Friday, July 30, 2010

Weird drugging incident in KC area...

I received this story link via a coworker earlier today, and as I hadn't heard about this incident, I thought it might be helpful to spread the word, just in case.

Basic gist is that a woman was outside of the QuikTrip at 435 and Wornall on Saturday morning, and was approached by a man who handed her a piece of paper. She took it, to be polite, tossed it on the passenger seat next to her, and then drove away. Almost immediately, she started feeling ill, to the point where she thought she was going to pass out. She happened to look in her rear view mirror, and the man who gave her the paper was following her! So she drove to a safe haven (in this case, McDonald's at 103rd and State Line), and ran inside asking for help, where 911 was finally called.

The police are investigating what happened, but they think some sort of drug was on that paper she was given. She had to go to the hospital because of it!

Everyone be careful out there, now! Scary stuff...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I draw the line at ghost brake jobs, honestly.

The car shopping experience is over. I chose a car, and am moving on with life as of this coming Saturday. It's hard to shop for cars! Between my stress levels over making a long-term decision like that, and the prospect of having to disappoint one or more of the very nice salespeople I worked with along the way, it's enough to remind me why I don't do this sort of thing very often. The last time I shopped, actually, I narrowed it down quickly to being between my 325ci from BMW, and an MDX from Acura. But the bitch I worked with at Acura was so disconnected and unconcerned, she made it easy really. She never called me to follow up on the decision, and she really seemed more like I was bothering her by even inquiring about the vehicle in the first place! So fuck her...she made it easy. I bought my BMW, and was happy.

The weird brake issue still hasn't been solved. I gave my mechanic another chance to investigate the whole thing, and they still are insisting that they never could have made the mistake that was made. So I'm moving on and hopefully they eventually figure out what they did wrong. With the new car in my hands, anyway, I won't have a need to go there for a while, so its not any big deal really. I just wish our relationship at this time could have ended on a higher note, is all. :/

This is what my new car looks like. (Again, it's an Infiniti G37x, which means it's an all-wheel drive. WOO!) I personally haven't seen many of them on the road around town, so I'm excited to be part of a new coupe trend!


Those seats? Are so. comfy. Can't wait! With the BMW traded in, I basically have to bring a few hundred dollars to the appointment to pick it up, to pay for the tint on the windows that my super-pale skin and very sensitive eyes require, and to complete my money down on the deal that I wanted to put in, and then I'm literally paying about $50 more per month than I did for my BMW for all those years I had it. (I had a loan from my father, and I paid him back for it on an annual or bi-annual basis...) I'm so happy!

And this is the last you'll hear from me about it, I swear. Tomorrow, I'll be bitching and moaning about my recent experiences at the local Apple Store, so tune in then for something *new*. :D

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I swear, I'm gonna go Lenny on his ass someday...

Oh, hai. Ahm jus' relaxing bah da windah. I lahk leanin' when ah relax...

Monday, July 26, 2010

I pretty much hate car shopping with a burny fire of 8,000 suns.

This totally might be my new car in a few days, guys. Whatdya think? (Except imagine it in black. With tinted windows. And I guess those rims are ok.)
I kinda luuurrrrvvve it. A LOT. (It's an Infiniti G37x, for those who care. 2010.) But I need to be reasonable and responsible, and test drive another couple of cars first before I set my mind on it 100%. So tonight, I'll continue with the comparison shopping. ::sigh:: I kinda hate shopping for cars.

Also fun and amazing and wonderful! Our front landscaping appears to be completed. I like it. Do you like it?

Not much color from anything yet, but they're brand new plants. You can't be judgy with them until it's been at least a few months. Then you can freely side-eye them if they haven't produced their promised blooms, but really, you should save any yelling and arm-waving for the following year, because they need time to settle in their new soil and get happy. And that can take at least a year. I know, I was surprised when I learned that, too.
Anyway, life has been productive. I much prefer lazy life. Looking forward to getting that back in the next few weeks or so...

Well, it had to catch up to her sometime.

Hahahaha! The bathroom ninja totally came into the bathroom a minute too early this morning. She caught me while I was still in the stall. It seemed to confuse her, honestly...by the time I came out, she had visited two other stalls, and hadn't yet settled on which one to use.

No, I'm not joking.

Along that same bathroom vein, on Friday night, Leo and I went to Blue Grotto over in Brookside for dinner. Dinner was great. The beers I had were well-warranted. But when I went to go to the bathroom, I discovered it was a single-use bathroom, and there was already a lady waiting outside for it. She finally got to go in, and I was waiting in the hallway when a couple of other ladies approached. They looked at me, and then one of them said, "Is it not open?" and then pushed on the door. I couldn't help giving her a WTF? look. I'm sorry, I just couldn't. And then I said, "Oh no...I just like it out here. It's nice. And it smells good. ::inhales deeply::" She looked at me with a little confusion, and then laughed politely. And then the chick that was in the bathroom came out, and I went in and that was that.

But seriously, WTF???

Friday, July 23, 2010

Officially in car hell.

This doesn't even make any sense, now. So my car has been getting fixed off and on since late May, right? First, the AC started to go wonky, so we added the coolant or charged the antifreeze or whatever the fuck it is that needs to be done in a case like that, and we were done.

Then, the belts started going all whirry and crazy and making noises that were quite scary. Got them all replaced, and found out that the water pump needed to be replaced, to boot! Fabulous. But a water pump is important, as are all those belts and spinners, so it was done.

A week later, the car was giving me the signals that it wanted to stop when I really needed it to keep going. Nope, you definitely cannot suddenly shut down while sitting at the intersection of 75th and Nall, little Beamer! You have to wait until I stop and turn the key before you do that, mkay? It cooperated long enough for me to get it to my mechanic, who couldn't do anything for me. So I had to take it to...DUN DUN DUUNNN...the dealer. GAH! The fuel pump was all unhappy and gunked up. And there were other things wrong as well. So we got them fixed, and all was ok again.

But all this time, my car has had an escalating loud clicking noise going on under the front right side, sounding like it's coming from the axle, or the wheel somehow. Maybe having to do with the brakes...not sure. Since I'm not a mechanic, I'm just going by the fact that my car shouldn't be making any other noises except "VROOM VROOM", you know?

I was letting it go for a while because...well, see above sections about water pumps and belts and fuel pumps and all that good stuff.

But now that all this shit is happening, I'm kinda in the mood to get rid of the car. It just seems like it's time has come. So if I want to get it sold soon, that means I need to fix things that make noise while it's being driven, or else I'm afraid potential buyers will run away screaming instead of pulling out their checkbooks.

So we dropped it off at the good ol' mechanic's today, and they took the time to look it over and figure it out.

They called me a little bit ago to go over what they'd found. And what they'd found was that all four brakes looked brand new. BRAND NEW. When we last replaced them in 12/2008. Which means it's been about a year and a half, and a good 8,000 miles since then, soooo whatthefuck?

The problem is that the brake pads that were put on there don't fit my car. They aren't even brake pads these guys would order, usually, and they certainly wouldn't use them on my car, they said. But, unless I have brake pad gnomes coming into my garage at night to fuck with my car, and sabotage me for their gnomey, goofy hijinx, I cannot figure out who else would've put them on my car, except for the guys at my mechanic shop! I don't take my car anywhere else. And the last time they were under there to do anything near brakeish areas was in February, when they repaced 2 tires, and rotated things about.

I swear I've had my brakes done more recently than 12/08. But looking back at the records we have at home, it seems that definitely was the case.

So how is any of this possible?

I'm going to lose my mind. I figure if it's going to happen, I might as well be drunk, so if anyone needs me, I'll be neck-deep in a bottle of merlot...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The dumbest kind of ninja in existence...

I'm a weird person when it comes to public bathroom behavior. Not so much when it comes to public-public spaces...but moreso at the office. Like, if I go into a bathroom at Target, my expectations of both the room itself and the people using it are pretty low. No doubt about it. But at work, we're all professional here, ok? We work in a nice place. The bathrooms are maintained by a roving cleaning crew a few times a day. We tend to see the same people in there a minimum of 3 times a week, depending. (Not that I know what it depends on, really...just, it does, is all.)

For the last 3 weeks, I've been on the same bathroom trajectory as this one woman that, prior to 3 weeks ago, I had never seen in the bathroom. I think I'd seen her once or twice as we left the building at the same time after work on a couple of days. Or maybe in the kitchen. She looks familiar, but I can't place why.

Anyway, every time I see her in the restroom, it's when I've just finished up some bidness, and I'm washing my hands. Now, when I have specific bidness, I try to do it in the furthest stall from the door. (I don't think I'm unusual in this regard, btw.) Generally, the rest of the bathroom stalls are completely empty...all 6 of them. Because that's another goal I have for specific bidness performing: Empty bathroom. And then when I leave the stall, I use the sink that's directly across from that furthest stall from the door. It just makes sense.

For the record, when I see someone coming out of a stall, or washing their hands at that sink that's across from the stall furthest from the door, I go into another stall, and it's usually the one furthest from that stall, if possible. We have many options in our restroom here at the office. I use that to my advantage, as I think most folks would choose to do if they had many options. It's not like I'm at a baseball game or the airport or something, and I'm waiting in line for ANY stall to open. Because in those cases, you just do what you gotta do. It's rare that we have a full house here in our office restroom, so choices are plentiful and personal space can be easily respected.

But this woman...this odd, bathroom ninja of sorts...she has come into the bathroom directly after I've left that far stall at least 3 times now, and she then goes into that stall she knows I've just come out of.

First of all, I don't get that mentality. Not at all. I don't like a warm toilet seat. It's like drinking warm water...there's just something oogy about it to me.

Second of all, DUDE. Personal space invasion! Also, I've usually just shat in there. So more power to you for wanting to deal with my remaining aura, for fuck's sake.

Third of all, you have SIX other toilets to choose from. I don't care if it's my favorite toilet that's available...if I just saw someone walk out of it, or I see someone nearby it and can deduce the fact that they were likely just in there, I'm gonna choose another stall.

I thought that was the case. I really did. I thought, well, it's her favorite stall, and she don't compromise, yo! Whatever she has to put up with, she WILL go in that stall, dadgummit! But then today, I was in the stall closest to the door...just running in and running out before a meeting, so I didn't need the dilly-dally of crossing the whole room and all that. And as I was washing my hands at the sink closest to the door, who walked into the bathroom? THAT'S RIGHT! It was the bathroom ninja! And she walked right into the stall I'd just come out of. It was significantly less embarrassing to me since I hadn't done anything in there but pee, but dammit! It was weird!

I know, I know...I am weird. But still, I know there are some of you out there that feel me on this. It's not news that people shit in bathrooms. But it's still something I like to keep at a distance from others, if at all possible, and the bathroom ninja is just fucking ruining that for me. ::sigh::

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

All you people who hate snow?

...I bet you're about ready to come over to the dark side now, eh? This weather we're having lately? This whole 81 degrees, but feels like 95 at 5 a.m. kind of weather? Is fucked up.

All I keep thinking, though, is thank GOD I live during a time when AC exists. I think I'd have melted into an angry puddle of fat bitch by mid-June had I lived back in 1885, and experienced a summer like this!

But then again, I'm a person who would much rather be cold than be hot. So there's that. If you're one of those people who are the opposite of that, first of all you're weird. And second of all, I can see how you'd hate winter as much as I hate summer. So we're even, I s'pose.

We've just been keeping indoors around the Smith house, relaxing and doing our normal routine lately, so it's just quiet for now. Because of the heat, the relandscaping project is at a stand still for the time being, but hopefully they'll be able to work on it a bit today...we'll see. Really, though, nothing noteworthy is happening in our lives, so that might explain why writing has been more sparse as of late.

Oh! I was thinking of this one topic, though, after listening to a little bit of Afentra on the Buzz this morning...she apparently got an insane electric bill for the month of June, and she was looking for advice and stories about other peoples' bills from callers while I was on my way to work. People were giving her advice on the whole balanced bill thing that our local electric company does, where they take the average of your bills for the past year, and then charge you that for the following year...like some dude called in and said that his bill is $98 every month. And it had been $130, so it went down compared to the previous year. So he keeps his AC at 69 all the time, because, hey! Only $98 a month, no matter what!

Yeah, he's mildly retarded, though, because those usage numbers will just up his average he pays next year, so I hope he enjoys it now, because its probly going up come January!

Anyway, I've never seen any advantage in that kind of a plan. This time of year, my gas bills are around $25. And my AC bill was at $130 last month, I think. (We keep our house between 71 - 75/76 during these hot summer months.) In winter, it'll reverse, and I'll be paying over $100 for gas, and less than $30 for electric. It's cyclical, and I'm used to it, and I like it.

So I'm all curious now...how do you do it in your household? And what's the average temp you keep your house at?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

We may never have the cutest house on the block, but damn if we don't have curb appeal!

Back when I first bought our house in 2003, it was a yellowish color with blue shutters and a red door.

I liked the red door. I hated the house color and the shutters.

But the house on the inside was what mattered! And 3 tiny bedrooms, a bathroom that needed a serious update, and wallpaper borders were all overlookable, thanks to the HUGE backyard, and the nicely sized kitchen that was relatively new. And I figured on maybe painting/replacing the siding one day in the future, and getting new shutters right off the bat was a snap, so I had that going for me.

But I always, always knew that a front yard re-do would be in the cards at some point down the road. Since Leo and I will likely be looking into a larger home in the next year or two, getting everything up to snuff for a near-future sale now just makes sense to us.

We replaced the siding when we did the addition on the house a couple of years ago. It had been metal siding that we were planning on painting, but then the addition wound up needing vinyl siding, so we replaced it all then and just added the pricetag to the already ridiculous amount of money we've put into the house that we'll never get back! (It's about making it a beautiful place to live, at this point. Not so much about the investment, because that's just plain laughable these days! Especially since the twat who had her house on the market down the street from us lowered her asking price from $120,000 to $90,000 a month and a half ago. Gee, thanks twat! You wouldn't have wanted to maybe get rid of/paint the paneling in the bonus room, or take the random garland of fake flowers down from the mirror in the bathroom, or anything...noooo. Definitely a good idea to lower your price by $30,000, to a ridiculously low level instead. ::roll eyes::)

And to be honest, the landscaping was never all that bad, really. Right in front of the house, we have pleasant plants that are relatively easy to maintain and look pretty good year round.

But our side yard, between our house and our neighbor directly south of us was always a mess. An overgrown and out of control lilac bush (with a tree of some sort living inside of it, too!) was always there, along with a nice peony that blooms every year. Leo and I tried different ideas over the years, but failed miserably. Here's the front of the house, with the side yard I'm referring to off to the right, there:

(That tree in the center of the photo is dying. We're planting a new tree - a white oak, or something of that sort - to replace it, but we'll leave it up for another year or two while the oak grows in, and then chop it down...)

Here's a better picture of what a monstrosity the side yard has gradually turned into:

Oh, hello monster lilac bush! YOU SUCK!
So we've been planning with our landscaper for a total tear out and re-do for the last few months. They finally got the project started this past week, going at that lilac bush with a little buzzsaw, and giving it a what's for! Here are all the roots that were left when they finished:There's a chance the bush (tree?) will try to regrow in the future, but at least well have a better handle on it now that it's all cleared out. Lookit how nice and clean! Aaahhhh...
So our landscaper, Judd, was out there on Monday, working and sweating away at the new flower bed. Leo sent me a photo of the outline and asked what I thought. I said, "Where will the tree be?" (We're planting a magnolia at the east side of the bed, and then planting grasses and flowers and stuff all around it.) So then he sent me this picture, with Judd standing in as the tree for me! Hahahaha!
"Perfect!" I replied. And so they really got down to business. By the time I got home, they had widened the bed a bit, and started the laying of the pavers that will create the raised part of it all

Our neighbor seems happy with the project so far, which is nice because it's kinda infringing on her property a bit. But she's always been keen on the improvements we make, so I don't think it'll cause a problem.

Between all his other landscaping projects and regular mowing and stuff, Judd hasn't been able to finish the project this week, but figures on it being completed next Monday or Tuesday, depending on weather. I'll post pictures of the completed product when it's done. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I think my house ghost took my birth control pill on Monday night.

The title of this post really says it all. Monday night, I went through the normal bedtime routine that I always do. At one point, that involved me taking my birth control pill, so I can continue my efforts toward trying to keep the earth a less evil place. (I would surely have the most evil kids ever, should I get pregnant. I picture something between Stewie Griffin and the current Mel Gibson that we have going on right now. Yeah, I don't wanna raise that. Would you wanna raise that? Didn't think so!)

The problem is that when I put my pill in my mouth, all I got was forefinger and thumb. The pill had magically disappeared. I'm totally not joking.

I've dropped pills before. And it's easy to see where they get themselves rolled to, because we have a dark brown rug, and the pills are small but they're white, or some variation of a whiteish color, so I can always find them easily, and get them back on track to where they belong. But on Monday, the pill literally seemed to *POOF*, disappear, and an exhaustive search of the area (in the drawer I had open on my nightstand, on the floor, under the bed, under the nightstand, in between the bed frame and the mattress, all over the sheets, in my bra I still have to wear to sleep for the next few months, etc, etc...) turned up empty.

I just took the next pill in the pack, and decided to resume my search with more light, including flashlight in hand, when I got home from work on Tuesday night.

Yeah, I still couldn't find it!

Where did that pill go, you guys???

My life is weird, sometimes. ::sigh::

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yep...DEFNITELY switching to Wednesdays.

I hate grocery shopping.

Well, that's actually a pretty strongly worded statement that isn't mostly true. Because I really enjoy making lists, shopping in a tidy order thanks to said list, and buying food. All of those parts of the grocery shopping experience are great! Big thumbs up from me.

The part I hate is where we come into contact with other human beings.

There are relatively few activities that I do throughout the week that can rival the grocery shopping experience on The Coming into Contact with the Annoying Humans of the World Scale. Driving is one of them...it's an inevitable daily experience that I wind up behind at least 2 or 3 people who don't know that green means go, and/or don't know how to leave enough space between their car and the one in front of them so they don't have to SLAM on their brakes all of a sudden, giving me very little warning that HEY, WE'RE STOPPING NOW.

Another one is the gym and people who pretend its their own private gym located in their parents' basement, but I already kinda discussed that last week, in another post that also involved a lot of bitching and moaning about bad drivers, so you know that these two topics are pretty close to my heart, really.

Anyway, grocery shopping. We do it on Sundays at our house, and after yesterday's weekly trip to the store, we've decided to switch starting next week. NO MORE shopping on Sundays. I suggested Wednesday night as an alternative, but Leo thinks that Friday might be the least crowded one at the stores. We might give them both a go...we'll see. But after watching parents let their children run willy-nilly throughout produce departments to play with "weird-looking" vegetables (um, that is a squash. It's not like it's a fucking breadfruit, or something, FFS. Half wit...), and get their arms stuck in the blood pressure machine in the Walmart Grocery's pharmacy section, and then finishing the trip by almost getting body-checked by a 5 month old on the hip of her apparently unconcerned (and likely super-tired, I'd guess) mother who was wearing pants that she should've given up 30 pounds ago, I'm done. Done, done, DOOONE! (Honestly, had that baby slammed into my face, who would've been blamed for the collision? I managed to avert it at the last moment, but it was almost like the woman was aiming for me, or something. Very odd.)

All this to say the same thing you all have heard me saying since about the beginning of time: I hate people. I really do. The majority seem to have their heads up their asses, and it's tiresome to deal with people like that all the time! C'mon folks!!! Be aware! Be present when you're outside the confines of your own home! And for pete's sake, try to keep your damned baby's head away from my skull, thank you very much. Jeezy.

Friday, July 09, 2010

No offense, but I'm going to go ahead and ignore you, mkay?

How would you respond if you received the following EMAIL from a work contact:

"Excellent can u update me with ure # so I have it in my files?"

A. Ignore them.
B. Write them back with a fictitious number so they'll get the clue that you don't want to hear from them ever again.
C. Write them back eventually and say, "I'm sorry for the delay, but I wasn't sure if that email was intended for me, or for your homey or your current skank, or what have you. You can always get a hold of me best via email, so feel free to contact me that way should you ever need my assistance in the future. Peace out, boyeeee."

Thursday, July 08, 2010

I'm just gonna pretend it's because I'm pretty.

So I mentioned something in my post yesterday about there being a fair amount of dudes that read my blog, and y'all showed up in force to prove me right! Hot damn, I like it when you guys contribute! :D

It's because I talk about my boobs a lot, isn't it? Hrmm...

Thanks to all the girlies who responded on that post, too, btw. Much appreciated. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my strong dislike for those kinds of get togethers!

Speaking of boobs, though, I went to the doctor today for a final follow up on the reduction. He says everything looks good to him! (We both kind of ignored the fact that the nipple on the left boob is slightly bigger than the one on the right. I honestly forgot to bring it up, and he just didn't say anything, so maybe it's supposed to be like that? I don't rightly care much, actually. They're covered up all the time, anyway, so the only people that see them are me and Leo, and a handful of lucky doctors now and again. Leo seems fine with them the way they are. I definitely don't give two shits, especially since they're smaller than the old ones. And I just dare my gyno or any other doctor to bring it up sometime. Hahahaha! That'd be a fun appointment, I'd bet! I need to practice bursting into tears on the spot, so I can make people think that I'm totally traumatized over it, or whatever. Heehee! I love being evil.) He gave me some advice on how to help the scars heal and blend a bit more over time, and told me it's ok for me to lift weights again, and then I was back on my way. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face for at least an hour. I am so, so, sooo happy that I had that surgery, you guys. So happy. It was worth every last penny and recovery day.

I bought some new bathing suits in honor of the new boobs, even though we don't really have any plans to hang out near water anytime soon. I might take some pictures in them this weekend, and then share them next week. We'll see. Pictures are always fun! Well, for me, they are. I don't know about anyone else. If we go by the popularity of a blog like Hyperbole and a Half, we can assume that people like pictures to accompany text, but Allie draws her pictures. And she writes hella funny stories, so that doesn't hurt either, I'd think.

Or is she popular because of the whole boob thing, too? I dunno. Being a girl, it's hard to figure out sometimes why people are paying attention to you, really.

Anyway, I'll be taking pictures soon and sharing them, so you have that to look forward to. Or not. Depending on your personality type. (Whatever.)

So the moral to the blog post is that nipple size doesn't really matter, as long as they're smaller than the size of a saucer, and Allie over at Hyperbole and a Half is fucking funny. That's what I got out of it, anyway. ::shrugs::

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

You have 2 seconds to answer...quick, what do you say???

As I was settling into work this morning, a coworker I'm somewhat chit-chatty with approached my desk...

Coworker: Hey! How're you?
Me: I'm good, thanks! What can I do for ya?
Coworker: Well, I'm having a Pampered Chef party at my house on July 22nd...inviting all the girls. Would you be able to come?
Me: ::thinking quickly about how to respond...just say no? Should I just go? No, I hate those kinds of things!:: [Squinching up my face apologetically] No, I don't think I can make it.
Coworker: [Looks surprised that I said no so quickly] Oh! But there's no pressure! It'll be fun, promise!
Me: I really just don't like those kinds of things. I'm sorry!
Coworker: Well, that's ok. No one would be selling anything, though.
Me: [smiling]
Coworker: Your hair looks awesome, by the way. So smooth.
Me: Really??? I totally sat down today, and caught a glance in my little desk mirror and thought it had totally frizzed out, so thank you! I forgot to put a smoother in it this morning, like a dope. It really looks ok?
Coworker: Oh yeah! It looks great! I get this stuff from Sephora that smooths mine down...it's that Frizz Ease stuff, or whatever. Have you heard of it? It's amazing.

We chit-chatted about the new JC Penney's that opened a little south of our office recently, and how they apparently have a Sephora there, or some shit, and I got all giddy in my excitement of having a Sephora so close to the office now. And then she said her goodbyes, and went on to her desk.

I can't get over how awesome she was about just moving on past my "no" answer to her Pampered Chef invite. I mean, it would have been best if she'd sent an email or an e-vite of some sort, rather than just approaching me the way she did, but the fact that she went on to be so nice to me? Just gotta love people like that first thing in the morning.

But man...I really fucking hate those kinds of parties. I almost wish she'd invited me over under the guise of having margaritas, or something, with a bunch of the office chicks. Margaritas and chips and salsa. Yeah...that would've been fabulous! And then, if she'd been all, "Hey, Pampered Chef materials are over here, if you're interested. Who needs another margarita???" I wouldn't have been in the least put out by it. (I think.)

It was such an aptly timed question, too, because just yesterday there was a discussion on the Dooce Community about whether people like those kinds of "parties", and I didn't even jump in because it's been so long since anyone invited me to anything like that. Who would've thunk that just one day later, I'd be dealing with the topic in real life?

What do you guys think of parties like that? And since I have so many men that read my blog, is there an equivalent sort of thing that you all have that you get invited to? Or is it just women that have to deal with this shit? If so, how unfair is that???

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I blame Disney, really. When I think about it, I can blame Disney for a LOT of stuff.

So we, like most folks in the suburbs around Kansas City right now, are dealing with an irritating chipmunk infestation issue in our back yard. It's been bad in the past, with the chipmunks getting at our limited garden and kind of destroying a fair amount of it with impunity, but this year its becoming apparent that they plan on starting with the garden, and then moving on to the foundation, and possibly then to the kitchen, and maybe eventually moving on to the living room, and oh, were you guys planning on sitting there to watch TV? Because NOMNOMNOMNOM.

Leo has made it his mission to stop them. Stop them in their tracks. So he bought a trap. And then he caught a chipmunk, and went to dump it into a bucket of water (that's what we decided to do with ours...after he spoke to a dude in the hardware store who told Leo about how he's already caught about 65 of the suckers so far this year, and driving them all someplace to release them became relatively ridiculous), and of course the chipmunk just crawled out of the open cage door and ran the fuck away. ::sigh:: So I started thinking, "Hmm...maybe if we knocked the suckers out with a poison of some sort, or benadryl, or something, and then when he goes to dump them out, they just fall listlessly into the bucket, and inhale the water as they sleep, and everyone wins!" But there's only one poison aimed at chipmunks on the shelves at the local hardware store. And then we found a bucket big enough to stick the entire trap in, which would be conducive to drowning the suckers while they're still inside the cage, so we decided to get that instead.

And then last night, on our way home from dinner, Leo said something about being worried that the one chipmunk he caught that got away maybe went back to the chipmunk hangout, and probably told all the other chipmunks about the traps, and to stay away from them. Because he hadn't caught one at all since Saturday night.

::shaking head::

I told him that he needs to stop thinking of them being like Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, and move on with life.

So he just called me a bit ago, and told me he'd killed his first chipmunk. He sounded sad. He sighed deeply. And while I appreciate his humanity, obviously, I reminded him that the chipmunks do not sit around and chat together in their down time. They don't have babies sitting back at home wondering where mom or dad is when they don't return to the holes they've dug under our foundation, and they don't all have a candlelight vigil after watching the Big Bad Human unceremoniously drown one of their own in a red bucket filled with water while it's still trapped in a cage and can't even defend itself.

It's a fucking rodent. The world will keep turning without it here, believe me.

I think he got his chin up a bit, and was all, "Yeah, ok. They're pests." And I said, "Yes! You don't feel bad when you kill a spider, right? It's like that, really. Just bigger."

And then he said, "But spiders eat bugs." And I was all, "Really? You wanna head off in that direction now? Yes, spiders eat bugs. I'm sure chipmunks do, too. But spiders aren't like Charlotte's Web, and chipmunks are little fuckers, so let's just move on accordingly, eh?"

Now we have the issue of what to do with the bodies after the chipmunks are dead. Any suggestions? We aren't doing a mass grave. Just tossing them in the trash could get gross. But is that what everyone else does? Help a sista out.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Another Flashback Friday for ya. :)

So I found some more photos to put up when I was sifting through my photo albums last week that kind of apply to the Twin's request to put up more old photos of her from when we were young. These come out a bit light, thanks to the scanning, but I think you can make out most of the details, right down to my lovely acne'd skin from when I was 17. (That was pre-non dairy days, of course...)

The Twin used to want to be a vampire. She wore a cape and everything. She was a bit of an odd bird off and on, really. I blame myself...I took up half the space in the womb after all.

Ok, ok, we were just a little goth was all. Not ALL OUT GOTH, but goth nonetheless.


I was all dramatic with my gothiness...
That year, our parents threw a New Year's Eve party that turned epic. Like epic in relation to grown people behaving like frat brats, and our older sister getting so sick from the alcohol she drank, she actually couldn't stop dry-heaving, and we had to get her medicine that would make her stop. She was so sick, she didn't even care it was a suppository. Yeah, it was bad. BUT, the Twin and I were still just 17. So we were just innocent bystanders in the whole debacle. Here's a pic of the Twin and her boyfriend at the time, Matt (on the right), and my best friend in high school and her then boyfriend/now husband Tina and Daniel (on the left). Aren't they all just so cute???
The Twin and I got all posey before the party started in our fun partay dresses...we weren't trying to be twinish when we picked them out, honest. It just so happened that I liked a dress with a red satin skirt, and velvet top, and she liked a dress with a red satin top, and a velvet bottom. It's just how things worked out is all.
Twin, dude...that bow...

Crazy that we ever looked like that, eh? But it was fun.

It seems appropriate to kick off the extended holiday weekend with pictures from past celebrations, so there ya have it. I hope everyone has a happy (and SAFE!) 4th of July!!! See you next week.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Swim lessons for babies!

When my twin and I were born, our family moved into a home that had a pool in the backyard. It had a large fence around it, but our family spent a lot of time out there in warmer months, so our parents felt it was a good idea to make sure the Twin and I knew how to swim, if possible.

Now, I’m not sure how it all came to pass that they felt we should be learning how when we were still infants, but they found some teacher lady who did just that…taught babies how to “swim”. There isn’t much you can do to teach a baby to swim, and the assistive equipment available back in the 70’s was pretty pitiful, really. We had floaties back then, but not baby-sized ones. But with the pool in the backyard, it just seemed smart to make sure we knew what to do if we ever fell in and didn’t have someone nearby to help us get out right away.

If I recall correctly, we had to have been around 16 months old when we started the lessons. I’m really not sure. I know we weren’t even 2 yet. And I also remember the lessons pretty vividly, because they were only slightly less than traumatizing. This woman would literally throw us into the pool, and tell us to try our best to get to the side. There was no technique of arm strokes or leg kicking that was taught…no “hey, here’s how you hold your breath” kind of stuff…just throw us in, and let us thrash about. As I understand it, after the first lesson, our oldest sister used to cry and beg my mom not to do that to us again. Because we’d basically thrash about, trying to get to the edge until a grown up saved us, and then we’d throw up water for a half hour when we were done. Awesome.

Not to say that the “swim” lessons didn’t help any. In fact, had we not had them, I’d have died when we were 3. I fell in the pool while I was out playing with the Twin in the backyard. While she ran inside to get our dad, I remembered that I was supposed to try to get myself to the edge in any way possible. Unfortunately, I only succeeded in getting myself further into the middle of the shallow end, where I was still too short to be able to reach the bottom and have my head above water. BUT I had learned enough to know to try to get my head above water to get air, and that was what kept me alive. I was even conscious to see my dad jump into the pool, fully clothed, and pull me to safety. So, to an extent, those damned “swim” lessons did their job!

I didn’t swim again for 3 years, though. And then we got proper lessons when we were 6…and after that I was in the pool pretty much from sun up to sun down throughout the summer!

There was a story on the news this morning about the value of teaching an infant to swim, and as you just read, I can speak from experience to say that it does serve a purpose. I like the way the kids are learning these days better than how they taught the Twin and I when we were babies. Had that woman just taught us to flip onto our backs, and try to stay that way until someone could help us, it would have been better than her “kick and stroke to the edge of the pool” technique, I’d think. Because babies can only grasp so much, you know?

Anyway, if you have a pool, and you have children, it makes sense to start early with the swimming lessons. Besides the fact that swimming is one of the most awesome activities on the planet, it can save a life for a child to have that knowledge. Slapping a floating device on them, and wishing them well isn’t teaching them anything. Go a step further…get them some lessons. Just make sure it’s not the sink or swim kind that we had. ::shudder::