Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yesterday's work highlight

Long time, no post!

Yesterday was quite entertaining. Bob was in town repairing the Reveal and I spent a bit of time in the lab with him brushing up on how to run the damned thing. But the high point of the day was from my incessant bantering with Chris.

Somehow, the conversation had yet again turned to disposing of dead bodies.

Denise: Oh, you could just douse it with LN2 and then shatter it.

Chris: Um, nooooo. I watch CSI and that is not true. They tried to do that with a turkey and it just bounced.

Denise: Really? We put a Hostess Ding Dong in liquid nitrogen and it shattered when we threw it on the floor.

Chris: Ummmm, a turkey is not a Ding Dong.

Denise: Huh huh, I made you say ding dong!

Yeah, it doesn't take much to amuse me. And with the new guy around, I'm amused pretty much all the time.

Tee hee!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Stay-Cation Day Five: all in a day's work

Whew. It's just after six and I'm pleased. I have only two more days until back to work, so I need to make the most of it. I don't have any specific plans with anyone this weekend, which is good. This weekend's plans are to paint that last living room wall, paint the kitchen and make the great room (living, dining and kitchen) presentable. Showering, optional.

I am not sure but my band may be doing something. I met Mary and Stacy Jane and we went to Amerigo's. I was hankering for their Margarite Chicken. YUM. Usually I can polish off tons of bread and my entire entree. Today I had two little pieces of bread and barely touched my lunch! Granted, the first two bites of pasta I had, I snarfed down. That kinda hung up around bandy, and after that, I just didn't have the same gusto for it. So I have plenty of leftovers for dinner tonight.

I ran a few more errands after I dropped them off at work, then took a nap, and then hit the garage again. This morning, I had ripped down some plywood and painted the strips black.


I got some small bolts while out, so I was ready to start hanging brackets to see if my plan worked. The bolts cost me $3. Everything else I had in my garage.

First, I did the one by the garbage can. I have tons of roll-y carts that I'm always tripping over or losing. I decided this would be where they would live. They aren't all that wide, so I also thought I could hang my chair in a bag on it, too. Here's the location where I was going to install this thing:

before rack one

I mounted (huh huh, I said mounted) the big hook while it was flat and the second hook was an impulse done after I hung it. Yeah, not to self: easier when flat!

rack 1

Then it was just a matter of figuring out how to load it. After 2 or 3 tries, here's how it ended up:

rack 1 loaded

Off to the next bracket, which was going to hold my dog show dolly. That thing is always in the way (usually I just leave it in the trunk) and it is quite heavy. It needed to be off the floor and out of the way. Here's where it was going:

before rack 2

I used some "free" brackets I found in a box, measured stuff out (using my current close enough for government work rationale), and hung this thing. It all went up easy, but getting the nuts on the back of the bolts in such close quarters was a challenge. I dropped them several times and swore quite a bit. I know swears, you know.

rack 2

Then I dragged that heavy assed dolly and hung it. Of course I was like, this first? Then that? What about the other way around. Let's just say before I got it to what I wanted, I got in a good upper body workout for the day.

rack 2 loaded

I also loaded up all the extra crates and doggy exercise pens on the shelf adjacent to it. No more x-pens in the house, save for the one by the door. I use that like an air lock in a space ship for when guests come and go out the front door. I prefer to not wildly chase miscreant corgis through the neighborhood.

I almost didn't fool with bracket 3 because I didn't know what I wanted to put on it. Meh. I just decided to put two more heavy duty hooks and hang my sawhorses. That may not live there permanently, but it's good for now. And it gets more crap off the floor.

sawhorses hanging

I think that's about all I plan to do in the garage over this break. I'll save the rest of the piddle-farting around in there for when it gets a bit cooler.

The rest of the weekend will be indoors and painty. FUN! Well, not excruciating. And I can watch TV over my shoulder while I work. My only fear: pulling out the fridge. I'm scairt of what might be back there. Be sure to listen for the girl scream, especially if bugs are involved.

Stay-Cation Day Four and Start of Five (boring)

I cannot believe it is Friday already, but at least for the dwindling week I have been productive. So my vacation leave binge has not been in vain. Warning: this is mostly just a boring diary entry for my own motivation. Not particularly funny or entertaining. I'll save that for later in the day.

It is 8:30 on Friday and I have already used power tools! And I haven't even had coffee yet! It is brewing, though.

I forgot I had mentioned in passing about maybe having my parents come by with their truck to help out with the floor or something last weekend. Mom called yesterday morning to confirm that we were still on. Oh! Um, okay!

Dad wanted to pick up a second massive shelving unit for me. Well, I guess since I didn't go to Nationals I could buy that. Less than the cost of the gas to get to KY and back and one night's hotel stay. Plus it makes him happy to do things for me. Fine.

He wanted to put it together too, which meant I had to make room for it. YIKES! So we we came home from Lowe's and dove right in. Fortunately, it only took about 20 minutes and no tools more complex than a rubber mallet. I hadn't really planned on doing much in the garage while off this week, but the bug bit me a little. Nothing a little cortisone cream won't fix, though.

Mom and I went to lunch at O'Charley's and I'm pleased to say I brought home most of my salad. Maybe the band helped me, or maybe I lost my appetite when she nearly choked to death on a piece of lettuce. Holy crap!

She just sucked something down the wrong pipe, but when I asked if she was okay and if she could breathe, she didn't respond. Just sat there wide eyed. Then she sucked a tiny bit of air noisily. Okay, that's good. She is not completely obstructed. It's a start. I sat there gaping as she turned all shades of red and eventually she got another swig of air. I was finally able to relax once she started coughing. I kept saying, "Do you need the Heimlich? Huh? HUH??"

After she said she was okay, I was finally able to unclench and I had that same kind of sensation after a near miss car wreck. Like when you go to change lanes and even though there was nothing there when you turned and looked 3 seconds ago, all of a sudden there's a car! SWERVE! The whew, I nearly peed my pants adrenaline crash sensation.

Whew. I was happy that I didn't accidentally kill my mother with lunch. She'd be incredibly pissed because she is totally planning on out-living my dad. She has a plan that her dying first would really screw up.

Anyway, the left soon after and I got back to my thing, which at that time was a nap. Heh heh. I do have to be lazy a little bit on my time off.

Late in the afternoon, though, I decided I wanted to scootch stuff around in the garage and at least get the shelves into place. Let's just say that the back wall of the garage is teeming with vermin! I saw a few mice scampering around. Sigh. I guess I should get some kind of killing apparatus. Even if they are kinda cute.

It took a lot of sweat effort, but I shifted everything out of the way then moved the shelves in place. That was pretty much it for the day. I was filthy, sweaty and sneezing uncontrollably from the mouse poo and dust I swept up. Time to kick back with the DVR and catch up on some telly.

This morning I went out to the garage to look at my handiwork. Ugh. This is one of those darkest before the dawn moments. It definitely looked better out there before Dad came over. Now it's pretty much a sty. BUT, I can see where there is some progress going on and even better, I can see that someday in the near future, I might get to PARK IN THERE!

Getting my garage cleaned out is very important to Dad. He has repeated several times lately that he wants me to have the Corvette when he kicks off. It needs to fit in the garage because allowing a 'vette to sit outside is a cardinal sin. UV kills, don't ya know!

When they discuss the car, as soon as Dad gets up, Mom says, "Hell, that Corvette is our tickets for an Alaskan cruise!" Sheesh. Refer to plan noted above.

Still thinking about my dog stuff, I have some things I don't want in my dog room. Big, clunky things I want to hang. I've run out of wall space in the garage though. I have one spot left, and that is supposed to be for my wheelbarrow. I have a holder and everything. I'd just have to dump the rotting yard waste out of it and put it in the garage. Go figure.

So I stood out there, mice darting around my feet, trying to figure out how to get more surface area to hang things from. I realized the end of the massive shelving units would work quite well.

Hence the early morning power tools.

The shelves are 2' wide and I just happened to have a 1" thick 24" square piece of plywood. I cut it into 3 x 8" wide strips and measured it for holes. The plan is to bolt these pieces of wood to the three available sides of the shelving units (one end is stuck in the corner and I can't reach it). Then I can put sturdy hooks in the plywood and hang more stuff! Yippeeee! I just want as much crap off the floor as I can get.

I cut down the wood, sanded the edges, then painted them black to match the shelf frames. Today I'm going to meet the work gals for lunch. On the way home, I'm gonna stop by Restoration Hardware to get a gallon of wall paint. After 6 YEARS of living in this house, I am going to finish painting the last wall of the living room come hell or high water! Then I'll dash in at Home Depot for some bolts to anchor these brackets to the shelves.

JOY! No more tripping over my foldy carts as I come and go from the garage.

Here are the shelving brackets, already in progress:


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stay-Cation Day Three: gorgeous day

Another productive day, though in slightly different ways.

Today I headed out early (uh, 9:30 ish) to start spending my paycheck, ha ha. Weirdness, though. About halfway through my list, I got a weird blood sugar shake going on. I wrapped it up quickly after that, bought a candy bar and went to the car. I checked my sugar and it was 84. ?!? For me, that's probably the lowest I have ever recorded. It took a good 20 minutes for me to stop shaking (for my sugar to get up a little more normal), but I finally did.

I'm not sure what spawned that, as I didn't exercise this morning and I had yogurt, cereal and coffee for breakfast. Huh. I'll have to make note of it and see what happens. I have had a bs crash at work about that time of day, but only on days where I didn't have my yogurt for breakfast and when I skipped the bus to work (no eating, morning exercise).

I have to learn about myself and how my body is changing with the band thing.

Speaking of band thing, I met OHer DebbieJean for lunch today! She invited me a few weeks ago and I finally took some time off so we could meet in North Nashville during the week. We ended up talking for 2 hours and I had a fabulous time!


She's had her band awhile and been extremely successful with it! Plus she's kept off her weight for a few years, to boot. She's very inspiring and gives me strength to face my ongoing Bandster Hell. Almost 6 months and counting, but I can do it. Based on how Debbie looks and feels, it will so be worth the current struggle. She's fantastic and great fun to chat with. And she even reminds me of my cousin Jennifer R.

After lunch, more shopping. I picked up a small can of satin black paint and am about to hit the garage to paint an old cabinet I've had lying around. It'll be perfect for storing packages of dog treats and other small dog things. For now, I'll put new brushed nickel knobs on it, but I'd like to make some custom corgi butt ceramic knobs. One thing at a time for now.

I just have to figure out why the doors are stuck closed. We opened the thing to check inside not that long ago (when parents were helping me clean some stuff out) and it was fine then. Yesterday I nearly clocked myself in the head trying to open it. I am about to whip out ye olde crowbar and break my way into it. My guess is that there's a teeming family of mice in there and they were all holding it shut with all their might!

If you hear a girl scream in about 10 minutes, you'll know it was full of mice!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stay-Cation Day Two: I'm so thrilled!

Yes, my dog room is practically finished! Save for putting down quarter round (which I doubt I'll do) and painting a cabinet to add to the space, it's done! Yippee, yahoo! I have scraped knuckles and a scissors blister from cutting tiles, but my pride in the job far outweighs the irritation from those injuries.

This morning, I started by putting down primer on the floor. Just doing that made the room look so much better. No more gummy stripe of carpet pad glue residue, thank you very much.


I gave that awhile to dry, then eagerly whipped out my chalk line thingie! Ooooh, it has blue chalk! Then I snapped my very first chalk lines ever. Perhaps the intersection of the lines was not in the exact, precise center of the room. However, for me, it was close enough. I'm still anal, but even I have limits.


After the lines were snapped and the middle found, I put down my first four tiles. Oooooh!


Once those were down, the middle of the room went super fast. It took less than an hour to tile the floor. As luck would have it, I didn't have to trim tiles to fit on one side (so much for measuring the room properly!), so I only had to cut down tiles to fit around the edges on three walls. Not four. I don't think my poor scissor thumb could have taken any more!

The short attention span part of me wanted to wander off when it came time to start trimming tiles, but I decided to see how easy cutting one was. Then I'd take a break. But it wasn't that challenging and I was able to cut it with a sturdy pair of scissors. Had I needed razors and a straight edge . . . I'd probably be asleep on the couch about now. You know, having given up, had a snack and nap time. Thank you for making them easy to cut. Once I did a few, well, I had to keep on with it!

The regular walls were easy. Just slide the tile up under the baseboard, mark where it needed to be trimmed, then cut. The door wall is on an angle, which required some creative work. I've seen on HGTV how you can scribe a tile, but for the life of me I couldn't remember how to do that.

So instead, I pretended to do the visual folding part of the IQ test. You know those questions--here's the thing unfolded. Which of the options will it look like when folded. So picture me, sitting on the floor, tongue sticking out the corner of my mouth, humming, snipping happily away at vinyl floor tiles.

I must admit, I did a freaking incredible job!


Sorry. I almost dislocated my shoulder patting myself on the back. Ha!

With the challenging cuts out of the way, it took no time at all to finish the rest of the room. I was soooo happy with how it turned out. There's a bit of a messy spot on the wall that backs to the garage, but you can't really tell unless I drag you over there to look at it. The icky spot is behind the crate.


As soon as the room was completely tiled, I wasted no time dragging my stuff back into the room. Yes. The grooming table is FINALLY out of the living room! Yahooooo!


I even hung up some new shelves and a watercolor I got in NYC. It's a bunch of dogs riding in cabs, going to Madison Square Garden for Westminster. FUN!

I keep going into the room to admire the work. I wasn't sure I'd make it to this point, especially considering how I felt when I discovered the carpet pad was glued down. But I did it!

Jack, however, is afraid of the new flooring. It took about 30 minutes before he gained enough courage to come into the room. He spent quite a bit of time lying in the doorway, unsure.


Quirky man. He did finally come in, but he's still not 100% convinced about the flooring. He's used to carpet or the laminate. I'm sure he'll be fine. Or require doggy therapy. I mean more doggy therapy.

I'm very excited now. The room looks fantastic and just needs a few finishing touches. Tomorrow, I plan on picking up some black paint to paint my cabinet. Then I can put all the dog cookies and stuff in it. The cabinet will go on the back wall beneath the giant painting. I also might get off my duff and paint the kitchen!

Now that I moved all the dog stuff out of the bathroom, I can actually get IN the bathroom. I need to clean in there, so it'll be back to normal. Progress, progress, progress!

I think I've earned some kick back and goof off time, but am excited about what I can accomplish tomorrow! This is great because normally when I take a week off and say I'm gonna do stuff, I wait until the Saturday before going back to work to START.

Who knows, before it's all said and done, maybe I'll actually get around to DUSTING. Well. Let's not push it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dear Diary...stay-cation day one

I just feel the need to write while my coffee brews. Not that I have anything important to say, though! HA!

For whatever reason, I had another dream about Matthew Gray Gubler, from Criminal Minds. The details are now foggy, but I was just following him around like a lost puppy, trying to impress him with my witty chatter. Yeah, not so much. Then my living alarm clock, Jack, woke me up. Since I'd like to actually get stuff DONE this week, I figured I should get up.

The weekend was my self-permitted lazy days. I spent Saturday with my parents and helping my dad with his new digital camera and his archaic computer. I did get to see a bunch of new old pictures of me as a baby. He got all of his 35 mm slides converted to jpegs. Since I hadn't seen these before, I swiped all the disks so I could have the pictures for myself.

I feel badly for my parents. I was one of THOSE babies. You know, the kind where people choke on their own vomit and go, "Oh. What a cute, uh, baby!" I had a ginormous, bald head that was funny shaped, several chins and spindly legs. WTF? At least I have nice hair now. Legs: slightly less spindly. Chins? No comment.


I have a little chub on here, but still have the massive head. I guess it had to be big to contain both my ego and my massive, super-smart brain, ha ha! Nice rattle!


Seeing the pictures of my mom with me as a baby has made me soften in my old age. It makes me think of Angela and Hank and how she feels about him. As much of a nut as my mother is, I suspect she felt the same love for me that Angela does for her baby.


This is one of my favorite pictures--me as a fresh hatchling on the bed with Daddy.


I'm pretty much face down in the bed with a chooch stuffed in my yapper. I'm thinking it's nothing short of miraculous that I didn't suffocate! Or end up dying of SIDS!

I haven't had a chance yet to transfer all the Vietnam pictures of my dad. (Jack gets all freaked out at the sound my MacBook's DVD drive makes, sheesh) He claims that the military insisted that if they had mustaches, they had to be handlebar mustaches. WTF? This sounds like a prank. Dude. Let's tell 'em they gotta be handlebars and see how many of them are dumb enough to grow 'em that way! Baahahahaa! He looks pretty damned funny with that Snidely Whiplash action going on. He's Italian, but in those old pictures, he looks like some kind of infidel. I took great pleasure in doing that jihad trill-shriek every time one of those pictures came up.

Sigh. When he got all his slides converted to jpegs, he put big stickers on the CDs. Yeah, if you don't put them on centered (and you leave in the middle part that isn't printed), DVD drives don't like them. How did you spend your week off? Peeling stickers off of CDs. Yay, me!

Infidel pictures will be in the next entry. Meh.

Friday, September 25, 2009

How much is too much?

I have to admit the whole social life concept is an interesting thing for me. I was outgoing as a little kid, shy and reserved as a school kid, pretty reclusive and reserved as an adult. Until the last 5 years or so, I only had friends from work. I never went anywhere to make new ones.

Between dog stuff and weight loss surgery, I have found a fantastic crew of friends, both in real life and on the net. I'm really pleased with this and even if I never lost another pound from my Lap-Band, I will already be grateful for the gift of friendship I have received just by getting it. The people I have met on my journey are, of course, funny and many are very creative people. That's super important because they are helping me get on track and in touch with my own creativity. Something that fell by the wayside while hiding from the world behind my protective layer of fat.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I may not be the most socially adept person on the planet. But I'm learning and growing.

Last night was our super-fun WLS support group meeting. A married couple, Missy and Kenny, run the show. The thing I love about this group is the people. Everyone in the group has a great sense of humor and we spend a lot of time laughing. Helps to make up for a lifetime of pain experienced in our old skin. We've got a core group of about 6 people that routinely attend, with a smattering of new attendees each month.

A new person came last night. She was nice, was pretty far out from her surgery and had already had plastics, so we were able to ask her questions about her journey.

The M&K Experience added an addendum to the support group protocol and when it got to be Lights Out Time in the clinic (we've had the lights turned out on us multiple times! You people wrap it up and get out of there. I thought the first time was a riot--all the housekeeping staff lined both sides of the hall between the conference room and the exit. I really wanted to do a Soul Train dance down the aisle, but that would have sealed my fate as a Complete And Utter Dork, so I didn't. Just because I can doesn't mean I should), we would transition the group from the clinic to a nearby restaurant.

The new gal joined us.

Have you ever run across one of those people so desperate to fit in that they try too hard? Even waaaay too hard? Yeah. That's the vibe I got. At work when I run into this, I just nod, smile and do not encourage chit-chat. That just makes 'em get more talkative. So I pull back, look busy and try to disentangle myself as soon as I can.

Missy had made some gumbo and had a bowl for me in her car. After we adjourned, I followed Missy to her car to get the broth. She turned to her husband and said, "I think we've found someone who makes Denise look CALM by comparison!" And then we all fell over laughing!

The woman, like I said, was really nice. I just think she was trying too hard. Yeah. I just met you two hours ago and I really don't need to know that your nipples are pierced and that you really like being on top now that you've lost weight. Or that pole dancing is good exercise. Things to save for the second date, perhaps?

Showing me your dog pictures on your camera phone is fine, but showing me EVERY picture is a bit much. Then tossing that in your bag and whipping out your camera to show us MORE pictures . . . faux pas! Even I know that, and I'm a camera/picture whore and have about 8 million pictures of my dogs with me at all times.

Needless to say, I was stunned to silence for a good portion of dinner. Wow. Someone chattier than me????

Here's my favorite part . . .

New Gal: I was married in December. Got divorced in October. Wanna know how I met my husband?
Missy, expectant look on her face thinks: Wait for it . . . wait for it . . .
New Gal: I'm a gamer!
Missy, inside her head: BINGO!

One of the women on R&R has in her signature line, watch what you say--you might end up in my novel. Yup. I totally know what she means.

I'm glad she liked the group and felt comfortable enough to join us for dinner. But here are a few pointers for the socially inept from the still kinda socially inept.
  • Get a feel for the group and the people before you divulge the most intimate secrets of your sex life
  • Listen, listen, listen (learn/know your audience)
  • If people give you cocked head, perplexing looks, perhaps you should back off some
I'm blaming her TMI conversation on nervousness and the need to fit in. Hopefully she'll be a bit more relaxed if she comes to the next session. Disclaimer--I'm all over TMI, if I know you. Pretty much no topic is off limits. Poop is funny.

However, I would not appreciate being approached by a total stranger at Wal-Mart who says, "Hi! Nice to meet ya! I like anal!"

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

2009 Walk from Obesity

I wish I could have done more to help the crew who organized this year's 2009 Walk From Obesity, but like I've said before, it's been a rough summer for me. Dog personality clashes, recovery from weight loss surgery, oh and then the joyous adventure that is Bandster Hell. I tried to go to a few meetings, but I really had nothing left to give in terms of assistance.

I did drag my sorry ass out of bed and go, though!

I was part of Team Vandy and was motivated to go because I was promised some quality time at lunch with some pals after. Who am I to turn down socialization? Sheesh! So I went.

I'm glad I did. I got to meet a friend from the TN board, Trina. I really enjoyed talking to her and wanted to spend more time with her. But by the time I got back from our loop around the park, she had left. I'm waiting for a friend to pass me her info so we can talk more. She has a huge heart and is a great woman.

I brought along Map and Tuesday to the event. Jack was home, distracted with a piece of bully stick. Sometimes I am very happy he's easily fooled with food. It makes it much easier to sneak the gals out without a whine fest from him. NEEDY MAN!

They had a great time meeting people and getting/giving lots of Corgi Love. Map found a stinky spot and spent much time rolling in it on her back. I had to laugh because her undercarriage was dingy with dirt. It's been raining for about a week solid and her poor dragging belly fur was taking a hit from the muck.

The girls had a great time on the walk and started out quite strong. They trotted side by side and were sooooo good!


We got about 2/3 of a mile before Map started getting tired. We went from a trot to a stroll to a please carry me! She held out until we got to the west side of the lake where the geese were. We found a bench and I let her recover and have a little water. Tuesday was romping at the pigeons, hoping to snag one. But she couldn't get very far because she and Map were tethered together. Map wallowed in a mud hole, loving the cool mud on her filthy belly.

Eventually we got back up and finished the mile. Map is now a certified Nashville Park Volunteer--she was the official street sweeper and did a great job of cleaning the leaves and other detritus from the walking path!


You can see her little skirt swishing in that action shot and the pile of leaves and twigs it has collected! Oh, Map! You're so funny!

I'm so proud of how good they were, though their stamina is not what it should be! It wasn't even that hot. So obviously they need a bit more exercise. But they did well and I love 'em! They crashed the rest of the day and were both actually a bit stiff from the workout. Tuesday has been doing a lot of stretching and yawning.

I enjoy the loop at this park and it's kinda making me want to drag the mafia there on weekend mornings for some good exercise. Maybe someday we can work up to a few miles! Then we'll be ready for the hills and loops of the Warner Park!

Progress on the homefront

The past few weeks have been crazy. Last weekend was a rough one, as I decided my puppy was not working out and took her back. It was a tough and emotional decision, but if the demeanor of the rest of the mafia is any indication it was the right choice. But I was far too emotional and drained to work on the Dog Room last weekend. This weekend I've actually made some progress.

Yesterday was the Walk From Obesity, and I took Tuesday and Map to the walk. After, I went to lunch with WLS pals Missy and Kenny. Home renovation and carpet removal was a topic that came up, and Kenny revealed that he has used a solvent readily available at big box stores designed to remove carpet pad glue. HUH?

My internet searches basically resulted in "elbow grease." Awwww, man. Seriously? I hadn't had a chance to search in person at Lowe's or Home Depot for anything like that yet and thought there probably wasn't anything out there. If The Internet says elbow grease, then who am I to argue?

But Kenny said there was. I was very happy.

I dropped the girls off at home after lunch, then headed out to Lowe's. Sure enough, in the cleaning aisle there were things like Goo-Gone, mineral spirits, and other solvents. And then there was Solu-Strip. There was much rejoicing!

Well, except for the fact the stuff cost $26 a gallon. Meh. But $26 is a small price to pay compared to having your arms fall off from weeks of scraping. Or letting the project come to a screeching halt for a few months because I don't want to deal with it.

Today, I got in there and started the work. I had most of the glued down pad to remove and then the glue to tackle.


Having only removed that one strip, I got out the hoe-thingie I broke last week and went back to scraping.

Once I cleared off a space, I was excited to jump into the de-gooification, so I started with the zone by the window. I was a good girl and wore goggles, had the window open with two fans going and wore gloves. But my defiant side showed and I refused to wear close toed shoes. What, am I at work for God's sake? Screw you and your close toed shoes!

I poured out the stuff, which was a nice gel. Ooh. I rolled it out, then covered it with plastic per the directions. I wandered off and played some bejeweled on FaceBook while it incubated and did its thing. 20 minutes later, I came back and dove right in with my scraper.


I was expecting it to take a lot of effort, but OMG, it just wiped off! I LOVE YOU KENNY! In a platonic, handyman kind of way. I was so excited, I couldn't wait to get to the next section.

I took my time, did it in small sections, played games on FaceBook and enjoyed the afternoon. And the fumes, ha ha! I have one teeny spot next to the door and a few spots to touch up, then I'm done!


Right now I'm waiting for the solvent to dry and for the room to air out. I'll use some chalk to mark the spots I need to touch up and then deal with that one night this week. I have a few more nails to pry up (I affectionately refer to the perimeter nails and tack strip as Tetanus Central as they are rusty from the flood of Aught Three), the little spots to re-treat and then the floor will be ready for a coat of primer, then the tiles! Yippeeee, yahoo!

Dear Diary--I might finish this project in a somewhat timely fashion! Finish a project? Huh? I must be feverish.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm exhausted!

But the exhaustion is well earned.

I have spent the past three days working in the house, especially on getting the dog room converted into the dog room.  It had been my exercise room, initially, but after I dragged my elliptical to my bedroom, it became a junk room.  I'm sick and tired of the clutter and the stress clutter brings, so I decided to get off my duff and do what I've been talking about doing for ages.

Here's what the room looked like initially:

Yeah, one phone call away from ending up on Hoarders on A&E (oooh, new episode tonight, too!).  Here's another angle:

I started clearing out garbage on Saturday and made decent progress on Sunday.  By the end of the day yesterday, I was down to a pile of dog stuff and a pile of relocated kitchen stuff.  All the paint, tools, etc., went to their homes out in the garage.

In a fit of inspiration while walking through Target, I realized that one of those cube type holders would be a great thing.  When I was sorting through the dog stuff, I was like, I have a bunch of different collars, a bunch of training stuff, etc.  Seeing those bins, a light bulb went off. A bin for collars and leashes, a bin for training supplies, a bin for grooming supplies, a bin for treats, etc.  PERFECT!

So I got that, assembled it and then, because I found some in the garage, put it on casters.    Now I can roll it around (it's not the sturdiest structure on the planet) to sweep behind it to get at the inevitable floating piles of fur.  And it's off the floor, so if Jack happens to hike on it, it won't be soaking in urine.   He'd better not, though.

Here's what we have now:

And a view of the corner . . . that table will go upstairs (I just didn't have the energy to drag it there myself) and my grooming table will go there.  I have a cabinet in the garage I plan to paint black and will put that under the painting on the left, to get more stuff out of sight.

Here's a view of the far wall:

And a view of the cube shelf and crate.  

I met my goal of having it done enough to put Millie in it when I go to work tomorrow.   Her massive 4' x 4' x-pen is out of the living room. She has a big sized crate to sleep in at night, and a whole room to goof off in during the day, where she cannot see Map and get angry about it.

This weekend is Labor Day weekend and is gloriously free!  No plans at all!  So the next step for this room is to paint it (already have paint and all the supplies in the garage) and then to rip up the carpet, seal the concrete slab beneath it, then put down stick 'n peel tiles.  

Once that's done, I can move in the grooming table and my living room will look mostly like a living room!  GO FIGURE!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

While we're on the topic of toilets...


I affectionately refer to myself as the worst husband in the world. Yeah, first off I don't have a penis and second, I'm not married.  But I act like a lazy husband on the weekends, skillfully ignoring my honey-do list by goofing off or sleeping.

My toilet has been leaking somewhere in the system for months.  I get annoyed with the noise of the trickling when doing my middle of the night bathroom runs.  I was good and finally got around to buying the toilet repair kit a month or more ago.  Whoopie!  Progress!

Since I am taking a 3 day weekend, I have determined I must do something productive and I thought a few of my honey-do tasks would fit the bill.  So far, I've done toenails and brushed out Tuesday and Jack,  I've disassembled Millie's giant cage and replaced that with a normal crate.  I've washed all the dog stuff (crate pads, etc) and swept fur up out of half the house.

Finally I decided I must deal with this damned toilet.  I was getting tired of moving the box from one flat surface to the next, gradually working my way toward the bathroom.  By the time I got it onto the countertop by the toilet, I figured why not?

I hoped it was just the flapper, so I did that first.  What?  What's that sound?  Trickling water?  As my pal Debra says, "Toilet flapper, you can KISS MY ASS!"  Well, actually it wasn't the flapper.  It was the other toilet innard bits.  Sigh.

I need to start an at home business:  interpreting lamely written instruction guides and converting them into something that makes frickin' sense.  I love troubleshooting experiments at work and then writing protocols.  Except that I don't do that any more.  So here's a new niche.

I think there is some great conspiracy to piss innocent homeowners off by making these things completely illogical!  As I went through the instructions, I kept saying--oh, if I were writing this, I'd phrase it this way.  Instruction guide interpreter.  I like that.

Between trying to interpret these lame-o instructions, contorting to get behind the toilet, bruising knuckles and aggravating my fibromyalgia trying to unscrew plastic bolts, I came up with some rather inventive new curse words.  I also spent an inordinate amount of time wandering the house looking for tools.  I thought I was doing well with my Homer Bucket in a pocket riddled skirt.  But not as good as I thought I was!  I'd sell my left nut for a wrench!  If I had one.

It took me a few hours and only one Oh Shiny with Farkle on FaceBook before getting it done.  So far (knock on wood), I don't have any leaks and DEAR DIARY, the damned thing is actually quiet once the tank is full.  By the grace of God, I did not have to remove the tank from the bowl and replace the tube that shuttles water into the bowl.  Whew.

I'm sure that I'll be awoken to a massive geyser of toilet water at about 3 am, but for now I am pleased that the job is done.

Now if I only had a German turd shelf!  Next project, maybe!  

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

German Shelf Toilet

I miss Jane. She's from England and has gone home for a visit with her family for two weeks.

This is how my brain works: I happened to think of Jane en route to the bathroom. Jane is from England. She watches You Are What You Eat on BBC America. I saw a few new episodes of the show over the weekend. Apparently the show has changed format. Instead of Gillian going to the peoples' homes, she makes them come spend a few weeks with her.

And instead of having them crap in a tupperware container, she now has a fancy German Shelf Toilet, which apparently alleviates the need to put shitty plastics in her dishwasher. Ick!

The episode I saw had her chasing a vicar around. Apparently he was quite constipated and never left a deposit on her fancy German toilet's shelf. The shelf allows her to get in and do her nice, close up inspections of her clients' poo. I'm betting she prods it, too. I would like to think she does it with a stick, but I'm betting she uses a gloved finger.

I may be preoccupied at times with my output, but at least I don't kneel loo-side, talk to it and inspect its content. And this gal has a TV SHOW!!!!

Wow. Brits, and the occasional Scottish dietician, are funny.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Hysterically Funny Animation

I was goofing off on the internets yesterday (shocker!), reading up on Big Brother.  It was Thursday--eviction day--and I wanted to know if anyone had snapped in the house since Tuesday.  

Linking my way across the internet, I found a YouTube page for KCS Cougar:  someone or some entity that spoofs reality shows with short, animated clips.  I initially found a segment on Big Brother, but found that the others were equally hilarious.  If you watch shows like The Real Housewives of NYC or NJ, NYC Prep, etc., you will LOVE this site! There's even a spoof of Lost and an Indiana Jones movie, with Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas discussing options for a scene.  Too frickin' funny.

Be forewarned--the f'bomb content is quite high (sounds kinda like my potty mouth at Friday lunch!), but holy crap, is it funny.  Here's the riotously funny clip of the Real Housewives of New Jersey--if you saw the show, be prepared to pee your pants!  Yeast infected Jersey Shore oyster!  Baaahahahahaha!

Millie's Mafia Cherry: Popped!

Today Millie learned to jump the edging/fencing to get into the jungle mayhem that is my raised bed.  Where the bunnies live. Despite Jack having been in there rooting around the morning, he missed a bunny.

Millie found it.

Jack and I were in the kitchen, brewing coffee when we heard the unmistakeable SCREEE! SCREEE!  SCREEE!  that is a bunny's shriek upon finding itself in the jaws of a corgi.  But wait--Jack's with me. Millie?!?

So she is officially now a card carrying member of the corgi mafia. Jack ended up disposing of the body (that's his official job), but Millie caught it and did the damage.

Now she's happily frolicking in the freshly filled water bowl.  If it's not one thing, it's another.  Damn dogs!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Reason I should be more organized

This morning, I was flipping through a massive pile of random papers looking for something. I found an envelope from my mortgage company. Impulsively, I opened the envelope and do you know what I found?

A check for $745. That expired 2 months ago.

Seriously. I cannot believe how disorganized I am! Of course now I know why my mortgage payment dropped $130 a month back in June (yeah, never got around to asking why that was). The check was for over funding of my escrow account. If I didn't cash the check in the alloted time, it would go back to my account. So between that and adjusting my escrow contributions each month, I got a nice discount on my monthly mortgage.

Honestly, I'm glad I didn't find the check because odds are I'd have blown the money. Dog stuff. Going to shows. Going to Nationals. Buying shiny gadgets or a bicycle! Instead of doing something productive like paying bills, buying the new dryer I had to charge, or God forbid I could get new tires and a brake job for my car.

In this instance, all's well that ends well. But I'm still irked at myself. Plus, I still have to find that stupid medical bill I was looking for.

Someday. Someday I will get better organized. If I don't die trying.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sounds can be irritating

Long time, no chat. I've been very distracted lately and not made time to blog. I'm trying to get into the swing of things again.

I decided it's time for a whiny commentary: there is someone in the lab in the adjacent hallway that is making noise that sets my teeth on edge. It sounds like someone with a butter knife, trying to get the last of the mayonnaise out of the jar. Irregular clattering. Very loud and glassy sounding.

I'm very happy to be leaving in about 15 minutes to head to the gym, where there are no mayonnaise jars. Yippeee!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I am KILLING myself today

My dear sister-wife Joy (it's a long story) told a story on the message boards today about a woman with a very interesting screen name. Let's just say it involves feces and a weasel.

Of course if you know me at all, you know both are among my favorite topics. Especially weasels because I prefer the German pronunciation: veasel. Yah!

Being the slacker that I am, I found a hysterical picture of a possibly stuffed veasel and have spent much time making myself laugh by creating various LOL veasel images. I love me some LOL builder! Yah, yah!

Of course, this makes no sense to anyone but me. Yet I still find it hysterically funny! It doesn't take much.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ha ha ha!

Sea monkey made you look!!!!!  Muaahahahahahaaa!!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Hahahahahahahaa! I was sitting upstairs helping Angela with some computer stuff when I started thinking about this song. I told Angela it was about a guy and he's in a library and he meets Dracula and how did he leave? Immediately! Immediately, Immediate, L-Y! The song was from the Electric Company show on PBS from back in the 70s. I remembered it and my brother remembered it, but everyone else I mentioned it to gives me a look as though I'm nuts.

I get that a lot, actually.

I said to Angela that I doubted I'd get a lot of success in finding references this thing (to prove its existence) by Googling, "immediately." Not quite enough info.

However, I did Google Electric Company Songs and found a Wikipedia reference that mentioned the LY Song by Tom Lehrer! From there, I was able to find it on YouTube. Holy freakin' crap! (I'd use more flowery swear words, but I'm trying to keep this blog somewhat clean).

My memory wasn't completely accurate (one of the scenes was how did you cry in the library--quietly, quietly, quiet, LY), but it most definitely ended with the vampire scene. . .

You enter a very dark room
And sitting there in the gloom
is Drrrracula, now how do you say goodbye?

This actually exists! I am not crazy! At least when it comes to goofy songs from my childhood. And for five minutes it got the damned Green Bean Breakfast Time song out of my head. Awww, hell. It's back.

I smell like a box of nickels

I feel good enough about how I look these days that I've taken to paying attention to detail. As in wearing jewelry. Nothing fancy, just my cheap-o stuff, but it is nice having the energy to pick out and wear something to complement my clothes.

Today I am wearing a blue top and a necklace with some lapis lazuli stones in it. I love the necklace, but hate the smell. Smells like your hands after an hour of sorting and rolling pennies.

It probably wouldn't bother normal people, but I am a smidgen sensitive. I was even called Shark Nose by a gal a few years back! But that's a whole different story!

We'll see how long it takes before I rip it off my neck! As cute as it looks and as many compliments as I have received on it today, I don't know that I can stand the handful o' nickels smell much longer!

Oh, the price we pay for beauty! Ha ha ha!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

It could be worse

Today was a typical Monday.  Everything pissed me off, from the idiot drivers on the interstate, to dawdling shuttle bus drivers, to the dumbass who inherited my DNA analyzer (whose mess I'm cleaning up) to the entire spectrum of Asian languages because they are so harsh sounding and often spoken by women with really annoying voices.

However, it could always be worse.  And some guy on Friday really had it worse.

I was riding the bus out to my car.  It was just the driver and I heading toward the last lot, where I park.  We drove past this truck that had about six Hefty bags of stuff piled all around it.  Clothes and things.

Surely not, I thought.  Surely this poor sap's girlfriend did not take all his crap to work and dump them around his truck--good riddance and if you haven't figured it out by now, WE'RE OVER!!!

The driver said, "Dayum!  Someone is having a bad day when he gets offa work!"

Ha! It wasn't just me because the driver thought the same thing!  I like her--great minds and all that jazz.  I'd heard of people doing that, you know, throwing all their crap out on the front lawn.  But I'd never heard of someone dumping their crap at their vehicle at work!

Part of me wanted to see the person discover this after work.  But the compassionate side was glad I missed the drama.  It's funny . . . unless it's happening to you.

Always remember--it could be worse!!!

I need a dog training burqa

Tonight was Millie and my third visit to manners class at Dogs and Kat. I love the class and adore Kat.  I hate the location of the class: outside.  

I am pretty sure there is a stagnant moat on the other side of Kat's back fence, where some rude-ass neighbor is culturing mosquitos in vengeful plot to infect all of Nashville with West Nile virus.  I would get fewer bites standing knee deep in a murky pond.  It's AWFUL.

The first week a few spritzes of bug spray did not help.  The second week, I tried even more bug spray.  No luck.  I can't even focus in class because I'm too busy stifling my swear words and scratching fresh bites.  My frustration travels down the leash, resulting in a distracted dog with no hope of focusing.

I spent most of the weekend looking for those Off Strap On (hee hee) mosquito repellent fans.  I mean clip on.  Anyway, I was virtually tripping over them last weekend at Home Depot.  This week, they're all gone.  Same thing at Walgreen's, where they were on sale.  I still needed to hit some other stores, but simply ran out of time before dog training class tonight.

I hosed down with bug spray this afternoon and thought I was smart because I opted to wear long yoga pants instead of shorts.  Actually it was a good thing because I don't have any bites on my legs.  However, my HANDS and FEET were eaten alive. Jeez!  I even sprayed a lot of bug spray on my exposed bits, to no avail.  

I will confess I am one of those people that will be the only one eaten alive at a picnic. The mosquitos are all drawn to me and everyone else gets a mosquito-free pass.  ^&%$#@!  They owe me money for cortisone cream for being their mosquito decoy!!!

Anyway, if I can't find one of those Off Fans (not that I think it'll work for me and my scrumptious, mosquito attracting pheromones), I'm thinking of getting a dog training burqa.  Head to toe, every inch covered.  I even want the mesh over the eye opening.  Completely impenetrable.  With a pair of Michael Jackson sparkly gloves.

I'd say that would make training more challenging, but I suck at it anyway.  Like I could get much worse.  My lack of coordination for leash holding while simultaneous clicking then treating is laughable!  I should sell tickets!

Thanks, ladies and germs!  I'll be here all week!

Oh, to add insult to injury, there were multiple mosquitos IN MY CAR that snuck in to continue the torture while I loaded Millie into her crate.  Lovely.  Quintessential Monday.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Happiness is...

Well, Angela is back to work after her brief baby birthin' hiatus. My partner in goofing off and 5th grade boy humor is back!

One of the greatest joys in life for me is making someone shoot their beverage of choice out their nose through a well-timed joke. I shoot, I score!!! On Angela's first day back, no less!!!

I was waiting for my morning meeting with the boss. Angela asked RB if she could buy the iMac she took home for post baby work use from him. He made some quip about Apple head--where we have our computers in our head. Then we wouldn't need fancy computers.

I gazed off into space, pensively, then burst out laughing.

"What?" Angela asked.

"Oh, I just got one of those funny joke forward emails. In my head."

I suppose it has been awhile since she's been exposed to non-infant humor because it hit her just right that she blew the bottled water she had been swigging all over her desk. Kudos to her for getting most of the effluent into her garbage can.

Though we had fun at lunch while Angela was out, it just didn't have the same edge to it as when she is there. I can't imagine how hard it is for her to leave that cutie pie baby at home to come here (ick! ha ha!). However, I do enjoy our fun time together (she confessed selfishly) and the elevated level of raunchiness in our lunch discussions. Heh heh.

Yesterday morning, the stars aligned, I made a funny, and she spat water everywhere. All is good in the world. Happiness is.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Need To Bleed

I am very much looking forward to seeing Aunt Flo this month. I am very testy right now. If she doesn't get here soon, I am liable to snap on someone.

Here is a list of things making me testy:
  • Staples did not have single zippy ID badge holders. I don't need a 10 pack, thank you very much.
  • I am tired. I have so much going on right now that I have no down time. I really need some quiet, down time (my introvert side speaking)
  • The dogs are constantly barking and going at each other. Give it a rest already!
  • I think my dryer died this morning after a 20 year history. It heats, but I think the spinning part is busted. Kinda takes the tumble out of tumble drying.
  • Cellphone drivers who cannot drive
  • Stupid people in general
  • The clutter I have let take over the house
Here are some things that are making me less testy:
  • I get a 3 day weekend starting soon
  • I get to go to Jason's Deli for lunch (YUM SALAD!!!) with my gals from work
  • I'm going to get my garage shelves put up tomorrow!!!
  • Did I mention a 3 day weekend? : )

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Michael Jackson Moment

I'm still surprised and saddened by the death of Michael Jackson on Thursday.  I feel for his family and children but hope that he is at least free now of the lifelong issues brought on by the pressure of finding fame at such a young age and not having the childhood he craved.  He definitely paid a high price for sharing his gifts with us all.

It goes without say what an influential performer he was.  In the days after his death, the tributes abound and it seems practically everyone has a Michael Jackson story. I used to play some of the Jackson 5 songs when I was a DJ back in the 90s.  And I'm pretty sure Aunt Cathy and her son Michael got to see him in concert in the 80s.  But my real Jackson story is more substantial than that.  At least to me.

As a kid, we were sent back and forth during the summers from our home in Tennessee to my grandmother's house in Connecticut.  I suffered from horrible anxiety growing up and flying didn't help any. My runaway imagination envisioned every flight ending in a fiery explosion.  After a horrific 30,000 foot plunge that went in slow motion, of course.  

After years of therapy and better living through pharmacology, I love flying.  It signifies adventure and excitement.  And seriously, the odds of crashing are quite slim (though try and tell that to the recent Air France plane crash victims). As a kid, though, I think I would have rather walked to Connecticut than flown.

In summer of 1983, we went on another trip to see Grandma.  I was 15.  I can't remember if we were coming or going, but we were between Philly and Hartford and the weather was awful.  If you have a fear of flying on a clear day, add a lightning storm to the mix and then see how you feel!  I made my brother shut the window shade so I couldn't see the lightning, striking dangerously close to the wing.  My eyes were clenched shut, my hands were white-knuckle clutching the arm rests.  And the song Thriller was playing through my head over and over again.

I don't know why I found it soothing--maybe because it was a song like nothing else I'd ever heard.  Or I could see the video playing in my head and that was able to distract me for the storm.  I don't remember the details.  But I do remember that song by Michael Jackson kept me from flipping out completely, and running up and down the aisles, shrieking in fear.  I've never forgotten that flight and how that song got me through it.

God bless you, Michael Jackson, may you rest in peace.