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Archive for November, 2005

11/30/05

by @ Wednesday, November 30th, 2005. Filed under Life

Here I Am, Patty Loveless)

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A few months ago, I asked y’all for veggie suggestions. I copied a few of the suggestions to a Word document, printed it out, and it sat on my desk until recently. When Fred got groceries on Saturday, I had him get me a bunch of fresh asparagus. Yesterday with my lunch I had roasted asparagus, and oh my GOD, it was SO DAMN GOOD, I could have eaten twice as much asparagus and nothing else, and been perfectly happy with that as my lunch. I don’t remember who posted the roasted asparagus recipe in my comments, but whoever it was – thank you!!
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We had yet another visit from the exterminator yesterday. Last Wednesday I was sitting in the computer room and glanced over toward the window to find a line of ants coming from the corner of the room, along the baseboard and into the hallway. Fred called the exterminator, but seeing as it was the day before Thanksgiving and they take the Friday after Thanksgiving off (slackers!), they couldn’t get an exterminator out to us until Monday. So Fred told them I’d be here all day, and then discovered on Monday that I had to take Miz Poo to the vet. He called the exterminator again, who said she’d be in our area Tuesday and would come to the house sometime after 11. So yesterday morning while I was waiting for the drivers from the local charity to come pick up all the crap in our garage, I opened my desk drawer to grab my list of phone numbers, only to find about thirty ants wandering around in there. “Dudes, what the fuck?” I said. “There’s no FOOD in there, what are you so excited about?” “Lady, we’re ANTS!” said the ringleader. “We wander about randomly in hopes that we’ll run across food, and when we find some, we get all excited and call all our friends!” “But dude, I reiterate: there’s no FOOD in there.” “Au contraire,” said the ringleader. “We found a SESAME SEED!” And all his cohorts did a conga line dance of excitement, kicking their little spindly legs and waving their antennae in the air like they just didn’t care. Or rather, cared a little too much. “I wonder how excited you would be if I squished every last one of you fuckers?” I suggested. “That wouldn’t be nice,” said the ringleader. Actually, he said “That wouldn’t be ni-” and could say nothing more, because I’d squished the life right out of his little body. And then his cohorts became alarmed and some of them reared back with their spindly little front legs in the air as if they could fight me off, and some of them just ran around in circled, trying to remember from whence they’d come, and after I squashed the fuck out of every one of the little fuckers, I went and got some ammonia and some paper towels and scrubbed out my desk drawer. Every now and then for the rest of the day, an errant ant would wander through my desk drawer only to be asphyxiated by the ammonia fumes. Finally, they put up a skull-and-crossbones sign at the entrance to my desk drawer and no more ants have been spotted in that drawer since then. Sometime after noon, the exterminator showed up. When I answered the door, she told me that she was going to spray outside around the foundation, and then she’d spray inside to kill the ants that were crawling around. I showed her where the fuckers were coming in, and she nodded wisely and went back outside to spray. When she came inside to spray, she told me that she hadn’t seen any ants outside, which meant that they were coming in from under the house somewhere, and then she kind of shrugged, and I didn’t think to say “So if this spraying in the yard and the house doesn’t stop the fuckers, then what the hell do you do?” I’m sure the answer is something along the lines of “Why, we charge you thousands upon thousands of dollars to use many loud machines to winch your house up off it’s foundation so we can spray under there, so that won’t work either!” Anyway, she sprayed inside along the baseboards and told me that it wouldn’t kill the ants immediately, that they’d “take it back to their nest and it would kill them there”, and I’ve just gotta say that that sounds like a big pile of horseshit, because I’ve used granules and sprays and all sorts of shit that always claims that the ants will take the poison back to their nests, and IT NEVER FUCKING WORKS, so I think that this stuff was the exterminator’s way of placating me. So she left, and I had to lure the ultra-nosy Sugarbutt and Tom Cullen into the garage so they’d stay away from the area where she’d sprayed until it dried (actually, I should say that I LOCKED them in the garage, but they didn’t care because they think the garage is the MOST fascinating place ever in this entire world), and I went off and roasted some asparagus for lunch. I did see ants for the rest of the day, but as of this morning, there’s not an ant to be seen. Whether that’s because of the stuff she sprayed in the house or because it got really cold last night, I have no idea. I’m just glad the little fuckers are gone.
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“Well, I’ll be darned. They DO taste just like chicken!” All of today’s uploaded pictures are here.
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Previously 2004: I give it two weeks before someone barfs on the new comforter. 2003: No entry. 2002: No entry. 2001: “What will I do now that I don’t have to clean dust off my ball?” 2000: I’ll just not think about that. 1999: When she came to a stop, she sat up and swayed back and forth, blinking sleepily up at me.]]>

11/29/05

by @ Tuesday, November 29th, 2005. Filed under Life

reading: The Other Woman, by Jane Green. Finished recently: Naked Prey, by John Sanford. I realized about twenty pages into this book that I read it back in 2003, but I couldn’t quite remember what happened, and it was interesting enough that I wanted to keep reading it. It was definitely worth reading again. Also finished recently: Me & Emma, by Elizabeth Flock. A review on Amazon called this book “meandering”, and I have to say that’s a pretty good word to describe it. I actually raised my personal rating for the book from two smilies to three, just because the twist at the end caught me by surprise. A more astute reader would probably have caught the hints of the twist much earlier than I did, but I think I tend to be too trusting – unless the book is a mystery – and they pretty much went right over my head.

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Yesterday morning was my usual morning at the pet store. I went in with the intention of not lollygagging around, just getting the cages cleaned out and the cats fed and watered and petted. Miz Poo had an appointment with the vet at 10:30, and after I left the pet store, I needed to go to the grocery store (Fred got groceries Saturday morning, but then we apparently ran out of just about everything, and Monday is my regular run to the store to pick up whatever we’ve run out of between Saturday and Monday), and wanted to come home and eat breakfast and take a shower before I left for the vet’s office. As usual, when I want to get in and out of the pet store quickly (I was aiming for 45 minutes instead of the usual hour to an hour fifteen) I turned into a total freakin’ klutz. I knocked so much stuff over – food bowls, water bowls, the trash can I scoop the poop into – that I was about ready to throw up my hands and give up trying. I managed to get out of there in about an hour, though, so I guess it was all good. I got through the grocery store pretty quickly, came home, ate breakfast, showered, got dressed, tossed Miz Poo in the carrier, and got to the vet’s at the stroke of 10:30. Miz Poo cried mournfully for the first five minutes of the drive, but finally gave up, curled up in a corner of the carrier, and glared up at me for the rest of the ride. We were in and out of the vet’s office in less than ten minutes. The vet pointed out that Miz Poo still has a spot of ick (okay, perhaps she called it “Plaque”) on her upper lip, but she’s definitely doing a lot better. She gave Miz Poo her shot, and told me to bring her back in three to four weeks. Since four weeks brings us to the day after Christmas (um, WHAT?) and they’re not open that day, and the spud and I are leaving for Maine that Tuesday, I made her appointment for the Wednesday before Christmas. The rest of the day was pretty low-key, except that I got an email from Fred letting me know that the people from the local charity to whom we are donating the couch and loveseat and a TON of shit we’ve purged during our decluttering of the house were going to be here today between 9 and 12, which meant that I needed to get my ass upstairs and go through the storage spaces in his bedroom, and look through the luggage we have (we have a LOT of luggage) to see if there was any we wanted to get rid of. I would provide you with a picture of the boxes and bags of shit we donated to the local charity, but to be honest, I didn’t think of it before now, so you’re out of luck. Just believe me when I say you’d be awed and amazed at how much shit we’re getting rid of – the guys who picked the stuff up were pretty amazed. And considering how much shit we’re getting rid of, you’d think our house would be empty and echo-y, but you would be wrong. For the most part, you can’t even tell there’s anything missing. Perhaps I’ll make it my New Year’s Resolution to not fill my house with crap in 2006. Considering how well my not-buying-books resolution worked in 2005, I’d say I’ll probably be posting an entry about getting rid of all the crap in my house riiiiiiight around this time next year.
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Every morning I wake up with a song bouncing around my brain. It’s always a different song, and there’s never any explanation for why that particular song has invaded my brain. Sometimes it’s a song I like, sometimes it’s only a song I’m familiar with and neither love nor hate. This morning, it was the theme to Love Boat. When I was a kid, I honestly thought that Doc sang the theme song, I have no idea why. Maybe because he looked like the voice fit him? The LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE BOAT, soon will be taking another run….
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I did triceps extensions on Sunday, and have fucked up my triceps in a big way. Not permanently – I’m sure in a few days I’ll feel just fine – but right now it hurts to lift my arms any higher than shoulder level, and I never knew just how much time I spent scratching my head, rubbing my nose, and playing with my hair before now. Now that it hurts to do any of that, it’s annoying as hell. Grrrr.
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I swear to god I’m going to start wearing a turtleneck to bed, because waking up at 3:30 every morning with Sugarbutt frantically licking at my neck is not a sensation I’m wild about. Also, the claws on bare skin (even though I keep his claws clipped) isn’t anything I care for, either. Bless his stinky little heart, it’s a good thing he’s so cute.
We do our best to make sure the furniture matches the cats. “When I am feeling cranky, an ice-cold Diet Dr. Pepper makes me happy. See? This is me, happy.” The brudders love to tell secrets.
All of today’s uploaded pictures are here.
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Previously 2004: Ever had one of those days when you just can’t remember the name of anything? 2003: No entry. 2002: I keep wanting to use the phrase “Sweet crappin’ Jesus!”, and just haven’t determined the right moment to do so. Maybe in the middle of sex? 2001: Her name is Brady James. 2000: If I knew whodunnit, I’d beat that $300 right out of his ass, the little bastard. 1999: They all tend to sound alike, you see, and hearing basically the same sound over and over ain’t the thrill at 31 that it is at 11.]]>

11/28/05

by @ Monday, November 28th, 2005. Filed under Life

* * * Friday evening Fred and I were watching TV, and I said, dreamily, “Just think! This time tomorrow night we’ll be sitting on our new couches, watching War of the Worlds with your parents, and I’ll be all kicked back and comfy!” Fred turned to me, a horrified look on his face. “Bessie,” he said. “You would recline in front of company?” “Well, GODDAMN,” I said. “NOT NOW, I won’t! I was GOING to, but now that I know you’d be sitting there all horrified about me reclining my seat in front of your parents, all worried that they’d be thinking ‘Good christ, look at her over there, so fucking LAZY she can’t expend the ENERGY to sit upright!’, I won’t! I wouldn’t DREAM of reclining on my OWN couch in my OWN home, I would HATE to embarrass you!” By this point, Fred was guffawing so hard that it took a few minutes before he could speak again. “That is NOT what I meant!” he said. “It just seems a little… relaxed to be reclining with company in the house. Like… like…” “Hanging out in your pajamas?” I suggested. “EXACTLY!” he agreed. Saturday morning, the guys who were delivering our new couches showed up half an hour before the beginning of the three-hour window we’d been told about. I was just getting out of the shower when Fred came upstairs, all wild-eyed. “They’re here!” he said. “HERE?” I said. “Yeah, they just called to let me know they’re in the subdivision, and will be right here!” “Well, shit,” I said, and quickly got dressed and ran downstairs to help move the old couch and loveseat into the garage. The guys who were delivering the new couches actually ended up moving the old furniture into the garage in no time flat, and then they quickly brought in the new couches and put them exactly where we wanted them. “You need to check and make sure the mechanisms in the recliners are working right,” the head delivery guy said. And the three of us stood and watched as Fred went from recliner to recliner, sitting and extending each to its full horizontal position, looking very uncomfortable. And I LAUGHED MY ASS OFF. Karma, it is a boomerang. (And for the record, Fred’s father and stepmother reclined almost as soon as they sat down, immediately followed by FRED. I held out for about ten minutes, but couldn’t resist the siren call of the half-laying position for any longer than that.)

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So, to give you some idea of what our old couch and loveseat looked like, I took this from the House Tour page (which desperately needs to be redone, because nothing in the house is like it was when I did that series of pictures 4 years ago):
And with the new couches:
I am aware, for the record, that those are some hideously ugly couches – the color of baby poop, I believe I told Fred – but they are sooooo comfy, and besides, who the hell do we have to impress? That’s right, NO ONE. I was concerned that the kittens weren’t going to be able to get under the couch – they like to hang out under there – but they actually have no problem getting under there. So, we’re all happy!
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Fred has been a painting fool. Thursday afternoon he had the spud help him move everything out of the guest bedroom, and Friday he spent a good part of the day painting. By Friday evening, everything was moved back into the freshly painted room. Here’s a before picture, stolen from the House Tours page (none of the furniture in that room is still there, because it used to be Fred’s room, and then he and I switched beds, blah blah blah, but this gives you some idea of the color of the walls):
Annnnnnd, after:
When Fred first showed me the paint, I honestly wasn’t sure. Because I’d expected him to come home with a dark wine color, and this looked more to me like Pepto pink. But once it was up on the walls and dry, I decided it was more of a dark rose color (even though the name of it was “burgundy 1”), and the more I look at it, the more I like it. And THEN, Friday night while we were watching TV, we discussed what color he might paint the dining room. It’s the only room in the house with a chair rail, and he was thinking of painting the top one color and the bottom another. We discussed many different color combinations, and I finally just told him that whatever he chose would be fine with me. Saturday morning he went to Lowe’s and then to the grocery store, and came home to show me what he’d chosen. He spent most of Saturday painting, and once again when I looked at the result, I really liked it. Before (another picture taken from the House Tour page):
And after:
The bottom looks like it’s black, but it’s actually a very dark green – Blackened Pine, is the name. The top is White Pepper, and it’s gray, though it looks almost lavendar in the picture. That man o’ mine, he’s got a talent for picking out paint, doesn’t he? I think next weekend he’s going to paint the spud’s bedroom. Stay tuned for more before and after pictures!
Tom Cullen thinks it was awfully nice of The Daddy to paint the kitten room to match the kitten cubes!
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Considering the amount of gas these two produce, having their heads so close to each others’ gas-output outlets doesn’t seem very safe to me. If there was only something I could do to make him less miserable…
All of today’s uploaded pictures are here.
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Previously 2004: What If? 2003: Fred’s sister nodded. “That’s what I figured.” 2002: I forgot that teenagers are, on the whole (though yours may be different, or at least pulling the wool over your eyes) bone idle. 2001: McAfee rocks. 2000: Recent purchases. 1999: I informed him that there was no way he was getting out of taking me to the emergency room for this.]]>

11/25/05

by @ Friday, November 25th, 2005. Filed under Life

* * * Recently I got a Google hit for “white fluffy kernels you can eat.” Do you suppose someone couldn’t think of the word “popcorn”? Other interesting recent Google and Yahoo hits: I hate Phil Hellmuth (I do!) how does the inside know what is going on outside of grasshopper (um… what?) how do you stop okra from being slimy? (you don’t. It ain’t possible. Unless you deep fry it or bread it, maybe? Even then, there’s a certain amount of sliminess. But it’s slimy in a good way!) best oyster cornbread dressing (I don’t know about oyster cornbread dressing, but my father-in-law (Fred’s stepfather) makes an oyster dressing that is to DIE FOR) and my favorite, an image search on christmas fuck up brought up this image:

I have no idea why an image search on that would bring up this picture, but it certainly makes me laugh my ass off.
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Yesterday marked six years since we adopted Miz Poo. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long! I pointed out to Fred the other day that we have a tendency to adopt cats in the Fall. Except for the late lamented Tubby (we got him in the Summer) and Spot (Fred can’t remember what time of year he showed up on Fred’s doorstep), we’ve gotten all our cats in the Fall. Spanky was a Christmas present, and Fred brought him home near the beginning of December. Miz Poo came home in November. We adopted the Boog in October. Tommy in mid-October of this year, and Sugarbutt in early November. All I can guess is that with the holiday season coming on, our defenses are low, and we go a little crazy with the kitten love.
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Speaking of the cats, if you check out their pages, there are links to all of their Catster pages at the bottom of each. If you want befriend the cats in Catster, I never turn down anyone who wants to be friends. Yeah, I’m a dork. Shaddup.
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Sorry, no cat pics today. I had a ton on the memory stick, but they spontaneously erased themselves AND I AM PISSED. Fucking camera – this is happening FAR too often lately, and every time it happens, I want to throw the fucking thing across the room. So imagine there are a bunch of really cute cat pics here, mm’kay?
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Previously 2004: No entry. 2003: I think our kitchen is cursed. 2002: Me, behind the wheel of a minivan? Watch out, Nashville! 2001: No entry. 2000: No entry. 1999: So, I got a kitten.]]>

11/24/05

by @ Thursday, November 24th, 2005. Filed under Life

* * * Currently reading: Miss Julia’s School of Beauty, by Ann B. Ross. Yes, still. It’s the BOOK that neverrrr ENDS. Yes, it goes on and on my FRIENDS! Some people STARTED reading it, not knowing what it was! And now they’ll keep on reading it forever just beCAUSE! It’s the BOOK that never ENNNNDS… And so on.

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Let me take a moment to say that I am thankful for my sister, who is the best gift-suggestor in this entire world. I’m taking her out to dinner (or lunch if she prefers) to pay her back for her gift suggestions. I had no idea what to get half the people on my list, and she had awesome suggestions. The Christmas gifts have started to arrive. I think I’ll spend part of tomorrow beginning to wrap those that need to be wrapped, and putting the gift certificates in the lovely gift boxes I ordered from Oriental Trading Company. If I keep on top of the wrapping and gift-boxing, I won’t be running around like a fool a week before Christmas and realizing that I’ve forgotten something. I’m pretty good with the not forgetting, usually. I actually keep a list of what we’ve gotten everyone, and I’ve saved them for the past five or six years, so that when the time for Christmas shopping rolls around, I can see what I gave everyone the previous year, and maybe get some ideas. One of the gifts that arrived yesterday was a Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Puppy for my nephew Jeffwee (a gift suggestion from my sister, The Queen of Christmas Shopping), and apparently the damn thing has some kind of motion sensor in it, because the kittens knocked it down onto the floor last night and before I got a chance to pick it up and put it back atop the precarious pile of boxes
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(ie: I was too damn lazy to get up and pick the box up off the floor) Spanky was sniffing around it, and it declared, rather loudly for a toy I thought, “I LOOOOVE YOU!”, and Spanky took off like the hounds of Hell were after him, and I found him two hours later hiding under the bed in my bedroom, his eyes dark with fear. And then Sugarbutt spent half an hour sniffing around the damn thing, making it talk at random moments, until I got annoyed and put it up out of his reach. I must confess that I can’t wait until Jeffwee gets a little older, and it’s time to buy him a SET OF DRUMS for Christmas. Ha!
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I spent a good part of yesterday cleaning and running errands. Cleaning included vacuuming the entire house (though I think I’m going to run the vacuum at least downstairs before Fred’s mother and stepfather get here. Okay, no I won’t, I’ll just think about it.), cleaning all the floors in the downstairs with the Hoover Floormate, and going over the brown tea-stained spot in the living room with the steam cleaner again. I just finished dusting, and I need to clean the kitchen, but I’ve got time to do that, since Fred’s parents won’t be here ’til 10:30 or 11:00. Errand-running included trips to the grocery store (two, actually, ’cause I forgot the bread crumbs the first time around), the post office, the bank, and Target (cat litter). Thanksgiving preparations included putting the turkey in the brine (which I made the night before), discussing with Fred where the hell the packet of giblets might be located (answer: in the turkey’s butt. DUH.), and putting together the baked squash (which will actually be cooked later on with the dressing). Fred made pecan squares last night, and I cooked the pumpkin pie (don’t be impressed, it was a frozen Marie Callendar’s pumpkin pie). In a little while I’ll start boiling the eggs for deviled eggs, and Fred has to make the giblet gravy. The house is clean and the food won’t require too much fussing. Unless one of the kittens gets locked in the fridge or freezer (something I wouldn’t put past them) I think Thanksgiving should go pretty well. Fred’s father and stepmother are coming over on Saturday to watch War of the Worlds with us – we haven’t seen them since last Christmas, if I recall correctly – and I won’t have to worry about cleaning the house, because it’ll already be cleaning from my pre-Thanksgiving cleaning frenzy! Woot! Did I mention that two hours before it was supposed to be done cooking, the turkey is registering 170 degrees? How is it that my turkeys always cook faster than they’re supposed to? This drives me CRAZY. I think I need to go eat some devilled eggs to assauge the pain.
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Sometimes the brudders get a leettle TOO affectionate. THEY ARE HOLDING PAWS! Can’t you just die from the cuteness? He’s so darn pretty. His sleeping positions kill me. Did I mention SO pretty?
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Previously 2004: And I just glared at him and thought to myself Just because you’re too stupid and scatterbrained to read and watch TV at the same time doesn’t mean I am, jackass. 2003: “Purring? You don’t like the sound of them purring?” 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: Just a little more knowledge o’ Robyn y’all can add to your notes. 1999: No entry.]]>

11/23/05

by @ Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005. Filed under Life

Before. After. I really, really like the color – it’s called “Poppy”. He chose the color himself, did all the work himself, and I love the way it turned out. He didn’t much enjoy the actual act of painting, but he likes the result so much that he went out and got paint for the guest bedroom (it’s called “Burgundy” but looks like more of a dark rose to me). He’s even going to paint Danielle’s bedroom while we’re in Maine, and we’ve chosen colors for the master bedroom (two guesses what it is, and the first guess doesn’t count) and his bedroom. After I saw how nicely the kitten room turned out, I told him it’s almost too bad it’s the kitten room, because I’d almost like to put a day bed on one side of the room and a couple of recliners on the other side, and use it as a place to hang out and have quiet time with no TVs or computers around. Last night we were sitting in the living room talking about what color to paint the living room/ kitchen area (we’re thinking the same color as the kitten room, or a similar color), and he started talking about replacing the carpet in the living room, and EVEN maybe replacing the tiles in the kitchen and I had to change the subject very quickly, because if I’d shown him how excited I was at the thought, he would have gotten all spooked and relied on the ol’ “I was just TALKING about it, Bessie, stop harassing me!” But for the record, the things I hate about this house are: 1. The stairs. I’d love to have them hardwooded, or even the carpet replaced, because there are stains on the carpet that were there when we moved in, and I canNOT get them up. 2. The Berber carpet in the living room. I loathe it. I will never ever have Berber carpet again. One of the cats knocked over a big cup of iced tea onto the carpet the other day (this is the second time this has happened), and now there’s a nasty brown stain there, and the steam cleaner won’t get it all up, and it drives me NUTS. 3. The tile in the kitchen. At least two of the tiles are cracked, and it’s impossible to get the floor clean because of the… what’s it called? Grout? Anyway, I hate that floor. I swear, if all three of those were taken care of AND all the rooms were painted, I could happily live in this house forEVAH.

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Also! Our new couches will be here on Saturday!!!! I’m probably too excited about that, but I don’t care. I can’t WAIT.
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Last night I spent an hour and a half steam-cleaning the carpet in the computer room. I pulled up the chair mats and put them in the library (no, there isn’t going to be a story about me walking on the chair mats and causing great pain to myself, because this time I put them pointy-side down), along with our chairs, and then dragged the recliner into the hallway. Then, like I said, I spent an hour and a half steam-cleaning the rug, going over and over and over the particularly bad spots. I used three tanks of water (with carpet cleaning solution and a scoop of Oxi-Clean added) and had to keep emptying the dirty water out of the reservoir, shuddering each time I did so, because the water coming out looked like mud. A lot – A LOT – of cat hair came up, even though I’d just vacuumed the computer room the day before, and the steam cleaner isn’t that good at picking up cat hair, so there were little clumps of cat hair left behind. I’ll be bringing the Dyson downstairs at some point today to vacuum those clumps up. When I was done with the steam cleaning, I was in despair. Because the carpet really didn’t look all that much better. But this morning when I came downstairs, and the sunlight was shining into the computer room, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the carpet actually looks approximately 63 times better than it did before I cleaned it. Next, I’d like to tackle the carpet at the top of the stairs, ’cause it’s gotten pretty grimy looking. Maybe I’ll get around to that in the next year or so. Or not. Who the hell knows with me? I think that after I save up the money for a new camera, I’m going to save up the money for a new steam cleaner.
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You know how skunks have that defense mechanism where if they feel threatened they spray out a big cloud of stink? Well if Sugarbutt feels any kind of emotion – joy, fear, curiosity, “put me DOWN!” – he releases a big cloud of stink. I think he might be half skunk. I woke up last night and he was laying on my arm with his butt pointed at me, and I felt great fear. I said “I do not enjoy having your buttocks pointed at me, young man” and thought about moving him, but I fell back asleep before I could move him – which in itself would have been a precarious proposition, since no doubt as soon as he woke up and realized he was being moved, he’d have released The Stink. This morning, Fred asked me “What was going on a 4:15 this morning?” “What do you mean?” I asked. “You flailed around and yelled ‘OW!’, and then a cat came flying off the bed.” Oh, that. It’s just that when Sugarbutt gets overcome with love, he feels the need to knead on my bare skin, and even though I keep his claws clipped, it still HURTS, and a girl can only take so much of that before she rebels. Doesn’t matter, though. He runs off, releasing The Stink behind him, and two minutes later he’s back on the bed looking for more love. I should make a joke about how he’s just like his Daddy, but I won’t. There’s nothin’ happier than a sleeping monkey. The Paintin’ Kitties. They only charge a pound of catnip an hour. It’s a STEAL! Also, they’ll help pick out room colors. “Little man, if you don’t stop moving, then I can’t groom you. And if I can’t groom you, I’ll bite you and make you cry. UNDERSTAND?”
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Previously 2004: I do love, love, love the gmail! 2003: No entry. 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: No entry. 1999: If you look closely at the picture, you’ll note that it’s very close to the color of bile. (Comments closed due to spammers)]]>

11/22/05

by @ Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005. Filed under Life

reading: Miss Julia’s School of Beauty, by Ann B. Ross. Miss Julia, would it kill you to admit that you enjoy a good hard boinking every once in a while? You’re a married woman; no one’s buying the horrified virgin act. Also, Ann B. Ross, can we cut the bullshit contrived situations that send Miss Julia into a flutter and detract from the main storyline? Love Miss Julia anyway, but damn she annoys me sometimes. That Sam is a saint. A SAINT, I SAY. Finished last night: Hide and Seek, by Clare Sambrook. Somehow I finished it, but bleh. I don’t recommend it. It was hard to focus my attention on the book, to be honest, and I was thrilled to finish the damn thing.

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The other day when I was cleaning out my desk, I came across my journal that spanned from the end of August 1994 to the end of December 1995. I spent about an hour reading it that night, and lord. GOOD LORD, the angst. The angst, and the constant anger (the journal starts when I was living with Debbie in Lisbon Falls, and then moved to Rhode Island). So without further delay, I present to you: Things I wrote ten years ago that either stand the test of time pretty well, or make me cringe. (The poetry – I’m sorry, I mean “Poetry” – pretty much universally makes me cringe.) 8/28/94: All you said was “Why?” and I didn’t know patches of sunlight warmed your eyes melted the coldness there you cried tears of ice and though I sobbed my cold-hearted smile burned your eyes I cringed in distaste at your pain and hated myself for it. 9/24/94: (I was taking several courses at USM in South Portland) I started school, and although I wanted to just drop the fuck out, I’m proud to say I’ve stuck with it. I’ve actually held conversations with REAL ADULTS, though I’ve had to fight the urge to follow them around like a puppy: “Will you be my buddy, my pal, my FRIEND?” I hope, eventually, to get involved with, like, the school paper, but right now I’m kind of paralyzed by intense shyness and indecision. 1/2/95: New Year’s Resolutions: To keep on top of issues in the news, To reduce clutter in my life, To read longer to Dani at night. Some pretty reasonable resolutions, in my opinion, though the “reduce clutter in my life” is a little vague. Let’s face facts: A certain amount of clutter will always be in my life. It’s in my aura. I’m not like one of those people who can fit all the important stuff in a duffle bag in ten minutes flat – I need STUFF. 1/3/95: I got my final back from [my English professor] the other day, and was extremely disappointed to find out that my parody of Lysistrata rated comments that basically amounted to “Well thought-out, but not detailed enough to prove that you have a f’n clue as to what the hell you’re talking about.” And he gave me 21 out of 25 points! Damn him – he must have a damn concrete block up his ass – I’ve NEVER known anyone with LESS of a sense of humor, I haaaaaaaate him!* *Let me add here that although the professor told us all what the topic of our final essay was going to be, I didn’t even CONSIDER thinking about what I was going to write until I sat down with the blue book and a pen and started writing. And I bitched about getting a 21 out of 25? What a brat. Heh. 1/6/95: If you asked me to cry for you lie for you die for you I would laugh great brays of heaving laughter right in your face If you wanted me to die for you, I would tell you to go fuck yourself DIE for you? Not hardly. You sure aren’t worth THAT. But I could manage a paper cut in the name of love Or even, possibly, a hot chocolate lip burn Maybe a mild case of nausea But that’s about it. (bad, bad, BAD, but it still made me laugh) 3/21/95: You’re born, you die, this is a guarantee. But what’s in between is open to definition. Some say it’s life. I think it’s just bullshit. (OH THE ANGST) 4/3/95: There’s this guy who calls, every three weeks or so, and he knows me by name, and once when I asked who it was, he said “someone who thinks you’re really hot” or something to that effect. And when he calls, I’m never expecting him to call, so I get so flustered that I end up hanging up on him. He always says “Do you wanna talk?” And I’m not sure just what he wants to talk about!* Liz’s take on the situation, which she proclaims long and loud for everyone to hear, is “Robyn has a secret admirer!” I hate it when she does that – I’m pretty sure she’s making fun of me, because who would secretly admire ME? *I have no recollection of this at ALL. I wonder who the hell it was? 9/5/95: Danielle starts first grade tomorrow, and I think – no, I KNOW – she’s really nervous. She’s bugging the hell out of me, asking 6,000 questions and just generally being bratty. If she had her way, I’m sure she’d love to have every single step of the way mapped out for her. Just like her mother!!! There’s going to be a lot for her to get used to, between going to school all day and probably being in a bigger class. I think she’s a little nervous about the hot lunch situation, too. I think I’m almost as nervous as she is! 9/15/95: Of all the souvenirs I passed out, of everything I handed to people of hardly any consequence, no importance in my life, what I regret most is that I gave all the pieces of my heart and soul to those who didn’t care, and kept nothing back for me. 9/26/05: Nothing you ever do – nothing you say – is ever just right. Everything is your fault. You do nothing right, she always says. Which makes me wonder – When you gave away your heart, did she also take your mind? 10/15/95: Your hands were always cold your voice always red-hot dripping with venom. Your love ran hot and cold but mostly it was lukewarm and undependable.
* * *
I suppose this is one way to spoon. Someone grab the garlic necklace and the wooden stake! We’ve got a vampire kitten to kill! “Bwahaha! I can SEE why everyone likes that Raymond guy. He’s FUNNY!” If you compare this picture to the one I took of her almost three weeks ago, you can tell that her upper lip has vastly improved. When it was all swollen, it almost looked like it was square, and now it’s back to a more natural rounded shape. It’d be nice if this was a permanent solution for her, but I’m not holding my breath.
* * *
Previously 2004: “Oh, my heart,” I moaned. 2003: This perpetually surprised look of Michael Jackson’s makes me laugh until I wheeze. 2002: “YES, JESUS CHRIST! I DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS GOING TO BE SUCH A FRIGGIN’ BIG DEAL!” I bellowed. “I NEEDED TO BE AT MY COMPUTER, BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE THE PHONE NUMBER WAS! JESUS!” 2001: No entry. 2000: I’ve visited Wal-Mart three times in the last five days. I think they’re about to name a parking space after me. 1999: F: In Michigan, you can take this bottle to the recycling center and get ten cents for it.]]>

11/21/05

by @ Monday, November 21st, 2005. Filed under Life

Best of Bitchypoo page up and running. Y’all take a look and if there are any entries you think should be on that page and aren’t, let me know, would you? Thanks.

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I’m seriously considering going through my foster kitties pictures and making a calendar over at Lulu.com for anyone who’s interested. Of course I’d donate any proceeds to the shelter. I’m also considering an And3rson Kitties calendar like I did last year. I have a huge number of pictures to go through, so it may take a few weeks to decide on which pictures to use. Just thought I’d mention that in case anyone might be interested. I’ll shoot to have them up and ready for purchase by December 1st, how’s that?
* * *
Currently reading: Hide and Seek, by Clare Sambrook. I’m not loving it, and the comparison (in the flyleaf) to The Deep End of the Ocean and The Lovely Bones is vastly overstating it, though I’m only about halfway through the book. Perhaps it’ll pick up a bit. Finished the other night: Rituals of the Season, by Margaret Maron. I was afraid, for some reason, that this book was going to have a cliffhanger since the wedding took place so close to the end, but – THANK GOD – there was no cliffhanger to be seen. I just love the hell out of Margaret Maron and Deborah Knott.
* * *
Saturday, I got a great big “WE HAVE TOO MUCH CRAP IN THIS HOUSE!” bug up my butt, and I spent a good part of the day bagging up stuff to donate or toss. Just under my sink in the bathroom, I came up with a grocery-store bag of stuff that I hadn’t used in ages and had no intention of ever using again. I did a great deal of decluttering in the living room (and discussed further decluttering possibilities with Fred), and even went through the books on my bookcase and pulled off a bunch that I know I’ll never read – for one, a set of Anne Rice books. Every time I contemplate reading those books, I get a “Good god, I DON’T WANNA!” sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, which to me is a sign that, y’know, I DON’T WANNA and YOU CAN’T MAKE ME. I bagged up a ton of stuff to donate to a local charity, and added a few things to my giveaway box. THEN I cleared out my desk, and I must say, I sure do tend to keep a ton of crap in my desk. I had another garbage full of stuff out of my desk, and when I was done with that, I called it a day as far as the decluttering goes. To the shock and awe of the entire Huntsville area, we actually went out to dinner Saturday night. We hardly ever go out to dinner but since we were going to take the spud to her friend’s house for a birthday party and sleepover and Fred couldn’t think of a way for her to get there without having to traverse the ultra-scary 565-Memorial Parkway interchange-of-doom AND because we are far too overprotective and never want her to do anything too scary (please, can we have her living at home ’til she’s 45? PLEASE?), Fred decided that we’d drop her off. And since we’d be out around dinnertime, we’d go out for dinner! We went to Shoney’s. Yeah, hold the snarky comments, we all like Shoney’s and that’s all that matters. Their onion rings are to die for. I’d even say that they’re better than Sonic onion rings. We dropped the spud off and came home to watch Coal Miner’s Daughter (“Stop yer growling, y’sound like a big ol’ bar!”) and the last hour or so of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which I don’t think I’d seen. That actress who plays Hermione is just cute as a button, isn’t she? Toward the end when Harry stabbed the big snake (okay, the BASILISK) and the snake reared up and did some over-dramatic weaving back and forth, I said “Okay, drama queen!”, and Fred laughed and said he’d been thinking the very same thing. Sunday was a more laid-back day of hanging around the house while Fred worked on painting one of the upstairs rooms. It came out well, and when the room is completely done, I’ll post before-and-after pictures. At one point I had to drive to South Huntsville and pick the spud up from her friend’s house, and it was nice to get out and drive in the sunny day. Altogether, I’d say it was a pretty good weekend. We’re having Thanksgiving at our house this year. Fred’s sister and her husband are in France for a few weeks and won’t be around, so it’s just going to be us, Fred’s mother, and his stepfather for dinner. It’ll be pretty low-key. I’m looking forward to having another brined turkey, and Fred’s going to make pecan squares, and of course there’ll be the usual side dishes. We’re looking forward to it. And did I mention that I have well over two-thirds of my Christmas shopping done? Woot!
* * *
We’ve started calling Tom Cullen “Tommy”, which I suppose is just a natural progression. Sugarbutt is occasionally “Shoogie”, but most of the time he’s just Sugarbutt. I’m sure their permanent nicknames won’t show up for another 6 months or so. “Why, yes. Yes we ARE bad.” Yin and yang. “Wazzuuuuuuuuuuuuup!” “Hey, Bob! BOB! What? Okay, whatever, ROBERT, come over here and smell this! I AM ROTTEN!” All of today’s uploaded pictures are here.
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Previously 2004: No entry. 2003: No entry. 2002: Fuck him, too. 2001: It don’t get any better than that, nosir. 2000: I see enough nasty stuff in my life. 1999: No entry.]]>

11/18/05

by @ Friday, November 18th, 2005. Filed under Life

reading: Rituals of the Season, by Margaret Maron. If my sister had any idea how long I’ve had this book and am just now getting around to reading it, she’d be horribly distressed. So, uh, I just got it! And I’ll be done with it in another day, Deb, so it’ll be on the way soon! Finished last night: Marrying Up, by Jackie Rose. Eh. I think I need to take a little time away from the Red Dress Ink books. I like most of them, but I’ve been bored by the last few I’ve read, so I’m thinking I’m burned out on them.

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Yesterday was a serious errand-running day. I got out of bed as soon as Fred left for work – well, okay, I snoozed for ten minutes longer and THEN rolled out of bed – because I had a 9:30 appointment and had some stuff I wanted to get done before I needed to leave for my appointment. I did laundry, cleaned the litter box, vacuumed in front of the laundry room (where the litter box is kept; the carpet in front of the laundry room gets a ton of litter tracked onto it in the course of a day), played with the kitties, took a shower, read for a little while, got dressed, blow-dried my hair, ran to the grocery store (we were in desperate need of toilet paper, Tide, AND contact solution), and posted yesterday’s entry before it was time to leave for my appointment. My appointment was at the dentists’ office, because remember that bite plate I got 10 months ago to wear at night so I wouldn’t grind my teeth down into little bitty nubs? Yeah, I chewed a couple of small holes in it, and then the side cracked almost all the way off.
Apparently I’ve got the Jaws of Doom. Anyway, I called the dentist’s office and said “I chewed a couple of holes through my bite plate and then the side cracked almost all the way off. Please tell me it’s under warranty or something.” The woman I spoke to suggested that I come in so they could take a look at it and decide what needed to be done. Probably they thought they’d be able to just patch it, but when I went in this morning, the hygienist took one look at it and said “Yeah, I think you’re going to need another one.” She wandered off and came back about 15 minutes later to tell me that she was going to take impressions of my upper and lower teeth, and that they were going to have another bite plate made of stronger material (I didn’t ask if it was titanium, but you KNOW no mere plastic is going to hold back the Jaws of Doom). Aaaaanyway, the new bite plate should be back in a week or two and there was no mention made of money owed, so I’m assuming they’re doing it for free, since they always require payment up front for that sort of thing. I ended up being in the dentist’s office for about half an hour, and when I left there I headed directly for the gas station, because the air in my tires was low, and after I harassed Fred to get me a tire pressure gauge and then call the dealership to see what the PSI in my tires was supposed to be (32 – 34 PSI, and all tires were in the mid-20s), I’d decided it was time to actually get my ass in gear, be a grownup, and put air in my tires. I had to go to three different gas stations to find a working air compressor, and when I finally found one that worked, I had to stand out in the extremely breezy 40-degree COLD and fill all four of the tires. But now they’re at the correct pressure, and I can actually tell the difference when I’m driving the car. I ran home to grab a couple of packages I needed to mail, went to the grocery store to pick up a prescription, and headed out to the cat shelter so I could fill out the paperwork to officially adopt Sugarbutt (and it amuses me, for some reason, that six years ago this week I was dithering over whether to adopt Miz Poo). I hung out there for 20 minutes or so, petting little kittens and making conversation with the shelter manager, then headed back for Madison. Once back in Madison, I went to the post office, dropped off the packages, checked the PO Box (nothin’!), and finally went home, settled down in front of the computer, and had lunch. It wasn’t until 2:30ish that I realized I hadn’t seen either Sugarbutt or Tom Cullen since early that morning. I figured they were just hanging out upstairs because it’s warmer up there (did I mention 40 degrees yesterday? Brrrr!), but when I actually got upstairs to check, I found that they’d managed to shut themselves in the kitten room. I have no idea how long they were in there, but when I let them out, Sugarbutt almost fell over, he was so happy to be free. And then they both headed directly for the food and water, and shortly after for the litter box. So then I went downstairs and watched Lost (I swear, half that show goes directly over my head, but I love it anyway), and that was about all the excitement I could stand for the day. Today, I think I’ll do… NOTHIN’. Just ’cause I can.
* * *
Confession: When I’m holding one of the kittens and they fart on me, I have a tendency to sing “Farty farty had a party and no one came but farty farty.” And those little brats fart a LOT. “How YOU doin’?” I think Mister Boogers thinks he’s Sugarbutt’s Momma. He’s always grooming him like crazy. “Okay, someone distract her and I’ll break the window and set us all free!” I don’t know which kills me more – the happy look on his face, or the little pink toes. “Rawwwwwwwwwwwr!” If only we could find a happy cat, instead of this terribly sad one… “Charles in charge of our DAYS and our NIGHTS! Charles in charge of our WRONGS and our RIGHTS! And I sing, I want, I waaaaaaaant Charles in Chaaaaaaaaaaarge of meeeeeeeeee!” All of today’s uploaded pictures (there are a ton today) are here.
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Previously 2004: Reader questions. 2003: Of course, my immediate response is “Are you on drugs???” 2002: I think that everyone there had a little cartoon question mark over their head, ’cause I sure as shit did. 2001: No entry. 2000: No entry. 1999: No entry.]]>

11/17/05

by @ Thursday, November 17th, 2005. Filed under Life

reading: Marrying up, by Jackie Rose. Finished (finally!): Everyone Worth Knowing, by Lauren Weisberger. Not a bad book, though it dragged at times. I feel like I know far too much about the PR world now. I suspect, being not in “the know” about the ins and outs of NY celebs and the PR world, there were things that went right over my head. Speaking of Lauren Weisberger, they’re filming The Devil Wears Prada, and rumor has it that Anna Wintour (the “devil” of the title, in case you didn’t know) is threatening to blacklist any designers who appear in the film. I’m so very relieved that my life is such that I don’t have to give a shit about what Anna Wintour says or does. In fact, I don’t think I could pick the woman out of a lineup, and I’m not sad about that at all. Vogue bores me, which I suspect shocks you all, since I’m such a fashion trend-setter. Cat hair on the seat of your pants! It’s the Next Big Thing! You heard it here first.

* * *
I knocked out a huge amount of Christmas shopping while I was sitting in front of my computer freezing to death yesterday, waiting for the guys to finish replacing the windows and leave. I came up with an excellent gift idea for several family members, and I only regret that I can’t say what it is, ’cause it would ruin their Christmas (DEBBIE, I’m lookin’ at you!). I certainly spent some time patting myself on the back after I thought of it, though. We’ve only got five or six family members left to buy for, and unless there’s something I’m not thinking of, I’m probably not going to have to actually go shopping for ANYTHING this year, because everything’s available online. I love the internet. LOVE IT. I’m sure that in a few weeks I’ll be bitching about Amazon being slow to ship stuff, though. I always do! By the way, if you prefer to put gifts in gift boxes rather than wrap them (I wrapped so many freakin’ gift cards last year that I swore I’d never do it again), Oriental Trading has some pretty good boxes and bags for an amazing price. Also, this is a very cool idea. You buy a Charity Gift Card for someone, give it to them, and they get to decide what charity the money goes to. I wish I’d seen that before I got all that shopping done!
* * *
The spud finally got her Homecoming pictures back last week:
That’s apparently not the background she picked out, but it came out pretty nice anyway. Probably by the time she’s showing her Homecoming picture to her kids, they’ll be impressed by the psychedelic-ness of it.
* * *
So every few months, we get spam (snail mail spam, as opposed to email spam) from this woman who used to work with Fred. She also used to live in our subdivision, and I talked to her once or twice when I used to walk outside for exercise. In other words, we barely know the woman. Anyway, she got a job with some investment place, and she sends us these cards reminding us that she exists and that she’s doing investment counseling, and if we need any kind of investing advice, we should for sure come see her! I want to write a letter along the lines of: Dear Callie: Thank you so much for your continuing junk mail spree. I can assure you that we are aware that you exist, that you are working as an investment counselor, and that you are chomping at the bit to give us investing advice, for which you would then surely charge an exorbitant amount of money. The thing is, Callie, that at the age of 37 I’ve learned that if someone comes to you and wants to have anything to do with your money, that is the exact person you should avoid. I’d never take investment advice from someone who came and knocked on my front door, just like I’d never take investment advice from someone I don’t know, who works at a company I’ve never heard of. Further, Callie, I note that your attention to detail is somewhat lacking. Now, people spell my name wrong all the time; I’ve come to accept it and most of the time I hardly even notice it unless they spell it in an interesting way – ie, “Robbyne”. You not only spelled my name incorrectly – it’s “Robyn”, not “Robin”, just for the record – but you attempted to send the card to an address that doesn’t exist on this street. It’s only because our mailman knows who we are that we received your card at all. If you are unable to spell the names of potential clients correctly AND manage to get their address wrong, what on earth makes you think we’d let you anywhere near the money we’ll be living off when we’re old and gray? Just a thought. Of course, I won’t. Because it’s much more fun to mock her behind her back on the internet!
* * *
And speaking of mocking someone behind her back on the internet, last week I posted an entry over at the Tater about Margu3rite P3rrin (the “God Warrior” from last week’s Trading Spouses), calling her “batshit” at the end of the post. Yesterday afternoon someone claiming to be her left a message and phone number, saying if I wanted to call her so she could “set the record straight”, she’d welcome the call. I have no idea if it was truly her, or just someone trying to cause the harassment of her, but the ip address resolved to her part of the world, and the phone number – when Googled – resolved to her name. Not that it matters, anyway, ’cause I for sure wasn’t going to call her. I mean, seriously – I’ve known Nance for years and still won’t talk to her on the phone (see: phone phobia), I’m going to call the crazy God Warrior lady? I think not. I feel a little bad, though. I certainly wouldn’t have talked about how the God Warrior lady was batshit if I’d known she’d end up reading it. (She is, though. Batshit, I mean.)
* * *
People, PAY ATTENTION. YES, we’re keeping Sugarbutt. I made that announcement more than a week ago. And I even gave Sugarbutt his own page on the And3rson kitties page. “Is there someone in the KITCHEN?!” Every night at snack time (7:00), they gather in the kitchen and howl for their snack. They get VERY excited at the thought of snack time. Who’d’ve thought that sharing a packet of Whiskas Tender Bites would make them so happy? Sometimes I make Sugarbutt dance for his food. Dance, monkey, dance!
* * *
Previously 2004: Do you suppose that cats realize that when we kiss them, it’s a sign of affection? 2003: NAS-TAY. 2002: No entry. 2001: No entry. 2000: Thanks, y’all, for your emails regarding hamster sex. 1999: So, I didn’t get the kitten.]]>

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