For ten seconds. Then he meowed again. Repeatedly. Over and over. And over. "SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP!" I bellowed, and for fifteen seconds he did. Eventually, despite the meowing, I fell asleep. I slept fairly lightly, waking up on occasion to hear the meowing, turn over, and fall back asleep. I slept from midnight to 2:30 am. Whereupon Fancypants jumped up on the bed and meowed loudly and constantly directly in my face. He would not be cuddled. He would not be comforted. He wanted only to howl, and so he did. I threw a pillow at him, and he flounced off the bed and settled under the bed, directly under my head. Where he meowed. I managed to doze lightly for another couple of hours, waking up most times he meowed, until 4:15, when I lost my mind. "SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!" I yelled. He did not. I took my backscratcher from the bedside table and bent down, whipping it back and forth to make him come out from under the bed. He shot out and hauled ass across the room, and I gave chase. He faked left then ran right and went back under the bed. "You son of a bitch! Get your ass out here!" I hissed, and reached under the bed to try to grab him. He ran out the opposite side of the bed, and I threw a t-shirt at him, and he ran back under the bed. "Fine, you little asshole," I growled. "That’s just FINE." I was so pissed I was shaking. "I’ll go sleep on the motherfucking couch, you little fucking…. FUCKER!" I stomped downstairs, amazed that the commotion hadn’t woken Fred, and being a nice gal I didn’t want to go wake him up. As I crossed the kitchen toward the living room, Fred sat up from where he was laying on the couch, and said "Hey Bessie, what’re you doing?" "I’M GOING TO KILL HIM!" I shrieked. "That son of a bitch has been laying under the bed MEOWING ALL FUCKING NIGHT LONG!" However, the second half of that declaration was perhaps not quite understandable, since I was busy bursting into tears. The first time in my life I’ve actually been so mad I’ve cried. Fred sat me down and put his arm around me and talked me back into a state of relative calmness, and then suggested I sleep on the couch (he hadn’t, actually, been driven to the couch by Fancypants’ infernal yowling; the bed had been so uncomfortable that he’d decided the couch would be better until he could get his newer bed set up). Then he went upstairs and put Fancypants in the bathroom. Good idea, right? Yeah, except that all the fucking cat did was turn up the volume of his meows so that they echoed through the house. There was just no shutting the little bastard up. Finally, I gave up and unpacked until about 8, when I showered and got ready to go into Huntsville for the back-to-back closings. We were supposed to close on the old house at 10:00, and the new one at 11:00. Ha.



his way. The refrigerator guys left, the cable guy showed up and turned on the cable (though all the tvs were at the old house so we couldn’t test it), and then Fred stopped by to get some money. I hung out at the new house for a while longer, and then Fred called around 1 to tell me that the cleaning lady was there, the moving guys weren’t but a third of the way done with the house, and we needed to get the cats and bring them to the new house so the cleaning lady could clean in the bathroom where they were. Poor kitties. She happened to walk in the bathroom where they were, not knowing they were there, and they totally freaked out. Because, of course, their instinct is to hide under something when they see strangers, and there was nothing in the bathroom or closet for them to hide under. Since we had only two cat carriers and five cats, we had to make three trips. It was a thrill, believe me, to load a cat in each carrier and drive from the old house to the new, toss them (well, not TOSS. Gently place, really) in the upstairs bathroom, and go back for another load o’ cat. On the last trip, Fred loaded up Spot and left me at the house with the movers and cleaning lady, so I could begin vacuuming the rooms as they emptied. The movers, by the way, moved slower than molasses. They’d move a piece of furniture and then stand and discuss it for several minutes ("Remember when you moved that dresser? That was cool.") before moving a single box. It was after two by the time they filled up their truck (of COURSE they brought a truck that was too small. They’re PROFESSIONALS, after all), moved everything that wouldn’t fit in the truck into the garage – which was packed to the gills by the time everything was in it – and headed for the new house. "It’ll go faster," Fred assured me. "Unloading always goes faster." At the new house, I went upstairs into the bathroom and tried to cuddle with a cat or two. They weren’t having it, not at all. Spot and Fancypants were huddled together behind the toilet. Miz Poo, Spanky, and Tubby were hiding in the cabinet under the sink. I sat and read for half an hour or so until my ass grew chilled from the floor. When I wandered back downstairs, I think they’d unloaded two boxes and a chair, and were ready for their once-hourly naps. Anyway. We went back to the old house to pick up the computers and everything else we’d left sitting around (plants, for one), and then he went back to the new house and I waited at the old house for the carpet cleaners. Having the carpets professionally cleaned was part of the contract, did I mention? The carpet cleaners arrived, and checked out the house. "Do you want scotchguarding or (something to do with taking odors out of the carpet)?" the one carpet guy asked. I did all I could not to laugh in his face – scotchguarding and odor removal stuff was NOT in the contract, thankyou – wrote them a check, and then went back to the new house. Sometime after 5, the first truckload was unloaded. Fred accompanied the movers back to the old house for the second (and last) load, while I stayed at the new house and began unpacking random boxes full of kitchen stuff. They were back in a little more than an hour with the rest of the stuff, and they were done unloading around 8:00. We ordered a pizza and went upstairs to start setting up the beds and to find our clothes – important, I thought, since I didn’t want to wear a t-shirt and shorts to closing on Tuesday. We let the cats out, and they did that dark-eyed slinking-around thing that cats do when they’re freaked. Miz Poo was over her freakishness pretty quickly, but the others are spazzes, and while Spot disappeared under the bed to not be seen again for a day or so, Spanky would hide under the bed for a while, then pop out and look around, and then – you could actually watch it happen – a big cartoon question mark would pop up over his head, and he’d think "Hey, this isn’t my home!", and he’d zoom back under the bed. Fancypants, oh Fancypants was another story altogether. He walked around and around, letting out a high-pitched, very annoying, meow. Constantly. We’d say "Fancypants, please SHUT THE FUCK UP!" and he’d stop for ten seconds and then begin again with a vengeance. After eating dinner – pizza has never tasted so good – we washed up, popped out our contacts, and then went to bed.]]>


All smooth and purty and non-frizzy, it was. Then I needed to run out to the Jeep (which is parked in the driveway) to get something out of the back seat, and after two minutes in the Alabama heat and humidity, I came inside to find that my hair looked more like this: Only, dark brown. And frizzier. If it was longer, I’d just yank it up in a bun all the time, I swear. Then I spent a couple of hours packing, which always sucks. After lunch, I decided that the upstairs desperately needed vacuuming, along with the stairs, where there were wild dust bunnies (comprised of cat hair) running, well, wild. So I went into Fred’s bedroom, where I had yanked his lovely bed away from the wall a few days ago when I was packing in there. He hadn’t bothered to push it back, so I grabbed one of the posts and tried yanking it. It’s a very heavy bed. Suddenly, I heard a loud ripping sound (neither my pants nor my back, thank you), and the post started to rip free. I was horrified and immediately in tears. I called Fred and confessed all, and he was calm and didn’t really seem to care one way or the other, actually. I don’t know that it’s really broken, but it doesn’t look great. I retrieved the vacuum cleaner from the closet and began vacuuming. I was about halfway done with the upstairs when I realized it just wasn’t picking up as well as it should be, requiring me to vacuum across cat hair piles (uh, small piles. It’s not like they were 5 feet high or anything…) more than once. I finally noticed that the hose, which was supposed to be plugged into the machine was hanging out, so half of everything I was vacuuming up was coming back out the hose. So like I said, today sucked. At least most of the downstairs is packed. Tomorrow, I get to start packing the garage. Oh joy.]]>


Miz Poo has been particularly whiny, following me around and meowing whiningly at me whenever I’m packing. Saturday, we took the weight machine apart (okay, Fred took the weight machine apart; I mostly sat on my ass and web-surfed) and moved it out to the garage, so that the movers will have an easier time of it next week. Miz Poo, of course, had to get all involved. That’s love glowing out of that little green eye. This afternoon as I was packing up the library, she sat and watched for a long time, and then began whining for me to pick her up. When I did, she jumped from my shoulder to the window in the library that’s six feet from the ground. She sat there watching me, and occasionally staring out the window, for a couple of hours. The other cats – mainly Spot and Fancypants – get up in that window all the time. They can jump from the dresser we have in there to the top of the bookcase, to the window. Miz Poo, having short ‘n stubby legs like her momma, can’t get up there without assistance. She probably could if she really tried, but she’s learned that if she whines at me enough, I’ll pick her up and put her where she wants to be. Just like a real kid. And, to make this a true Miz Poo entry, I mentioned a Miz Poo story via email to Moira the other day, and now I’ll share it with y’all. Fred and I were sitting in the library talking about something to do with the house, I’m sure, and we got to talking about the cats. I started imitating Fancypants, who has just the highest-pitched meow you’ve ever heard, and I heard a chirp, and Miz Poo LAUNCHED herself across the room at me. Her eyes were all dark, and she was staring at me, so I did it again. She got right up in my face and started sniffing at my mouth. So I meowed again, and she tried to stick her whole head in my mouth. I was crying, I was laughing so hard. I did it again, and she sniffed wildly at my mouth and then stuck her paw (blech!) in my mouth. Finally, she curled up on my chest, as close as she could lay to my face, and just sat and stared at me for, like, half an hour. It was the funniest damn thing, but unfortunately I can’t get her to react like that again. That’s it, that’s all the Miz Poo stories I have at the moment. I hope that’ll hold you.]]>


garden blog. I’m in pain, I’m seething so hard with jealousy. I have no idea where I’m going to plant what in the new house. I know I want a bulb garden (lilies, daffodils, gladiolus), and I’ll be planting a lilac bush somewhere, oh, and morning glories, too, but I don’t know how to LANDSCAPE, for I am not particularly talented in that respect. We do know we’re going to put rose bushes in front of the house, so that we can look out the computer room window and see them. And birdfeeders by the library windows so that the cats can sit and watch the birds and lose their little kitty minds. Oh, I’m sure it’ll all work out. So, I don’t think I’ve ever told y’all this before, but have I mentioned that I’ve been published? That’s right, I’ve been quoted in People, US, Rolling Stone, and Details (this was back before it started to suck). Perhaps "quoted" isn’t quite the best word. In ’93-’94, I got into the habit of writing letters to the editor, and actually got some of them published. I’m famous! So I got the ol’ scrapbook out and scanned them for y’all’s amusement. This one’s from People, and the apparent indignation absolutely cracks me up. Here’s one to Rolling Stone, and the original letter was much more long and rambling. Yes, I was a Beavis and Butthead fan, what can I say? The next letter was written to Details (again, this was back before they started to really, really suck), and it was the first letter I wrote with the idea of having it printed in mind. I actually liked The Joy Luck Club, so close those email clients, y’all. Another letter full o’ indignation. I was oddly proud of the "clueless stick". The only thing I ever got from the fame of my published letters was a letter from a guy who also lived in Maine, and ran an independent recording label. He sent me several tapes of various bands before I lost his address and just generally forgot about him. Oh, and while I was packing things, I ran across this essay the spud did in fourth or fifth grade. First, the picture: That would be Tubby. Next, the essay (click on the picture for a more readable version of it): ]]>


China Beach on the History Channel at 6 (central time) and Thirtysomething at 9 (ditto)? Okay, so I haven’t exactly been watching China Beach or Thirtysomething, but only because I’ve been scattered and clueless this week. I’m going to set up the VCR (I’m thinking about convincing Himself that we need TiVO) to tape Thirtysomething every night. I love the hell out of that show. Well, I used to love the hell out of that show when I was twentysomething. I wonder if I’ll still love it? I do remember wondering on what world Hope was the beautiful one. I wanted nothing so much as to look and sound like Ellyn. I watched an episode of China Beach last night, from the second season when Ricki Lake was on, and it wasn’t so very interesting to me, which surprised me. I was devastated when it was canceled, though the last season didn’t much do it for me. I so wanted to be McMurphy. And that Boone was just the dreamiest. I was horrified when I saw him in The Oldest Living Bridesmaid with Donna Mills. Fucking gag me. It was like seeing Einstein reading a Harlequin. I couldn’t even look at him last night on China Beach in fear that I’d burst into tears, remembering how much I loved him when the show was on in the late ’80s and then coming across that piece of shit movie on Lifetime. I can’t even look at Donna Mills, ’cause it just reminds me of the heartbreak. Look. I was the mother of a young child back then and didn’t have much else going on in my life, you got a problem with that? Moving on… We went out tonight and bought a new refrigerator (did I mention that the people buying our house made our leaving our refrigerator behind a part of the offer?). A top of the line GE Profile Arctica, with all the bells and whistles. And since Bob Wallace Appliances was having a sale, we got it at a decent price. After, we decided to stop at a nearby furniture store to look at couches and love seats. The couch and love seat we have now are pretty well hosed – and no surprise, considering that they were very, very inexpensive. So, we found one couch and loveseat set we liked, but didn’t want to just buy the first set we saw. We had dinner – at a RESTAURANT! IN PUBLIC! OH MY GOD! – and then hit another furniture store. We ended up finding the exact same set and decided that we really did like the set, looked through the fabric swatches to pick out one we liked – and we managed to find exactly one that we liked – and then left, still not ready to commit. But we didn’t leave before Fred filled out an entry for a free bedroom suite (ugly as sin, it was), and since he didn’t want to be harassed by Steve, the furniture salesman, he filled it out with the correct name, but made up a false address and phone number. Oh, and I got a cheap and ugly crystal bowl, just because we came in. I took it, of course, but it’s going straight to the pile of crap we’re giving away to the Downtown Rescue Mission. We went back to store #1, sat down on the couch and loveseat we liked, and Fred told the salesman the fabric swatch number that we wanted it in. The salesman went off for a long time, then came back and gave us some song and dance about how they couldn’t do that because the fabric was discontinued for that particular store, yadda yadda blah blah. Fred asked what their best price for that set was, the guy told him, and off we went. To store #2, where Fred said "You told us you’d beat the other store’s best price by $50. Is that true?" The salesman went off and then came back to say that it was so. So we ordered that set. What sucks is that it’s going to take 4 weeks or so before they’ll be ready to be able to be delivered. Anyway, we were sitting there, and the salesman – Steve – started copying information from the above-mentioned entry form, wherein Fred had falsified our address and phone number. "Uh, wait," Fred said, and then proceeded to tell poor Steve what he’d done. Steve, poor Steve, was absolutely agog at the very idea. And then he looked at ME, like I was the instigator or something! "Don’t look at ME," I said, immediately rolling over on Fred. "I didn’t know he was going to do it!" After a long time of filling out forms and such, we were finally on our way, with another ugly crystal bowl in the backseat. Those people at the Downtown Rescue Mission, I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to see all those ugly crystal bowls.]]>


So, the home inspector inspected (thus the name) our new home on Tuesday, and told Fred that it was so well-constructed that it was probably in the top 2% of all the houses he’d inspected. That was good to hear. I’ve been packing like mad this week. Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve been packing in a desultory and lazy fashion this week, and have about half the upstairs done. Well, a fourth of the upstairs, maybe. I just know that we’ll be running around like fools on the 29th, throwing dirty dishes in packing boxes. One of the things wrong with our house – the house we’re selling – is that one of the vent fans in the attic wasn’t working. We had to have a roofing guy come and replace the fan, then electricians to rewire said fan. Or something. Anyway, the electricians showed up yesterday afternoon to do the rewiring, and they looked like they were both about 12 years old. At one point, the blond one (Beavis!) asked if he could use the bathroom. "Sure," I said, and then thought nothing else of it. After Beavis and Butthead had gone, I went down the hallway to grab another box, and noted that the bathroom light was on and the fan was going. I stepped inside to turn them off, and was hit by the stench. Man. How rude is that, to use the bathroom and leave a stank like that? Moving on… I’m sure y’all are aware of the fact that Paula Poundstone has been charged with lewd conduct and child endangerment, yes? Well, I don’t really have much of an opinion on whether she’s guilty as charged – though I am curious as to what exactly she’s purported to have done – but I was reading an article in US Weekly yesterday. What made me shake my head were the statements from people who knew Poundstone, defending her. To quote: Poundstone’s supporter’s tell US Weekly that the lanky, suit-wearing comic and To Tell the Truth panelist is a model parent dedicated to her children. And I’ve seen Paula with the kids, some of them with problems that no one wanted to take on, even their own parents. If they don’t have a patron saint for patience, I’d nominate Paula. And I’ve seen Paula in action as a parent. She’s fantastic, a wonderful person, and she deserves an award, not an arrest. Come ON. For the love of god, if Paula Poundstone was in the habit of engaging in lewd conduct with her children, is SHE GOING TO FUCKING DO IT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GROCERY STORE WHERE EVERYONE CAN SEE IT? Abusers are very often seen by others as model parents/ citizens, and just because YOU think she’s got the patience of a saint (which brings up another point – if she’s patient, she can’t possibly be an abuser? Whuh?) and is the epitome of a perfect parent doesn’t necessarily make it so. You aren’t there when she’s the only adult around and can do what she wishes and how she wishes. Again, I have no real opinion about Paula Poundstone and AM NOT saying she’s guilty; that article just really got my back up. Got it?



house pictures so that all and sundry can look at it and drool. And went to sign preliminary mortgage approval papers. Or somethin’. And went to look at the house again, because we’re dorks. Moving on… People, please don’t send me .exe attachments, especially if I might not recognize your email address, and most especially without anything in the email aside from the attachment, because I will assume you’re doing your best to send me a virus, and I will immediately delete it and wash down my computer and all computer parts with ammonia in hopes of keeping your virus away from me. I’ve learned my lesson, alright? Person at the @ccconnection.com address, I’m looking at you. I spent a couple of house packing up the spud’s room this morning. Damn but that child has a LOT of stuff. I ended up filling several trash bags with stuff she never plays with anymore to give to a charitable organization that is NOT the Salvation Army. Did y’all watch Athena‘s boyfriend on Night Visions last night on FOX? If you didn’t, it’s a show very much like Tales from the Crypt, with short stories within the hour-long show (there were two stories in the one we watched last night), and DAMN it was good. And getting to look at Henry Rollins between stories doesn’t hurt a bit, either. Since you can probably tell that I messed around in Paint Shop Pro this morning, here’s something else for you to admire. I was reading either People or US Magazine over the weekend, and came across this picture, and immediately noticed… What didn’t strike me as funny wasn’t that Jennifer Anniston had her hand on George Clooney’s thigh or that Brad Pitt was noticing it as he laughed it up with George and Jenn, but the two together just cracked me up. I guess George has been too busy fending off Jennifer Anniston’s advances to break up Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt. Sh’yeah. I’m sure Brad’s reallllly worried. Okay, I need to go make it look like I’ve been working really hard all day, ’cause Fred’s on his way home, so y’all have a good weekend.]]>


Lord god almighty, what next? What next, I ask you?

Heh. I started that entry last night and didn’t get any farther. Those of you on the notify list already know what happened yesterday, but for those of you who aren’t on the list (hmph), here’s a quick little recap:

JeffTheRealtor called Fred yesterday at work and while I don’t know exactly how the conversation went, it came out that while Jeff told us Saturday that the sellers had accepted our offer as written, what they had actually done was accept the offer as written EXCEPT that they limited closing costs to $2,500. Estimated closing costs were $300 – $500 above that. When Fred called to tell me, I got so pissed I couldn’t see straight, and let out a string of obscenities that would have awed sailors the world over. We’d very clearly said to each other, before we got a response from the sellers, that IF they accepted the offer as written, it meant we were meant to live there. And IF they didn’t, we weren’t.

Obviously, we weren’t. A flurry of calls ensued between Jeff and Fred and Jeff offered eventually to make up the difference, and Fred said "Let me call Robyn."

Jeff has learned that "Let me call Robyn" many times precedes an event he doesn’t care for. That held true for this, because when Fred called and told me, I said "I don’t want the fucking house. And I almost want to fire Jeff’s ass. HE KNOWS BETTER than to pull this shit, HE KNOWS BETTER."

So Fred called Jeff back, told him we had a bad taste in our mouth(s) about the house, didn’t want it, and I was a lot madder than he (Fred) was. Jeff fussed and fumed, but since he had the other offer on the house, he got over it pretty quickly.

I was majorly stressed yesterday afternoon, let me tell you.

We went and looked at a house in a nearby subdivision. It had plenty of room and was on an acre of land – not an easy thing to find in Madison, believe me – but Fred is picky and persnickety, and while I could have happily lived in that house, he couldn’t. Later, we met Jeff at another house (by then I had calmed down enough that I didn’t wish him dead with quite the same vehemence). This house was great, but it hadn’t even gone up for sale yet; the people who lived there wanted to do some painting and have the carpets cleaned before they officially put it up for sale. We both really liked it, decided to talk about it, and as we walked out to the car, we noticed a house we’d noticed previously. We’d discounted it because it seemed to have almost no lawn at all, but I pointed out that we hadn’t really looked at the backyard, and maybe it was bigger than it seemed.

Fred asked Jeff if he had time to let us check it out, and Jeff agreed – at this point wishing we’d just buy a damn house and quit harrassing him, I’m sure.

Oh. My. God.

It was perfect. Perfect, I tell you! We walked through the front door, and it SMELLED like a brand-new house, and LOOKED like a brand-new house, and had more than enough room for our stuff, and we liked the color of the walls, and the carpet was spotless.

We went home, talked about it, and an hour later made an offer. This morning, the sellers accepted, and will even let us move in a day early, so we don’t have to stay in a hotel overnight or board the cats.

The yard’s not as big as we would have liked, but it’s flat, and it’s bigger than the one we currently have. There’s room for a future pool, if we so desire, and the house is at the end of a cul-de-sac, AND the spud will still be in the same school, though not as close as the previous house was.


We’ll be living two houses away from JeffTheRealtor.


My husband the dork, and Jeff the realtor.

PS: I was going to spend the morning getting caught up on email, but I spent the morning walking 11 miles instead. I’m selfish that way. Once again, I’m behind on email and I’ll get caught up tomorrow. No wait, I’ll be walking 11 miles then, too. And Friday I’ll be recovering in my soft, warm bed. I guess what I’m saying is, don’t hold your breath. But I love you!