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Category: craziness (page 1 of 9)

When Will It Be Enough?

We’re inching ever-closer to some of the movies we thought would never happen – I’m thinking specifically of Natural Born Killers. The frenzy climbs, and media attention – even posthumously – seems to be the currency of the day.

I watched part of a video on CNN, the live feed of the reporter & cameraman being shot to death today. I recoiled, horrified, and cried at my desk. I want nothing more to do with any more video. I want to know nothing about the man who committed this crime, who posted more video on his Twitter account before going on the run and eventually killing himself.

I thought 20 children being killed along with their 6 teachers was when enough would be enough. I don’t even know what the answers are? But something has to change. This is heartbreaking.

Tales of the Crazy Cat Lady

So as you know, we’ve got a Crazy Cat Lady in the neighborhood. As in, across the street. This past spring she had what we could only guess was yet another small unfortunate fire, as random burnt objects starting showing up on her curb. (She is not familiar with the 3-1-1 Action Line for bulky pickup, either, so we get lots of opportunities to eyeball the assorted flotsam that resides on the curb for days on end.) One of the piles got dubbed “Crazy Cat Lady’s Rugs and Remnants” because it appeared to be some hideous ’70’s carpet, a carpet pad and god knows what else.
ANYhoo.
She is, sadly, mentally ill, enhanced and distorted by alcohol and prescription medications. Gaunt as a skeleton and severely aged by the ravages of her abuse, she is hard to look at, and she can’t make eye contact. She also pretty much detests us, as we are mean and don’t bend to her requests like, “Give me a phone,” or, “I need to come in your house,” or, “Give me three cents.” (I’m still struggling to puzzle out that last one.) Sometimes they are just statements: “I lost my cell phone.” Ohhkay. Sorry?

But I have not told all of her stories here – and there are some doozies. We are coming up on the year anniversary (Halloween), when she went completely batshit crazy and laid down in the middle of the street, barefoot and wrapped in two acrylic blankets. I was still at work, JWo had called the police, and a cheerful kind woman in a brightly colored caftan and sneakers had pulled her van over and was directing traffic around CCL, who was now curled up by our telephone pole. I came up over the rise in the street to see this montage of crazy in front of me and was boggled by the insanity of it all.

According to CCL, she was having a “surge”, and we should look it up on the computer. (JWo’s fast-witted reply? “I don’t think they make that soda anymore.”) She lurched back to her house just before the police arrived, and refused to let them in. We thought if she had stayed in place, we’d certainly have the scariest trick-or-treat house on the whole street, because her rising up out of the dark would scare the piss out of grown adults, let alone 8-year-old kiddos!

She really has become such a fixture among the fire department, paramedic team, and hospital that a couple strapping firemen came by a few weeks ago and asked us if we’d seen her, as they hadn’t gotten called out for a couple weeks and they were just checking in. It’s a strange blend of funny and sad, to be that reliant on public servants for help that they notice when you stop surfacing; it’s tragic to lose your existence into that pit, and it’s kind of funny because we’re all sort of thrown in on this same “team” whether it’s geographic or service based, so you can literally strike up a conversation – even with the 911 operator – about her, because everybody knows her. The veritable female version of Norm from Cheers, but less robust and certainly no match to his snappy wit.

Pretty sure the house will have to be razed when she finally departs this world (though there’s something about a certain breed of alcoholics – tough as nails and somehow bionically fueled by their diluted bloodstream, and she could be around for decades to come.) Right now there’s a hodge-podge of refuse by the curb, with more random piles and a large barrel for burning out back.

People keep pointing me to the Crazy Cat Lady action figure that’s out there -but what can I say? We’ve already got our own version!

CCL

Won’t You Take Me To…

Oh my. Funky Town, the dance club melting pot, located in glamorous Raytown, MO has long been a destination for people in KC. I remember seeing it when I first moved here, from an errant exit onto 350 Highway instead of remaining on 435. I knew people went for the disco, and to party in large groups, but I’d never made it there myself, until last night.

That place is something else. I think I had a goofy grin on my face at least the first 20 minutes, because it was a feast to gaze upon. Talk about a cross-section of life! I’d say the average age was around 40, so at least I didn’t feel awkward or -cough- old, and you could not have gotten a greater mix of types of people – races, heights, weights, ages, dress, fashion-sense, all mixing it up on the dance floor, or in a dance cage, or on a light-up dance box. Granted, it was still predominantly white, but it definitely felt like a representative population slice of the entire city. I think I got most mesmerized by the group sitting front and center to the dance floor, and it quickly became clear to me these were Regulars, with a capital R. The motley assortment tended to line dance to most of the music, all eyes upon their leader, a skinny, middle-aged man in baggy jeans (not sagging, just 80’s bagging) and a 2013 Tate Stevens t-shirt who determined which line dance they would do and began each dance with an emphatic flourish and a clap. The others fell into place around him, and then even others, not part of the head table, would jump in and out, swinging a right leg forward and back, a little Saturday Night Live disco jab to the sky upon completion of one set.

Then there was Disco Stu. The name was suggested by my friend John, there with his NOW fiancee, Heather, and another couple. (John told me last night that he was going to propose today! I won an Oscar for disguising my happiness while still conveying it, and while it would have really been epic had he done it at Funky Town, perhaps they will have their reception there.) Anyway, back to Disco Stu. He had a glorious smile on his face, joining the line dancing to some of the songs, dancing to his own drummer on others. At one point, he got up on the light-up box, and as I watched, the gravitational pull of his fellow line dancers turned his freeform steps into a synchronized, albeit elevated, line dance all on his own. Later, I saw him dancing rather suggestively with a middle-aged blonde woman, and all I could think was, “Heeeey, get it!”

People in their 60’s showed some magical dance moves while others seemed to do no more than shuffle from side-to-side. Most people shout-sang along to the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s tunes, forming large circles that shifted back to their smaller group sizes. One young man, I imagined to be an IT professional by day, writing code and pushing his square black glasses up on his nose, demonstrated some fancy foot work, attracting the attention of two women (my age) who gyrated and sandwiched him repeatedly, perhaps viewing him as a veritable fountain of youth. He did not appear to mind one bit.

The bonus part of the evening? A full-on Michael-Jackson inspired floor show (EVERYONE GET OFF THE DANCE FLOOR) to Thriller and then some. Zombified dancers hit the floor and performed some awesome, choreographed moves (I confess, I looked around to see if Tate the Line Dance Leader might have transformed into Michael, and I still can’t confirm they are two separate people.) Everyone shouted and cheered, and returned to the dance floor with gusto when it was over. (Now through the end of October, and apparently they have a mega costume contest on the 24th, and I kind of want to go. I can create a killer costume!)

I think the best part about the entire experience was that the place is without any pretense. Nobody cares. Everyone’s having fun. It pretty much doesn’t matter if you can or can’t dance, if you look a certain way or weigh a certain amount or dress a certain way (though I did get very confused and thought a woman was not wearing any pants; the black lights do a number on certain colors, and her shrimp-colored leggings were transformed and seemingly disappeared!) As John put it, “Out there (in the rest of the world), I’m like a 7. In here? I’m an ELEVEN!” It’s not that there aren’t gorgeous beautiful people there (there are! I was terribly envious of the 6’+ blonde with legs that probably ended at my shoulder height, in her heels and short black shorts.) It’s just that – again – nobody really cares. For once, a place where your attitude counts – and outweighs – the superficial.

Written Saturday, publishing late late late so no beans get spilled on the proposal. 🙂
Funky Town
8300 Blue Pkwy
Kansas City, MO 64133

Shopping…Like Childbirth?

Because apparently if you don’t go out during the crazy for a few years, the mind blurs and the memories fade and you think, “It can’t be that bad!” I hear this phenomena applies to childbirth, so why not post-Thanksgiving shopping?

I didn’t go out on Black Friday. Or Black Thursday. I mean, sure, I’d love a set of $35 king-size, 600-threadcount sheets, but if that’s the only thing that appeals to me, I don’t see getting trampled, shoved or waiting for an hour worth the savings. I did, however, venture out on Saturday, primarily to go to The Olive Tree, to celebrate Small Business Saturday, and then… because it’s been months and months and months…. Joann’s.  My BFF Beth even screeched at me on the phone when I said I was headed there. “Don’t you remember your blog post?! That’s crazy!” Yes, I remembered it… vaguely. But I needed a few crafty things, and Joann’s was the destination, what with three coupons, one for 25% off my entire purchase. WHY NOT?! WHAT COULD GO WRONG?!

Well, I’m surprised I made it into the store, because the fun started in the parking lot. If a car has stopped, with its turn signal on, and is waiting for the oncoming car to pass so they can turn? Should the oncoming car just pull right in, turning in front of them? NOT IN MY WORLD, MOTHERFUCKERS.  So that set the tone.

Once I got in, I knew that there would be no fabric purchasing. Not that I’d planned on it, but fabric purchasing at Joann’s is certainly one of the inner rings of hell. They’ve rearranged to make a central place (outsmarting my old trick of “go to the home dec fabric department!”) but everyone stands around with their tickets and their 8 million fucking bolts of polar fleece, and the clerks announce the numbers…repeatedly, because some people just wander off because the universe, apparently, revolves around them. So no fabric. I needed some ribbon, thread, crafty things, beads, and a glue gun. I impulse-purchased some silicone molds because they’ll be useful for jello shots AND my upcoming cookie exchange, and found myself wandering the bead section for most of my time there. I almost (ALMOST) cut a bitch who thought she’d hang out in the notions aisle (by the thread) (and by the fabric cutting area, already jammed) and TEXT MESSAGE.  BITCH YOU IS IN THE WAY! She was also one of the passengers in the aforementioned car, so residual rage was at work. I ended up helping a lady in jewelry supplies, because she didn’t realize there was more than one aisle (good luck to her and her journey in life), and then I got in line. Fortunately, they were heavily-staffed, and the line moved quickly, so I got out of there with only a fraction of the surly I expected to have by the time I’d paid.

As for The Olive Tree, I would encourage anyone with a foodie in their life to give them a visit – they’re in Hawthorne Plaza (parking there is always entertaining, I got a great spot but when I was leaving, some old man almost took out my back end because even though I was halfway backed out, by god, he had to GIT SOMEWHERE NAO). They’ve got amazing flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars  (I got Rosemary-Lavender Olive Oil and Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar), smoked & flavored salts, lots of other local food purveyors sell their goods (I nabbed a bag of some of THE best toffee I’ve ever had), and they even do bonuses, like if you spend $50, you get to pick from a basket of small-size oils/vinegars to sample. (Persian Lime olive oil!)  We know the owners of the store through the ever-burgeoning foodie/gardener scene here in Kansas City, and they do great corporate gifts, gift boxes for the chef in your life, and are a font of knowledge on using all of their products. I can also safely say that I’ve NEVER wanted to cut a bitch while shopping there, which is like, the greatest ringing endorsement I can give during this crazy holiday season! (Seriously, though, they’re awesome. They need to stick around and be here 10 years from now. Go! Online order if you’re not local!)

 

Stove Shopping

As duck season approaches, the need to furnish the “Duck Club” becomes more necessary. One of the agreements we had when we got this little house in S. Missouri was that the appliances in our house here would move down there, and I would get to pick out a new stove and refrigerator.  (Ice Maker! Power Burner! The foodie and cook in me has been studying all the Consumer Reports reviews and making lists and perusing sales.)  Now is the time for the stove…. (the fridge will come later, the ones I want are not cheapo.) So I went out to Lowe’s last night, having identified the top CR pick lined up with the one I wanted – and it was on sale.

The Appliances section was empty, except for one worker, we’ll call him Bill. Names have been changed to protect the…guilty? In this day and age when you put something on the internet, it has so many ways of biting you in the ass… Anyway, Bill asks if I need help and remains glued to his computer while I wander around – note to Lowe’s, it would be sensible if you arranged all the stoves by electric and gas; I don’t know that many people walk in the door waffling between the two. Bottom line, I can’t find the model I want, even though it was listed as in-stock online. I finally circle back to Bill, and he agrees to look it up on the computer.

Now, because of where the monitor is, and complicated by what appears to be an extremely lazy eye, I suddenly become acutely aware that Bill may just be looking at the far right side of his screen, but instead, is actually ogling my boobs. Sigh. After I edge around to view his screen and change where I’m standing, that question gets answered pretty quickly.

Apparently, my tits are the primary shopper in the room.

So, on it goes, it would seem that Lowe’s does this little thing where they stock shit in a distribution center, and they can deliver within 7-10 days, which is not going to fit my schedule, as I can not imagine going without a stove for that long, not during Soup Weather! There’s only so much you can do with a crockpot. Bill discovers that there is one single location in the metro that has this stove in-stock (after I mention that Nebraska Furniture Mart has the same make/model at the same price point.) He tries to call them, gets caught in a circular loop, and throughout the entire fifteen minutes I’m waiting, all of this information is being conveyed to my general midsection , just below the neck. He does notice that I look at my watch somewhat impatiently (then I realized, duh, when you pull your arm up to see your watch, where does it stop? Right in line with the boobs.) and finally sent me off with his notes of the model & the phone number for the other store.  I walked away feeling like I needed a shower, and wondered if I could call Customer Service to get an additional “I’ve-Been-Somewhat-Violated” discount as part of my negotiations.

Instead, I got home, chatted with James during a break in his parent-teacher conferences, called the other store, got a very nice sales person who got it all taken care of over the phone, had numerous delivery options, and this weekend, I’ll have my new Frigidaire stove, with five burners and three oven racks and burners that will light themselves when you turn the knob and boil water in less than fifteen minutes.

James got home around 7:30, and as I was filling him in further, I noticed partway through my story that he was….staring at my boobs. Damned smartass. (He already knew that part of the story.) What is it with staring? I don’t get it. I think it would be so funny if women just started staring at men’s crotches. Like, blatantly, like this guy had done. Of course, I say that, and knowing some of the guys I’ve worked with, they’d see you staring and they’d take it further, gyrating and thrusting about like wild chimpanzees. WOOHOO SHE’S CHECKIN’ OUT MAH JUNK!  I once threatened, at a previous job, to really violate the employee handbook over boob-staring. The head of PR could not stop staring at all the women’s bewbs, and I got the notion that I would just come up behind him at the weekly agency Monday morning status, and essentially manually motorboat him from behind while shouting, “THERE BUDDY! HOW’S THAT? GOT IT OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM YET?” I’m not sure which was funnier, me shouting it to my audience of co-workers when we were out drinking or the fact I was grabbing my own boobs to emphasize my point. He was such a swarthy little pig. Unfortunately, he would have enjoyed it too much. Maybe that maneuver would have gotten me an extra discount on my stove? I didn’t feel like trying.

As my dad used to say, commenting on America’s over-obsession with the breast….”It’s just a gland, fer chrissakes!”

Reclaiming One’s Youthful Spirit

Yeah, that’s what it’s called. We went out to The Brick last night, had a blast – caught the tail end of Howard Iceberg & the Titanics, saw our friends Hillary & Tommy perform in their band, “The Hillary Watts Riot”, and then our friend Camry was in the last band, “The Sexy Accident”.  Since the first band was slated to start at 9:30, I knew we had plenty of time to get there, so we went out to dinner at The Beacon on the way there. It’s weird to go out to dinner at 9 pm in the Midwest, and while I’d been pining for Chai Shai, their kitchen closes at 9. In any event, we had a great meal, headed down to the Brick, saw people, were seen, made new friends, had a great time just listening to music, sipping a beverage, people-watching. I also did an amazeballs job of parallel parking, if we’re recounting ALL the wins of the evening.

At one point, I leaned over to James and said, “OK, wearing a kilt is cool. Very cool.”

pause.

“But if you’re also drinking PBR when you’re wearing one, does it make you a hipster?”

He laughed, and while he couldn’t say if that particular formula was a hipster recipe, he did observe there were a number of hipsters around us. (In the wild! I felt like Jane Goodall.) I said, “Am I a hipster?” and he laughed even harder.

“No.”

“Why not? It’s because I’m fat, isn’t it. You can’t be fat and be a hipster, can you.”

Maybe part of being a hipster is caring a little too much about how you… present oneself, all the way down to what you drink and the brand of shoes? I dunno.  I did feel like I really needed about 3 large tattoos to “blend in”, that’s for sure. And the dogs were completely perplexed by our atypical hours – what is this, 2:30 a.m. and you’re just going to bed?

Well, they sure didn’t hold back at 6 am, 7 am, and finally I gave up around 8 am and hauled my un-hipster ass out of bed to let them out, make coffee & head to the garden to collect a basket of veggies to whip into a mega-breakfast scramble. Now, I bet on the cooking front, I can outpace any damned hipster there is. I sauteed home-grown garlic, onions, kale, peppers, tomatoes & tossed in some potato, eggs, spicy beef sausages & cheese for a smashingly flavorful, vitamin-packed breakfast.

Oh, and I had to take a two-hour nap before we could even go out. Definitely not a hipster.

An Open Letter to Andrew and Dan:

In the recent issue of “Kitchen Notes” in Cook’s Illustrated, you told us all how AWESOME it is to cook bacon this innovative way: put bacon in pan, cover bacon with water, turn on the heat and let it go! According these dudes, the water keeps the bacon meat from shrinking, and then as the water dissipates, you just let it sizzle and crisp up and ZOMG you have bacon like you used to have in your Easy Bake Kitchen Suite, only your real-life bacon is made of meat and not rubber! OMG! This is so not how it fucking works! Let me save you from this experiment! Right after I go choke these foodie dudes to death with a set of circular knitting needles.

Because what happens is that the meat bubbles along in the water, and it looks nasty-ass and foamy, but you think, ok, you’re essentially par-boiling meat, it’s going to do that, it’s MAGIC, remember, and then? The water cooks off and you don’t just float into nice-and-crispy with a Zoey Deschanel ‘I’m-so-twee’ skipping move, no, my friends, you now see the fat start to render and cook off the bacon. Which is what bacon does in a frying pan. But what did we have in the pan already? Yes? Are we following? WE HAD WATER. Have you ever accidentally gotten something with too much moisture into hot oil before, have you? Do you know what happens?

BURNING HOT FAT EXPLOSIONS is what happens, that’s what. Good thing I didn’t do any tours of duty or it would have been ALLLLLLL torn up in there, what with the spattering cracks of pain and PTSD and the flashbacks and the napalm and the screams.

And, because your meat has absorbed water at varying levels, you will now balance hot burning fat explosions with the fact that parts of your bacon are charring while other parts are looking like parboiled rubbery white fat. So you try to hold the over-cooked parts out of the pan with your tongs, while the blubber tries to catch up, and you dodge esplodyness of epic proportions.

NOT FUN. Bacon, we used to be good friends. I know it’s not your fault. It’s the endless pursuit of foodiness and trying new things, but I’m never going to do it again and Andrew and Dan better never pop out into a back alley to get a quick smoke, because I’m going to be waiting. And maybe not with knitting needles. With a pan of hot bacon fat. We’ll all have matching arm scars!

Under Re-struction

1. My blog has been jacked up. For quite a while. I apologize, but the efforts I made with my host to restore it ended up failing. I thought I had at least one database that could back up everything at least through October, but that also proved fruitless. Data data everywhere, but not a point restore.

2. THANK GOD for Google Reader. Kids, this saves the universe. Yes, I’ve had to rebuild everything – but all my lost posts were still cached & sitting there on Google Reader.

3. So all the posts just got back. I still don’t have a home page (WTF) but all the posts are back – sans comments, unfortunately, and it breaks my heart, because there were a couple posts with some heartfelt, treasured comments.

4. Always do regular backups!

Anger Needs No Translator

Have you ever seen that episode of Seinfeld, the one where Elaine goes to get her nails done, and she’s convinced the employees there are talking about her in their native tongue? I always think of it when I get my own nails done – though at this point, I’ve been going to the same salon for 7 years or so, I don’t really think much of it. I did go recently, and there was a new woman working there, and she was grinning and talking away, and I imagined she was saying something to the effect of, “Whoa, girl, you got yourself a big girl there!”

But, I am always curious about what they’re saying, and this time was no different – I listened to the subdued conversation/back-and-forth among the staff and realized that so many of the words are short, staccato bursts that have strikingly similar sounds, but the emphasis and cadence are what seem to vary the words as well. Nearly all the words seemed to start with the letter “D”, but it could have been my own American filter trying to make sense of a language I’ve never even studied. There came a point, though, when knowing the actual words took a back seat, quite rapidly, to the overall communication.

It started with one of the nail techs standing up from her pedicure station, and speaking loudly and clearly, quite strongly, at someone else (we couldn’t tell quite yet, but it became clear within a minute.) She was PISSED OFF. Immediately, several of the other women began softly speaking, obviously trying to diffuse whatever this situation was. (I could actually tell two women said the same thing within 30 seconds of each other, presumably “calm down!”) The music had stopped and the silence became palpable. And then? The tech completely lost her shit. She was moving her customer over to her nail station, and apparently, she was really pissed at the guy who sat behind her, and she was shouting at him at the top of her lungs, while he quietly tried to interject what appeared to be his defense. Another worker got up, went in the back, and put the music on – full blast. So now we have Mariah Carey warbling her head off, and Angry Tech is now shrieking at the guy, and she’s holding up the light boxes for curing the shellac nails, and basically having an explosive episode in this dude’s direction. With another bewildered customer in-between them.

Allllllll the customers start looking at each other. Because THE HELL, we can’t understand a goddamn word, but as I muttered to the lady on my left, we didn’t really need to know what she was saying because every single one of us knew she was LIT UP and pissed off. Someone down to my right said, “I think it involves that box.” We’re trying not to laugh, because it would not only be rude, but none of us really wanted the focus of her anger to find a new home! Angry Tech marches back and turns off the music. Returns, continues to fume. The customer of Angry Tech is looking at all of us in the pedi-chairs with wide eyes and a face of confusion while she’s stomped off – so of course I have to say, “What the hell did you do?” which makes us all chuckle a little, but not too much, because AT is back, holding up the light box (which is plugged in and glowing), she is yelling, and frankly, I didn’t want to have a toaster-in-the-bathtub incident.

My tech, who is at the top of the hierarchy (there is always a hierarchy at these salons), goes back and turns the music back on, but at a lower volume. Right as she returns, AT picks up the light box again and continues to scream at the dude, who is working away on another woman’s nails, and murmuring every so often. At this point, my lady goes over and turns AT around (because she was like a Jack-in-the-box at this point, up/down, up/down, SCREAM SCREAM BRANDISH), and physically thwaps her on the shoulders and basically tells her to sit the hell down and calm down in the process. (All in Vietnamese, mind you.) I whispered when I was paying, “What’s the deal?” She whispered back that apparently the male tech had taken AT’s light boxes for his client. I asked if they had to buy their own boxes. Nope, they always share. Nope, the ones he took weren’t any different than the ones he had.

We concluded something else was probably going on in her life. I walked out, marveling at how I had specifically been thinking about the language when I got there, and how I never really know what they’re saying – but in this case, there really was no translator needed. I’m sure there are statistics on communication and all the pieces that go into it – words are just one component. Brandishing a light box? That speaks volumes as well.

There were shades of fleeing.

Last week, Tuesday the 2nd, to be specific, it got hot. Crazy hot. Super Crazy We’re Living on the Surface of the Sun Hot. Set records, it was like 107′ or 108′F, depending on who you talk to, record-setting, blah blah blah. James went to play backgammon and I spent the evening (in front of a fan) chatting with my wise Auntie Karen. I thought it felt warm in the house, but when it’s 95′ at 10pm at night, and you’ve been hearing for weeks that the a/c units really can only do so much against heat like this, I just didn’t think anything more except how this horrible heat was providing me with an hourly basis to bitch and moan. James got home late-ish, we stayed up for a while, then went to bed and turned all the fans on “HIGH”. It was still uncomfortable in the house, after midnight.

You see where this is going, right?

Next morning, it’s warm, and James realizes that the unit is lagging or something and so he turns it off to hose it down and clean it (something that works pretty well, usually.) I’m working in my little office, with the fan on high and thinking I’m definitely going through The Change. By midday, it is established that the a/c is not working. Nothing. Dead. I called for service – they can’t come until the next day. (Understandably, we’re in the midst of the worst heat wave EVER!) We decided another night of sweating, tossing & turning was NOT desirable, so James got on Priceline, and within an hour, I was throwing everything I could think of into luggage, destination Holiday Inn on the Plaza. It’s interesting, because even going away for just one night – one! – I am convinced that some massive speed demon is going to take over, and I should probably bring a minimum of two projects, and possibly consider starting a third, just in case. In case of what? I don’t know. The zombie apocalypse? I had to bring both laptops, and I made the terrible mistake of not packing snacks. SNACKS! I had to pay $1.75 for a bottle of Sprite when we finally got to our room, the vending machines are highway robbery. But it was 87′ in the house, I plead heat-addled. I was throwing random things into my suitcase, and I kept thinking, “It’s like I’m fleeing my homeland!”

Then I proceeded to worry, worry, worry. Because I had been hearing tales of a/c replacement. And the associated price tags. In fact, one person told me the quote they got for both heating and cooling? TWELVE FUCKING GRAND. She footnoted it later that it had a lot to do with replacing all their duct work as well, but hell, woman, you scared the bejeezus out of me! So now I’m playing mind games – if it’s less than $X, that’s good. GOOD. If it’s over $Y, we’re going to have to donate plasma and see if the dogs have any harvestable organs. We opened up windows, turned on fans, put ice in the water bowl for the pooches, and checked in on them periodically while our hotel room iced down and we actually got a pretty good night of sleep. The next day wasn’t nearly as hot, thankfully, and we coordinated schedules to get James home in time to meet with the repairman.

Filled with dread, I called as I was heading home, as I knew they’d arrived.

It was already fixed. $350. There’s an electrical gizmo that’s plastic, and if you don’t get all the louvered thingies all the way around the unit cleaned off, it can get clogged, build up heat, and melt that particular gizmo. They also boosted the freon, and were done in an hour. Oh sweet relief. Sweet cold air. We actually had to re-adjust our thermostat, because it now blows so cold, our feet were freezing in the house at the old settings! Home ownership. Not for the faint of heart, or those without deodorant.

But know, when the zombie apocalypse comes, I’ll have plenty of knitting projects, if you’re holed up with us.

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