Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Follow up to the garage post...

So I mentioned the shelves we ordered for the garage in the last post, but I didn't have a photo of them. Which makes me a bad blogger! Being all unprepared and shit. ::flogs self::

But this is what we got. Well, at least I started the order last night. It's weird...I entered the order, and gave them my address and shit, and they need 24 hours to process my shipping costs, at which point I need to enter my credit card info and stuff somewhere so the order can be completed and processed. Um, don't most companies that allow people to order shit online have a way to automatically process the shipping and tax costs? I don't get it.

Anyway, we're getting the "IVAR" shelves, which cost $72.50 each. (We're getting two of them.)

We would have gone with a nice, normal, local company like Target for the shelves, but their selection confused me, and Leo and I couldn't decide on one option we both liked. So Ikea won. Ikea also has a coffee table to replace our old, broken down (but still sellable on Craigslist!) table that we keep banging our legs on. This is the new "VEJMON" coffee table in black-brown...
We wanted one similar to this from West Elm for a while, and while it did go on sale for something like $244 from $315, or some shit, they ran out of the color I wanted by the time I was ready to buy it. Um, and VEJMON up there only costs $169, yo. YEAH. That is correct. It might as well have had a neon sign blinking the words, "BUY ME, BITCHES!" on it. Because that is what we did. UNGH.

The garage remodel marches onward...

Ok, so for those of you that are following along with this mini-saga, here is what our garage looked like before.

The laundry used to be out here, so I had to look at that exposed insulation way too much for my liking, and it got tired. Tired, old, and icky. It was water damaged, foul, ugly, and just rightly pissed me off to look at most days.

So we tore it all out!

Which created this big pile o' stuff. Probably toxic, in its own way. It was naaasty. By the following day, however, Leo proved his awesomeness yet again, and did THIS to the pile o' stuff!

That's right! He made it disappear into those boxes! Somehow, we managed to time our destruction of the garage with the big item pick up they do every other spring in our neighborhood. So we didn't have to rent a big dumpster for the construction trash..."we" (i.e. Leo) just boxed it all up, and we put it at the curb, and they took it away! Brilliant!

Underneath all the walls and poorly hung shelves...

...and also throughout the attic area above the garage, the contractor found pretty old, fried, and horrible wiring issues. So the additional time on the project has been due to all the painstaking efforts he put towards replacing all of that bad wiring for us. There was even a fire in the attic at one point, and they just patched up the old wires (probably sometime in the 60's or 70's, we figure), and left it all there for future possible fires to occur. Awesome. I'm so glad that shit is all gone now! It's been replaced with nice, clean, white wires, like these...

Aaaahhhh....fire hazard avoided!

Also, in that picture up there of the side door, hopefully you can see how...um, nice the old one was. It was a hollow door, like the kind usually used for the INSIDE of a house. Not one for the outer entrance to the garage. We needed a sturdy, proper door there. One that wasn't held in place by some sort of foam insulation stuff that turns yellow when it hits the air. Blech. So we replaced it with this door:
::angels singing from the heavens:: Good GOD it looks so much better! I feel safer and safer with every change made.

We're also changing out the interior door that opens into the kitchen. We bought a new 6-panel number that will be installed this week (I hope), but the contractor did get the framing done last night. AND...installed a new step into the house! ::angels singing...again::

Something else that needed updating was the entrance to the attic. It was just an open hole in the ceiling, over above the door that leads to the side yard outside the garage. It was small, and OPEN, and not safe since it was now located directly next to all the electrical lines for the house, since we moved them last year. And did I mention it was just a big, open hole? Because it was. Sooo not conducive to proper temperature management in the house!
Here's what it looked like when they cut the new hole over the garage door...

And as of last night, it is framed in, and has a DOOR panel that covers the hole! HOORAY!
So the garage is well on its way to being finished. We plan on painting the ceiling and walls with some paint that an acquaintance had lying around her house, so we can protect the drywall even better from the elements that enter the space. And also to make it look even more pretty. Because I cannot WAIT to have a pretty garage!!!

We'll be putting some shelves I got from Ikea along the east wall, here, for storage of all of our paint and gardening stuff.

And then were working on a better place to keep tools...probly with a pegboard system we hang somewhere. There seems to be a LOT of space out there right now, but that's likely because all of our stuff is in our guest bedroom waiting to be replaced in the garage. So we'll have to see how that all works out.
I can't wait until its completed! Am I irrationally excited about this garage makeover? Maybe. But if you know me, it all makes sense, I'm sure.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Stupid boob zits.

I have a zit-like thing on my left boob, that's in just the right spot to be noticeable in everything I own. Awesome.

The weekend helped. I feel rested, and a little less on edge, and a lot better than I did on Friday. I really fell off the edge that night when I went home. I think it was more tiredness than anything else, but I'm glad I wasn't alone, and that Leo was so willing to help me feel better.

The garage remodel is taking longer than any of us (including the contractor who's doing all the work) expected it to take. I feel awful for the contractor, but really appreciate the time he's putting into the project. He's a good guy. I'll put up additional pictures this week of the progress being made. I totally hope he'll be able to help us in the future with other projects we'd like to do. This is going to be the last one for a while, though. I need 8 - 12 months to recover our debt/asset portflio, I think. After that, we'll rip into things like the kitchen floor, and replacing the doors in the house. Woo!

Ok, back to work...hope everyone had a good weekend, and has a decent Monday.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The culmination of an already *fabulous* week.

Jake got out today, while I was getting ready for work. We have a new neighbor that just moved in down the street, one house over from us. She's a renter, and I noticed with glee that she has 2 St. Bernards and a little yappy fucker of a dog that afternoon. I felt kind of bad because, although I'm sure she's a very nice person, I still have an issue with having two dogs that already bark like asshole maniacs at the neighbor dogs we already had. (They wish they could play with them...they aren't mad at them, or anything.) We have a dog behind us, one to the north of us, and then both yards cattycorner to both corners of our yard also have multiple dogs in them. It sucked already.

So this woman moved into the house that's one yard over on the south of us, and I just felt like it was a perfect storm of fucked-upness. Jake can already get over a barrier that's about 4' tall. So our 3.5' fence we just installed over there is not good enough to keep him from getting over. And over he went this morning.

I had to tromp through mud and nastiness in order to get him, and then carry him back into the house without managing to tear him to pieces like I wanted to...my mood was already in the pits (see Twin's blog if you want to know why), and this would make me late for work. Work I didn't even feel like going to in the first place. My shoes wound up covered in mud, so its a good thing they're flip flops...I left them on the front porch before I deposited Jake in the bathtub for a rinse down.

It was hard not to be mean to him. I admit, it took me a bit before I cooled down, but mostly there was just yelling. A loo-hooot of yelling. And then I finally just allowed myself to sob. Just cried, and cried, as he stood in the bathtub wondering why the crazy lady with the red hair was being so awful to him. ::sigh::

I'm tired. I thought I'd want to go out tonight to watch the KU game, but I don't. I want to crawl into my bed and cry, and sleep, and cry some more. I'm so done with this week.

I'm closing comments, because I don't need snarkiness today. I don't need asshole comments about my behavior or my moodiness or my whatever. I know that the majority of people will probably want to be nice and understanding about what's happening to me and my family right now. But all it would take is one person. And I just don't need that right now.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I DO have a purpose! To kick your ASS!!!

I was just walking down the hall when a coworker turned the corner and walked towards me on his way back to his desk. Suddenly, he started swinging his arms, and walking with a determined stride.

I realized he was immitating me.

"Holy crap! Is that what I look like when I walk?" I asked him as he got closer.

"You have a very particular way of swinging your arms. You look like...you have a purpose," he replied.

"Hahahaha! I do!" And then I opened the door to the ladies' room.

Dude, apparently you do not want to get in my way as I'm on my way to the ladies' room. I look very scary when I'm on that path, as it turns out!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It just shouldn't be that hard...

Leo and I took a trip to Home Depot last night. You know, because I like it there. The new wood smell makes me happy.

Ok, actually we had to go there in order to return some stuff that the contractor doesn't need for the garage remodel, to pick up a couple of things he does need, and to process the return on my Home Depot card for the additional charges that the stupid fence company (read more about them here) charged me for the upgraded hardware they put on the replacement fence they built us at the end of that whole fence debacle.

Just to be clear, the fence was completed in December. I signed the change order authorizing the additional charges to the card on 12/29. And then I noticed that last week, I suddenly had some random charge for $230 on my Home Depot card. Yeah, turns out it was that upgraded hardware! I mean, holy fuck.

So I had them reverse the charges, because this month, paying that $230 just isn't in the cards, and since the amount is lower than $300, I don't have 6 months to pay it off, but have to pay it right now (or face a 24% interest rate on it). And while I could afford to do that back in January, you know, when it was supposed to be charged to me, I kind of got fucked in the ass since then by the state of Kansas and the feds, and they're getting all my extra money right now. Fucking dumbasses.

Anyway, so we go to the Home Depot and make our returns, get the charge reversed, and then go shop for the new things the contractor needs. Simple enough..we just needed an 8 foot piece of composite wood material (like they use on decks), which he's going to build us new stairs into the house out of. And then we need corner drywall tape. You know, for the corners. Only, they don't have the type he told us to get. So we go to ask for help. And we wait. And we wait. And we...fuck that shit. DONE with the waiting. I'd had a long ass day, I was tired, and I wanted to eat, watch and hour of t.v., and go to bed, dammit. So between Leo and I, we decide on an alternative option that seems to be the stuff we need, and then we go in search of composite deck material. Only, it's not anywhere. At least, it's not noted as being anywhere on those handy end-cap sign thingers that the store puts up to tell you where everything ELSE is located. So we look around a bit, and can't find it, and return up front to see if anyone can tell us at least what aisle its supposed to be on.

Someone has finally come forward to help answer people's questions for the lumber area! So we approach him, and tell him that we're looking for composite decking material, and can't find where its located? He looks at us with a very confused look on his face, and I say, "You know, fake wood?" And he asks me if we want MDF, and I said no, we want the kind of fake wood that's made from plastic. Dude looks like his head is going to explode. He seriously looked like he was in pain from trying to figure out what I was asking for. I almost felt bad, but again...hungry, tired, long day...not so much with the feelings for other people at that point, mkay? I know that might sound pretty awful, but do not tell me you haven't been there before. I know you have, so don't you judge me! (That was for Dan. Because he seems to get off on judging me. :P)

Apparently, there was a manager of the department who was trying to leave for the day at the same time that all of us random people showed up asking questions. (There was also some weirdo guy there that I think was probably on something - meth, cocaine...not sure what - that also had questions, and had been doing some fruitless wandering throughout the department before he got help as well. He scared me a bit. Just thought I'd mention that.) So guy-who's-head-might-explode points us over to her, and he tries to tell her what we're looking for. "They, um, need some fake wood? A compos...how did you say that?" looking at me. I tell her we're looking for composite decking material to build steps out of. She also asks if I mean MDF, and I tell her that it's made of plastic. ::sigh:: Not EVERYTHING can be made out of MDF, yo!!!

Anyway, she was able to point us in the direction of the stuff we needed, and we were on our way. There was more tomfoolery at the check out, but at least the guy was nice to us in spite of my mood (which exploded all over him when he had no idea how to ring up our composite piece of decking, since it had no markings on it, and I wrote down the MODEL number in hopes that he could pull it up that way...silly me, even though the model number is written in BIG BOLD NUMBERS, it is not helpful at the cash register at all. No, he needed the SKU or the item number. Not gonna lie, there was some cussing out loud involved at that point.), and we were able to leave and go home finally. Leo is always trying to make excuses for the store. "They've had to make serious cut backs on their personnel." But my argument, time and time again, is as to why they seem to have decided to keep the dumbest ones alive as employees? Unless these are the smart ones. In which case, good fucking luck, Home Depot.

Today is better. I slept last night. I worked out this morning. I'm going to eat lunch right now. It's a productive day...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Well, that certainly doesn't HELP the day...

I had to go home over my lunch hour, because Leo wasn't answering his phone, and I set our appraisal for the refinance (we're refinancing right now, because we would be idiots not to) for today from 12 - 2, and needed to let him know.

So I walk into the house, and step right into a pile of dog shit. Awesome.

I changed my shoes, but apparently the shit didn't get cleaned up well, and so when I was leaving in the new shoes, they got some on them, too. So I drive a small distance before I realize I have to find the source, and get it off of me. So I changed my shoes again.

And now I swear I can still smell it. I hate that.

This is a bad, baaad day. Leave me alone, ok? Ok.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday morning head explosion? Check.

Work is a bear today. And I'm just an admin...I cannot imagine what it would be like to be my boss right now. Yikes!

Ok, in between head explosions and the like at work, I've been reading this article found on MSN this morning, about how eeeviiiil Countrywide Home Loans is. (Well, that's the basic jist of the main tagline, anyway, but its about more that just CHL...it names other eeeviiiil sub-prime mortgage companies in the article as well.)

I just wanted to take the opportunity to reiterate that, while I fully appreciate and understand the issues that many borrowers face when it comes to the confusion of loans, and the paperwork involved, and the craziness that ensues in the weeks following your initial expressed interest in obtaining said loan, I still say that the fact that people are flat-out blaming the mortgage companies for misleading them or ruining their lives or whatever is bullshit.

The first example they use in the article is of this woman who was a personal trainer, who was basically homeless in 2006, living on friends' couches and shit. And she somehow found a condo in a part of Boston that she thought she could buy (why? I DON'T KNOW.), and proceded to get a loan for $260,000 so she could buy the place. The loan paperwork claimed her income was equivalent to over $7,000 a month, or $87,000 annually. When she actually made around $20,000 per year.

When asked how the loan docs could reflect such flagrantly inflated information with regards to her income, this chick said that, admittedly, she hadn't looked all that closely at the loan documents she signed. She never noticed the discrepancy until NBC (Nightline is the one running the several part series on this issue) pointed it out to her.

Um, what?

Oh, and Countrywide is the one a fault here, eh? I get that they are liable for the discrepancy on the docs. But does this woman not see how much SHE fucked up??? Here she is, barely pulling in $20,000 a year, and she thinks she can afford a $260,000 loan? That, quite frankly, scares the shit outta me. That math just isn't that hard.

I worked at Countrywide for 4 years. In the regional office here in Kansas that covered the midwest locations in Kansas and Missouri, from Wichita, to Topeka, to St Louis and Springfield. We funded something like over $5 million in loans in our region alone each month. At our height during the "refi boom" that happened in 2004, I think it was? We were upwards of $11 million, if I recall correctly. The company overall was funding over $15 BILLION each month...monthly, my friends...throughout the time that I was with them. That's a lot of fucking loans.

I can honestly say that my region was generally on the up and up. There were rogue mortgage professionals that came our way now and then, but we tended to catch them early, and put them back on the street. I'm not aware of any underwriting craziness in approvals that were going on, and I was pretty close to everyone in that region. The only issue I can see might have happened is that our ops manager for the region was a waste of space much of the time, between her personal life and her migraine headaches, she wasn't all that there, really. And she's the one that was supposed to be auditing files on a weekly basis. Yeah, those suckers tended to just pile up and pile up on her desk. ::sigh!::

But our region also didn't do sub-prime loans. We had a separate division for that at CHL, so maybe that's where all the skeezy stuff went down? I dunno...

Regardless, I'm tired of people putting the onus on the mortgage company when they default on their loan, only to later admit that they didn't even read the fucking paperwork they signed. Another lady in the article thought she was getting a fixed loan, only to have it start fluctuating a few months after she'd signed the papers. Those papers told her that she as signing up for an adjustable rate mortgage that could swing as high as 12%! AUGH! How do you not notice something like that???

People piss me off. This is just one of the many reasons why. Just thought I'd tell ya about that. :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Garage remodel, day 2

We're full-swing into the garage remodel now. It's been a good week for it, really. The weather has been nice, and the work has gone relatively smooth. We only have one issue so far of the contractor poking into the kitchen unintentionally, but he said he won't charge us for the addition to the architecture in there, so that's nice. ;) (He's going to fix it, of course...)

There was a moment last night when we heard a loud bang, and it turned out that one of the guys had slipped and fallen while working in the attic, and that freaked me RIGHT the fuck out. Because part of the reason this job is affordable is because the hourly wages are low...due to them not having insurance. Am I a leetle scared of that? Um, YES. But I'm trying to think positive. Then Leo told me about how the same guy had poked a hole in the ceiling with a fall from the other night. Which made me go and get another drink. ::sigh!::

Anyway, it should all be done by Monday or Tuesday. This is what it looked like after all the walls came down...
Big pile o' stuff right there! We're keeping the ceiling up, and just drywalling over it, so that saved us on some of the debris mess. But we wound up having to take down that wall on the right there...
...even though we'd thought we'd be able to drywall over that, as well. Turned out there was NO INSULLATION in there. So, yeah. Thanks, previous idiot homeowners who apparently really, really liked paying out the ass for their heating and cooling bills! Fucking 'tards...

This is the old entrance to the attic space. It's been an open hole (heh) in the garage forever, and we're not only moving it, and sealing up that old one, but we'll have a sealed door over the new hole as well. Again, to help with the insulating of the attic and therefor the rest of the house. Because that's smrt. DUH.
The light at the end of the...garage. Hahaha. Heh. Hmm...
Leo took some pics of the space after he spent literally all day Tuesday cramming all that mess into boxes that will be picked up for the large item pick-up we have happening this Saturday, thank goodness. I'll get those photos, along with more updated ones, loaded and posted over the weekend. I'm so glad it's getting done, and that we're able to complete one more task like this on my ever-expanding list of things-to-do to improve the house. We're going to be here for a looong, long time. So we might as well enjoy it as much as we can, right? Plus, I'm totally refinancing our loan to a 5% rate right now, which is fucking aaawwwesooommme. [/singsongy voice] We had been at 6.25%, and now that the house is worth so much more than the loan is for, I'm hoping we can get a really beautiful monthly payment out of it all. Cross your fingers for us!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Follow-up to yesterday's post...

Ok, so as a follow-up to my post yesterday about the Quiverfull people of the world, I thought I would pose these few questions, using the ever-so-popular (for some fucking reason) Duggars as my main subjects:

Suppose one of the eighteen children of Mr. & Mrs. Duggar came to them and said, "Mom, Dad...I'm gay." How do you think they would respond?

Suppose one of the girls decided that she, in fact, did not want to live a life of subservience and pregnancy for her husband or for Jesus, or whatever, but in fact wanted to go to college, become a doctor or lawyer, and move far, far away from the family, because she's decided they all ka-raaazy. How do you think they would respond?

Suppose one of the kids completely loses it, goes nuts and kills the 3 siblings he/she has to share a room with. I mean, you have 18 kids here...one of them is bound to have issues, right? How do you think the family would respond?

I just think that they're portrayed as being these amazing, wonderful, fabulous people...and don't get me wrong - apparently, how they live their life suits them just fine, so whatever. Twin was right in her comment...it doesn't affect my life, really, except when I see articles about them, or happen to scan past a television channel that broadcasts a t.v. show that is based on their reality, and all. I'm sure NO ONE watches that stuff, or is influenced by it in any way. Because, as we all know, t.v. doesn't influence or inspire or reach out to the masses at all. ::shaking head:: Nah...

I'm just trying to say that their holier-than-thou attitude about the world pisses me off. And they're trying to overrun it with their offspring, which is disturbing. And now I'm done talking about it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How about a level of conservative realism here, ok?

There are so many things that disturb me in this story, that it's hard to put them all down into one concise and thoughtfully composed post. But I'm gonna try...

It's a Newsweek article about the Quiverfull (stupid name, btw) "movement." And while I'm kind of meh about the whole thing, because really, they're just another whacky branch of fundamentalists that aren't exactly convincing everyone to be like them, they do have this way about them to woo the world into thinking that what they are doing should be considered normal.

And I, for one, do not think they are normal in any. way. I think they are a wee bit fucked up, actually, and they are raising their own little "armies" of fucked up offspring to boot. And the last thing we need is MORE fucked up people on this planet, ok?

I know, I know...I'm not really one to talk, as I think the general halt of ALL procreation for a while (like a decade, or so...not a super-long time, really!) would be good for us all. But that kind of stems from my overall hate for people. Because they annoy me.

This specific fear I have for the Quiverfulls is that people look at them and think, "My, how awesome they are, raising their children to be good little men and women/contributors to society..." And I just have a hard time accepting that, ok?

Wanna know why? Ok, here ya go:
They think that if enough of their followers have enough behbehs...
- they could eventually control CONGRESS.
- They could work to reclaim cities that have "fallen" to "sinful lifestyles," such as San Francisco, and Laguna Beach, and Miami, and Las Vegas, etc, etc...
- They could organize effective boycotting of companies that do not "comply" with Christian views on morality.
- They could basically turn back time, and make the world go back to the way it used to be, with women at home, barefoot and (duh!) pregnant, cleaning, cooking, and in general making life easy-peasy for their MAN. And apparently gay people would cease to exist (because of COURSE none of their "mighty sons and daughters" could possibly be so BROKEN as to be something like GAY, right???), government would be synonymous with church, and all companies would be run by people who believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and run without any kind of mistreatment of employees or customers, in a morally savory manner, without corruption and greed involved.

Riiigggghhhht. Because THAT'S all gonna happen. ::rolls eyes::

Look, I don't mind saying that I think these people have all lost a cookie or two in their brain, probably partly due to all the fucking and the subsequent noise they've created in their households. Anyone else with me? Because I just cannot get behind the thought that the Duggars are normal, good, and wholesome people to broadcast on t.v. the way they do. Not at all. ::shaking head:: They disturb me from head to toe, and the info above is largely the reason why.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fug.ly.

I was feeling a bit down yesterday after a conference call with the VP for our group didn't go the way I thought it would so soon after we dismissed so many people from our team, and so I decided to hit Target. I have this current goal to go for 3 months without buying clothing, unless it's absolutely necessary, and as I dressed yesterday morning, I found that I was lacking in the 3/4 length sleeve black cardigan department. And that was necessary enough for me.

I also needed some Method handsoap. They have the best price on the stuff. So off to Target I went!

So I found a cardigan without too much trouble, and then I went searching through the rest of their stuff for anything else that might catch my eye and make me feel my life was unliveable without it in my possession, but I had no luck at all. The clothes they have right now are downright FUGLY. I did finally find a nice lounge-around-the-house dress in the bathing-suit coverup area, and I grabbed my soap, and checked out.

It was an overall "meh" visit, I have to say.

I'm not feeling inspired over here much. Maybe my latest post over at the decor blog sapped me, I dunno. But go read that if you want more content, ok? Ok. :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Now that I know I have a paycheck still for a while...

We've finally decided to move on with the garage remodel, now that I know for sure that gainful employment is sticking with me for the time being, and all. We have our debt under control, and while I really, really wish that Home Depot would send one of those 12 month no payment/no interest deals out this week, so we can buy our supplies with no strings until next March, we can afford to buy the supplies right out, if necessary. It would have been much easier if we hadn't owed the Fed and the state of Kansas so fucking much on our taxes, but oh well. We need to move on, and just let it goooo....

Why do we need to even remodel the garage, you say? I mean, it IS just a place to park the car and store out of season supplies, tools, and leftover paint and stuff, right? Well, when I moved in, I hated it, and it just hasn't grown on me over the years the way I thought it might.

That back wall of exposed insulation drives me MAD. The side wall with the tools isn't even a proper drywall material, but is rather just some ugly plywood that I hate. And the other side with the shelves that hold all our paint, and other sundry items, is not insulated, even though it's an outer wall. That just drives me nutty.
That door up there? Yeah, its just a normal inside-the-house kinda door. We're replacing it with a proper steel outside-the-house kinda door. And framing it with something other than the weird space-filling caulk stuff that the previous home owners thought was sufficient.
All of the tools need a better home. I hate the way they hang right now. I need more hooks, and more organization, dammit!
In this next photo, note how the shelf on the bottom is tipped precariously toward the floor. I don't know why its like that, but I know its coming the fuck down...
This back corner where the little dresser and the plastic closed shelfing unit is at is where our washer and dryer used to be. I hated doing laundry out there for all those years, and now I hate going out to get tools from those two storage places even more. I want some proper shelves, and for the walls to be completed, dammit!

Anyway, we're working with Heather's Mr. Recommendation. Nice guy. Has some really good suggestions on reuse of the old insulation, and electrical changes and stuff. We should be done with tearing shit out in the next couple of days, and then we'll get on the install of the new insulation and drywall. This all wound up being perfectly timed with the large-item pick-up that our neighborhood is doing this coming Saturday, too. We're only tearing out the old shelves, and the one wall, so we don't have a need for a great, big dumpster like we initially thought, and not having to rent one means we save anywhere from $80 - $210!

So watch for updated pictures throughout the next couple of weeks. And don't think we're crazy when we paint the new walls and the ceiling, ok? I grew up with pretty garages, and I want one of my own now, dammit! I just hate storing stuff in a creepy, dirty, icky space...call me a weirdo if ya want. It's not like I didn't already know you feel that way about me, eh? Plus, we got the paint for free from a friend. So why not use it? Hell, I can always use the exercise...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Partying like we're Romans. Greeks? Meh...who cares? PARTY!

So, remember back to when I posted about when Leo and I went on vacation? In February? Yeah, there were more pictures from that trip that I hadn't posted yet, because I'm a fat, lazy, blaaawb of a person at times. Apparently, one of those times happened to be over the course of the past 4 weeks. Ok? Ok.

We were lucky enough to not only get to spend time with one of my oldest friends and his new fiancee, but on a beautiful Valentine's Day in Malibu, CA, no less. At a gorgeous museum. And then at dinner afterward, which was so beyond delicious, I can still remember what it tasted like. (And I want some NOW, in my mouth. Ungh!)

This is the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades (right south of Malibu), CA. I visited there years ago when I was at Pepperdine, and hadn't been back since they shut it down for renovations in the mid-90's. It reopened in its new carnation in 1999, I think, and I had been thisclose to being the assistant to the curator of the antiquities for the museum, that I still cry about it at night sometimes. But they blew me off, so they can go fuck themselves, is how I figure it. Anyway, pretty!

I'm going to post more pictures of the museum, along with the girl's tits that we had dinner with, later in this post. But in order to keep your interest for now, I thought I'd start with some of our favorite art found inside the museum. The Greeks knew how to partay, yo! This is a wine cup that was used back in, um, the day for drinking wine from. I like how they had pictures on the bottoms of the cups, so it was more fun to drink out of them, and then figure out which cup you had after you downed your first glass of wine. "Dude! I got the vomit dish again. Euphronios, why you always gotta give me this cup, man? It's gross! Now poor me some more, so you can help me act out the scene later, fucker..."
You think I'm joking, but I'm not. Here's the explanation for the dish, as provided by the museum...It got more interesting as we continued to look closely at the cups in the collection. I want the sexy times cup!
Dude! He got to do it with the stripper! Check out the description for this cup... I so would not have done well living in 450 - 400 BC in Greece. I'm waaaayyy too much of a prude!
This cup was more boring...dude is just helping his friend home from the party. WTF didn't they where clothes? No wonder all the parties turned into erotic something or others. Jeezy...
Naked, naked, naked!
More art discovered from another gallery proved that, I, too, could have been an artist back at the beginning of time... I could SOOOO carve that shit! C'mon!
Here's a typical statue found in the museum. This was an idealized Roman figure from...oh, I don't know when. We didn't think to take pitures of the plaques until we got to the wine cups, and that was a few rooms after this one. Anyway, my hypothesis as to why all the penisis (penisi?) were so small on the statues (because none of these dudes were very impressively endowed, lemme tell ya) is that they didn't want them to break off. I dunno any other reason for it...
"I am PISSED at you right now. I don't remember what about, or when it even started, but boy am I mad! Hrmph!"
("And I have to pee. Anyone know if there's a spare wine cup lying around that I can use? I really gotta gooooo!")
The grounds at the museum are really beautiful. This is another angle of the entrance to the villa.
Just inside, there was a really lovely interior courtyard that was very peaceful, even though there were people buzzing all about.
My favorite part of the grounds, though, is the exterior reflecting pool.
It's surrounded by promenade walkways like this one...
And this view is at the opposite end of the reflecting pool from the villa...
Leo and I took the opportunity to pose ourselves. Seems that when I make that face, I look FAT. Wow!
(Could be because I am FAT, but whatevs.)
This is another exterior garden that we walked through on our way back to the cars.
Then we went to dinner at Duke's in Malibu. Being that it was Valentine's Day, the restaurant was fucking PACKED. But we were seated in a decent amount of time (my friend had made the reservations for us...), and had drinks, and dinner, and then ordered dessert.
Throughout dinner, my sister and my friend's fiancee were giggling and talking about the woman that was sitting behind me. She was kinda OUT THERE with her bewbehs, and she was also drunk as a skunk, they said. Oh, and she had daddy issues, because she was with a dude who was waa-haaaay older than her. But I couldn't very well spin around to look at her! So I did the next best thing...I asked them to take a picture, as though they were taking one of me, but really get her in it instead. Here's how that went...
Ok, all we see is half of my fat head, and then right over my shoulders, some cleave that cannot be ignored.
I asked them to please try again. Leo and my friend got together to pretend to be photographed, and then friend's fiancee took a picture that was so obviously aimed at the chick, even she figured it out. Holy chreezy, look at the shelf o' bewb, though!
FUCK! What was she thinking? Soon after that, she and her date got up and left, with her walking out as though she had had sand pounded up her ass the entire time she was sitting there, and her date following her like a sad puppy. It was fun.

And that was the last big thing we did on vacation. It was AWESOME to see my old friend, and to meet his fiancee (who I really liked, and I'm so happy for them both!), and to be back in Malibu again. I kinda miss it. A lil' bit. Not much, but a little.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Whew!

::wiping brow:: Well, my job is officially safe. (For now...)

But today is gonna suck in so many ways, it hurts to be here. Last year, when we went through layoffs at my company, it wasn't so hard. My boss and I sat in a remote area of the office, and the rest of the team was spread out all over the building. But then we had a cube reconfiguration so that teams were sitting closer together, and while I lost the window seat I'd previously had, I also gained the position of being much closer to my team that I work for. This allowed me to get to know them better, and interact with them more.

And so losing such a huge amount of them like this? Well, let's just say that I've already had to hold back the tears a fair amount of times today, and it's only 9:20! ::sigh!::

This is a shitty, shitty day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Remember...I was hungry.

I thought that this was an interesting story I stumbled across on MSN today. Maybe it's because I have a strong dislike for being overwhelmed with customer service-type crap when I go out shopping. Which I think can be blamed mostly on the fact that I don't like people very much, so when they keep their distance, I usually appreciate it. This is also a big part of why I shop online when I can. Or at Target. Because customer service + Target = nonexistent, mkay?

However, just today I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get Leo a new Brita filter (because apparently, the tap water at our house just isn't good enough for him...), and a cheese slicer (because, well...we need a better way to slice the cheese in our house), and after I'd found the slicer (along with a olive/cherry pit remover that I had no idea existed until I saw it hanging there, and which made me do a little internal dance), I couldn't figure out where the Brita's were. As I glanced into the next section over, a salesperson asked me if I needed help. This was one time when I didn't want to just wander about aimlessly. (A) I was hungry; it was lunchtime, dammit. And (B) I had a feeling that the more I searched for the Brita, the more stuff I would find that I was previously unaware of needing. The helpful salesperson pointed behind me to an endcap full of fucking Brita waterpitchers, and I felt stupid, and thanked her, and then moved on with my shopping.

They had a section for all their cleaning stuff next to the kitchen stuff. I wandered in there thinking that maybe I could find a nice cleaner that will help with the removal of the dirt and mildew from the patio furniture, and there was a bot..."Can I get you a cart?" Shit. That same formerly helpful salesperson was suddenly becoming a nuisance. This was due in large part to point A made in the previous paragraph, along with the fact that (B) I really just wanted to find my shit and get the fuck out so I could take care of point A as soon as possible, dammit. She was starting to slow me down! My brain wasn't functioning properly (due to the hunger, mind you), so it took me a minute to process her question...did I need a cart? I was already a little weighed down with the Brita being as bulky as it was, and all. And I was planning on grabbing something else here in a moment, thereby adding to the products I was carrying around manually throughout the store. But I finally concluded that I did not need a cart, again I thanked her for her help, and I managed to shake her off of me.

I think it's my hair that's making me look stupid lately, or something. I'm growing out my bangs, and I think it makes me look slightly impaired, perhaps. Because it's like I don't know how to properly groom myself, or what have you. But there's no way around the awkward stage with the bang-growing-out issue. You have to just go through it, scraggly hair in your eyes be damned! Because if you let it get to you...if you trim the bangs in order to make them look manageable again, then the bangs have won. And dammit my bangs are not the mutherfucking boss of me!

Anyway, how do you all feel about customer service that appears to be over the top? I think some would rather have too much customer service than none at all. And to be fair, I do not think that the lady in BB&B was over the top...I was just not in a good state of mind for shopping, really. But I think the examples given in the article are spot-on for over the top levels of service. And I would be highly annoyed in those same situations. (Again, blame it on the fact that I should move under a rock, already, and get it over with.) Being that I work for a company that is constantly (finally!!!) striving for customer service happiness beyond anything we've ever dreamed of having, it's an interesting point to me. So tell me your thoughts on the subject...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's getting even creepier...if that's possible.

I try my best not to give any attention to that Nadya Suleman character, or her stupid decisions, or her random family support that ebbs and flows with the tides. But this is getting fucking creepy. For no real reason...just thought I'd mention it.

The Twin and I were born in Whittier, CA. We lived there for the first 10 years of our lives. That's where this Nadya idiot is from, and apparently now her dad has bought a home in La Habra, which is the next city over from Whittier, and was where our grandmother lived for a good deal of time. Its just weird to read these ridiculous, fucked up stories, and to be able to relate to the locations they're taking place. Its hard to explain why...

So I was just reading the story about her dad buying this house in La Habra, and how Suleman has accepted the offer of help from a group called Angels in Waiting. The article says that she had originally turned down their offer for help because it would involve relocation to the mountain community of Lake Arrowhead.

And that's when my head exploded. Because after we left Whittier, our family moved to Lake Arrowhead when the Twin and I were 10.

I know that NONE of this is of any consequence to me, has nothing to do with me, and is not related to my life in any way whatsoever. But it's just rubbing me the wrong way to hear all these places that I'm so familiar with being associated with this piece of shit of a human being. That is all.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Tell me funny stories...

My gut is killing me. I'm at work because I'm an idiot, and I don't know how to go home without saying to my boss that my gut is ready to explode every 10 minutes, and that's just a bit too embarrassing for a Monday morning, IMO.

But I'm seriously getting to that point.

Tell me some funny stories. Or point me in the direction of some. Do SOMETHING to help me get my mind off my churning intestinal issue. PLEASE.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Back to the beginning...

I didn't sleep well again last night. I wanted to sleep well, but it wasn't happening. I was woken by Jake, who decided he needed to wander around the room more than just do the sleep thing that the rest of us were doing, so he's an ass. (I know...shocking.) I finally got up to let him out after almost an hour. Hell, I wasn't going to be able to sleep with all the movement in the room, so I figured, why not?

It was one of those nights that was between too warm for me to be comfy, but not warm enough to warrant switching on the AC. Not yet...oh hell to the no. So I got out of bed hoping to cool down a bit, which worked...it was much cooler in the living room, for some reason. I fell asleep on the couch, and woke up a few minutes later realizing the puppies were still outside. While that's not unusual for Jake (it could be a sideways blowing blizzard outside, and 30 below, and he'd still have trouble being called back into the house), it was weird that Izzy hadn't come back in yet. So I went and called her, and she came up, and then looked back out the dog door for Jake. My eyes had adjusted to the dark at that point, so I could see Jake out at the other side of the yard, and I also saw something lighter colored there near him. He wouldn't come when I called him. He finally came after I walked out on the deck, and sounded more threatening than I had been up till then.

I didn't want to know what that lighter colored thing was. I tried to forget about it as I wrangled the puppies back into the bedroom. Jake was still restless after that, but I was somehow able to nod off again, and got a little rest here and there throughout the night.

As soon a Leo opened the door this morning, Jake was out like a shot. I slept for another half hour, and when I got up, both he and Iz were still outside. Ok, the weather is nicer, and to be fair, he spends a lot of time under the deck when he gets the chance, so I figured he could have been under there. I told Leo that I was afraid there was a carcass in the yard all the same, and I didn't want to deal with that! Leo called them inside and closed the door, and then he left for work. I gave them treats for coming when called, and then I noticed that there was definitely something out in the yard, and it had been moved (if it was the same object) from where I'd seen it in the middle of the night over to under a tree on the other side of the yard. Curiosity almost got me, but I was busy getting breakfast together, I didn't really feel like wretching all morning, and I just wanted to watch GMA and get ready for work.

So I've asked Leo to check it out when he gets home. I can't wait to find out what it is...I think it's a squirrel. It looked fluffy, anyway. Not sure if its a bunny. It had to have been dead when it arrived, because Jake has no trace of blood on him at all. ::sigh:: So gross. Dogs are so, sooo gross!

I've asked Leo to take pictures, so don't worry...I'll have documentation of what it is to share at a later time. :)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Steady as she goes...

I got sleep last night. Wonderful, deep, dark, beautiful sleep. It was fabulous. I remember lamenting the fact that I didn't feel tired at all as I shut the light off at about 10:45, but then I must have conked out right away...I woke up in the middle of the night at some point to pee, and I remember stumbling into the bathroom to do so, which is good because it gets messy otherwise, and then I must have just dropped right off again into sleep because next thing I knew, Leo's alarm was going off at 5:25.

When mine went off a 6, I considered calling in sick, I was enjoying the sleep so much. But I managed to pull myself together, and get my ass in here. I still wish I'd been able to sleep more, but the weekend is right around the corner, so I console myself with that fact.

Important thing is: ANTM ("America's nex Top Model" for those who don't know...), or "Train Wreck" as we like to refer to it in our house, started last night! Squeeeee!!!! This is going to be a fun batch of girls. I'm kinda sad they sent home the epileptic one so quickly, since Sandra is SUCH a douchette and a half, but I guess it made the most sense. I can't find a snapshot, but let me just say at the outset that if that was the photo they chose as the winning one for this week (Allison's wide-eyed portayal of a child playing double-dutch jumprope), then we are in for one wild mutherfuckin' ride, yo! That picture was AWFUL! It made me turn to Leo and do my own impression of her which involved me opening my eyes super-wide, and hanging my mouth open as I just said, "Der-uuuhhhhh..." and almost started drooling. She looked DUMB, not pretty. Not like she belonged in a pictorial or an editorial story, or whatever it is they like to say. She looked like she was doing her best Lenny impression, and was about to hug a bunny until she squished it, ok?

So let me give you my quick run down right now, and then we can move on with eating lunch.

This is Sandra. She's a bitch and a half. I was so glad to see her failing time after time because bitch was so, soooo cocky at the outset, and was a ridiculous asshole about the bed situation when they first arrived in the house, that it pissed me off. Why? Because I was pulling for her to make it past the semi-final round in Vegas (where the show began last night), and then she went and let me down and shit. FUCK YOU SANDRA! I hope you twist your arm in an attempt to be the proper angle of "broken" during your next photo shoot, and you have to go home. You overconfident asshat...
This is London. She's dressed like a hooker much of the time (one that shops at Walmart, no less...ick), but she's actually a street preacher. She's a full-on whacked out Jesus freak, yo! As she so humbly volunteered to sleep on the floor after Sandra's sucktastic defiance in the 12-beds-for-13-girls-situation, Celia said, "Really? You'll sleep on the floor?" And London replied by jumping across the bed to her blanket and pillow on the floor and yelling out, "Yes! I AM JESUS!" So, yeah, there's that. The thing is, I really, really like her. Hm. Don't know what to do with that...
...I also don't know what to do with her rubber pants. But, I guess as long as she knows what to do with them, that's all that matters, kay? Ok.
This is Celia. She's a pretentious, stuck-up snobby type thus far. She has really pretty hair. Which I predict they will chop off when they do the make-overs. Mwahahahahahaha! She has the potential to become a favorite of mine, but I can't quite put a finger on why. The twin and I had a friend named Celia when we were growing up. Celia Klunder. Maybe that's why? I dunno.
She looks stubby and kinda chubby in that photo, somehow. But she's not. She's tall and super-skinny, so yeah. Celia can model.

And this is Allison. The geeky, mousey, weird-looking one for this cycle. She likes and has a fascination with blood. How do I know that? Because she told the judges in her interview for the semi-finalist break down. Yeah, Allison is an odd bird. And her eyes are NOT pretty. People need to stop saying that, because they bug out and get weird, and she needs to reign that in NOW so that she doesn't turn into Carla from Top Chef's season 5. Allison, get a hold on it now, sista! Before it's too laaaate! Augh!!!!

Anyway, I'm glad its back. I'm sure Rich is too. Woo!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Blogroll

Well, something is going wonky with my blogroll. And I know that Blogroller crapped out a few months ago, and that's why I haven't updated it at all, and I knew that I really needed to find a new way to post a roll aside from using Blogroller, but I was being lazy, ok? I admit it! I'm a lazy beyotch, and I wanted to ignore the problem.

Well, now I've done it...it appears as thought something happened today, because first my roll didn't even show up, then it did, but it was all out of order (I'm an alphabetical kinda gal), and none of the links work! Fuck, fuck, fuck...

And I can't check to see what the status is with Blogroller because my work put a fucking BLOCK up on it! WTF? WHYYY???

Anywho...I know there are other roll options. But that would entail me moving everyone's link somewhere else, and ::sigh::...don't waaannnaaaaa!

My anxiety isn't getting better this week. I barely slept last night, and I had hoped to get up and hit the gym this morning, but getting as much rest as possible seemed a better idea, for some reason, even though I know that working out will greatly assist with the anxiety. But I hadn't slept... wasn't thinking clearly. And then I got out of bed to pee at 5:30 when Leo's alarm went off, and I was SUPER-dizzy. I thought it might've been a fluke. When I woke up, I tried sitting on the couch sipping tea, and watching t.v. until it calmed down. Which it did a lil' bit, but its still there now...I'm all spinny and shit. Not in a fun way.

So I hope tomorrow will be different, and that I get sleep tonight, and can get up and work out tomorrow and not be dizzy...

This all just sucks.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Glass half full...with contingencies?

Ok, so I'm trying to keep really positive about my job, and not losing it and all of that. I've been feeling really good about it until this week, when I started getting all nervous again for some reason. There's a part of my brain that keeps thinking that the more positive I am about not losing it, the higher the chance of me keeping it will be.

But I put my resume up on CareerBuilder today, all the same.

Is that being contradictory? Am I setting myself up for a fall because of that teeny, tiny lack of faith I have in me being able to keep my job?

Or is it just my innate adminism (my new word...I really like it, don't you?) getting me to be all proactive in the situation, and shit? There are a shocking amount of admin jobs available right now. And I guess there's just a part of me that wants to make sure I'm in the running for one or two of them, should I have need to be.

Oh, and just a reminder to any executives, or HR departments, or staffing companies out there that happen to read this: If you are looking for an "executive assistant" to fill a position, you had better damned well be ready to pay more than $12 - $15 an hour. Unless you are really looking for a glorified receptionist who only has a couple of years of experience under their belt. Because, honey, we don't come that cheap, ok? Jeezy...

Monday, March 02, 2009

Anyone know a good rock I can live under?

It happened again. Kids in a bar. I know I’m asking for shit when I talk about stuff like this, but my story is different this time, so bear with me for a minute.

I went to the Moose yesterday to meet up with friends and watch the KU game. I got there first. The bar itself was empty. I expected at least 2 friends, so I saved 2 seats. The rest of the bar area was full of KU fans taking advantage of the $7 Bud Light pitchers, and the upgraded brunch the Moose has started serving on Sundays. Because of the brunch going until 2 p.m., there were less tables than usual in the bar, and seats in there were at a premium. In fact, while I was there, only one table became free, and it was gone almost as soon as it opened.

It wasn’t long before someone came in and sat on my left at the bar. He respected the chair I was leaning on, and took the one on the other side of it. He was meeting 2 people as well…they showed up over the course of the next 30 -60 minutes, respectively.

On the other side of me (I like sitting in the center of the bar), I had my coat and scarf on the chair to signify it was taken. About 15 minutes before the game started I heard someone say, “You guys just wanna sit at the bar?” I looked over to see a family of 4, mom, dad, and their son and daughter – I would guess the kids were about 11 and 13. The dad had his laptop open as soon as he set it down...mmkaay. Then the mom started to try to take the seat I had my coat on, and I had to stop her…”I’m sorry, I’m saving this seat for someone.” Oh, she said. They scooted down one, and took up the final 4 seats at the right-hand side of the bar. (Who the fuck does that? There was a fucking COAT on the chair! Dude. Get out more. For those unaware, the coat/purse/jacket slung over an empty chair is the universal sign that (a) someone is sitting there, and will be right back from wherever they've gone to or (b) its being saved for someone that will arrive shortly. DUH.)

I called out to the bartender, “Hey Nick, have fun with this one. [pointing with my thumb in the direction of the family] Unbelievable, eh?” As most of you well know, I don’t mask my derision with families sitting at the bar. Particularly when they aren’t there just waiting for a table in the main dining room, and when they seemingly have no clue that a big game is about to start, and that maybe GROWN UPS who are there to watch it with their friends would like a place to sit and have a few beers while they watch the game unfold. I shot more than one dirty look their way while they were there, and when my friend Jim came in right as the game began and needed a seat, I moved my coat and said he was more than welcome to that one, as long as he didn’t mind sitting next to a kid.

The family ate their food that they had ordered, and went on their way as halftime ended, and the people who had been sitting back behind a post in the waiting area for the restaurant descended on the open seats like vultures. I had heard the bartender apologize to the family for something…not in a huge way. Just a “sorry ‘bout that” and I wasn’t sure if they had complained about my mouthiness, or if the manager had actually told them they couldn’t sit there and needed to move along, or what. As far as I’m concerned, Nick was too nice, and should have told them they needed to move into the main dining room as soon as they sat down. (Isn't it illegal for minors to sit at the bar? I can't find anything online about it, so correct me if I'm wrong on that. It should be if it isn't.) But he works for tips…I totally get that he makes a living from being nice to whoever may cross his path.

Anyway, it didn’t exactly set me off on the right foot for the rest of the day. I should have stayed at home, in hindsight. Because MAN! WTF???