Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'M TWEETING AND I DEMAND YOU TAKE NOTICE

HEY. See that, over there? To your right?




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Over there?

I've been tweeting. I joined Twitter. Do you not see how witty and brilliant my tweets are? All day long I am making insightful remarks about movie stars and how my ass is falling asleep in my work chair.

It's just what you've been waiting for!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sick Days

Ok so I've been sick. Everyone else around me is getting SICK sick, where you can see and hear that they are sick because their noses are leaking and their voices get that sexy sick sound. I got some mutated form of this, with full body aches, killer sinus headaches and a smoker's cough. It started last Wednesday and I still have not been able to completely get rid of this headache. I took Thursday off and came in Friday because I had a meeting I thought was important, until I got my ass chewed out in the meeting (not my fault). I decided to leave for the day after that.

Saturday was pure fucking torture. It was about 100 degrees out and the neighborhood was having a block party. I forced myself to socialize for several hours, until my headache got so bad I thought I'd barf on my neighbors.

Sunday I slept until almost noon and spent the rest of the day trying to be as comfortable as possible in the unbearable heat. We are SO getting air conditioning.

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things, so bear with me! For now, here's a photo of the house, which the painter managed to get painted without being arrested again. I think it turned out beautifully. And for what it's worth, I am now hearing that all painters are alcoholics, which is weird. Also, we got new gutters but this picture is from Wednesday, pre-gutters. I'll eventually get a new photo up of the house with the gutters.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Progress Report

The painter has worked TWO DAYS IN A ROW, and the main body of the house has been painted. I was extremely nervous about it, but thankfully, in my opinion, it looks good! The shutters and trim still need to be painted and gutters are being installed on Thursday (fingers crossed), but so far, here's what we're looking at.

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

Monday, September 21, 2009

Random Monday Thoughts

My brain feels disorganized and unfocused today, so I'm just going to blog about miscellaneous junk.

- A friend I hadn't seen since in quite some time said on Saturday that she has embarked on a new diet but refuses to blog about it because she is convinced that when she blogs about her ambitions, she fails at them. In related news, I read today that you are 50% likelier to be obese if your friends are, and 20% likelier to be obese if a friend of your friend, whom you've never even met, is obese. Something about "social contagion," a mystery scientists are trying to figure out so they can convince us all to lose weight and stop smoking.

- I am in full dread of the heat we are expected to experience this week. The entire week is supposed to be blazing ass hot, and nothing completely saps my will to live like a 100-degree day. There are things I'd like to get done this week, but I probably won't. There's nothing more awful than folding hot laundry in the heat.

- Sometimes I expect all of my friends to be completely up-to-date on my life goings-on simply because I have blogged about them. As if they have nothing better to do than read my blog or what I have written here could be that interesting! I might think that having my period twice in one month is completely fascinating reading material, but some of my friends might beg to differ! I came to this realization this weekend during a brunch with brilliant former & current journalists who continue to invite me to social gatherings because they are insane, probably. Several were current on my painter situation, but many were unaware of the saga that has been Me Trying To Paint My House. Which actually only benefited me because I then got to tell the colorful story of my painter and his arrests and why I think I might bury him in my backyard.

- For the record, the painter showed up at the house today, with two helpers in tow. He's patching & caulking. Painting is supposed to be done by Thursday. I will believe it when I see it.

- I am wearing a dress today, which has really thrown everyone, including me, off. I fucking hate dresses.

- While visiting with friends on Saturday, we saw a weird couple making out on the grass. They were a bit mismatched -- she was kind of large and looked older than the boy, who was small and geeky. They were having a major grope session on the grass in front of God and everyone. Including several newsy types who promptly snapped photos of them and posted them to facebook & twitter. We mostly stood close by with our hands on our hips, discussing their makeout session with a play-by-play. "Ohhh! She's grabbing his thigh! She's grabbing his thigh!"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Photos on a very lazy Sunday

So, firstly, a photo of my exterior paint color choices...


And then a couple of comparison pics of the Destroyers. The first were taken in early August, and the next ones were taken today. They've each gained a few pounds and inches since then.



And yes, that couch has seen better days.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Saga of the Painter Continues

Well.

All I can say is that I am not making this stuff up. I couldn't make it up if I tried. Because, believe me, I had my theories about where the fuck the painter was this morning, when he neither showed up at the house, nor was reachable by phone. The prevailing theory was that he was hung over in bed, seeing as how I have decided he is an alcoholic. Which is not too far removed from the truth, as it turns out.

See, what I haven't really explained up until now is that our painter has sort of been fucking up from the very start. He cancelled two meetings with us prior to us ever having even met him. We figured he was in high demand. After all, he came very highly recommended by a couple of good friends whom we love, but whom we will never listen to again.

Eventually, we met, signed a contract, and gave him a deposit, which he claimed he would not cash for a few days. In reality, he cashed it mere minutes after leaving our house. If he could have gone back in time and cashed it the previous week, that is what he would have done -- that is how fast he cashed that fucking check.

He showed up one day not seeming to understand how to make a pressure washer work. On other days he has had a wide variety of amusing excuses for why he can't be at our house, painting it, such as yesterday's excuse of the last-minute DUI class that he'd forgotten about.

So this morning, he was supposed to be at our house, prepping it for painting. When he (*gasp*) didn't show, Hubs tried to reach him approximately 93 billion times, to no avail. Around 10:45 a.m., the painter's phone called Hubs. As in, the painter was not actually calling, but maybe the painter's butt was calling because a button had been accidentally pressed on the painter's phone and when Hubs answered, all he could hear was our fucktard painter bitching and moaning to someone about how he had to drive all the way down somewhere for something. Without knowing precisely what the painter was talking about, I can only guess that he was talking about our house.

So then, around 12:15 p.m., Hubs finally reached the painter by phone, and the guy explains that he was jailed last night and was just released this morning. He said something about how you're not supposed to drink after you've been arrested for a DUI, and something about the DUI class he was supposed to attend yesterday (maybe he showed up drunk for the class?) but, as Hubs says, it's not clear what exactly transpired that resulted in our painter being thrown in jail. Again.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm going to get drunk and THEN pick a color

Yesterday, on the way home from work, I drove through a neighborhood with nice homes in it, trying to get some kind of insight as to what to do about my paint color predicament. It ocurred to me that all of the houses with the greenish color I like were a lot lighter than the greenish sample I've got painted on the wall in my backyard. So I went to Kelly Moore and picked up two lighter samples. Then, on the way home from the paint store, I saw yet another, previously uninspected house, so had to stop the car and get out, holding paint samples, squinting and turning, looking fucking insane and scaring the neighborhood children. This house had a darker green.

I brought my two lighter green samples home, painted them on the wall, and immediately hated them.

So I stared some more at my original three colors. And decided that the greenish-grayish color I thought I'd settled on? Yeah, that one? I hate it, now. It looks like shit. Literally, like I may as well have smeared feces on the wall. I decided I liked the grayer color better. That was what I was going to tell the painter, who was scheduled to paint the house tomorrow, after finishing prep work today.

Except that the painter called this morning to let Hubs know that he wouldn't be able to make it today because he has to attend a DUI class that he totally forgot about. As in, he was arrested for driving under the influence and is now attending a class as part of his punishment.

Now, far be it from me to judge someone for driving drunk. I've done it before, and it was a stupid, stupid thing to do. I have friends who have done it and been arrested for doing it. One friend was arrested TWICE and was forced to have a breathalizer installed in her car that required her to blow into it before the car would start. So, go on and get arrested for driving drunk, and serve your time, and finish out your sentence picking up bags of dead kittens at the side of the highway or whatever, but seriously, dude? I wouldn't go advertising to your customers that you were recently arrested for drunk driving. Not everyone is as forgiving as we are and plenty of folks have loved ones who have been killed by drunk drivers, and let me tell you that if I were one of those people, we probably would be looking for a new painter.

HOWEVER. Since this means that prep work will get finished tomorrow (barring any other unforeseen events) and painting will happen Monday/Tuesday-ish, with paint being purchased Saturday, I have until tomorrow to continue to obsess compulsively about what color to paint the house. Which: thank you for the extra day. I will, no doubt, spend some more time pulling my hair out in the backyard while staring at the paint samples on the wall.

And now, to google "adult ADD." BRB!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I am the Decider

For the record, I Merriam Webster'd that shit, and "decider" is actually a word. Here I've been heckling G-dub for all this time for calling himself "the decider," and he was right all along. He was the decider. But he was also a total douche.

So here is why I am now the decider. I am deciding what color to paint the house. Three words to describe my decision-making process are: torturous, paralyzing, awful.

Here is why: Unless I have not explained in adequate detail prior to now, I am no Suzy Homemaker. I haven't got a blasted clue about what looks good ANYWHERE, much less on the exterior of my house. Until now, the biggest decision I've had to make pertaining to what the house looks like is what color finish to choose for the hardwood floors. Hubs made me choose the color by myself, with about six Mexicans staring at me impatiently while I hemmed and hawed (BTW I can say that because I am 25% Mexican) for about half an hour. After I finally chose a color, I was completely consumed with regret. I was certain that I had chosen a color that I would hate forever. But you know what? It looks like wood. Harwood floors. Exactly what you would expect hardwood floors to look like. Fucking wood.

So here is the deal with the house color. I know what color I want. It's like a cross between olive and gray, sort of a dusty forest green. I've done my research. I forced Hubs to drive through neighborhoods, while I took photos of houses with this color on them. Yesterday I drove to one of these neighborhoods and got out of my car and stood in front of one of these houses with paint swatches in my hands, squinting and turning around to catch the colors in different lights, and overall probably looking more than a little disturbed.

We purchased three samples that were a relative approximation of this color. Yesterday, I painted them on a wall in the back yard. One looked too gray. One looked too blue. One was what I THINK is this dusty forest green thing that I am going for. But I am so fucking afraid to choose it because then THE WHOLE HOUSE will be this color. It's a large thing to paint, a house. I keep thinking, God, it's so ... green. Am I sure I want green? What if we paint the house this color and every time I look at it, it makes me want to vomit?

Mind you, they don't really make exterior house colors in shades that would look like shit. If you see a house that is a strange color, chances are the owner saw a color swatch for interior paint and asked for it to be made into exterior paint. So even if this shade of green turned out to be slightly off, it probably wouldn't look terrible and no one would really mind. It certainly can't look much worse than what we've got going on right now, which is a taupe color with white trim, and all the paint is peeling off, exposing wood in some areas, and an interesting aqua color in others.

So the deal is, I need to know what color to paint the house by TOMORROW. Because the house is being painted FRIDAY. And Hubs refuses to have an opinion about the color (which is sort of a lie -- he likes the blue-ish one, which is the one I like the least, so he may as well not have an opinion). I went home for lunch so that I could stand in the backyard and stare at the colors on the wall some more. At first glance, I thought, "Oh! I must be crazy. That color is exactly what I want." But then as I stared for longer, I started thinking that I sort of hated it. Which is when I forced myself to leave.

So anyway. That is what I've been agonizing over lately. Stay tuned for my decision, plus before & after photos!

Friday, September 11, 2009

JOIN NOW WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Something that's been scratching at the back of my mind and which makes my eye twitch every time I try to do something simple, like GO GROCERY SHOPPING, is the fact that every-fucking-where I go, I have to give someone my personal information so that they will give me a piece of plastic to carry around and I can supposedly save money when I shop.

You know what's even better than that? When I give them my personal information AND pay them money for the PRIVILEGE of saving money, a la Costco and Barnes & Noble. For the record, I do not have "memberships" at these two stores. I can't stomach even being within 50 yards of Costco due to the massive crowd confusion that happens there all day long, every day, and although I've considered joining Barnes & Noble's club or whatever it is, I am planning on getting a Kindle, which will hopefully mean that my book-buying days are numbered and I am that much closer to becoming the hermit I've always wanted to be.

But seriously. I have a Starbucks card with money on it because I can only save 40 cents per latte if I use the registered card. I have a Safeway card that I am purportedly saving money with when I buy five pounds of butter for the simple fact that it's $5 for 5 lbs, even though I need only 1. I have a New York & Co Rewards Club card for the next time I am in need of something that doesn't fit me well and which will fall apart within three washes. I have a Loehmann's insider club card that I never use. I have an Albertson's Preferred Savings card. I have a Willow Glen Frozen Yogurt card that requires me to purchase 12 yogurts in order to obtain one free mini-sized yogurt. I have a Tandoori oven frequent diner card that grants me a free entree once I have purchased six. I have a Mojo Burger reward card that gives me a free Mojo Meal once I've bought nine. I have a Petco PALS card that, I guess, saves me money. I have a Petsmart PetPerks card that, I guess, does the same thing. I have a Subway card that I have no idea what it does. I have a Sephora beauty insider card, which I think gives me points toward free mini-sized makeups that I never use, anyway. I have a savings card from Ann Taylor Loft that I was only given after spending $80 and which allows me to save $25 on a $50 purchase between Sept. 8 & Oct. 3. I have a frequent diner card for Fukuya, a Japanese restaurant in Redwood City that I never go to. I have a Baja Fresh frequent diner card that expired in 2006. I have a Chevy's fiesta lunch card that gives me my fifth lunch free. Too bad I hate Chevy's. I have a Maidenform Outlet Store club card that grants me 15% off after I spend $100. I have a Famous Footwear rewards card. Is that place even in business anymore?

Here is my point: THIS IS INSANE! How many cards can I, as one human being, possibly carry around? I am looking to simplify my life, and these cards are making me feel crazy! Everywhere I go, I have to think, Now, do I have a card for this place? Is this even a place that has those kinds of cards? Where the fuck is that card, anyway?

Here's an idea for all retailers, everywhere: NO MORE CARDS, motherfuckers! How about you just give me a good deal RIGHT NOW instead of making me insane with all of this racking up of points and fictional saving of dollars on shit I don't need, like phyllo dough?! I promise you I will continue to frequent your store in spite of the lack of a card that promises to save me money, for the simple fact that, as a living, breathing human, I consume food, clothing and other products EVERY DAY and would not be in your store in the first place if I believed your product to be inferior.

Can I get an "Amen"?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I knew it

What a load off.

All this time, I thought I was fat just because I don't exercise, and I eat too much, but it turns out that I am simply physiologically predisposed for it.

According to this NY Times article, my genes have determined my weight "set point," and my brain "exerts an astonishing amount of control" over my body composition and how I eat. Forcing my weight below "nature's preassigned levels" causes me to become hungrier and eat more, the article says. One doctor is quoted as saying that the brain's determination to keep you at your predetermined weight is 99.6% effective. This explains EVERY DIET I HAVE EVER BEEN ON.

In fact, it is now believed that the factor that most influences your predetermined weight is the condition in the womb, when you were but a wee fetus. Here's something that'll blow your socks off:

"Human studies have shown that women who eat little in pregnancy, surprisingly, more often have children who grow into fat adults."

Pardon? Did you just see the clouds part and hear what sounded like angels singing "Hallelujah"? Because, unless I'm mistaken, I've just been given a free ticket to totally pig out when/if I become pregnant.

Unfortunately, the one nugget of information this article does not offer up is how to overcome the predetermined fatness obstacle (brain re-boot, stat!), but for now I'm feeling a little better about my chubby thighs.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

And the pushing of the children from the vaginas

That subject line is said with my best Cliff Huxtable impression. Which isn't very good, considering I'm a 30-year-old white chick. And Cliff probably would not utter the word "vagina," in spite of being an obstetrician.

But lots of us bloggers like saying "vagina." I've noticed that, lately. I thought at first that it was just me, over here talking about that time of the month and my slowly rotting uterus, but actually it's lots of people, chattin' up the va-jay-jay.

Anyway, all of this vagina preamble is to let you know that I finished "Your Best Birth," the book by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein that's way uber-hippie-anti-drug-pro-vagina-get-a-midwife-and-you'll-be-fine. Mainly I was curious as to whether these ladies could convince me, who is not currently pregnant (*slings a shot of whiskey*), to one day birth my child au naturale, sans drugs.

The short answer is no.

The long answer is maayyyyyybe. See, I agree with them that us womenfolk have been pushing babies out of our vaginas for a long long long long time, and that our bodies are basically made to do this. There's no sense in rushing the birthing process -- I agree! No inductions for me, thanks, and no laboring on my back, thanks -- I'll be wandering the halls, cursing all within earshot. No godforsaken episiotomies, thanks -- for chrissakes keep that knife away from my vagina, evildoers! No optional C-sections, thanks, and really, no C-sections whatsoever unless someone, meaning myself or the baby, is in mortal danger. And it better be fucking Danger with a capital D, none of this, Oh, your water broke however many hours ago and therefore we must cut your belly open because we stuck our dirty fingers in your vagina, like, 50 times and now you're at risk of infection. None of that, thanks. And for that matter, keep your fingers to yourself and bring me a cheeseburger.

Essentially, I agree with a lot of Ricki and Abby's hippie ideals, and my only thought is that I am not sure I will be able to do it without an epidural. Hooray for me if I can, but seriously, ya'll? That is pain. I don't even know what that kind of pain will do to me, but I can only imagine I'll be crying uncle before it's all over and some needle-happy anesthesiologist will be priming my spine for the awesome numbing power of the epidural.

Anyway, I'm glad I read the book, because if nothing else, it makes you aware that you need to plan for these things. You cannot simply become pregnant and believe that everything will be honky dory, come time to push that sucker out. You've got to prepare, make lists, and ensure everyone who you're going to allow into the room while you're giving birth is aware of how you want things to go down, so they can back you up when the doctor lunges at your hoo-ha with a scalpel.

So, that is all for today. Welcome back from the long weekend!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

For Christina

I wrote a post this week about how much I hated myself, but I didn't publish it because I am a chicken shit and also, you might worry that I'm about to aim my car toward the nearest cliff.

As it turns out, a kindred spirit wrote something kind of similar, and she posted it with an explanation of why she self-edits.

It reminded me that I'd been looking for a poem that pretty much sums up my daily paranoia, and which I first discovered via Ann Lamott's book, "Bird by Bird," which my lovely and talented friend suggested that I read some nine odd years ago. It is by Phillip Lopate.

We who are

your closest friends

feel the time

has come to tell you

that every Thursday

we have been meeting

as a group,

to devise ways

to keep you

in perpetual uncertainty

frustration

discontent and

torture

by neither loving you

as much as you want

nor cutting you adrift.

Your analyst is

in on it,

plus your boyfriend

and your ex-husband;

and we have pledged

to disappoint you

as long as you need us.

In announcing our

association

we realize we have

placed in your hands

a possible antidote

against uncertainty

indeed against ourselves.

But since our Thursday nights

have brought us

to a community

of purpose

rare in itself

with your as

the natural center,

we feel hopeful you

will continue to make unreasonable

demands for affection

if not as a consequence

of your disastrous personality

then for the good of the collective.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Are you aware that many fall season TV shows begin next week? Oh ... bliss. It's too bad I love TV so much, but there's just no getting around it.

So let's just cut to the chase. Are you aware that there will be a new "V" TV series on ABC? Do you remember the one that aired 25 years ago? Ah, 1984. I was 5 years old. Do not ask me how I remember this show, I just do.



Anyway, the new one looks only a little cheesy, and what's really got me hooked is that "Lost's" adorable, albeit overly botoxed Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet) is in it, and these days I am all things "Lost."

Good job at the end, with the rock, and everything!

Don't even get me started on how both Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) and Sonya Walger (Penny) are appearing in the new series "Flash Forward," which is the one in which the whole world blacks out for 2 minutes, 17 seconds. DVR has been set.

And "hello brother!" Henry Ian Cusick (delicious Desmond who I totally have the hots for) is going to be playing Charles Darwin in a Nova program called "Darwin's Darkest Hour" on Oct. 6. Henry, what the fuck? Guess we've got to pay the bills.

See you in another life, brother

AND as if that weren't enough, Ian Somerhalder (Boone), is in some new vampire series called "The Vampire Diaries." Doesn't that seem appropriate?

You're too pretty, kid

Aw. All my little "Lost" children, all growed up and getting their own shows. Idn't that cute?

All right. That is my sorry excuse for a Wednesday blog post. Cut me some slack -- I'm still doing budgets! Despite what I previously believed, looks like it will take me til the end of next week to get all that shit finished.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

You Will Hold The Baby Now

People so often hand babies to presidents and people who are running for president and so it's the president or candidate's job to then hold the baby as though there's simply nothing they'd rather do more than hold that li'l punkin up, kiss 'em on the cheek and smile for the cameras.

And not to compare myself with heads of state or anything, but I can't help but sympathize with what I perceive to be a vaguely strained and uncomfortable look that passes across the president's face (although in rare cases they truly do seem as though there's nothing they'd rather do than hold the baby, a la Bill Clinton) in these instances.

Of late, I'm being handed many a baby. Now, every now and then, I like to hold me a baby. I'll even sometimes request to hold a baby. But there's something happening nowadays, and maybe it's got something to do with people assuming I have even the foggiest notion of how to handle infants now that I'm approximately 49 million years old and my biological clock should basically be screaming at me right about now. Maybe I have a look on my face that says "Give me that baby. There's nothing I'd like more at this moment than for that baby to be all up in my business." If this is the case, it's not me, it's the biological clock -- I promise.

Nonetheless, here I am, holding babies. Babies are all up in my business. They are looking at me with vacant expressions and tugging on my hair with the force of stallions. If we could just harness the might in babies' arms perhaps we could solve the energy crisis. Last night, one such baby -- a huge baby -- was up in my business. Her mother, a co-worker of mine, handed her to me without prompting. Mind you, this child is 6 months old but is in the 95th percentile for her weight and height, which means she's about 7 feet tall and weighs around 490 pounds. This is one sturdy baby. And what do you suppose this baby likes to do more than anything in the whole wide world?

That's right, the baby likes to "jump." Here we go, let's play the jumping game, which really involves me holding you under the armpits and bouncing your size 14 feet on my knees. Seriously, this baby loved that shit. I'd never seen a baby smile so big. I've also never seen a baby vomit so much immediately afterward.

See, this gigantic baby is apparently unaware of my clothes-wearing schedule. I have two pairs of work pants that I switch off on throughout the week. Monday is the black pinstripes, Tuesday is the brownish woolish pair with the terrible pilling in the crotch, then again on Wednesday with the pinstripes and again on Thursday with the brown awful crotch pilling pants. Friday is casual day, thank God, and then all laundry is done on the weekend.

Laundry does not happen on Monday nights, and I don't think this gigantic barfing baby was quite aware of that. Because there was a sound like a bubble popping and then a warm oozy feeling on my black pinstriped legs. And do you think the baby was embarrassed about this activity? Certainly not.