Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Daydream While Painting the House

It has taken the two of us (but mostly the one of us - the other, taller one) weeks to paint the exterior of this house. It's a one-story house, but designed with 24-foot ceilings, so it has lots of stupid-ass empty space that looks awesome - awesome enough to make you buy it - but is stupid in all other respects.

Today, the umpteenth-straight day of painting on account of the unseasonably dry weather, which is due to vanish right on schedule for all the Halloween Cinderellas and zombies to be obscured under decidedly non-princesslike and/or non-undeadlike raincoats, I dreamed of having help. Of literally having help. A second child we could have had, which we could use mainly for house work and spare parts.

Of course, we would have had to train him to expect nothing more than food, lodging, and a pat on the head in return for lawn mowing, roofing, house painting, and the odd cornea or bone marrow.

"Mom, how come Dean gets his own room, and I have to stay in the laundry room?"

"Because, Dear, he is our Dean, and you are our Spare."

"But did you really have to name me Spare? I've always been partial to the name Shaquille."

Now that Dean has moved to Colorado Springs, I often think about how handy he could be to have around - when we leave for the weekend and he keeps an eye on the dogs, or when we need help tearing a roof off or moving something heavy. And it would only cost us all the food in the house. A small price to pay for some help you can count on.

Too bad I didn't have one more of those in reserve for when Dean left in Pursuit of Happiness and Red, White and Blue Glory.

The cat uses the laundry room now as her bathroom, so we might have had to move our Spare to the garage, but it would have been worth it if we had had a built-in handyman to paint the house for us this week.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another Reason to Feel Sorry For Me

I have one of those invisible slivers in the little finger of my right hand. It hurts when I write or use my mouse, but I can't see it to remove it.

Just thought you would want to know.

The Vet Who Did Not Vet

A bedtime story. It rhymes, so it's good.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wearing Clean Undies Is A Good Start

It's Wednesday night and you all know what that means: Ghost Hunters!

Here's a Halloween-themed thought: you know how ghost spotters are always seeing men in Civil War uniforms, or women in white, flowing dresses? Once, I saw a ghost with a rebel-style cap on Ghost Hunters. For sure. So, if ghosts are dressed in period costume, does that mean that you will have to wear what you have on in your final earthly moments for the rest of your ghostly existence?

That might make you think twice about wearing those pants that are too tight in the crotch. Who knows what ghosts feel throughout eternity?

I need to go shopping.

Monday, October 20, 2008

We're the Grasshoppers

So it's October 20, it's pissing down PNW October rain, and we are one third of the way through our summer house painting project.

I know, the ant and the grasshopper, we were busy playing in the sun and we put it off until it was too late, while somewhere, the ant people were dutifully painting their little houses, getting paint all over their thoraxes and what-not. You're only half right, because I believe we have some solid-ish excuses.

You can't really expect to get any more painting done in June than in October in Washington. True, school lets out in June, but that does not mean summer begins. So even if painting the house had been a priority in June, which it wasn't, it would have been an iffy proposition. Besides, Drew was busy freaking out at work and going to the chiropractor for his hunchback.

In July, the focus was on the AVC in the middle of the month, which takes prior planning and post-race recovery time. The rest of the month was spent finding a contractor to put in a new heat pump (with any luck, for not much more than it cost to build the house in the eighties).

In August, the new heat pump system went in, which made us not-so-ready for more housing-related expenses. And in turn made us consider painting the house ourselves, the old fashioned way, with rollers and brushes. It's cheaper, and the Captain won't forever wish he had done it himself anyway, because the Captain is, um, particular. And the Captain's tummy hurt. He said.

I had been hoping that we could devote ourselves to some heavy-duty house painting in September. But first we had to go to the Steens Mountains for our anniversary, then the Captain had to ride around Oregon on his dual-sport bike, then we had to fly to LA for track nationals.

So we are painting the house now. With rollers and brushes. In between rainy days. If we don't paint it now, I firmly believe that the cedar siding will peel away like an exploded barrel this winter and leave us wet and cold.

So, that's the answer to, "What, you're STILL painting the house?"

Hello, we're the grasshoppers.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Smell It!

Okay, okay, recently when I was forced to listen to Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf," probably by a big box store, but possibly by my husband, I amused myself by hearing a lyric I could have sworn went

I smell like I sound

Ha! Ha!

Today I thought it's Friday, I don't have to post anything good. I'll just re-amuse myself by posting my funny lyrics.

So I Google the song to find out the real lyrics, because I have no idea. Turns out that according to the two most popular sources, that's really the lyric.

Now it's not that funny anymore. Now it's just a really, really much more stupid song.

By the way, these are also official lyrics: Do do do do do do do dodo dododo dodo.

However, further Googling uncovered this gem by Bruce Campbell, and now I feel better. Almost as good as I smell.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dogs: Why I Keep Feeding Them, Volume 1

I spend more of my time brushing hair off dogs, vacuuming hair off floors and furniture (furniture that dogs are not, technically, allowed on), picking up dog toys, and scooping poop off lawns then is reasonable.


Annie won't eat if you are angry when you feed her.

Scotty hates it when I cuss, even if it is in the course of conversation.

So I guess having them around makes me a (very) slightly better person.

So I guess it's worth it.

No. No, it's probably not.

Monday, October 13, 2008

If You Were Curious

This is my interpretation in pastels of what Twinkie looked like ( she was usually looking up). I did this several years ago. Looking at it so closely makes me want to take another crack at her (cue cpt a's snarky remark about wanting so often to take a crack at her more literally).

Friday, October 10, 2008

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know

It seems I have been tagged, which is proof of love, which is good. Thanks for the sweet words, Seattle Tammy. And here's my entry.

Here are the rules of the game:
Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they are tagged by leaving comments on their blogs.

Now I must give you some trivia re: myself. Although I usually like trivia, I am not my favorite subject, so this will take some mental digging. However, I love using bullet points and numbered lists, so that's enough to get me started. So bear with me. Or skip over to Fanatical Apathy; I'll understand.

Seven Things You Might Not Know About Me.
  1. The first dog I owned (apart from family pets growing up) was a long-haired chihuahua named Twinkle Toes. Although I can't claim that chihuahuas were ever cool, this was long before Paris Hilton made them into living accessories for morons. Twinkle Toes (or Twinkie, as she came to be called) showed up at my house by way of a friend who worked at a veterinarian's office. Twinkie was dumped there - tiny, moody, missing some crucial teeth, a little iffy on the concept of "housebroken," and suspicious of everybody except me. As soon as she saw me, she just fell in behind me, and I had a dog. Such as she was. I kept her through no-pet apartments, my marriage to her least favorite human, moves to Austin, Texas, and babies. Drew has been distracting me from getting another chihuahua all these years by keeping me busy with large collies. But I'm sure he knows that it's just a matter of time before I show up with another big dog in a small package.
  2. My degree is in psychology. When I was in high school, I wanted to be Bob Newhart (the first one, the stuttering psychologist, not the stuttering Vermont innkeeper). What I learned in college was that, as a psychologist, if you wanted to help your patients more than they would be helped by the mere passage of time, you really need to get yourself a prescription pad, which meant going to med school. Med school was beyond my ambition level.
  3. I have never smoked pot. I know! I had one chance to try it when I was in high school, but I was afraid I might look like a dork, so I made an excuse. In college, I hung out with brainiacs and athletes. After college, Drew was in the Air Force, which doesn't take kindly to that sort of activity, even if they had paid us enough to afford anything other than food, clothing and sub-standard housing. And no, I don't care to try now.
  4. I once went to nursing school but quit the day I realized that I would be expected to slide rubber hoses into old men's penises.
  5. I have raised a child and trained a firefighter to be wordsmiths and grammar police. They will never allow me to forget that I once got so carried away trying to make a completely valid point, that I called a perfectly legitimate item of cycling wear "asinine." But, I mean, come on. If your knees are cold, why wouldn't your ankles be cold? Either wear tights or shorts - don't wear "knickers" that come halfway up your calves. That's just...wrong. And unsightly.
  6. My stripper name would be Fritzi Laurel (or more literally, Fritzi Laurel Park Drive).
  7. I was a cheerleader in high school. I know! Hard to imagine today. But at the time, although I was just as shy, I had that hammy thing that shy people have when they get in front of an audience, and I used the cheerleading squad to perform skits, dance, and generally get attention.
Seven Blogs I Like that were not already tagged by Seattle Tammy.
I don't spend a lot of time reading blogs, but when I do, here is where I go:
  1. Dean's blog, because he's a better writer than I am, and leads a more exciting life.
  2. The Blogess, because she's funnier than I am, and leads a more exciting life.
  3. Two Can Anne (Anne Altman), because she is young and funny and makes me wonder how cool it would be to be young and talented and living in New York.
  4. MeMo (Kyrie O'Connor's blog) from the Houston Chronicle. She blogs like she's in your living room with her feet up on your coffee table.
  5. Deteriorata (dee), a Fanatical Apathy family member, which means she can think and she can write. My North Carolina news. I think one of my favorite bands of the week, Band of Horses, comes from North Carolina, don't they?
  6. Another Monkey we know as Harold. Fan Ap again. Sorry. We like the way we think. And Harold knows stuff. And he has a very cute picture of a dog on his sidebar. What more do you want? A virtual Obama sticker? He's got one of those too.
  7. Hedera's Corner by Karen Ivy. Okay, one more Fan Ap. But Hedera is from the Bay Area, and it is the only place on earth I would move away from the Pacific Northwest for (but only if somebody left their house to me in their will because I can't afford one). And she is in a choir, and I love being in a choir. And her blog background and writing voice are so soothing.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

2008 Track Nationals Show & Tell

Here is an abbreviated story of our week in Carson, California, the Land of the Home Depot Center, Gateway to Compton, and home of the most expensive hotel breakfast in the worst part of town ever.

When Dean walks around like this, we know we are in for a disappointing day. His posture tells us everything we need to know. This was Dean on Wednesday: jet-lagged, tired, over-sangria'ed, and juiceless.

Since Dean was out of the competition for Friday, we took the day to drive north up the Pacific Coast Highway to watch this bird work the surf for his dinner.

At the Malibu pier, we encountered a group of ruffians guarding this armoire, who someone had taken great pains to carry out to the end of the pier and conceal the front with a table cloth of some kind. What was in it? Drugs? A dead body? Snacks? I wasn't going to ask.

Yes, I am quite serious when I tell you that this was the view from our eighth-floor luxury room at the Doubletree Hotel in Carson, California, home to the $14.95 weekday breakfast buffet, the Thursday night jazz stylings of Saddam Hussein's Phillipino cousin, and $8 glasses of cheap wine:

By Sunday, Dean's posture had improved, and his legs had that snap that we are used to seeing. He almost did not get to compete in the team sprint because of poor performance early in the week, but because Michael Blatchford was forced to bow out due to back spasms, Dean was given a chance to redeem himself and join the team. He did that, with the fastest anchor leg of the competition, helping his team to win gold.

We had so much fun hanging out with Dean for a week, even with the jet lag and mood swings (his jet lag, my mood swings). And we learned things, like how to enter a bank in a high crime area, and where to eat breakfast in Manhattan Beach (Eat at Joe's). But mostly, we learned not to stay at the Doubletree Hotel in Carson, California.

More later, as I think of stuff.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Crappy Day, Crappy Day, Crappy Day, Crappy Day, Gold Medal

After four days of jet lag, bad attitude, bad luck, and general ugliness, Dean got his massive legs back under control and ended the week of National Championships in Carson, CA with a gold medal in team sprint with his teammates, Kelyn Akuna and (this year's Cinderella Story) Jimmy Watkins.
More later as Blackberry and Blogspot don't seem to be playing well together.