Monthly Archives: June 2010

Love & Loathe — 06/24/10 (late)

Loathe:

* People who switch lanes at the last second at a red light, so they’re half in the one lane, half out of the lane they’re coming from, and then they don’t pay attention to the light cycle. The light turns green and there they sit, blocking two lanes of traffic.

* Also, people who are in an all-fired hurry to pull out into the lane and then don’t accelerate. Of course, they’re the ones who have that bumper sticker that says, “I may be slow but I’m in front of you!” For the record, I loathe that bumper sticker, too.

Love:

* Q-tips. Really. What would we do without them?

* This picture I took of my cats, Tug and Snug. For some reason, it makes me think of those old-fashioned pictures that were taken back in the 1800’s of great-great grandpa Samuel and his wife, Martha. Serious expressions, stilted posturing… so I added sepia coloring and it makes me laugh and laugh. Here you go, Great Grandpa, Tug, and his cat, Snug.

* The quiet time I take at lunch. I usually park under a tree at work (a bit risky with all the crows who hang around there), then at lunch I roll down the windows and just read. It makes me feel refreshed and balanced. One of my co-workers spotted me today in my car, and he peeked in and said with a bit of envy in his tone that I looked really cozy and relaxed, in the shade, in my car, with my book. I suppose that was a fairly accurate description of how I felt. It made me smile.

* My husband, who fixes things. He recently fixed the ice maker in our freezer (yay!!) and the button on my coffee grinder (yay!!).

* We think we solved the Mystery Pooping Cat. It’s been a week now and I’m currently knocking on wood, but there’s been no random poop yet. If it is truly solved, in a couple weeks, I’ll tell you what we did.

One Last Thing:
It’s been a doozy of a week at work. I worked 12 hours on Monday, 13 hours on Tuesday and 9 hours on Wednesday. It was a bit of a war room thing, preparing for a big meeting. The thing I didn’t think about while we were agonizing through the creation of the presentation, was the bond that would forge between the four people who were in that room. One of whom was me.

I mean, it makes sense. You spend a lot of time with people in an intensely stressful and pressurized situation, you’re either going to hate each other or get along with each other. But either way, you’ll have that experience in common.

I’ve felt like I have major jetlag for the last couple of days. I’m definitely looking forward to some sleep. If that mockingbird out there would ever hush up!

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Love & Loathe — 06/17/10

Loathe:

* My irrigation timer’s battery died… again. So I’ve been going out in the morning and manually turning it on for a minute or so. It’s so peaceful out there and I enjoy the stillness before the day begins. Not this morning, though. The entire time I was out there, Tug mournfully meowed at me from inside the cat run. Perpetual meowing is not peaceful.

* I cannot wait to be done with our current dishwasher detergent. I promise to never stray again from Cascade detergent. No matter how inexpensive the lure of the other bottles.
These plates are glass and are supposed to be, you know, clear …

These are knives, believe it or not, and are supposed to be shiny…

I will never buy this again…

Love:

* Steamed artichokes.

* In support of the Lakers, I’ve declared this week The Week of Purple. I’ve worn a shade of purple every day, even purple jammies (JAMMIES!!). Also, Grace inspired me to paint my nails purple.

* Ummm, Lakers… 2010 Champions! We’ve had some pretty good neighborhood rivalry going on, which has totally cracked me up. Tonight, the neighbors who’ve been cheering for the Celtics played like it was Halloween night with no candy. They turned off all their lights, like no one was home. But we know they’re there. HA! Hilarious!

* A couple nights ago, it was around midnight and I heard a bunch of strange sounds coming from outside. I crept toward the door, grabbed my camera and recorded these sounds… a night bird? I’ve never heard anything like it. I stood in marvel as I listened to the incredible range of singing I heard. (Click to hear.)

* While out there listening to the night bird, I smelled an unbelievably pleasant scent. I sniffed and sniffed, and then realized that my lily plant had bloomed. What an unexpected thrill!

* I finally got the gumption up to discontinue our home phone line. Except the guy talked me into keeping it for $5 a month. He called it a limited line, 60 outgoing minutes per month. I think I’m OK with that, because I have it hooked up to our fax machine anyway, so any incoming calls get the SQUEAL. I love that I got up the gumption to make a change that’s good for our budget.

One Last Thing:

I finally got it. The offer of employment.

… and, best of all, they were fair to me. In these economic times, that tells me they really like me. I accepted their offer. Starting Monday, 6/21, I’m officially their employee.

Which means I get the 4th of July as a paid holiday! And sick time! And super inexpensive benefits! And vacation time! Yay! Oh, and a job.

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Filed under Love/Loathe, Money Hump Building

Just Big Kids!

We all know that June is the month for weddings, but who knew it’s also birthday party month for kids? I’m looking at our calendar, and we have a party to attend every weekend of the month. Gives a whole new meaning to September being a hot month. Yeah, think about that last sentence for a second.

To kick off the month of birthday parties, our Parallel Lives Neighbors invited us to their kids’ birthday party. Their oldest turned 4 the end of May (for the record, she was actually supposed to have been born in June), and the youngest turns 1 next week. So they had a party for both of them this past weekend.

They hold their birthday parties at a nearby park that’s well-hidden, and owned by the company where they both work. It’s kind of this place that you want to ensure you’re with someone you know and trust, because otherwise you’re driving and driving, and you turn off the main road and you’d swear the person you’re with is gonna take you out and shoot you.

When we get to the parking lot, we’re greeted with this sign…

And then we noticed a bunch of turkey vultures circling above us. Like I said, you really wanna know the person you’re with.

There’s a clearing with picnic tables and a cement slab, on which the bouncy house was placed. I mean, what else would you do with a cement slab in the middle of nowhere?

We didn’t know everyone there, but we knew a few. Enough to feel comfortable visiting or just making small talk with those we didn’t. Tony was envious of all the fun the kids were having in the bouncy house, so he was kind of hanging out there… and if you know Tony, you know that kids just kind of flock to him. It wasn’t long before the kids involved him in some sort of monster-roaring, fake punch throwing kind of game.

Tony playing with some random, unknown boy child.

Tony kept a close eye on things, and when the kids gathered around the pinata and cake…

The big kids took over the Tweety Bird bouncy house!

On Sunday, we managed a kidnapping of my friend, Grace, and off we went to CaliforniaLand. It was a warm day, and I’ve never gone on the Grizzly River Rapids ride. There were warnings everywhere that we would get wet.

Oh my, did we get soaked!

No trip to Disney theme parks is complete without a visit to one of their bakeries for their chocolate drizzled macaroons. I took this picture because it struck me as amusing… one shelf of healthy apples, and the rest of the display cases were full of sugar laden goodies guaranteed to put you in a sugar coma for the rest of the day.

Believe it or not, I only bought one macaroon at that store. I did get a rocky road cup and a chocolate covered strawberry (sort of healthy, right?) at the candy store. I promise they’ll last me all week!

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Filed under Best Husband, I have Friends, I Left Home for Awhile

Love & Loathe — 06/10/10 (late)

Loathe:

* The big, fat zit on the side of my nose. I remembered to wear my sunglasses the other day and discovered that this big, fat zit is exactly where they needed to perch. That was not a happy moment.

* People who are more worried about covering their a** than working as a team player to get stuff done. In these times, I understand why they feel like they have to be that way, but it’s such a waste of time. Really! It’s OK to not know stuff, just ask for help rather than doing it wrong and then throwing everyone who tried to help under the bus.

Love:

* My alarm clock. I think the thing is at least 15 years old, if not older. Even though the CD player on it doesn’t work anymore, I can’t bear to get a new one. Why? Because it has a motion sensor snooze button on it. That’s right! I wave my hand in front of it and THAT is my snooze button.

* Swimming in June gloom weather. It means I have the pool all to myself. I savor these pre-summer days when I have the pool all to myself.

* I finally have my pre-pregnancy figure back. Even though I was only pregnant for 3 months, my body was ready for the long haul… waistline expanded, larger bosoms, etc.. I feel a little shallow admitting this, given the way the pregnancy ended, but it’s nice to fit in my clothes again.

* When our little birdy gives me kisses. It’s so sweet.

* The 4 goldfish we bought seem to be doing well. We put the hospital tank away. That means more counterspace in the kitchen. Healthy goldfish and more counterspace = love.

One Last Thing:

Supposedly the “formal offer” to make me permanent has been approved, it just needs to be signed off by one more person. There’s a couple things I’m concerned about that makes this a mixed blessing for me. But, hey, it’s better for the Money Hump that I’m employed and it’s not like I have any better offers on the table.

Soooo, maybe Monday?

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Last Friday.

I woke up Friday morning, happy and enthusiastic to start off the last day to the week. Hopeful for a good day, grateful for the little bit of extra sleep since it wasn’t my early day of the week.

Climb in my car and crank the engine, mutter to myself that I really must change the battery. I have an extra (doesn’t everyone?), just need to put it in. I back out of the garage and stare woefully, as I do every day when I leave for work, at the slowly raising and lowering garage door. Woeful, because of that one time I was impatient, backed out before it was all the way up, and snapped off my antenna.

Over the speed bump I go, glance in my rearview mirror and snicker to myself. More than once that speed bump has closed my trunk lid for me. Not today, though, I’m good and ready to go.

Get to the main street, look left for oncoming traffic — no cars! Pull out and am tickled that the traffic light they installed a block down is GREEEEEN! Go me! First, second, third gear and… Pink is still singing about how she lost her husband, she don’t know where he went and I’m thinking I just lost my power, where did my engine go?

Downshift back into second gear… nothing. Crap. Flashers on, pull to the side of the road. Car doesn’t restart. Turn Pink off, she’s starting to annoy me. Just find your husband already! Try to start car again. Engine cranks, but doesn’t start.

I was a block from home, watching in my rearview mirror all my neighbors pull out and drive past me, only one of them stopped. Watching that dratted traffic light I hate so much go through its stupid cycle. The city bus came and went twice.

And finally the tow truck driver arrived, to load up my car and drive it a mile and half to my mechanic’s shop. If I could have coasted there, I would have. I thought about trying.

Turns out, it was a blown fuse for the fuel injection system. So we changed the fuse and changed the fuel filter. While we were at it, we plunked in the new battery and replaced the antenna assembly. It feels like a new car! Imagine! I can listen to traffic updates and news on my way to work!

It was funny, though, even though I was on the side of the road, I found myself thankful. I wasn’t on a major freeway during rush hour. It was a beautiful weather day, and there were a ton of birds chattering to each other in the tree tops. My husband was able to come and provide his AAA card to the tow truck driver. My father-in-law was able to drive over and give me a ride to work. My husband was able to pick me up from work. My mechanic is an honest guy, the fix was a non-major thing AND I was able to get some other necessary work done on the car.

Although it did make me realize that my car IS eight years old. Perhaps it’s time for me to renew my AAA membership.

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Filed under I ♥ My Miata

Love & Loathe — 06/03/10

Loathe:

* I am tired. This cold/sinus infection is draining all my energy. Plus! Crackly ears!

* Women who brush their hair and put makeup on while driving in rush hour traffic. If you do that? Please stop it. It’s dangerous.

Love:

* I saw Tick Guy on the freeway yesterday. Driving along and ticking away. I don’t know why, but I was SOO happy to see him. Almost like he was a long lost friend. Or maybe it was more like, “Hey, despite what we’ve been through since I saw you last, we’re both still here, ticking away.”

* Carrot cake cookies and maple cream cookies. Found them in Ross, of all places, and they are so delicious. Or, rather, they were delicious.

* Solitude, books, donkeys and squirrels. But I love elephants more.

* Francine Rivers. Still lovin’ on her Biblical novels. I’ve almost read all of them now. I may have to read them again in a few months. How have I missed knowing her as an author for so long?

* One more day, one more day, one more day to this week.

One Last Thing:
They say they’re going to make me permanent. Three different people have told me that now, in hushed tones, some even behind closed doors. “Close the door, I want to tell you something…” And then they tell me what the other guy told me. OK, I get it. You want me to be permanent. This is good. I really like being wanted.

The thing is, with every conversation, I feel “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” bubbling up from within, and every conversation, I beat it down. Can you imagine if I were to let that loose?

Then last night, I walked out in the parking lot to my car, with the intention of getting in my car and battling through a half hour of traffic to get home. So I could rest my head. My sick, sick head.

So I’m in the parking lot, strolling to my car and I glance down into the island of jasmine planted around a tree in the middle of the parking lot and spotted this.

I continued walking, and got to my car, only to see these in the island of jasmine planted around a tree behind my car.

The first thing I wondered was, if I kept walking, would I find a bartender behind the next tree? The second thing that came to mind was whether the company drives their people to drink… hmmm.

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