Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Taking a Break

I'm gonna take a little bloggy vacation. I don't do this often, but I'm not in the mood to try to explain what I meant in posts when my point is missed, and the fact that I have to explain means that I'm not communicating well enough to begin with.

I'm stressed. My chest hurts off and on most days. I'm depressed much of the time. I want to send Leo's dental bills to his parents so they can see how much they fucked up his life with the way they raised him, in even the most mundane ways like ignoring his health, which in turn gave him such a high self-worth that he didn't find it necessary to brush is teeth every day for 20 years. And we have to pay exhorbitant amounts now in order to make up for it all. And he invited them to our house for Christmas this year. Goody. (To be fair, I love his mother to death. I think she made poor decisions when he was growing up, but I don't think that was entirely her fault. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to have been in her shoes. BUT! She still stood by and let her husband treat her children like shit. That is a painful reality that I wish just hadn't occurred.)

I'm having a hard time reconciling my emotions with much of the stress that I'm encountering every day, and it's affecting everything, from my emotional outbursts at home, to the way I want to respond to people asking for time in a weekly staff meeting my team has, to how I'm able to deal with the construction project right now.

My body is ballooning before my eyes, and while I'm doing everything I can fitness-wise (well, just about, anyway), I still sabotage with food. Which I'm fully aware of. And yet I still do nothing about it.

Basically, I'm a mess. And hashing it out here isn't helping. So I'll be back next week, I hope.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I know of one person that will be interested in this...

I think Heather is one of the more outspoken local bloggers when it comes to the extreme disasters that ABC goes around building for their t.v. show "Extreme Home Makeover", and which they've come to the KC area for around 3 times in the last 5 years, as I recall.

I think that show is a load of crap. Yes, they sometimes find worthy and wonderful families in great need of help, but even those families are left with a house they probably can't afford, and have to turn to hand-outs for help on keeping up with monetarily. And lots of times, they're given to families that aren't worthy at all. Here's the info Heather found out about the last family that received a house fro ABC in our area. Enlightening, to say the least!

Anyway, just caught wind of one of the latest falls to happen in relation to a house that ABC built. Foreclosure. House is being sold on the local county courthouse steps in a week. Gotta love it!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hi!

Nothing happened over the weekend. I have no ideas for what to write about, so I'm leaving this space as blank as it needs to be today.

Well, ok...quick update on the contractor deal: I've called him out on trying to charge us more than what is stated in our contract. He says that amount was wrong, and it got messed up because of a software issue. But we both know that doesn't matter, because it says specifcally in the contract, "Contract not to exceed bid sheet." And the first bid sheet I received had the same amount on it as was in the contract.

Unfortunately for him, this means he won't make money on this project at all. I've told him that I hope everything will work out for both of us in the end, but to be clear, he did tell us when we first met that he could do our addition for $100/square foot. As it is, the contracted amount is almost twice that. One of the reasons we chose to work with him was because he said he could do it for the $100/square foot. So, yeah...tough deal for both of us, I think.

That's about it. No ranting over the weekend...no raving either. Well, actually there was a little bit of ranting over feeling particularly bloated and icky, but no one needs to hear that, I'm sure. So there ya have it. Bye!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hmm..not so much!

There's this woman that parks in my parking structure that I get behind every now and then, and her license plate drive me nuts. It says "CR8TIVE" on it.

Doesn't that spell out "crative"? Am I wrong there? That's what I read. So, really, I guess she isn't as "creative" as she thinks she is. Because, yeah...the creativeness on that kinda falls flat.

She shoulda skipped the "e" on the end, and spelled it "KRE8TIV" or something. See, THAT works.

Dumb people make me sad. What's even more sad? She probly makes more money than me. ::sigh::

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Coming into shape...

We had drywall installed starting last Friday. Yesterday, they finished the mudding. Today, they are sanding everything down. And I'm so, sooo glad that Leo gets home 2 hours before I do! It's become his regular routine to go home and clean things up from the area we're living in right now. It's all still a big mess, but it gets a lot of the dust and big pieces of mud and stuff leftover off the floor.

Here's the doorway into the new addition from our master bedroom...
And this has been hard to explain, and show until now. And even these pictures don't show it well, but I'm trying! The extra little space we gained in the 3rd bedroom/our office. A 2' x 2' "nook" that had to go in, thanks to the overlap of the addition on the room itself. (We could have made the addition a narrower space, but it wouldn't have worked as well as it does as it does with the extra 2 feet we were able to get this way...) This is the nook...
Here's a picture I tried to take from outside the room in the hallway...but the light coming in from the window kinda fucks with the flash. I tried!
Here's our shower...I sure hope we don't get any bigger than we are! The opening to the shower looks narrow to me, for some reason. But inside the shower...that's HUGE! Yay!
This is the famous window wall, as I call it. It's costing me a fortune, so I'm glad it's turning out to please me as much as it is. Mutherfucking expensive contractors, with their costs to remove siding, cut holes, and put in 'extra' drywall, and shit...GAH!
The contractor and I have gotten past our main issues, for now. I had the 3rd bedroom inspected yesterday, and there was no moisture present in the sheetrock, or in the insulation and joists above the sheetrock in the attic. We didn't test for mold, as I saw no point. I told my contractor to move forward with his plans (either to cover the stains with Kilz and paint, or to replace if absolutely necessary), and then I got very serious with him about other issues we need to cover. Like the siding on the house.

It seems this guy simply doesn't understand that we need money left over in our savings for things like emergencies...and landscaping. And we haven't even discussed the pricing on refinishing the wood floors in the house! That's disappointing to me, because I'm honestly afraid it will eat up a good amount of what little we have left in savings. ::sigh!:: We really need them refinished, especially now that we've had construction going on. Oh well...

He told me that if we need financing options for the additional amount it will cost to side the house, then I need to talk to the bank I have my home loan through. I told him right back that adding on to our home loan is most certainly NOT an option. And then I told him to go ahead with the plan for the heavy gauge vinyl. But I need to get an estimate for the costs that we will NOT exceed in the process. Because if I'm planning on spending, say, $7500 for this (originally budgeted $3500 for the siding), and then come to find out it will actually cost me $8000 or $8500, I'm dead. Dead in the water. CANNOT do it. And I don't think it's much to ask for a specific number, you know? His little comments like, "For about $4,000 more (maybe a little over that but not much)..." will NOT work for me, ok? I've cried all the tears I wanna cry over this deal. I'm DONE!

Anyway, I'll keep everyone posted. And hopefully have some pictures of tile, or something, in the next week. I think that's what happens next! Not sure, really. Do they paint, and then tile? I dunno. We'll see!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Metering the Site

This is not a topic that is particularly close to my heart. Not a big deal to me. Not something I usually pay attention to.

But lately, other bloggers have been posturing as to the importance of their existence, as well as to mine and theirs and other peoples’. So I thought it might be fun to post my opinion on the matter.

Cupcakes!

Ok, ok…not really. I was kidding when I posted my comment on XO’s post, because if I really got cupcakes for doing what I do out here, do ya think I’d tell you guys about it? Hell no! They’d be mine! ALL MINE!!!

Satyavati said it perfectly in those comments, IMO. If I didn’t blog, my head would explode. Before I blogged, I wrote random “essays,” I guess you might call them, in Word on whatever computer I happened to be on at the time. Then I started reading blogs for fun when the term leaked into my state of conscience back in 2004, and the rest is history.

Admittedly, back in 2006 when our local weekly gave me the award for being the Best Blog About Real Life, I felt pretty damned good. We were out to dinner, and I was feeling a bit low about something or another, and Leo told me the news as we sipped our first margarita. I jumped up and down in my seat! He went to the front door of the restaurant that happened to have a Pitch dispensary, or whatever they are, and we searched through it to find the page I was mentioned on. And there it was! In all it’s glory! It was nice.

But it wasn’t the end-all-be-all for my writing “career” for heaven’s sake.

For the record, because apparently there is some relative interest in this subject right now, here is the tracking I have of page visits and views over the past 12 months:


I haven’t been tracking it for all that long, that I can recall…and it’s something I don’t pay that much attention to, because it doesn’t matter to me. And to be honest, I don’t understand it all that well either. The difference between a visit and a page view, and what counts as a visit or a page view, and what does it all mean when it comes to someone finding me via a link from another blog, or from a google search, and is it good that I had over 5,000 page views in the month of April, etc, etc…BAH! Don’t. Care. (And Sitemeter is what I use to track shit. Not some random, “Your blog is THIS popular!” website…)

I’m not out here to earn money from advertising, or to get famous, or to be discovered in any way. Other than as a break during the day for people who like to read me. If people like reading, and they wanna come back because they like reading, that’s just peachy.

Sometimes, it’s about just getting it out of our head. That’s all. I like it that way…

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

First thing first...

We will not be attending the blogger meet-up tonight at Tarahumara, unfortunately. Not only do we need to watch our money, but also our asses. I love you guys, but the better way for me to attend one of those functions is far, far away from chips and salsa on a table, and in a place where we can get a couple of beers that are on special, and then head home to make dinner as usual. Hopefully next month will work out? We'll see...

Puppies!

I thought it might be time for some updated puppy photos, because things have been glum and upsetting and downright sad around here lately, so I'm sharin'.

Izzy doing yoga...
Izzy also likes to lick the bed whenever she gets the chance. It solidifies it's existence to her. And also makes it her bitch. (Jake does not understand her reasoning. He licks the bed because it tastes good, and usually is the precurser to him biting the bed.)
I took this shot a while ago, but can't remember if I shared it or not. Izzy used to have to eat on the ottoman, because Jake would eat anything and everything he could get his mouth on when he moved in. This was our way of teaching him that this food was off-limits to him. It worked, for the most part. But one night, Leo placed it a little too close to the center of the ottoman, and this was the best angle Iz could get in order to eat from the bowl.
The other night, Jake had the squeak kitteh in his mouth, and every time he moved his head back and forth, it would wiggle from side to side in a way that made me laugh. Here he was staring at Iz across the room, taunting her with the squeak kitteh. He says, "Just try and get my squeak kitteh [which, incidentally, was Izzy's before he moved in], bitch. Mwahahahaha..."
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! (Not on the beeed, you bastids! GAH!)
Izzy has left...Jake wonders if he should attack dad's elbow in her absence. NOM!
I love my puppies. I want them to live forever! (As long as Jake stops shitting on the floor by the front door in the middle of the night, dammit! If he doesn't stop, then I want him to only live to be, like, 12, or something...)

Monday, July 21, 2008

No title comes to mind, except maybe oh, BITE ME.

I'm seething right now. Actually, full-on seething. (Wait...lemme look that up to be sure. Yep! That's definitely what I'm doing!) If weren't at work, I would be screaming. Possibly crying. Both at the same time would be likely.

They installed the drywall over the weekend and plan on taping and mudding today. When I went in to take pictures and see the new walls, I noticed that they, for some reason, replaced about 4 feet of the ceiling in the master bedroom, where we had a little bit of water damage back when we were putting the new roof on, and a rainstorm moved in, but it wasn't 4 feet worth of damage!

The room that needs half of the ceiling replaced is the smaller bedroom next to the master, which we use as our office. See?

I called my contractor on Saturday afternoon to let him know that it apeared as though a mistake had been made, and the sheetrockers replaced a bunch of ceiling that didn't need to be replaced, ignoring the ceiling that DID need replacing. Either that, or I was unaware of the decision not to replace the sheetrck for the ceiling in the room where the real damage had occurred.

Instead of calling me to let me know what was up, he sent me an email:
"we are not going to pull out the sheetrock from bedroom #2. We have inspected it and it has been water stain damaged. We will seal that at painting and then paint it again. For the record, i pulled out some rock from the old master that was also stained, and there was nothing wrong with it either, just stain damaged."

I tried to be civil in my response back, and said this:
"The ceiling is bowed from the damage. I can’t imagine that sealing it and painting over it will actually cover that stain! Why not save time later, since if that stain shows through, I will insist on it being replaced, and just replace it now?

I honestly have a hard time with that bad of damage being done to my house, where I have to live for the next several years, and it not being taken care of properly. I’m very upset about this, [contractor].

Thanks for getting back to me. Talk to you later."

He just responded. Let's see what he said!
"if the sheetrock has pulled away from the framing, we will re-think this issue. replacing the rock will potentially cause more problems than it will solve. we also noticed that there is some bowing of the sheetrock in the master, but after exposing the framing in the roof, it was not caused by the sheetrock at all but by the rood [wood?] trusses (50 years, and some settling does occur.). i'll look at the other sheetrock again and see what needs to be done. i'm simply saying we won't pull out sheetrock if it does not need to be swapped."

Ok, so he's being reasonable. To an extent. If he knew that I am shaking - shaking - right now over this maybe he'd reconsider the decision even faster.

I can't believe this is an issue that needs to be discussed. There is no way paint will cover that stain. He's nuts.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Day at the Park

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be able to join a team of coworkers on their "team-builder" trip to a T-Bones game. I kind of invited myself along...they invited my boss when they were making the plans, but since he's going on vacation for the next 2 weeks, I knew he'd definitely not have time to go to a baseball game for 4 hours in the middle of the day. So I said, "I'll be [boss] for the day!" And they wound up inviting me along.

I don't have any chances to join team-builder opportunities usually, since I'm not on a team (me and my boss are "the team" at my level...so a team-builder for just the two of us could be awkward I think), so it was nice to be able to tag along.

This was also my first trip to a T-Bones game. It was fun. A little boring toward the end, since we were kicking the other team's ass 11 - 0 by the time the 7th inning rolled around (and we wund up winning 15 - 0), but still a nice day to get out of the office. It wasn't super-hot, and we were lucky to get seats in the shade. I took a picture of the stadium with my cell...

It was more crowded on our side, because of the shade thing. Still, not a bad crowd for an 11 a.m. game mid-week. Here's where we were in relation to home plate:
We were in the 10th row above our home team's duggout. This is the field itself:
It was nice, really. And the peoplewatching, as usual, was stellar! I tried to get a better picure of this woman, I really did. She was fun! Her jeans didn't fit, so her belly was hanging over the top of them, and she appeared to need a larger bra as well, since you could see through her wife-beaterish tank that her ample bosom were not all that well wrangled under there:
What I wouldn't give for a zoom function on my phone's camera! GAH!

Anyway, I'm not usually one to bag on jeans not fitting, particularly when it comes to women who have had babies recently, which this woman apparently had. (She had what I would guess was a 9 month old with her, along with 2 other kids, and her husband.) But, dammit, if you're belly is gonna hang over the top of them, at least get yourself into a more fitting top to be able to disguise the issue! I was so pissed I couldn't get a picture of the belly...it disappointed me greatly.

And then, THEN, when she would bend over or just go to sit down? Her underwear was totally showing.

She was my favorite. Might've been another reason the game got kinda boring, since her little family left during the 6th inning. They had seats in a sunny row.

I totally forgot to bring my sunscreen with me, so I was really happy that we were in the shade. But imagine my surprise when I noticed, about an hour after getting back to the office, that I had gotten burned on my chest and my upper arms! Did the sun reflect off the white trash and hit me without me noticing? Damn!

Anyway, it was a fun day. I liked that park, and plan on going to more games there next year. If for no other reason than some great peoplewatching...I'll make sure to take a real camera next time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Let's get this done with, I have places to go...

Ok, so season 5 of Project Runway started last night.

First of all, why does it seem like there are 50 gazillion contestants this time around? They kept introducing them, and introducing them, and it went on and on...weirdness.

What's even weirder? That this guy who doesn't know that short-pants went out in around 1855 is actually a designer of some sort. Given, he's only 23, but still...blech to his legs! Slap some jeans on those babies!
And then there was Stella. She's...cool??? I dunno. Here she is wearing a pair of undies that lace up over a pair of pants she must have gotten that last time she was in jail, or something...

Depending on who you are, it's either too bad or very lucky that I was unable to find a rear-view shot of her from the show last night. ::shudders::

She apparently didn't know that if she was planning on using plastic trash bags as a fabric, then she needed to look for something better than a 1-ply, and I cannot believe she didn't go home after sitting and balking at her bad "luck" for most of the time she had to devote to the challenge, and then pulling together what she did. It was awful.


Anyway, I'll be out for most of the day today, pretending to be my boss at a team builder activity he was invited to, but was unable to attend, because I scheduled a bunch of meetings for him to attend instead so I could go. Mwahahahahaha! Seriously, though, I never get to go on any team builders, and I don't think it's very fair. So I picked a fun one to attend...we're going to a T-Bones game. Woo!

See y'all tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Name brand vs. Store brand. Fight, fight, fight, fight!!!!

Leo and I are living on a really tight budget right now. Besides the fact that our new mortgage (which is $250 higher than it used to be…) kicked in this month, we’re dealing with a dwindling savings account thanks to the construction, as well as normal expenses we always incur throughout the year, like doctors appointments, puppy daycare (which will not be as prolific once the construction is done, lemme tell ya!), etc, etc…

So shopping for food has been interesting. We can’t pinch pennies on the meat we buy: we like buffalo in place of beef, and it’s about $6/pound for the ground version right now, for some reason. (I think we need to start looking into buying in bulk online. That will save us a couple bucks per pound, maybe…) Produce is ridiculous in some cases, and I learned my lesson this week when I tried to buy McIntosh (sp?) apples that were on sale for $1.89/pound vs. my normal Fuji apples which were $2.99/pound. The McIntosh ones SUCK. They’re all mealy and not juicy, and I hate them.

When it came time for us to pick out the pickles we needed to go on sammiches and hamburgers we planned on making this week, we actually stood in the aisle and considered the different pickle options we had. I’m fine with a dill chip. But I know Leo likes the stackers. So we were first comparing those. Then I saw a HUGE container of dill chips from a random company we’d never heard of. It was twice the size of the Best Choice (i.e. store brand) jar of dill chips we’d been looking at, and it was still $.30 less.

I’m willing to go out on a limb in lots of cases and get the store brand products. Plastic baggies, Target’s dishwashing liquid, Best Choice butter, and now the pickles…they all stand up well against their name brand competitors.

I’ve only found one store brand thing that was a huge mistake I’ll never, ever make again, and I’m here to warn you all about it now: It was pizza dough in a can. You know, like the Pilsbury stuff that’s over in the cookie area of the dairy case? Yeah, don’t do it. EVER. It baked up harder and more tasteless than a ball of play-dough out of the oven, and it just was so not worth the savings I got on it. (I think it was a good $1 less than the Pilsbury brand, which made a lot of sense after I’d tried it!)

Anyway, I challenge you to try more store brand items at your next visit to the supermarket. But stay away from the random apple sales, and whatever you do, don’t skimp when it comes to pizza dough. OR toilet paper. But that should be a given, so I didn’t think it was worth mentioning, really.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stress clouds blowing over...

Ok, the week is suddenly looking better within the last 2 hours, so I feel better than I did this morning. Amazingly, even my shoulder that I gave a crick last night with the way I slept on it is feeling better. And that sentence doesn't make much sense outside of my head, but I don't care. That's how un-stressed I am right now!

What am I focussing on instead? How about the fact that tonight is the continuation of the saga that is Jeff Lewis and the crazies who agree to work with him on a daily basis? Or that we just got another Buffy dvd in from Netflix, PLUS the first two discs from season 1 of the X-Files? (Which Leo has never watched, if you can believe it!)

And tomorrow? Tomorrow is THIS. Yaaaaaaa-haaaaaaaaaaa-::breathes::-haaaaaaaaay!

Also? Leo and I discovered not-quite-store-brand-but-don't-recognize-the-name-brand pickles over the weekend, and they are quite tasty, so our money concerns are obviously over.**

Yep, the week is turning. Let's hope it stops after it gets to 180 degrees. I don't need a complete 360, so I wind up back where I was! GAH!

**A more detailed post about this is to come at a later date. Right now, I must tend to my leftover meatloaf lunch...nom, nom, nom.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Contemporary Traditional

Ok, since faaaabulous Anonymous 8:52 a.m. doubted my design style in the previous post, I thought I'd go ahead and show what I'm talking about. In case we have anyone else that questions the choices we're making in our new space. I call our style Contemporary Traditional, because I like a lot of the lines of traditional furniture and design, but I like a more up-to-date version of certain things. Hard to describe, but basically, see a Crate & Barrel catalog. That should give you a good picture of what I mean!

Here's a photo of exactly what we'll be doing. See? Window? Above the bed? Surrounded by curtains? Um, duh?

Here's an example of what we will not be doing. Even though its in Elle Decor as an example of decor in a bedroom, I have a hard time plopping such a high headboard in front of a window like that. Even in the old bedroom, we had the headboard encroaching a bit over the window, and it drove me nuts. We won't be doing that...
Here's an example of the low type of platform bed we're considering.
(Photos courtesy of Elle Decor online.)

But here's the one I found over the weekend that we like. The four posts come up to about my shoulder height, so it's not a tall bed. But it would look awfully pretty in front of the window! I'm just afraid of it overwhelming the room, even though it isn't a super-tall piece, so we have more thinking to do about it.

(Photo courtesy of CB2.)


We also stopped by the 'Po over the weekend to look into some lighting options. I saw a drum lamp shade being used as a flush ceiling light fixture in a magazine I was looking at, and fell in love. But I can't figure out how to do it myself! So I've been looking into drum/barrel shade options since then, and we think we hit the nail on the head with the Ashbury collection from Progress Lighting, as seen here.


Right now, it's a toss-up between this...



...and this for the master bedroom. I love the chandelier, but Leo thinks it would hang too low. t actually is shorter than the pendant above, so it's all about measurements at this point, really.



This is the light we would put in the other two bedrooms. LOVE!


And that's that for now. Anyone else want to question my design ideas? Feel free to leave a comment, of course. But if you really want to remain Anonymous about it, then just don't bother. You anonypussies bug the shit out of me...grab a pair and either log-in, or leave your name. It's not like I really care that you might have different design aesthetics, really...that's what makes the world fun to look at! But I hate it when you post thinly-veiled negative feedback under the anonymous moniker. That just pisses me off...

**Ok, I just looked at the pricing on the lighting that I want, and we won't be getting that. The one light isn't so bad...but the other two? Holy hell! Between $500 - $720. Um, no. Damn!

Ok, now that we're done with the drama...

Much less exciting stuff going on this week in the world of The Knot, thank goodness. Mostly because, as I mentioned, I'm not going there this week. So, yeah...

Update on the house work. They bumped/removed the wall that was separating the new space from the old, finally. So this is the current view from the new bathroom into the two bedrooms that will be getting new walls. (The little bedroom is getting a 2' x 2' "nook" added to it, so that's why we have the wall down in there...) Master bedroom is on the left...

Here's the door into the bathroom from the master bedroom...it had been framed out to be a pocket door, because neither the architect nor my contractor listened to me in the beginning when I said I DID NOT WANT a pocket door there. We've fixed it at this point...
In the bedroom, we moved the window (which was where the door to the bathroom is now...) over to be next to the other window in the room. The original plan was to only have one window in the room...off-center on the wall. Makes me question the architect's abilities, sometimes. Anyway, I asked to have the other window moved over to the south wall instead, so now the windows will act as a headboard to the new bed we have. I'm sooo excited about this design element, it makes me want the project done NOW...
Here's the 2' x 2' nook in the small bedroom we use as an office. It will now be home to our file cabinet and printer, and some floating shelves. Awesome!
A nd this is Leo as he discusses the popcorning of the ceiling that will have to happen in the old closet space. We're not excited about popcorning...but I don't know if we should remove the current popcorn that exists in the rest of the room. The only room that doesn't have it in the house is the primary bathroom we have. I had that remodelled 4 years ago, and they didn't put popcorn back up there, thank goodness! Anyway, if we have our way, the popcorn ceiling will be removed. We'll see...
That's it for now! I'm hoping the drywall will start up this week. That should be fun to take pics of. Also, my contractor completely ignored my two emails I sent him last week (while he was out of town, mind you...great time to leave, right in the middle of a very important part of our project, and all!) and sent me an email this morning simply asking me, "Do you know who installed the siding that's on your house right now?" Um, NO, I don't know that. I bought the house 5 years ago, and the siding is so obviously older than that, it's not even funny. The chick who was in the house before me had been there for 15 years, and I seriously doubt SHE was the one that put that siding on. (It's steel, so it's a long-lasting varietal...) I'm not in the mood to talk to him, but I really need to talk to him, you know? I hate that...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Instead of house photos, you get THIS!

So, as you all know, when I’m not lovingly creating new blog posts for you to read, I’m often over at the message boards on The Knot.

Well, a few weeks ago…probably about 5 or 6…the group I “hang out” with on one of the boards started having issues with some Disney brides that were coming to visit us from their boards. (Seriously…check them out. It’s scary.) They would post something ridiculous about their plans for their wedding (usually involving sparkly ribbon wands, a rented Cinderella carriage that costs nothing less than $3,000 for the fucking 10 minutes they’re in it, and possibly a ring that they somehow get shaped into a Mickey Mouse head) and then we would respond the way we do to ridiculous twits that ventured onto “our” board. They were fun to fuck with, and some of the team on my board actually created user names for their board to post some crazy shit on.

Ribbon wands...love how they're ducking so that they don't get hit by one of the guests who's pissed off that they have to pretend they're a 9 year old girl for a few minutes at someone's wedding...

And I found this on the Disboard...someone was looking for help on how to apply "secret Mickey crystals" onto their veil. WTF?


The moderators on the DisBoards are super-fierce, though. They shut us down fast.

In the meantime, on our unmoderated (at the time) board, they were coming in and giving us shit for fucking with them. Some of us played innocent, some owned up to it, while I personally just sat and laughed.

Anyway, we wound up creating an off-board we called “DisneyFreaks” at first, but then changed the name soon after, because another bunch of twats – erm, girls – from another board on the Knot decided they would harass us for getting all riled up over the Disney bullshit and “running away”. Thing is, we didn’t run away…we created a new board, yeah, but we still posted often on the Knot. The “running away” thing would become a theme for them in their harassment of us. (Even though they had created their own off-board months ago for similar reasons. They say they don’t post there anymore, but we all know that’s bullshit.)

We have a girl on our board who is super-fun and sweet, and younger than she comes across online…she was 21 when I “met” her, but had a birthday last week, so she’s now 22. She got married a couple of weeks ago, and promptly posted a bunch of pics for us to see, both on our board, as well as on the Knot.

Immediately, the other board on the Knot started in on her with her pictures. She took them down quickly, but not before one of them got a hold of one, which she then manipulated into an Andy Worhol-esque collage of just the boob area of one of her pictures. It became a big thing to bash my friend for having a “quadraboob”, when really it was just the way she was leaning in the picture that made it look the way it did. She actually looked GORGEOUS on her wedding day, and seemed to have fun from beginning to end. Seriously happy girl, and I’m happy for her. (Lookit how cute she is! This was during the ceremony...she was all, "Are y'all watching this?!")
Everyone from the other board started in on how “ill-fitting” her dress was, and the level of harassment was ridiculous. Many of us from the off-board that I belong to were coming to her defense. I finally posted a thread that told the creator of the photo (though she never admitted to it, we all knew she did it…) to basically fuck off. You aren’t allowed to cuss on the Knot, so I just get creative with my spelling. It got to two pages (maybe three?) before what we call the "Knot Gods" found it, and deleted it. There was a lot of arguing going on in it, but I was basically telling this one girl to just fuck off and go back to her own board over and over, and I guess I took it too far. Oops!

We started another thread about the subject, and discussed it in a slightly more civilized manner, but it was still ugly.

That was on a Friday.

Then last week, things picked up again. The girl from our board that was being picked on noticed that there were still discussions about it happening on the other board. So she started posting there a lot. Mostly to rile them up, but also to show that she wasn’t letting them get her down. (She rocks!)

She’s been posting there often, and apparently, on the 4th of July (I wasn’t on at all until maybe Sunday, I think?), an Alter Ego (AE) showed up in the form of Elizabeth Taylor. She was fantastic. She had created a bio (we all have bios…well, most of us do…mine is here, for example) that was a run-down of all the…well, wait. Let me just link to it for ya. Here ya go! Gives a rundown of all the marriages of Elizabeth Taylor…it’s hilarious, and it makes fun of a couple of people (links on the right hand side) that we sincerely do NOT like from the other board. One of them being the main person** who fucked with the pictures from my friend’s wedding, and started the whole ill-fitting dress/quad-boob movement. I’m not exactly sure what happened with Elizabeth_Taylor on Friday and Saturday last week, but it got everything stirred back up, because people wanted to know who was behind her, and the other board thought it was definitely us.

Now, I trust my girls. We’ve become really close in the last few weeks, to the point of sharing phone numbers, addresses, work locations, information about ourselves that sometimes our husbands/fianc├ęs/family doesn’t even know, and we can’t wait until we can all meet each other at a wedding in 2009. It may seem odd to some, but it’s like we’re a little internet sorority, if you will. As sickening as that may sound, I assure you, it’s quite the contrary. These girls are an awesome group, and I’m really glad they asked me to be associated with them.

So when this shitstorm happened this week, things got dicey, and distracting, and all around headache producing.

Basically, we know information, thanks to some relatively random ways it could be found on the internet (beware, Facebook users…beware…), and they ALSO had some information, found essentially through the same means. This private info, like first and last names, as well as places of work, started getting tossed around in a thread on Tuesday. It got fugly. FAST. We have information on some of the girls on the opposing board, but we would never, EVER divulge it on the internet like that! Not when we know there’s a troll like Elizabeth_Taylor hanging around someplace. Lord knows how a crazy like that would behave when they have that kind of info. (And she’s a tame crazy…seriously.)

And the other side of the fun is that everyone who hates us wants to DESPERATELY see our private board. But it’s locked down. You have to register to be a user, and our board-creator won’t approve random applicants that just swing through on a whim. In fact, we’re quite happy with the size of the group as it is, so we’re not even interested in inviting any newcomers for the time being.

This drives the opposition nuts. Yesterday, when the shit started hitting the fan again, we had 21 guests trying to view our board at one point in time. Then people were asking for our IP addresses, for some reason. It was all getting very odd. Our board owner has been off getting married, getting to know her husband in ways she never had before, and finally returned today asking us all, “What the hell happened here?” Apparently, she had a shit ton of new requests for registration waiting for her. And of course there were all our threads titled things like, “OH SHIT!” and “THE BANNING” and “What’s Going ON???” because some people have been working/studying all week, and haven’t been around to see what was up with about 14 of us.

Anyway, it’s all much more long and involved than I’m sure anyone expected. And unfortunately, I can’t cut and paste from Knot threads like I usually do, because most of them were either deleted by their original poster, or by the Knot Gods that deemed them inappropriate or containing harassing content, etc…

A couple of people were banned, I made the ultimate suggestion that we just stay away from the boards for a while, to try to break this whole thing down and get it to stop, and when I told the other side about my suggestion to my board that we quit going to the Knot for a while until things simmah down, they all jumped at me saying things like “Well, if you didn’t take the internet so seriously, it wouldn’t be a problem,” and “Why don’t you just GBCK already and get it over with?” (GBCK = Good Bye Cruel Knot, which is what we call it when a member can’t handle it anymore, and leaves forevaaahhh…) To which I replied I didn’t give a shit what their snotty-asses did, I was just suggesting it to the girls on my board. And I’m not gonna GBCK, so they can SUCK IT. (I left after that, so I don’t know how they responded.)

So today, my board is back to talking about things like working out, and how excited some of us are for football season, and are you a college fan or a pro fan?, and who was a cheerleader in college?, and what does your pet look like! Post pics HERE!!! And it’s nice. And every once in a while, someone that’s still brave and strong enough to read/post on the Knot will bring us a tidbit, like the one today where someone said, “Hey remember when all we had to worry about was someone getting called mean? Local boards = Mayberry; National boards = Compton.” That made me laugh, because it’s sooo true. (I don’t even visit my local much any more. They’re annoying and slow. The board I’m a part of is a national board…so I’m a Compton girl, according to that analogy!)

So hopefully, that’s what you guys wanted to hear. If not, I’m sorry! I wish I would have saved some of the conversations that were going on, because they might’ve explained it better. But then this post would’ve been even LONGER, and I don’t think that’s what anyone wants, now, is it?

And reading back over all that, I can see how some of you might find me absolutely ridiculous, and I don’t blame you. But it’s hard to explain the bond that’s been formed with this group of internet friends, and when we saw one getting attacked, it hurt. And then the threats started coming through about information they KNOW about certain folks, and those folks could potentially have serious damage done if anyone contacted an employer, or what have you, if the wrong hands got a hold of it, THAT is when things got so scary.

And so maybe that helps you understand my stress? I don’t know. Judge me if you will - I don’t mind…

**Wanna see her? I know you doooo!


The color-tone on this next photo is just soooo no right...makes her look all the same color, from hair to face to dress. Blech.

And then there was the cheese...quite the talented caterer, just dumping it all out on the table like that...

Apparently, this caterer also likes to serve what looks like regurgitated nachos at his buffets. Yummy!

Elizabeth_Taylor has way funny captions in these photos. Go and look, if you haven't already. It's behind the Bethiroo link...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

All sooo happy...

Well, a couple of people will be happy to find out that after I posted earlier about the Knot war appearing to be over, all hell broke loose again, and turned into a HUGE fucking mess. If I have time tomorrow (Friday), I'll try to pull some of the info together into a semi-coherent post. It's literally fried my brain and turned it to mush dealing with some of those fugly bitches over there.

In the mean time, I must get back to pulling my photos of the house project together, so I can post those as well. Friday should be quite the day around here!

Not for a lack of words...

To be quite honest, I didn't post yesterday because in my other online world (i.e. the world of The Knot message boards), we had an all-out war start on Tuesday that kind of came to its peak yesterday, and culminated in my side getting someone from the other side permanently banned from the Knot, and then the other side getting all mad at us for doing it.

I know this is interesting to exactly no one except me, so that's all I'll say about it. Just wanted to let you guys know that the war appears to be over. For now. So I can focus my attention for at least one post here right now.

Last night, as we lazed on the couch watching Shear Genius on Bravo, we let the puppies out for one last harrah in the yard before bedtime. Someone has been shitting in the house during the night on a regular basis. We want to stop it, if we can.

After about 15 minutes of Jake being outside, I told Leo we should reel him in. He has a nasty habit of playing in the pile of lumber and trash that's out in the yard waiting for the appropriate time in the construction process to be acually removed from the yard. It sucks. See?

Yes, that's my baby puppy dog, head-deep in a pile of used lumber filled with nails, old rusty pipes, and whatever trash the construction workers find appropriate for placement on the pile, like cigarette butts and big gulp cups from QT.

Anyway, so Leo goes to call Jake into the houe, and starts laughing at the back door. "What?" I call out. "Oh, he's just out here eating bugs. Man! He's really going to town!"

Gross! GROSS! He was out there feasting on June Bugs. I told Leo to try shaking the bag of treats at him, because when all else fails, that usually works for me. It didn't, though. Apparently, that's when Jake went and caught a bug as it flew away. That made Leo laugh a bit more. I think he was impressed by the little guy's skill! Which is SO GROSS!

He finally put a treat through the doggy-door, and held it out where Jake could smell it. That got him inside.

Puppies are soooo foul. GAH!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Not. Today.

I'm stressed.

I woke up at 3:10 this morning, and couldn't go back to sleep. I finally went out to the living room at about 4:10 and cuddled with Jake for a while. Then I put him in bed with Izzy and Leo, and got ready to go to the gym.

But before leaving for the gym, I had to burst into tears. You know...'cuz it was the right time, and all.

???

We picked out our tile and lighting fixtures last night, and tonight, I try to haggle with the cabinet maker guy.

I'm thinking we're going to have to put off the kitchen floor and countertop reno until next year, unless I can make more sense of the money we're spending right now on the rest of the project.

Good thing: We found tile that should cost about $1.50 - $1.90 per square foot. The budget calls for $5 per square foot. Niiice. (Maybe we can do the kitchen after all? See, this is how my brain works right now! GAH!)

Another good thing: light fixtures only cost $85 a piece. We only needed two. Our budget was $270 for the lighting. The only thing I'm not sure about is whether that was for ALL the lighting in the bathroom, including the fucking can lights they installed, or if it was what our "allowance" was for the vanity lighting. Anyway, if it's our budget for the vanity lighting, then we came in way under budget on that, too. Yeah, it's only $100, or so, but every little bit counts right now!(They look like this, btw:)



I'm basically losing it, and in doing so, I've lost my ability to get any good rest as well. Which makes me sad.

Hopefully, I'll have pics of the newly opened up space to show you all tomorrow. That should be...fun? Suurrrre. Why not?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Well, it's been long enough now.

I didn't have any interest in posting at all during the weekend. I have my once-per-quarter PMS right now, which makes me a joy to be around, and even more fun to BE, so really everyone is lucky I'm not just posting a little spot that says "Bite Me" each day this week, ok?

Tonight we meet with the tile guy to pick the tile for the bathroom. Then we'll head over to the lighting place to pick out our lighting. The walls are supposed to come down this week, which means the house will be an even more tremendous mess than it has been. Funny how they managed to make that happen concurrent with my period. Awesome.

I'll be sure to keep a photo record of it all.

I have but one thing that I'd like to discuss today. And that is the Food Network, and their search for a new "Star" to televise on a weekly basis.

Ok, thus far, the Food Network hasn't been what I would call supremely successful in their annual search for a new "Star" to give a t.v. show to. They had those two gay guys as their first winners, and they've gone the way of the Dodo, thank goodness. (They were awful.) Then they had Guy Fieri, who is about as fun for me to watch as a Nascar race. I don't honestly remember if there were any other shows won or searches for Stars completed. Those are the only two I can recall.

And this year sucks. I don't like any of the contestants, and to be honest, I don't see the point in them "searching" for a new "Star" anyway! They have a bazillion new shows on that they are either testing or have hit the ground running with, and some will be hits, and some won't, and that's how the game is played, right?

Just because everyone else has a reality show on their channel does not mean we had to have this one run for another season, seriously. They have Sunny, and The Neelys, and this new chef who waves her arms about and basically annoys the crap outta me to be able to watch more than 2 minutes of her, so I don't.

And as far as I'm concerned, that channel could be all Bobby Flay all the fucking time, and I'd be happy. (Ok, ok, throw in a cake or meat-cooking challenge now and then, and keep Ace of Cakes on once or twice a week...) But this fake search for a new "Star"? They really need to just let it go....

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Thanks for reminding me...

Emaw's latest post reminded me to look something up...

Football (pre) season is almost here! Sound the trumpets! Alert the court jesters! OPEN THE FUCKING KEGS!!!

Chiefs Preseason is as follows...
08/07/08
at Chicago Bears
7:00 PM
KCTV5

08/16/08
Arizona Cardinals
7:00 PM
KCTV5

08/23/08
at Miami Dolphins
6:30 PM
KCTV5

08/28/08
St. Louis Rams
7:00 PM
KCTV5

I could cry. I might, actually.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Construction. Update. Fun.

So I finally got some of the latest pictures of the addition into our computer last night, and thought I'd share the progress that we've made. As a reminder, this is what our bathroom will look like, for the most part:

We made some changes here and there...my contractor is really against pocket doors, and I don't care either way, so I told him to just go ahead and do hanging doors if he wants. Also, the shower will open over on the sink side of it's space, so that's better, IMO. I didn't want it opening into the hallway. Weird, right?

Here's the space from the inside. This is the window on our old east wall of our master bedroom. That's going to be moved to the south side, and combined with the other window in the room to create a headboard o' windows for our new bed. I'm so excited! The space it leaves behind will become the new door into the bathroom addition. (That's the shower on the right, and the entrance to the laundry/closet on the left.)

This is the vanity wall. It's so huge, it makes me want to cry when I look at it...
That's the new window that will be in the laundry room/closet. I love that we'll have natural light in that space!
And this is the shower, all framed in. I made the additional request for the little push-out window, so we can have ventilation in there after showers, or whatever. Leo complained about it the other day, saying he wished that it was a frosted glass like the window in our front bathroom is, you know, for added privacy. I was all, "Dude? The neighbors won't be able to see anything in there except your head, so as long as you keep from pressing your face up against it when you beat off, you should be fine." He can be so weird sometimes!
So we're coming along! This week, we're supposed to have the rough-in inspection, where they check all the electrical plumbing and stuff. And then they can put in insulation, seal up the walls, and tear down the old walls to make the new space a reality! I can't WAIT! (Plus, it's not easy climbing in and out of that window to get in there. That sucks ass.) More pictures to come as that happens.