Saturday, January 21, 2006

Randomness Abounds

I realized this evening as a Bad Mood welled up within me that I was frustrated. We have this crappy kitchen faucet. It's too low over the sink, the hot water pressure is crummy so that it takes forever to warm up and then when it does the pressure is even crummier (and we are told that it's the faucet that makes it crummy, since everywhere else in the house it is just fine, fire hoses get envious at our pressure really), and you have to press down on the faucet a certain way to get it to turn all the way off. That last thing is my fault, I was having a fit one day several months ago and slammed the faucet as I was turning it off, but still. I atoned for my sins by suffering in silence for months, grimacing inwardly each time I used the faucet (and I am its major user). I only just told The Old Ball and Chain this very evening about my part in the Great Faucet Disaster of 2005. So is this continued suffering really necessary? And now that we are eating at home more often (since we're both Fat Losers now and it's easier to figure it out at home, plus much cheaper) I am doing dishes all damn day.

So this evening I began to feel resentful and then figured out why, and felt much better after resolving that this faucet's days are numbered. I am going to go pick out a new faucet, maybe next weekend, and ask for the loan of my stepfather in installing it. It will give me a good excuse to clean out the cupboard under the sink as well. I mean, I hardly want to ask Mr. Fixit to come over and do me a huge favor and then have him stick his head in a cabinet that smells of garbage and has coffee grounds sprinkled all over the place inside it (from inaccurate aim in garbage-tossing). I wouldn't mind replacing the sink too but since there's nothing wrong with it other than some very minor staining and general I Just Don't Like It That Much-ness, it's hardly justifiable.

I have another home improvement scheme in the works.
Problem: We got our fence built but not the gates, thus have a blue wheelbarrow on its side blocking one gate opening and a collapsible dog pen blocking the other. Our dogs are so neurotic that this is all it takes to keep them contained. This would have been perfectly acceptable in our old neighborhood although the wheelbarrow would have been stolen on the second night, if not sooner, but it won't do here in Outer Suburbia where everyone takes their trash cans in the minute they get home from work on garbage day and the lawns are all mowed at all times. And edged. Anyway, all of our handier friends are either injured, ill, or too busy to help, I'm no carpenter, and The Old Ball and Chain has too many other things on her plate just now.
Solution: called Kenny the Sidingwallah and asked if I could hire him and Bob to build our two gates some weekend after Feb. 10th (the next payday with enough surplus funds). He agreed that they could do it and huzzah! Problem solved. And, I am keeping it a suprise. My plan is to set him loose with a check and a general description of what we want, plus maybe the gate hardware if I get around to picking some out, and just leave him to it, taking TOBaC away for the day to the beach or have her sister take her out on some lengthy errand or another. Then see if she notices when she gets home! He and Bob should be able to get it done in a day, really.

Adorableness abounds hereabouts. The young one is speaking more and more, all your major animals are identified regularly, requests/demands are made, etc. Cookie! Milk! Frog! Baby! Up! Down! NO NO NO! Etc. She is almost cuddly at times, though she tempers this with excessive fidgeting. Mustn't let the parents get complacent! I am already sad thinking that eventually she will be a big girl and won't fit in my lap or won't want to sit there anymore. No wonder people have more than one.

I'd get into Deeper Thoughts but it's conveniently late and I must go to bed. :)

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Life, It Sucketh Miserably.

Well, sometimes. Lately.

That whole rug-pulled-out-from-under-you thing doesn't sit well with me. And when enough really big hard to deal with things happen in a row, say in about four months' time, and it's winter, and you hate winter because you have SAD, then it's really hard to skate around the edge of the abyss and not look into it. A lot. And everything on TV is about murder, dead people, tragedy, drama, doom, despair. Because, you know, real life isn't hard enough. And there is a small person who should not watch a lot of TV, and murder TV in particular, so you have to be very careful what you tune into when you're trying to distract yourself from the things that suck so very much. And so we watch a lot of cheesy sitcoms (by we watch I mean that it's on and I listen as I mill around the house doing half-assed housework while the baby putters around wrestling the cat and stuffing puzzle pieces into the houseplants).

On the more positive side, I don't spend all my time thinking about the many things that suck, and there are a few things that are moderately shiny in life. Not the least of them is online bill pay, which is making me so much more connected to the mysterious and deeply suspect machinations of the checking account, that entity which rules my existence far too often. Bad habit: going into denial about how much is left. "I'm sure it's fine." Reality: about twice a year, usually more often, but I'm not admitting to that, we suddenly find (and by "we" I mean "not me") that we are overdrawn and it's several days until payday. Argh. So, the easy access of online bill pay means that I can log on anytime I like, pay any bill with a check issued by the bank at my very bidding, on the date that I specify, and -- gasp! -- check the balance! And -- and this is totally mind-blowing -- watch the transactions flit past, practically in real time if I so choose, thereby receiving the much-needed reality check of our Current, Up To The Minute Fiscal Status anytime I need it. Which is more or less daily. No more wondering, no more denial. Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't go into Full Avoidance Mode if I really get in a dither, but it's much harder to do that knowing that two minutes at a keyboard will tell me if we can really afford whatever dippy money-wasting errand I am thinking of engaging in. Generally a trip to some store or another for things we don't really need. Seriously, phantom expenses suck up a ton of money around here. Where does it all go? Um, the mall food court, Starbucks, eating out, Costco (legitimate expenses aside, i.e. diapers etc), Starbucks, the craft store, Starbucks, the other craft store, Starbucks, the fabric store, Starbucks... Oh, and my stock market advice this year is to buy stock in Starbucks.

I worked on Christmas Day and New Year's Day this year. And Thanksgiving Day. Five or six hours at a whack, at 24 bucks an hour. It doesn't suck. We could certainly use it. I mean, who can't use money? Name one person. Besides Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey, smartass.

What I just finished reading:
Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden. Bought it at the local library used book sale for like a dollar. Enjoyed it, as I enjoy most historical fiction.

What I am reading right now:
Teacher Man, by Frank McCourt. I've read his other two books (Angela's Ashes and 'Tis) a few times each.
An Elm Creek Quilts Sampler, by Jennifer Chiaverini. This was a Christmas gift to J from her mom. Three novels in a series. Not all that intellectually compelling, but a nice way to pass the time, esp. when a bit stressed and in need of distraction. Presumably a quilter might enjoy the way the stories center around a quilting guild and there is a certain amount of quilt lore and terminology therein.
Suprised By Joy, by C.S. Lewis. This one I pick up when I feel the need.
Any of the Get Fuzzy anthologies, by Darby Conley. Ditto.

What I'm reading next:
Mary, Called Magdalene, by Margaret George. Bought it at the local library book sale also.
Possibly A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens. I think I'll try to squeeze in a few classics this year. We own quite a number of them so I might as well.

What I'm listening to:
Monkey Business, Black Eyed Peas. I can't explain it. I won't even try.
Several albums by The Battlefield Band.

Well, it's off to bed. The small one gets up damn early. And I have chowder to put away.