Spring Cleaning

June 30, 2009

This May, Chris and I decided the house needed a major makeover. Especially since we had some potential tenants to rent our spare rooms. The list of "home makeover" items included cleaning/organizing the house (finally putting away our boxes of wedding gifts!) and landscaping the backyard. More on the backyard later.

My first spring cleaning project: cleaning out unnecessary stuff from the garage. When I moved in to the house from my apartment, there was a lot of my stuff that landed in the garage, in boxes, and the boxes have been collecting dust ever since. Chris had cleaned out his miscelleneous junk the weekend before, so now it was my turn.

I should preface this by saying I am *somewhat* of a pack rat. Not completely - I've moved too often to accumulate very much junk - but I occasionaly have a hard time letting go of silly mementos that have no apparent function other than I just can't bring myself to throw it away.

I'm sure I'm not the only one. I mean, c'mon, don't you keep your expired driver's licenses and old college ID cards? A collection of movie ticket stubs from every movie you've ever seen since the fifth grade? Christmas cards from five years ago that you got too lazy to mail?

Well, anyway, enough about that. Let's focus on the things I did throw away. And I promise, I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.
  • 32 cent stamps (I supposed I could have used them to mail a postcard)
  • A promotional poster of The Sixth Sense...IN FRENCH
  • The address of my best friend in 4th grade
  • Instruction manuals for cameras/phones/printers I DON'T OWN ANYMORE
  • Vehicle registration receipts for the car I sold 2 years ago
  • A game of M.A.S.H. I played with my high school friends on a bus trip in 1992
  • A fake $3 bill with Bill Clinton's face
  • Letters from pen pals I don't recall ever knowing, it's been so long
  • A Ruby Tuesday receipt for some random lunch with friends - dated January 1, 2001
  • More than $7 worth of coupons to I Can't Believe It's Yogurt which expired 6/30/1996
And Chris thinks that I keep a lot of needless junk. Yeah, riiight. I have no idea what would make him think that.

Don't Skimp the Small Stuff

June 25, 2009

Sometimes, it's the little things. Like getting excited that your ice cube tray actually makes ice cubes.

Our teeny little RV fridge supposedly has an icemaker. I say "supposedly" because it's never worked. We haven't bothered to get it fixed, and in the meantime we're using a temporary ice cube tray. Have you ever seen one of those minature ice cube trays that come with the dorm-sized refrigerators? Each ice cube is about the size of a marble? That's what we used the first six months (yeah, temporary). Eveuntally we got tired of using the entire tray ON ONE DRINK. We didn't go so far as flipping a coin for who got the ice cubes in their beverage, but it was close a couple of times.

So I was at the grocery story a while back, and decided to browse the ice cube tray selection. My choices were:

$1.99, pretty blue trays with fancy oval-shaped cubes, and STACKABLE!
$2.99, your basic white ice cube tray.

It was no question... stackable! pretty! blue! cheap!

As it turns out, those trays were totally not worth the $1.00 that I saved.

The blue trays were crap. Yeah, they stacked, but they had one major design flaw: they did not give up the ice cubes. You would spend 10 minutes just trying to get two cubes to pop loose. You could twist that tray until the plastic cracked (which we did), you could turn it upside down and hammer on the bottom of it for hours... those ice cubes were not coming out.

A few weeks ago, I went back to the store. I splurged the extra dollar on the standard white boring-looking tray. It advertised just one selling feature: easy-out.

And the promise delivered. You barely have to touch it and the ice cubes slide out like butter on a hot stove.

Is it sad that a working ice cube tray can totally make my day?

Mannequins behaving badly

June 21, 2009

Seriously, we've gotten to the point where even mannequins need to pose suggestively to sell stuff?

As in, hi, look at us shaking our plastic butts in the air and showing off our plastic "endowments" and imagine, that could be you wearing these clothes and posing like a little hoochie-mama!

No wonder the mannequin with the shoulder bag is looking the other way. She's pretending she doesn't know those shameless hussies.

And this is a store that sells clothes mostly to teenage girls. Okay, some college students too, but, really. I mean, look at them.

After wandering around the store a little bit, as if the hoochie trio wasn't enough, I come across THIS:

I'm not really sure what pose she's supposed to be modeling.

And frankly, I don't want to know.

I left the store after that. Well, after pretending I was reading a really long text message so that I could secretly take photos with my camera phone. But then I left.

Dress Barn, anyone? At least I know their mannequins will behave.

Mr. Davidson, as in Harley

June 17, 2009

The husband has been drooling over a Harley. A friend of a friend is selling it dirt cheap and plus, says the husband, it’s got like, $5000 worth of chrome on it! Which, apparently, makes the asking price a fantastic deal. So we have to buy it now, he says. Deals like this don’t happen every day, he says.

“But,” I argued, “do you really need all that chrome? I mean, without the chrome it’s really just a fair price, rather than a fantastic steal, right?”

He maintained it was a fantastic price. I tried another tactic.

“But won’t all that chrome get hot? You know, like, in the desert sun?”

To which he said that the parts of the bike you chrome aren’t usually the parts you would be touching, so it doesn’t matter if they get hot.

The husband’s next move when he wants to convince me to let him buy something is to enlist help. (This is how we ended up with a 2001 Mustang Bullitt with a V8 engine and special tailpipe noises, instead of, say, a Honda Accord. So there is a precedent for the success of this tactic.) He finds every friend, co-worker, and acquaintance within a 500 mile radius and brings them over to his side.

I was ambushed when I walked in to the office this morning.

“So,” one of my co-workers said to me, “you going to let Chris get a bike?” I rolled my eyes. “You should get it now, before you have kids and stuff,” another one chimed in. “I mean, it’s highly frowned upon for pregnant ladies to ride motorcycles.”

“Well that doesn’t sound like a very sound investment,” I replied, “only a few years before we can’t ride the bike anymore then!”

“Oh I can still ride it,” my lovely husband jokes, “you just can’t.”

To which somehow the conversation transitioned into more jokes about installing a car seat to the back of the motorcycle* and how you would have to modify the “Baby on Board” sign.

“You could make a shirt” someone suggested, “it would say, ‘If you can read this, the baby fell off.’”

*No one should EVER attempt that in real life. It is only funny because it is absurd and hopefully would never happen in a million gazillion years. I’m pretty sure its illegal, too, not to mention child endangerment.

Diet Fail

June 11, 2009

As you may remember, the cat is on a diet. But, as you may also remember, she is not losing any weight.

We finally figured out why.

One night, we were in our room getting ready for bed, when we heard a noise coming from the kitchen.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. (pause) Crunch. Crunch.

I looked at Chris. He looked at me.

“Did you hear that?”
“Yeah, it sounded like—“
“Someone eating the dog food?”
“Well, Chloe’s in her kennel, so who…”

We opened the door and turned on the light in the kitchen.

And there she was. The cat was eating the dog food.

Of course, the minute we flipped on the light she lit out of there like her tail was on fire. I don’t think I have ever seen that cat run that fast, and AWAY from the food, no less. Chris looked at me.

“YOUR cat.”

That was all he said. And then he rolled his eyes and went to put the dog food away where the cat couldn’t get at it.

Since that time, the cat has become more daring. She doesn’t even run anymore when we catch her. Of course, she’s not very smart about it either. We try and put the dog food away whenever the dog is kenneled up for the night, but sometimes we forget. If Maia would just wait until we were asleep, she would be home free. But, no, she can’t wait that long. The crunching noise gives her away every time.

Lately, it’s gotten so bad that she even attempts to eat the dog food while we are sitting in the living room, watching her. We’ve even seen her fight the dog for it. And, sadly, the Maia usually wins. The cat will take a swipe whenever Chloe gets near the food dish, and Chloe will just back away with a confused look on her face that says, but I thought that was MY food?

We yell at the cat, of course, and she’ll skitter away all offended-like. Until the next time we’re not paying attention, that is.

A Simple Solution

June 08, 2009

The other evening, Chris and I were watching one of the few television shows that we both really enjoy. Chris got up during a commercial break and left the room, and just as he got up, the TV screen turned black.

No sound, no picture, nothing. The television was on, but the cable wasn’t.

I pulled the remote out of the couch cushion where Chris had been sitting, and mess with it for a while trying to get the TV to work. No luck.

“Chris,” I say mournfully when he returns, “the cable’s not working.”

He checks to make sure the cables are all hooked up properly in the back of the TV, he makes sure the box is on, and finally we decide it’s time to call the cable company.

Cable Guy: Hello, and thank you for calling Dish Network. How can I provide you with excellent service today?

Chris: Yes, our TV just suddenly lost reception.

Guy: Can you describe what you see on the screen sir?

Chris: It’s just black.

Guy: It’s just a black screen?

Chris: Yep.

Guy: Is the TV on Channel 4?

Chris: It should be.

Guy: Can you check for me, sir?

Turns out, the TV was not on Channel 4.

Chris: Now it is. Chris starts laughing. I start making indignant noises. Even the cable guy is having a good time. (The channels must have switched when Chris got up out of the chair. It’s not my fault his butt changed the channel!)

Chris explains to the guy: I left the room and I come back and my wife is sitting there, with the remote, and she says, “I don’t know what happened, the screen just went blank.”

Chris: That’s probably the easiest call you had all night, huh?

Guy: You just made my night, sir.