Tag Archives: bitch/moan

The Joys Of Home Ownership

If my responsibilities would just fuck off for a minute, that would be great. I don’t need any more lemonade making tasks added to my schedule. I’m busy.

I would soak in a tub of Calgon if I thought it would take me away. But I probably shouldn’t introduce any additional liquid into this house. With my luck, the tub would fall through the kitchen ceiling.

When we moved in 2006, we purposely bought a home that had been completely renovated. We seem to have a “please screw us” sign on our backs, so we wanted to minimize having to deal with contractors.

Everyone was so impressed with the house we bought. Our realtor was salivating over it. The home inspector rhapsodized about how well it was built. The two other bidders who drove up the damn price loved it too.

When water seeped in through the foundation and ruined part of our entertainment center in the finished portion of the basement, I took it in stride. We didn’t even have to pay to fix that. Dave diagnosed and fixed the problem himself. Go Dave.

When we learned that the A/C unit in the attic didn’t have an appropriate emergency back up pipe to avoid leaks, I was pissed but basically took it in stride. We fixed it before it was ever a problem.

When water started dripping through the ceiling in the master bedroom, I took it in stride. OK, that’s a lie. The dripping woke me up and forced me to sleep on the futon in the guest room and that really made me cranky. But a thousand dollars later, the roof seems fixed and there’s only the tiniest spot of water damage on the ceiling that will inevitably stay there until we want to sell.

When Dave said there was water in the basement over Easter weekend and he didn’t know why, I lost my shit.

Call me picky, but I prefer NOT to have water in places not meant to house water.

Memories of our previous place, a townhouse built of sugar cubes, filled my mind with dread. Every day that fucker sprung a new leak. Fixing those leaks so that we could sell the house was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. Not a single one of the endless parade of contractors that came out had any fucking idea what was causing the water to pour through our kitchen ceiling every time there was a hard rain. We had the roof over the window re-caulked multiple times. We had the seal on the second floor windows checked, we had the brick and flashing inspected. We considered giving up and trying to promote the leak to potential buyers as a “water feature”.

Our realtor said no. So it came to a physicist and a social science researcher having to diagnose the problem. We are available for consultation, call now.

Dave cut a big hole in the kitchen ceiling, so we could shove our heads up there and see what was going on and also so the mold spores could escape their confinement. It wasn’t raining at the time and even if it were, I don’t know what the hell we thought we’d see up there that would help (unfortunately there was no shoelace untied or snowman with his hat blown off…check out 23:35 to 26:50 of the video below).

Once we cut the hole, it completely stopped raining for days and days. Our new pastime became watering the house with a hose while standing on a ladder. Yes, this looked just as odd as you might think.

Things we learned:

* Brick is porous!

* I’m allergic to mold!

* Contractors suck!

* We should move!

So we bought this newly renovated house. The current leak here came from a burst pipe going to the fridge. Ironically, this is the same pipe that has been failing to provide water for the ice cube maker and filtered water dispenser for over a year (the plumber said it was the fridge; the appliance repair man said it was the plumbing, we said fuck it and bought a Brita pitcher).

Score one for the plumber because even though water wasn’t getting to the fridge, it sure as hell got everywhere else it wasn’t supposed to go when the pipe burst, as evidenced by the water in the basement, the mold growing behind the fridge and the damage to the wood floor and the pantry cabinet.

It is not exactly clear what to do. Our high bid is definitely a Cadillac–$2500 just for mold remediation, not including reconstruction afterward. We’d likely be without the use of our kitchen for a while as the area would be blocked off during the work. This firm also suggests we hire a separate firm to create the plan and inspect the work, to the tune of an additional $1000. The low bid came last week in the form of a guy who essentially told Dave he should put some Windex on it. Voila, problem solved.

But at least we have ants!

Go Back Up, I’ll Wait…

This unplanned break in regularly scheduled blog posts is brought to you by my iMac and its fried hard drive. The WordPress interface on my iPad won’t allow me to post anything more substantial until I get my computer back from Apple with a new (heartbreakingly empty) hard drive.

Stay tuned for a backlog of posts that will be as timely as last week’s headlines.

The Bad Side

Imagine a classroom of first graders, a group of six-year-olds in their first formal school experience.

Now imagine the teacher openly labeling some of these children as “good” and the others as “bad.”

Sounds ridiculous, right?

My Mom did her best to prepare me for the start of first grade since past experience indicated I would need some encouragement, perhaps even a shove. Mom took me to the school for a visit before the first day. We got to see my classroom and meet my teacher, Miss Griswold. I was still very nervous, but I hoped it would be OK, just like Mom said.

Unfortunately, Miss Griswold had other plans.

One day, Miss Griswold announced she would rearrange the room. She wanted to split the class into the “good side” and the “bad side” of the room. I felt panicked. I didn’t yet know what it meant to be on the bad side, but it couldn’t be good. I didn’t think I was bad, but I couldn’t know for sure I was safe until she finished calling out the assignments. I held my breath. She assigned me to the bad side of the room. My heart sank. I felt very confused. What could I have done? I never got into any trouble.

She drew very clear distinctions between the good side and the bad side. She reorganized our desks and created a boundary between the desks on the good side of the room and the bad side.

When she crossed the boundary, she changed her tone of voice. She spoke in a cheerful sing-song while on the good side. She switched to a threatening tone whenever she moved over to the bad side. While the bad side of the room worked on extra math problems at our desks, the good side of the room moved to the back of the room to lounge on pillows and listen to extra stories.

I was painfully shy, but I had to know why she thought I was bad. I could not think of anything I had done. Asking her why she assigned me to the bad side of the room provoked enormous anxiety. But I could not think of anything else. I worked up my courage, walked over to her, got her attention, and managed to ask her why.

She said I forgot to hand in a permission slip for a field trip before she had to ask me for it. She actually said this in more condescending a manner than that, as if it should have been obvious. “Remember the other day, when you forgot to hand in the permission slip…” After I nodded, she said “Well, that’s why.”

If there was a way out of the bad side of the room, she didn’t offer any tips. I felt sick to my stomach. Going to school everyday made me miserable.

I have no idea how long this went on before my Mom’s complaints eventually put an end to it, but long enough for my panic and embarrassment to turn into dread. I stayed home “sick” a lot. I couldn’t even relax at home, because I worried about what would happen the next day if I couldn’t convince Mom to let me stay home again. Finally, Mom said if I missed one more day, they would hold me back. I stopped staying home.

Eventually Miss Griswold introduced a new system to reinforce good behavior, a token-earning system. The tokens were small chips, round and Crayola red. I don’t remember earning any. I absolutely did not want to call any attention to myself, good or bad. I didn’t need any tokens or prizes, I just needed to be safe.

While I don’t remember how long I sat on the bad side of the room, I do remember why, and I do remember coming to understand that no mistake would go unpunished.


This week’s RemembeRED prompt was to “mine your memories and write about the earliest grade you can recall.” I’m really hoping that someday one of these prompts will elicit an unambiguously happy memory because I swear I do have some!

For those of you who might wonder, Miss Griswold was my teacher’s real name. I suppose it’s possible that someone could identify her based on this post, and I have three things to say to that:  1.) Fuck her, 2.) She got married and changed her name, and 3.) Fuck her.

A Lack of Critical Thinking or Doofy Husbands*

My breakfast order at Panera doesn’t vary much–it’s either a pumpkin muffin or a cinnamon crunch bagel with honey walnut cream cheese. Sometimes, if I’m feeling wild and crazy, I’ll throw in a chai too. Since Dave had to go through the mall today on his way home, he sweetly called me to see if I wanted anything. Since I’d run that morning and still hadn’t eaten, I asked for a cinnamon crunch bagel and honey walnut cream cheese (so I could promptly undo any good the running did).

How much of that sweetness eroded when I found that Dave hadn’t actually procured the cream cheese because I “didn’t ask for it?” Quite a bit when you consider that he correctly answered the following question: “How many times have I eaten a cinnamon crunch bagel from Panera without honey walnut cream cheese?”


Since I only got slightly less annoyed during my unexpected 20 minute cream cheese gathering excursion, I decided to purge myself here. I feel better now.

*Here is Sarah Haskins’ take on the subject of doofy husbands. Of the three things that we “need husbands to do for us,” Dave is not so much on the lawn care and is certainly not breeding children (I hope). But he drops me off at the door when it is super cold or raining, he carries things that are heavy, and he brought homemade hot chocolate in a thermos for me to have after my first 5K run in the cold and drizzle of a dreary March day. Happy Valentine’s Day, Love!

Do You Have A Minute?

I’ve been meaning to link to this for weeks, but I’ve been steady busy, as my Dad would say. Catalogliving.net cracks me up, but this (semi) recent entry really spoke to me given my task-timing experiment.

Is the fact that this entry is funny a sign that it would be rude to use my timer to limit office intrusions??? Because my first reaction to this entry was to laugh, and my second reaction was, what a brilliant idea, Elaine…


I thought I’d listen to the shuffle on iTunes while I cleaned since I’m at home today for the holiday and I don’t want to get too behind on the shuffle challenge. Somewhere between syncing my iPod (although I’ve done that already without incident and the need to sync my calendar was one of the reasons I decided to create a playlist rather than rely on the shuffle setting on the iPod) and trying to play the playlist on iTunes from the point where I’d left off on my iPod, somehow the original shuffle order was lost. The song I started playing (which should’ve been #178) was now song #1. After 25 minutes of trying to identify and delete all the songs I’d already heard so I could continue relatively unscathed, I realized it was futile. I could only remember about 80 of the 177 songs I’d already completed. So I decided to start over (sob). I created a copy of the playlist this time and I will try to make a picture copy of it to store somewhere outside of iTunes, which clearly cannot be trusted not to fuck up a playlist order and is Satan’s spawn for doing this to me. Luckily I wasn’t that far in. I give myself special dispensation to skip any song that I don’t feel like listening to that I’m SURE I already heard during attempt number 1 (which is actually attempt number 2, but who’s counting). If something like this happens again, I’m so totally done with this fucking experiment.

Have a nice day.

The Fucking Buckeyes

The season of buckeyes is nigh. Buckeyes are balls made of a sweetened peanut butter and butter mixture dipped in chocolate.

Sounds delicious, no? They are especially delicious if someone else makes them. My sister-in-law from Ohio (buckeyes = Ohio state tree) brought buckeyes to my in-laws’ Christmas get together a few years ago. I ate 900 of them. Seriously, none of the others got any. Since I thought I couldn’t live without them, I asked how to make them.

The next year, I made them. Making buckeyes myself has been successful from a weight-maintenance perspective, because I have completely lost my desire to eat them. I only know that the buckeyes I make are any good because friends and family seem to love them. Socially speaking, I suppose I would still be allowed to go home for Christmas and be invited to holiday parties without bringing buckeyes, but the welcome would be more tepid.

So since I introduced my family and friends to the buckeye goodness, now I have to make them every year.  And verily, verily I say unto thee, making the fucking buckeyes is a pain in the ass. I plan to document the merriment of the annual buckeye making this weekend, complete with tips and photos. I’ve enlisted Dave to take the photos since my hands will be coated in buttered peanut butter all day. Dave’s also been instructed to leave me out of the photos since I generally don’t have time to shower or brush my hair the day I do this thing.

I’m writing about the buckeyes now prior to the tutorial so that I can get the use of the word fuck out of my system in case anyone ever reaches this site through an honest desire to know how to make the fucking buckeyes.

Also, because I’m documenting my tasks and productivity here I want to assert…this year is going to be different. This year, the buckeye making is not going to suck. Plans for reducing the suck include:

  • breaking up the three stages of grief buckeye making into two days by making the dough the night before
  • doing the rest on Saturday rather than Sunday and starting earlier in the day (procrastination usually leaves me dipping the damn things in chocolate in the wee hours of Monday morning)
  • sitting down and relaxing with a movie during the two hours of rolling time

A buckeye-loving friend suggested a couple of years ago during my endless bitching and moaning about the buckeyes that I should have a “buckeye-making” party. I had trouble getting past the oxymoron of “buckeye-making” and “party.” It reminded me of the time I was invited to a “tree trimming party.” I went to this party, and while it was pleasant enough, I couldn’t help thinking what a brilliant con it was. The whole time I kept throwing out other party ideas. But my plans for a “weed my garden party” and a “do my taxes party” weren’t enthusiastically received. Unfortunately, the timing for a buckeye party this year didn’t work out. But if the buckeye making still sucks after my proposed changes this year, I’m totally having a buckeye-making party next year. The guests will make the buckeyes, I’ll supervise. Or I might just go to the basement and play Rock Band.