28 February 2011

Let's Dance

At my work there is a beautiful ballroom, the likes of days past.  It was refurbished a few years ago to its former glory.  The floors are the original hardwood from Bellingham Millworks (we saw the original imprint) and the original plaster walls have been repaired.  It's one of those rooms that if you're quiet, you can feel the history.

There are classes & meetings held in the room mostly.  Right now, there is a dance class being held once a week that was featured on one of the Seattle newscasts.  It's a lovely story and the two featured people are very nice humans.

So here's a little happiness for your Monday.    Enjoy



27 February 2011

Ahhhhh, television. I Love You

Even with six inches of snow on the ground, I am happy to report that Directv came out and fixed our satellite. 

Unfortunately, the repair man insisted on moving our dish.  Kevin wasn't happy.  It requires it to be on the shed over at the parents house and have a cable across the driveway that needs to be buried if/when this snow ever melts. 

It took him about four or five hours to finish.  I am not sure if it was his lack of skills or if there was an actual problem with the system or if he was stretching the job out.  When I make the follow-up call to Directv tomorrow, I will mention it.

The kids came to sled while he was here so I bailed on him completely.  I couldn't not go play because he was taking so long.

Regardless, we have television again.  We can watch the news again.  Seattle stations don't broadcast their newscast online, you can only read the news online.   The traffic and weather are all encompassing instead of the specifics you get during the broadcast.  Just that little simplicity makes a big difference.

For once in my life, I was sick of reading and sick of the internet so the repair came just in time for my sanity.

All in all, it was six days instead of eleven.  That still seems like a ridiculous long wait but it's over now. I can pretend that it never happened and hope that it never does again.

Snow Week

It's Sunday night and I am probably, maybe going to work tomorrow. It's 37 degrees and falling.  There is still a chance of snow over the next 24 hours.  We've had the driveway plowed three times and dug out the vehicles twice.

Kevin hasn't been to work since Tuesday.  Normally I would be losing my mind but our IRS refund is in the bank so there is a little cushion there.  I haven't been to work either but I have vacation days banked.

The trouble with living out in this area is our weather is different  than everyone else.  We are at 750 ft. elevation and anytime the snow level drops to 1,000 feet we are at risk of snow.  We are tucked against a mountain so we get little sunshine during the winter so once we get snow, we have it forever.  It is usually five degrees colder than either of the cities to the north or south of us.

So, where everyone else says "There's no snow.  Our roads are clear" it never applies to us.  If we can get out of our driveway, we have to get out to the freeway.  One way has a steep hill that has already kicked my ass one winter and the other way has a 90 degree, uphill turn that is horribly slick.

Now let's talk about the freeway commute.  Mine includes an actual mountain pass that can get ugly, quickly.  I will often take the back road just so I don't have to worry about anyone else.  Kevin has two steep grades to drive and then the highway that he takes to work is in the top 10 most dangerous in the state.  (I know, right?)  That's why when the weather turns to complete crap and even though we have four-wheel drive, we tend to stay home.  Because the idea is Just because we can drive in it doesn't mean we should. 

Here I sit with nearly a foot of snow that is now sort of trying to melt but will freeze again by the morning.  The news said chance of snow showers still.  They said that yesterday and it snowed all day and through the night.

It's a tough decision sometimes.  I feel like I should go to work but the drive just isn't worth it.  To boot, the big truck is not fuel efficient.  It is not an exaggeration to say it's a days wage to fill the tank.  It isn't a fun decision to make.  I am lucky that work is flexible but a weeks absence is a little silly.

So, when we wake up we will make our decisions.  If Kevin doesn't work then he'll probably take me to work, which is nice.  If he does, then I'll have to decide after he leaves.  If only I could listen to a local road report that doesn't describe the road as sparkly.

Shocking Behavior

I've always been a static bearing human.  I think it's the long hair.  I could always win the drag-your-socks-on-the-carpet-and-shock-the snot-out-of-your-brother-game.

I've shocked Kevin, unintentionally, many many times.  Now if he leans into kiss me, he mush-faces me first to ground himself so he isn't shocked.  It makes me laugh every time.

The other day we were fixing the collar on his coat.  We were trying to pin it down while he was wearing it.  It didn't work so he shrugged it off while I held the collar in place.  As we exchanged places, I accidentally shocked him which sent me into giggles.

A few minutes later we are still struggling with the coat collar and I unintentionally shocked him again.  I swear we could see the current pass between us.  Kevin jumped back in surprise then shook his hand.  "F&%k Me!" he exclaims which sent me into hilarity.  We had to stop because I couldn't get my sh*t together.

We went to leave for dinner, Kevin walking out of the room before me and muttering.  He flicked the light switch and sure enough: it shocked him.

I had to sit down.  I had tears streaming down my cheeks.  

We went next door for dinner and I couldn't tell the story yet because I was still wiping away tears.  In fact, I'm still giggling.

24 February 2011

Best Day Ever

video

The  kids came up today to play in the snow.  Nothing makes you feel like a kid again than five kids playing in the snow.  I am exhausted...so is Kevin...so is the dog.

It took a few tries to find the best place to sled.  The kids chose the fastest one, of course, which included stopping at trees.  The Nephew stood and played goalie to keep them from crashing.  To add to the mix, Lucky decided he wanted to play as well. 

I am not sure who is more pleased and happy, the adults or the kids.  I haven't had such a fun day in a long time.  These kids have brought nothing but joy to our lives.

23 February 2011

*Snow Day*

It's the middle of February and I'm finally getting my snow day.  We woke up to a few inches, on top of the inch-ish we already had of snow & ice.  Looking out the window now, it appears that we have about six inches and it's still falling.

Unfortunately Kevin is out in it right now because my brother-in-law slid into a ditch.  We are not talking about WTF he was doing out there in the first place as there is certainly nothing we can say that he hasn't already said to himself.

My prediction of having a television-less snow day did come true.  I have Leap Year saved on the DVR and I just put it on scroll while I did chores and finished book #4. 

Now I am anxious about Directv being able to get here tomorrow morning.  I feel safe in saying that I doubt it.  Roads are bad and getting up our road is not going to be easy.  I will say that I will have to be creative in my reward if the repair man does indeed show up.

All in all I enjoy snow days.  I like how it makes a person slow down.  I am not sure I am prepared for three consecutive snow days but it is beyond my control at this point.  I am beginning another 3 book series so at least I don't have to worry about reading material.  I may however need medication for Kevin who is also going to be stuck at home with me.

Missy, on the other hand, is very happy.  She loves the snow and loves coming inside to her warm bed. I think she's forgiven us for that whole bath thing.

I will take pictures tomorrow. 

I hope this finds everyone home, warm, and cozy.

22 February 2011

News & Notes

To add insult to injury with the whole no television thing, the PNW is expecting a snowapalooza tonight, tomorrow, and Thursday.  We have to rely on the radio for road conditions.  It is less than helpful, local radio, as today's traffic report was...and I swear to God this is true:  "The roads are sparkly"  Sparkly? Really?

I am pleased with Directv owning their sh*t and that we'll have television on Thursday.  Kevin's mom called me a pit bull.  (:-D

One of the funniest conversations ever was night before last.  I put Peggy Sue Got Married in the vhs player in our room because I knew I'd fall asleep to it easily.  Kevin walks in and says "I don't like her."
"Her? Who?"
"Her.  Kathleen Man.  Like a Man. Kathleen Zeta Jones. Chandler Bing's Dad/Mom."

Did you guess it? Kathleen Turner. 

Does anyone read Jamie over at Daydream Believer?  It seems as if she's dropped off the planet, no longer blogging, no longer tweeting, email not working.  I don't know whether to be insulted or worried.  So Jamie, if you're reading send up a signal so we know you're okay.

Two hair things...I am beginning to be concerned that my hair will never be light blond again. I set the coloring on BIMBO this weekend and it finally appears blonde.  Then I saw myself in the video we have with the reddish hair and I liked it again.  Sigh.
And Pantene is pissing me off.  I wish they'd stop changing their product. 

We took Missy for a bath because Lucky sneaked across the creek to play with the llamas then came back smelling like the depths of hell.  Thusly Missy smelled and got a bath.  This is the very definition of miserable:
You can read her thoughts. She's plotting our deaths. 

Okay everyone.  My loving husband wanted corndogs for dinner so I must away and make magic in the kitchen.

Have a great week!!!

Resolved!!!

This is where being a raving bitch can come in handy. (:-D

I had a voicemail today from a very nice person from Directv.  I phoned back and spoke to a lovely human being whom I am very sad to say that I've forgotten his name in my excitement. I told him I loved him so forgetting his name is probably forgiven.

Our service will be repaired on Thursday morning between 8-12.  We went from being out of service for 11 days to only six days.  Six days is still harsh but I will take it!!!

Being a persistent pain-in-the-ass has it's benefits.

So persistence is the moral of this story.  More importantly, Directv stepped up and made it better.

21 February 2011

Day Three of Now Eight

So in an act of partial desperation and partial what Kevin calls "Getting My Bitch On", I phoned Directv with simultaneously emailing the company yesterday. 

With a small victory dance I will announce that the repair call has been bumped three days closer.  To the customer service rep's credit she was Horrified at the eleven day wait.  Horrified.  She did encourage me to keep calling in so that's what I will do.   A call every 24 hours is what I call restraint.

Kevin did discover by accident that he can get the DVR to work so we can play what we've already recorded.  This is some solace.  We still can't watch the news...there's another chance of snow Tues-Friday...but we can watch hours of Holmes on Homes.  It is a small victory and I will take it.

Oh, and I have used my Twitter and Facebook to complain about this whole debacle because that's what social media is for, doggone it.  Yes, yes I did mention that to the Directv customer service rep and in my email.  Might mention it again, as a matter of fact.

To answer your unasked question of "Do you think perhaps a television intervention was actually necessary and this is the universe telling you something?"  Well, yes. Kinda.  In the summer we don't watch a lot of  television because we aren't home. But the winter months, oh these winter months, I admit I do watch it a lot.  I am feeling a little like Charlie Sheen right now.

And you know insomnia loves?  Television.  It was rightly pissed last night when it didn't have it.

Meanwhile, the house is spotless.  I've read 2.5 books and starting another.  Luckily for me it's a four book series.  I did a Consolation Shop at Michaels and spent only $6.  Kevin and I had two dates nights because having no television apparently equals me not having to cook.  That so works for me!

So stay tuned, get it? I made a television joke, ha ha.  We will continue this story and hope beyond hope that Directv redeems itself after the long weekend.

20 February 2011

Mr Pickles Thwarts Directv

Nothing is gonna keep Mr Pickles from watching his stories.


(If you look closely, Mr Pickles has beefed up a bit.  He's spent the last few months at the spa and has been rejuvenated.  It's almost as if he's a brand new Mr Pickles!)

19 February 2011

Eleven Days

Our only option for television here is satellite.  We had satellite way before it was cool, before it was DISH Network and Directv.

We had DISH Network for a long time but we began having frequent equipment failures with less good customer service each time so I switched.  I loved the switch.  We didn't have one moment of a problem for two years.

Until.

Until this morning when we woke up.  We couldn't get the satellite to work.  Kevin had already done all the diagnostics before I even got up.  I tried again then called technical support. 

We have the entertainment center that has to be disassembled every time we have a problem.  Not a good time.  I had to go get Kevin to take it apart then help find the problem.  Kevin, who has never met a stranger, is chatting with the tech guy like they're old friends.

Now it's time to wait to see if they fixed it so Kevin went back outside while I waited with the phone. 

No change.  Officially broken.

Okay, deep breath, what do we do now?  A service call? Okay, when?

ELEVEN DAYS.

Eleven.

Days.

Eleven.

No television for, sing it with me, ELEVEN EFFING DAYS.

I hung up, grouchy, and tried to find a local service tech.  They no longer exist.  I went on Google and tried to find a work-around.  No luck.

I called back and snarked.  No luck.  I even phoned a third time to see if I upgraded our service if a tech guy could show up any sooner.  Nope.

In frustration, I repeated what Kevin said "If I told our customers that we couldn't help them for eleven days, we would be out of business & my boss would fire me."  No reaction. 

I asked her if she would just acknowledge the Ridiculousness of not having a service call for eleven days.  She says "I don't have a television at home."

And we're done.  I just said "Of course you don't." and we hung up.  For eff sake.

So, I read my book & pouted today.  We went to dinner & Lowes tonight then came home & watched a DVD.  I think we're going to watch every DVD in the neighborhood over the next eleven days.

Eleven days without news.  Kevin will miss the finale of Spartacus.  Everything on the DVR is probably gone. GAH!!!!!

My next plan is to call twice every day until something happens.  I am going to call on Tuesday morning & ask for a service manager to complain.  I don't think I am going to find anyone that can make something happen on a three day weekend.

Oh, that's right.  It's a three day weekend. With no television.  And what do we bet that I get a snow day this week?

So, poppets.  Day One of Eleven Days of No Directv Service.  I will keep everyone updated as we go along.  You can follow my descent into madness over the next eleven days.

16 February 2011

When I Was 17

There is a show on MTV called "When I was 17".  The title caught my eye so I read what it is about.  They interview celebrities about what/where/when they were when they were 17.

Seventeen. That is a difficult age.  You're not an adult, you're not a kid.  You're supposed to be preparing for being an adult, you can see it but you can't touch it, act it or do it.  I didn't enjoy seventeen.

 Seventeen is when I found out I couldn't go to college.  Seventeen is when I realized that in a year I was going to be on my own.  Seventeen is when I began to panic. 

I was already working nearly full-time.  I had my own truck and was paying my own bills.  I bought my own clothes.  I was mostly self-sufficient.  I was a grown-up in a teenager body.

While I watched my friends have relationships, go to dances, and enjoy teendom, I was already way past it. Not because I wanted to be or thought I was above it but because I didn't have a choice.

I dated a bit but not really.  I had no idea how to be in a relationship because I had no example in my life. I was being an adult so I had no idea how to relate to boys my age.

Add to this that because I was able to drive and thusly go hang out at my friends, I began to experience what family could actually be.  It was disconcerting.  I felt like Alice down the rabbit hole.  I don't know how much my friends parents knew about me at the time.  I feel like writing them now and thanking them for being surrogates. 

So the point being is that I felt being seventeen was a special kind of limbo. I see 17 as a turning point in my life.  Sitting here now, some 20 *cough* years later, I can think "Well, it turned out pretty good didn't it?"
but the 17 year old in me is muttering "But it didn't have to be so f&*king hard."

15 February 2011

Research Nerd

There are few things I enjoy more than looking something up.  The internet is pure heaven for me when it comes to that.  Want to know why we say "Bless you"?  I've looked it up.  (some cultures believed sneezing was the body exorcising demons and saying "Bless you" kept the demons from returning to the body)

So you get it, I am a research nerd.

I've lost hours, days even, looking up my family on the ancestory site.  It is addicting. It's a mystery, a treasure hunt, and a history lesson.

My family did not do family gatherings at all, or rarely for the sake of being fair.  I  do not have family stories to tell to the younger members of the family.  I have many, many cousins and extended family, most of whom I could not identify in a police-line up.  Most of whom I've never met.

As I read back through what little history I do have in my possession, I feel left out.  I feel cheated.  Snippets is all I have to grasp to.

When the family closed my great aunt's house in the early 00's, I found a treasure trove of pictures and one journal.  One.  It was as if it was left for me to find.  It was a datebook mostly, that my great grandmother noted the daily comings & goings of the day.  The year? 1969.  I was born in December of '68.  Documented is the first year of my life, albeit briefly, and including a visit I had with her.  "Betty held her the whole time" it says, which if you know my family is probably a little sarcastic.  Betty is my great-aunt.

(it's the Wednesday entry on the lower left.  She spelled my name wrong, story of my life)

I've heard that she was stern, not open, and not necessarily fun to be around.  I always felt like there was more to the story.  I've always gotten the vibe that she wasn't necessarily like that at all. 

I am going to research her some more, beyond the ancestory site.  She was a major player in Daughters of the Revolution (before the negative connotation it has now, I assume)  so I am sure there must be record of her.

I've watched every episode of "Who Do You Think You Are" and am fascinated. I watch amazed as they find out details about their family's past that is right there for the taking if you do the research.  Most of  the participants have said that it changed them, made them feel connected and have an appreciation for those who came before them.

I have to admit that I agree.  I discovered person-by-person in one branch that they came over from England, started over in the New Country, and made their way over to the West Coast, well before it was established. I worry about paying bills?  whine about going grocery shopping? I need to sit down and shut right the hell up.

What's my point, you're wondering?  Take the time and go poke around your past.  I don't believe you'll be disappointed.



14 February 2011

Happy Valentines Day

How did it happen that their lips came together?  How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill?  A kiss, and all was said.  
~Victor Hugo

13 February 2011

Happy Valentines Day - A repost

For some reason, the entire universe seems to be haters of Valentines Day. My friend Stacie the Barista had a mini-rant about it yesterday morning. "I want him to give me flowers because he wants to, not because he has to."

While I understand her sentiment, I don't agree.

I guess I still view the holiday through preschool eyes. In preschool, everyone gets Valentines. In preschool, everyone shares treats. In preschool, it's a party to say "Hey, I like you. You're cool. Be my friend"

I am trying to avoid the bitter "It's a Made Up Holiday by the Jewelry & Candy Industries" much like I ignore the commercialism of Christmas argument. I'm trying to focus on the positive: it's a day to remind us to tell the people we love that we care about them. It's not just about contrived romance.

Valentines Day is an opportunity to tell our loved ones that we love them, to give silly or sappy cards, and to eat candy. It's a reason to watch chick flicks. It's a reason to go out for a nice dinner or bring home takeout. It's a reason to wear red or pink or dress up. What is wrong with any of those things? You don't even have to be in a relationship to do them.

How are you celebrating Valentines Day?

12 February 2011

Pardon the Interruption

I have begun building family trees on ancestory.com and it has taken my attentionx2  away.

My in-laws are both from Canada so I'm having issues with getting very far so there's that.

My mother's family tree is OMG confusing. Her mother was married three times, she outlived all of her husbands and lived to be one day short of 103 years old.

My father's family has already been established so I'm making easy progress there.

I've found out a few things:
We have a Greatx2 Aunt named Sunbeam.  Sunbeam Olive. 
My great-grandmother...whom I will write more about her definitely was part of Daughters of the American Revolution and traveled to Washington DC. 
Kevin is most definitely Canadian & Australian.  Perhaps that's why we're so comfortable up there.

Okay, my eyes are burning but I didn't want everyone to think that I'd been abducted by aliens.

10 February 2011

The weather has been clear the past few days.  With the calendar heading toward March, the sun is still up until after I get home.

What does this mean?  Walking.

I can begin parking a block away again as I am not walking down a dark alley after work.  I can begin walking down to the mailbox again after work. I am so looking forward to it. 

The magazine articles are right in the fact that just being outside for a bit is helpful.  We are at the part of Pacific Northwest winter that we all start to feel stabby  Just a few minutes spent outside really does help. Even if it is just stomping in a puddle as I walk along.

08 February 2011

Freedom

We were watching a television show that featured a lottery winner.  A big winner: $100 million, not a weasly little $1 million or $10 million but a couldn't-possibly-spend-it amount.

Everyone was speculating what they would do or buy with the money.  Most of them were big ticket items: a boat, a car, a mansion.

I would make sure that my family was taken care of, for sure.  Like Kevin said a person couldn't enjoy their windfall if  they knew their loved ones were struggling.  So that would be a given: pay their mortgage, their bills, and make sure they have good cars.  Also, make it clear that it's a one time deal to keep the worst of people away.

Kevin said that he would like to race for a career, which would also fulfill my dreams of travel & roadtrips.

I don't know what I would wish for.  A condo in Las Vegas, I suppose.  A house near BFF K. I am just not a caviar dreams kind of girl.

Then the character talked about the freedom that wealth would give you. Money would allow you to pursue your dream or hobby.  Like Kevin said he would do: he would race for a living.  I would write and travel and chill.

The money isn't attractive to me per se, or the things that money would buy.  It's the time and freedom that is enticing to me.  That's what  I want.

So dear poppets, what  would you do with lottery winnings?

07 February 2011

News & Notes

Did everyone watch the Superbowl Commercials?  We actually recorded the game in order to watch them.  What a disappointment, really.  I liked the Little Darth Vader one but seeing it ahead of time too some of the fun out of it.

My favorite one, by far, was the Eminem & Chrysler one.  Combines two of my favorite things and it just felt like art. 




I just found out that I don't work on President's Day AND I get another weeks vacation as I've stayed on the Crazy Train for four years.  That makes last week SuckFest better.

Howard Stern is on Twitter. That is all.

Does anyone know how to build a database in ACCESS? My only task this month is to learn it and create a database.  I really need help and someone to talk me off the ledge.

Barney Stinson...one of the best character, ever.  He is legen-wait for it-dary.

Kevin is selling his Mustang to get a truck like mine.  I am so going to have truck envy.  I am glad though because I really dislike that car.  Really.  It's my least favorite car that he's owned.  Well, other than the El Camino that made me carsick.  Or the Nova that was a rattly, leaking, Grandma car.

CK had a fun post about playing games.  I think playing games is lost art.  We used to get together all the time to play Pictionary and Scattergories.  My brother-in-law has two games that I love, love, love: SharptShooters and Sequence.  Highly recommended.

It's Monday so that's about all for now, poppets. Make it a great week!

05 February 2011

Banishment Therapy

Oh but this was such a crap week.  I rarely have weeks like this, let alone days.  An entire week that was complete rubbish.

It was one of those takes everything twice to work, people acting out of character, $8.35 in the bank, I have a cold, what-else-could-possibly-eff-up kind of weeks.

So this is what I did.  I opted out of the Friday night dinner and had chicken soup instead. I watched everything on the DVR.  I read nearly all of my magazines.  I did only the minimum of chores.  I had dinner next door this evening.

Now I am eating a brownie that I didn't bake (thank you sis-in-law) and watching my life as a sitcom: Everyone Loves Raymond.  I am under my twenty-year-old, fleece Mickey Mouse blanket in my jammies, on the couch.

I will try again tomorrow.  I have to get groceries but that's my only requirement.  The Super Bowl Commercials are on so more time will be spent with the couch. I will finish my stack of magazines.

Then on Monday morning, I will get up and start all over.  I will assume that it will be better and so it will be.

04 February 2011

You Kids Get Off My Lawn

I had to go to the post office today for work.  Once again, I am confronted with young people.   I am officially old.

Last week there was a college - age girl that sounded like Kristin Wiig from Saturday Night Live in the As&holes sketch.  She was thankfully not chewing gum because homicide would have occurred.  She decided that she needed to do yoga stretches.  In line.  Next to me.   I tweeted with the hashtag #yourheadistooclosetomybum.

Today's example is two college age girls, both of which were so self-absorbed all I could hear was "ShutupShutupShutupShutupFTLOGShutup" in my head. Every single sentence began with I or included Me. As I left, she actually did a twirl and hair flip.  There may have been jazz hands.

So here's my rant: The college-age generation is the first generation that has most likely had every single moment of their lives photographed and videotaped.  With this, they always seem to be "on."  They're often over-animated and behave as if they are there to solely entertain us.
It can be exhausting.  A person can't even point it out because they are unaware.  Their entire lives they have been a one-man Broadway show.

It just occurred to me that decorum is the word I've been looking for. The definition being:  propriety and good taste in conduct or appearance.  There is no decorum anymore.  Busting out in song & dance (or yoga stretches if you will)  in the post office or going to the grocery store wearing actual pajamas, yet perfect hair & makeup.  Kevin's pet peeve is hats on indoors or worse yet, wearing the hood up on their hoodies.

I don't expect perfect clothing, hair, & makeup.  I do expect people to get dressed when they are in public.  I do expect not to have to endure a Real World episode while I am waiting to buy stamps.  I do expect to be able to conduct my daily life without out dodging a bunch of slouches with their heads over their cellphones.

Meanwhile, you kids get off my lawn!!