Thursday, August 28, 2008

-- YES! I am #774,099!!

Intrigued by Hautepocket's Technorati post, I popped over to see what the buzz was about, learning that my blog is ranked at #774,099. YES! Way to go, self! Nothing like having 774,098 people in front of you with way cooler and more interesting blogs. Maybe I need some porn.

-- another Garfield cartoon

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

-- it's called "hunger"

Me, every day:
Speaking of Garfield, have you seen the parody of strips without Garfield, which make Jon look like an absolute nut?

"Garfield Minus Garfield is a site dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

-- nothing exciting. Haircut, and Pinky the cat.

Getting ready to cut Dan's hair. He wouldn't let me take a picture of it half-done. (I wanted to create an imaginary line down his face with one half nice and trim and the other overgrown but imagine that, he declined to model for y'all!) So here he is with kitty instead, just before she turned into Pinky:Pinky the cat.

Monday, August 25, 2008

-- facebeg!

If you're on Facebook, you'll love this.

-- hypothetically speaking, that is

I'm standing here in the bedroom trying on hand-me-downs from my sis when Dan yells up the stairs.
him: "Hey! What would happen if I gave the dog a bath?"

me: "You mean right now?"

him: "Yeah."

me: "um, it would mean he would be clean?"

I know what Dan's getting at though. Bathing our 65lb spaz (and I mean that in the most affectionate way possible) is an enormous undertaking normally suitable for two+ persons, especially as the bathroom requires a complete 1-hour scrubdown afterwards. His "what do you think would happen" question was code for "if I bathe him, will you clean up?"

This is what sharing domestic chores does; you learn to read between the lines....

-- FREE camera lens giveaway (Nikon 85mm f 1.8 )

Kyle Cassidy is giving away a camera lens to the right person. Pop by and see about "applying" for it. Spread the word, yo. Starving art students everywhere should all be informed.

-- carrot cake recipe

From isweatbutter. You have to see how he decorated it!

How awesome would it be to have someone make a cake just because they feel like it. Homemade cakes are usually sacred, withheld from sampling until some event torturously long in the future. I think I'm going to have to try his recipe.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

-- summary of week

Tuesday night I only got 3 hours of sleep. Wednesday I was coming home late when Dan called me from the side of the road, desperately trying to save a possum that someone else hit, so we were up late with that too. Have been exhausted; that's why I've been offline.

Poor possum. Dan wrote more about it here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

-- foodshopping, cleaning frenzy, and Kyle & Trillian

Kyle & Trillian stopped by tonight on their way to DC for an interview tomorrow with National Geographic Explorer about Kyle's bookArmed America.

I ran out to buy food since I realized I need to have more than a 17-month old box of raisins on hand. (Kimmers, I need your cupcakes right about now!)

I wish I'd taken a before picture of the spare room to document its transformation from the junk room to guest facility. The room's about as big as the bed (which is a pullout trundle morphed here into a king) -- no room on either side but maybe a foot at the end of the bed. If you sleep over, this is where you'll stay. But I promise, the sheets are soft, clean and comfie!Update: It's now 2:22am and Kyle, Trillian and Dan are shooting photos for one of Kyle's current projects. Way cool. When he mentions it on his blog, I'll link to it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

-- People with that brain-eating virus should really just take a sick day (from the Onion)

I am laughing so hard I am crying:
"And those annoying exploding pustules that shoot green mucus across the room-yuck! Jerry was in the kitchen with me when those sores decided to go off, and one landed right in my salad! I had to throw it out! I'm still a little peeved at him, even after he drowned himself in a mop bucket to stop the pain."

People With That Brain-Eating Virus Should Really Just Take A Sick Day (from The Onion)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

-- the bed of pain is gone!

So, if you've been following along (or happen to sit next to me at work), you've heard me b*$tching about the downstairs remodeling work going on now for over a year. It started with the kitchen and morphed into a "as long as we're doing that, why don't we just rip the house down and start over?" kind of project.

Then, in a sadistic move to further dismantle the last known places of comfort and order in the house, I sold my cheap, ugly desk and our bed of pain before their replacements were here. I paid bills on the floor for 4 months. Today I finally assembled a replacement cabinet and tomorrow the new mattress arrives.
Dan hauling the mattress of pain downstairs in a final act of labor. The new bed does not have to be flipped, rotated, skewed or plumped like those in mattress past.

Sita helps me assemble the new (cheap and ugly, but smaller and more space efficient) cabinet.

The final product! I realize this is not quite magazine material but somehow it feels like an accomplishment anyway.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

-- long day

Just got back from a whirlwind 7 hour roundtrip visit to PA & NJ to see Dan's family. Awesome awesome day, and now I am going to go collapse.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

-- best bike shop in College Park

I bought a bike recently from the best bike shop in town: Proteus Bicycles, in College Park (Maryland). Here is the owner, Jill, perfecting my bike's fit. So much of bike comfort is mechanics: how the handlebars are tilted, seat height and length, pedal position, etc.

This bike store has a cult following, people flock here from miles away. They only carry top-quality bikes and their staff are extremely knowledgeable and warm and friendly. How often do you see that nowadays? I highly recommend this place.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

-- First you'll tremble, then you'll shake.

Um, isn't that what happens just before you have a heart attack?? This is a good thing how?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

-- towing FAIL

Cracked me up when I saw this -- a tow truck pulling a broken truck that advertised towing on the Beltway near DC. I was driving when I took this with my crappy cell camera so the angle isn't that great but I still had to share!

Friday, August 8, 2008

-- article: House Deemed Unfit for Dog

Dan had an old coworker who came to work one day disgusted and angry at some visiting in-laws. They basically moved in, took up residence on the couch (where they lay day and night in dirty boxers, he said) and proceeded to eat everything edible in the house, even the dog food. (And I am not kidding... although in their defense, it *was* chopmeat, though raw, low-grade and expired.)

So today I came across this (sent by a friend). We imagined those in-laws lived like this... a place so disgusting it was declared unfit for a dog:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

-- back from jury duty

Waited... and waited... and waited... for nothing. All four cases dissolved, melted into thin air, and 300+ jurors were dismissed after hours and hours of sitting in a stagnant room on lumpy couches full of stains that must only speak of days of bored cheetoh-eating coffee-drinking jurors wiping their hands on the fabric, and nights of court janitorial staff wildly pimping out the only comfortable spot in the building. I came home and wanted to take a shower I felt so dirty. I was mildly grateful that the stains were not wet (and thus fresh) so my clothes didn't (at least visibly) pick up any protein secretions.

I was touched though, in some weird, unexpected way, of being part of the justice process. I mean, at least the idea of it. The video they showed, "YOU THE JURY" worked; I felt honored to participate. I didn't expect that.

There was 1 civil case and 3 criminal cases. I wonder what they all were. And how can criminal cases just be dismissed? Odd.

The kitten got spayed today, I picked her up on the way home. They brought her out and said, "um, she's not that happy right now. "

I peered into the cage and cooed, "Sita!" and she answered, "PfffFFTTT!!!!" Poor thing. She sounds like me sometimes.

I drove home with the sounds of hell emanating from the back seat feeling alternately impressed by her new repertoire and protective yet helpless. She must really be miserable. Bullsht she's not in pain (like the vet said). The pain med injection might have helped but surgery is surgery.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

-- jury duty tomorrow

I have jury duty tomorrow. I just called to see if I am actually needed -- sometimes the summons gets canceled.

I got all excited when I heard the voice recording:

Disembodied voice: "Group number ONE, please report at 7:30am...."

me (thinking): "YES! I'm group 300. Maybe I won't have to come until the afternoon! If at all! They'll surely have enough people between groups 1 and 300 to keep 'em busy for a while."

Disembodied voice: "NEXT group. Groups 300-375, please report at..."

me: "What happened to groups 2-199?? Oh frak. Well please say 12 noon, please say 12 noon..."

Disembodied voice (cheerfully): "7:30am!"

me: groan.

Disembodied voice: "There is a fridge and a microwave if you bring food."

me (thinking): "Great. That means there's no place to buy it."

Last time I bought lunch from a vending machine I became violently ill an hour later and will never again trust unattended ham.

Let's see if this is as interesting as Dan's latest jury service, where some guy ran from the cops to save his drug stash but not before losing a big bag of cash in a hot getaway pursuit. The cops had been searching the car and placed the bag on top of the vehicle when the guy suddenly burst away from them, hopped in and took off. The cash flew into the air, clouds of money swirling around as people wrecked their cars stopping to grab some.

When I heard this, my immediate thought was, why am I never on the road when bags of money fly into the air and disburse? What the hell is wrong with me? Must have bad wealth karma or something. ugh!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

-- exiting mattress hell

I've taken the first step to exit mattress hell. It started with a recent conversation I had with a coworker:
him: I need a new bed.

me: yeah, me too.

him: But I haven't had time to deal with it.

me: yeah, same here. It sucks because every morning I wake up sore and beaten but don't ever feel that way when traveling so I know it's the bed.

him: What? You wake up sore? If that were happening to me, I'd have a new bed within a week.

me (thinking hmmm, why am I not doing anything about this?): [blinking]

So we took step number one and posted the old mattress for sale on Craigslist. Hmm, how to word it. "Bed of pain for sale. Might work great for you though, I dunno. Come see."

The language on Craigslist for conveying less than stellar quality is dollars. Price it cheap enough and someone will bite.

Within 5 minutes of my ad posting, someone emailed me. I got all excited until I realize it was a scam:
"i will love to make an instant purchase, pls withdraw the advert from Craigslist,i don't mind adding an extra $50 for you to take it down so that i can be rest assured that am in hand of the item. I will also like you to know that i will be paying via check,and it will be over night payment due to the distance .You don't need to bother your self with the shipment ,i will take care of that."

Craigslist warns about scammers. Why would someone buy a used mattress, sight unseen, and pay to have it shipped? I don't trust anyone. I wrote back, "sorry, I'm not shipping it. It's selling to the first person who can pick it up, cash only."

The first few years Dan and I got together, we lived in mattress hell, only much much worse than today. My sister had given us a lumpy and disheviled mattress made of air tubes, only one tube was missing. No problem -- I can improvise! I was so happy just to HAVE a bed. I stuffed the hollow space with towels and rags (go me!) and we slept like that on the floor of our tiny dark bedroom. The bed was so lumpy it always looked like bodies were laying in it and I had to "pat" it down with a baseball bat everytime I entered the apartment just to make sure it was safe.

When we moved out of state, my dad offered us his old bed. "It's been sitting in the warehouse for a while, but you can have it!" I jumped at the chance. I should have realized when the moving men carried it off the truck that a king-sized mattress should not have been folded in half (for years) and that this would not bode well for comfort.

My mom came to visit shortly after we moved in and I gave her our room. She fled the bed halfway through the night, back spasming, and slept on the couch with my stepdad who'd also thrown out his back. That should have been another warning sign.

Even then, I didn't realize how bad that bed was until we abandoned it unwillingly to sleep in the guest room. I had woken up one night to find Dan standing over me, a worried look on his face, trying to tell me something but unable to speak. I freaked out and lept up. "What's the matter?"

"Um, I didn't know how to tell you this but there was a roach on your pillow. It's gone now."

There was no way either one of us were going back to bed. That's the night we discovered the spare futon. We slept in the guest room, noting, "wow, this is SOOO much more comfortable!"

Sleeping on a futon for months has its downsides too. It was comfortable until our body weight packed down the cotton interior to a cigar-width's thickness and it began to slip between the slatted frame. Soon it too became unbearable and we began sleeping on air mattresses instead.

We'd gallantly played musical mattresses long enough. It was time to admit the experiment wasn't working and we needed to buy a new bed.

You can probably tell that this decision didn't come lightly. We visited 15 mattress stores and spent hours testing mattresses and researching coil count and wire gauge.

You know how mattress stores always have "NO ONE WILL BEAT OUR PRICE!!" claims? Well it's because NO ONE will have the "same" bed. The manufacturers spit out identical mattresses but slap on different labels before forwarding to stores. Thus, the Sealy PerfectSleeper 7510 might be identical to the Simmons BeautyRest 908, but you'll never know. Stores can have attractive specials like "If you find this mattress cheaper anywhere else, we will give it to you FREE!" because they know that's not going to happen. No one else will ever carry the same mattress.

After all that research and much gnashing of teeth, we bought the bed of pain we now have. To be fair, it IS 9 years old and served us well.

So tonight we scrapped the movie idea and went mattress shopping instead. The biggest surprise is that we found one. We, who normally agonize over every single purchase, researching every option for weeks or months (as long as it takes) found, chose, tested, and settled on a mattress! Bargained a bit and the deal was done. Our new bed comes in two weeks! I am ecstatic. The idea of waking up refreshed is extremely compelling. I'll keep you posted.

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