Thursday, May 31

Never could get the hang of Thursdays.

I haven't been in for a while, but I'm still alive. The Mr. Howdy Pilgrim weekend has come and gone, for which I'm quite grateful. I got to see Baby T (or more appropriately, Baby TJ-LO) for a couple of days — what a doll! A little screaming here and there, but he's 18 weeks old, so what else would you expect?

I'm going to O!town with the just-graduated Timmy to visit Dustro. Hopefully they can help me find some fun fancy clothes. I tried Lane Bryant and Torrid here and, apart from finding a bra covered with berries (which also turns into a racerback, giving you extremely good posture) and a pair of "pedal" pants, I didn't get a whole lot.

Once I'm back from O!town, the goal is to packpackpack for Dorian. I'm planning to carpool with Timmy on the way up and drive the little red car on the way back, which my brother will have driven up for high school week. Did I mention he made it into musical theatre? I'm so excited for him. Whee! And the other brother has college orientation a couple of days before the grand concert, so he and the rents are all going to be in Decorah for it. I'm super pumped.

And the word on the street is that BAS, my partner in crime rockstar co-counselor, is getting a sassy new haircut. Photos, please!

Alas, I must get some work done.

Friday, May 25

Keep a weather eye on the horizon

I've had an interesting day already: a guy just came into our office asking for a copy of this week's paper and a souvenir program. Sounds plenty normal, except that he was wearing a t-shirt with Mr. Howdy Pilgrim himself on it. Talk about crazies. Also, two flies were just mating on my desk. Ew.

But this is the really good stuff.

I got to see POTC3 last night! There was an 8 p.m. showing here in my hometown (where tickets are $7 instead of $8.75, and you don't have to drive 35 minutes to get there). I went dressed in my "pirate casual" look, as I'm calling it. Jeans and a t-shirt, sure, but with my yarn dreads and knitted tricorn (and a little eyeliner), I thought I looked the part. I went with my parents and my just-graduated brother; the other brother had gone with a big group of friends. The four of us got to sit in the balcony (a first for me), since there weren't enough seats left on the main floor. Sweet, I tell you.

The best part? The movie is almost three hours long. That's almost three hours of Piratey Johnny Depp goodness. I was so happy, let me tell you. (I'd switch teams for Piratey Johnny Depp, that's how happy I was.) I don't know what the best part of the movie was, so I'll give you a little preview.

There's singing and death in the opening scene. Lots of both. I loved it. I thought it was very well done (mostly because I'm a sucker for cheesy stuff like that). There was a point where PJD licked a rock ... and I knew it was going to happen before he did it. Honestly, I think I channel him sometimes.

There were several points throughout the movie where PJD was going a little crazy (er), which resulted in much more of him on the screen than you could ever imagine. (Talk about getting bang for your buck.) Many times during the movie, I thought of the line from the "Jaynestown" episode of Firefly: "This is what going mad must feel like." Lots of PJD everywhere. Mmm.

Speaking of bang, early in the movie, Elizabeth Swann was packing heat. And when I say packing, I most surely mean it.

And so I'll leave you with my favorite quote from the movie ... "Don't move — dropped me brain!" ... and a bit of the song ... "Yo ho, all together ... hoist the colors high ... heave ho, thieves and beggars, never shall we die!"

Monday, May 21

Tidbits, or ways I get distracted at work.

Doesn't Friday's forecast sound delightful? "Several hours of sunshine." Sweet! I love that sunshine stuff, contrary to what you may believe. (I'm not always a vampire or cave-dwelling creature.)

Know what else I love? My local news items: They served a wonderfully delicious salad buffet.

And the award for Best Subject in a Spam Email goes "Rebecca Blake": Maybe what I need to be truly well is to have the opportunity of becoming violently ill in order to re-evaluate my priorities and get my life in order. Tying for second were "Andromache" with A dream has come through. and "Wilson A. Adrian" with peter apprehend.

Also, I learned the other day that our mayor severed his ear after tripping and catching it on a box or something like that. Hott.

Oh, all right. You've pulled my leg. I share some pictures with you.

Isn't my family just swell?

Busy weekends make me sleepy

I haven't managed to fall on my butt lately, so that must be a good sign. I am, however, excruciatingly tired. I spent all of Saturday (11 a.m. to about 9 p.m.) working on a souvenir edition for "Howdy, pilgrim"'s 100th birthday, and all of Sunday doing graduationy stuff for my brother. Because, you know, he's old like that. Thanks to a fancy camera that my dad bought from Kas, I caught part of the ceremony on video. My favorite part? They were somewhere in the 'S' names, and I zoomed in on my brother, who had long since gotten his diploma and was just waiting, just as he was getting a huge yawn. (Getting a yawn? I don't know if that's English.) So that put me at home at about 9 p.m. yesterday. And it's Monday.

The good news is that Dorian's not far away. I'm pumped for this year. I've got to make some fun signs or something for the art shows, I think. And I've got piratey plans for door decs and floor decor, so I hope BAS likes them. We're to be co-counselors again, and roommates, too! Of course, that means we're on the fourth floor with lots of stairs, but that's fine. (I've been walking to and from work, so my legs are extra strong. Rowr.)

Now if only my LL could finish the bathroom so's I'm not crashing on the couch at the rents' house, life would be perfect.

So now it's time for dark chocolate, to give me a little pep.

Tuesday, May 15

With the grace of a swan ...

... or perhaps a maimed monkey. I slipped my Crocs on this morning (easier than Velcro sandals) as I was leaving my parents' house — my bed still has about a foot of stuff piled on top due to bathroom renovation — and, ignoring the slight rain, opened the front door to go back to my house. All of a sudden, I had this strange sensation that I was falling. Next thing I knew, I was on my ass at the bottom of their concrete steps.

See, I've had my Crocs so long that the tread has worn out. In fact, I'm fairly certain they have some non-friction properties by now. So non-friction that sometimes I slide a little when the ground is dry. This being the case, it doesn't terribly surprise me that I nearly ended up baring my backside to all of Christendom the neighbors. Because did I mention I was wearing a skirt? Same skirt as that time I got a flat tire in the Jeep. Obviously it's cursed.

Also I think I hurt one of my knuckles, though I can't fathom how. Must've smacked my hand on the metal railing. But you know, I think that, had I buns o' steel instead of buns o' flesh, it probably would have hurt more. So here's to my buns o' flesh! (I really can't believe I just said that, but I'm so not deleting it.)

Monday, May 14

In which I talk a lot

Wow. Is it really Monday again? It feels like I was just here ... The roaring wind tunnel air conditioning is on full blast here at work, so it's kind of like sitting inside a white noise machine.

Let's see. If you're in to Harry Potter, here's a great illusion Dark Mark Scarf pattern that I saw in my feeds this morning.

This weekend BAS joined me at the rents' house (since my house was still shower-free). We took over my youngest brother's room, and his Wii. I've gotten pretty good bowling scores, let me tell you. (And B, I figured out how to purposely make the ball hook! It's so cool.) We had so much fun, let me tell you. I hope your mid-May trip becomes a tradition!

We ended up going as a group — B, Kas, Sister Berte, a friend of hers, and I — to see Spiderman 3 at the local IMAX. I'm pretty sure we all thought we should have at least saved the extra $2.50 and just gone to a regular theater. It's not actually very fun seeing a full-length movie at the IMAX, especially if it wasn't filmed specifically for an IMAX screen. It would have been much better to see a (shorter) rainforest feature, or oceans or mountains or something. The spacing between rows is much too small, and three of the five of us ended up getting terrible knee cramps. It made me very fidgety during the last 45 or so minutes.

The movie itself was actually pretty dreadful. It seemed as though somewhere in the middle of a film, they handed the script over to a completely different writer who didn't know anything about Spiderman and just wanted to throw in a little swagger and greased-up hair. Dreadful. I know B's highlight for that part of the trip was seeing the Foucault pendulum, which has always and forever been my favorite part of the Science Center (where the IMAX is located), and I'd have to agree. That and the walk to Kas' new apartment, which wasn't far away at all.

Saturday I (wo)manned the garage sale for the family. It was quite warm out, but I had a fun swing thingy with an awning, so it was relaxing enough. We made about $150, after taking out the $75 change we started with. I got to keep the first $100, since I spent the day in the sun, so that was nice and lucrative. I wish I could make that much every time I sit outside ...

B and I went to Kas' apartment later that night for dinner, after a brief side trip to PetCo, where we ogled ferrets and fishes and birds. Sister Berte was also there — at dinner, not PetCo. We played games and had a general good time until, oh, 3 a.m., at which point B and I decided to drag our butts back to my parents' house so we could actually get a bit of sleep before she had to head back to the Bulbous Nose.

We snagged some Chinese (the food, not the people) for lunch on Sunday, after stopping at the hospital to visit my mom at work. Mom gave B the new facilities tour, and I got to wish her a happy-Mother's-Day-despite-the-fact-you-have-to-work-it.

It was a really great weekend, and I was glad B was able to visit. Holla!

The LL has been working on the bathroom a lot. There was much spraying and taking off of wall pieces, so I think we're moving in the right direction. Also, he told me that the city administrator that I talked to the other day was to inspect the bathroom, so that's another bonus. Sometimes it pays to take stuff to city hall.

I got a new table and a chair on Friday. The chair, which is a "euro chair," is low, and has a brown cushion. It's also still in the box, as I haven't really had time to put it together. I bought it at Pam & Ida's for $25; it had been marked $99.99, so it was definitely a steal. (So much so that I may go back and get another.) Since it was so cheap, I treated myself to an $8 copy of Best in Show, which I haven't watched yet.

The table is actually quite cool. It's called a "Vienna table," or at least it was on the tag, and I got it at a used furniture place here in town for about $50. (Had I gotten it at a garage sale, it probably would have been marked $25 or $30, but whatever.) It's got three drawers that are about the right size for 12"x12" paper, and two flip-up hidey holes on top. I'm planning on putting papercraft WIPs in there.

I also got my package from mint for The End of Harry Potter swap on Thursday. Right after I left work, I thought, "Ah, wouldn't it be fantastic if there were a package on the stoop to surprise me?" And indeed there was. You can find pictures of my awesome spoils on my Flickr. The ones titled "from mint" are obviously the ones I received.

I got a very funny piggy bank labeled "Pennies 4 Potter" (which is perfect, as I haven't saved to pay for my copy yet), a drawstring pouch filled with metallic Sculpey (for making my own sickles, knuts, and galleons, of course), two tote bags as mint claimed one was messed up (though she was so clever in hiding the happy accident that I think it was quite charming), and a lovely blue calorimetry with silver buttons for making it the right size. Thanks, mint! Your package rocked my face off!

Oh, and as soon as I emptied the box, who jumped in? Demetrios. Of course.

Sorry for the lengthy diatribe. I wanted to make sure you felt you were getting ample information. Tee hee!

Thursday, May 10

The Biggest Update Ever, which is unfortunately mostly about mold

Fyberduck had the sweetest thing to say about me and my blog earlier today. I thought I'd share what she said. It was in regard to one of those things that circulates through the blogs, and although I'm not actually going to perpetuate it, I'd still love to share the Thinking Blogger Award with you all.

Crimson's blog was probably the first blog I started reading outside my circle of friends. We're both members of that very small group, knitting Classicists. While she doesn't update as much as she used to (;_;), I still find her witty and thought-provoking. She also has a terrible habit of dragging me into swaps.

Thank you so much, Fyberduck. You rock my face off. We knitting Classicists have to stick together, after all. I love reading your blog, whether it's about knitting, spinning, or how crazy your family is (because we all know all families are crazy). Even if I don't comment, I read all of your posts. Thanks for sharing the love!

I did actually try to post on Tuesday night after I left work. The landlord, after two no-shows, has finally gotten to work on the leakage problem in the bathroom. However, Tuesday evening I got a call from the (ex-)roommates, who had planned to stay in town Tuesday night to spend some time with the dog, after the LL had called in some people to help him haul out the cast-iron bathtub. They told me that they had overheard him talking to his heavy-lifters, and how it seemed to them that he was just going to slap in one of those cheap plastic tubs and some vinyl wall on top of the old stuff and call it done. They told me that there was a hole in the subfloor, which the tub had (obviously) been sitting on. And they also told me that they decided not to stay the night, after feeling a bit nauseated throughout the evening, which was potentially caused by the LL kicking up all that mold with the demolition he was doing*. They encouraged me to stay at my parents' house.

I went home to let the dog out, medicate Demetrios, who has a nasal infection and is getting twice daily doses of amoxicillin, and have a look at the damage. Imagine my surprise when I go in the bathroom to see this hole and find that, while it's not by any means a large hole, it's right where the drain in the tub had been, and there was a mushroom growing on a pipe there. A MUSHroom. (Not the good morel kind, either.)

My first instinct was to take pictures of all the nasty mold damage we'd been living with unsuspectingly for months upon months. (Because, as I may or may not have mentioned, we first asked the LL to fix the shower last September or October. He finally came to look at the problem three or four weeks ago, and just got started on the work this week. Oh, and he and his family are going south for the summer. At the beginning of June, just before I leave for Dorian.) And so I took five pictures, one highlighting, though rather blurily, the aforementioned mushroom.

I had definitely decided to not sleep with all that nastiness hanging about, and so gathered up some sleeping gear and hoofed it to my parents' house, where I showed my mom the pictures. Despite the fact that it was about 10:45 by then, she was still awake reading, so I didn't feel too bad bothering her. She thought I should probably contact the city and show them the pictures, and perhaps share my suspicion that he wasn't going to adequately take care of the problem.

This brings us to yesterday, when I stopped at the drug store to make prints from my camera before heading to City Hall to meet with one of the city administrators. He stopped by the house sometime after that and visited with the LL. (I wasn't there, as it was Wednesday and Wednesdays are notoriously crazy at work.)

I got home at probably 4:45, just as the LL was leaving. He wasn't too pleased that I'd been to City Hall, but I gave him my reasoning, and we talked in a moderately hostile manner for about five minutes. He finally went home, and I did a bit of house cleaning.

Today I'm feeling much better about the situation, though I'm doubtful that the job will be finished before he heads off for vacation. So that's what I've been dealing with this past week.

Now, to tackle the oddly large pile of papers on my desk before I can go out to dinner with BAS at Spaghetti Works tonight. Also, it's my brother's final high school choir concert tonight. I'm not sure how that makes me feel. He's all growed up — he even took his AP Calc test yesterday. I didn't even know he was in AP Calc. Have I mentioned he's going to college for chemical engineering? I love my family.

*The LL was doing the demolition without a mask or gloves. He's not a young guy, and he's actually having a pacemaker put in next week. < sarcasm > A fine time to be doing heavy remodeling, I think. < /sarcasm >

Wednesday, May 2

Um, and again.

I have sunk to an interesting level — I bought a frozen pizza at a gas station last night. Because, you know, it's not delivery. Oh, come on! It was 10 p.m. and I hadn't had anything since lunch, which was seven or so hours earlier. I was starving. And then I had to wait a bloody half hour to eat it.

So, the roommates are moving out and by some odd stroke of luck, I may have a roommate already. It's one of their co-workers from the Gigantor Call Center, whom I've met before. He's terribly fun, and convinced Kas to give up her wedding dress to him. (And he looks smashing in it. Smashing like pumpkins, even.) Having a roommate is cool, mostly because then I wouldn't have to pay all the bills by myself (not that I couldn't, since I live in a step up from a hovel). Also, the dog wouldn't have to go live with some other nice family, so that's a plus.

I've been doing a bit of reading lately, and I'd thought I'd share some good books with you, dear readers. Firstly, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is a fantastic book. I listened to it on CD after incessant badgering from a friend employed at a large chain bookstore, who wanted me to purchase the paperback the second it came out. Spending the $14 was less than fashionable for me at the moment, so I decided to check my local library and poof! listening to it an hour later. It's excellent, and really, that's all I can say.

I've also been looking at Suss Cousins' Home Knits, which is another excellent book. A Really Useful Book, in fact, that I found to be quite inspirational. It helped me with a couple of projects for The End of HP swap, and a little something-something for a recently married friend. (Holla, Aramad!) It's unfortunately due back at the library today, but I want it. I'm actually jonesing for it, I think, if I'm accurately recognizing the feeling of a "jones."

Also, these Garden Salsa Sun Chips are excellent.