Friday, January 29, 2010

Welcome to the Dark Side, Granddaughter

Last night, during a marathon call, my oldest granddaughter brought up Twilight. (She knows me so well.) She's never exhibited any curiosity about the book or movie; on the contrary, she couldn't be less interested. Last year she was irritated because her teacher was in love with the series and talked about it a lot in class. This time, though, she had some questions.

"Lots" of girls in her class are reading the series. She could even name three of the four books. She doesn't have a clue what Twilight Girl's name actually is, but she wanted to know if TG ever gets bit and turned into a vampire. I said, "Do you really want to know?" "Yes!" "But if you ever decide to read the books, it's spoiled for you." "I'm not going to read them. Does she turn into a vampire?" So I told her yes, she does.

"Which book?" "Breaking Dawn, the fourth and last book." "So why are all these books named night names? What do they have to do with anything?" I told her that I'd read about them but didn't remember what I'd read (note to self: research this), but I thought that they all have to do with the fact that, in other vampire stories, vampires couldn't go outside during the day because they'd burn to ashes if the sun touched them. In the Twilight series, that's not the case, because they can go outside any time they want to, but their skin sparkles in the sun, so people would know something weird was going on. And no one could know that there are real vampires.

Also, I told her, the names of the books seem to represent the story's progression, with Twilight being the one where Bella (or Twilight Girl) meets Twilight Boy and they fall in love. In New Moon, they're separated by Edward's misguided but heartfelt belief that Bella is better off, and safer, without him, and she goes into a deep depression, represented by the darkness of night during a new moon.

"What about Eclipse? Isn't that about the sun?" Well, it can be, but here it's the bright shining ring of moon around the dark shadow the sun throws onto it, representing the reunion of Bella and Edward and their happiness. And Breaking Dawn is the book that ends the story, with everything coming together and the dark of night giving way to the bright sunrise.

Damn. If I do say so myself, I'm impressed. I just pulled all of that out of my ass without any thought. It may be totally off-course, but it really does sound good.

I told A that I'll send her Twilight if she ever wants to read it; I have no problem with a 10-year-old reading the first three books in the series. (I told her she can't read Breaking Dawn until she's 16, which may have been the wrong thing to say.) She said she doesn't want to read it since I can tell her all about it.

But today I ordered Twilight from Amazon to be delivered to her house with the note: "A, you don't have to read this book now, or ever, if you don't want to. I've had so much fun talking to you about it that I want you to have a copy of one of my favorite books." Maybe eventually she'll read it, maybe not. It doesn't matter.

I may or may not have also ordered New Moon the Movie and a Pocket Edward™. We won't discuss that.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Burning a theme with ponzy-like structure

"Hi there!I would like to burn a theme at here. There is such a thing, called HYIP, or High Yield Investment Program. It reminds of ponzy-like structure, but in rare cases one may happen to meet a company that really pays up to 2% daily not on invested money, but from real profits.For quite a long time, I make money with the help of these programs. I'm with no money problems now, but there are heights that must be conquered . I get now up to 2G a day , and I started with funny 500 bucks. Right now, I'm very close at catching at last a guaranteed variant to make a sharp rise . Visit my blog to get additional info."

Just what I've always wanted to do!!! How did this person know?

P. S. I'll never understand "ponzy scheme". And I don't care to.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


This is one of the more....creative spam comments that I've gotten:

"Good day, sun shines!There have were times of hardship when I didn't know about opportunities of getting high yields on investments. I was a dump and downright stupid person. I have never thought that there weren't any need in big starting capital.Now, I feel good, I begin to get real money. It gets down to select a correct partner who uses your money in a right way - that is incorporate it in real business, parts and divides the profit with me.You may ask, if there are such firms? I have to tell the truth, YES, there are. Please be informed of one of them:"

One would think that Rule No. 1 for Good Spamming would be using correct grammer and subject/verb agreement, at least.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hello to Germany


Hi, person from Germany who's googling Edward Cullen and ended up here!

Friday, January 15, 2010


*tap tap tap*

Is anyone out there?

*shields eyes with hand*

I can see you, really, I can, but I can't hear you.

I know that someone(s) from Europe and the U.S. and the U.K. and Panama and even someone from Slovakia have googled "italy-shirtless-edward-new moon" and "robert-pattison-new-moon-shirtless" and "edward-cullen" and "vanity-fair-italy-edward-and-bella".

And I thought I had it bad.

Come on, please leave a comment if you land here from any search. Even though there are some google searches I'd rather not be associated with, I'd sure like to know who's out there.

*crickets chirping*

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thank God for Mike!

Mike, my son-in-law, is an electrician. He'd volunteered last summer to come to our place in the Keys and check out the electrical system at The Cat House once we bought it, which is very nice of him since we're not paying him anything to do it. He happened to score two days off this week after working 8 days straight, so yesterday Tom picked him up just south of Orlando and they headed back to the Keys. Mike has spent the entire day working on getting the electrical system hooked up correctly.

It's a good thing that the expert was there. Turns out that the (improperly installed) box (whatever that thingy with the breakers in it is called) has been sparking for some time and the whole house could have gone up in flames at just about any time. The box was in the old master closet which backed up to the laundry nook, and the dryer had been vented into the wall between the two. Thank God Tom had taken out that wall weeks ago and gotten years' worth of dryer lint ripped out, because it probably would have caught fire when the electricity was turned on.

Just another example of the quality work put into that house by its previous owners.


So. If you like to laugh until you cry and make the very kind people you work with think that you just got bad news because you're quietly shaking and tears are running down your face and you have to blow your nose before you can say anything,

then you have to read this.

Do yourself a favor and wear Depends, okay?

Monday, January 11, 2010


There you have it. One word. My reason for not doing a thing.


It was 8 degrees this morning. Eight. Eight. Unfrickingbelievable.

Yeah, yeah, I know that it was 31 in Miami this morning. It's been in the low 40s at night in the Keys. 31 is almost four times warmer than it is here, and 40 is five times.

I'm considering retiring and moving to the Keys without a job. It's five times warmer there at night. So we won't be able to pay the mortgage. The house in WV is locked in ice anyway. No one, including its owner, can get to it anyway.

I wish I could just leave. I won't because I'm too responsible to bail. But I'll think about it a whole lot.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Side note

This guy’s father, a Cuban fisherman, built The Cat House 30 years ago.

The Cat House

*note: I tried to download photos onto the computer at work, but because of my sore neck, I can't wiggle around on the floor trying to find the usb ports. Later.*

With the forecast for heavy snow on December 18, I was able to take the day off and leave for Florida that morning. I'd planned to drive to Mom and Dad's house that evening and leave the next morning, but fate dictated otherwise.

I stopped at Mom and Dad's, then started the first leg of the journey. It's a total of about 21 hours from their house to The Cat House, and the longest I've ever driven in one day (when I'm driving, not just riding) is 12 hours. That was 16 years ago. I just can't do that anymore.

I stopped in NC for some good ol's Smithfield Barbeque. While I was there it started snowing; it had been overcast all day. When I got back on the road (with Zippy finishing some of my hush puppies) I was out of the snow within 10 minutes and into rain. It rained the rest of the day, but it's better than ice any day.

After driving for 7 hours, I stopped for the night at a pet-friendly hotel about 40 miles north of Savannah. I took Zippy in with me to register, and since I hadn't tried to hide him, they didn't charge the $10 pet fee. The $70 bill included breakfast (Denny's Grand Slam), so it was a pretty good deal. Zip had slept the entire day in the car; at times I have to poke him to make sure he's still alive, he sleeps so soundly. By bedtime he was wound up tight, and he barked every time he heard a noise. Motels are noisy.

Next day, we drove to Orlando, a seven-hour drive. Spent that night and Sunday with Jennifer and the kids, then Monday left for the Keys, a seven-hour drive. Three days. If I could leave early in the morning, I could drive farther each day, but I get sleepy in the mornings. I'm okay in the afternoon and early night.

As we drove over the bridge that officially marked the start of the Keys, I kept telling Zippy (who just wanted to sleep) that we were coming home for the first time. We're Keys homeowners now. He wasn't impressed, but I was very excited.

Driving slowly through the Keys doesn't bother me. I like to take my time and drink in the views of the water and islands. I love to see mangroves growing at the side of the road. There are lots of birds to observe, although quickly. It's okay if I have to go slow.

It was dusk as we drove over the Seven Mile Bridge onto Bahia Honda (which has been rated the best beach in the country in the past) and dark as we reached Big Pine Key. Tom told me where to turn off Key Deer Boulevard to reach our little subdivision (read: fishing village), but I'd forgotten by the time I got there, and I ended up driving to the end of the island anyway. That was okay since I got to see several Key deer along the way. Finally, after backtracking, I reached our place in the Keys, the first time as a homeowner.

The amount of work that needs to be done on that place is overwhelming. Everything has to be updated. Whoever did the last (attempted but not finished) remodel did a piss-poor job, and it's possible that previous renos were just as poorly done. The plumbing has to be replaced. The a/c was done improperly, so all of the vents have to be pulled out and replaced, along with the a/c units themselves. That alone will cost about $9,000; to do it really well and have an energy-efficient system was $7,ooo-$10,000 more, and we just can't afford to do that and attempt to do anything else to the house now. The floors are sagging; the windows all need to be replaced (the current windows must have been the absolute cheapest ones available) and hurricane shutters added; much of the wiring has to be pulled out and replaced.

We decided to make three rooms liveable for now, the kitchen, one bedroom and one bathroom. Since we're totally remodeling the master bed/bath/closet, we're using one of the upstairs bedrooms for now; it's huge--12' wide by 20.5' long, the depth of the second story. That room could be used as an apartment; it's plenty big for a couple of beds and a sitting area. It's going to make a great guest room. Eventually. For now, it's our bedroom. My old queen-size bed and one end table are in there now, along with the cat tower.

The upstairs bathroom is usable. It has a harvest gold tub/shower and sink with a fairly new white toilet; all are in working order. That will be the last room to be remodeled. After massive cleaning, the kitchen can be used. We have an old stove and fridge that we took down, and we bought a microwave oven.

The entire house has popcorn ceilings. U G L Y. They catch every bit of dust, and, in the kitchen, grease. Grease and dust. Not a good combination. We don't want popcorn ceilings, so Tom scraped every bit off the kitchen ceiling. Ugh, more dust, but repeated mopping of the ceiling, walls, and floor will eventually get rid of that problem. Unfortunately, there are those stupid ceilings in every room, and the ones upstairs all have cathedral ceilings. Fun fun fun.

I really enjoyed doing some yard work. There are a lot of nuisance trees/plants in the yard, along with plants that I just don't like (pampas grass, anyone? It takes up so much space and provides a hiding place for any kind of nasty insect or reptile, so out it goes.), so much has to be done. Brazilian Pepper trees are considered nuisances; they take over wherever they take root, and they can grow 1' a week. They have clusters of beautiful tiny red berries, so I hate to see them go, but Monroe County has deemed them nuisances and to be eradicated. Since there are so many other things we want to grow, I can live with that.

We have a silver buttonwood hedge outside the two streetside fenced sides of the yard. They're terribly overgrown but will be beautiful when they're trimmed. Deer like to rest under the hedges and they provide privacy screening. There are many cabbage palms in the yard; most will be pruned so they don't take up so much space and some will be removed to make room for other palms. There are two coconut palms in the back yard, one large and bearing fruit, that'll need to be trimmed but not moved.

Three HUGE hibiscus are in front of the bedroom windows; they're almost to the second story, so they need to be drastically pruned. Bouganville covers the left front corner of the yard. Many more assorted palms in various sizes will have to be removed or moved.

The deck has been demolished, and Tom has torn out the walls and insulation in the master bath and closet. The fixtures have been removed. He discovered Dade Pine siding on the house; it's absolutely beautiful, washed a pale bluish-gray, but he says the upkeep is too great to consider removing the vinyl siding.

I'm worn out just thinking about it.

My neck is hurting, so I'm going to take a break. Whatever I've left out I'll try to catch up with later.

On the knitting front, I did very little, just some sock knitting to Ft. Lauderdale and back. I'm starting to feel the creative bug again, but who knows when it'll actually bite.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Quick update

Two weeks in Florida, lovely (if somewhat cooler than usual) weather, work around The Cat House, lots of FaceBook time on the Crack (and utter irritation for several days when the Crackberry network was down and no one had told me about it) (by no one I mean RIM, of course, the people who own the company), walks around our new neighborhood, observing the wildlife, playing with grandkids, floating in a warm pool on Christmas night, three days of driving seven hours a day each way (my butt cheek gets numb, okay?), living in our place in the Keys, having to leave and come home, then the little surprise of finding 6" of ice and snow on our driveway in WV, two weeks after it snowed and over a week since a minor ice storm, not being able to drive up the driveway, cracking the front bumper of our less than 2-months-old Prius, getting stuck and having to walk uphill to the house in the dark in the snow and ice and 10 degree temperature with 40 mph winds while wearing clogs because one doesn't need real shoes in Florida even in the winter with no depth perception in the dark and faulty balance on a smooth surface on a sunny day while trying to balance several large tote bags on my shoulders and falling down and losing a clog while screaming "WHY ME?" (or something like that only a lot more profane) at the cold stars as I sat on the ice without one shoe not being able to balance enough to stand up to look for the damn shoe and Zippy had run ahead up to the house and was patiently barking at the front door for someone to let him into the nice warm house while I was crying and snotting without any tissues halfway up the driveway thinking that I was going to die within sight of my own house and no one would ever find me and a bear might eat my barely-frozen carcass and it's all because I can't move to Florida until we sell our house in WV or I get a good-paying job in Florida which isn't likely this time of year (either one) then the next morning I called the guy with the tow truck who came after daylight to pull the car out of the ditch (where I almost took out the side of the new car by getting this---------->close to a huge bolt on a fence post) then dragged my crap back down to the car after deciding that I was not going back to that house until the spring thaw or June, whichever comes first then still being stuck in the damn driveway about 6' from the actual road and spending half an hour trying to get the car that six feet while getting this------->close to the For Sale sign in the ditch by the road until a nice man took pity on me and pulled me out of the driveway and I will not go back to WV until I'm sure that I can make it up that damned driveway and last night my shoulder muscle spasmed and Betty had to help me to bed because it was agonizing to move and it hurt so bad I didn't sleep well even after taking some percocet or something like that so today I went to the doctor who prescribed a muscle relaxant that shouldn't make me dopey but sort of has so I'm going to go to Betty's house and take another one and see if I can sleep.

*deep breath*

Zippy and I are living with Betty for a while.