Thank you to everyone who’s donated so far – I have more than $400 in my PayPal account; I can’t wait to write that check to the shelter! The rest of you – get to donating! Whatcha waiting for?

* * *
While I’m thanking people, I’d like to thank Vix again, who helped me with a super-secret project, and rocked at it.
* * *
There’s this guy Fred knows named Tim Thompson. Everything Tim does turns immediately and irrevocably to shit. When we have bad days where everything goes wrong, we refer to it as a “Tim Thompson day.” Sunday was a Tim Thompson day for me. First, I had to paint. And I don’t like to paint. Painting makes me make this face:
I hate painting
I’m not a good painter, I hate painting, it bores the shit out of me. Fred is a fast painter, he’s a good painter, and he’s allllllllways trying to get me to paint. Before we bought this house I had never painted anything, ever, and since we’ve bought the house I’ve painted more than I ever want to paint again in my life. So Sunday morning I began painting the trim in the stairway. To me, the paint job I did looked like crap, but Fred told me it looked perfectly fine (a lie, I’m sure -he probably went back over and fixed it). Then Fred decided I was in the way, sitting on the stairs and painting, so I went upstairs and worked on the trim in the hallway. There are pictures of the finished hallway and stairs here, by the way. After lunch I was released from my painting duties to go outside, where I really fucked up. I’d spent Friday afternoon raking the side yard and I thought I could just run over the leaves with the riding lawnmower, pick them up in the grasscatcher and then dump them in the mulch pile we’ve started. Running over the leaves didn’t do much but crunch them up and toss them all over the yard, so I raked them back into a pile, and on Sunday I used a shovel to shovel the leaves into the grasscatcher and then hauled them to the mulch pile. That went okay, and then I decided to run over the pile of leaves behind the shed. First, I ran over some huge metal thing with the riding lawnmower. Didn’t hurt the mower, but scared the shit out of me. I pulled it – whatever the hell it was, some big metal ring – out of the ground and tossed it on the trash pile. Then I started running over the pile of leaves, and about went deaf from the sound of twigs and gumballs hitting the metal underneath of the mower. At one point a gumball hit the side of the shed and bounced up, hitting me in the cheek. Could have been worse, I suppose. It could have hit me in the eye. After a few trips back and forth across the pile of leaves, I hopped off the mower to look in the grasscatchers to see if they were full. They weren’t full – in fact, there was nothing in either of them. I pulled the tube thingy off the side and found that it was crammed full with crunched up leaves and grass, and who the hell knows what. I called Fred on his cell phone and asked him to come out and help me. He did – bless his heart; he had to climb down off his tall-ass ladder and come outside to help his fuckup of a wife – and then I shoveled the rest of the pile into the grasscatchers and hauled the whole mess out to the mulch pile. After that, I decided it was time to work on clearing the ditch. There’s a ditch on the boundary between our property and the church’s property next door. It had gotten very overgrown and full of trash and weeds, and I wanted to get it cleared from the street to the point where there’s a fence post even with the side of the shed. I had cleared a good part of the ditch with the riding lawnmower and the chainsaw, but my extension cord would only reach so far and Fred needed his extension cord on Friday, so I couldn’t use it to work on the weeds and shrubs near the road.
The ditch This is the ditch. This picture doesn’t properly illustrate just how much brush and crap there is to clear away from the ten feet of the ditch leading up to the culvert.
On Sunday Fred didn’t need his extension cord so I could add his to mine and work on the part of the ditch nearing the road. I dragged the extension cords, my chainsaw, and my hedge trimmer out to the ditch. The hedge trimmer did a pretty good job of chopping down the weeds that had grown, and I got about two feet of the ditch cleared when suddenly the hedge trimmer stopped working and I didn’t know why. I unplugged and re-plugged the trimmer. Nothing. So I decided, okay. Maybe I ran the hedge trimmer for too long at one stretch and it was overheated and needed a rest. So I’ll use the chainsaw instead, right? I got the chainsaw and plugged it in and… nada. Nothing. Wouldn’t work at all. I stood in one place and swore up a storm (quietly, though – I didn’t want the people in the church parking lot to hear me, it being Sunday and they being Of God and all that shit), trying to figure out what was going on. I went into the shed and checked to see if the extension cord in there was plugged in. It was. I followed the cord to the end to see if the light on the other end was on, and it was. I went back to the chainsaw to try it again, and it didn’t work. And then I glanced down at the second extension cord and saw. I had cut through the goddamn motherfucking extension cord. I CUT THROUGH THE GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING EXTENSION CORD.
Cut wire
“You,” I told myself. “Are a goddamn motherfucking idiot.” I grabbed the now-useless extension cord and carried it around to the trash pile. “What a fucking idiot,” I said to the extension cord. “I’m sorry you’re DEAD and USELESS because I’m a goddamn idiot.” It seemed to have no opinion on the subject. I put the hedge trimmer in the shed and decided to use the chainsaw to cut down some of the bushes around the fencepost. I had cut down three fairly big bushes when I accidentally hit the fencepost with the chainsaw and the chain came off. “Oh, GODDAMN!” I said, louder than I’d intended. Luckily, there were no Of God people in the church parking lot, so no one was around to hear my blasphemy. And then I muttered a litany of very bad words under my breath as I put the chainsaw on the porch and stomped inside the house.
Chain came off the chainsaw
“I give up!” I yelled at Fred. “I fucking GIVE UP!” Fred put down his paint brush and followed me into the kitchen. “What happened?” he asked. “I’m such a GODDAMN FUCKUP! I quit! The house wins! You WIN, you stupid house! I give up! Let’s sell this fucking house and buy a soulless McMansion on three feet of lawn in the heart of goddamn Yuppieville!” “What happened?” Fred said again. “I CUT THROUGH THE GODDAMN EXTENSION CORD AND THEN I MADE THE CHAIN COME OFF THE CHAINSAW!” There was a long silence. Fred stared contemplatively at the ceiling. His lips twitched. When he spoke, his voice sounded very strained. “You cut through… the extension…cord,” he said. “YES.” I sent hate rays directly into his brain and was surprised that he didn’t immediately fall over dead. “You cut through… the extension cord,” he repeated. “YES.” “HOW did you… cut through the extension cord?” he asked, covering his mouth as if I couldn’t see his shit-eating grin. “I DON’T KNOW,” I snarled. And he lost it, falling over onto the counter and laughing loudly, the fucker. “Do you want me to fix the chain on your chainsaw?” he offered. “NO,” I bellowed. “I want to SELL this goddamn house and buy a MCMANSION in the HEART of YUPPIEVILLE!” “Oh Bessie,” Fred said comfortingly. “You’re just having a Tim Thompson day.” I looked at the clock to see if I could possibly push for going home early, but it was only 2:00 and I knew Fred would never go for it. “I suppose I’ll go mow the lawn,” I said grudgingly. I went out and started the lawnmower, and began a circle around the side lawn. When I’d made two trips around I stopped to see if the grasscatchers were full. There was nothing in the grasscatchers. “OH COME ON!” I yelled. “What the FUCK?” I pulled the tube thingy off at the bottom and found that it was crammed full of grass and leaves. I pulled all the crap blocking up the tube out and then tried to put the tube back in place. I had no luck. “Oh, I GIVE UP!” I yelled, and stomped back into the house. Fred was standing on the stairs, painting. “Where do you want me to paint?” I asked in a low kill me now voice. After some prodding, I told him that the grasscatcher wasn’t working. “Was it ever working?” he asked. “Yes, I mowed around the tree near the mulch pile and it worked fine, so I emptied them and went and I -” here the link between my brain and my tongue went down for a moment and I mixed “did” and “do” – “I do’d two trips around the yard and there was nothing in the grasscatchers!” “You do’d two trips, huh?” Fred said, and laughed. “I’m going to throw something at you,” I threatened. In the end, he dragged me outside, pulled the crap out of the tube, fixed it back where it was supposed to go, and took two trips around the yard on the lawnmower. “Now I do’d two trips around the yard!” he said, grinning. So I killed him and buried his body in the back forty. “It stopped spitting grass into the grasscatcher about halfway through your first trip,” I told him. He cleared it out again, raised the blade a couple of inches, and this time when he made a trip around the yard, everything worked just fine. And that was the end of my Tim Thompson day. I mowed the front and side yards, which took a little more than an hour, and when I went back inside Fred was mostly done with the stairs. I did a little cleaning up, waited for Fred to take his pictures, put some canned food on a plate for Maxi and Newt (what? We can’t let them STARVE!), and then we came home. I love this house and I’m excited about it still, but I could do with a few more victories and a few less fuckups on my part. On the up side, it’s entirely possible that we could be done with the inside of the house by the end of the year, or shortly thereafter!
* * *
The other things I did over the weekend:
Switch before Switch during Began switching out switches. Naturally I didn’t get an “after” picture of the process. Door before Door after Put the doorknob mechanism back on the door with NO HELP WHATSOEVER. Am clearly genius. Crown Molding Painted crown molding. And then Fred and the paint guy he had come out to the house MOCKED MY PAINT JOB. Fuckers. Black Gum Tree Took a trip around the back forty several times. The leaves, they are a-changin’. Praying Mantis 1 Spotted a praying mantis – the first praying mantis I’ve ever seen as an adult. We’d see them in Guam all the time, but I hadn’t seen any since. This one looked at me like she wanted to leap at my face and suck my brains out through my eyeballs. Stinkbug Spotted a strange bug. Fred called it a “stinkbug.” Dead wasp in candle Bought a candle and put it on the mantle. When I went to blow it out as we were leaving, I saw a wasp floating around in the melted wax. I found it both creepy and mesmerizing. Check out the full-sized version. Newt lurrrrrves his Momma.   LURVES her.   We’re going to have to start calling her “Missus Boogers” if she keeps giving us these looks.   No dignity at ALL.     Wasps And lastly, swept up dead wasps. It was a slow weekend for wasps.
All of today’s uploaded pictures are here.
* * *
Previously 2005: Senator Stanley J. Boogerton. 2004: No entry. 2003: So I’m not reporting that. At all. Never happened! 2002: Riley’s response? “Nuh uh!” 2001: Dr. Phil looked at me judgmentally, and I began to babble. 2000: And I don’t even like cherry Poptarts! 1999: Fred has agreed to let me adopt the kitten! ]]>