyone?). Not to imply that reading is a time waster. It’s not.

Anyway, Soleil left a comment on my 2009 page, and after thinking about things I decided she was right. I need to go back to keeping track of the books I read. That 2008 list was awfully handy when I want to recommend a book to someone, or an author, or want to know if I’ve read something or not. Lacking the scratch to pay my library fine just now, I slipped into Half Price Books this afternoon and bought a selection from the clearance rack. And it’s my hotel weekend, so I’m getting ready to take my medicine and flop into a nice soft bed with lots of nice soft pillows, and read until I fall asleep.

So look on Monday for my 2009 page to be updated. I can’t go back and remember everything I’ve read so far, but I can start where I am and go forward.  And if you’ve got any recommendations for me, check my 2008 page, and leave me a note here or on the 2009 page. I’ll get it. Thanks!

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Live & Learn

Remember this post, where I talked about the Warhol tote bag and the wrath of the purse gods?  I’m telling you, those purse gods do not kid around.

Tonight I went to Ross to get a baby outfit for a co-worker’s eagerly anticipated arrival. I found an absolutely darling dark blue onesie with the Cat in the Hat on the front. Really cute.

And, well, I can’t go to Ross without going through the clothes racks. Fortunately, tonight I was out of luck, and only ended up with a pair of blue jeans on clearance for $10. I think I bought them as much for the fact that they’re 2 sizes smaller than I was wearing 6 months ago as for the fact that they are really flattering.

And a trip to Ross would be totally wasted without going through the housewares and home decor aisles, where I found the perfect housewarming gift for Jehara and Pasta Man’s new home they haven’t found yet, and a squat little vase that was definitely made with my living room in mind.

As I was going through the housewares aisles, I saw a handbag someone had abandoned. It was beautiful. Gunmetal grey, large, made with my personality in mind. I recalled the curse the purse gods had placed upon my head for not purchasing the Warhol tote, and then and there decided that I would buy that purse if the Warhol tote was not there.

Lo and behold, the Warhol tote *was* there, and it was on clearance for half-price. Of course the moment I saw it I wrenched it from its little hanger thingie and put it in my cart.  The dilemma: dare I risk the purse gods’ wrath and buy only the Warhol tote? Would the gunmetal grey bag then become the new “I should have bought that when I saw it” purse?   I suppose I need not tell you that the gunmetal grey purse is in my living room with my wallet & keys inside.

My Grannie once told me that I could stretch a dollar further than anyone else she knew. I don’t think she meant it as a compliment, but I’ll take it as one. I spent as much money on the vase, the jeans, the cat-in-the-hat onesie, the housewarming gift, the Warhol tote, AND the gunmetal grey handbag as I would have if I’d bought the handbag at full price.  (If you want a personal shopper, send me an e-mail. I’m a great decorator and love to shop.)

Tonight’s sleep will be sweet.

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Revenge Is Sweet

My brother, LunaticWriter, is finally getting even with me. He bided his time, remembered things he knew I’d forget, and then began commenting on my blog.

I’m a klutz. I’m also very open to experimentation. And I like to eat.

  • when i was a wee thing, i ate (a) my mother’s birth control pills and my aunt’s morning sickness pills one day. got my stomach pumped. (b) some paste floor wax that my grandfather had melted to make it easier to work with. got my stomach pumped. (c) ate some blue paint that was left in the garbage cans by our next-door neighbours when they moved out. gave my mother a heart attack when i told her the phisohex tasted funny. why i thought blue plaint was phisohex,and why i thought either option was edible, i’ll never know. fortunately she detected the tale-tell signs of blue paint on my teeth and gums and took me to the hospital. i had my stomach pumped. As far as I know, i have not had my stomach pumped since that time.
  • fortunately one doesn’t get one’s stomach pumped for tasting the vanilla extract (it smelled so good, and tasted so horrible) or the crisco (it looked so thick and creamy and beautiful and tasted terrible) or accidentally swallowing a whole small gherkin when mom came into the kitchen at the very moment i was sneaking said gherkin. that hurt so much i don’t know how to describe it, but if you want to know, nibble the end off a small gherkin and have someone walk into the room and scare you. on second thought, don’t. it’s no fun.  i also swallowed an ice cube whole, and it got stuck in my throat until it melted. i don’t remember if i consciously decided to drink some warm water in an effort to assist the melting process, or if i stupidly just stood there whinging until it melted.  and in the olden days we used metal ice trays, and one day i licked it. don’t ask me why. it was another of those impulses that can’t be explained. fortunately i had the brilliant idea to run some warm water over it so that it would release my tongue, so i didn’t have any scars. i did, however, treat the metal ice tray with a lot more respect until we got the nice plastic ones that don’t stick to your tongue if you lick them. not that i’ve tried lately, and although my curiosity is whetted, we don’t have any plastic ice cube trays in the refrigerator right now.
  • i had a really bad fall at home one night while my parents & siblings were away, and i got all ambitious and decided to clean the kitchen. i slipped and fell on some tuna juice that somehow eluded our cats, and landed on my butt so hard i couldn’t get up. diagnosis: bruised tailbone. i didn’t know before then that people had tailbones, but decided they were extremely inconvenient. it meant i couldn’t jump on the trampoline across the street, and when i snuck and jumped on the trampoline before i was supposed to, i fell all wrong and landed on the coils on my tailbone.
  • we lived at the bottom of what i recall to be a very steep hill. the cool thing was to walk your bike to the top of the hill and ride down with no arms no legs. but if you didn’t want to crash through the picture window of the house at the base of the hill, you had to grab the handlebars and make a mad turn left, missing the gravel patch and coming to a triumphant stop. well, once i didn’t turn in time, skidded in the gravel patch and ended up with gravel embedded in my knees and elbows, ruined my clothes, and had the insult to injury thing by my mother stoically digging out the gravel and painting my elbows and knees with gravel, thus ensuring that i would not be so foolish again. (of course i was, because it was a matter of honour; however, i never landed in the gravel patch again.)
  • okay. yes, i did roller-skate over my wrist, and still have no idea how i managed that, particularly considering i’d forgotten it. i never learned how to roller-skate well, and those were in the days we had two wheels side by side front and back, instead of four wheels in one neat row. no, i never managed to even stand up on a pair of roller blades, and i have no idea how anyone can.  back to the wrist, i probably wracked up and tried to untangle myself, skating over the wrist in the process. it hurt like billy blue blazes, which is probably why i made myself forget that particular injury.
  • we’ve already mentioned the broken toes.
  • i sprained my ankles on various occasions, including slipping and falling at the swimming pool.
  • i sprained my wrists on various occasions, none of which strike me as particularly memorable.
  • i burned the crap out of my hand when i was transporting a pot of boiling chicken (sorry chicken, i wouldn’t do that now–it would be a pot of boiling veggie) broth and lost my balance. the broth ended up pouring itself over my right hand. it was a serious burn, and had i known what i know now, i’d have gone to the emergency room. i’ve also burned my hand a time or two by accidentally picking up a cookie sheet before i realized it was still oven-hot.
  • i  cut the crap out of my hand because instead of doing the sensible thing and using a glass brush i forced my too big hand with a dish rag down the too narrow glass which of course shattered and cut my hand. i did have to go to the e/r for that one, but fortunately they were able to use butterfly bandage on it so i didn’t have to get stitches.
  • and yes, the day before my mother’s second wedding, i superglued an earring to my thumb. when i realized what had happened, i just sat at my desk numbly repeating, “how can i play the piano tomorrow with an earring superglued to my thumb?” i worked at UTMB in the media department, so the guys got some acetone thinking that it would loosen the bond. but the bond didn’t take kindly to the acetone, so i reluctantly went to the e/r. they were very nice at triage, and only twitched a little every time they looked at my thumb. i ended up in a little room all by myself with my left hand immersed in grease release. do they even make grease release anymore? because that’s some seriously good stuff.  it slowly began lifting the earring from my thumb and started getting all dissolvey with the fake plastic earring and the skin and everything.  every so often a different doctor/nurse/intern/med student would come in, gravely examine my thumb, try hard not to laugh, and solemnly leave the room. i think all but one of them managed not laugh until they got into the hall, and i realized that i’d have been laughing too, but still! was it so unusual that everyone within earshot had to come examine my stupidglued thumb earring?  i did play the piano the next day withOUT an earring glued to my thumb, and from then on, if an earring breaks, i throw it away.
  • i slammed my thumb in the car door  numerous times. i did not, like freaky angel’s mother, slam my head in the car door, and she has my sympathies because i know how badly the thumb hurt. i have also slammed my fingers in the refrigerator door, which hurt like a sonuvagun.
  • i’ve clocked myself good and thoroughly getting in and out of the car, just misjudging the amount of space i had, and those hurt quite badly.
  • i’ve twice, within a week, walked head on into a clear glass window, at the post office the first time, and at work the second time.  nasty bruises, lots of pain, and lots of mockery from my sister.
  • i slammed my breasts between two pieces of cold steel and stood there while the compression got more and more strong. oh, wait–that was a mammogram. never mind.
  • i’ve fallen both up the stairs and down the stairs with a multitude of injuries issuing therefrom. my most recent trip down the stairs was  or 3 weeks ago, and i thought i was going to die. seriously.
  • i’ve slipped on icy patches, and i’ve slipped on rainy patches, and i’ve slipped on patches that were just there. one of my more memorable tumbles which was thankfully unwitnessed by anyone took place at work before we moved into the new location. i was walking into the copy room, standing confidently on my feet one moment and landing hard on my back the next moment. as i lay unceremoniously on the floor, trying to catch my breath, i was praying that no one would see me and drag me off to HR to report an injury, because what was i supposed to say? employee is terminally klutzy?

so is it any wonder that i have all sorts of deliciously painful ailments like soft tissue injuries in the back and patello-femoral pain syndrome? heck, any day that i don’t have to hobble on crutches or wheel along in a wheelchair is one more day i don’t have to confess my klutziness. (but i will confess that with the way my knee’s been hurting, i wouldn’t mind a pair of crutches.)

okay, lunatic, have i omitted anything else?

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