Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tales of the Homeowner: FIRE!!!!! (...or not)

Monday started innocently enough. With the impending vacation, I decided a thorough cleaning was in order. I dusted places that haven't been dusted since I can't remember. I swept, vacuumed, drug out the carpet steamer. I was a woman on a mission.

In the afternoon, I climbed into the frigid attic to bring down my Autumn tote to put the autumn decorations and Halloween costume pieces in. Not to mention drag out the luggage. It was butt-assed cold up there, in my pajamas. Not to mention the lights decided not to work. I was also talking to Mother on the phone as I worked and we were talking about vacation things.

I came down the ladder and let the trap door slam shut when I sniffed the air. Smoke???

I came down the stairs and found a living room full of it. Entering the OH MY GOD, MY HOUSE IS ON FIRE mode, I shrieked for Mr. Recommendation to come over (thinking it was an electrical fire caused by aforementioned not-working attic lights), and hung up on my mother.
Meanwhile, I go tearing through the house trying to find the source of the fire. Sam and Lucy, sensing my excitement, think this is a new, fun game that Mommy is playing, and start chasing me. I go back upstairs, kick the dogs into the back yard, and start considering tossing both cats out there as well. Mom and Mr. Recommendation come over, and find me out of breath, hacking on smoke, running around the house like a dog chasing its tail, carrying a little home fire extinguisher.

"CALL 911!!!" I order, before grabbing my cell phone and placing the call myself.

Minutes later, two full-sized fire trucks come creeping up my unplowed street (thanks KCMO), sirens wailing, lights flashing. I have both front and back doors open, trying to air out the smoke in the house. I'm standing there, wearing pajamas and Ugg boots, with hair that's all nasty with dust.

Half a dozen fully decked out firemen come into my house. Two of them carry a big-assed metal spear-looking things. Those things are to poke holes in your ceiling. I sit on the couch and put my face in my hands, wondering how I am going to explain this to my insurance adjuster. At this point, we figure out that there is no immediate fire...but where in the hell did all the smoke come from???

Next thing you know, my house is crawling with firemen....sadly, none of them looked like these guys.

(You want me to clean you off?...With my tongue??)

(The decent-looking ones are married, the rest look like they are fourteen years old or Wilford Brimley.) They search my house so thoroughly, I'm convinced that if I had hemorrhoids, they probably would have found those as well. Fortunately, I didn't have anything out in plain site that would cause further embarrassment...such as dirty underwear, or, ahem...power tools. I have A LOT of power tools. I'd hate to see one of them get poked with my jigsaw.

I peek out the front door, and see half the neighborhood has vacated their houses, and are now standing in their driveways, watching the excitement unfold. Some were holding shovels, no one was using them. Did I mention that my neighborhood is full of cops???

After having tracked all the snow from the outside, to the inside of my house, the firemen deduce that the smoke came from my chimney, even though there hadn't been anything burning in it for almost a day and a half (and that was just some crappy little fire log). It is theorized that my chimney is clogged with something (a nest, leaves, Lindsay Lohan's career), and the smoke of whatever was smoldering for almost two days, became trapped. When I opened and shut the attic door, it created a vacuum that sucked the smoke out into the lower level, and caused me to panic, calling for people to come and admire my freshly shampooed carpet by tracking over it in wet, dirty boots.

As an added bonus, the firemen discover my furnace filter looks gross, and they bring it up to show me. I am lectured by four firemen on the importance of changing my filter. They were even nice enough to turn off my furnace until I could get a new filter. None of them offered to drive me to Lowes in their fire truck so I could get a replacement. Assholes.

The firemen take their leave, dejected because they didn't get to poke holes in my ceiling. The neighbors immediately retreat to their houses to talk about that weird lady running around her house wearing pajamas, Uggs, and carrying a little red fire extinguisher. Hell, if fire trucks were at a neighbor's house, I'd at least have the decency to stay inside and look out a window instead of gawking from my drive way.

Mom and Mr. Recommendation accompany me to Lowe's that evening so I can have heat again. They make fun of my fuzzy filter (which had absolutely nothing to do with the smoke event) the entire time.

So, tomorrow I get to clean the floors...again. The fire place is officially off limits until I can get a chimney sweep out to clean it. And maybe even after that. My entire house smells like I just hosted a Boy Scout camp minus the sweaty gym socks and nocturnal emissions. All that campfire smell, and not a marshmallow in sight.

I'm so ready for vacation. Of course, I still need to go back into the attic and get my luggage.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Weekend Blather

Vacation is on yonder horizon, and I only started getting excited just last week. I'm such a bad procrastinator, that I even put off getting excited for something I should have been excited about months ago. Not to worry, Mother has enough excitement for everyone.

Bought some clothes more fitting for beaches and 80-something degree weather, instead of of temps so cold that it will give a man two belly buttons. I finally sent in my paperwork for my dive card. Ordered a GPS so I don't get lost in Florida. Recharged the battery on the camera. Bought travelled sized soaps and things. Now, I just need to clean the house and pack. And figure out what to pay a house/dog sitter.


In other news, the world is going batshit crazy. I hope the Giffords woman recovers. If she does without any residual effects, it will be nothing short of a miracle. Here's hoping that out of the ashes of such an event, positive things can happen, such as:

 - The Tea Party imploding
 - Sarah Palin being gored by a caribou
 - Democrats and Republicans quit being little bitches and actually work for the benefit of the country they were elected to serve


Yesterday, I had the misfortune of watching Knowing on cable with Nicholas Cage. Talk about a depressing movie. I wanted to go drive off a bridge on my way to work. Not to mention it was just a bad movie and I actually felt smug when the female lead character was killed off.


The Chiefs have a game today. I know this because traffic was insane around Arrowhead as I was coming home from work. Have fun getting your second belly button, boys. I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A Year In Review

I know I probably say this every year, but this year, really sucked. REALLY. Aside from the oil spill and all the horrible things that happened in the world, let's just revisit the crappy things that made me wish my Hoover sucked as hard.

1. Oz. All my complaints would result in a wall of text so big, that it would take until mid-2011 to read it, so I will keep it down to basics. I entered into a relationship with a seemingly great guy. He didn't want a girlfriend, he wanted someone he could own. Who would drop everything (even their job) to go tend to their needs. When he cheated on me, he got mad that I found out. I made all the effort to make this relationship work. He wanted to reap all the rewards. And in the end, he wanted to try to see if we could make things work, even maybe living together. While he had another girlfriend. Say it with me...douchebag.

2. Topher. He was such a good friend, and who knows...if we had sat down and actually talked about what we really wanted, we may have had the potential to be more. He was brilliant, funny, compassionate, and lived life the way he wanted it, not caring what others thought. Burdened with a self-imposed race to present a sick parent with the family that they always wanted for their son, he entered, hastily, into a relationship with Pollyanna. Engaged not even 7 months later, he has turned into the poster child for Stuff White People Like. Everyone has noticed and he is now the butt of jokes. The worst part, he has forsaken his old friends in favor of living the JoCo dream. Too bad, Topher. I liked you just as you were, and wouldn't have asked you to change a thing.

3. My job. With the forming of what I now call The Evil Trio, my job has turned into a nightmare. Nice to your face, but stabbing you in the back the minute you turn around. The latest and greatest was that one tattled to the Bosshole because she didn't like that I didn't announce a Code Blue overhead. I don't think she could believe (in all the two-years experience she has amassed), that a code could have successfully been done without her presence. The gloves have come off, as far as I am concerned. They wanted GB the Asshole. Well, ladies, the asshole is now here. Of course, it would be easier if I just transferred.

4. My friend Kant and her Kidney Quest. Nice people shouldn't people shouldn't have to go through shit like this. Why couldn't it have been on of the Evil Trio, they are far more deserving of such trials. I'm still waiting to be tested, along with a bunch of other people. I think that is a good show of just how much people love you...but the length of the list of people who are willing to give you one of their own kidneys.

5. The emergence of a gallbladder that hates me. And a uterus. My body is rebelling against me.

There are a bunch of other little things that didn't enhance my year, but I won't bore you with the details. Here's hoping that 2011 is a better year. Already, things are looking up.