Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Random Banter (or, Irreconcilable Differences)

Hubby (while installing our new Swash 300 bidet): I understand this thing is so good it will make your knees weak.
Me: That so?
Hubby: Yup... Swashbuckling.

Personally, I'm pretty sure I'd win anything I want in the divorce.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Baby Registry (Or "The Last Things I'll Need Before I Go to Prison")

Apparently the Huffington Post has posted a mock Beyonce Baby Registry and I just couldn't resist posting one of my own in response.

So, without further ado, below is a list of what would be my "must haves" were I stupid insane enough to procreate. While there obviously will never be a need to actually purchase anything on this registry for me, I strongly encourage you to do so for anyone you know who is expecting. They will need everything on this list... they just don't know it yet.

1. Ball Gag- This one should be self explanatory. BONUS: Apparently they come in one size, so this should work for me until the kid moves out.

2. Sound Proofing Wall Foam- Who says a new parent has to go without sleep? I'll just slap some of this stuff on the nursery walls (I'll go with the dark grey color, little kids like it really dark), and I'll sleep like a... baby. Ha! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, I'm funnnn-e.

3. Sound Proofing Blanket- The portable version, used mainly for car rides and dinners that actually take place *inside* a restaurant (used in conjunction with below).

4. 3-Door Folding Metal Crate- Because unlike every other obnoxious, self-serving doting parent in the world, I just don't want my precocious brat toddler running all over Kingdom Come in restaurants. The 3-door model makes for easy access to contents should contents start acting up, and the wire frame allows for dropping in those morsels I don't find fit to eat myself. Thankfully I'm a picky eater so there's no need to waste money ordering food from the Kid's Menu that little Ricky won't eat anyway!

5. Jumbo Trunk Organizer with Velcro Lining- Jumbo because a car seat should fit right in there and velcro because should I find myself without a car seat, I can just dress the kid in something fuzzy. I'll be sure to use the aforementioned "Sound Proofing Blanket" because I sure don't want to have to explain to the cops why my kid is in the trunk without a car seat.

6. Interior Satin Nickel Door Knob With Lock- I'll actually need several of these, one for each closet. I don't want to have to walk up the stairs just to put little Susie in her "quiet place," I'll need to have a "quiet place" within easy reach at all times.

7. Homeschooling For Dummies- "Homeschooling" because public schools are teaching Creationism and that scares the hell outta me (ha... HAHAHAHAHA!) "Dummies" because... DUH! It wasn't exactly brilliance that got me into this mess, now was it?

8. A Chastity Beltor The Male Chastity Device- Because let's face it, the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree and I do NOT want to have to do this again with grandchildren because little Ricky or little Susie can't keep it in their pants just like their Mommy. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of "cure."

9. Stroke Rehabilitation: A Function-Based Approach- Because even though I will have been thrilled to finally get them the hell outta my house merrily send Ricky or Susie off to college, there's still that tuition bill to deal with.

Monday, September 20, 2010

May 14, 1977 - I Survived!

The person driving this car, my old friend Charlie Koff, just came across these photos and shared them with me. I still can't believe either of us lived through this. Shit, seeing these again, I can't believe it more *now* than I did back then.

The car below is a '76 Dodge Colt. We were hit head-on by a drunk in a Monte Carlo at 120 mph (we were doing 40, the guy in the big car donated 80).

Dodge Colt After Head-On Collision

Front View of Dodge Colt After Head-On Collision

I had been seventeen for three days when this happened.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Here We Go Again!

And god said, "Let there be snow. On Tuesday and Wednesday. Lots more. Bury the bitch under the green dot."

o/`Heavennnn... I'm in heavennnnnn o/`

Only the Good Die Young

Yeah baby!

Nice!!!!!!!!!!!!! on Twitpic

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Infamous Greenhouse

A shot of the infamous greenhouse, which fortunately has a slanted roof! The big lumpy thing to the right is a fireplace and the poles are holding hanging pots full of snow.

The Perfect Snow

It's snowing. It's snowing where *I* am. It's not only snowing where *I* am, it's a "Winter Storm Warning" record-breaking sort of thing with the promise of some pretty serious stuff, and 20" have fallen so far.

If you've read more than two words of this blog, you know how I feel about snow. I love snow. I live for snow. Snow is the single most perfect thing on earth.

My life, having sucked for pretty much the last year due to some fairly intolerable pain that is ever present, seriously needed some cheering up and Hubby came to my rescue in the most fabulous way.

Late yesterday afternoon after it started snowing, he had me crawl out of bed and down the stairs (an agonizing trip I take no more than once or twice a week) and into the living room, where he planted my butt on our cushiest sofa, which sits right in front of a picture window. He wrapped me in my favorite pink fur and sequin THRO blankie and made me a cup of steaming hazlenut coffee laced with Nutella. There we sat, watching the beautiful, silent snow fall until it got too dark to see. And that's when the real magic began.

Richard grabbed two uplights we had bought to highlight some groups of plants we have in the den, and put super-bright flood lights meant for the track lighting in my studio into them. He placed them on the window sill facing out the window, and made a tent of aluminum foil and cardboard above to eliminate any "light noise" that might escape from the light cans. He aimed them at the Bartlett pear tree a few feet from the window and turned them on. Every flake that fell was suddenly visible and glistened like a dazzling crystal as it passed through the light in front of the illuminated snow-covered tree branches.

The snow and the moment were indeed, perfection.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bailout Shmailout --- I Have the Solution!

I have come up with a brilliant answer to the bank bailout mess. It's posted on my "professional" [koff] blog, Style & Angst.

I smell Nobel Prize! I'm expecting a call from Obama at any moment.

Superrrrrr Geeeenius: I Have Just Resolved the Whole Bank Bailout Debacle

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snow Event Horizon Part V

Yeah, yeah, they say it's gonna snow. They don't only say it's gonna snow, they say it's gonna snow a LOT. "Dangerous." "Take precautions." "Megastorm." BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, right. We all know it will snow around me. Eyup.

This is the current satellite photo. I've added the pink dot to represent East Nottingham:

I predict this is exactly how the satellite picture will appear during the height of the storm:

Bet me.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Naaah, Can't Be True... Snow Event Horizon Part IV?

It's snowing! Not a blizzard mind you, not even a real "snowstorm" but snow nonetheless. I'll take it!

And yes, it's melting off the roof of the crooked greenhouse... thankfully!

Considering my track record, I'm sure it's the last I'll see this winter.

But it sure is purrrrty :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Generally Inhospitable: The Final Chapter

I know, I know, I've been remiss. Mostly because I've been so sore for the last 24 hours I couldn't even move, and my hands hurt so badly I couldn't even type. Really, I'm not makin' this up. And all this is WITH a Fentanyl patch and a very unhealthy level of but extremely steady supply of Excedrin. And with that...

Day ten: I got R up at 12:30pm to do the last remaining bits on the interior of the greenhouse, *really* feeling the stress of the promise of a 42-44 degree night temp looming. I know that 12:30 sounds late to most peeps, but R didn't go to sleep until 6am. In case you haven't figured it out yet, we're "night people." Well, R is "night people," I am "all night people." It's 7:45am and I'm writing this *before* I go to bed. I also realize that 44 degrees doesn't sound very cold to some peeps (I personally don't even consider wearing a coat until it gets down well into the 30s). After all, it's not the typical "killing frost" temps we're talkin' about here. The problem is that my passion is orchids and tropicals. Anything below 50 degrees is major trouble. And when I mean major, I mean MAJOR. You might say I have more than a few plants.

At 3:30pm I couldn't stand it anymore, I thought for sure that after a few hours even R would be done putting in a few brackets and reassembling some very simple greenhouse shelves we had left over from our last, crappy greenhouse. Eeeewrong. The stress of the situation called for action, and I could see I had no choice but to break my own rule and "do" rather than just "point." This took some defiance in not only breaking my own rule (which is always in place, regardless of physical condition), but in defying what has been the "prescription" for some time for what is likely either piriformus or a seriously screwed up disc in my back that has had me practically bedridden for almost a year (the MRI I am about to have will hopefully and finally put an end to the guessing games). No problem, rules are made to broken, and I am known to love that. What the hell do the "experts" know anyway? They've not found a solution yet, right? And besides, I happen to be the Queen of Pain (HAH! Try a hotter poker next time, loser!). Just don't tickle me, to me that's infinitely worse than any pain you could possibly inflict (YESYESYES, I'll tell you ANYTHING you want to know AND pay you to stop! BIG MONEY!!!). I digress. I break down and tell you this because you need to understand my position, and because you need to know the Fentanyl patch isn't around just for good times (I have a 'scrip for Percoset for THAT... it's just a damn shame they make me puke my guts up). Truth of the matter is, if one were to be totally honest, I literally can't stand up for more than 2 or 3 minutes without wanting to scream in agony. I'm not exaggerating. Thank GOD my job practically requires that I sit (well, other than it may have caused all this to begin with). And the peeps I know personally whom I suspect are reading my little diatribe that I didn't fill in on all this needn't freak out. I'll live and besides, it gives me more options in making R suffer ("Sweetie, would you get [fill in blank] for me?"), so there's obviously a good side to my dilemma. Enough about me.

So with fresh patch of uberdrugs installed and reinforced with three Extra Strength Excedrin (it's the caffeine that makes it works so well, ya know), I get up and go [crawl] downstairs and out the door. I look out over the back patio and there is just "crap" everywhere, mostly tree droppings in the form of leaves from our over-anxious "forested" property, mixed in with anything the four puppies decided was fair game for chewing on (mostly my potting materials), and the occasional tiny dog poop (it pays to have small dogs) from when our precious babies didn't want to get their little paws wet and venture out from under the roof and into the incessant rain this summer to do their thing. Not having actually been out on the patio for almost two months, I refrained from suggesting that maybe the patio should have been swept up in the meantime. After all, I still needed R to play along with this whole greenhouse thing and I wanted to keep him in a good mood. But still.

"Sweep the patio so I have a clear path and don't have to dance around anything to get to the greenhouse. I'm going to help you."

My husband isn't exactly the type who thinks someone in extreme pain *shouldn't* help him, so there was no look of shock or argument on his part. There was even some mild protest about having to sweep (which made it even harder to resist suggesting that an adult, responsible male might have done it sooner), but after his requisite complaining and some requisite (though mild) bitching on my part, he did it anyway.

When I arrived on the scene, the interior was done as far as building materials were concerned, and R was just beginning to work on the shelves. As he assembled the frames inside the greenhouse, I would spend short, exceedingly painful, bursts of time getting up from my seat on the patio, walking down the path to the greenhouse, and then into the greenhouse to install the actual shelving that sat on the frames. It didn't take us long to get this part done, mebbe an hour.

I had R put a patio chair right outside the greenhouse and he started using trays to bring me plants. I would spend my time between getting up every time he brought a tray and putting the plants where they were best suited in the greenhouse, and literally running to the chair to plop my ass into it before all the neighbors would hear me screaming and think that R and I had finally decided to kill each other. I'd say we started this routine about 5pm and it never varied from that point on (other than the occasional smoke and ill-advised excessive dose of Excedrin on my part). After the greenhouse was finally full of all the plants that would comfortably fit and were suited to greenhouse living, we started bringing the remainder into the house (mostly hanging plants and my really big babies). Since it had already dropped well into the 40s only a couple hours after we started working together, I tried to categorize the greenery from "most delicate that I love" to "at this point I'm in so much damn pain I don't care if it friggin' dies, save it for last." Without stopping once for even a 5 minute break, we finished around 2:30am. Did I mention I might have a lot of plants? I might even have more plants than shoes. Mebbe. Nah. But close.

When it was all done I know R was a hurtin' puppy, and I was practically suicidal. Richard went up to take a shower and I lay down on the couch in the den, with the agreed upon intention that when R came back down we would reward ourselves by watching some stuff we'd recorded and spend the rest of our night (your morning) snooging (our word, we own the trademark) and generally just spending some time doing nothing more than being together. Unfortunately, Magnolia (one of our bichons), who happens to be very snoogy in her own right, decided Mommy's head was a good place to be, and with very effective puppy paw blinders in place, I fell asleep almost instantaneously. I awoke at 6am to find R asleep on the other end of the couch (it's a biiiiig couch) and myself painfully pinned to the leather at my end by all four dogs. How they ever figured out to lay on me because they know it will cause me great pain to move (and thus being much less likely) while they slumber, I have yet to figure out, but they sure know where the most stable of sleeping environments is. I got R to get up and let them out and sent him up to bed. I fortified myself with mass quantities of Excedrin and worked until 11am, and then slept until 4pm, when I finally woke a complaining Richard up.

And so the saga ends, though I might point out that my initial prediction that this project might be painful in more ways than one certainly came to pass, though not exactly how I had hoped (I have to admit that only mental pain was anticipated on my part... my index finger failed me in end). Yes, we still have to figure out the final details of how to heat the thing until the leaves fall and how the high pressure sodium lights are going to be hung, among a myriad of other greenhouse-type concerns, but our little greenhouse is doing what is most important for the time being. All-in-all, the project was a success and the orchids and tropicals are safely ensconced in their winter home, protected from the nasty cold. And though I do love to give my hubby a hard time, he knows I love him to death and am grateful for all the hard work he put into the project. Well, at least I *think* he does.

And it only took him ten days.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Ten

Day Nine (yesterday). Houston, we have a door.

So, all that's left to do is finish the interior floor, all the brackets that attach the roof on the inside, the outside corner doodads, the shelving, and get all the plants in there before it drops to 44 degrees tonight.

I feel like cackling insanely.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Nine

Day eight. Door still isn't on. Apparently we "dropped a screw." Apparently we also have not mastered the use of a flashlight.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Eight

Day seven. We survived the wind storm and our greenhouse is still firmly planted at its "aesthetically interesting" angle to the fence.

Because Richard knew the missing door thing was potentially a big issue (we have a lot of high winds here), and knowing he would have little remaining light after work, I asked him to work on the greenhouse as soon as he got home. He did. About an hour later he came into the house.

"So, you got the door on?"

"No, I did the vent."

"You did the vent?"

"Yeah, I just put the door together."

Let's just say that prioritizing is not my hubby's strong point.

"So, you put the door on and then you're done, right?"

"Well, no."

"But you said all that was left to do was the door and the vent."

"I just read the manual and there's still a lot to do."

"Wait. You just read the manual? You mean you didn't read the manual before you started working on this?"

"No, not all the way through."

"You didn't think you should at least have read the whole thing before you started building?"

"I did, just not all the way through."

Notice that R just stated that he did do something he immediately contradicts in the same sentence... "I did [read the whole thing], just not all the way through." He does this all the time. It's a large part of why having conversations with R can make my brain hurt.

Three nights from now it is going to get down to 44 degrees. I better have a friggin' door or guess who's gonna be sleeping in the greenhouse.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Seven

Auntie Em, Auntie Em! Hate you, hate Kansas. Am taking the dog. But check out these to-die-for shoes, will ya???


Oh yeah, it's windy. Seriously windy.

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Six

"Richard, look out the window and tell me what's wrong with the greenhouse."

Looking... "Why? What's wrong with it?"

"You don't see anything wrong with it?"

"No, what's wrong?"

"Nothing. Nevermind. Read the blog when you get to work. And send your supervisor to read it as well."

That last part will never happen. Richard actually admitting it's way crooked won't either, but I've obviously been forced to come to live with these things.

"There was a crooked man, who had a crooked cane. He walked a crooked mile, down a crooked lane... "

He had a crooked smile, and a crooked brain, and though he is a goofball, I love him the just the same.

And that my friends, is what you call "poetic license." And mine is about to be revoked.

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Five

I was still awake working when I woke R at 9am. At noon he made it outside to work. I do have to admit he made breakfast (our own version of quick Eggs Benedict, to boot), but THREE hours? Welcome to my nightmare. Oh wait... you're already part of my nightmare. Nebbermind. And I'm so sorry.

I fell into an egg-induced coma shortly after noon. I awoke about 3:30pm (I don't sleep like a normal person, in case you haven't figured that out). Afraid to look out the master bedroom window overlooking the "greenhouse area," I intercommed R on the phone.

"Howz it goin'?"

"Well, if you look out the window, you'll see I have part of the frame up."

"You mean the pavers are done?"


Miracle #1

I worked, avoiding the whole window thing. A little after 5pm I hear R's cellphone ringing in the kitchen. Then again. Then our house phone rang. Someone was sure desperate to get hold of my hubby... and the rest of this diatribe demands a bit of a back story.

It was a call from Richard's supervisor at the university where he works. Now, let it be known that, as much as I can complain about my husband in just about every other aspect of life, my husband is a computer supergenius. An ubergenius, even (think "savant"). And having been a professional geek for a decade before becoming a jewelry artist (longer than he has been), and the fact that I love to pick on my husband (duh), this is a HUGE compliment coming from me; however, one I cannot in good conscience deny him. If it's impossibly complicated technically-intense software he's never seen before, he simply WILL make it work. The RIGHT way. Better than the support peeps from the software company will. EVERY TIME. However, he was hired by the university as a lowly programmer/analyst. He took the job and a HUGE cut in pay in exchange for a 7 minute commute to work and a much less stressful lifestyle. This lasted for 15 minutes, until the university realized they had hit gold. Now he administrates just about every major system the university runs, but STILL gets paid his original pathetic programmer/analyst salary. This has been an ongoing point of contention between us and the university, with them continually promising a big raise and promotion are moments away. My husband is pretty forgiving, and though he does nudge them on occasion, he's not pushy about it. I, on the other hand, want him to quit his job and find one that will pay him what he's worth (a girl needs the occasional Dior accessory, no?). I am also not shy about letting the university know they can kiss my ass every opportunity I get, which are few. My husband also has an incredibly annoying habit of jumping to the university's every beck and call. It's what he loves. Still incredibly annoying.

Now that you have the back story (I'm paraphrasing here, I didn't take notes):


"Is Richard there?"

"He's out working on the greenhouse."

"I need to know if he was in the system and changed anything. Somebody did, and things are not as they should be and it's causing major problems."

Now, as annoying as it is that his supervisor would call him on a vacation day (and this happens EVERY vacation, though I also realize that's because R holds ALL the marbles), I also know she wouldn't call if it weren't a major issue. Heheheheheh. BONUS!

"I don't think he's logged in today, he's been outside working all day."

"Oh, well, would you please have him call me, I just really need to ask him a quick question."

Really? Would you PLEASE KISS MY ASS?? Like I'm going to have him stop working to call you. So NOT.

"Sure, I'll tell him you called. THE NEXT TIME HE COMES INSIDE."

"Oh. :::pause::: OK."

Damn right, OK. And you may BITE ME. Do you understand I am being denied DIOR????

Around 6pm R came inside. I mentioned the call. HE WENT BACK OUTSIDE TO WORK WITHOUT CALLING HIS SUPERVISOR.

That, my friends, is Miracle #2.

Content I had done my bad deed for the day, I fell asleep again. I awoke at 8pm to find a freshly showered hubby and a bevy of puppies surrounding me in bed.

"And?" I asked, with no small amount of trepidation.

"Well, you can't see it because it's dark now, but everything is done except for the door and the bracket that lifts the vent."


Brain cells immediately fire, losing all remnants of sleep. I made him say it again. He said it the same way.

Miracle #3.

So everything is hunky dory, right? Ummmmm... no.

Eventually he did call his supervisor, and the extent of the call was to tell her he didn't change anything. Life goes on, he works, I work and nap and work, and at 2:45am he comes up and tells me he's going to bed.

At 3am Weatherbug decides to throw a wrench in the whole business.


Back on the intercom.

"We have issues."


"High wind advisory and there's no door and nowhere for the wind to go."

"I'm sure it will be fine."

This from the man who has pulled our umbrella AND glass/iron table out of the pond more than once.

"You don't KNOW it will be fine."

This is an argument we have often. If it means work for R, it will be "fine," no matter what the situation.

After clearly explaining the basic laws of physics to my husband, and painting the scenario of our brand new greenhouse ending up an acre away in our new neighbor's yard (I finally irritated the old ones enuf to move), I apparently made enough of an impact to convince him to at least put the piece of fence he removed back in front of the door before he leaves to go back to the blood-sucking university. I'll be waking him up in 12 minutes to do just that.

I also just looked at the greenhouse for the first time. I wonder if he'll notice the first time he sees it from above how much of an angle it sits in aspect to the fence it is supposed to butt up against at 90 degrees. Assuming he is not aware of this already. There had to be something, right? Well, of course there did. I am forever doomed to look down at a crooked greenhouse, apparently.

And as Day Six gets underway, we have high winds, a possible complaint from the boss (one *so* hopes), a door, a bracket, and one hell of an explanation about our lack of actually measuring anything to look forward to. I just know you live to see how this ends.

As so do I.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Generally Inhospitable: Episode Four

Day four. At 4:30pm I was informed the pavers are 2/3 done. Now I'll be the first to admit that math is not my strong point but it seems to me if one is 2/3 done something, and then one works on it for another four or five hours, one should make some progress. I bet he's out there hammering on cement to just make me *think* he's working. He's probably laying in the hammock, sipping a pina colada, and striking a piece of paver with a mallot every time he swings in that direction. That's my guess.

I wonder if all our tropical plants will survive the winter if I just shove them in the box with the unassembled greenhouse.