Yard across the street Yard across the street When Fred and I woke up this morning, this is the sight greeting us. This is the second time in three months this particular family has had their yard tp’d – in fact, as far as I know, they’re the only family in our neighborhood whose been tp’d at all. I guess either one of the boys (probably the 7th grader) has an admirer, or a couple of pain-in-the-ass friends. I’m running around (well, actually I’m just sitting here, but it feels like I’m running around) trying to get stuff done before tomorrow. I don’t know why I felt the need to dedicate 2 hours to clearing the crap off my desk this morning; it’s not like I’m leaving for a month or even a week. But I cleared off my desk, got the files in my desk drawer in shape, and got all the bills in a single pile. And did laundry, and got the house ready for the cleaning lady. Speaking of the cleaning lady, Fred and I agreed last night that today would be her last day. The cleaning service raised their rate by $7 a week, which we can still more than afford, but it means we’d be spending almost $300 a month on cleaning, and I just can’t justify that, when I can very well clean myself. Much as I hate cleaning. So, starting next week, Friday will be Cleaning Day. You know I’m going to have to come up with a graphic for that. Fred called his mother last week to tell her he was going to go see Tony Robbins in Denver next month, and what I heard sounded like this: “Hey, Mom, guess what? I’m going to Denver next month to see Tony Robbins…. Tony Robbins. … He’s a motivational speaker. Maybe you’ve seen him on TV. Tall guy, big teeth? Oh, well. The first night I’m there, I’m gonna walk across a bed of hot coals, barefoot. … No, Mom, it’s not a cult. It’s NOT a cult, Mom. I’m telling you, it isn’t a cult. It’s just an exercise to show me that I can do whatever I set my mind to, even overcoming a fear like that. Yes, I *know* that if it were a cult I’d say it weren’t. I’ll tell you what. I’ll bring you some of his tapes to listen to, and you decide if you think he’s a cult leader. Yes, Mom, I know that’s how they get people into a cult. But this isn’t a cult. CULT PEOPLE DON’T WALK ON COALS! IT’S JUST AN EXERCISE IN OVERCOMING FEARS! (exasperation) Fine, Mom, it’s a cult. Would you just listen to the tapes if I bring you some? Fine. Love you… Bye.” So he went out and bought her the Personal Power II “starter kit” – the first four tapes – and took them to her house last weekend, telling her that if she liked them, he’d buy her the whole set. Last night, he called and asked how she liked them, and she said that she likes them a lot, but he shouldn’t spend all that money ($200) on her. Fred got all exasperated, because while $200 is a lot of money to his mom – money she can’t afford – he can afford to spend that kind of money on her. And today, he went ahead and ordered the set for her. I hope she really likes the tapes and wasn’t just saying that. It’s coming up on 2:30, and I still have yet to actually pack (don’t lecture me – it’ll take all of an hour to throw all of the spud’s clothes in a suitcase and some toys in another suitcase). There will be entries up on Friday and Saturday, assuming I can get Fred to upload them and send a message to the notify list. If not, I’ll put everything up sometime Sunday. I will drive carefully, thanks for your good wishes, and if you see an amethyst colored Jeep somewhere on 81N in Virginia, honk and wave. I’m sure I’ll just squint at you suspiciously, but it’ll give me something to write about when I get back (“I don’t know what the fuck was going on, but these people were honking at me really loudly and waving. They looked kind of crazy…”) See you in a few days! —–]]>