Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm feeling crabby today, so I'm gonna take it out on whatever I can. One of the copiers is jamming frequently (as in it usually ruins 5 pages for every 1 it copies); I'm fortunate that the stupid things are loud enough to cover my cursing.

I haven't been sleeping well. It's probably the usual September Stupids, which means it'll last until May or June. I'm going to look into vitamin D supplements; I think that it's caused by 1) school starting and 2) shorter daylight hours. Combine both and you have my job. I'm hoping that the move to the Keys will take care of the vitamin D shortage and that the September Stupids will respond to that. Hey, I can blame the way I feel on the part of the world I live in! I don't have to take any responsibility for my actions while I'm living here! I don't have to pay any debt to society for my stupid, illegal, and immoral actions!

Wait--I do claim responsibility for the choices I make. And I do have to deal with the consequences of my actions.

Unlike, say, an artiste whose name rhymes with Poman Rolanski.

From cnn.com: "Investigators in the United States say Polanski drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s. Polanski pleaded guilty (emphasis is mine) in 1977 to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, but he fled the United States before he could be sentenced. He settled in France."

And: "Filmmakers have reacted with outrage at the arrest. "As a Swiss filmmaker, I feel deeply ashamed," Christian Frei said. "He's a brilliant guy, and he made a little mistake (the emphasis is mine) 32 years ago. What a shame for Switzerland," said photographer Otto Weisser, a friend of Polanski."

And: "The French culture and communications minister, Frederic Mitterrand, said he "learned with astonishment" of Polanski's arrest. He expressed solidarity with Polanski's family and said "he wants to remind everyone that Roman Polanski benefits from great general esteem" and has 'exceptional artistic creation and human qualities.'" Again, my emphasis.

WTF, people?!?!? So people hold him in "high esteem" and he has "exceptional artistic creation and human qualities", he's a "brilliant guy and he made a little mistake. Not buying that. A little mistake is buying nectarines when you meant to buy peaches. A little mistake is forgetting to pack your lunch and having to skip that meal. A little mistake is not when one drugs and rapes a 13-year-old child, pleads guilty, and flees the country before he can be arrested, and doesn't return for 31 years, until he's finally arrested in Switzerland and returned to the US in custody.

That one word--guilty--says it all. The man admitted that he'd done wrong, that he'd taken egregious action, then the mf'er ran away rather than face up to his wrongdoings and pay for them.

(An aside: Doesn't the word "guilty" look odd when you write it so many times?)

And politicians and "artistes" are defending him? It's okay that he did that horrible deed over 30 years ago after his pregnant wife was brutally killed by the Manson gang? It was a little mistake that should be excused because he's so damned good at his career? He's had to suffer the loss of that career because he made some really stupid bad choices? Well damn. Pardon me if I don't shed any tears for him.

That whole not taking responsibility for ones own actions thing drives me absolutely nuts. I deal with it on a smaller--and less illegal--scale daily. Kids who have a bad home life act up at school, don't do their work, and when they're punished for it, it's not their fault. They curse their boss at Mickey D's and get fired, but it's not their fault.

Now I'm seeing where this is coming from. After all, if some big rap star can get away with murder or beats up his girlfriend, why, it's not his fault. And the stupid girl defends him. It happens every day here. Sorry, kid. No, wait, I'm not sorry. I have to pay up for my misdeeds. I have to own my "mistakes". I work to support myself and, apparently, any deadbeat who doesn't want to work. I've worked three jobs at once to keep food on the table and a roof over my head.

Okay, enough of that. I'm getting sidetracked.

So. Because this artiste is so brilliant, such a good man, he shouldn't have to own his actions, should be allowed to return to this country because it happened a long time ago and was a little mistake.

Can somebody please explain to me why this should be allowed?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cat House photos

I finally figured out that Snapfish is a decent way to share photos and tell a story at the same time, so I've been working on that in odd moments today. I've only got a few captioned. If you want the real story, check it out. When I'm finished. I mean, you don't want to miss a good story.

*UPDATE* The captions are complete. Enjoy. I mean, you certainly wouldn't know that the sixteenth photo of the carpet in the living room actually IS the carpet in the living room if I didn't tell you.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


While I was talking to Mom (sharing the big news) I heard a terrible sound--the sound of a vehicle smashing into something. We live on a very bad, blind almost-180-degree curve and there have been lots of accidents.

I put the phone in my purse (with my camera), grabbed a bottle of water, and Zippy and I climbed the ridge to scout things out. It probably wasn't wise since I've had some kind of flu for a couple of days, but you don't hear a sound like that and not check it out.

I couldn't see anything from the top of the ridge, so we slid down to the driveway and walked to the road. Somewhere between the top of the ridge and the driveway the phone fell out of my purse. Oh well. I don't feel well enough to climb back up to look for it. It wasn't the cell phone; we don't have any service here anyway. I'd brought the phone in case I needed to call 911. While I was out climbing, Tom's daughter had called, so the house phone signal reached that far.

Sadly, a bunch of people from the DC area were out motorcycling the area and one had somehow lost control and flipped over the guardrail and way down the hill. He was caught against a cedar tree; his bike was not in sight. It must have continued way on down; the state trooper was climbing around taking photos. There were two rescue squads with paramedics working on the poor man; they'd gotten bags of ice around him (I couldn't see if it was his head or feet, but there was lots of blood) and were talking to him, finding out if he had any medical conditions, what prescriptions he took, had he lost consciousness. He said he hadn't; if it were me, I'd have been out and not planning to wake up any time soon. He was in great pain.

His friend stood next to me and told the story. They'd stopped in town less than a mile away and eaten pizza, then got back on their bikes to continue the trip. He said that as he came around the bend, he could see dust everywhere, then realized that his friend had wrecked. Poor guy could hardly talk. The injured cyclist's helmut was halfway down the hill; I don't know if it had come off or if the paramedics had tossed it there. They were strapping him to a backboard when I left. (The state trooper shooed us away.)

I hope that the poor man is okay. I can still hear bangs and crashes from that area; our driveway is dead in the middle of that awful curve, and the two ridges funnel the sounds right up to the house. People are still talking. I haven't heard the rescue squad leave yet.

That's the first accident there that I've actually "witnessed". About a year ago, a man hit a bear just around the corner, but we weren't home. Took out the bear, and the man wasn't expected to walk again. His son was just bruised, but evidentally the man wasn't wearing his seat belt and was thrown out. He's actually doing well now, still wearing braces, but he's walking.

So, is it worth it for me to go back out and look for the phone? No, I didn't think so either.


How nervewracking! Someone online was bidding against Tom and I was so afraid it would go higher than we could afford. But we got it!!!

Now *all* we have to do is pour a lot of money into it and fix it up......


The house sold to someone on the floor at the auction; someone was bidding online and I'm a nervous wreck! I'm just hoping that Tom got it.

I am so on edge.....

Today is the day. The auction is going on right now. To my surprise, it's being broadcast online and I'm listening to it!!!

"Ours" is one of the last few being auctioned, so it'll still be half an hour or so till they get to it.

Tom is there, ready to bid, ready to buy our cat house.

Keep your fingers crossed!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A couple of someones just dropped off two big copy jobs for tomorrow morning.


But they will be done!!!!!

I dare you to ask me how my day's going.

Our receptionist has the flu, so she (thankfully) stayed home yesterday and today. She must really be sick, because she rarely misses a day due to illness.

Sunday night I got the call asking if I'd sub for on Monday. I always say yes. What can I say, "I really really hate doing that job and I'd almost rather be staked naked in the desert at noon on a fire ant nest"?

It was The Day from Hell, as usual. Soooo many kids coming in for cough drops, Tylenol, and Advil. I took every kid's temperature; even those who were rosy-cheeked or pale didn't have fevers. Rather, their temps were below normal. Damn. If it's over 99, we sent them home. I tell the kids time and again that if they've had anything to eat or drink in the past half hour the thermometer won't correctly measure, but they all say they haven't eaten anything or had anything to drink. Do they think I'm going to throw them out if they say they did?

As usual, the phones rang constantly, usually two lines at once while I was giving some sick kid meds. I truly hate that office.

The receptionist isn't back today; she called just before 7 to say she wouldn't be in this morning, which means all day. Thank the good Lord that I haven't had to work out there today, because I think I'd have walked out.

Because yesterday my sub copied only things on the "Monday" shelf. She. did. not. copy. one. damn. thing. that was needed for this morning. I almost never have anything on the next days' shelf when I leave, especially when it's noted that the teacher needs it first block. Even if they leave things on the counter that they need first thing in the morning, I'm always far enough ahead that I can spend the first half hour getting those things copied then stuff copied for the rest of the day. Right now there's nothing on any shelf because I've worked my ass off all day and I am CAUGHT UP.

She didn't put yesterday's mail in the mailboxes, either, and I'd specifically asked her to do that.

What she did do was leave half an hour before she was supposed to (especially with a shitload of this morning's copies sitting around).

I almost never complain about my job to my boss, and I never complain about being pulled to work somewhere else, but this morning at 7 freaking a.m. I was hot. Teachers were standing around looking at me with that "where the hell are my copies" look that they get if they think they're going to have to face their classes without their worksheets and tests. I quickly sized things up, started throwing them into the copiers, then sat on the floor and bawled like a baby.

Okay. I didn't do that. The bawling, I mean. I'm pretty sure that steam was coming out of my ears while I frantically got every.freaking.copy ready for 1st block. And I did it. Got the rest done by 8.

Angry. That's not the time to talk to ones' boss, but I did. I knew she'd hear from some angry teachers if the copying wasn't done on time, so I told her what happened. I then sent an email (not placing any blame, but leaving it pretty clear whose fault it was {not mine}) to the teachers apologizing for not having things ready when they came in. Because I almost always do.

This isn't a job that is fought over. It would drive most people crazy. I love it (most of the time) because I can let my mind roam freely while my hands are working. It's not a difficult job. I take pride in having things done ahead of time and even working in the copies of those who are constantly turning in stuff minutes before they need it (front/back, stapled, hole-punched, 65). I don't let much stuff sit just because I don't feel like doing it today. I get the job done quickly and accurately.

I was mortified that those papers hadn't been copied and weren't ready this morning. I know it wasn't my fault, but it's my job to make things get done on time. So I went to the top and told the principal and the executive secretary, who won't call that girl to sub again. I don't like to tattle, I'd rather handle things myself, but this was just ridiculous.

I've worked hard all day and have everything on the shelves for the rest of the week done. I like to have things done ahead of time. That last-minute scrabbling is hard on my nerves.

I hope that the main office receptionist is back tomorrow. I can't handle another day like these last two.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stolen sign?


Turns out it was removed by a WV state road crew because it was in their easement.

They couldn't simply toss it closer to the fence, or leave a note explaining.

They just took it.

Another one is now in place away from their easement.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Getting ready

Less that two weeks. That's how much time until we know if we'll own The Cat House.

I just bought Tom's airfare. This is the first time that Orbitz has had the best deal, what with that price guarantee thingy where they'll refund the extra if anyone else books the same flight through them for less. Yeah, it's a crapshoot, but since Travelocity and others offered the same fare without the guarantee, I went with Orbitz.

Because I did the booking and because I could.

Strangely enough, it is less expensive to fly out of Charlottesville than either Roanoke or Richmond, on these particular dates. Ch'ville is only an hour from work, while Richmond is 2.5 hours and Roanoke is around 1.75 hours. It's a smaller airport and easy to get to. I've only flown into/out of there once, and while I'm not nuts about flying on a puddlejumper, I'll do it.

It would have cost over $550 to fly from the airport closest to us. So, no.

So things are falling into place. We spent the long weekend working on our deck (which is SO nice to have!) and packing/getting rid of things. It's finally starting to show; rooms are looking bigger and moderately less junky. I've gotten rid of tons of clothes that don't fit or that I'll never wear ever again. All kinds of kitchen stuff is going. Got an extra? Mercy House or Goodwill. Ugly clothes? Same. Nana's table/chairs and china cabinet? Give to Liz. Midge? Joan'll take her in and care for her. (I honestly thought that I'd given her to Joan oh these many moons ago.) Christmas ornaments? Grandkids, whether they want 'em or not.

It's a royal pain, but it's gonna be worth it.

Some maroon stole our for-sale sign that was next to our driveway. WTF? I mean, I know it's West Virginia and people may have a different definition of "fun" than normal people do, but unless it's needed for patching that hole in the outhouse roof, not cool.

Knitting: Ten pattern repeats without too many screwups. They're there, but I'm pretending that no one will notice them. Still going with Spring Tulips (sorry, Elaine!) with markers every freaking 8 stitches. It's the only way I can make it come out even near right. At the end of this week, I'll pick a winner for the pattern contest since I'm using one I'd already come up with.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Happy birthday, baby boy!

He's 35 today. Geez, I'm only 25, how can that be?

He's always been easy, from my 35-minute-labor to this very day. I'm very lucky to have two wonderful children, and I'm very lucky that they married wonderful people. And each have two wonderful kids.

Okay, too many numbers for me to deal with.

Happy birthday, Kent!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Happy birthday, Joan!!!

And many more!!!

We've made it over the first hurdle!!!

The house inspector just called (from Key West. I am so jealous.) He thinks there's about three dumpsters'-worth of crap to haul away (flooring inside, deck outside; the entire deck has to go; it was built incorrectly and has been falling apart since the day it was finished), the house tented, and he estimates about $80,000 to renovate the place nicely. Not just renovate, but do it well. He didn't find anything structural that's bad and the plumbing and wiring appear to be okay. The pool seems to be okay, too. We won't have to get permits to rebuild, just to renovate, which are a lot easier to come by in the Keys.

His wife loves the place; they'd better not bid against us!

Now we have to decide just how high we're willing to bid, considering that we'll have to put that much into renovation, but we'd estimated the cost at $75,000, so it's not a shock.

I can breathe again, and my stomach has stopped hurting. For now, anyway. I love that property.

Cross your fingers!!!

Wedding Stole pics

The Wedding Shawl. Not this color at all. Can't get the beads to show (so far they're just along the outside edges).

More accurate color. 55/45 cashmere silk lace. I'm heading out to buy a lace needle, something I never thought I'd need.

It's affishul.

Tom, after I hit him with the cast iron skillet.

This week--so far

Can I please have a do-over?

These damn copiers have worn me down this week. They're taking turns being pains in the ass and I'm losing 4 sheets of paper each time one jams--and that's happening every four or five copies. And that's on the good copier. The one that was more or less fixed yesterday. Because I had to call the technician twice yesterday, once for each damn copier.

Bad one fixed, good one more or less worked without jamming too much. But, as fate would have it, the bad one broke down not ten minutes after the repair guy walked out of the school. Output tray one is unavailable, as are stapling and hole-punching. This kind of comes and goes, no rhyme or reason. I've spent today ripping sheets of papers out of the copier's guts, and I am so done. It's time for MY breakdown.

In other news, the cat house will be auctioned in a few weeks. Did I already say this? I don't have the energy to look back. We've had it inspected and are awaiting the report. If it's doable, then we'll bid on it. If not, then we'll have to gather our marbles and play somewhere else.

This is our baby. Our Cat House. It sits on a corner and has only one next-door neighbor. The lots behind these houses are jungle, and I hope they stay that way. There's one neighbor across the road to the south, but their house is diagonal from this one, and there's nothing directly across the street to the front. It's about as big a lot as can be found in our price range. You'll note the lovely green hue of the water in the pool.

So. Once we get the inspection report, we'll decide if we want to bid on it, and how much. Then Tom will fly to Florida to attend the auction. We've arranged temporary financing which will be paid off when our house sells.

Speaking of which, the for-sale sign was put up Friday afternoon and the real estate agent has already had more than 6 calls about it, from people who've seen it and other real estate agents. Today a couple drove up the driveway, so Tom gave them the tour. Our little deck is almost finished; we'll enjoy that. For a while.

Shawl-wise, I'm still persevering perservering working on the Spring Tulips pattern. I've gotten through three pattern repeats without too much trouble. I ended up putting stitch markers (from scrap yarn) every 8 stitches, or one pattern repeat, on each row. The pattern is even starting to show up in the knitting. I'll keep on with this one until it kills me or I finish it. I haven't ended the contest yet; I may still have to resort to something easier.

I don't have photos of the house on this computer, and I haven't transferred them to dvd yet, but once I do, I'll show a few of the cat house and the others we like.

Meanwhile, I think I'll beat up on the copier.

Day 8. 172 left.