Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Clean House - Messiest Home 3

Tomorrow is the reveal of the Third Annual Messiest Home in the Country episode, and - keep your comments about how I apparently have no life to yourself - I can't wait! I look forward to this all year. I mean, I don't have some sort of a weirdo Clean House Advent Calendar or anything, but once they start hyping it on the Style network, I'm right there with them.

This year, they've done a "Search for the Messiest Home" series. Niecy Nash and her capable crew have ventured all over the United States, searching for the family with the most catastrophic crib, and cleaning up the crap of six candidates along the way.

While Las Vegas was one of the featured towns, it sounds as though the Clean House crew hit the jackpot in Cincinnati, Ohio. Yes, the biggest hogs in the USA live right here in my home town. Now Cincinnati has something else to be proud of!

I have to admit, while I do watch the show for inspiration and organizing and cleaning and designing ideas, there is a bit of a freak factor involved in watching Clean House. I mean, what the hell is wrong with these people? I can see having a junk room or a junk drawer or if you have little ones, that the kids can sometimes create a toy-explosion-cheerios-disaster-crayon-nightmare in any given room. Because, you know...that's what kids do.

But at some point, wouldn't you get tired of looking at the piles of junk? I was showing a colleague a bit of footage from last year's Messiest Mess and Trish Suhr was talking, facing the camera, when a mouse scampered across a tower of trash stacked behind her. PEOPLE! If you are sharing your home with rodents, it's time to do something. I'm not talking about a pile of wayward shoes, or some bills that are sitting next to the sofa - temporarily forgivable. I'm saying, these people had coffee grounds, food, pizza boxes, computer equipment and a "petrified turd forest" in their kitchen. (The cat's litter box had been in the pantry. And the cat had died, but the litter box and contents remained. And I'm seriously convinced that the cat's body was probably found once the Clean House folks dug in.) Yes, it was that bad. Check it out for yourself if you simply can't wrap your brain around this image.

Anyway, if you want to be appalled, tune in tomorrow night for Clean House. Seriously. If you're like me, you'll find yourself Windexing the TV screen on the commercial breaks, but that's okay...trust me. The alternative is far worse!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Again & It's Not Too Late...

Somehow, it's Monday again. I don't know how it happens...Steinvic and I will be coasting along to the grooves of a perfectly lovely weekend, wind in our hair, sun in our faces, enjoying our time and then CRASH! It's Monday. I wake to the buzz-song of my cell phone alarm, see that it's 4:45 a.m., curse the dense, cruel darkness and begin my day.

It was an exceptionally good weekend. It was a weekend spent listening to his son play in a jazz trio at a local pizza shop, enjoying family time, meeting our new great-niece and yesterday, taking a nice walk to the grocery, cooking pan pizzas and watching SNL's 25th anniversary on DVD.

The little things...I live for them. Love them deeply.

Yesterday, while chopping veggies for salad, a documentary about comedy was keeping me company. I don't know the name of the special, but the comics featured were the classics...like from silent films on. I grew up knowing that my Grandma attended Sherwood Music School in Chicago at the same time that Phyllis Diller attended. They had some classes together and were dear friends. And like all dear friends of school age, they drifted apart (though their paths have happily, briefly crossed a few times since.) But I've always known that Phyllis was special, loved her laugh, and through her books, kind of knew her personal story.

But during the comedy special, something struck me. The show was talking about Phyllis and her comedy career and I suddenly heard the voice over say that Phyllis was 37 when she performed comedy for the first time.

And I suddenly felt a great weight lifted from my shoulders. I mean, comedy is what she is known for and she didn't start that part of her journey until she was 37? It's not too late!!

I am 37, and for the longest time, I've had a great sense of torment because I feel as though my life is not completely my own. That I'm not fully in control. That I'm being carried along. That even though I'm really, really busy, I'm wasting it somehow because I haven't found my One Thing. That even though I'm fulfilled in SO many ways, I'm not fully contributing. These thoughts stress me out...seriously. Like, I don't show it or complain about it, but it worries me! And it makes me a little sad - just a little - in the same way you'd feel if, age 8, your favorite Matchbox car careened right into the sewer.

And I know I'm talented at something. I really do. I just don't know what it is!

(I do know, however, what it isn't: It's not dancing, playing the piano/guitar/concertina and it might not be poetry. It probably isn't painting. And I won't ever be a runway model - not that I've tried it - but my nose has been broken at least twice and I'm not tall or thin enough.)

Now, I'm sure that Phyllis Diller knew that she wanted to be a performer her whole life (thus, Sherwood Music School) and that it all just started coming together at 37, but it's still comforting to me.

I don't know what I want to be at 37, but I know I want to be something.

So, yeah...Phyllis Diller kind of started life over at my age and it looks to me as though she's had a blast.

NOTE: I don't want a different life, mind you! I LOVE so many things about my life - I am blessed as well as making my own blessings.

It's just...while I don't want to change who I am, I want to change what I can do. I'm not trying to "find myself" (I don't like when people say that...it's like, ::pinch!:: You're right here!) or anything all existential. But it's time to find my One Thing and then enrich my life and the lives of my loved ones by doing that One Thing really, really well.

Here's to figuring it all out...and enjoying the thrill of the hunt!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Am I the Only One?

Well, here we are at week's end and what a week it has been for the entertainment community...loss-wise.

First, Ed McMahon, then today, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

About Ed, I remember watching countless hours of Star Search, because...you know...I was sure I was going to be famous one day. His show was a great way to dream.

Farrah...I remember just being envious. In the 70s, I was a buck-toothed, gangly, dorkwad. So to me, Farrah epitomized unattainable glamour and beauty - while maintaining an air of wholesomeness. Like most American girls, my sister and I went through cans of hairspray trying to feather like Farrah. (Farrah had her own line of hairspray, by the way.)

But Michael? While I'm sure that we all have memories of each of these entertainers, my memories of Michael are most vivid. Not just about him and his music, but the incredible influence he seemingly had on everything during the 1980s.

From dancing to Jackson's music in my friend Sheryl's basement, to coveting Michael Jackson puffy-stickers, to the boy in our school's Special Needs program who proudly wore a Michael red-leather-studded jacket every day (long after it was socially acceptable), Jackson was everywhere, whether you liked it or not.

So, I can understand why everyone in the world is so sad right now. What I don't understand is why, as everyone is listing everything that Michael ever did in life, no one seems to remember one important thing: apparently, he was a child toucher. I'm certain that some of these allegations were the fictitious accusations of opportunists, but I also suspect that some were true.

Because of that, I grieved for Michael Jackson long ago. Once the allegations of his behavior with children - children who apparently didn't have parents who loved them (because WHO IN HER RIGHT MIND would let a child sleep over with some strange man, wealthy or not) - broke, I stopped reminiscing so fondly.

I'm not happy that Michael is dead. I really do think it is unfortunate. I'm sure his family and friends and his children are wrecked. But more, I think it is incredibly tragic that this poor soul, who wore his torture on his sleeve like no one I've ever seen, was so pained that his anguish poured onto those who were the closest to him.

My first thought upon learning of Michael's death was that I hope someone - hopefully with a degree in psychology - has intercepted his children so that they may begin the deprogramming process needed to give them a shot at a normal life. No child should be raised in seclusion, wearing masks in a warped fantasy land. Who knows what all they dealt with?

I am glad that Michael Jackson is now at peace, away from the demons that drove him to continually pay others to mutilate what was left of himself. He seemed to desperately want a comeback...to be openly loved and worshipped by his fans as he had been years before. Today, he got his wish. Rest in Peace, Gloved One...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Finally Catching Up Here...

...and it's Tuesday already, so let's do it in list format...

Great weekend with Steinvic...any surprise there?! We had a good time at the Reds' Civil Rights Game festivities. While it was too hot and we were too beat to stay for the whole game, it sure was neat to be in the presence of legends like Ali, Aaron and Cosby. Wow! Here is a picture of The Hammer before he rode around the field in the Civil Rights Parade.

Before we left for the game, my folks showed up with their "cast off" television for our basement. Bless my Momma...instead of getting cable, she and her husband got rid of all their "analog" televisions, replaced them with digital, and spent hundreds on new antennaes. There was no advising them otherwise...my Mom researched it and felt that this was the way to go. Their new equipment is lovely and they shopped well. The bonus is that we got a new telly for the formerly vacant entertainment center in the basement.

The birds arrived on Saturday, so now the bedroom is finished. This isn't the best photo because the colors are wonky (from my phone) but you get the idea. That quilt is care of my Mom, who designed and made it for us, all by hand...(only sewing machine on the initial blocking stage...all quilting done with her little, nimble fingers. Love!)
Made Steinvic a GIANT steak for Father's Day. We pretty much chilled and recovered from the mega heat of the game on Saturday evening. We both wished his son could have been there with us, but I'm hoping that they'll get to spend some time together this week or weekend.

The shrub was FINALLY trimmed when I got home last evening. THANK YOU, HOA BEEETCHEZ!! Only about a month late. (Better late than never, fo' sho'...)

Mission Clean Basement 2009 is in full swing. I am loving it. I feel like a huge sucker for letting the last five years go by with a finished basement essentially serving as a dumping ground for stuff. Criminal! In one hour, I have it 50% better than it was. Tonight will be a big night for getting things done.
And that's a wrap! I hope your weekend was spectacular and that if you're in this heat wave, you're hydrating. Hydrate!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Friday and Why HOAs Suck

Happy Friday and welcome to another episode of Why Our Homeowner's Association Sucks Big Time!

It's been a great week of getting things done in our house. If I haven't mentioned, the big pushes for house-freshening include our friends Em and Ay coming in two weeks AND, most importantly, Steinvic moving here. (Before you get too excited...no job leads for him yet, but I feel like getting the place prepared is a big sign to G*d and the Universe that we're both ready for it to happen. Now. Please!)

So, with the painting, fussing, dusting and cleaning of it all, imagine how frustrating it is to go in and out of the house each day to see the monstrosity pictured above!

When the tacky neighbors busted a move and abandoned the place a number of weeks back, I'd contacted the HOA about all the shenanigans. I also mentioned that the greenery outside was really out of control. The HOA chick said that the maintenance dudes were actively pruning and hedging, so it should be taken care of within two weeks.
Um...no. It's been three. I sent a follow up e-mail and she replied that she couldn't guarantee it would be taken care of this week. Not acceptable.
The problem with HOAs is that you have to pay them to live in your own home. The home that you own. Your house. You're paying an entity to be able to live there in the house that you purchased. On top of taxes. And the entity promises to take care of the grounds. And then they do it at their leisure. To their standards.
I'm not a slob. While I am a little obsesseive, (yes, I admit it, but I use my OCD for good, not evil), I think my standards are reasonable. I like things to have some order. And I like things to look nice. So, paying a HOA that has a different standard of "looking nice" than I have is extremely frustrating. Because if you math it all out, we're paying for someone to do a half-ass job of keeping our home. I have been a manager most of my life, and I sincerely try to shape mediocrity, and if that person is resistant, I fire them. That's business.
So, I'm ready to fire my HOA. I'm considering sending them a note and saying, forget my request. I've bought the equipment and it cost $50. I did the work myself and my rate is $100 per hour. It took two hours. So, we won't be paying you an HOA fee next month.
But I don't have the guts, because I know it would come back on us and we'd have to pay anyway. Sigh...
Enough of my rant. You tell me...does the shrub (that is now overgrown to the point where you can't see the kitchen window) look like @#$% or am I a picky b*tch?
I hope that you're happy and well, and that your own shrubs are trimmed (wait...Oh, never mind...) and that you're set for a fantastic weekend! And, if by some chance, one of the 301 hits to this site includes a lawyer who is up on association members' rights, feel free to chime in on the comments section below! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Spiders, Jersey Girls and Other Stuff

There was a GIANT black spider on the floor of my car this morning. So, essentially, my day began with murder. This is an annoucement for all spiders: if you surprise me by showing up in our house or car, your time on this planet is over. It's a reflex reaction. My second spider-murder of the week.

Did you watch the season finale of the Real Housewives of New Jersey last night? You know I did...come on! I mean, since the second episode, they've been showing a clip of this big upcoming fight at a dinner party where Teresa overturns a table because she is p*ssed about something. Of course I'm going to tune in for that crap!

Well, it was stupid. But you know, I've got a big case of the busy brains and sometimes this mindless junk is perfect to watch just before bed.

My conclusion about this six week season of the RHoNJ? It's a guilty pleasure, decent background noise if you're doing something else (which I always am) and a good reminder that it is important to be kind to others. If you run into someone who sucks, avoid them. If you can be nice, do it. If you have something wonderful, share it and increase your joy. These ladies do very few of these things. And they are obsessed with fake breasts and Botox, which amuses me and horrifies me at the same time.

Meanwhile, it has been a banner week in getting things done and acquiring things for our home. My Mom made us a magnificent quilt which is kind of heartbreaking to look at, when you consider that every stitch was placed by hand, and how much love went into sewing it. She also is giving us a big, homeless, TV that has been gathering dust in her basement. It will go into our finished basement and fill in the LARGE empty space in the entertainment center down there (that I just had to have, though we had nothing to put in it!)

My Mom is generous with me and with Steinvic. I think it pleases her to see our home shaping up and she wants to help. While I have a tough time accepting help, I'm smart enough to know that this is one way in which my Mom shows love, and I am the same way, so it's actually good to let her.

The bird painting featured on this site has a new home, thanks to Michaels, a 40% off coupon, a sweet frame that was already on clearance, and a really awesome sales person in the framing department who volunteered to install a packet of intimidating wire/attachers on the back for me. So, here is a shout out to Misty at Michaels, who doesn't know me or read this blog, but maybe a good word out there will help the Universe bend in her favor. (I did actually contact the corporate site to compliment her kindess and I hope they hook her up with at least some kudos.)

That's a wrap for now...hope your mid-week is bringing you smiles!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another Endorsement (for which I will not be compensated) - Incoco Dry Nail Applique

Long ago, I used to be one of these chicks who "gets her nails done." Then, I realized how much money I was spending on fingernails...FINGERNAILS. And I realized that there were many other things that I wanted to spend $80 per month on, so I stopped.

But I, like all decent, well-groomed humans of the female persuasion, like to have nice-looking hands and feet. So, I'd religiously paint and manicure my finger and toe nails at home. Steinvic even bought a homespa for my feet! (Which I love and still use...Thank you, Steinvic!)

So here is the question on the home nail painting: Who in Sally-Hansen-hell has time to wait for nail polish to dry? I mean, isn't that even an expression to describe boredom: "I'll just sit around and watch the paint dry..." Who has time for this?! I gots thangs to do!

Enter Incoco Dry Nail Applique, a.k.a. Savior to My Finger and Toe Nails. I thought, "Surely this won't work. Surely it won't stick to my nails. Surely it won't last and it will just peel off." I was so sure that this product would fail. After all, all the sixty-second-dry stuff is bogus, as well as the 10-day-no-chip stuff. I've been lied to, and friends, you know how that feels.

Guess what?! I was wrong! This product does precisely what it says it will do. And isn't the Truth a rare and glorious thing? Especially in the world of advertising? Amazing!

My favorite shade is Fairy Dust, a French manicure kit. No more screwing around with those little crescent moon strips that leave adhesive on your nails and contain gloppy white tip polish that won't dry ever!
Sized differently, you get 20 appliques in each kit. I have found that I can make use of both sets included in the package, whether or not I use the French or color appliques. If the applique looks a little too small, you just simply, carefully, gently stretch it over your nail from one side to the other. It works for me...and if I can do it, you can, too. You may need to practice. Well, Incoco has thought of that, too: inside every container is a two-applique sample of another shade in it's own little packet!

Watch the little video on Incoco's Web site, then haul your cookies over to Walgreens to pick some up, because they have exclusivity on Incoco.

By the way...no reason for your tootsies to feel left out of the Incoco game. For a minute, Incoco offered a toe version of the dry nail applique. They've apparently discontinued it. There is no stopping me: I use the finger kit on my toes! Yes, I have to shape the appliques a wee bit, but for 3+ weeks of no chip, no scuff wear and zero dry time? I am cool with shaping.

My walgreens carries the solid colors for $4.99 and the French kits for $5.99...you can often find in store coupons to make them even more affordable. Enjoy!

Monday, June 15, 2009

For Steinvic

To my best, sweetest, loyal, true Friend -

I know we talked about it, but I'm putting it in writing, too. I've been thinking a lot this weekend, thinking more than I was talking. I want you to know that I now see the big difference between being vulnerable and being flawed. And being stupid. I'm actually through with all of that. (I'm kind of a slow learner, but obviously, eventually, I get it.)
Thank you for your unending patience and love. It only gets better from here. You have my word.

You really are the best...

p.s. The image may be a little hokey, but I have made a promise, and since I'm also cleaning up my act...well...hopefully, it brings a smile.
p.p.s. There is, apparently, a right way and a wrong way to flip eggs for eggs over easy. Guess which method I've been using all these times I've tried to make them for you? (And apparently, frustration and tears are not required ingredients...)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Healthy Obsessions and Other Things...

Happy Friday, y'all...

Ever so often, I see something material that is amazing and I feel I simply have to have it or some version of it. It's rare, because my taste is eclectic and I am not in the habit of treating myself, but when it happens, my mind starts dissecting it, figuring it out, or watching for it to go on mega sale, or whatever. I feel like if it pushes my skills to learn to make something new, it's a healthy obsession and I should go for it. (You should, too!)

Well, last night on The Fashion Show, Daniella designed the hoodie pictured above. OH. MY. GOODNESS! I instantly began to stalk this hoodie. Whoever wins the fashion competition for the week gets to have a version of their winning item featured for sale in the Bravo TV Shop. So, as soon as I saw Daniella's hoodie, I selfishly started praying to the Fashion Gods for her to win.

She didn't win.

So, now I'm thinking, I really need to sketch this out and I really need to learn to use the sewing machine Mom gave me three years ago and I really need to get her to help me make this freaking hoodie before I loose my mind! Isn't it beautiful?

Mom says, "I'll bet there is a pattern out there for something similar," and I'm doubting it, though a google image search for "elegant hoodie" or "beautiful hoodie" did generate some interesting options. But nothing that compares to the Daniella design...

ANYWAY! Enough of my obsessing for now, since I can't do a thing about it at the moment.

It's Friday, and I'm watching the minutes until I can head to Columbus to see Steinvic. Missing him a lot as we had so much time together over our long weekend...I got spoiled. That makes the days following kind of tough. We don't have big plans for our weekend, but just being in the same place is a treat... we might see a movie.

Visited my Grandma, who was very upbeat and actually liked my hair! (GASP!) It was good to see her doing so well. She'd had a lot of visitors yesterday and while it wears her out, I think it really helps her general outlook.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, that's about it! Have a glorious, grand weekend...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

May as Well Live in Seattle...

It's been a wet, dark, dreary week...hasn't stopped raining in days and days. But I'm surprisingly chipper (usually a few wet feet/bad hair days can put me in a funk) and I know that the sun'll come out tomorrow, right?! And yes, literally, it will come out tomorrow, and then raining will commence throughout the weekend. Niiiiiiiiiiiice. At least it will be sunny for my drive to Columbus to see Steinvic...

So, what has been going on in addition to the rain? Well, the neighbors have installed a new front door (in a non-approved-by-the-HOA color) and one of those real-estatey-lock-thingies, so they must be getting ready to show the place. (Insert silent prayer for non-trashy neighbors here...)

And, I got home from work yesterday extra early, so I decided to go ahead and paint the bedroom. No one makes good use of five hours like I do, for reals. If I were still in elementary school, I would get an S+ for using time wisely! But here is the color Steinvic chose. I had a good time turning our white walls Seven Seas blue! The room may need an additional coat, but it ain't gonna be tonight. A trip to the hardware store, painter's taping off that whole room, brush painting the edges and baseboards and then rollering the whole thing was a lot to accomplish in one evening, but by 10:20 p.m., I was showered, having a tiny glass of wine while talking to Steinvic, and hoping the walls dried enough so I could put the curtains back up and move the furniture close to the walls before bed. (It all worked out.)

That's my week in a nutshell. Tonight is a visit with my Grandma, which is always a highlight of my week! One thing, though...my Grandma is always VERY honest about her thoughts on my hair. Really. This sweet, 91 year old darling, who always has kind and wise things to say, does not hesitate to bust out with a, "What are you doing with your hair?!" or "I thought you were blonde...what is going on with that color?" She remembers me with almost white hair, from my days of over-using highlights, and she liked it. I'm not sure why. But the natural look isn't doing it for her and I can only imagine how she'll feel about the haircut from last week...

Hope your week is going great and if not, just remember: Tomorrow is FRIDAY!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Weekend and Neighbor Update

What an awesome time we had with Em this weekend! Yesterday, Steinvic and I reluctantly came home from our wonderful, long weekend in St. Louis...our livers were not so reluctant! Em and her friend, Ay, showed us all over town, and we had a fantastic stay.

The International Tap House is every beer lover's dream. They've got bottled beers from just about every country imaginable and they also have quite a few draught beers to choose from. Our server, Kate, loved her job and it showed. She brought us samples to try and made great suggestions based on what we liked. I was totally impressed with this place!

We ate at some great restaurants while we were there, too. Espinos is outstanding, so if you're willing to venture to Chesterfield for the I-TAP and you like Mexican, be sure to stop by...it's just across the street! (And ask for Rhonda...)

We also went to a Cardinal's game, Em's treat. After tooling around Laclede's Landing and grabbing a bite at the Morgan's Street Brewery, we headed over for some pre-game drinks at Patty O's. We were headed through the purse-check gates, getting our tickets scanned, when suddenly, instead of a "ding!" for entry, we got a "dong!" as in, "you ain't gettin' in." The horrified look on Em's face as she realized that we had Friday night tickets instead of Saturday night tickets is one that I have never seen before and hope to never see again! She was so upset. Fortunately, she headed to the ticket window, where a very kind soul could somehow tell that we hadn't scanned the tickets the night before and so, even thought the game was sold out, she gave us standing room only tickets, which suited us just fine... After the game, we hit Al Hrabowski's, and then took a loooooooooooooooong train ride home...

Ay recommended Blueberry Hill in University City for our last outing. All I can say is, go. The atmosphere is amazing, the food is great, the beer is cold and the hundreds of photos on the wall of the owner next to everyone from Chaka Khan to Joan Jett to David Byrne to Bob Dylan is thoroughly impressive. Go! Quickly! Enjoy!

We also played Ladderjacks and Washers and drank and cooked out and played with Em and Ay's puppies. If it sounds like all we did this weekend was drink, eat, and have a great time with awesome people, I've described it accurately. It's good to be back, but Steinvic and I had a fantastic time!

On the neighbor tip, I finally did talk to the cops and the HOA on Thursday. I asked the Police about the outcome of their stop by on Wednesday night and she said, "Oh, they saw what you described, but the other entrances were fine so he left." Uh...okay...that makes me feel much more safe...not! The HOA was much more supportive. While they can't help that the unit next door is probably always going to be rental, they will work with me to enforce that the outside is neat and safe. And, if we want to begin filing formal complaints if they rent to rowdy, uncaring folks again, we can do that and hire a lawyer and work on getting them evicted. I am still struggling with that as this is our home, and not just a rental to us, but at least we came home to seeing a new front door over there, and new locks, and they kind of secured the busted basement window. So...I'm relaxing about it for now. Just keeping my eyes open...

That's it! Hope you all had a great weekend, too!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

More @#!%! Dinosaurs and Crappy Neighbors

I had another Lionel Richie style dream about dinosaurs last night. This time, I was running in a large building, like a corporation, with a group of people. We were being chased by a giant T-Rex. I had the brilliant idea to get the T-Rex to follow us up an escalator, thinking that it would certainly wipe out and not be able to get us.

My plan worked awesome (of course, because by now, I'm becoming a regular dinosaur slayer) except for a little kid came shooting out from the top of the escalator on a mini-motorcycle, through the air, and into the mouth of the very frustrated T-Rex. He landed inside, expertly, and we all stopped being frightened for one moment as we realized that there were all these beautiful Asian folks, perfectly calm, lounging around in the T-Rex's mouth, applauding for the kid on the bike.

That is when I woke up. I woke up realizing that my electric alarm clock hadn't gone off, but my cell phone alarm was zinging away, thank goodness. I didn't dare hit snooze to try to sleep more...the T-Rex times were just too weird.

I think I had the dino-dream because I'm concerned about our "neighbor" situation. The folks next door appear to have bugged out. We have a townhouse with touching walls, so it's pretty obvious when people are home and these folks haven't been home for weeks. Perhaps they've hitchhiked to Hollywood or another sparkly town with a great variety of opportunities. I haven't written about it here, but whoever was living next door...well, we just don't know. Long story short, we think that the owner was subletting to strippers with many, many children...children who were unsupervised.

Note: If the women weren't strippers, they like to shop where strippers shop, and that is fine, but please look after your children. And yeah, I called children's' services once, because I was just so worried...I hate to be a nosey neighbor, but I would hate even more to know that I could have helped a kid who got hurt/was neglected/was abused.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, all noise (and this includes 2:00 a.m. front door bangings) ceased at the House of Sin and a mattress appeared on their back patio. After all, a mattress is THE perfect patio accessory, right? I notified our lovely HOA about the sexay mattress outside and they just removed it yesterday, after two-and-a-half weeks.

But when I got home last night, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. A pillow stuffed into the window well that leads to the basement. On closer look, the basement window was either open or broken out. So, I dialed the non-emergency police number. They said they'd send someone and that the reporting officer would come by to let me know what was up. I saw a cop car out there, but didn't hear them knock on the door next door. They also didn't knock on our door. It's like...they pulled up, then left. Thank you, Police Department!
I've got a call into the HOA this morning. I don't want to be a pain or paranoid, but...if there are crackheads using the abandoned basement next door, I don't want them setting fire to the building, jumping me for pocket change, or leaving more bedroom furniture on the outside of the house. I'm alone during the week and that can be scary. This house next door business has gotta stop. So...I'll keep you (all two of you) posted.
On another topic, the hair? Just fine. It's short, but the consensus is that it's a great improvement. From my perspective, it now takes less than 10 minutes to do my hair. And I'm cool with that!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Time for a Giggle or Ten...

I've had a long day. I'm not complaining...just a lot of work and editing and writing. Since my "To Do" list is now shorter than my "Done," let's take a moment to slack off. ( I said SLACK! Geez...)

I have a fabulous childhood friend, J, (who, by the way, is one of like...two readers here, I think. Hi, J!) who has thanked me a bunch of times for turning her on to Cake Wrecks. Yeah, it's in my favorite things link area over there on the right, but if you haven't checked it out yet, please do. This is the entry that I saw almost a year ago that made me laugh so hard, I cried. I love that. There is nothing like it and there is nothing like dragging someone into your giggle-misery. I showed it to two other people here that had the same reaction. Extra funny to me because I had just worked on a project about this very topic.

And I mentioned Awkward Family Photos a few weeks back, but this and this had me chuckling to myself (and adding to the nasty rumor here that I'm insane. Whatever.)

The customer comments for this are excellent. (Steinvic, don't worry...I ordered one for you and hopefully, it will arrive before our travels this weekend. Whoo hoo! Par-tay!)

Okay...that is all the time I have for the sillies right now. I have to leave for my hair cut in a half hour, so please, send me good hair vibes. I'm terrified!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Another Short Week...and other stuff

Happy Monday and Happy June, y'all! After a glorious and wonderful weekend with Steinvic and his awesome son, I'm back at it, getting my act together and working away.

Why working so hard? Well, because we're taking days off on Friday and Monday and heading to St. Louis to see our very dear and wonderful friend, Em. Em is awesome. We've been friends for let's see...about eight years now. She and Steinvic get along famously and that makes me happy. She's going through a bit of a rough spot right now, so our timing turns out to be spot on, because our girl could use a visit from people who love her, as well as an opportunity to pull on her finest Party Pants and blow off some steam. So, that's just what we're gonna do. So...that's this weekend. (It's only Monday, and I'm already drooling over the weekend...where is my dedication today?!)

What else...OH! I am getting my hair chopped tomorrow. I have postponed this appointment like...three times now. Partially because I didn't know what I wanted to do, and partially because other stuff came up during those weeks, but Steinvic helped me by finding some photos of shorter cuts that I like, and I think I'm finally ready to do it. I've had short hair before, but it's been about five years. I could only be so fortunate to look as fab as Helen does with her new 'do... hers isn't exactly short, but it looks amazing! So...wish me luck.

Finally, I have been wanting to post a profile on my high school reunion site for a while now. But, because I'm private, I've hesitated. To be more specific, there is someone out there who I simply don't like knowing much about me and my life. But...I thought about it this last week and I decided, screw him. To keep myself from doing something I want to do is to allow him to still have a hand in my life, and he doesn't. I've worked very, very hard to be independent and to move past the horrifyingly ugly disaster that was once my "marriage" and I've done a great job of that. So, dammit, I posted. I haven't submitted a "now" photo, and what I did say about myself was friendly and also reasonably vague, but at least I'm out there. The nice thing is that there is a "send this person a message" button that doesn't reveal your e-mail address, but allows people to send you a hello if they like. That way, those who want to get in touch, can. So, it's a small yet bold move for me, and I feel good about it.

So, that's that! I hope you're ready for a glorious June...