Thursday, September 28, 2006

I've learned! I swear I've learned!

Please don't make me repeat this history:

I'll never get another perm, I promise.

This is what happens when you have a cousin (Camille, ahem, second from the left) who NEVER THROWS ANYTHING AWAY. This picture should have died a quiet and unmarked death.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Other Side of the Stroller

As one half of a childless, married couple who spends the majority of vacations at Disney parks and has Lion's Lair membership at the zoo (comprising two adults, no children) I have come to despise the Stroller Commandos. Not your average baby transport engineers, but those who pilot their Gracos and Bebeloves, their Bugaboos and Peg Peregos with no regard for my ankles or personal space. They are the ones who use their offspring's conveyance to clear a path, to hurry dawdlers along, to make the point that they, the breeders, have more right to be wherever you both are than you do. "It's a children's park," they cry, "adults with no children should relinquish all right of way and prime seating to us, the NUCLEAR FAMILY!" They use their three or four wheeled mobile nap inducer to save spaces for parades, for fireworks, for the best view of the animals. They leave their nylon and aluminum perambulators in aisles for everyone else to trip over on the way to their seats in the front.

I am not fond of these people.

However, I found myself on the other side of the wheels this weekend while pushing my one-year-old nephew around the zoo while my four-year-0ld nephew toddled alongside. I found myself getting irritated when people wouldn't get out of my way. It was hard to maneuver that little Jeep wonder of collapsible convenience around slow moving adults traveling uphill, and I'd make annoyed, "Uh!" sounds in the back of my throat and sigh in the manner of a petulant teenager if I wasn't allowed to push to the front of each exhibit so the sweet lad in the seat could see. I didn't understand why everyone was taking so long to look at the gorillas when other people were obviously waiting, people WITH SMALL CHILDREN, children who had more right to see the animals than the obviously infantile adults who were there without children and who apparently needed to find some more adult hobbies, like football and scrapbooking. I nodded and smiled sagely at other couples pushing one child with another dawdling behind, touching and grabbing everything within reach, a fine pasttime as how else will they learn what will burn them if they don't pick up things that are shiny and red?

In other words, things that would normally cause my innards to reach temperatures only measurable by laboratory methods and boil out of my facial orifices became sources of mild amusement and patient understanding in the presence of my nephews. After all, the zoo is for KIDS.

Maybe I can take this new experience with me to Disney World in November, and not mind when I feel the plastic drink cup on the front of the rented yellow four-wheeler larger than my first car filled to overflowing with an obese five year old pushed by Wanda May from Kentucky who came down in her fifth-wheel with her seven other kids plow into my Achilles'. But I don't think my memory is that good.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Nail by Nail

We'd be done with the porch ceiling by now, except I gouged one piece of trim with a scraper trying to remove paint drips, which was one of my more brilliant ideas.

This is the best vista as it looks like it's done:

It is best to not forget to cut out the hole for the light fixture. Christian did a bang up (har har) job.

Now, just more touchup. Please God, kill me now.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

So, ye've come seeking adventure and salty old pirates, eh?

Today is the day where I want to strap on me cutlass and buckle me swash. I want to clench a dagger between me teeth and swing from the rigging. Yes, today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. If you want an excellent tutorial on how best to strike fear into the hearts of scurvy poltroons, go here. You'll never order a muffin the same way again.

Monday, September 18, 2006

No pictures of muffin-tops, as that would be too mean, even for me.

Collections that beg the question WHY:

One whole egg gave its life for this. Poor egg:

When I said knitting on hat pins, did you believe me? You should have:
What does the dip own? Will someone please tell me?

Astounding fluffitude:

No fair would be complete without juvenile bacon:

Demon llama? Where?!?

Our state fair is the best state fair.

Ah, the fair. That last great bastion of wholesome American 4H showmanship, that great stronghold of white trash family values, that veritable smorgasbord of all foods so lacking in nutritional content they have to all be kept in one confined space to limit their virulent spread...yes, the fair. Because where else could you eat a deep fried Twinkie, a Hawaiian Shave Ice, a double onion burger with some product vaguely approximating cheese but only glancing around the edges of foodstuffishness, fifteen corndogs and a elephant ear and still have room for a baker's dozen of Fair Scones? That's right, the Puyallup.

We spent ten glorious, footsore hours at the fair on Saturday. We ate, rode terrible rides that were only a hairsbreadth away from causing gruesome death and making some enterprising injury lawyer's career, saw some of the worst art ever forced upon the public, petted the angry llamas, marveled at the patience required to knit doll clothes on HATPINS, made fun of the fashion that only arises when teenagers of low intellect are given money to shop at Hot Topic and Rave, had our feet jiggled into numbness by the foot massaging chairs, saw some decent and desirable jewelry in a tiny hidden hall that had to be kept from the general public as they wouldn't know what to do with personal ornaments not made of dream catchers or their names bent into wire, saw Billy (Hill) and the Hillbillies, that venerable Disneyland ensemble that apparently travels the nation with one original cast member, one incredible instrumentalist who, in his daily life, plays the classical mandolin, and one disturbingly self-indulgent singer who sang Jesus-Is-My-Boyfriend songs to an enraptured and elderly audience, avoided the Avon Ladies who couldn't see that Shelly and I are NOT 55 and were in no need of their products but kept trying to give us brochures, won or attempted to win unfortunately and blamelessly frightening stuffed toys, and generally enjoyed the shit out of ourselves.

And we saw bunnies and piggies.

It was a grand day, all 'round. Pictures in the next post.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Damn that stupid baby.

The BBC just broke the news that it's another El Nino year. I hate that wretched upwelling. Words like "warm" and "dry" should never apply to the season that I personally associate with all 1,000 Eskimo words for snow.


Stupid rain came earlier than predicted. We have to repaint the top of the railing as the rain ruined the fresh paint.

Imagine the steps without the blue tape. One more coat of white on the columns, one more on the step and deck trim, underneath the eaves, touchup and we're done. We still have to finish the porch ceiling and trim and also replace the trim between the red and white above the porch, but carpentry work is NOTHING compared to the horror of paint.

You know why it's red? I used my blood to paint it. We're never moving.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Come hell or high water....

we MUST be finished by Thursday. The weather is due to turn for the worse and everything must be painted and cleaned up by then. We woke up Saturday morning to sog, which delayed priming by a day, so the porch is only primed and partially painted, and that DAMN wreck of a board is looking more and more like a black eye:

The one and only thing that has been heretofore easier than expected is the replacement of the ceiling of the porch:

It's looking GORGEOUS and has been very easy.

I'm too tired and full of despair to write with emotion or color. We thoroughly destroyed the porch finish top coat with our ladders and stepstools, so that will have to be redone, as well. I'm grateful, though, that the stress of painting has usurped the stress of the day job. That's good, at least.

Friday, September 08, 2006

No, damn it, it's still not done.

No, the house isn't finished yet. I know, what have we been doing? It's never going to be done. I'm going to be 80, standing on a ladder with the small pail of red paint and a small pail of white paint, touching up the window frames with a brush that has been worn down to three hairs. The original red will have faded so much that it will look dusty rose and the white will be dingy and gray, but the window sills will still not be done to my satisfaction.

However, the porch work construction-wise is finished:

Christian is caulking the tops and bottoms of every rail upright and I'll prime when I get home tonight. We're giving away some of the remnant wood, keeping what's viable and disposing of the rest.

We still need to figure out what kind of trim to put on the stairs, at the base of the siding and around the front, though.

The Spantex turned out to be a great color, the kind of warmish taupey color that will hopefully hide dirt. And no more heels stuck between cheap decking.

I will, eventually, take the tape off that last remaining window, and we will replace the porch ceiling. We WILL. I swear.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I'm torn.

I have so many cute shoes with high and wedge heels that I've neglected this summer. They are going to think I don't love them and hide in the back of the closet behind my gowns so I can't find them once I can wear a heel higher than one my grandmother would wear to bingo.

We're all injured in the household. I tore a ligament in my ankle in a supremely graceless moment two and a half weeks ago, when I biffed it in front of the entire chorus on the way to the elevator after warm ups. It took me two weeks to get an appointment, and I was certain that I'd get a lecture from the physician I saw yesterday about how I waited too long to get in and how whatever I tore would have retreated too far into my leg to be retrieved by anything other than forceps and how I'd be lucky to not lose the leg below the knee. Instead, I just have to wear a brace for three weeks. I was sort of hoping for something more drastic that would keep me out of work for an indefinite period of time, but the brace is good for pity.

Fritz took a chomp out of poor little Pierre's beak yesterday. We noticed that Pierre was bleeding, and could see the bite marks on either side of the beak from the piercing mandible of death. I just don't know what to do about those two. We separated them last night, which made them both very meek this morning, but they were pretty distraught from being apart and called for each other from the time the sun came up this morning until when we reunited them. The cheeps were in my dream as a phone that wouldn't stop ringing. I don't want to come home to a gruesome scene of carnage. This species is just so damn chompy. I wish I could give Fritz a safe birdie tranquillizer to make him a little less willing to remove flesh from whatever living organism comes within fifteen feet of him, but I like his spunk, and he is an animal, and it's not fair to expect an animal to behave in a way that is counter to their nature. I feel like we're back to square one and the way it was when Stanze was still alive. And yes, I'm considering a behaviorist again. Mock away. I want happy pets.