Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Our Little Island

Bosszilla returns to Tokyo tomorrow, a fact greeted with the same joy and excitement as news of an impending oil embargo or a necessary extraction of multiple teeth. He called me to make sure I would be there (already planned) promising me more paperwork about his mother's estate. O joy, o rapture. July was such a pleasant month.

The Blistered Finger, soothed with ice cream, has subsided from feeling like a Fried Finger to feeling like I have a bandaid on it all the time. I don't actually have a bandaid on it, because the whole numb thing is a little much to handle as it is, and finger bandaids never work out for me. When that blister breaks -- and I know it will, blisters will do that and always before I'm ready -- I'll put a bandaid on it, because then it will be the Raw Finger and even air will hurt.

And one little tidbit for your consideration: there is unmatched pleasure to be had in tossing the minds of the unsuspecting about like so many fresh salad greens.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I Miss My Mind The Most

I am typing this with only my right hand. Why, I hear you ask, would I be doing that?

Because I suffer from the delusion that it takes more that 60 seconds for a 40 watt bulb to get burning hot. Au contraire, mon frer! The second degree burn on my left middle finger contradicts this assumption!

5 minutes under running cool water and three icecubes later, I have one of the most shriveled blisters in the Western Hemisphere. Exposure to air for more than 10 seconds results in a severe sensation of fried finger. I'm not happy. I am also stupid. I had forgotten the lesson of the Easybake Oven, learned when I was a child (and that picture was the model I had!)

However, The Husband agrees that the best treatment available is a pint of Ben & Jerry's.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Because Stupid is Expensive

Found three bleach spots on the couch from yesterday's misadventure. Small, but up front, so you can see them and wonder what they are. I'll just reverse the cushions so they don't show. That's why the covers go all the way around. At least they are just (very expensive) slipcovers, so one day they can be replaced without reupholstering.

Feh.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Where, oh where has my little mind gone?

Today was clean bathrooms day, part of the new Live Clean regimen of house selling. I'm doing more than merely removing the disgusting bits these days. Everything must shine and sparkle as if it had never known a human hand. The logic is I don't want anyone's attention distracted by a smudge or smear. I want them to think "Ah, beautiful, perfect, wonderful, here's my check!" I don't want this line of thought disturbed by "ugh, a hair!"

I'd finished our bathroom and had moved to the guest bathroom (which was a little more disgusting because I ignore it longer). All porcelain surfaces were cleaned with the fabulous Clorox Bathroom Cleaner. Smells like bleach, so you know the cooties are dead, right? At least I hope so, because after about 5 minutes I can't smell anything at all -- part of my defensive systems, I'm sure, or I'd be out of there, gagging and forcing the Husband to do it.

As part of my regular cleaning ritual, I decided to Fabreze the house. You know, the stuff you spray on fabrics to remove odors? With the goofy furniture sniffing commercials? So I sprayed freshener on the couch, the rug, the chairs, both offices, the dining room, the entry...all the while wondering why I didn't smell that nice Fabreze scent. Was my nose really that dead?

Noooo...

It was because I was spraying everything with Clorox Bathroom Cleaner. I'd never unclenched my fist from the bottle even as my brain happily leaped around the house spreading freshness and disaster.

So far, no bleach spots on the couch. At least everything is cootie-free now.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Because I Can't Believe It Either

Vosges Haut-Chocolat - Bacon Exotic Candy Bar - New

At first, all my "EEWWW, YUCK, ICK" reactions came out. Then I thought back to my first Vosges experience. I couldn't picture that working, either, but oh my, it DOES! It DOES!

I may have to try this, just to say I have.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday again

Just heard that the old house we were looking at has a contract on it. Oh, well. We've decided there's no more point in looking at housing in Clemson until we have this house sold.

I read a book.

I saw this picture on Accordion Guy, and last night I had a very strange dream involving Space Ghost (out of costume his name is Carl) and Jace. I wasn't personally involved. Sometimes I prefer my dreams to be movies I can just watch, even if they are strange. Especially if they are strange and involve superheroes and their sidekicks in off hours.

Today is Clean Floors day. I'm halfway done. The cleaner the floors try to be, the more I notice how many spots are on the carpet.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Oh! The Momentum!

I did a monumental thing this morning. With luck, this single change may also change my life.

What is this? I hear you ask. What have you done? Cut your hair? Adopted a handsome, virile 18 year old blond as your son and personal slave?

No, no, none of that (and I prefer brunettes as it happens). This is something important, something really essential to my state of being.

I've moved my laptop back to my office. My scarily tidy, somewhat empty, office is now once more occupied.

Ok, so that seems like a pretty small deal, but you who are mercifully ignorant about how the furniture in my mental attic is arranged don't understand how these little things create big storms. I've been wedded (welded?) to the bedroom. This isn't a good thing, as it is part of the old (tired, worn, threadbare) depression pattern. The TV holds sway, and not just any TV. Only the TV in the Bedroom.

My office is on the other side of the house. There's no TV in there. All I can do in my office is read, play with a cat, listen to the stereo, or sit in a semi-comfortable and much better for my spine office chair and type on the computer. It's not really comfortable for mindless wandering through the interwebinets. The window (where Ben is now parked) peers into the back yard where birds, lizards and the occasional squirrel roam. Its not, strangely enough, as isolated and separate as the bedroom. Mentally, it's just a very different place.

I'm trying for a change of atmosphere, a shift of environment, an attempt to do something other than schlumph around, a worthless schlog of foam on the beach of life. My twisted brain associates a lot with where I am and what is around me. So, being in the office with Ben talking to me about the sudden lack of suitable cat-lounging locations (amended) and the difficulty of draping himself on my desk, I feel different than I do when I'm sitting in the bedroom (even though it has been painted and cleaned into a suitably serene environment). So, I'm out of there and in here. I have a window and music and cats (Pooty just wandered in to pass judgment). It's time to do something. It's time to make changes; write my resume, finish a novel, polish a short story and research a market to submit it to. Anything is possible, once I get moving.

Of course, I could get a little TV to go in here.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Nothing But Complaints

Remember last year and that whole breathing problem thing whatsis I had? Well, it's back. We're calling it "Sherri's Stress Reaction" and I'm heartily sick of it.

Oh, and I'm having muscle spasms and cramps in my mid back. Whee! Woke me up twice last night.

The house needs dusting and vacuuming, I need to do laundry, and LaGuz is back to peeing everywhere but inside the litter box. There are still dozens of small tasks to do. The Husband is gone this weekend for more Yoga training, so he will not get any of his chores done and I won't see him (although, honestly, I think we've seen enough of each other for a few days. Long car trips will have that effect.)

I can't seem to settle down to doing anything. Concentration is for shit.

That's about all.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Back Where I Belong -- For Now

Arrived home yesterday, and today retrieved the old ladies from the vet. All seems well with them. They are busy remembering they live here and being old lady cats and so forth. It feels good to be with all my kitties. No matter how delightful a visit is, I am at heart a home-body, and I feel best with my things and my cats and my personal dust and debris.

When we drove up last night, the "For Sale" sign was up in the front yard. I expected to feel more about it, but I didn't. I'm surprised when I see it, but other than that, it just means a constant, unsettling feeling that I need to vacuum or scrub something.

We looked at houses in secret location we are moving to and we think we've found a possible winner. It's an old house -- the information says it was built in the late 1800's -- with railroad tracks in the front yard and a convenience store across the street. The yard is sizable with several old trees and a lot of flowers and bushes. The house itself has been through several incarnations, but it also has those high ceilings and big rooms common in old southern houses. It's laid out in such a way that the purpose of various rooms -- except the kitchen -- are debatable.

We'd be doing a lot of remodeling and restoration. It would be a lot of work. The last changes were made, I suspect, in the 1970s, judging from the shag carpet in three of the rooms (tan and orange and sunbleached and UGLY) and the white paneling in one bedroom. One bathroom is dark and scary, but it has an old clawfoot tub. The other bathroom is an addition and scary in that add-on bathroom sort of way. All the fireplaces have been blocked up and replaced with huge , ugly, square gas heaters that are easily as old as I am.

It also has a groundhog living in the crawlspace and chipmunks under the shed, some old fashioned roses, an aluminum roofed carport and front porch, and lots of shade. It's right in the the middle of the little town, so it's possible to walk places. We are paying to have an inspection done before we make an offer, and we'd have to get the house pretty cheap because we figure it will take $30,000 to turn the house around (old wiring and plumbing, and did I mention that scary bathroom?)

We'll see.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I Am Fuzzy


Your Score: Cheezburger cat


70 % Affection, 64 % Excitability , 56 % Hunger



Sure, you deserve one. You helped popularized lolcats from a running gag to an online sensation. Now mainstream media writes asinine columns on this 'phenomenon', students write theses on the topic, programming languages adopt the grammar, and losers write tests about them on dating sites. Now take your cheezburger and never touch the internets again.

ink: The Which Lolcat Are You? Test written by GumOtaku on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test
Because there are never enough dumb quizzes in the world. This one with CATS!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Party's Over


The inaugural JammiesFest is over. There was food (and food and lemon cake and food and incredible bacon and homemade salads and food) and there was drink and there was conversation and laughing and dogfur and more laughing and looking at flowers and talking and food.

And Bacon. The bacon was important.

Next year, more bacon and we have to clean the basement for more air mattresses. You guys who missed it better start making plans.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ohio

I drove the whole trip. Very tiring.

West Virginia is very twisty.

Ohio smells funny when you first cross the river, but gets better as you go north.

Jammies has a beautiful house. We want to steal Jammies' house and move it to where we are moving so we have a house.

Jammies has the Jiffypoppiestbuttest dog IN THE WORLD. He is fluff with paws and a face.

More later. Right now, there is wine.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Festive!

We leave early tomorrow morning for Ohio and JammiesFest 07! Since what happens at Jammie's stays at Jammie's, that's all I can say. Ophelia and LaGuz will be boarded at the vet, which I'm sure will thrill them both no end, and the three youngest will have free reign of the house.

I still have cleaning to do, and I don't want to do it. I must vacuum and finish picking up the back room, and get other things put away. I'm managing laundry, no ironing (yet). I'm packing.

I'm sleepy. I woke up at 6:45 and made the freaking bed. I still need to clean things in the bathroom. The floor guy is almost done, so the last of the Big Tasks will be completed. The real estate agent comes this afternoon at around 3, so everything has to be in shape by then. She's taking pictures. Oh heavens, I want to do nothing more than sit in this chair, maybe eat something.

At least this is the end of Projects for a while. Everything else is just cleaning, maybe a little packing up in the back room, and just keeping things neat. That is, after we get back from Ohio. The MIL will be watching the house and doing some touch up painting and cleaning (she volunteered!)

I have a counter covered in cleaning products. I haven't gone under the sink to clean out there. That's one of those afternoon projects I'm saving for later.

I did discover why I am such a lousy housekeeper. It's really simple. I only have two modes -- don't give a fuck and MUST CLEAN THE CREVICES. Once I start doing more than basic maintenance (which, in my world, means making sure nothing falls over on anyone and no one sticks to the floor) I can't stop. I started to clean the bathroom yesterday -- wipe the sink, vanity and mirror, clean tub, toilet and shower stall, vacuum the floor. I spent 2 hours on the sinks and vanity. The tub took an hour. The shower stall took 2. Only the toilet went fast, and that's because I've already cleaned it once this week AND I did not get on my knees to check BEHIND the toilet. Oh, and the shower isn't actually clean -- at least, not clean enough. I need to scour the tiles again and I need to get grout whitener. See what I mean? It's not that big a bathroom.

Oh, there's the microwave to dig clean. Forgot about that. That won't show in the photos. Maybe MIL will do it.

Eventually.

The funny thing is, when we actually move OUT of the house, we are planning to have a maid service come in to clean the house.

I am so looking forward to JammiesFest. She's promised I won't have to clean anything, and there will be the comfort of dustbunnies.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Self Maid

The house is now 95% -- maybe 92% -- ready to be shown. All the major projects, which included tiling a bathroom and a closet, are done. I may pack 3-4 more boxes with books from the back room. MAYBE. At this point I'm feeling a little defiant.

However, the house is peculiarly clean and neat, except for where we've been. I can't hold it in a state of "no one lives here" for more than a few seconds. So, the back room has been declared the area where we live.

Even my office has been cleaned within inches. Much tossed, much packed, even some thrown away. Hell, I might even move back in there just to shed some hair or something.

Mostly I'm noticing little things. I scrubbed three doors today. Doors. Oh, and door frames. They get fingerprints. And the washer. And the dryer. I'm not kidding. Someone will be buying those things. They have to look buyable.

And I'm tired so deep that even sleeping doesn't make it go away. Is there anything else in my life right now except cleaning?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Rules

The Husband just left for his yoga class. Before he left, he gave me a long list of things I was not allowed to do tonight. Mostly they boiled down to me not tempting gravity in any way, and not colliding with anything. So, I'm staying on the bed.

This is the night the meteor will hit, ya know?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Insert -- oh hell, you know the drill

The struggle to remove ourselves from our home without actually moving out continues. There is much progress and one can cross several rooms relatively unimpeded. However, I have run out of steam. There isn't enough caffeine in the world to make me WANT to pick up the vacuum again.

Oh, I will pick it up, and I will turn it on, and I will even shove it in desultory fashion toward little flecks of paper on the carpet. I just don't want to. There is a difference.

Of course, if I didn't do that, I wouldn't be doing anything else worthwhile. Right now, endless games of Solitaire seem highly attractive. Laying in bed watching my Jonny Quest DVDs for the umpteenth time would be heavenly. Maybe watching all the Mythbusters episodes I've recorded would suit this rainy, steamy day.

But none of that, as fulfilling and intellectually challenging as they may be, will get this house ready "to show". Oh, we are close, in many ways, but we ain't there yet. Still so many things to be packed, to be cleaned, to be hidden or rearranged in artistic "no one really lives here, but it sort of looks like someone might" ways. The rooms of my house, the familiar, comforting rooms, now seem rather cold and strange, empty and neutral.

And clean. Almost scrupulously clean. This alone is frightening. We have not thrown this much effort into cleaning the house since the second year of our marriage, when MIL was due down for Christmas and we did weeks of panic cleaning.

I'm trying to work up a little panic now, but it ain't happenin'.

In other news, I've found a new place to happily waste time now that most of my books are boxed and in the garage. www.goodreads.com is, as one friend put it, "Like Facebook for [book]geeks." Take a look. If you'd like an invitation, let me know. I may have already sent you one and you ignored it or your spam filter ate it. EVERYONE should be wasting as much time there as I am.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Colors

This is the Final Weekend (before the house goes officially on the market) and I've been painting the bedroom the most beautiful shade of sky blue. I've wanted this bedroom painted for a few years, but The Husband was reluctant. He hates to move furniture, although I've helped with every piece, and moved some back by myself. He also has to do the highest part of our vaulted ceiling, because I cannot be trusted on any ladder high than 3 feet.

Considering my record for walking on level floors, you might understand why.

I am also personally coloring up in dramatic fashion, although (typically) my face, which is still damn sore, is showing the least. I've just begun to darken around my right eye, and swelling there is still noticeable. There's a smudge of brown on my jaw. It's just not the sort of thing people notice right off, and certainly won't garner much "oh, poor poor Sherri" from anybody.

The best bruises are hidden. The inside of my lip on the right side is a beautiful purple, and my GUMS are showing bruising (The Husband said he is shocked I didn't lose any teeth. I think years of braces have rooted my teeth in pretty doggone deep.) And that boob I said caught some of it? Dark blue, purple, and black, and no one but The Husband and the cats will ever see it. Even my still sore and tender knee is resisting dramatic coloring. It's sort of reddish, although if anything brushes it I jump. Aside from still being a little swollen and scraped, it looks just like my other knee.

Where's the sympathy ice cream in that? I'm being cheated!

There's also the whole whiplash thing. The joy of whiplash is that you don't feel it right away. Oh no, when your body sustains some sort of all over shock (such as crashing face first into a door -- which, btw, The Husband decided could be fixed instead of replaced. I hope he decides the same about me) it concentrates on the most grievous injuries first and shuts down everything else. Then, as the pain from the first class booboos fades, all the secondary and tertiary aches and ouches clamor for attention. Oh yes, the body nevr forgets. Pain is obviously the body's way of saying "Oh you is sooo stupid. Don't DO that EVER AGAIN."

If I could remember that, I'd probably be ok. Of course, that doesn't do a thing for gravity. I obviously need a personal mag-lev system. I also should buy stock in Aleve.