Friday, March 27, 2009

Buy This Vacuum (another endorsement for which I will not be compensated)

No, the dinosaurs didn't get me! I am still alive and the dinosaurs are still extinct, just as they should be.
This week has been all about carpet.
I borrowed my parents' carpet cleaner and wow! Let's just say that I was long overdue... I'm so glad my folks loaned their cleaner to me!

So, once the carpets were all fresh and clean, I felt like I didn't want to use my old, worn out, second hand sweeper on it any more. And obviously, that sweeper was doing a craptastic job, because without grossing you out with the details, the carpets weren't just dirty, they were dusty/fuzzy, too.

I'm the queen of finding deals and saving money. I don't mind being extravagant for others, but when it comes to my needs or wants, I like to save. That way I can be lavish other places. Like, I'll religiously cut and use coupons to save money, but won't think twice about treating for a nice meal. However, if there is something I want, no! Can't pay full price! Must be a bargain!

I had $50 in Macy's gift certificates left from the $200 Steinvic gave me as part of my Christmas present. I scouted some sweepers online and saw a few that I liked. When I got to Macy's last night, they had a Bissell II Cleanview Vacuum for just $79.99. So, I got a brand spanking new vacuum that really sucks - in a good way - for $30.

I can tell that this vacuum and I are going to be spending a lot of time together.

The assembly was a BREEZE. Less than three minutes. Open the box. Snap and screw on the handle. Put the hose on. Put the attachments in place. Plug in. Vacuum. Be impressed with the suction that trumps your former "vacuum." Be horrified at the dust and funk that comes up. Thank the Cleanliness Deities that you bought this vacuum so that you and those who enter your home will not be exposed to such evil particulate matter.

I even tried the stair attachment brush hose thingy (I am sure there is a technical term for this attachment, but thingy is more fun to type) and it was very useful. (Note - the floor part of the sweeper keeps sucking even though you're using the hose. Just thought you should know. I was surprised at this. But it's 12 amps, so I think they are wise in distributing the suck by having both the floor and the hose sucking at once. Otherwise, whatever you were using the hose on would probably be eaten. )

You can also adjust for the kind of carpet you have, all the way from bare floor to high. Unlike other cleaners I've had, you can really tell the difference between settings.

So, I give this vacuum an A+. Steinvic gets an A+ for the gift certificates, which have helped me to keep Christmas going on into March! I get an A+ for being extra cleanliness-oriented this week (carpet cleaning DOES count as working out!).

Gosh, I love spring...and all the cleaning that comes with it. New beginnings, clean floors...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dumb Dinosaurs...

Have you ever heard that even if you think you've been dreaming the same dream throughout the night, you really haven't?

Well, that's a load of crap, because last night, I had the same dumb dinosaur dream, Lionel Richie Style. (That's All. Night. Long. for those of you who haven't had that second cup of coffee yet this morning.)

WTF, dinosaurs? The basic idea was that for some reason, dinosaurs decided to re-inhabit the Earth. Suddenly, there were dinosaurs ev-er-y-where. And guess what? They didn't like what we'd done with the place. They thought our houses were for stomping. That people were for eating. That our cars were for crushing and throwing. And our phone lines were to serve as finish lines for their stupid dinosaur races. (Okay, I made that last part up, but still.)

I woke up around ten times through the night, thinking things like, "Self, you know this is a dream, because if this were for real, Obama would be making a disaster-type announcement that would play in the streets, telling us not to panic and what to do." Cue the next phase of the dream where the Obama soundtrack was repeating over and over, "Do not panic. Remain calm. Take shelter." I love you Obama, but where exactly is the Dinosaur Disaster Shelter located? Because those b*tches were vicious and there was no escaping.

I also woke around 4:00 a.m. (a lovely hour, I might add, if you're the garbage collector) to think, "If we were invaded by dinosaurs, bomber jets would just shoot them from the sky." Cue the next hour of my dream, where bomber jets began shooting the dinosaurs and, oops! A few innocent bystanders, too. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

The last half hour was all like...apocalyptic. Everything was trashed. Some Amish-looking fellow had a knife and was going to kill me or stab me or something me (guess he wasn't really Amish, huh?) and I was thinking of how to defend myself when I finally said, "That's it! I'm up!" and got up before my alarm.

I think all this was inspired by a billboard I saw on the way home from visiting my grandma. It was a ridiculously uncool picture of a T-Rex, mouth open, teeth nas-tay, hanging over the highway. (Hello, advertisers...some of us DON'T like to be startled by pictures of horrifying dinosaurs, s-h-a-r-k-s, or other toothy evil looking creatures while we're driving.)

Even still, how my brain could make an entire night of it, I don't know...

p.s. I know you're impressed with my one-minute-thirty-second dinosaur masterpiece at the top here...I'm not apologizing for it because I just had to illustrate this post some way. Signed prints available upon request.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Where I've Been...

In case my three or four readers wanted to know, I've been having more fun than you have this week.

Confident much? Yes, actually...I'm sure of it.

Who else takes off two days of work to celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Well, apparently, me and about 2,000 other Irish-loving individuals in Columbus, Ohio...that's who!

Monday night I drove to Columbus to meet up with Steinvic and friends. When we got home, it was like "Little Christmas" as I presented Steinvic and his son with the goodies I've been finding for them all year. Steinvic got a Ring Thing to aid in his St. Patrick's festivities, a bottle of Jameson's 12 Year, some Guiness boxers, the Limited Edition version of U2's No Line on the Horizon, Irish socks and a card with lottery tix inside. His son scored a custom made t-shirt (pictured), some Irish Coffee flavored beans, a card with lottery tix inside and chocolate shamrock treats from Graeter's. I got a lovely bottle of Boru vodka and a very sweet card...with lottery tix inside! (see a pattern? Love our scratch off games...) We were all set for a great day!

And it was...beautiful weather, a fun parade (though we missed most of it, thanks to Time Warner Cable's slow as molasses service appointment), lots of family and friends, and good beer.

We went to our favorite local afer that for more fun.

Slept in yesterday and then went to check out the new Clipper's stadium, which is really cool... and then sat outside to eat some ice cream. We're usually not regular Graeter's patrons, I swear! But there was a special on ice cream on television as we were getting ready for the day, and it primed us for a couple of scoops. I don't think I've had a scoop (okay, two scoops that I couldn't finish) of ice cream in a decade. Seriously. I think that's a crime, though.

So, a lovely day was had by all...I hope you enjoyed your St. Patrick's Day, too! (even if you didn't have as much fun as I did!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Maybe...if you squint and tilt your head a little...

I just got lured into looking at 212 "Celebrity Look Alikes" on TMZ.

You seriously have to invest the 10 minutes this will take to whip through these. Seriously. I'm not criticizing TMZ for putting them out there...I'm sure they were laughing their butts off at some of the submissions. "Sure, honey...if you think you look like Halle, we'll put you out there..." but come on!

Out of the 212 photos, there are probably 10 where you might say, "Yeah...I can see a slight resemblance." or "Yeah, if they did this/that with their hair/face/whatever, they might actually look a good bit like this/that celebrity."

You could make the arguement that the photo they submitted doesn't do the similarities justice...but then why submit THAT photo?!

Every caption reads like, "Anna thinks she looks like Angelina Jolie."

And I kept thinking it should read more like, "Anna wishes she looked like Angelina Jolie, but she can pucker her lips all she wants, and she'll still just look like herself with puckery lips."

I really need to get back to work now...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Buy No Line on the Horizon (aka Another endorsement for which I will not be compensated)

If you like U2, have a few extra dollars, are jonesing for some new tunes and want to buy a CD where there are no "fast forward through" songs, buy U2 - No Line on the Horizon.

What an excellent collection of music! I have to admit, while I already liked the single, "Get on Your Boots," I was not prepared for the other songs on the album. I had to listen to it several times to start to appreciate it. It has hooks, but not like those on How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

These are deeper. Embedded. Little bits of lyrics have come creeping into my brain when it's vacant...

So, get out there and buy your copy. You'll be glad you did. Because when U2 tours the US this fall, you'll have the songs all memorized and you'll be able to sing along with Bono. Like I will. While my boyfriend pretends not to know me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Usually, I like to keep things somewhat light here, but today...I'm disappointed. And when I am deeply hurt, my first response is to get angry. (It's a character flaw.)

There is a little girl, Esme Kenney, who attended my parents congregation. It's not like our families are friends or anything. But my Mom tells me that she remembers this girl, attending church with her folks regularly, and that she and her Mom even lit the Chalice together at the beginning of a service last year.

Esme, a 13 year old student at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, did nothing more than go for a jog on Saturday. It was gorgeous outside.

And somehow, a man who has no business being anywhere outside of a cage (or a firey pit in Hell), assaulted Esme - strangling her to death, "attempting to sexually abuse her" (still not sure what that means - an attempt is abuse, yes?) and then setting her body on fire. It is absolutely absurd to type that. Because, I just can't imagine.

Esme's parents reported her missing right away - they expected her to return in a half hour and when she didn't, they called the Police. I know that you hear that the Police usually make people wait 24 hours or so before reporting someone as a missing person, but maybe it's different with children, because the cops started looking right away.

They found Anthony Kirkland sleeping in the woods and he had Esme's iPod and her watch in his pocket. And then they found her body nearby. Oh, I know...we can't convict him already, right? Innocent until proven guilty?

I might agree with you if he hadn't already served a 16 year sentence for doing the exact same, f-ing thing in 1989.

If he hadn't recently attacked a person, stabbing him with scissors.

If he hadn't recently solicited sex from a 13 year old.

If he hadn't threatened to murder his own 18 month old child.

(And interestingly enough, two other women's remains have been found in the woods, burnt, with no DNA evidence to explain how this could have happened. But Kirkland was out of jail during those crimes.) I angry with Kirkland? Well, how do you feel about him right now? All I know is, he must be stopped.

But if you're counting on our justice system to stop him through incarceration, forget it. He got busted for soliciting sex from the 13 year old and was released to a halfway house. He got into a fight at the halfway house so they turned him out. In fact, the Police were called to that fight.

Did they contact his parole officer? Not for several days. Don't you think fighting with other residence of a halfway house would constitute a violation of parole? As in...instant arrest? I guess not if the other resident doesn't press charges.

So they turned him out. That was February 27. And Saturday, he did what apparently he can't help but do...

Destroy lives.

Forgive? I struggle with what that means. Rehabilitation? Don't always believe in it, much to my retired-social-worker-Mom's dismay. This all makes me feel sick to my stomach. A feeling that's sour and keeps me from thinking clearly about what should come next.

People fight wars over politics and religion and haggle over oil and argue about money. But this wasn't some violent act motivated by any "real" cause. This was a meaningless, vicious attack. On a girl who loved music. She was a talented. A good Unitarian. She dug her parents. Everyone says she was special.

Most importantly, she was just an innocent kid who didn't do anything to anyone.

She went for a jog. In the sunshine.

Because it's almost spring and apparently, no one can resist being in the presence of something beautiful and untouched.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Fresh New Week

Last week was quite a week! I ended up being totally sick and even missed work! (GASP!) I think I jinxed myself because I'd joked with Steinvic about taking a Fake Sick Day (like I'd ever do that!) while he was in Phoenix. Instead, I got a REAL sick day and a half. I zipped out of work late Tuesday and was down for the count on Wednesday. Almost back to human now.

Steinvic came home on Friday. So very glad to have him home! But also, really happy that he got to go and spend that time with his cousin. As unhealthy as his cousin is, he rallied and hung out with Steinvic most every day. I'm sure that Steinvic being there was the best medicine possible.

So, Steinvic is home, healthy, tan, happy, well rested and he even brought me a shirt from the new Goodyear Stadium. And a pack of gum in an odd flavor (Mango Kiwi Cooler) that he thought I'd like. I might be a total dork, but I dig the fact that my boyfriend was in line somewhere and saw gum that he felt I had to have...something really cool about that. We also have made a date a year in advance to go to Goodyear to see the Reds during Spring training...I'm already looking forward to that.

AND, U2 has announced their tour dates for Europe and some dates in the US! Very exciting stuff. We ended up seeing them three times on the Vertigo tour - New York, Cleveland and Las Vegas. Not sure if we can afford be so exotic this time (New York ain't cheap!) but I'll bet we make it to at least two...

That's all from here for the moment...just didn't want to neglect my hundreds of readers who didn't know what to do with yourselves after I posted about my found Zune last week. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I still miss Steinvic, and apparently I have a cold that is kicking into high gear...
BUT I found my Zune last night!

I joked with a colleague yesterday that I would remove the seats from my car to find it if that's what it took...but I wasn't really joking. After a half hour of cleaning my car out (it wasn't that bad...I was just being thorough) I was on the verge of going to the Auto Zone to get a set of tools for just this purpose when I remembered something.

Through the fog of feeling crappy on Sunday, I remembered being in the living room and hearing the sound of something dropping onto plastic. Like the sound of something hitting a plastic bag.

At the time, I looked behind the couch - which had a plastic bag from Michael's sitting next to it - saw the extension cord back there and figured part of it must have hit the plastic bag while slipping off the couch.

I dumped the bag onto the floor and there, amidst all the art supplies I'd just bought was my ZUNE!
Instant mood change. Relief! Joy! Elation!

I really should be so attached to it, but I am...

Monday, March 2, 2009

With the Mate to Your Favorite Sock...

Happy Monday...

Yes, I survived the rest of the weekend without Steinvic. His son and I went to the family party on Saturday night, after dropping Steinvic at the airport. We stayed at Steinvic's Mom's and I took him to lunch and out for some provisions, then dropped him off at Steinvic's. I packed my car and headed home.

I was listening to my beloved Zune, which gets the entire passenger seat to lounge on while entertaining me. I have it hooked up to a transmitter, so my car is full of music and it makes the commute much more pleasant. (Steinvic gave this to me for my birthday last year and I use it every single day. Love it!)

Suddenly, it stopped playing. I glanced at it and sure enough, dead battery. Since I was on the highway at this point, I didn't fool with the charger or anything. I just pressed a button on the stereo so I could listen to a CD and left my Zune sit there on the seat.

I started feeling really bad as I was driving. Just...kind of icky and really tired. When I got home, I didn't even unload the car...just stopped to get the mail, locked up the car and headed inside to lie down. Which I did and fell asleep for a few hours.

When I woke up, I drove to Meijer for some groceries (I know, two grocery stores in one day...just as fun as it sounds!) got home, unloaded everything including my weekend stuff, got a shower and started doing things to get ready for the week. Including charging my Zune.

Which has disappeared.

I thought it was in my purse. Not in my purse. In my work bag? Not in my work bag. Huh.

Must be in the car, right? Put coat and shoes on over pajamas. Of course, it's pitch black outside, but it should just be somewhere near the passenger seat, right? No?

Under the seat? No. Seat crack? No. Under the mat? No.

I went back in the house and looked around. Back out to the car again. Because I'm psycho, I did this FOUR times, finally admitting it was too dark and giving up for the night.

Got up early this morning (still not feeling so hot, no appetite, tired, zero energy) got ready, and in my work clothes, as day light was breaking, searched again.


Stopped for gas once I reached my work exit. While it was pumping, looked some more.

No Zune.

So, I feel like crap, miss Steinvic, can't find my MP3 player...

At least it isn't snowing!

I'm not giving up my search...