Reasons My Husband Thinks I’m Insane

(Or, A List of Things That Make Me Stabby, In No Particular Order)

In honor of the holiday season and the spirit of giving and goodwill towards men, I’ve decided to compile a list of things I can’t stand, or have issues with, or things that just generally freak me the fuck out.  Of course, this will be soon followed by a list of things I DO like, just to keep my karmic balance in line…and to ensure that Santa doesn’t skip our house for years.

 

1.  Toilets. Ok, it’s not that I don’t like the concept of toilets, and you’re not going to find me in the backyard with a roll of tp, but the inner workings of toilets creep me OUT.  I absolutely refuse to lift the top of a toilet tank to diagnose any problem.  If the toilet starts making weird noises, or running too long or even seems to eyeball (flapper?) me in a threatening manner, I’ll quickly shut off the water flow from the wall, and run screaming for BD, who rolls his eyes in disgust.  (this is a fairly standard reaction of his to my quirks, FYI)

 

2.  Squeaky things. Or more specifically, a wet sweatshirt rubbing on itself (ook!), cutlery being dragged across a plate (gah!),  a hard lead pencil/dry marker on paper (eesh!!), the squeak of snow underfoot when it’s really cold (gargh!) and the absolute worst: the sound of Styrofoam rubbing on itself or cardboard (ARGH!)  I have actually managed to give myself GOOSEBUMPS just sitting here typing these things.  They are absolutely fingernails on a chalkboard for me (which…also sucks major ass, but no one has chalkboards anymore, so that threat is mercifully diminished.)

 

3.  Embarrassment humor. This is another one that BD thinks is absolute hooey.  I CANNOT, under any circumstances, tolerate TV shows or movies or even books that have a character placed in a potentially embarrassing situation.  This…somewhat limits what I can watch without running from the room.  Case in point?  The movie Meet the Parents, which was the movie BD and I saw on our first date.  I wanted to slide under the seats in a puddle of oozy discomfort but couldn’t due to the fact that I was sitting next to A Boy!  That I liked!  It took me about 5 years to admit to BD that that was possibly the worst movie I had ever seen.  Other related issues include 90% of all reality shows and more or less everything on MTV.  When you get down to it…I apparently hate conflict.  Which…is the basis of storytelling.  Frankly, I’m surprised that I can survive as a functioning member of society, let alone read as much as I do.

 

4.  Cilantro. Hey!  I know!  Let’s all put soap on our food!

 

5.  Advertising. Ok, not all advertising, but there are several instances that drive me straight ‘round the bend.

A) Kids in advertising.  Really?  Really?  I don’t need some twee little child shilling material goods in my general direction.  Specific call outs include the Pepsi girl from several years ago, the Welch’s grape juice urchin, and the commercial where the kid asks the father about mutual funds or retirement plans or whatever the hell it is.

B)  The word “extreme”.  Especially when spelled without the “E”.  ARRRGH!  Get a dictionary, advertising people!  Pizza is not extreme!  Flavored sugar water beverages are not extreme!  You know what is extreme?  My loathing of this word!

C)  Deliberate misuse of the letter “K” to make a name sound better/cuter/whatever the hell who cares?  Kountry Kitchen, Kalico Korner, etc.  I’ve had a discussion on this topic with a friend in advertising, and his point of view is that it’s easier to establish a brand identity with a unique spelling, but then he also has used the word “extreme” in his work, so his opinion is highly suspect in my book.

 

6.  Skittles. Well, ok, I actually love me some Skittles.  I’m not a huge fan of chocolate in candy bar form, so my go-to vending machine choice is always Skittles (but it’s gotta be the original red package.  That other shit is nasty!)  Anyway, the issue with the Skittles is the disproportion of colors.  (Which, as everyone knows, are the flavors.  Ever had anyone ask you for a cherry Skittle?  Nope!  It’s always “gimme some of those red ones”.  Greedy bastards)  You see, I have to sort mah Skittles before I eat them…I have to get the yellow, orange and green ones out of the way first.  And there are always more of those then the good colors (red and purple.)  But, I soldier on so I can get to the good part…the purple and red candies!  However, I’m strict about how I eat those, as well.  If I can’t match the red and purple ones up exactly, two by two, I have to eat ALL the extraneous ones first.  I can’t be having any non-matched up Skittle pairs.  So, the problem is (other than I’m a loon, and just eat the candy already!) that there are NEVER EVER EVER a matched amount of purple and red.  Why not?  Is it too much to ask for a little consistency across the high fructose corn syrup board?  Why god, WHY?

 

. . .

 

Whew!  That was a load off my mind.  And now that you’re all completely convinced that I’m insane, let’s talk about you.  If, in fact, “you” existed.   I’d ask everyone what their pet peeves are, but I’m reasonably certain that the only readers I have are my parents (hi, Mom and Dad!) and I’m sure their issues include daughters who complain about stupid things and cuss a lot, so there you go.  Although…if there is anyone out there, let me have it!

 

Soon to come:  the other side of the scale, or things that make me all melty and goopy.  Now with more schmaltz!

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Snow

Holy moly!  It’s a little dirty around here…hold on…

<phoof, phoof>

Ok, that’s better. Sorry if I phoofed dust in your eyes.  CLEARLY, someone has been letting the ol’ website languish away in some dreary corner of the Internet.  Ahem…don’t look over here, although I did actually predict something like this happening, back in this post.  It’s entirely possible that I have devolved into the aforementioned homicidal googly-eyed maniac, although it’s not due to the stress of moving so much as the stress of NOT BEING HOME EVER EVER EVER OMG.

My eyes are starting to twitch as we speak.

But!  I’m home now, until all the way far away Tuesday!  Hooray!  This time, it was the getting home that was a real pain in the old keister.  For starters, I was a bit wardrobe challenged yesterday.  Let’s pretend that I own a fabulous red trench coat, mmkay?  Well, I have to start thinking a bit more about what I wear WITH the red trench coat.  And what I haul around while wearing the red trench coat.  Otherwise you end up with me yesterday…green casual slacks (from Old Navy, and they rock!)  bright BLUE carry-on wheely bag (so’s I can tell which one is mine, natch) and the happy bright red trench coat and matching red leather gloves.  I looked like a box of crayons.

Of course, when the plane landed at DIA yesterday, I could have cared less what color my coat and gloves were, because it was SNOWING.  And I was on a turbo prop that you exit via a staircase.  Into the SNOW.  So that was fun.  My seatmate and I took one look at the blowing snow outside the window, and flatly refused to get out of our seats until we saw our gate-checked wheely bags unloaded onto the cart.  (Oh yes, my travel life is so glamorous that 9 times out of 10, I’m on a plane that is too small to hold wheely bags in the overhead compartments, so they take them planeside, heave ’em under  into the cargo bay and return them as you deplane.)  Bag firmly in hand, I gingerly minced across the icy tarmac, because I was wearing (of course) snakeskin ballet flats.  In my defense, the weather didn’t call for snow when I left Denver, and my other choices of footwear were equally bad, as they both involved high heels.  So, mincemincemince across the ice, into the terminal, on the train, up the stairs, out the door to the parking garage.  Not that I park in the parking garage, because it’s to damn expensive ($18 a day?  Are you KIDDING me?) but so I could walk through the parking garage to the outlying lots, where I had cleverly parked close enough to walk, so I didn’t have to wait for the shuttle.  Of course, I totally would have taken the shuttle NOW, but I failed to remember where I was parked, so I wouldn’t have been able to tell the driver which row and section.  I’m sure that a feeble wave and declaration of “somewhere over there-ish…I think” would have just enraged the other passengers, as we weaved around searching for my car.

So, I hoofed it.  And it was bloody cold.  I spent most of this time on the phone with my mom because

a) I like to call my parents when I come home from trips to let them know I’m not dead

b) I wanted someone on the line with me that could call 911 if I gave in to exhaustion and collapsed into a snow bank.  At least she could tell them I was in the east parking lot, somewhere over there-ish.

Off I trudged, dodging snow plows all the way, looking for my damn car.  It took a while to find, because clever me did a pull-through, and although I remembered pulling into a spot on the north side of the row, I was actually on the south (duh.) There were small drifts all around my car, which a normal person wouldn’t have noticed, but a person wearing ballet flats?  Oh, that shit got noticed.  Stomp stomp stomp to the back of the car, up with the hatch, in with the bag, over to the driver’s side.  Of course, this entire time my conversation with my mom went something like:

“fuck bloody fuck fuck my feet are bloody freezing this f-in sucks ARRRRGGH!  My shoe just fell off!  Really? Really? FUCK!”

(fortunately, my mom is a-ok with the cussing.)

I get into the car, wipe my poor feet off with some random article of clothing left in the front seat, and start the damn thing so I can let it run and heat up while I get out and scrape the windows (I tried to just use the wipers, but they got stuck after moving 3 inches.  Stupid snow.  Stupid ice.)  Or, at least that was the plan, because the alternator?  She is dying in the poor car, and I had to keep revving the engine to keep it from giving up entirely.  So I ended up opening the door and standing with one foot in a drift, the other in the car firmly on the accelerator.  This meant I was working a one-handed scraping operation, but I persevered until I got the wipers unstuck, at which point they went FOOMP, and dumped an entire boatload of snow down my cleavage.  (Red trench coat?  I hate you and your stupid neckline!)  I lost it at that point, got back in the car, turned it to defrost, cranked the vents up to 11, and waited until shit started to melt.  I then spent twice my normal commute home stuck in traffic, because OMG!  Snow!  In Denver!  Clearly, the end of the world is imminent!

Lord love a duck, this traveling all the damn time has got to slow down after Christmas, or I may well go completely batshit crazy.  Hopefully I’ll keep you updated.  But till then?

I’m off to Fargo next week.

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A Conversation

A recent conversation between my husband and I via e-mail.  (Note: I usually travel around during the day, but am stuck in one place today becuase BD’s pickup is in the shop, so he has mah car!)

____________________________

To: BD@work.com

Well, I don’t actually have that many e-mails to send today.  And my phone has been suspiciously silent…nope, just checked it.  It still works.

I have a crap ton of paint chips, plus I wandered through the store and grabbed a few things (artwork, a big ass vase) that I was thinking of getting for the house.  I have them on hold so you can check them out at some point in the next few days.  I’d like to make some decisions on paint so we could start on that ASAP.  And maybe get some better measurements at the house, so we know if the couch will fit, and stuff.

I also need food.  I think I’m going to wander over to Starbucks, as I have a gift card from there, so it’s FREE!

____________________________

To: ellbee@work.com

Let’s do this…

I’ll come get you and then maybe we could go load up the doggies and take them over to familiarize them with the new place.  Then while they’re in the garage/outside we can get some more measurements and look at paint.  I found this link that talks about using different shades of the same color on behr’s website so it sounds like you know what you are doing…

____________________________

To: BD@work.com

DOOD!  i’m totally getting this e-mail tattooed on my forehead.  I can’t believe you said I was right!!!

Anyway, I’m down.  Come and get me!

____________________________

To: ellbee@work.com

How bout I get it tattooed on my knuckles then punch you in the forehead….WOOOHOOOO

____________________________

To: BD@work.com

Do you know how stupid I look, sitting by myself and laughing my ass off?  (oh, sorry, LMAO?)  Thanks for that, boy genius.

____________________________

And that’s how we spread the love in our little corner of the world.

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And Now For Something Completely Different

We bought a house!  Hooray!

Yes, my car is filthy.  Just ignore that.  Please direct your attention to the driveway, which is currently occupied with my car, my dad’s pickup, and still has room for many many more cars.  We are SO getting a snow blower.  Also, note that my mother was only in the house for about a half hour, before heading outside with a pair of pruning shears and a wild look in her eyes.  See those huge pots of mums?  She’d already beheaded most of the dead ones by the time I managed to ask her where the hell she had gotten a pair of pruning shears, anyway.  As it turns out, the previous owners had been in the house until 5 in the morning the day of the closing, and had just given up on moving everything.  They left tools and remodeling materials in the garage, a gas grill in the backyard, and several bottles of wine and six packs of beer in the basement.  Oh, and an old kegerator.  I would be upset they left everything for us to deal with, but I love me some wine, so I can’t complain.

I love this red door.  The coolest thing?  The window wells on the side of the house are painted the same color.  Please ignore my terrible posture and general frumpishness in this shot; clearly, I fail at standing up straight.  The most awesome thing about this shot?  You can’t see it, but the key to the house is stuck in the lock.  Oh yes, the departing owners graciously installed a new handle and lock, and the first time we put the key in the door the whole thing jammed up.  Since it was such a nice day, we left the door open, and as one or the other of us would stroll by, we’d periodically tug on the key to see if the magic key fairies had visited and instructed the lock to relinquish the key.  About 5 minutes after this shot was taken, I gave the key one more tug and the ENITRE lock mechanism pulled out of the handle and launched the tumblers pell-mell across the hardwood floors.  Oops.

However, I’m not the only one that broke something in the few hours we were in the house on closing day.  BD was “just adjusting” that spotlight on the left when the entire thing pulled out of the ceiling and dangled there like an airplane oxygen mask.  Classy.  I give the previous owners full marks for creativity on their remodel, but I’m going to have to deduct some points for general haf-asserey.     (See also: tumblers, launching of and painting, basic rules of.)

And then there’s this.  Stainless steel.  Gas range.  New cabinets.  If it was possible to make out with a kitchen, I would SO violate this one.  (But I’d call it the next day, since I’m a class act.)  At first I was concerned about  my shiny red kitchen appliances against the green back splash but I’ve found some ceramic home accent pieces at work that have both red and green in a vaguely Tuscan theme, and I think I can pull the whole thing together.  That, and BD flatly refused to let me re-re-model the new shiny kitchen.  Also of interest?  The goddamn chicken by the wine bottle.  Let me state for the record that I DON’T collect chickens.  My parents think I NEED a signature knick-knack and have thus far purchased me three ceramic chickens.  My parents also used to give me turnips in my Christmas stockings and hide potatoes in my car.  My parents need help.

See?  My father (the prime culprit behind the chickens, the root vegetables and my stellar ability to burp) thinks it’s funny to take pictures of me taking pictures.  And then point out how much better his camera is than mine.  And how much cooler his pictures are than mine.  I can’t even refute either of those statements, as

a) he has a D80 and,

b) he is an excellent amateur photographer who puts me to shame.

Of course, HE doesn’t have a sweet bathroom!

Oh yeah, baby.  And there is a bathroom in the master bedroom, which means BD gets that and this pretty pretty princess is ALL MINE BWA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

(Sorry.  But dude!  Heated tile floors!)

Bwa ha ha ha ha!

And self portrait, to prove that my posture…well…this is pretty crappy posture too.  But hey, MY bathroom has a sweet full-length mirror.

Anyway, that’s about it for now…we’re not moving till next weekend, if that, since we haven’t actually “packed” or “planned” any of the move.  I think that both BD and I have been burned so many times on this loooong house hunt that neither of us actually expected the deal to go through.  That, or we’re horribly lazy.

Nah.

I’m going to attempt to post more, now that both the house hunt and the store opening are over and my stress level has decreased from “homicidal googly-eyed maniac” to “mother of god, if I think that moving is going to be LESS stress, I’m out of my ever-lovin’ mind”.

On second thought, look for me in another month.

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I Have To Confess

Seriously, but this damn town cracks me up.  I’m sitting here in the bar of my hotel, and I can count no fewer than 15 cowboy hats.  Now, I’m from Colorado, and I know from cowboy hats, but generally one doesn’t see this kind of concentration anywhere outside of a country/western bar.

And FYI, there are only about 25 people in the whole bar.  I feel so remarkably out of place, and I have to hit the bathroom, and mother of god!  I just wish I could catch the waitresses’ eye so I could get my goddam tab, but that might be problematic, seeing as I sat here for 40 minutes before she even came over and asked if I needed anything.  Apparently, she confused me with “another girl that was sitting at that exact table on a laptop!  I totally thought you were her!  I’m so sorry, this first drink is on me…”

(Ok, that part was awesome, I’m not gonna lie.)

UPDATE:  Apparently the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is having its annual conference in this hotel.  Hence the proliferation of hats and plaid shirts.  Man, does my company know how to pick its hotels!  This is one big partay…

UPDATE THE SECOND:  A woman just meandered over and asked if I minded that she steal one chair from my table.  She then asked if I was studying.  I was somewhat dumbstruck, and could only anwser with a apologetic (and completely fib-tastic) yes, since I’m not sure what else one would call the daily perusal of my Google feeds.  I don’t think blog reading ranks very high on the list of daily activities of ANY of the attendees of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

UPDATE THE THIRD:  I think I may EXPLODE.  Did I mention that this hotel has a 5 story water feature in the lobby/atrium?  The sound of the water is driving right through my skull.  And my bladder, for that matter.  (Oh!  A rhyme!  This post is clearly going to need its own catagory that implies alcohol is involved…)

And, a very small man with a very large cowboy hat just wandered over and tried to make small talk with me.  Which I responded to with a head toss and hearty laugh, because, hey!  I can fake laugh with the best of them…

Check, please!

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Still Wide Eyed

 

I can pretty much guarantee that I walked around like a lunatic today.  I must have had a bowl of stupid for breakfast, because every new challenge was met with a wide-eyed stare and a profound sense of “wha?”

Since part of my job involves supervising and participating in new store setup for my particular employer, it’s generally my job to be part of the solution, not so much the problem.  However, today I discovered something that I did two weeks ago caused some other shit to happen, and the end results were some things got done broke, and it’s pretty much my fault.  Nothing too extreme, but the sad part is when I first discovered the problem, I didn’t even recognize it as my doing.  I was full of righteous anger and, being none to shy about it, was venting my frustration by keeping up a steady stream of profanity.

It’s true, you know, you can construct a sentence using only the words “the” and “fuck”.

And I did.  At great length.  I even called Rosie, since she was one of the only people that had ever dealt with this particular object, and would be able to commiserate.  Sadly, she shot me down by pointing out that

A) she had warned me this might happen, and

b) it was really my fault for not paying attention last time, so

c) buck up, Buttercup, because you’ll have to take this square on the chin.

Fine.  You know, the damage is nowhere NEAR as bad I thought it was… this is totally fixable!

Of course, not an hour after my blowup and subsequent phone call (or two, or three, all to Rosie) I managed to screw up AGAIN.  This time, making a mistake that Rosie and I had done the first time around, earlier this year.  In fact, we had made such a big deal about how dumb we were, and what a stupid mistake, that we had even turned the whole thing into a decent anecdote, which I was regaling my helper with AS I WAS MAKING THE SAME MISTAKE.  Let’s just say it’s like I was building a house, and forgot to put in doorways.  (yes, that obvious of a mistake.)  Assume, for the sake of my story, that I realized my mistake only after the house was almost complete, and had to spend quite a bit of time trying to put the damn doors in the house.  Now, say I decided to build ANOTHER house, and while telling everyone the story of the doors, and how stupid, no one forgets the DOORS…I forget.  To put in.  The.  DOORS.

(Pause while everyone re-reads that paragraph to arrive at the point that I’M STUPID.)

This, of course, necessitated another call to Rosie, who declined to answer her phone at this point.  (Pshaw.  Like she was actually trying to work, or something.)  I left an intelligible message that sounded something like:

<beep>

MOTHERFUCKWHYCANTICOUNTTOFUCKINGTWELVEMOTHERFUCKER

<click>

And the day went downhill from there, prompting me to anwser every quesiton put to me with a wide eyed stare and an awkward “HAHAHA I’LL ANWSER YOUR QUESTION BUT I’M STUPID SO DON’T BLAME ME WHEN THE STORE FAILS AND YOU ALL GET FIRED AND HAVE TO LIVE IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER.”

Tomorrow I’m going to say “no thanks” to a shot of stupid in my coffee.

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Stabbing Eyeballs

This house hunt BD and I are presently engaged upon is enough to make me go completely ’round the bend, letting all my crazy flap in the wind.

We’re told this is a buyers market, especially out here, which I guess explains why EVERY single house we want is under contract the very SECOND we entertain the thought of maybe making an offer.  It’s enough to make a questionably sane person stab someone right through the eyeball.
If I may…

House #1 was a fixer-upper, and by that I mean there was an engine just chillin’ in the backyard.  Honda, I believe it was.    We could tell the bathrooms were an opportunity for a little upgrade. But that’s probably just because they were all in a pile.  On the porch.  None the less (and completely ignoring the ominous “crawl space”, which just screamed “dead bodies r us”) we thought it had some great potential.  One acre of land in the middle of the city?  All the homes surrounding it costing upwards of $200,000 more? How could we NOT buy this diamond in the rough?  Well, probably because it was under contract. The first day we looked at the damn thing.

(The saga of  house #2 has actually been updated since I began this post, but it all ends the SAME way.)

 

I got a call from BD a few months ago when I was in some other state for work, as happens quite often around here.  He said that he and his mom and sister had found a house they all absolutely LOVED.  It was perfect, he said.  A 3600 sq ft house (yes, we want a LOT of room, shut up) on a large lot (1/2 acre!) in a neighborhood where all the rest of the homes were much more expensive.  Again, it was a foreclosure/fixer upper, but we’re cool with that so…  The sneak and his cohorts even managed to give themselves a tour of the house, since both the gate to the backyard and the patio door were unlocked.  (What’s a little B & E among friends, anyway?)  Of course, when BD called to get an “official” showing of the house so I could see it, the damn thing was under contract.  Natch.

 

Fast forward to last month.  After a loooong day of looking at houses with our *new* realtor (BD’s sister Ams, who just passed her exams) we were taking a break and reviewing what we had seen so far.  BD started moaning about  house #2, and how it was perfect, blah blah blah.  Ams decided to call the realtor on the off chance the contract had fallen through, and (cue celestial music here) it had!  We raced out to the property, took a whirlwind tour, setteled on a bid (which we now realize was WAY low) and proceeded to place all our hopes and dreams on this ONE house.  Which…of course…was a terrible idea.  The bank rejected our bid, and by the time we had another one prepared, the house was (all together now) UNDER CONTRACT.

 

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.  We have missed the mark on FOUR more houses since then.  Sigh.  We just spent our ENTIRE Labor Day weekend driving around, looking at houses.

 

I think I’m starting to dream in square feet.

 

We’ve got our eye on a few more houses, but I’m not telling which ones, so that the real estate gods can’t curse us again with the under contract nonsense.  I’ll know more by the end of the week, so I’ll end this on a cautiously optimistic note…fingers crossed!

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Filed under my life let me show you it, this old house