Friday, October 29, 2010

While I Was Sleeping

Last night was entirely too eventful for a time when I should have just been asleep.  Chris is out of town.  He takes his PE test today....duh duh duh...good luck!  He NEEDS to pass this time around.  He was soooo close last time, and just couldn't take another round of studying.  And...I'd prefer (selfishly) to have him not spending every evening and weekend shut away in the den.

Anyway, it was me and the fur-babies...  First up?  Harper would not stop trying to sleep on the bed.  She takes up more room than Chris!  And insists on practically laying on top of you.  This is compounded by Monster already sleeping up there and hissing at him continuously.  Not fun.

Next?  A smoke detector started it's "low battery beep" around 12:30.  I was betting on the 3rd floor hallway one since it had gone off 2 days ago, so I pulled it.  Then, of course, Harper was awake and had to go outside.  Come back in, try to sleep.  Nope.  Not the right smoke detector.  Ok, I pull the 2nd floor one.  Try to sleep.  Nope.  Still beeping.  At this point I give up, and let the dog freak herself out.  Somehow I started to sleep through them.  In a house with 4 stories and, I believe, 6 smoke alarms, it would've taken way too long to narrow it down.

Then...I hear horrible yowling.  Ok, Monster's a Siamese, and pretty frequently will walk around squawking, but this didn't stop.  I get up.  The baby gate had slid down the doorway and trapped him in the guest bedroom with his litter box.  (It's there because of the basement being torn apart for renovations.)  Of course, the stinker had also not done a good job of covering his business, and the whole place STUNK.  But, ok.  Rescue the cat, go back to bed.

FINALLY...I should admit I was awake for this one.  The plaza next to us started mowing the lawn outside my window at 7:20am.  Yup.  Noise ordinance definitely prohibits this prior to 8.  So, first tactic?  Go outside in bathrobe, stare them down, and let the scary-looking German Shepherd bark at them.  Did nothing.  Next?  Start calling the Borough zoning office.  Who were actually very helpful and sent someone out to talk to them.  Chris may not love this, though, as his office acts as partial township engineer...sorry if you hear about this later, hun!

So...long night.  Cranky morning.  Hopefully not a long day! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An Inside Joke

Fairly early on in our relationship, Chris and I visited my grandparents in New Hampshire.  (and have every year since)  On the drive up, we passed a Moose-crossing sign.  I have gone to New Hampshire every year of my life, only missing the trip twice.  I have NEVER seen a moose.  Regardless, Chris and I decided it was our goal to see a real, live moose, and to remind us of that, we started imitating Bullwinkle.  Badly.  But, it's continued to be a silly little thing we do, throwing up the moose antlers (otherwise known as jazz hands), and saying "Hey, Rocky..."

To this day, we have still never seen a moose.  It would be nice.  However, I'm posting because Alexander Anderson, Jr., Bullwinkle's creator has died.  We can't help but be sad that someone that contributed to a fun aspect of our relationship has passed on.  So, here's a small tribute to Mr. Anderson, and below is the link to the BBC News article.

Rocky and Bullwinkle creator Alexander Anderson Jr dies

Friday, October 22, 2010

Because I've been too quiet...

...I am filling out Tina's survey.  Looked fun, anyway.  So here's a bunch of random stuff about me.

Is there anybody you just wish would fall off the planet? Couple of "real" people, but lets stick with Christine O'Donnell.  C'mon, grow a brain, lady.

How do you flush the toilet in public? With my hand, but then proceed to wash well. I’m not too germaphobic.  (Tina's answer, but I agree.)

Do you wear your seatbelt in the car? I swear I have never NOT worn it.  Even if a stupid cop tried to claim I wasn't wearing it when he pulled me over for speeding in high school.  I took it off to get my wallet.  Don't do that people!  Stay put til they talk to you!

Do you have a crush on someone? Forgetting about Chris...I think Daniel Craig is pretty yummy.  I need a new Bond movie.  Stat.

Name one thing you worry about running out of. Deodorant.

What famous person do you (or other people) think you resemble? Ok, my favorite one I've heard is Bette Davis.  Not true, but I like it.

What is your favorite pizza topping? Olives, or Hawaiian.

Do you crack your knuckles? That's just dangerous.  My fingers pop out of joint.  Yucky anyway.

What song do you hate the most. Currently...Just the Way Your Are or whatever the title is by Bruno Mars.  Just overplayed.

Did just mentioning that song make it get stuck in your head? No. Thank goodness.

What are your super powers? I can read minds.  You didn't know that?  Better watch out now.  ;)

Peppermint or spearmint? Either.  Both.  Yum.

Where are your car keys? In my purse.  Usually on the hook of our "mail center".

Whose answers to this questionnaire do you want to hear? Any and everyone's.

What’s your most annoying habit? I'll go with I'm a leg shaker.  One of those annoying fidgeters that will make an entire bench move.

Where did you last go on vacation? New Hampshire.

What is your best physical feature? My eyes.

What 3 things can always be found in your refrigerator? Salsa, Soy milk, tortillas.

What superstition do you believe/practice?  Hmm...I always say "bless you" if you sneeze?

What color are your bed sheets? Tan plaid.

Would you rather be a fish or a bird? Bird. Maybe.  It'd be amazing to fly, but I'm terrified of heights. 

Do you talk on your cell phone when you drive? Yes, but my car has bluetooth.  So I look like I'm talking to myself.

What are your favorite sayings? For years I had, "Smile, it makes people wonder what you're thinking" taped to my computer.

What song(s) do you sing most often in the shower? Recently Teenage Dream by Katy Perry has been in my head *every* *morning* when I wake up.  Going a little batty.

If you could go back or forward in time,where would you go? Back.  But not within my own life.  I'd want to see ancient Rome, or the Wild West or something.

What is your favorite Harrison Ford movie? I'll go with Air Force One.  Not sure.

How many kids do you plan on having? Two.  Tops. 

If you could kiss anyone who would it be? See above crush.

What do you do when no one is watching? Sigh, probably eat something weird.  Like a jar of pickles.

Would you rather die in a blaze of glory or peacefully in your sleep? Probably blaze of glory.  I'm assuming the "peacefully" would involve an extended disease, and I'm just not into suffering.

Coffee or Tea  Love coffee.  Black.  Don't gunk it up.

Favorite musician(s)/bands you’ve seen in concert? The seen in concert part is a bunch of concerts in high school, but don't so much like a lot of those bands now.  We'll go with Weezer?

Have you ever been in love? Duh.

Do you talk to yourself? Of course.  Just not in the car.  That's bluetooth.  ;)

I'd love to see your answers!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Of Course I'm Wearing Purple

I support tolerance, love, and kindness in all forms.  And I DID intentionally wear purple today to support those ideals.  However, I admittedly probably wear this shirt once a week.  And purple 1/2 the other days.  So I can't claim that my statement is being heard very loudly.

I can't say bullying was ever bad for me.  Sure, there were moments, like when a charming young man in my 7th grade social studies class raised his hand during my presentation and asked if I had been to the race track lately.  "No, why?"  "Because you look like horse s*$t".  Not sure why the teacher let him get away with it...but she never said a word.  But, really?  It was never more than that. 

Why is that odd?  I found out later in life that many people suspected I was a lesbian.  Mostly due to my own actions.  I wore a rainbow necklace every day of 8th grade (oblivious to the meaning), wore baggy, unisex clothing, didn't date in high school, and absolutely did not restrict my friends based on who they chose to date.  I had, and continue to have, many friends of every orientation.  Just never occurred to me that I should be a close-minded bigot.  I guess I got lucky that no one ever picked on me for it?  Although, I suppose I would have clarified things if they had.  My school was not a beacon of tolerance, either.  In fact, it was quite hostile, and most of my friends did not come out until college.  (Even if it was common knowledge within our group.)

It struck me just how intimidating it was for my gay friends one New Years Eve when a friend decided to take me aside and come out to me.  I was religious.  I went to Notre Dame.  In theory, I agreed with Catholic teachings (ha!).  He was visibly nervous.  It took a couple of hours of conversation, with my friend of MANY years, for him to finally summon the courage to say it to me.  I was startled to think that he had assumed it would end our friendship.  And he was startled that my only reaction was, "Yeah?  We've known that forever."  I can't say I talk to him all the time now, but that's because he's in another state, and not next door.  However, I believe he is one of the warmest, funniest people I know, and wish that I had never unintentionally caused him to question my friendship. 

One of my best friends for a LONG time (and I really should reconnect with) is also gay.  Because of him I went to gay bars multiple times a week for YEARS.  Frankly, they were more fun, and less intimidating that the meat markets otherwise known as straight bars.  I suppose gay bars are meat markets in their own right, but not for a female in a gay male bar.  Then it's just fun.  You should try it.  Though, I may have accidentally hit on girls there a few times, but there's me being too friendly again. 

I'm not sure what my rambling accomplishes.  Other than to say there are plenty of open-minded people out there who are allies.  Who love our friends regardless of what stereotype can be placed on them.  Who will always judge a person based on their heart, and not whose hand they're holding.  Well, that's not true, if you're dating a jerk, I might think less of you.  But the sex of the jerk is irrelevant.  Love all of you!  Mwah! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wait...No toys at the dog park?

Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the sign, or a vivid recollection of every new rule that was posted, but I will convey what I can.

We arrived at the dog park on Sunday to try and burn out some of Harper's excess energy.  It's been tough on the girl.  Chris isn't available because of studying, and I just haven't felt well enough to walk every day.  I tried, but it wasn't always happening.  So, needless to say, she was quite excited when we arrived.  Much to our amazement, a new sign was posted saying that the park was at risk of being closed down, and that the following rules must be obeyed.  They mostly involved cleaning up after and observing your dog.  Nothing new, nothing surprising.  What WAS surprising was a new ban on bringing toys to the park, and also an adamant reminder that you must bring your own water and take it home when you leave.

We were a little put off by this. not a social dog.  Not that she's mean to other dogs, she just has no interest in going to the dog park to run around with them.  She might say hi to a few of the owners, but mostly?  The dog is ball obsessed.  The main reason we go is to have a large, fenced in space where we can use the long ball-tosser-stick-thing (I don't know the name) and wail that ball hundreds of yards.  Restricting toys terminates our purpose.

Although, on a side note, my ever-so-concerned husband threw it OVER the fence into another fenced area, and then let me climb the fence to retrieve it.  Thanks, hun.

Our immediate inclination was that it is an un-staffed park, and that they were just annoyed that it wasn't being maintained.  On further thought, though, I realized that it's probably a health concern.  If dog parks have too much waste present, it can cause a serious health hazard.  There are any number of parasites that can live in waste, as well as the following list of diseases, as posted by the Organic Pet Digest:

* Parvovirus (Parvo)- This is a highly contagious disease, which often leads to death, is most commonly transmitted through contaminated feces. Symptoms of Parvo include diarrhea and vomiting. Parvo is most common in puppies but can affect a dog of any age.

    * Giardia- This is a parasite that lives in various unexpected water sources. If consumed, it causes giardiasis, which has symptoms including diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain and poor weight gain.

    * Distemper- This is a highly contagious viral disease that affects the respiratory and nervous systems, causing fever, lethargy, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and eventually death.

    * Leptospirosis- A bacterial disease carried by wild animals or found in water sources. Symptoms include high fever, jaundice, hemorrhaging and bloody feces.

    * Kennel Cough- A highly contagious disease caused by organisms. Symptoms include severe coughing spells sometimes followed by vomiting and gagging.

So, maybe there was a rational.  Although, we may still sneak our own ball into the park.  We just won't be sharing...if that's possible.  "Ball" seems to be the equivalent of throwing a juicy steak sometimes, and you tend to get quite a few participants.  Ah, well.  It's a risk we'll have to take.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Update on the Chaos that is our Life

Breathing.  Many updates.

1)  The plumber came out and fixed the sink.  He was actually reasonably priced, on time, and friendly.  We actually found a plumber we'd be willing to call again!  This is a big deal, folks!

2)  We went with basement company #3.  Gonna cost an arm and a leg, but they're installing french drains on 3 walls, tearing out the old, moldy paneling, carpet, bar, etc., putting in a sump, and doing mold remediation throughout the basement and crawl space.  Should do it some time in the next week.  Maybe Chris will quit worrying about at least this crisis now.

3)  I'm still sick.

4)  Chris is still studying.

5)  Harper has gained 5 pounds.  Woo hoo!  We continue to mess with dosing and food, since not all is right digestion-wise, and she's still also on antibiotics, but I guess this is improvement.

6)  I WILL go to orchestra for the first time in 3 weeks tonight.  I MUST.  I'm supposed to bring snacks.  And the concerts are coming entirely too soon.  I'm such a slacker.

7)  A creepy guy that reminded me of my father-in-law (only in appearance) followed me around the grocery store last night trying to talk to me.  He actually said things like, "Ooh, muscle milk, do you think this will work for me?"  I'll reiterate, similar in age to my father-in-law.  I was highly disturbed and worried he'd follow me out.  Spent a lot of extra time hanging around the store hoping he'd left.  Ugh.

I suppose that's enough updates.  I'll try and find a happier topic to write about soon.  I don't figure ya'll want lengthy posts on all our crud.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Poem

The sink.
It broke.
And spewed water all over the floor.

Didn't study.
He went to Lowe's.

The sink.
Still broken.
The plumber comes tonight.

Am busy.
Banging my head against the wall.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Oh, you didn't come to visit the dog?

Harper has begun to see herself as the hostess with the most-ess...though perhaps our guests do not feel the same.  It is not the norm, but we have had people over every day for a week now.  This ranges from my grandparents as overnight guests, to contractors looking at the basement.  Regardless of who the visitor is, though, Harper feels it is her job to occupy their time.  Exclusively. 

Take for example, Matt used as a pillow:

Or, holding court with the grandparents:

Last night, I was babysitting our friends' children (ages, I think, 8 months and 2 1/2), and I ended up having to put her up in her crate because she would NOT quit licking them.  It's not that she's not's that she's TOO friendly.  Hmm...  So, we are now on a mission to 1) Re-break the couch habit, 2) Tone down the licking (sorry Chris), and 3) Stop all jumping once and for all.  Feel free to laugh at our ambition.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away

We're looking at about a week straight of rain at this point, which all started with 6" in 24 hours last Thursday to Friday.  Unfortunately, during that first deluge, our basement flooded.  "Flooded" may be a bit of an extreme term, as there was no standing water, but it has wreaked havoc here, yet again.

Although Chris needs to be studying, this week, he has been meeting with contractors to address the water and mold issues in our basement.  When we pulled up the drenched carpet on Saturday morning, a smell eminated that was so strong that it burned our eyes.  Unfortunately, that smell was all too identifiable as mold.  It doesn't seem to have travelled too far, but we have removed all the carpet, and are in the process of tearing out the paneling, removing the bar, and seeking to address the issue.  This is yet another instance in which we realize just how unethical the woman that sold us this house was.  There is clearly evidence that the basement had flooded previously, yet she marked off "no water damage".  Just like she marked off "no termite damage".  And painted over the spot in the dining room where water from the leaking roof had perforated the ceiling.  We do realize that there is very little we could do to recover any damages from her, as the court process would be long, difficult, and likely to cost more than any remedies we have had to pursue.  Nevertheless, you better believe that if she ever showed up at our front door, there would not be a warm welcome. 

We also just don't know how to handle it at this point.  We are desperately trying to save money for various reasons right now, but this looks to be another multi-thousand dollar bill to install french drains, a sump, mold-proof, etc..., after just having spent almost that much to keep the dog alive.  So..."savings" just starts to sound like a joke.  Of course, insurance will do nothing to help since "flooding" is not covered.  We're just tired.  I've been joking every week with Chris that, "I promise that we won't have any major life events this week so that you can study and pass this test"...but I think I need to stop making that promise.   

Monday, October 4, 2010

Versitile Blogger Award

Ok, since I have been so horribly quiet, I obviously must continue the award chain. 
Kat from Living with the Kings has just awarded me with the Versatile Blogger award!

There are the rules in accepting this blog award.

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass the award along to other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are fabulous.

4. Contact the bloggers you choose and let them know they won the award.
Man...7 whole things?  
1)  Most people I knew growing up placed bets on the fact that I'd go into the arts.  I started playing violin at 3, cello at 11, and have always sang and acted.  In the past couple years I did a commercial and still play in an orchestra (on cello), but largely have forgotten about my former dreams.  Well...failed to follow them, and wonder why is probably more accurate.

2)  I also was obsessed with costume design and would even sew costumes during classes in high school.  Which may reveal exactly how cool I was.  Today?  I'm pretty much limited to curtains, pillows, and quilts.

3)  I have crazy hands.  I can pop quite a few of the joints out and turn my fingers unnatural directions.  You probably don't want to see it.

4)  I am as stereotypically Irish as they come.  My ancestry is largely Irish.  I adore potatoes and whiskey.  I grew up in Dublin (Ohio), my high school mascot was the shamrocks, and I went to Notre Dame.  I did live in Ireland briefly in college and was known as the biggest Irish wanna-be ever.

5)  I am NOT observant.  My poor husband is forever complaining that I don't notice when he gets his hair cut...oh, and I'm married to a girly man (kidding, hun.  love ya).

6)  I pretty much always have a stomach ache.  My husband thought I was trying to blow him off when I got sick on both of our 1st two dates.  Nope, just the weakest stomach ever.

7)  I never leave the house without being covered in pet hair.  I swear we clean.  A lot.  My fur-babies just never let up.

Ok, and versitile bloggers:  (and I tried not to repeat Kat)

1)  A Quick Remark
2)  Bogue and Weejer
3)  Faith Fitness Fun
4)  Katy's Never-ending Story
5)  Mother Runner