Archive for the ‘A Bit Of A Rant’ Category

What’s Goin On?

Hi! I haven’t posted to my blog in over a week, and I skipped Fat Tuesday. I’m having some issues here. Nothing too serious, but you know how everything that’s happening in your own life seems super important? Even when you intellectually know that it’s not, and that you should be thankful you don’t live somewhere else, like Japan or Libya? That’s what’s going on with me.

My oldest friend came to visit me last week and it was so much fun and just plain nice to have her here. Unfortunately, I started to come down with something while she was here. I have a horrible cough, and sound as if I have been smoking for 30 years. Mr. Darcy had some issues as well. Issues that caused me to start calling him “Squirty McGee”. Enough said.

I wanted to write a funny blog post instead of a whiny one, because I feel like I’ve been pretty complainy lately. But apparently, being sick for a week doesn’t give me much to blog about. No projects completed. No furniture bought. There is this one thing…

You know you have been married a long time when: you know what has happened just by your spouse saying one sentence. It just so happens that the husband and I had our 15 year wedding anniversary last week. Woo Hoo! Anyway, he calls me from work and says: “Hey, I met this really interesting guy today.” to which I reply: “#$*%! Seriously?! Not another investment guy! Do they just let anybody into your office building?!” And I was spot on, as the Brits would say. Of course it wasn’t just any old, staid mutual fund broker. That would be too nice. I would have even settled for an insurance guy. Or an insurance guy masquerading as an investment guy. But no, this was real nut job. Some guy selling a mutual fund with futures inside of it. Why don’t we just take the money up to that huge casino in Oklahoma and play craps or roulette? Seems about the same to me.

Does anyone else have this happen at their office or their spouse’s? I’m starting to think I need to go down there and put a barricade in front of his door. The scary part is that I don’t think they can get in to see him unless he gives permission. So, what I really need to do is make him a meaner person. But that doesn’t work well for our dynamic. He’s the nice one and I’m the mean one. πŸ™‚ If I make him mean too, we’re really in trouble.

A Cautionary Tale

Over the last couple of years, I have purchased/received as gifts four prints by the artist, Dan-ah Kim. I have been wanting to frame them for quite some time. In February, I saw a 50% off coupon in the paper for Aaron Brothers. Aaron Brothers is a chain whose corporate headquarters is in our state. I have never had any custom framing done there before, because 1. I like my locally owned frame shop that I have used forever, and 2. When I priced Aaron Brothers many years ago, they were outrageously expensive for custom framing.

I still like my locally owned shop, but it’s located in my old town, so it’s a hike to get there. It turns out that Aaron Brothers is still crazy expensive. The total for the four pieces, with museum glass and double fabric mats was $500. That’s right, five hundred smackeroos! And that’s with the 50% off coupon. Luckily, my father was with me and he paid half as an early birthday present (thanks Dad!). Also, I had saved money for projects and this was one of them. So what I’m saying is that I had the cash. But still it was a shocking total.

Even though they told me two weeks at the outside, it took almost three. Then when I went to pick them up, the corners of every single mat, that’s eight mats and 32 corners, all had frayed fabric sticking out of them. So I left them there to be re-done. When I went back over a week later, one of the cream colored mats had a stain on it. So I had to leave it there to be re-done again. At this point, the manager on duty does a very smart thing and refunds my money for that picture (without my even having to ask!). They have now had it again for almost two weeks and haven’t fixed it because this mat is out of stock. And the people in the store have no idea when it will be back in stock. The lady I spoke with yesterday asked me if I wanted to change to a different mat. But that means changing the other three as well. I told her that if they don’t have it in a couple of weeks, that we need to talk about them changing all four and not at my expense. She looked dubious to say the least.

I don’t think I’m off base here. If their framer had not done such a crap ass job the first time around, he wouldn’t have had to re-do them and thus use up all the supply of that mat. And what about him turning in the finished product for the second time with a big stain on it? Seriously?

Everyone in the store has been very polite and helpful. I realize that they have no control over this, and the person who refunded my money is certainly on the ball when it comes to customer service. They keep insisting that stuff like this “NEVER” happens. But I am finding it harder and harder to believe. The lady I spoke with yesterday said she would try and find out the expected in stock date, and would let me know. I’m not holding my breath…

Here is what I believe to be the moral of my tale: If you have found a business whose services you are happy with, don’t try another. It’s not worth it.

The Diagnosis

Hi, my name is Mr. Darcy. And I must now endure the indignity of a high chair.

Mr. Darcy has a megaesophagus. Basically, the muscle doesn’t work properly anymore and food sits there instead of heading on down to his stomach. I am now in the process of trying to find him a Bailey chair. Yes, I know many of you will find this ridiculous. But it is evidently, the best way to ensure proper digestion and therefore avoid death by bacterial pneumonia.

Dear God, it’s me Nichole (not Margaret). If you are in the mood to listen to my sarcastic whining today, I would like to say this: I am supposed to feed a BABY in a high chair. Not a DOG.

PS Thanks God, for putting up with me. I know I’m a pain in your see through ass. πŸ˜‰

The Egg Fight

Yesterday, the husband made egg sandwiches for us. He does this quite often on Sundays. Even though I know the dangers of non-stick coating on pans, we own one. It was specifically bought by me, because he likes to make eggs. But every time he fills the pan with puddles of butter or oil. So what’s the point of owning non-stick?

Yesterday he made my egg without any butter or oil, but when he went to make his two eggs just moments later, they both stuck. This caused much ranting on his part as he scraped them into the garbage and began to fill the pan with massive amounts of butter. I was instructed to never tell him again not to use oil or butter in that pan. And blah, blah, blah. He was really quite worked up about it.

My contention is that the pan became too hot, and that he should have turned down the heat. I’ve been reading the brochure that came with a different pan, that indicates cooking on high heat can be bad for the pans and cause sticking even in the best of circumstances.

So… What do you think? Is he right? Am I right? Is this one of the stupidest fights you have ever heard of? Well, maybe not the stupidest. It can’t be worse than the suitcase battle. Can it? πŸ˜‰

What’s Bugging You?

Here is what’s bugging me:

1. No one can figure out what’s wrong with Mr. Darcy (labrador). He seemed to be on the mend when we left for Florida. But my feeding instructions were somewhat ignored and when we came back, he was too skinny again. He has thrown up 15 times over the weekend. I see a specialty vet clinic in my future. My wallet is terrified.

2. I had a conversation in Florida with a college student who thinks that none of Jane Austen’s heros are masculine. This student has not read all of her books. But the fact that he has read Pride and Prejudice, and has this opinion is very disturbing to me. It is disturbing on two fronts: a. that this opinion exists, and b. that a young man going to a school where I would generally agree with their philosophy, and brought up I assume (big assumption!) in a household where I would generally agree with their thoughts and opinions, thinks Fitzwilliam Darcy is not masculine! What is the world coming to?

PS If you haven’t availed yourself of the wonders of Jane Austen yet, get thine arse to the book store immediately!

3. I am such a bad procrastinator that I am blogging, and even more amusing, reading an article on procrastination, in order to avoid all of my chores.

4. One of my fingernails is painted the wrong color. I failed to convince the girl at the nail place that she was using a different color when she repaired one of my nails. Now I have one nail that’s not the same as the other nine. I can’t figure out how I could have done it differently. Unless I got witchy with her, which seems a ridiculous waste of energy. It’s just a different shade of pale pink, so I’m sure I’m the only one who notices. Although, even the husband could tell when I showed him.

5. I have all sorts of decorating ideas that I would like to use in the house. But everywhere I turn there is a project having to do with the structure of the house that needs doing. This is very annoying. I know, I know. The price of home ownership is not just the mortgage. But fixing leaks and patching holes, etc… is not fun and it’s not pretty. (So says the spoiled housewife.)

Happy Monday! πŸ˜‰ Feel free to chime in with whatever is bugging you.

Forthwith And Other Mysteries

I have been watching Blue Bloods on CBS. Have you? I like several of the actors: Tom Selleck, Bridget Moynihan, Donnie Wahlberg. I’m no expert, but I think that maybe the writing is not so great. But I watch anyway. One thing I cannot get over is “forthwith”. In nearly every episode, at least one cop says it. Sometimes as many as three. What is up with that?! Even though I know no NYC cops, I am sure in my gut that they do not say that! My working theory is that there must be a cop consulting on the show who decided to mess with the writers. Either that, or the head writer needs to have their thesaurus burned.

I spent a great deal of time this past weekend putting together our tax documents. Why is it that I cannot recall one year in the past seven, when church has not sent a messed up tax statement?I am not even talking about the same parishes in those seven years. There must be something about the way money comes in to a church and the sheer number of donors that causes these consistent problems. I have to say that I really wish that just once I didn’t have to make the phone call that I have to make today. Don’t worry, I always make sure I have a smile on my face before I call. I’m using you all to vent my annoyance. πŸ™‚

Mr. Darcy is doing better, but we don’t know why. We don’t really even know why he got sick and stopped eating. His blood work was good. His x-rays were clear. He still can’t keep down dry food. So he’s eating canned food, and gaining weight. And starting to act like his normal self. One thing that seems to be permanent, is that he can’t jump anymore. While this is a blessing for those visiting our home, I feel bad for Mr. Darcy. Because no jumping means no frisbee. And Mr. Darcy loves to play frisbee. Why can’t they stay about six or seven years old forever? Watching them age really sucks sometimes.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I’m off to try and accomplish all the stuff I didn’t get to, forthwith! πŸ˜‰

7 Quick Takes Friday

Please check Conversion Diary for other quick takes.

1. It’s 7:30 AM on Friday morning and I’m still half asleep. I really have a lot to do today and I need to wake up. I wish I liked coffee and I wish I wasn’t trying to stay away from caffeine.

2. I had such a bad headache Wednesday evening that I thought I was going to throw up. And I felt kind of like I had a hang over for part of the day yesterday. I really feel bad for people who suffer from chronic migraines. I can’t imagine how they deal with it.

3. I find the current state of unrest in the world to be very upsetting. I’ve always thought the beginning of WWI to be very strange: an Austrian duke was assassinated (if I remember my history class correctly). But what was really going on? And were the other countries that eventually ended up getting pulled in thinking, “Huh?”? Were their citizens bewildered? And a year from now, will we be bewildered as well? I mean, we are already sticking our noses into everything, and not in a very productive way as far as I can tell. I certainly think we should speak out against human rights abuses (let’s save the debate about our credibility for… never – I can’t do justice to that topic), but what about the other stuff? What’s up with the president talking to Mubarak on the phone and then spilling his guts immediately in a press conference? And what does it mean when Secretary Clinton says she going to Geneva to discuss what to do about Libya, and all options are on the table? What the hell? This is not a GOP vs. Dems. complaint. We all know the other side would be acting nearly identically.

4. Clearly my negative thoughts are affecting me, since I immediately thought of plague when I saw an enormous grasshopper yesterday. I need to stop watching the news or reading the newspaper. The scary part is that I really haven’t watched that much. It’s not like I have cable news on 24/7. In fact, I quit watching it a couple of years ago. What do I eliminate next? Newspaper? NPR?

5. Here is something really fun: We are going to Hawaii this year! We’ve never been and are really looking forward to it. If anyone has stayed at a really great hotel on the island of Kauai, I would love to hear about it. That is one of the places we are going, and are having trouble figuring out where to stay.

PS Let’s hope that by the time we go, my Fat Tuesdays will be close to ending. πŸ˜‰

6. Unfortunately for the state of Florida, we will be visiting there long before Hawaii. But I have decided that if they can handle wrinkly old people, they can handle me.

7. We have a very busy weekend coming up. And I am still a little foggy on what to fix for tonight’s dinner. If anyone has a great recipe for Manhattan Clam Chowder, please send it my way. Thanks!

An Open Letter To The Dallas/Fort Worth Super Bowl Committee

Dear Super Bowl XLV Committee:

Recently, I have been seeing on our airwaves, an ad featuring Troy Aikman. Troy is exhorting the residents of our community to be on our best behavior while all our guests for the Super Bowl are in town. Basically, he is very nicely saying, don’t be an ass hat! Except he doesn’t, but we all know what he means.

I really had no feelings about the ad one way or another. I mean, we are generally pretty nice, so I wasn’t worried. But then I saw this article yesterday, about how airline employees are being trained to spot sex traffickers who are bringing their wares to town for the big game. What?!!! Some of the people coming to town that we are supposed to be nice to, are pimps and johns who enslave women and children?!!!

Have you ever heard the legend of the KKK trying to hold a conference (in reality, probably one of their march/rally things) in South Bend, Indiana in the early 1900’s? The story goes that as the conference attendees stepped off the trains, the good priests, brothers and students of Notre Dame were there to greet them. They beat the snot out of those racist pigs, and stuck them back on the trains. Amen! This is now what I am dreaming of for the airports. Except, we stick the pimps (not the women and children) in paddy wagons and haul them to jail.

In conclusion I would like to say that the next time the Super Bowl comes to town, I would like Troy’s commercial to tell us how to spot, report, and annihilate sex traffickers. I really don’t care if we are remembered as the “nice” place. I would rather our community be remembered as the place where pimps are scared and johns are unsatisfied.


The Roller Coaster Of Infestation

For about five hours yesterday, I was feeling slightly euphoric. Why, you say? Because for about five hours, I thought our attic visitors might be squirrels instead of roof rats. Then the Terminix man came back, and plunged me into rat despair again.

It’s completely irrational that I felt better about the squirrels. I mean, squirrels are rats!!! And if you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably already know about my squirrel mantra – Death To Squirrels! And you might recall my trip into redneck country.

Death to squirrels and now rats, too!

I think the reason I felt a little better is because squirrels actually want to leave the house. If you patched the hole they made to get in, they would chew through a wall to get out. But not rats. They want to stay. If you patch the hole they made to get in, they just burrow deeper into your home. The hair on the back of my neck is standing up as I write this! Yuck!

So that is the roller coaster I have been on this week. I’m off to find a contractor to patch the hole, repair all the chewed facia boards, and wrap (painted) metal around the ends of all those boards. What a nightmare! Anyone else ever had roof rats? Been ignoring sounds in their attic? I wouldn’t recommend it. πŸ™‚

Conspiracy Theory Thursday

It’s theme week on the blog! Not!

1. Someone gave me a cold. I don’t know who did it, but I’m convinced it was for nefarious purposes.

2. The husband and Mr. Darcy are conspiring against my sleep. They are banding together to snore in concert. A very, very bad concert.

3. I am paranoid about the U.S. debt. Three out of the top five countries that we are the most in debt to are: China, Japan, and Brazil. Maybe everyone should be learning to speak Chinese or Japanese or Portuguese? Why are we in debt to countries with hard languages? What if I’m getting too old to easily learn a hard language? Hello U.S. Treasury! Could you please either stop spending money we don’t have or go into debt with a country whose language might be a bit easier?! How about Italian?

4. Mr. Bingley’s bladder knows exactly when I have gotten into a nice deep sleep (on the couch as a refugee from the snoring concert).

5. I think Fox is trying to kill Fringe. I mean they moved it to Friday night! Why do people even bring good shows to that network anymore? At least they made it longer than Firefly…

6. Number 5 makes me concerned for another favorite show set to start it’s new season: Justified on FX. Since Fox owns that network, I hope they don’t suddenly decide that they hate that show. It’s truly awesome. Fox is not.

7. Yesterday in the car, I flipped the radio between NPR and a talk radio station and they were both doing the same story. And I got a little excited for a minute because NPR’s story had audio from John Boehner and talk radio’s featured Pulosi. Exactly the opposite of what you would expect. For two seconds, I thought “Holy Cow! Middle ground!”. And then I realized that they both sounded like idiots. So, each network featured the party that they dislike sounding like a moron. Business as usual. Why do they tease me like that?

I think that’s enough for today. If I’ve freaked you out too badly, then please blame this on numbers 1 & 2. Whatever helps you sleep at night. πŸ˜‰