Saturday, December 30, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: Moving Day

Moving day came and went with much fanfare.

I feel as though I have been weared, teared, and dehaired. Only a cheerleader on prom night could have legs that hurt worse than mine right now.

The movers were scheduled to be at the house between the hours of 11am and 1pm. So, imagine my surprise when I found them parked in front of my building at 10:30am when I returned from dropping the furballs off at the house.

Someone once wished that I had good-looking movers...

Now, I'm not saying they were ugly. I will say they had, uhhh, charming personalities and leave it at that. When one let out a loud belch right in the middle of my living room, I could pretty much tell I was dealing when men of high caliber.

The moving company scheduled me for a four-hour move. The movers had my stuff packed in the truck in just under an hour. We were making great time! Heather was going to have this done under the two-hour window!!

Then, we got out on the highway. General flow of traffic on I-70 is maybe 65 mph. Because the moving truck wanted to follow me (I have no idea why they didn't have a map to my address), I had to drive what they were driving. I don't think we made it past 50mph. It took longer to get to my house, than it did to load or unload it.

So much for my two-hour window.

The move took 4.25 hours and just under $500 because I had a coupon for $25 off. Thank God for the Yellow Pages.

For the remainder of the afternoon, I unpacked a few boxes and tried to coax George out from hiding. Trish came over to see the house, then a friend from work came over to he me unpack. We got all the dishes unpacked, and many other boxes moved to storage, before I threw up my hands in surrender...two hours after my knees did.

I'm surrounded by boxes. George has been sticking to me like Velcro because he's traumatized. My fridge is still in the garage, and I have to go to the garage when I want a slice of cheese. I'm trying to orchestrate a mass effort to bring the fridge into the kitchen, maybe Monday night.

My New Year's Eve plans fell through because my partner-in-crime got a better offer (sometimes, I don't know why I even bother...). I've been invited to a party, but I think I will just end up staying home for the night, unpacking, and trying to figure out where to put everything.

I won't have my computer up and running until Wednesday when the phone guy comes to install a jack in my designated office, the same day they are coming to install a satellite dish. Yes, you heard me.

Heather's going to get to see real television so she can watch all the crappy reality shows, too!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

FRAGILE: It Must Be French

I'm surrounded by packed boxes, large yellow garbage bags filled with junk I'm not taking with me to the new house.

I'm nowhere close to being finished.

For one thing, I've run out of boxes. I think I am going to have to go to the house and unpack some more so I have more empty boxes to use, all without actually having to buy more for tomorrow.

I packed away all my dishes today. Finally, a good use for The Star. I probably went through 4 newspapers just wrapping anything fragile. My hands black from all the ink. I hate having dirty hands, so it drove me nuts and I had to go wash them every time I looked at them. I tried not to look at them as I was packing.

I had to venture into the Bowels of Hell (Walmart) to get more packing tape. I stopped and picked up a chicken dinner because I packed all I needed to cook with. Naturally, everyone else was at Walmart, and they all converged at the isle where all the holiday stuff is marked down. Unfortunately, the packing tape was next to that isle.

Tonight, I have to dismantle the daybed in the spare room. Try to toss as much crap into yellow garbage bags. Unplug the television from all the other electrical stuff it's plugged into. I haven't decided if I am going to make it a late night, or early morning. The movers should be here between 11am and 1pm.

I've marked every box with breakable stuff FRAGILE in red ink. I hope the movers see it. I hope the movers can read. I would be very sad if any of my Fiestaware was broken.

I also tried to get my Internet service switched over to the house...which proves to be as complicated as brain surgery. Why can't the website just have a simple method for doing it, rather than spend 30 minutes searching the site for a phone number to just call. Then, everything is automated when you call so you don't get to speak to a live person.

I'm done bitching. Time to get back to work.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Grinch That Slept Through Christmas

Christmas is over...thank goodness!

I don't know if it was just me, or did the stores seem a little overzealous in their holiday marketing? I particularly hated the Toyota commercial on the radio, especially when the women shouts out "Sienna!"

I worked both Christmas Eve and Christmas night, and sleeping in between. I didn't go spend any time with family. I didn't call anyone. Aside from the fact that there was no traffic while driving home Monday morning, it was pretty much just like any other day. Because of the moving situation, I didn't put up any Christmas decorations, and I have a TON of decorations. I didn't feel in the Christmas mood, sort of disconnected from it. Christmas is a religious holiday, and it seems that with each passing year, society moves further and further away from that.

Will I burn in hell if I say I don't like Christmas? Actually, I just hate what it has become, and I don't particularly feel like celebrating the commercial side of it anymore.

Next year, I think I am going to put up a Festivus pole in the front yard, and maybe a small one for inside the house.
Later in January, I'm going to have a nice dinner at my house with the family. Kant's family always has a birthday party for Jesus: a nice dinner at home where the family dresses in their Sunday best. I don't know if there is a birthday cake involved.
Sounds like a good idea to me.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: The Last Days

I have just made an appointment with Two Men and a Truck to come move the big crap in my house this Thursday. So, until then, I have to scramble to put everything small in boxes. Depending on how speedy they are will determine if I have them take the boxes. I don't want to exceed the two hour window I am paying for. To help expedite the process, I am also going to disassemble everything so all they have to do is put it in the truck.

Did I mention I work until Tuesday morning? It's going to be a fun week! I'm fairly certain that the rest of the painting I will be doing at the house will have to happen after I move it. Oh's just touch-ups anyway.

Initially, I was going to rent a truck and have friends help, but with it being during the week, and a holiday one at that, I didn't like the idea that I didn't have any concrete commitments. Besides, most everyone will either be working or out of town. As much as I hate the idea of dropping a few hundred for movers, I have come to the conclusion that I really don't have much of a choice.

Only one more week of apartment life. One more week until I can give Bloated Single Mother the finger. No more laundromat! No more shared parking!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Mormon, a Catholic, an Agnostic and a Gay Man Walk Into a Strip Club...

Tuesday...was the work Christmas party. It was held at The Granfalloon this year, and not someones house...which means that no one got rip-snorting drunk and passed out on top the coat check.

It was a sedate gathering, to say the least. That will probably never happen again.

We had the room until 9pm, which was far too early for some folks to call it a night, so a group of us went over to Cafe Trio where folks sipped on martinis such as the Paris Hilton (Pink Panties), the Mel Gibson (Passion of the Fruit), Courtney Love (Liquid Cocaine), and the Betty Ford (non-alcoholic).

It is there that folks either a: sober up or b: get further sauced. One person gets so tanked she announces to the entire restaurant that big boobs were no laughing matter. An extra person arrives, who is the girlfriend of Agnostic's brother. She is oblivious to the fact that her boyfriend is currently on the Plaza with some other chick.

Moving right along...

So, Cafe Trio closes, and the four remaining (see title) stand around wondering "what's next?". The Agnostic thinks its a swell idea to go visit a strip club. Everyone else looks around, bewildered. Because we are too chicken-shit to say no, we go along.

The place is called Temptations. It's a strip club. We pay $19 cover charge for something I can go home and look at for free. The place is dark, and has a seedy feel. Agnostic is the only one who feels at home. The rest of us feel like we're on an alien planet wondering, "What is God's name am I doing here?"

We find a table and plant ourselves. Agnostic is surveying the spread (literally), the rest of us are trying not to make eye contact with anyone. A dancer wanders by and tells us we are going to have a good time.


So, the dancers do what passes for dancing: shake their ass, grab their boobs, wave their va-jay-jay in the faces of various patrons for dollars. ONE DOLLAR BILLS! I think I'd still prefer dress as a man dressing in drag and lip sync Dolly Parton songs for dollars, thank you very much.

Gay Man and myself are talking quietly, mostly discussing what these girls could have done in life that have landed them here. Catholic (Paul) goes between listening to us, and watching the girls climb the stripper pole. He is the first one to notice when one dancer uses the pole before cleaning it off from the previous dancer. He's somewhat of a germ freak.

The geeky looking dancer with glasses grabs Agnostic by his sweater and drags him back in to the VIP room, leaving us sitting there with his cell phone. Thanks a lot, asshole. The phone continues to ring, and we see it's from Agnostic's brother's girlfriend. She calls ten times. Apparently, she has found out about boyfriend's evening activities on the Plaza.

If Bruno were to draw a comic strip according to our experience, it would show me, Paul and the Gay Guy (who is a great friend of mine) sitting at a table, and we'd all be thinking different things.

Paul: I wish that one would come out and smack her ass again...but she needs to clean the stripper pole first.
GG: This confirms that I am totally all about the penis.
Me: White faux wood shades would look really good in my kitchen. I need to add that to my Lowe's list.

After fifteen minutes, Gay Man announces he likes penis and therefor he is going to go home, leaving Paul and myself sitting there, watching Agnostic's phone ring every five minutes. Various girls come out and do their little, ahem, dance. One thing I have noticed, is that not only am I the ONLY female patron in the establishment, I have the biggest boobs of EVERYONE there...including the dancers. Most of the dancers look like the women you see in National Geographic. It's kind of sad. Apparently, stripping doesn't make the kind of bank that can afford a boob job.

At one point, a dancer walks up to me and asks me if I want a dance. I politely tell her that I'm fine, and thank her for asking. Thirty minutes later, another dancer approaches me with the same question and gets the same response. I look over to Paul and observe that no one has offered a dance to him. Some guys just can't get a break.

Agnostic's phone continues to ring from the brother's girlfriend, and I am two seconds away from throwing the damn thing across the room when Agnostic emerges from the VIP room. Thankfully, this means we can leave.

Agnostic tells us that the Geeky Stripper is actually a sweetheart. What?!? He just spent over an hour in the VIP room, giving her money so she would dance and talk and Godonlyknows what else. If she were a sweetheart, she would have done it for free. His comment elicits the biggest eye roll from Yours Truly.

Finally, we leave. It's hard to say who was happier to or Paul. Grilling him later, Paul confesses that strippers do nothing for him as you never know where these women have been before you came along. Besides, he's more a hands-on kind of guy...

I've never, ever going to EVER go to one of these places again. However, if any good can be extolled from it, I can always tell my daughter (if I have one), or even my niece that if you don't do your homework, you'll end up dancing in a strip club with boobs that look like they have been rolled over by a Zamboni.

Another good thing...I totally had to rewrite the opening segment in my book because I had the strip club sequence ALL WRONG.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

If a Fat Girl Screams in an Empty House, Do the Appliances Laugh at Her?

Excited, I took over some dirty linens to the house to wash in my very own washer and dryer. Ahhh...just saying that gives me warm, fuzzy feelings: my very own washer and dryer.

Before I could do laundry, however, I had to hook up the washer and dryer. Not too water hose goes to hot water spout, cold water hose goes to cold water spout, plug it in, wash clothes.

So, I started my first load and was alarmed that I had no hot water running into the washer. Logic would tell me that certainly there is some sort of knob or something that I turn on so the hot water can go to the washer, right?

I disappear into the storage room that houses the furnace, hot water heater, and all those other things that run a house behind the scenes. After poking around, I see a red lever which looks like it is piped into the utility room where the washer sits. I turn the lever and I hear water begin to run. Awesome.

I hop up the stairs to the utility room where I poke my head in the washer. Still no hot water. Then where is all that water running to? I thought. Maybe I would just peek around the house and try to find out.

First place I looked was the kitchen, where a fountain of water is shooting out of the ground, spraying the cabinets, the walls, and pretty much soaking everything that is in the kitchen. I scream and run downstairs and make a mad dash to shut off the red lever. Apparently, that lever controls the water that is meant to go to the refrigerator for the filtered water and ice maker. Well, at least I know that works, and when the time comes to turn on the ice maker, I'll know exactly which lever to push.

So, I go to Lowes and purchase a Shop Vac. I have a feeling I'm going to be using it a lot.

My water mess cleaned, I decide to just wash in cold water and turn the washer back on. Now it has hot water, and it apparently had nothing to do with anything I did.

The dryer worked without incident of fire, only I discovered a shirt and pair of black socks, the owner being Ridiculously Hot Guy. I think he did this on purpose because he, like all other guys, noticed that I have a really cute butt and wanted to see it, I mean, me again.

Or not.

I did two loads of laundry without flooding or burning the house down. I call that I good day. I also managed to paint a second coat to the red in the dining room and kitchen (red is a bitch of a color to paint), and paint the mushroom color to the bottom third of the dining room wall. I did a small section of the blue (Calvary) in the great room and decided it was too dark, so now I am going to just paint the entire great room the same mushroom color. Tomorrow, I will do just that, in addition to the touch-ups on the red, and start on the white trim in the kitchen and dining room.

I'm sick of painting.

Proud Owner of Large Appliances

I decided to give Craigslist another chance and found a listing for a black fridge, in my price range. I emailed right away and the seller responded that I was the first person of many to reply, and he would let me have first crack at it.

So Friday, I drove to his house to check out the fridge. When he opened the door, the first thing that popped into my head was, "What fridge?" He was hot. Ridiculously hot.

God bless Craigslist!

I decided to buy the fridge (and the fact that the seller was hotter than donut grease had nothing to do with that decision) and promised I would return the following day with the means to transport said fridge from point A to point B.

I enlisted my little brother, Mike, and told him to rally as many extra hands as he could find.

The next day, Mike, 'bert and 'bert's Dad arrive with a trailer. Immediately, they set to carting out the fridge in my apartment kitchen. I ask them what they are doing, and tell them the fridge in question is a million miles away in Stanley, Kansas.

So, we trek to middle-of-nowhere and Ridiculously Hot Guy is there. Apparently, my brother has reading my expressions down to an art and he proceeds to say every possible thing to embarrass me in front of Ridiculously Hot Guy. Did I ever mention that my brother minces words about as well as I do?

Larry, Darryl, and Darryl (i.e. my brother and his cronies) in addition to RHG, work to move the massive fridge out to the trailer. I stand by, admiring the strong arms of RHG.

Fridge loaded, RHG presents Mike and the Boys the only two things that he kept in his fridge: a large jar of whole pickles, and almost a half a case of Bud Light. Mike decides that RHG is acceptable enough to date his sister, and shifts his matchmaking gears into overdrive.

RHG mentions that no one has bought his washer and dryer from him, and I immediately jump on him, er, I mean, the window of opportunity to have a washer and dryer of my very own. After inspecting said washer and dryer, I tell Mike and the Boys to load them up with the fridge, which they do.

"Is there anything else in the house you want to sell me?" I innocently ask RHG. Mike practically snorts beer out of his nose. His golden opportunity has arrived.

"What's with all the sexual innuendo, Heather?" Mike asks loudly. I blush ten-thousand shades of red. Bastard. I'm certain RHG now thinks that my family is a bunch of retards. The sooner we can leave him alone, the sooner he can feel better about humanity.

With sad heart, we leave RHG's house and trek to mine. I frequently check my rear view mirror to make sure I don't see a large, black refrigerator tumbling down the highway. We arrive to my house where my brother does his time-honored tradition and proceeds to pollute one of my bathrooms. 'bert uses the other bathroom. My house wins Mike's Seal of Approval because the toilet didn't overflow.

For now, the fridge sits in my garage until I can replace the copper water line for a steel-braided one, and have enough manpower to move the fridge from the garage to the kitchen. But...the important thing is that my search is over, and I now have the exact fridge I have been wanting for my kitchen. The washer and dryer an added bonus.

It was as if it was meant to be.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Moving Sucks

I didn't go to the house today. Rather, I opted to sleep in a little bit longer, and dedicate myself to packing as much crap tonight as I possibly can.

My organized, systematic way of packing: all items packed in specific boxes according to room, use and priority, has now given way to just throwing everything in boxes and marking "room misc" with black permanent marker.

Now that I have a washer and dryer, I can even start lugging dirty laundry over and do it there.

I'm also hungry. I have food, but that food is smaller parts to bigger food (such as casseroles) and I don't have all the parts to make one big food. I am refraining from making any big grocery store excursions because the more stuff I buy, means the more stuff I have to cart across the Greater KC area. But I am hungry. So, I'm going to have to buck up, go out, and buy a frozen pizza or something. There's only so long a person can live on grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup....even though a grilled cheese sandwich is always a good thing.

Tomorrow morning, I will go to the house and finish painting the dining room. I'm doing it in a color called brick red and I have some Bill Brauer prints that will look stellar against the red walls. My mother thinks it's too much red, and says kitchens and dining rooms should be light and airy. That might be true...only if you plan on decorating in country cows and ducks. Brick red dining room with white trim (chair rail, plate covers, etc), brushed nickel light fixtures and the adjoining kitchen with the same brick red color above the white cabinets, black appliances, and either black or marble-ish concrete counter tops.

I also have my work Christmas party to go to tomorrow night. I said I would go, but I guess it just depends on how much I have left to do on the painting, and how I am feeling on the matter. As of late, I've been feeling rather bitchy, and I have just attributed that to all the stress of moving. I'd hate to go to the Christmas party and tell off everyone there, especially that annoying one staffer who has the common sense of a Chia Pet.

I'm never going to move...ever, ever again. It's too emotionally draining.

Time to go find that pizza.

Sometimes, Death is Better

I managed to catch some of the Chiefs game last night while I was working. Patients were distressed. Blood pressure meds had to be increased.

If one didn't know any better, one might think that Lamar Hunt really died from embarassment.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Remembering When: Braces

A poster on a cruise message board I frequent solicited advice from other posters because their children were on the verge of getting braces. It made me think about my experience with braces only three years ago. You see, when I was a kid, my parents couldn't afford braces. While I didn't have horrible teeth, there was a degree of crowding on the bottom set because there were too many teeth for such a small mouth. I got the braces before I went to nursing school, wore them for a year, then they were taken off leaving the straightest, whitest teeth you could ever come across (insert joke here).

I won't lie. The experience was probably one of the most painful I have ever voluntarily committed to myself. Ever.

But I digress.

When I was in high school, I used to have a part time job working as a dietary aid at the local nursing home. I never did the cooking. Basically, I did the cleaning, helped serve the residents, and help the cooks in whatever they needed to do.

Why is this important? Let me tell you...

My teeth hurt solid for the week after my spacers were put in. Then, I had to have teeth extracted by an oral surgeon because my mouth is too small to accommodate a full set of teeth. THEN...the ortho put the actual braces on. All in all...I think my mouth ached for an entire month.

After a week of eating just soup, I got pretty sick and tired of it...even though there is a vast variety of soups out there. Plus, you can only go one for so long eating soup and mashed potatoes before you hit burnout. I was hungry for real food. I was perusing my freezer, lamenting at all the tasty things I had in there and could not eat because of the chewing factor, when suddenly I remembered my days working in the nursing home kitchen.

You know where I am going with this, don't you?

You can make ANY food edible in a pureed form. Just because some of the rockin' seniors can't actually masticate, doesn't mean they can't enjoy tasty food.

So, I drew on all my infinite knowledge of pureed food prep and gathered the essential tools: food processor, milk, fish sticks and Velveeta cheese.

I am somewhat embarrassed to say it, but that was the best pureed fish sandwich I have ever tasted. Coincidentally, it was the only pureed fish sandwich I have ever tasted. It sure beat chicken noodle soup all to hell.

In the event I have children, and they have the misfortune of requiring braces, I can rest easy knowing they won't have to suffer through countless bowls of tomato soup and jello like their peers. As long as I have a working food processor, they can join the rest of the family at mealtime without staring longingly at our plates.

They can enjoy what we are enjoying...all without unnecessary chewing.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tales of the Homeowner: Remodeling Burnout

I never thought I would say this, but I am burned out on Lowes. It seems I am there on days I don't have to work, and sometimes twice in one day returning or exchanging stuff that was the: wrong color, wrong size, just plain wrong.

Last night, Paul came over to help me return the bamboo shades I bought for my bedroom that were too small. I measured, then I forgot what the measurements were (I didn't write them down), then guessed when I purchased the blinds. Mom and "the boyfriend" were at the house Sunday to do handyman stuff, including hanging the shades, when it was discovered they were too small. Mom had taken both shades out their respective boxes, then couldn't get them to go back into the boxes.

I managed to successfully roll up one shade and put it back in the box. Not so much with the other one. I just had to settle for taking the rolled up shade, empty box, and everything else back to Lowes.

We exchanged the shades, picked out paint for the great room, kitchen and dining room, looked at refrigerators, bought new light fixtures for the great room, dining room and entrance way, and wandered around the store. After that jaunt, we stopped by my house to drop everything off, before returning to our respective houses.

Today, I returned to Lowes to actually buy the paint and various painting items. Four gallons of paint: two in Sauteed Mushroom, one in Calvary, the last in Brick Dust. I hope my house doesn't look like crap when we are finished. Paul says my color choices are dark and depressing, so my house will be dark and depressing. I told him to fear not, I would simply place a Prozac salt lick at the front door so people could take a swipe before they came in. Problem solved!

Tonight, I'm going to pick up the Mom and drive to the house where we will start painting. The boyfriend will come later bearing turkey enchiladas and a tall ladder for reaching those hard to reach places for painting. In my mother's case, that would be anything higher than five feet.

Friday, I am going to go look at a fridge offered on Craigslist. Less than a year old, and black, and with both an ice maker and water thingie. The guy is moving to California and the apartment he is moving to has a fridge, and therefor doesn't need one. In the event I buy it, I just need to figure out how in the hell I plan on getting it to my house. A 26 cubic foot side-by-side fridge won't exactly fit into the back of a PT Cruiser.

Now, I am just finishing up the laundry I have been neglecting for the past two weeks, then I shall take a shower before picking up the Mom.

I'll post before and after pics of my painting progress.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Because Mondays Usually Suck

I sat in report with a nurse this morning when she got a call on her cell phone. Her daughter called to say that the family dog got out of the yard and was hit by a car that morning and died. The nurse was very distraught. The dog had been in the family for 12 years.

I thought about Sam and I thought about how sad I would be if that had happened to me. I may bitch about him a lot, but I also bitch about my brothers. You bitch about those you love.

Anyway...the asshole who hit the dog (which was a rather large one) just kept driving, even with the daughter standing right there.

So, if you are the douchebag who ran over the German Shepherd on Rainbow this morning and didn't bother to stop, I hope you contract an STD.

When I got home, I looked up the number of a pet cemetery not too far from my apartment and relayed this information to the nurse. After perusing the website of said pet cemetery, I must say I am now depressed.

I gave Sam an extra treat this morning and a scratch behind the ears.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Mormon Walks Into a Gay Bar...

Last night, a bunch of friends from work wanted to go out and have some drinks, possibly get sauced. Because I practically dwell in Dry Land, would I be willing to be the designated driver?


So, I went. I picked up everyone else (who met at a central location) and off we went. First stop, Tomfooleries on the Plaza where two more people met up with us. Six of us total.

Everyone had a drink and we listened to the cover band, which wasn't bad, actually. It was there that one of the girls had an idea to go to this one place that has a show everything Thursday. It also happened to be a gay bar. I thought Missy B's, but it was a place called Tootsies.


So, I drive the gang there, and we go in to this somewhat obscure entrance. If you didn't know what it was, you wouldn't be able to figure out just by driving past it. One dollar cover charge and everyone bellied up to the bar. As a designated driver, I got my non-alcoholic beverages at no charge. YESSSSSSSS!

Drinks in hand, we settled at a table in the far back corner of the room. Lots of girls running around, some looked like boys, and some looked, uhhh, normal. The show started and there were a couple female impersonators and there were a couple male impersonators. They stood on the stage, lip-syncing a song, maybe dancing, and visiting the people who came up to the stage waving dollar bills. Is this what they all do? Just lip-sync and collect money? Hell...I can do that! Of course, there is the the issue that I look nothing like a boy and have no desire to. Besides, what would I do with "the girls"?

Maybe I could dress as a man trying to impersonate a woman. All it would take is lots of make-up, a big wig, and a very loud dress.

I could lip sync something by Dolly Parton. I could rake in the dough!

That would take care of part of my mortgage.

It is something to consider...

At any rate, three of us six actually got up to dance after the show, leaving me and two other sitting there, slurping on our beverage of choice, watching our surroundings, trying to keep our expressions in check. One of the female impersonators wanders over to our table, which I have come to think of it as "the straight table". I think he/she could tell we were not exactly in our element. We tried to compliment the entertainer, but what do you say to a female impersonator exactly?

Nice fake boobs? Great job lip syncing? Awesome wig? What method do you use to rid your legs of all that unwanted hair??

Shortly after that, the we decided to leave. The other three were going to stay because they were having a good time.

It wasn't that it was because it was a gay bar. I come from the live and let live mindset. I think for me (and the other two echoed my sentiments) it was just because I'm not much of a barfly. I don't care for the smoke, the loud music gives me a headache. I'm just getting old. I have different ideas for fun with friends that doesn't include trying to figure out who is male and who is female.

So goes another life experience I can add to the "been there, done that" list.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

December 6

I spent the entire day yesterday...painting and doing whatnot in my new house. This driving back and forth from apartment to house is bullshit, but I want to have most all the painting done before I move my furniture in. Mom came over, as did Paul (who did a stellar job installing the new outlet covers) and of course, "the boyfriend".

At any rate, while I was painting, I would give thought to the day and it's significance. Thirteen years ago on December 6, 1993, my father died. While it seems kind of odd to remember such a thing and reflect upon it every year for most people, some things sort of stay with you. The circumstances surrounding his death are not average, and it took a while for things to get back to some semblance of normalcy after he died. My brother wouldn't even recognize his birthday (December 5th) for many years afterwards because the memories were just to painful to revisit. Even I still have a difficult time talking about it. I've only uttered the words once in public in front of strangers, and I don't plan on doing so now. It is something I have only discussed with very few close friends, and those people for whom telling the story is only relevant to their situation. To this day, I can't discuss what happened without my voice breaking.

Someday, I will have the courage to write it...but not this day.

As time has passed, the sting has waned to some degree, but the pain truly never goes away. Where there was anger, is now replaced with sadness and pity. Somedays, I can't remember my father's face, and other days it will just come to me as clear as if I had seen him yesterday. The same with his voice.

It still makes me cry.

I wonder what he would think if he could see his kids now, and how they turned out. Sometimes, I have questions I want to ask that I know he would have the answers why my car makes a certain noise, and what's the best way to get up on waterskiis. I wish he were here so I can take him to my new house and have him tell me about all the things I could do, and how he could help me do them because he used to build houses...and we could do those things together. But most of all, I want to see that look in his eyes...the same look he would get when I brought home an award for band, or speech, or something I accomplished that made me stand out above all others. That look of pride that a father can only have for a daughter.

This December 6th passed with little fanfare, but lots of green paint. "The boyfriend" went around and pointed out all the things I could do to my new dwelling, and offered to do it for me...but it wasn't the same. He seems nice enough, but he's not my dad.

For one thing, my father would have never pissed in my back yard instead of going into the house to use the bathroom...and soap.


On a dismal day, it's always good to have loved ones around (or at least people you love even if they don't reciprocate) to remind you of all the good things that are still here and worth hanging around for.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Boyfriend

I took Mom to see the house last night. She got all teary and blathered about how proud of me she was and stuff. I suppose all moms do that, even if you are a shithead. Are mothers proud of their children if they deal in meth? Only if they successfully cook it without blowing the house up, I suspect.

Mom talked a little more about "boyfriend" as I have come to think of him. Because the story of "the boyfriend" is so amusing to me, I have to share. I swear, I can't make this stuff up.

Mom met "boyfriend" while they were working together, but he no longer works where she is working. Instead he works for another company that sends him to other countries as part of his job...but that is neither here nor there. However, if I catch wind that he's going to Germany, I'm giving him a list which includes chocolate, coffee, and Haribo gummi bears (yes, I know I can get them here, but they are not the me).

Boyfriend is in his 50's. I knew he had four sons, all of which who were gay. However, I didn't know that those four sons were part of the cumulative eleven children that this man has sired. Eleven. He's not Mormon, and he's not Catholic. He's just not wise to the advances of birth control.

Perhaps the most amusing part is the story of the gay sons. Two sets of twins, they are. Boyfriend is also a twin. At the age of sixteen, he goes to some Twin Convention and hooks up with a girl there (also a twin). The product of their night of passion produces twin set #1.

The following year, boyfriend returns to the Twin Convention and hooks up with the twin sister of the girl he hooked up with the year before. End result = twin set #2.

So, you've got two sets of twins. Half-brothers, as well as cousins. I bet that was a really fooked up family day at school. It almost sounds like a bad Ray Stevens song.

Boyfriend is currently in the process of a divorce, which is interesting because so is my mother. For a relationship to work, you must have things in common, I guess.

If Mom marries this one, it will be her third marriage and his fifth. I suppose the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. My grandmother was married at least three times, maybe four, and produced six children. I'm going to have to lay claim to my father's genetics on this matter. While his side of the family are raging alcoholics, most of them are still married to the original spouse. Maybe that's why they drink so much.

As for me, I only plan on doing it once. I figure that if I marry later in life, I can at least croak from old age before the word divorce has the chance to be uttered.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Getting the House Ready

I got up early yesterday despite being tired. I have a lot to do and a relatively short amount of time to do it in.

So, I got up and loaded the car with some boxes...and the dog. We took off to the house where I unloaded the car while the dog went apeshit in his new space. However, I did note that Sam doesn't fare well on hardwood floors. Not at all. He was sliding everywhere, falling over. It was pretty funny. I let him out into the back yard where he proceeded to do things I've only seen Michael Flatley do...preening, leaping and prancing. He would run in circles, then throw himself into a snow drift.

After a while, I went to Lowes and proceeded to purchase everything I needed (or thought I needed) to start painting. I decided to start with my bedroom and purchased paint in a lovely, and aesthetically pleasing shade of green. I also had to buy a can of primer to help cover that nasty "goldenrod tea" color that currently is gracing the halls of the bedroom. The can I found in the closet read "goldenrod tea". I call it "baby poop yellow".

I also started buying some essential tools (wrench, pliers, hammer, etc) for my new house, as well as a nifty project ladder, and new inards for the toilet in the master bathroom because it takes an hour for the tank to fill and never stops running.

Today, I took all my purchases, in addition to some boxes, to the new house where I unceremoniously dropped a full gallon can of Fiji green paint on my left foot.


I taped off the bedroom and primed it. The whole thing. Today. My arms hurt, my legs hurt. I hurt, and I am exhausted. Who knew painting was such tough work? My bedroom is now a lovely shade of seafoam green, and tomorrow I will paint it it's permanent shade.

As an encore, I returned to Lowes and found a new ceiling fan, some electric outlet covers in brushed nickel, and a pair of awesome mahogany bamboo shades for the windows. I'm so excited. My bedroom is going to be, for lack of a better term, the shit.

But I have decided that I don't care much for painting.

On a side note, I cannot figure out how to light the hot water heater. I followed the instructions on the side of the tank, but it didn't work. There must be a gas valve somewhere that is turned off, but fear not, someone is coming over tomorrow to light it for me. I don't want to mess with it too much.

I have an aversion to being blown up.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Fame Whore(s) Alert!

Not really a newsflash, I know.

I remembered how the world rejoiced when Britney announced she was kicking Fed-Ex to the curb. Even those who hated her, were secretly relieved and rooting for a kick-ass comeback. Everyone loves it when the underdog comes out on top.
If this is Britney's way of blazing on the comeback trail, she needs to hire a new PR manager.
And Lindsay Lohan, too? The three of them together is like watching a cracked-out, estrogen-infused version of The Three Stooges. Considering none of the three actually have any discernible talent (aside from showing their community poon to the world), I'd be remiss if I didn't agree that at least they are in shared company.
After all, water does find it's own level.
I don't think I've been this nauseated since I ate my cousin's nasty homemade chicken noodle soup...and that was some serious projectile vomiting, people!
The only way it could possibly get worse is if they decided to collaborate on music together. I shudder at the mere thought of it.
So, can we please round these, ahem, splooge buckets and send them far, far away. Iraq sounds nice. Put them right in central Bagdad wearing nothing but red, white and blue.
Who would ever guess that K-Fed would turn out to be the classy one...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: Closing's official. I have signed my life away. I am now a homeowner.

Thursday morning, I had to go to an inservice about strokes. They fed us brunch, then kept us awake by telling us all about how an MRI works. It was riveting! I think I went into snooze mode in less than 6 seconds. I can't complain...I get four hours pay for going.

After that was finished, I hauled ass (carefully) to Raytown to the realtor's office, skating into the building (who knew their parking lot also doubled as a ice rink!) and signed my name (including middle initial) about 117 times. They show you what you will be paying if you pay the loan, in it's entirety, over the full 30 years. I damn near passed out from the shock. For that kind of money, I could live across the street from Kay "Where's Waldo" Barnes in Briarcliff.

My hand cramping, I finished and decided to stop by the new dwelling to have a poke around...alone.

I wandered around the house. My house. I'm still in disbelief that I actually did it. This was something I had always imagined myself doing after I got married, because that is what all the women in my family have done. I'm doing a lot of things that are firsts for my family: college degree, career, not married, buying a house on my own. I'm venturing into unfamiliar territory! It's exciting and scary all at the same time.

Now, everyone will get to read my adventures in Home Ownership. This should be fun, especially if the toilet explodes. Hopefully, I won't be sitting on it if it does.

After my little reflection period in the house, I drove back to the safe confines of Platte county. Snow had started to fall everywhere but there. I stopped by Lowes, fatty gift card in hand.

Ever have a moment where you have money to actually spend, but have no idea what you want to spend it on? That was me, wondering around Lowes. I did take note of the ceiling fan I want for the Great Room...and which colors for the Great Room, master bedroom and kitchen. I walked out of the store only buying a bottle of window washing fluid. And no, I didn't use the gift card for that (Paul already asked).

Incidentally, Paul is feeling better, so I won't have to pelt cans of chicken noodle soup at him. He was a bit fearful, he knows I don't throw like a girl.

It's now 2am. We still haven't got squat for snow...which is almost disappointing considering all the weathertards were making like it was the Storm of the Century. Well, some folks got a nice white blanket. We got the same seven flakes blowing around. I can only hope the roads are clear enough for me to get to work tomorrow night.

I'm going back to bed. It's freaking cold!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hump Day Blathering

I worked extra last night. I'm going to be working a lot of extra shifts. I have a new refrigerator to consider....and washer...and dryer....and a new living room set.

The night passed by slowly, so we had time to goof off with the new espresso maker one of the docs bought for us for early Christmas present. I'm the night shift coffee maid. I've become quite the proficient at steaming milk. It's good to know that in case this whole nursing thing doesn't pan out, I can always apply at my local Starbucks. I made lattes for everyone, including our RT for the evening. Paul was working, but declined for he was sick. Not sick in the "you're so pathetically cute looking I just want to take you home and mother you" kind of sick. It's the kind of sick where you don't want to be within 20 feet of the person, and the nicest thing you can think of doing is throw cans of chicken noodle soup at his head.

At any rate, he was working while wearing a mask. This morning, he was planning on going home and crawling into bed. I don't expect he will emerge from bed before Sunday.

I was so tired when I came home. I put on my comfy pj's and turned in. Two hours later, the lender rep calls. I answer the phone, sounding all bleary, and the first thing she asks is if I was sleeping.

No, I want to answer. I just got a hold of some bad crack.

She tells me that I have to bring x-amount of dollars to closing tomorrow, and it has to be in the form of a cashier's check. My realtor says they have been doing this for as long as she can remember. Apparently, some assclowns would write a check at closing, take possession of the house, then go out and cancel the check.

I know that I have an inservice all morning, and I know that I will have to cut this inservice short if I am going to make it to the realtor's office by 1pm. I know that my credit union is in the opposite direction of where I will be, and I am painfully aware that the weather sucks.

So, I get dressed, put on my warm winter coat, and furry scarf. Yes, it's made with real rabbit fur. Go to hell, PETA. The rabbits went well with tators and carrots...roasted.

I creep to the credit union, getting there just before they close. I get my cashier's check, not to mention a cool Norman Rockwell calendar for FREE! Then, I creep back home. Cursing the entire way that the lender lady woke me up, and made me go out into the crappy weather....risking life, limb and a $500 deductible for a $200 check. Damn her! I did ask her for her home number so I could call her at 1am tonight. She laughed at my joke. I wasn't joking.

Tonight, I made a frozen lasagna thingie from Stouffers. N-A-S-T-Y! I should know better than to trust frozen lasagna. You can only trust your own lasagna...and meatloaf.

I ended up having some nachos and cheese instead.

It's almost 9pm, and I am going to call it a night. I hope everyone is warm and safe. If you see a black PT Cruiser in a ditch, please pull me out...or call Triple A.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: Great Room Colors

Now that it is official...I'm closing on Thursday afternoon. I wasn't even certain until this afternoon that it would actually happen because Cartus is an evil corporation that sucks the life out of first-time home buyers. But it is going to happen, and now I am planning how I am going to make this place my very own.
This is the Great Room. I want to paint the wall above the fireplace, as well as anything else that isn't covered in brick and wood (ceiling excluded). I didn't like the mustard color it was painted before they painted this beige color. There is a big wall space between the entrances to the kitchen and dining room...ideal for artwork. I have to give props to Rachel for introducing me to Natasha Wescoat. I really like her work (except the strange stuff with the little monkeys). had their CyberMonday sale to which all their stuff was 25% off until midnight tonight. So, I bought 3 prints to hang in the aforementioned wall space.
These are the three prints I ordered. It incorporates the various colors I want to have around the living room to tie it all together. It appeals to my attraction to jewel tones. I was going to have them in black or dark brown frames, I'm still undecided on the matting.

So, what would be a good color to paint the Great Room walls?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday Morning Surprise

After morning coffee, I came home around 9:30am. When I opened the door, the smell hit me first.

Sam was crouched in the corner of his kennel, the most foul smell emitting from it, his bed, and himself. It was hideous. There's only two words for the horror that greeted me when I looked inside the kennel.

Explosive diarrhea.

The last time this happened was when I unwittingly gave him some popcorn a year or so ago. Never, ever give a dog popcorn. Trust me.

So, I took him out of his kennel and put him outside on the patio. I then took his dog bed, tossed it in three garbage bags. Took a half a can of Scrubbing Bubbles and cleaned out the kennel, followed by a nice coating of Lysol.

Kennel cleaned, I retrieved Sam from the patio, and tossed him into a tub full of warm water, soaped him up in cherry blossom scented soap, and rinsed him off. Tried to towel dry him before he took off, shaking water all over the apartment. George was not impressed. Then, I noticed it.

Sam was bleeding...out of his butt. Could this morning possibly get any worse?

I don't know much about veterinary medicine, but I know that in people medicine, bleeding out of your toot-hole is never, ever a good thing. I called the vet's office and explained the situation, they told me to bring the dog in...and could I get a small stool sample?

So, I did. Armed with a wet dog and a baggie containing the foulest smelling shit on the planet, I sped to the vet.

They ran the stool sample and determined he wasn't carting around parasites. Colitis, they told me. After some quick calculations, some turkey bones and skins the little shithead managed to get into Thursday night was the likely culprit. Awesome.

An office visit of no more than 30 minutes, two prescriptions for antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, and I'm out $100.

Now, he doesn't appear to bleeding as much. I've managed to cram two pills down his throat. Why couldn't they make them peanut butter flavored? It's now 11:20am. I'm supposed to work tonight, but I'm seriously considering calling in. Who can sleep with these circumstances!

So, now I have two special-needs pets. I have a cat who gets a plugged-up peehole, and a dog with colitis. All I need is a fish with an under bite, a blind guinea pig, and a retarded parrot and I've got the makings of a telethon.

Support Heather's Kids.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Laundry Fun

I have two loads of wash. Whites...and scrubs. I have enough scrubs that they get their own load. That, and I never know what's on said scrubs...VRE, MRSA, E-coli, etc.

So, I lug the basket across the apartment complex to the little laundry hut. Some old woman wearing no bra (and she had no business running around without one, if you get my meaning) has claimed monopoly on almost all the washers and dryers in the building. There's at least 20 of each.

I'm reduced to the washer and dryer that sounds a lot like the very first car I owned.

I just keep remembering that I'm in the final stretch of laundromat subjection. Soon, I will have a set of my very own. My own washer and dryer that only I will use. No more will I have to use public washer, wondering just what was in it before I came along. (Which reminds me of the story my cousin told me about the time her and her husband shagged in a laundromat during late hours. ~shudder~) No more will I have to take a gamble on a dryer, wondering if it's going to actually get my clothes dry, or just toss them around still wet.

Apartment life sucks.

Late Turkey Blather

I worked Wednesday night as a favor to one of the other nurses. She had family coming in for the holiday and was slated to do all the cooking. She didn't ask me to work for her, I just offered.

See...I can be a nice person!

That, and the idea of the extra holiday pay sure helps.

It was odd, going into work on a Wednesday. The night passed slowly with no significant events, which is normal for a holiday, even at a larger hospital.

In the morning, I went home, and did some turkey preparation. I bought the smallest turkey I could find (which was pretty small), prepared the stuffing (I got the bonus giblet bag with TWO hearts!), stuffed the turkey, put it in the oven on a low setting, then went to bed.

I wasn't going to have anyone over for dinner, and I didn't go to anybody's house for dinner. Instead, spending the day in the comfy confines of my bed. However, I couldn't bear the thought of no leftover turkey, no leftover stuffing. Besides, I consider it a sort of dress rehearsal for the time that I actually have to cook a big turkey for family members. I know lots of single people who have no experience with such an undertaking. It's safe to say I got the turkey-prep down to an art.

I debated getting up before the butt-crack of dawn to go shopping with the rest of the KC masses. I looked over the ads to see if there was anything I just couldn't live without. There wasn't. I didn't bother to set the alarm...I just slept in. It was glorious.

So, I am going to go toss some scrubs in the laundry, and take a nap. Another weekend comes upon me, and things will be back to normal in the halls of the hospital.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

As the Dryer Turns

I ended up not buying the washer and dryer from the couple in Belton.

After I looked at it and went home, I just had a nagging feeling in the back of my head. The couple advertised it as brand new, never used, tags still on it. I had a feeling that just wasn't the case.

The next day, I called the couple again to get the serial numbers off the set, claiming I was going to check the warranty information. They gave them to me and I tracked down the number for the corporate office for the makers of said washer and dryer.

Turns out, the washer was made in 2001, and the dryer in 1999. So much for being brand new. Also, the dryer had a record of having service calls on it. So much for never been used. The company doesn't even make these two particular models anymore.

I called the couple again and spoke with the husband, telling him everything I had found out about the washer and dryer. I didn't accuse him of being dishonest, but I said I had changed my mind about buying the set. I wasn't an asshole about it and neither was he. I mean, what could he say?

Truth be told, Paul and I both got the impression this couple weren't the brightest crayons in the box. Oh well.

I noticed they re-listed the washer and dryer on Craigslist again. Same price, however, the said it was "almost new" and only "used a couple times because it sat in a vacant house for a while."

That's what I thought. In the end, as my grandmother used to say, everything came out in the wash.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Hunt for Major Appliances

This morning, I had to drive all the way down to Belton to go look at a washer and dryer advertised on Craigslist. I've never utilized Craigslist. I always thought Craigslist was for perverted married men to go trolling for casual encounters with anything that moves.

Turns out, there's lots of stuff on Craigslist besides that. This couple listed a European washer and dryer. Some research online and speaking to a European revealed to me that this was a very good price for a very good washer and dryer. If Scandinavians have got anything mastered, it's anything with engineering and clean underwear.

At any rate, I enlisted Paul to go with me in the event the sellers of said washer and dryer were psychotic killers, and I wouldn't be brutally murdered and somehow incorporated as part of this family's Thanksgiving dinner. Which begs the question: what kind of gravy goes good with Heather...white or brown?

So, we went and looked at said washer and dryer. I told the couple that I would make arrangements to have them picked up tomorrow night.

I dropped Paul off at his car and came home, took a nap, got up and dressed, and thought I would stop at Nebraska Furniture Mart and price refrigerators.

I don't know...maybe I did it wrong. But the fridges at Lowes are cheaper than the ones at Nebraska Furniture Mart. Either they were insanely expensive and ginormous, or cheap and tiny. None in the middle where my budget resides.

They had one there that had a television in the door, which begs the question: Why? During those late night snack raids, you can pop in Pride and Prejudice, pull up a chair and watch while you eat whatever tickles your fancy?

Another lady was staring at he $3500 wonder of technology, clearly puzzled. I told her that this particular piece was new to the "More Dollars Than Sense" Line of appliances.

I didn't buy a refrigerator on this day. I suppose my search would be easier if I didn't want a black one, side by side, offering up ice and filtered water. So, the search continues.

Meanwhile, the realtor continues to haggle over the repairs I want done. Cartus is supposed to respond by tomorrow night. I didn't request a huge amount of stuff to be done...just things that I felt were safety issues. So, we shall see.

Nurse Follies: Keeping it Real

When we admit a new patient, we ask a long series of questions designed to figure out your medical history...providing the patient is coherent enough to answer. We want to know EVERYTHING. Allergies, medications, medical history, recreational drugs, favorite foods and thoughts on the global warming threat. You can't keep secrets from nurses, so don't even try.

(And don't even think that we believe the story that you were innocently reading the bible while naked, fell, and got a potato and a jar of concord grape jelly conveniently lodged in your descending colon. We don't believe it, not even for one second.)

I received a patient, and had to ask all the pertinent questions, like, "How many licks does it take you to get to the center of a tootsie pop?" I try to streamline the experience as much as possible because at 1am, no one really wants to answer how much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood. And at 1am, I really don't want to know.

Me: Have you experienced any unexpected, unplanned weight loss recently?
Patient: No... (patting his belly) I don't diet.
Me: (observing the girth of said belly) Okay...I believe you.
Patient: Men don't diet.
Me: Okay.
Patient: I'm don't diet.
Me: Some guys do. I know a couple who are dieting right now.
Patient: Now why would a man want to diet?

You know that filter that is between your brain and your mouth? Apparently, I left mine at home that night.

Me: Because they want to look good naked for their women.

The patient looked thoughtful for a moment while his wife was dissolving into fits of laughter. With all seriousness, he looked at me and said, "That's a REALLY good answer."

Later, Paul came to the floor and announced he had been molested by a patient in isolation, rubbing her hands in his hair and Lord knows where else. He felt violated. He felt dirty. He never admitted to it, but I think he was secretly excited.

One nurse had an epiphany and thought we should wash his hair with one of those no-rinse shampoo caps. They are quite handy. You zap the cap for 30 seconds in the microwave, put it on their head and rub the cap, making sure the hair gets evenly cleaned. Minutes later, you take the cap off and towel dry. It's magical!

Paul was initially reticent, but we convinced him that walking around with pseudomonas, C-diff, VRE, and whatever else in his hair is no laughing matter. He conceded to let us experiment...I mean, help him out.

So, I nuked the hat. Paul sat in the break room while a small group of nurses gathered to watch because, to be honest, none of us had ever used a shampoo cap before. It was almost like having a product inservice. I slapped the cap on his head and poked at the cap until I was convinced the hair was clean.

Minutes later, clean flowing hair abounds, and the awe-inspired nurses vow to use the caps whenever possible because it's the best invention ever made. On a roll, we begin to offer free hair washings to other staff members: a tech, a couple residents, and a housekeeper. No one else takes us up on it.

Whatever...they just don't know what they are missing.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Friday Blather

Friday...I finally got the tags renewed on the PT. They were due in October. Yes, I am a procrastinator.

Ask me about the newborn baby blanket I am crocheting for Peanut.

After that, I had to stop at Walmart for dog chews as Sam has taken a liking to chewing on my clothes when nothing else is available to him and the cat won't stand still. Some lady in a Honda gave me the finger...for making a turn while she was more than 50 feet away. I returned the favor by giving her a thumbs-up, smiling and waving. I've found that is much more effective at pissing people off than just flying the bird.

She was very animated about waving that bony little finger around.

Classy. But it is Walmart, after all.

I put a bag of garbage in the back of the car, with the intent of dropping it off at the dumpster on my way to work. Halfway to work, I remembered that I forgot to stop at the dumpster.

That's going to make for a nice-smelling car in the morning. Awesome.

Thank goodness for Febreeze.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Because Everyone Knows I am a Hardass

The mammoth company of Cartus realized that I am a force to be reckoned with, and have agreed to give me the card. Assholes. You advertised for it in the first place. Maybe one of them was my patient at some point.

" don't want to piss this one off. I know firsthand what she can do with a catheter!"

So, we press forward with a closing date at the end of this month. Two weeks away! I still have a shit-ton of stuff to pack. I anticipate the moving to take a while, at least I won't be hurried to do it. I can move the smaller stuff over with the help of my brother and his truck. Then, I can book a moving truck and move all the big crap later.

Last night, Mom invited me over to meet "the boyfriend"...because it is important to her and this relationship is supposedly serious. Ugh. I really didn't want to go, but I had to take her the license tags I so generously got for her. My trip was rushed because yesterday was last day for open enrollment at work. I was just going to not turn in my paperwork because I didn't have any changes, but Paul nagged me to the point that I was paranoid about losing my dental coverage...butthole.

So, his name is Glen, and I think she met him at her job, but he no longer works there. He's sort of a jack-of-all-trades...home remodeling, scuba instructor, international procurement (whatever the hell that means). Mom was telling me about how he took her to Ruth's Chris for dinner and bought her a bottle of champagne that was around $100.

I complained to Paul.

Me: Why is it that no one buys me fancy bottles of champagne?
Paul: Your Mom probably put out for it.
Me: You're probably right. But still, no one has ever done that for me. What do I get?
Paul: You get chocolate milk.

There you have it, folks, Heather puts out for Shatto Chocolate Milk. I should have that as a bumper sticker. That's endorsement you just can't buy, people! Someone should call the Shatto people right away.

(On a side note, however, I did get a Kitchen Aid stand mixer once...and a cell phone...and a satellite radio....and a Hoover Carpet Cleaner...all from guys I dated in the past.)

(On another side note: I've never put out for chocolate milk.)

So, I meet Glen at Mom's house. In pictures, he sort of looks like Herman Munster. In real life, he looks more like Leslie Nielsen from the Naked Gun movies. He seems smart enough, and he seems like my mom...but it's still kind of strange seeing her with someone other than my stepdad, and saddening at the same time.

This morning, Mom called me and wanted to know if I liked him. Sleeping, I just grunted. He wanted to know if I liked him, and all Mom could say, "Hard to say with Heather."

At least it is well known that I am not a pushover.

So, now that is over with. Glenn has yet to meet my brothers. Glenn has four sons who are all gay. This is NOT going to go over well with Johnny. He can't stand it that his cousin is a lesbian. Wait til he finds out that his four potential stepbrothers prefer sausage to the taco.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: Another Setback

Okay, so you are probably tired of reading about my homebuying crap because it seems that is all I write about. Well, it is pretty much the biggest thing going on in my life right now, and until Paul concedes that we are dating, you get to read about me buying a house...or my efforts to.

Monday, we had the inspection done by 5 Star Inspections. The inspector, who also happens to own the company, is ridiculously hot, but married. Heather loses interest when she sees the ring. Some girls like chasing married men. Fortunately, I'm not one of them.

At any rate, the inspector does his thing, and I follow him around with my digital camera to take pictures (of the house, not the inspector), and listen to him as he points out things I need to know about the house. At one point, he turns on the water and the house sounds like it's going to launch itself over Arrowhead. Turns out, the house had been winterized, and the water pipes were completely empty. However, all the faucets were left on, so water started spraying everywhere in the utility room. Awesome.

The inspection takes about 2.5 hours (including the termite inspection), and in the end, I get a nice binder with the inspector's report, complete with color photos and booklets explaining stuff about home maintenance that no one really tells you about until the toilet blows up. I walked through the house, and I kept thinking about how in a month, I would be calling this my home. I mapped out where I was going to put my furniture, and what kind of flowers I would plant by the house.

Talk about premature!

A little background on the house: it is owned by Cartus, which is a corporate relocation company. They deal with relocating employees for companies large and small. They deal with almost all the aspects: moving, selling, leasing, mortgage...all of it. Initially, they were asking a ridiculous price for the house, which is why it was on the market for over 200 days. Then, they drop the price by about $25K and offer a $3500 gift card to either Lowe's or Home Depot to the seller.

Then, Heather comes along. Heather likes the house enough to make an offer. They accept. Fun and games ensue.

My realtor and I fill out the contract that they sent us, only to have the company say it's the wrong contract and we have to fill out a different one. We fill out the new contract, and now they are saying they don't want to give me the gift card because they don't do that anymore.


Now, if this were just dinky small amount, I wouldn't sweat it...but $3500 in what I can use for home improvement is nothing to sneeze at. Besides, it's all over their listing online, and the paperwork I have at home. I have proof!!

Initially, when I set out to find a house, I wanted a place that was move-in ready. I'm not handy at all with tools and wood (of the tree!) , so I wanted something that the very most I would have to do is paint. This house, however, needs a little bit more than paint, but I was willing to overlook that because I could use said card to defray some of the costs (and with a little help from friends, family, and Mom's current boyfriend).

My realtor is up in arms. For every different person she talks to, she gets a different story: we used to offer it, but not anymore...we will honor it...we won't...someone besides us must have offered it.

Annoyed, I told her that if they offered it with the listing, then they are going to give it to me even if they had to set up a jar at the front desk to collect it. To me, that's bait and switch. To me, that's unethical and I think we've come to expect that out of large companies who no longer care about the little guy.

I also told my realtor that if they couldn't honor what they advertised, they know where they can stick their house. If they won't honor something as simple as a gift card, how can I trust them when it comes to something as important as buying a house?

I like the house, I really do...but I know there are other houses out there I could like just as well. Sure, this could move back my moving date a month, but I have come to the point that whatever happens, happens as it was meant to happen.

I should hear something from my realtor tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.

I'm Skeered

I think I am the last one on the planet who hasn't switched to the beta version of Blogger. I've read bad things about it, and I don't know if the hassle is worth it.

And I hate change.

Your thoughts??

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: The Preliminary Homeowner

That's me!

The realtor called me this afternoon to tell me that the buyers accepted my offer. She was going to call an inspector to schedule an appointment, but I gave her the number of the guy I wanted to use. Ironically , I got the business card from the apartment manager who is also buying a house. So, the cat is now out of the bag to the management.

After the inspection is done and everything is deemed honky-dory, I will submit my notice to the apartment people that I'm blowing out of this shithole. I can't wait to give Bloated Single Mother the finger. She's been a real hag as of everyone in the building, not just me. I don't feel so special anymore. Rats!

I meandered around Home Depot today. Is it just me, or does Lowe's seem a little more organized? Anyway, the sellers are giving me a gift card (to either place) to the tune of $3500. That can buy a lot of paint.

Did you know they have gift registries for new home owners? Two people told me this. Apparently, this is a relatively new thing because when Paul bought his house, he did a wedding registry...but made up the name of his intended. I think he gave her a stripper name. Maybe he was hopeful about marrying a stripper someday. He's never been married, so I'm pretty certain those dreams were never realized.

Mom told me she has the hook-up to a guy who does remodeling and such when I am needing stuff done to the house. He won't charge me market price, she says. I don't know who this guy is, or how my mother knows him, and I'm not going to ask. I don't want to consciously know that I'm getting the "I'm Boinking Your Mother Discount".

Ignorance is, indeed, bliss.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hump Day Blather

Today, I went shopping. I don't like shopping, but sometimes, you just have to buck up and do it.

I went to Zona Rosa, and they are already putting up the Christmas tree. Bastards. Can't they even wait until after Thanksgiving? In my house, we NEVER put up Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving. Now, you see the Fat Man in Red jiggling around in July.

One holiday at a time, please!

I bought two pairs of jeans, two sweaters and some new underwear. Did I mention I love new socks and underwear? You'd think my underwear drawer would be overflowing, but it is not due to Sam always finding them and chewing holes in them. This is when they are CLEAN, and sometimes brand new if I carelessly toss the shopping bag somewhere.

Sam: The Panty Bandit


I've been reading the aftermath of the election. Props to Missouri for passing the stem cell measure, even if narrowly. I find it interesting that most everyone for the measure were "big city folk" and most everyone against it was "small town folk". Ironically enough, larger city hospitals will see the benefits of stem cell research long before the small community hospitals will, especially if those bigger hospitals also function as learning and research facilities.

I consider myself to be somewhat a conservative, but I don't go straight ticket...usually, I can be found straddling the fence. I find it very amusing that some Republicans cried themselves to sleep last night. And Rummy quit! Now, all we need is for Cheney's pacemaker to, uhh, stop working. I can tolerate Bush in the way people tolerate the short-bus kid screaming from the back of the classroom...he just can't help the way he is, but Cheney is a douchebag.

And Johnson County is all in a lather over their failed soccer thing. Meh...they make it sound as though all the youth will now turn to a life of crack and selling themselves to congressmen because they don't have soccer fields to play in. You folks really, really need to get a life...and a clue.


House Update: My lender just called to inform me she had to put my realtor in her place because she wanted to know about things well out of her scope. Financial folks are bound to confidentiality laws, similar to the medical information privacy laws I am bound to. I like my lender lady...she totally rocks. Too bad she lives so far away, otherwise, I would buy her a drink.

This also explains why my realtor was somewhat short with me on the phone. Whatever. I don't have to recommend her to anyone I know looking for a house...and I come in contact with more people than she does. Sure, I probably could fire her, but this would definitely push back my desired closing date. The plan is to be out of this shithole by the end of the month...finding a new realtor would certainly throw a wrench in those plans.

Who knew that buying a house could be so fraught with drama!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day: Yawn

Today, I went out and voted. I'd like to tell you that I've done this lots of times, but truth be told, this is the first. For the most part, I haven't really encountered a candidate (for anything) that I actually liked. They all sucked. I can easily bitch about one or the other, so I usually choose to bitch about all of the above.

Personally, I think anyone who makes a career out of being a politician isn't to be trusted...but that's just me. Maybe it's because most of them are lawyers, and therein the issues with distrust reside.

At any rate, I voted. I drove to my little voting station, weaved through the small crowd holding their little signs for whomever they were stumping for (what a crappy job to have), went inside and discovered another good benefit to having your last name at the end of the alphabet: no line for people P-Z.

I got a long sheet of paper and a felt pen. I was somewhat relieved about not having to do a computerized voting thing. I'm not certain how I feel about that.

I must say, I didn't know a lot of those people listed. Do I really care who the county assessor is? I mostly came because I wanted to vote on Props 2 and 3 (to which I voted yes on both counts, in case you were wondering). I don't like either McCaskill or Talent. I think they are both asshats. Talent reminds me of some cartoon character, but I can't seem to think of the name...

Anyone remember the movie Brewster's Millions? Where Richard Pryor hijacked an election, spending huge amounts of money, so everyone would vote for none of the candidates? Yeah, I was looking for that "None of the Above" box, too.

Today, I also mailed some junk, received some junk, and wandered around what will probably be my second home once I move: Lowes. I've already found a ceiling fan I think would look good in a living room.

Maybe I will go and wander around Home Depot later.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday = Recovery Day

The weekend at work didn't suck in grand fashion, although there were a few little annoyances here and there. A wound-tight resident who imploded at every little thing (she really needs to take up yoga or something), a screaming patient who cleaned out the entire floor out of Raisin Bran, and then wondered why she had diarrhea all the time, a husband of a family member who kept falling asleep in a chair and falling out of said chair. Plus, we are running a special this week for people who suddenly have a sustained heart rate in the 185-210 range. For those who are not medical savvy...that's not a good thing.

Last night, I managed to get fish oil on my jacket. I smelled like a bottom-feeder for the remaining of the shift. I found some body spray in my locker and tried that, and only succeeded in smelling like a cucumber-melon catfish. It was nauseating.

This morning, I came home so tired!! I was so tired, I didn't even have the energy to mess with pajamas. I just stripped off the fishy-cucumber-melon-smelling scrubs and crawled into bed. This was 8:30am.

At 10:30am someone was knocking on the door. Naturally, Sam was going apeshit. I stumbled out of bed, and in my sleepy-stupor, I stood in my bedroom for a minute trying to figure out why I wasn't wearing any clothes.

I found my robe, remembered how to put it on, and answered the door. Damn. That squirrelly maintenance man to come and check on my bathroom ceiling. Guess what! It still leaks. I pointed to the water stain, grunted, and went back into my room, slamming the door behind me. Usually, waking me up immediately results in pain of death. I was too exhausted to do it, though, even if the guy was small and I could have easily squished him.

Squirrelly guy muttered something about the leaky ceiling, left, and never came back. Maybe he had a feeling his life was in great peril. Maybe he's realized that he has no idea what he's doing and will defer to professionals. Maybe both.

I slept until noon, got up, got dressed, and drove to the realtor's office to sign my offer and look over some paperwork. An inspection had already been done by the company that owns the house. An extensive inspection. If the previous owner had hemorrhoids, I'm almost certain the inspector would have found them, and noted it on his report. That's how thorough the inspection was.

For my own sanity, I'm going to have another inspection done.

After 2 hours of this, I finally got to come home and crawl back into bed, this time making certain I had pajamas on.

I'm still tired. I have a quiche in the oven, and as soon as a piece of it settles in my stomach, I'm going to retire for the rest of the night. Tomorrow is election day, and I can't wait to weed through all the crappy candidates.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: The House in Mind

I gave the realtor the green light to make an offer today.


I snorted tasty Shatto Rootbeer Milk out of my nose when I saw this one.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: And Then There Were Two

Another day with the realtor. I must confess, I really wasn't in the mood to house hunting this morning. (Being crapped on will do that to you.) Without going into detail as to why I am so sad, I will do what every girl does and blame the opposite sex, even if it's true.

What doesn't kill us makes up stronger...or whatever bullshit slogan people say to make demoralized people feel better. Now that I have said that, it's probably a scripture or something and I've now moved up the list of those going to Hell. ~sigh~

Today was the Final Four of the houses I liked. Once again, Paul agreed to go with me for an unbiased eye. However, he worked the night before, and had to drop his car off at the garage for a whatever-thousand mile service. My morning: get up, drop Sam off at daycare, go home and shower, get ready, drive to someplace I've never been before to pick up Paul (who regales me with the story of him changing in the washroom, and being scared half to death by seeing another guy standing there...only to realize it was his own reflection in a full-length mirror), drive to Gladstone to meet with the realtor, pile into her car and go to our first house.

House #1
This is the teal-trimmed house. I still like it, but the seller would have to make pricey concessions for me to buy it: new carpet/flooring in the entire house, new driveway. It would be a fine house for someone, but not for me. Sorry, teal-trimmed house.

Moving along...

House #2
After the realtor took us back to my car, we drove to this house. I remembered how to get there under my own steam. Yay. I tell Paul that I know of the one thing he will hate about this house. My guess is correct when he blanches at the site of the neighbor's yard: old boat, old Beetle that looked as though it hadn't been driven since the 60's, and various clutter. "Do they make 10 foot privacy fences?" he wonders.

This house is white, but it's a cold white that gives it a blue-ish cast. Paul calls it blue. Whatever. I still like the's really move-in ready and I would have to do very little except paint the colors I want. Lots of room in the basement for my brother's family to live in should they stop making house payments again. My initially suspicion was correct in that I thought the house was flipped. It was. The seller really didn't have much to say on his disclosure because he "only knew about stuff he did to the house". A nice house to be certain, but I didn't feel like it was my house. I liked the house, but I could be easily swayed that is a pretty good indicator to keep looking.

House #3
This is the beige house that was the front-runner on my list. No one had been there since we looked at it last week (the realtor card was still on the counter). I poked around a little more. Paul thought it was good house, he was immediately smitten when he saw the red front door.

It had been on the market for so long because the sellers initially were asking way too much for it. I made mental notes of stuff I would have to do: paint, kitchen counter tops, and get rid of the fugly chandelier in the dining room.

If I put in a bid, I'm going to try to low-ball the piss out of them.

House #4
This is the realtor's favorite house. It's been very well cared for, but sorely outdated. I expect to do some updating no matter where I move to, but I do have to consider the extra amount I need to spend. Painting in all the rooms, new appliances, building additional work surfaces in the kitchen.

The selling point was the rec room, but it seems the seller wants to nickel and dime me for every little extra. Apparently, he didn't read the reports that it's now my market. You want to sell your house? Toss in the hot tub. The rec room would be perfect for entertaining guests. Then, I remembered that I haven't done any serious entertaining since I was the activity coordinator for the singles' branch...which was, ummm, years ago.

This house is closer to work than the other ones I looked at. One straight shot and I am downtown.

So, it comes down the houses #3 and #4.

We bid our farewells to the realtor and came back north. Paul complained that he felt like his blood sugar was tanking, so I mentioned I had crackers in the glove box. He fished them out, ripped open the bag, and popped one in his mouth before I had a chance to tell him that the crackers were at least one and a half years old. The look on his face was priceless, but he chewed and swallowed like a good little trooper. He declined any more crackers, but accused me of tricking him.

We had a late lunch, I took him back to his car, and I came home and took a nap.

I will spend the next few days deliberating. I will probably look online and see if anything has been newly listed. If not, I should have a decision made by the end of the weekend.